Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strouille à l’Italienne - Savory Strudel - Boiled

boiled savory strudel, strucolo, strukel, rotolo, strouille à l'Italienne
This savory strudel is boiled, not baked and is also known by [strucolo, rotolo or strukel]; also similar to napkin dumpling. Again, this is a dish found on the margins of Northern & Eastern Italy, and reflects those cuisines of the surrounding areas.

Savory Italian Strudel
Use the same paste* as with rissoles; make a farce [filling] in this manner: sauté finely diced onions in butter until light golden; add fine bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, cream, some egg[s] to bind, stir & season to taste, & let it cool; roll out your paste and put it on a floured tablecloth on a large work surface, continue stretching and rolling dough until very thin; spread your farce evenly over the dough, & begin to roll this strudel longitudinally by using the tablecloth to help you turn the roll, & tighten the roll [not loosely rolled]; wrap it in a well tied up cloth, & put it to cook in boiling water, with a little salt, for one hour; draw it out, unroll from the cloth & cut it in slices, & arrange it in a dish; cover with more grated Parmesan & melted butter & serve. It is also done sometimes with cabbage, spinach, sorrel, cheese or beef marrow.

*Rissolles Paste or Italian Pasta Dough
Make a paste with flour, egg whites, salt, & tepid water; knead it soft [until smooth for about 10 minutes] & let it rest below [covered by] a pan for 15 to 30 minutes; roll out in the manner the recipe directs.

I used sorrel and found this strudel tangy and delicious; I served it with browned butter.

Shredded cabbage fried and seasoned with cardamom is also a delicious filling.
This strudel comes away from the dumpling cloth very easily. Allow it to cool slightly before slicing.

* * * * *

Strouille à l’Italienne.
C'est la même pâte** qu'aux rissolles; vous faites une farce de cette maniere: vous hachez des oignons bien menus en des, & les passez au beurre; presque cuits, vous y mettez de la mie de pain bien fine, Parmesan rapé, de la crême, quelques œufs pour lier le tout assaisonné de bon goût, & le laissez réfroidir; vous avez votre pâte ci-devant; vous étendez une nape sur une table, vous saupoudrez de la farine; vous étendez votre pâte dessus, comme pour des rissolles; vous jettez votre farce dessus, & vous en couvrez la pâte le plus mince que vous pouvez avec votre couteau; ayant étendu cette farce, vous roulez cette pâte comme un boudin en long, & la retournez en rond; vous l'enveloppez dans un torchon bien ficelé, & la mettez cuire à l'eau bouillante, avec un peu de sel, pendant une heure; étant cuite, vous la tirez & la coupez par tronçons, & l'arrangez dans un plat, du Parmesan rapé dessus, & beurre frais que vous faites fondre, jettez dessus, & servez. Il s'en fait aux choux, aux épinards, à l'oseille, & a la moëlle de Bœuf, & fromage.

**Pâte à Rissolles à l’Italienne
Vous faites une pâte avec farine, blancs d'œufs, sel, & de l'eau tiede; vous la faites molle & la laissez reposer dessous une casserolle, vous en servez de cette maniere.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.39.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nioc à l'Italienne - Gnocchi

Plain bread crumb dough nioc, served with butter and Parmesan sauce.The French had not begun to eat potatoes (1740); it is not plain that Italians were then either.

Nioc Dough:
1/4 cup butter plus enough boiling water to make 1 cup liquid
2 cups dried bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
10 or so tablespoons cold water
Butter and grated Parmesan for the sauce
Handful of chopped, minced and pounded Partridge or other poultry flesh, or
Handful of very finely chopped and squeezed dry, blanched spinach, or
Bits of cooked marrow or other meat/drippings

Melt butter and add enough boiling water to make a cup of liquid. Pour the bread crumbs into a bowl and add the boiling water and butter. Let stand 10 minutes. Mound the flour on your pastry board and make a well in the flour [holding some of the flour back to add as needed. Add the eggs, 10 tablespoons water, grated Parmesan and soaked bread crumbs to the well [now is also the time to add the optional ingredients—keeping in mind that on Fast (maigres) days, no meat or extra grease would be used]. Blend them together with a fork, gradually stirring in the flour by drawing in the flour into the liquids. Continue to stir in flour until the mixture has become a rough dough, knead it by hand 10 minutes, or until elastic. [You may not have used all of the flour or extra tablespoons of water.] Wrap the dough or cover with a bowl and let it stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Take 1/4 of the dough (keep the rest covered) and divide it into 10 pieces, keeping all but the one you are rolling covered. Roll out each piece into a 1/2-inch in diameter dowel shape. Cut each roll into pieces half of your little finger’s length. Gnocchi pieces have traditionally been further rolled on a grooved board or back of the fork to produce grooves that will help the sauce it’s served with to adhere. Leave each piece to dry on a lightly floured surface, such as a basket or tray, which will aid in getting the gnocchi into the cooking water.

Have ready a large pot of boiling water. It is not necessary to add salt to the water as the Parmesan should be enough seasoning. Drop gnocchi into boiling water, stirring up at the beginning to prevent sticking. When they float to the top, they are done; remove with a slotted spoon to a large pan with melted butter and toss with grated Parmesan. Use a bit of the cooking water to stretch the sauce if necessary. For Feast days [not Fast] you can boil in broth.

Nioc à l'Italienne.
Il s'en fait de plusieurs façons en gras comme en maigre; pour les grasses vous maniez du beurre dans une casserolle, avec du fromage rape, de la mie de pain, un peu de farine, & des œufs entiers, de la chair de Perdrix, ou autres vollailles, un peu de sel; vous mêlez bien le tout, & y mettez de la moëlle de Bœuf hachée; pour les maigres elles se font de même, l'on n'y met point de moëlle, ni de chair; vous les faites vertes, si vous voulez, en y mettant des épinards; vous mettez une casserolle sur le fourneau avec de l'eau; quand elle bout, vous les coupez à même l'appareil gros comme la moitié du petit doigt; a mesure que vous les mettez dans l'eau, en mettant la derniere vous couvrez la casserolle & l'ôtez de dessus le feu; étant prêt à servir, vous les dressez a sec avec du fromage, du beurre par-dessus, & servez; pour les grasses vous les faites cuire au bouillon, & les servez avec leur bouillon de bon goût.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.44.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gâteau à l’Italienne frit - Fried [pies] Italian

Take a large sheet of puff paste, that used for the undercrusts of small Pies [cut small squares or circles of dough]; put apricot marmalade, cream-[cheese], &/or other sweet mixtures between two undercrusts and press the two crusts very well together [I used a fork to seal the edges], & fry them in lard [I used butter] until puffed and golden, drain & frost or glaze them, & serve.

Gâteau à l’Italienne frit.
Vous avez un gros feuilletage, vous en faites des abaisses comme pour des petits Pâtés; entre deux abaisses vous mettez marmalade d’abricots, crème, & autre chose; vous fondez bien les deux abaisses, & les faites frire au saindoux, & les glacez, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.141.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Strouilles à l'Italienne - "Sweet" Strudel

Strudel is normally thought of as an Austrian dish; bear in mind that Southern Austria is on the Northern Italian border and the Piedmont or foothills area of Northern Italy is a margin where ideas flowed both North and South.

Strouilles à l'Italienne - Sweet Strudel
Use the same paste* as that of the savory entrée and in the same way. After melting your butter, spread it on your paste well everywhere; make a preparation [combination of about 3 cups worth] of very thin slices or dices of apple, candied citron melons, green [limes] and yellow lemons, grapes of Corinth, raisins, sweet & bitter almonds, pistachios, pinions, all kinds of [sweet] ingredients of the office [cold kitchen or pantry] and spread all over the well-buttered pastry; roll it like that of the savory strudel, but buttering the top of the pasty as you roll it; place it on a tart plate like a snail, & put it in the oven to cook one hour & one-half [mine cooked 35-40 minutes--just until golden], basting it with butter three or four times while it cooks; once baked, glaze it [with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar] & serve.

*Rissolles Paste or Italian Pasta Dough
Make a paste with flour, egg whites, salt, & tepid water; knead it soft [until smooth for about 10 minutes] & let it rest below [covered by] a pan for 15 to 30 minutes; roll out in the manner the recipe directs.

Be liberal with your melted butter, lots on the bottom before you add filling, and with each roll, brush the top of the dough with more butter. And don't forget to baste with butter several times during cooking.

This dough is amazingly stretchy--do not be afraid to roll it as thin as possible--if it tears stick it back together. I recommend rolling it as a very long rectangle and rolling it from the longest side--this will give you the longest «snail».

Modern tastes may find the addition of sugar and/or spices to the mixture to be a welcome choice.

Strouilles à l’Italienne.
C’est la même pâte** que celle d’entrée étendue de même; vous faites fonder du beurre; étant fondu, vous beurrez bien votre pâte par-tout; vous avez un appareil de filets de pommes, citrons vert & confits, raisins de Corinthe, gros raisins, amandes douce & ameres, des pistaches, pignons, toutes sortes d’ingrediens d’office, que vous mettez dans cette pâte bien beurrée, & l’étendez par-tout; étant faite, vous la roulez comme celle d’entrée, en la beurrant de tems en tems, vous la roulez sur une tourtiere comme un limaçon, & la mettez au four cuire une heure & demie, la frotter trios ou quatre fois de beurre pendant qu’elle cuit; étant cuite, la glacez & servez pour un plat.

**Pâte à Rissolles à l’Italienne
Vous faites une pâte avec farine, blancs d'œufs, sel, & de l'eau tiede; vous la faites molle & la laissez reposer dessous une casserolle, vous en servez de cette maniere.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.172.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Transalpine [Italian] Kitchen

According to tradition, this book, Le Cuisinier Gascon, was written by the grandson of Louis XIV and Madam de Montespan. The Prince, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, also cooked for King Louis XV; he would introduce Gascon cuisine to culinary literature.

Le Cuisinier Gascon has two hundred and seventeen recipes, some with “picturesque names,” such as Drunken Fritters, Eyes of Veal Stuffed with Gratin, the Chicken in Bat, etc.

The author grants a place to the transalpine [Italian] kitchen: lazagne with oil, rafiolis [raviolis], nioc [gnocchi], macaroni with milk, cabbages Roman-style, veal served with rice, truffles, macaroni pie, polpette [_meat_balls], stuffed veal intestinal membranes baked in two crusts [torta]…

The Foreword announces: «One will find a wise choice of the most exquisite recipes here, with the detailed manner to prepare them.»

Coming, some «French» Italian recipes …

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740

Friday, July 11, 2008

July for the Confectioner

The Fruits of the former Month still make up the greater part of this, and the Preserving of them is continu’d, after the above-mentioned Ways. This is the chief time for wet and dry Cherries, as also for the Jellies and Marmelades of Currans and Raspberries.

In the beginning of the Month, white Walnuts are preserv’d, either liquid or dry, to be kept during the whole Year, and a little afterwards ripe Apricocks, of which Compotes and Pastes are first made: Others are par’d in order to be preserv’d with half Sugar, or in Ears, and Marmelade is made of them, which is us’d in many Things, out of the Season, particularly, for drying the Paste: for Apricock-pastils; or the Royal March-pane. At the same time, the Syrup and Ratafiaz of Apricocks are usually prepar’d.

Pears now begin to provide Employment for the Confectioner, and to afford an agreeable Variety: So that Compotes may be made of them, and Muscadine-pears may be iced, to the number of six or seven in Clusters, as they are, whilst the Blanquets are preserv’d, and some few other sorts dried.

There are also Plums and Grapes in the end of the Month, and altho’ the latter are fine enough then to appear in their natural Color; yet they are sometimes ices with powder’d Sugar. The same thing is done with Plums; besides that Pastes are already made of them, and they may be put into Compotes, or into half-Sugar, to be dried.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 12-13.
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