03/10/10 Seafood Stew with Lentils

"Chi causa del suo male piange se stesso." (He who has created his own evil cries over the same. He who has made his bed must lie in it.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chicken Tartlets
  -Seafood Stew with Lentils
  -Baked Swordfish

The ear tests words as the palate tastes food. Enjoy your recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Chicken Tartlets

Chicken Tartlets
Tartellette di Pollo


11 oz (300 grams) skinless and boneless chicken breasts
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon double cream, whipped
Small gherkins or pickles, drained and thinly sliced, to garnish
35-50 Pate Brisee tartlet cases


Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until thoroughly cooked.

Drain and leave to cool, then chop coarsely and mince in a food processor.

Shell and halve the eggs.

Scoop out the yolks and mix with the chicken.

Stir in the mayonnaise and cream and season with salt to taste.

Fill the pastry cases with the chicken mixture and garnish with the gherkins. Makes 35-50 tartlets.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Seafood Stew with Lentils

Seafood Stew with Lentils
Zuppetta di Mare Con Lenticchie


For the Fish Stock:
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) white fish or white fish bones and heads, gills removed

For the Stew:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) cooked lentils
9 oz (250 grams) fish and seafood, such as sea bass fillets, prepared squid, peeled prawns, peeled langoustines and scrubbed clams
1 tomato, chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
1 fresh basil sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Fish Stock:
Pour 3 pints (2 liters) water into a large saucepan, add the herbs, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns and season with salt.

Gradually bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then add the fish (the water should just cover).

Return to the heat, bring just to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave the fish to cool in the stock for a stronger flavor.

Strain the stock.

Leave to cool slightly, then strain.

Prepare the Stew:
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon each of the celery, carrot and onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the lentils and cook for a few minutes more.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a shallow saucepan, add the remaining celery, carrot and onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the sea bass and the squid, increase the heat to high and cook for 1 minute, then add the prawns, langoustines, clams and lentil mixture.

Pour in the fish stock, season with salt and pepper and cook until the fish is tender.

Just before removing the pan from the heat, add the tomato, parsley and basil.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Swordfish

Baked Swordfish
Pesce Spada Al Forno


1 onion, chopped
1 garlic dove, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 swordfish steaks
6 fl oz (175 ml) extra virgin olive oil
6 fl oz (175 ml) white wine
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Mix together the onion, garlic and parsley in a bowl.

Place half the mixture in an ovenproof dish and place the fish on top.

Season with salt and pepper and cover with the remaining chopped mixture.

Pour in the olive oil and white wine.

Bake, basting frequently, for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Comatose Saturday Postal Delivery in Italy To End

Rome - February 19, 2010 - Unions are finalizing an agreement with the Italian postal service which will result in an end to deliveries on Saturday but also an increase in afternoon deliveries during the week.

The growing popularity of electronic mail and competition from other parcel delivery services has greatly reduced the business of Poste Italiane which has compensated by expanding into other services including banking and even mobile phone service.

Last year, union sources said, there was a 20% drop in mail delivery which put the jobs of 10,600 letter carriers at risk.

Aside from ending weekend service, unions have agreed to only increase the length of daily shifts from six hours to seven hours and 12 minutes to allow for more afternoon deliveries.

Poste Italiane currently employs some 140,000 people, 73,000 of whom work sorting and delivering mail.

"Figlio di puttana", who knew mail was being delivered on Saturdays? Most Italians would have loved to have gotten a taste of this! We're happy as pigs in slop when we get anyone capable of delivering the mail without losing their breath.

Ever have the urge of doing something ridiculous like stopping by an Italian post office for some Godforsaken task? It's like entering the 'Twilight Zone' where you're viewing postal workers find 22 reasons to do just about anything (including skinning varmints) other than their original work tasks.

After you get over your initial amazement of actually finding the post office open (meaning that the manager did not lose the keys that morning), you make a run for the ticket machine and rather than waste time reading which of the four different tickets you need, you just take one of each. It doesn't matter what the information states because you'll eventually discover you're the nincompoop waiting in the wrong ticket line and have to start over again when you finally reach the window.

While you are being served, which usually consists of being told that whatever you need is out of stock, you will be constantly interrupted with other incredibly polite Italian customers asking for various paperwork. Mind you there are places for forms to be stocked but these were possibly last refilled when Mussolini was hanged.

At this point your obnoxious and foul-smelling teller will resume the phoney smile and drooling and then disappear from his/her desk to go and find said form which may take 10 minutes and involve at least three other incredibly efficient coworkers who were also busy pretending to work but have now all stopped...thanks to you.

"Poste Italiane currently employs some 140,000 people, 73,000 of whom work sorting and delivering mail." If it weren't for the deliberate help from Italian politicians, 99% of these postal workers would be stooped over picking potatoes and tomatoes right now.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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