SEPPIOLINE IN UMIDO –

November 17, 2016

Baby Squid Stew

Recipe n. 40

Back to Sicilian repertoire!

I inherited this delicious recipe from my mom’s cooking. To give her full credit, I should use the same ‘vocabulary’ she uses to describe the way this food needs to be cooked: ‘A tutto dentro’. There is not an easy way to translate this expression into english and it really doesn’t make much sense in italian either. Every time she uses it,  my sister and I can’t help smiling and tease my mom. What do you mean with a tutto dentro???  Literally it means ‘everything inside’. I believe it is a cooking expression used mostly in the Southern area of Italy. Basically all the ingredients go in one pot and cook slowly!

With this system the nourishing proprieties of what is cooking  inside the pot won’t be lost.

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© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights Reserved

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh seppioline (or calamaretti)

  • 1 onion (thinly sliced or chopped)

  • 1 bottle tomato sauce ( 750 ml)

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 tbsp fish broth (or water) or white wine

  • pinch hot chilly pepper

  • salt and pepper

  • Olive oil

  • fresh chopped basil at the end to garnish on top

  •  slices of tasted country bread to accompany the dish

 

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Rinse the seppioline under cold water and let them rest in the fridge in a colander. In a large pot add some olive oil and gently sauté the onions until translucent. Add the seppioline, tomato paste, bay leaf, hot chilli pepper. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes and then add the liquid of your choice (broth, water or wine). Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato  sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 30 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil leaves and serve with toasted country bread on the side.

Buon appetito!

 

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BAY LAUREL LIQUEUR 

Recipe n. 38

After spending 2 months in Sicily for the Summer I certainly came back to New York with a satisfied belly,  more inspired about life in general and with tons of new recipes to make. Here is a fun recipe to make your own liqueur with bay leaves. It’s the same simple procedure used to make limoncello. Both liqueurs are always served chilled at the end of a meal as a digestive, or to accompany your dessert.

Why did I chose Bay laurel?

Earlier this year, after taking an herbalism course and after feeling overwhelmed about the amount of herbs that nature provides and their medicinal and cooking  properties, I decided to follow my teacher’s advice and focus on one plant at a time, maybe stick with the same plant even for a year, until I have learned everything I can about it.

I have chosen bay leaves, Laurus Nobilis, because I have known this plant since I was little. There was always a bay tree growing in our garden back in Italy and my mother used the leaves mostly dried, as a healing herbal tea to help her digestion.

Bay laurel is an unmistakable plant which is part of the Mediterranean vegetation.

© 2016 Field of Flavors - All Rights Reserved

© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights Reserved

 

Ingredients

  • 20 fresh bay leaves

  • 1/2 liter of pure alcohol (in Italy it is very easy to purchase pure alcohol. If you cannot find pure alcohol you can use vodka instead)

  • 800 ml of filtered water

  • 400 grams of brown cane sugar

  • 1 liter size Mason jar type (or 4 Stagioni) as long as it has a large opening.

 

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Wash the bay leaves throughly and let them dry on a clean kitchen towel.

Break them into pieces and place them inside the jar. Now cover them with the alcohol and close the jar with the lid. Keep the jar in a fresh and dry place (never in the fridge), away from direct light, for at least 3 weeks.

Every few days remember to shake the jar.

After this time the alcohol should have turned into a nice bright green color, which has been extracted from the bay leaves. You can let the leaves stay in the alcohol for longer or strain the liquid into a bowl using a cheese cloth. Discard the leaves. In a pot heat the water slightly and dissolve the sugar in it, let it cool down and add the liquid extracted. Mix it and pour into a bottle. Store it in the fridge and always serve it chilled.

 

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