07/08/09 Chicken In Beer

"Paesi che vai, usanze che trovi." (The countries you visit, the customs you find. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Mussels with Green Peppers
  -Chicken In Beer
  -Kiwi Jam

Enjoy the recipes and have a happy and healthy summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Mussels with Green Peppers

Mussels with Green Peppers
Cozze con Peperoni Verdi


2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2-3 green peppers, halved, seeded and sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped


Put the mussels in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and one of the garlic cloves and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes until they open.

Discard any that remain closed.

Remove the mussels from their shells and set aside.

Chop the remaining garlic.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, add the green peppers and remaining garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

Season with salt, add the mussels and cook, stirring gently, for a few minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the thyme. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken In Beer

Chicken In Beer
Pollo alla Birra


1 chicken
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) lager beer
Salt and pepper


Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper and place in a large pan.

Add the carrot, onion, leek and celery and pour in the beer, which should almost completely cover the bird.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, turning once, for about 1 hour until the beer has almost completely evaporated and the chicken is golden brown, tender and cooked through. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Kiwi Jam

Kiwi Jam
Marmellata di Kiwi


4 and 1/2 lbs (2 kg) kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
4 and 1/2 lbs (2 kg) sugar


Place the kiwis in a saucepan, add the sugar and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, for 30 minutes.

Ladle the jam into warm, sterilized glass jars while still hot.

When cool, seal the jars and store in a cool, dry place.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Doctors Will Not Report Illegal Aliens

Rome - February 6, 2009 - Catholic doctors will not report illegal immigrants who show up for treatment despite a government move encouraging them to do so, the head of their association told Vatican Radio Friday.

Vincenzo Saraceni said doctors would not have to become 'conscientious objectors' in order to go against the government's wishes. He noted that a crime bill which passed from the Senate to the Chamber of Deputies Thursday does not require doctors to report illegals but only lifts a previous ban on them doing so. It is therefore left up to individual doctors to decide, he said.

Saraceni however voiced the hope that the Chamber of Deputies would remove the "absolutely inopportune" measure from the crime bill.

The center-left opposition and doctors' groups have warned that the fear of being reported would stop illegal immigrants seeking care with serious health risks for the community.

"Grazie Dottore Grazie!" I feel much better. Give me 5 minutes head start before you call the polizia.

It's about time we see a little sense of responsibility and benevolence coming from our quack population.

Hard to believe Italy has the highest number of doctors per head of any country in the world (one for every 160 inhabitants). However, if you filter out the lazy, clumsy and rat-bastards who are involved with the Mafia, the number comes crashing down.

And if Italy is overrun by a huge number of doctors as it is with illegal aliens, why is it so hard to find one? "Fanculo", why does one need the help of an illegal alien to get a doctor's appointment?

Medical students in Italy spend an estimated 10-12 years studying medicine but around 30 per cent of registered doctors are in jobs that do not correspond with studies completed both academically and also in terms of salary. In other words, you'll find highly qualified and experienced physicians dedicating their time with politics and the construction industry while the incapable and dense ones are performing open heart surgery instead of shaving sheep.

Italy's spending on health is only around 6 per cent of GDP, and expenditure per head is among the lowest in the European Union. State hospitals, particularly in the south, are notoriously bad, a situation made worse by Mafia-inspired corruption and doctors escaping to find work in better equipped and run hospitals in northern Italy, Libya, Morocco and the North Pole.

Despite the shortcomings of our crappy health service, we are generally healthy and have one of the highest life expectancies in Europe (around 82 for women and 76 for men) which is attributed in large part to our healthy Mediterranean diet.

Although, we always debate as to why the hell we would want to live this long in a country that is trying to kill us off.

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