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Italian Wedding Cookies March 29, 2012

Filed under: Dessert,Italian,Recipes — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 1:17 pm

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for rolling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 365°
  2. Cream butter in a bowl, and gradually add confectioners powdered sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour, and mix well.
  3. Using a teaspoon, scoop dough and shape into a small ball for each cookie. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake cookies for for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure cookies do not brown.
  4. Allow cookies to cool slightly, and then roll each cookie in remaining powdered sugar.

Story:

These cookies have always been my favorite. This is a recipe I use to make these cookies, and everyone I make them for adores them. “Italian Wedding cookies” are often referred to as “Mexican Wedding Cookies”, “Russian Tea Cakes” or even “Butterballs”. I love to make these because I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and can be made with or without almonds. Enjoy!

Jenny

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Italian: Tiramisu

Filed under: Dessert,Italian,Recipes — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 1:14 pm

Tiramisu

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (espresso works best), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 7×11 inch dish

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  4. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7×11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set. For best results, refrigerate overnight.

Story:

Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert, and one that is a favorite in my family. It is a combination of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone custard and whipped cream, topped with cocoa powder that just melts in your mouth. Tiramisu is always on the menu when it comes to our Italian family gatherings, and one of my favorite desserts of all time.

 

 

Salvadorian: Chicken Tamales

Filed under: Dinner,Recipes,Salvadorian — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 12:07 am

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Ingredients:

  1. Meat
  • 4 pounds Chicken (cut or shredded into 1.5″ long)
  • 4 cubes of chicken broth
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 large bay leaves, whole
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano, chipped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, chipped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil, chipped
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon spiced achiote
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa, unrefined
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tablespoon coriander, powder
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seed, made paste in mortar

2. Corn-flour Masa (batter)

  • 1 package MASECA corn flour
  • 3 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of onion powder
  • 12 cubes chicken broth
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

3. Garnishing

  • 1 cup capers
  • 2 cups of pitted, pimento stuffed green olives
  • 2 cups of pre-cooked, garbanzo beans
  • 3 large potatoes, boiled or microwaved and cut into 1/4″ wide, 3″ long strips
  • 2 large red bell pepper, shredded
  • 1 large green bell pepper, shredded
  • 10 large garlic teeth, minced

4. Wrapping

  • 2 bags of frozen, pre cooked banana leaves, defrosted and throughly washed. Cut into 12″x12″ squares.
  • 3 rolls of parchment paper, cut into 12″x12″ squares

5. Steam

  • 2 gallons water
  • 4 tablespoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Part 1 Filling
  2. Carefully decant all ingredients (minus the boiled potato & garbanzo beans) at once in boiling water, stir vigorously until mixed and cover it until brought back to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to simmer temperature. Simmer for 3 hours stirring every 15 minutes or less to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning.
  4. Let it rest overnight tightly covered
  5. Next day, using simmer temperature, bring it to boil, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or less to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning.
  6.  Add already boiled potatoe’s and garbanzo beans.
  7. Let it rest tightly covered until it cools down from hot to warm
  8. Part 2 – Batter
  9. Mix all ingredients in large bowl until batter acquires an even texture. When ready masa should feel about three times thicker than pancake batter. Add more water if necessary. Add salt as needed to fit your taste and diet.
  10. Part 3 – Garnish
  11. Place olive oil in a bowl and place at arm’s length on tamal-preparation surface.
  12. Part 4 – Wrapping
  13. Place the wrappings also at arm’s length on tamal-preparation surface.
  14. Part 5 – Making the Tamales
  15. Lay out parchment paper square on tamal-preparation surface.
  16. Lay out banana leave square on top of aluminum foil square.
  17. Pour a heaping cooking-spoon of batter on center of banana leaf slightly closer to the edge.
  18. Making a depression in the center of batter, pour three full table spoons of filing on the center of batter
  19. Toss in 1 olive on top of the batter/filling.
  20. Wrap up tamal on four sides with banana leaf and parchment paper avoiding any leakage
  21. NOTE: The best way to fold them would be to fold end closest to you forward first, then folds the ends in and roll the tamal to the end of the wrapping.
  22. Part 5 – steaming the tamales
  23. In a large stock pot bring 2L of water to a boil (add salt).
  24. Place a metal rack at the bottom of the Stock pot
  25. Stack 1/2 or the tamales in the stock pot allowing room for steam to move in between them.
  26. Steam for a total of 4 hours, make sure to change positions of tamales every hour to ensure even cooking in all tamales.
  27. Steam for a total of 4 hours, make sure to change positions of tamales every hour to ensure even cooking in all tamales.
  28. Tamal’s are now ready to be served directly from the stock pot.
  29. Part 6 – Freezing Tamales
  30. Let the tamales cool down to room temperature.
  31. Pack in a sealed plastic bags. Make sure tamales have cooled before placing them in plastic bags.
  32. Freeze them
  33. Part 7 – Defrosting and serving tamales
  34. Defrosting tamales may prove tricky. If heated wrong, tamales may get sandy, chewy, or crunchy. The best result is obtained if tamales are let thaw at room temperature.
  35. Once thawed, microwave tamal for 2 1/2 minutes at high temperature.

Story:

These tamales are absolutely delicious, making them takes a day or two. My parents are so good at making tamales that they can make 200 tamales within 10 hours. I tried doing that with my friend it was a total fail.  It took us over 2 days to make them and they didn’t turn out as pretty. It takes lots of practice and skill, something I hope to master from my parents.

 

Salvadorian: Yuca March 19, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Salvadorian,Starters — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 12:43 am

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2-2 punds Yuca (Cassava) root
  • Water for boiling
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.Peel the hard skin from the yuca and cut into large chunks. Avoid the stringy center.
  2. Add the Yuca to the boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and spread the yuca out on a clean towel. Let steam dry for 10 to 15 minutes while you heat up the oil.
  3. Heat the oil for deep frying until it begins to shimmer, or  to about 365 degrees on a deep frying thermometer. Fry the yuca in batches until it reaches a golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and hold in a warm oven while you fry the remaining batches.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and serve
  5. Yucan can be served with refried beans and cream, or with chicharron and curtido.

Story:

Yuca is one of my Mom’s favorite plates. She enjoys having it with refried beans and cream.  

 

Italian: Buffalo Mozzarella Crostini March 18, 2012

Filed under: Italian,Recipes,Starters — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 3:24 pm

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette, cut into diagonal 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 fresh roma tomatoes
  • Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Set the oven to broil at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, butter and garlic. Set over medium heat, and cook until butter has melted and the mixture starts to bubble. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Dip each slice of bread into the garlic mixture, turning to coat each side. Place Parmesan cheese on a plate. Press one side of each piece of bread into the cheese, and place cheese side up on a baking sheet.
  4. Broil on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Slice fresh mozzarella into pieces that will fit on top of the Crostini. Chop tomato and basil. Place fresh mozzarella down first, and then place tomato on top of mozzarella. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

Story:

This dish is a great appetizer for any get together. It reminds me of family parties and holiday celebrations from over the years. My “Nonni” always has this dish as an antipasti, along with Italian meats, cheeses and breads. Most often the mozzarella, tomato and basil is it’s own salad, but putting it on top of homemade crostini is a delicious twist on a classic Italian antipasti.

 

Ahhh! March 17, 2012

Filed under: Journal Entry — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 7:54 pm

Today I began thinking of recipes to add to the blog. I called my Nonni and my mom to ask them for the recipes of Italian dishes that I grew up loving. Unfortunately, most of the recipes of foods I wanted to include on this blog involve making everything from scratch, which involves a lot of ingredients, time and supplies that I didn’t even have. I don’t know what I’m going to do now, there are a few that I could still use by using some store bought ingredients, but my absolute favorite dish is my Nonni’s Lasagna. It’s different than the others because she makes her noodles from scratch, and she layers it many more times then any other lasagna that I’ve ever tried before, and nothing compares to her homemade dish. In fact, I don’t even eat lasagna if it isn’t hers. Regardless, many of the dishes I planned to use are going to be too difficult of recipes to include in this cookbook, but maybe I will add them to the blog later. How frustrating!

Jenny