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 11/30/11 Rabbit Ragu

"Il sangue non acqua." (Blood is not water. Blood is thicker than water.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Rabbit Ragu
  -Steak with Arugula
  -Saffron Panettone

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Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Rabbit Ragu

Rabbit Ragu
Ragu di Coniglio

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (1/4-lb) piece pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 (3-lb) rabbit, boned by butcher and meat cut into 1-inch pieces (1 and 1/2 lb boned)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup light dry red wine
1 (14-oz) can Italian plum tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped
1 and 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat oil and butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet (2 inches deep) over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.

Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Add sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Add rabbit and cook, stirring occasionally, until rabbit is no longer pink on outside, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Steak with Arugula

Steak with Arugula
Bistecca con Rucola

Ingredients:

5 oz baby arugula
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 lb boneless top loin steak or sirloin (1 inch thick)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Mound arugula on a large platter.

Heat olive oil with garlic and rosemary in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat, turning garlic once or twice, until garlic is golden, about 4 minutes.

Discard garlic and rosemary.

Meanwhile, cut steak crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices and toss with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add meat to skillet all at once and saute over high heat, tossing with tongs to color evenly, about 1 minute for medium-rare.

Arrange steak over arugula using tongs, then add shallot to oil in skillet along with vinegars and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and boil 2 minutes.

Pour dressing over steak and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Saffron Panettone

Saffron Panettone
Panettone Allo Zafferano

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
8 green cardamom pods
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup diced candied orange peel
1 cup golden raisins

1 egg white, beaten to blend
8 sugar cubes, coarsely crushed

Directions:

Combine milk, cardamom pods, and saffron in small saucepan; bring to simmer.

Swirl pan to distribute saffron; remove from heat.

Cover and let steep until instant-read thermometer inserted into milk mixture registers 110F, about 20 minutes.

Strain milk mixture into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; discard solids in strainer.

Sprinkle yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over milk mixture.

Let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.

Mix in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, butter, 4 eggs, and salt.

Add 2 cups flour and beat on low speed until smooth.

Increase speed to medium.

Gradually add 2 and 1/2 cups flour; beat until smooth.

Beat in candied orange peel and raisins.

Continue beating until dough pulls away from sides of bowl in long stretchy strands, about 3 minutes (dough will be sticky).

Butter large bowl; scrape dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then towel.

Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 2 hours.

Butter 10 x 4-inch angel food cake pan.

Using rubber spatula, press lightly on dough to release air.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface; form into 18 to 20-inch rope.

Transfer to prepared pan and wrap around center tube, pushing and pinching ends together and pressing top of dough slightly with rubber spatula to distribute evenly.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap, then towel.

Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.

Brush top of dough with beaten egg white.

Sprinkle with crushed sugar cubes.

Bake until golden brown and tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool in pan on rack about 30 minutes.

Turn out onto rack to cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.) Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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:

Italian Police Stop Jackass Political Party From Throwing Bear Barbecue

Rome - July 3, 2011 - Police have broken up a banquet of bear meat hosted by Berlusconi's powerful coalition partner in northern Italy after government ministers and animal rights groups described the event as scandalous.

The order came as about 200 people lined up to devour grilled and stewed bear at a rally in Imer in the Italian Dolomites organized by the Northern League.

Organizers said they had bought the meat legally in Slovenia to get round a ban on bear hunting in Italy, but food safety officers from Italy's paramilitary Carabinieri police objected to the lack of import documentation for the 50kg of meat.

Foreign minister Franco Frattini and tourism minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla had condemned the bear feast as "a scandalous initiative", while environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo described the get-together as "barbarous".

In his blog, Frattini said the banquet was particularly offensive since Italian bears were "almost extinct and we are trying with great effort to bring them back to the mountains that have hosted them for centuries".

The brown bear population has risen to about 35 in and around the Dolomites after 10 were reintroduced there a decade ago. But instead of celebrating their return, some locals have complained that the bears are attacking chickens and sheep. Claims made for lost livestock rose to 100,000 Euros ($143,000 USD) last year, and farmers were fed up, said Maurizio Fugatti, an MP for the anti-immigrant Northern League.

Hence the banquet, which, said Fugatti, had been planned to "send a clear signal to citizens who have the right to reconquer their territory and freely circulate".

To protect locals from marauding bears, he added, "we prefer to eat them like this."

Fugatti said half of the bear meat had been cooked for the canceled banquet but the remainder was frozen and ready for a new dinner date should the paperwork be put in order.

"The idea was to attract attention to a bear repopulation plan which has got out of hand, resulting in locals being followed by bears through woods normally frequented by families. Even if the banquet doesn't happen, we have made our point," he went on.

The Northern League has long specialized in controversial statements and stunts. In 2007 Senator Roberto Calderoli proposed dissuading Muslims from building a mosque in Bologna by parading a pig across the chosen site, defiling it.

Yogi Bear: "Mamma mia, Boo-Boo, these animals are out of their mind."

Have you ever wondered how some mental Italian politicians who give a personal name to each one of their kitchen knives are able to win glory, wealth, fame, and an enduring place in Italy's sagas while others have to settle for plundering a few small towns in Calabria and Sicily?

Welcome to the world of the "Lega Nord".

It’s easy to see how simple and foul-mouthed the tone of their language is. It is the same linguistic style used by Lega representatives, a trick they have used to reach a wider public (a stupid and illiterate public, mind you, who is usually full of crap and immobile from eating too much polenta, slurping grappa, and belching) in the past elections and "conquer" a new electorate with so-called hot issues such as national security, immigration...and bear invasions.

So, what principles separate these Northern Italian Vikings from ordinary political ravagers? Well, the Lega Nord embraces the plunder approach which states that all the resources and success of a country should be held by the territory responsible for it...their territory.

1. Be arrogant and destructive
Accept responsibility for your actions in order to take control of the situation (a bear barbecue). You can be either reactive or destructive. When you are reactive, you blame other Italians for your problems. When you are destructive, other Italians blame you for their problems.

2. Principles of personal victory
Set long term goals based on the total victory principle. Visualization is an important tool. Visualize overwhelming the Southern Italian warriors with soap and jobs, plundering their little towns, and carrying off their women and cattle (leader of the Lega Nord, Bossi, is married to a Sicilian). Unless your longship has limited cargo space, in which case you might want to visualize leaving some of the ugly and fat women behind.

3) Go nuts
Going nuts is a very effective way to overwhelm an Italian government. Avoid decision making. Apply destructive problem solving. Employ brute force to promote successful confrontation. Embrace and leverage annihilation (Bossi once referred to immigrants as "bingo bongos" and has suggested that immigrant boats off Italy's shores be fired upon with cannons).

"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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