October 4, 2011 by Giulietta
As I said some time ago, it's time to rediscover and to share something about my Istrian roots. Yes, for those who missed that, I have Istrian origins: together with the strong Piedmontese component, I have two more roots, the Apulian one (from Santeramo in Colle, in Bari province, to be precise) and the Istrian one, from Galižana, a village near Pula.
Unfortunately I don't know these two smaller roots firsthand, because their "bearers" (my paternal grandfather for Apulia and my maternal grandmother for Istria) died before I was born. But, while for the Apulian root everything is linked to my dad's and my uncles' vague culinary memories, the Istrian one is a bit more informed, because my mom and my aunt have more tangible memories, i.e traditions and recipes.
Many of the memories about my grandmother and Istrian relatives, which for most part died in the last few years, are related to cooking experiences. I have heard legendary stories about the annual killing of a pig, about how good my grandmother Eufemia was in rolling out fresh pasta and how delicious her sarme (rice and meat wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves – you can find similar dishes in Romania and in the Balkans) were; also, some of her recipes got to me, like stuffed paprika and Vicenza-style salt cod ground in a mortar (you'll wonder what Istria has to do with Vicenza … well, many recipes from Veneto and Friuli easily passed the border – another example is apple strudel). And then, finally, the epic tale about pounds and pounds of ground meat (probably the murdered pig, too) turned into ćevapčići by aunt Solidea.
Well, perhaps we don't honor these roots every day, but there's no barbecue worthy of its name that doesn't include large amounts of ćevapčići! If you've ever been to Istria or Croatia, you'll know that grilled meat or fish are easily found in any konoba or restaurant. Well, as for meat, ćevapčići (oblong meatballs), ražnjići (kebabs) and pljeskavica (hamburgers) boss the show.
The dish that I propose to you today, the on that my aunt Solidea made countless times, it's very easy to make and it's perfect for a barbecue with friends.
Category Barbecue, Beef, Family recipes, Istrian cuisine, Meat, Meatballs and meat loaves, Pork, Second course | Tags: barbecue,beef,family recipes,istrian cuisine,meat,meatballs and meat loaves,pork,second course | 40 Comments
July 18, 2011 by Giulietta
It's a fact that there are no more middle seasons, we know that young people are no longer as they used to be, it's a harsh reality that strawberries don't taste like strawberries anymore (these are all Italian clichés) … but you need to shake if we have no certainty about meat loaves!
Who doesn't know a recipe for meatloaf (which it's usually the same recipe for meatball, but it's a larger one), a comfy wintry food, cooked in a frying pan and then in the oven?!
I hear your voices, already: "Who wants a warm meatloaf NOW?". In fact, the meatloaf I'll talk to you about is a cold one … you have to cook it (I think that eating raw chicken and raw eggs is not so good), but in boiling water, like rice, for example. And, since everyone prepares a nice rice salad in the summer, even if he/she has to stay near the stove for 20-30 minutes, you have no excuses! I'll tell you more, unlike rice, meatloaf doesn't need any attention: you could just forget about the meatloaf and go get it after half an hour, so you'll see the stove just for a few seconds.
Aren't you persuaded?! Then perhaps the ingredients will persuade you: chicken breast, mortadella, egg and pistachio, nothing more and nothing less.
If you still aren't persuaded, I'll draw the last card, its easiness! Not only this meatloaf is easy to prepare, but it has a for dummies recipe: in fact, the proportion between the ingredients is stable (1:1) and easy to remember, so you can multiply and divide as you want without being wrong (and you won't have to face an unformed monster unformed)! Years ago I "stole" this recipe from my aunt, after I tasted this meatloaf, and every year I make it for dinners, lunches, picnics and days at the beach, and everyone agrees on it!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Chicken, Cold cuts, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Dried fruit, Meat, Meatballs and meat loaves, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,chicken,cold cuts,cold dishes,dried fruit,eggs,mayonnaise,meat,meatballs and meat loaves,mortadella,pistachio,second course,single course | 28 Comments