Category Archives: Christmas

stuffed artichoke or carciofe

There is nothing more delicious and special than a stuffed artichoke.  My parents made these as a special treat for us growing up.  Sometimes cooked in the oven, sometimes on the stovetop.  This yummy spiral journey  begins by eating each leaf, packed with yummy breadcrumbs and a bit of artichoke.  You must scrape the leaf between your teeth.  Like climbing down a flight of stairs anticipating the last step, you come to the heart.  Ahhhh.  Joy.  Be sure to remove all the fuzzy hairy fibers or “choke” that sit atop, protecting the jewel of this glorious vegetable.

Here is what I think is the best and “foolproof” way of making an artichoke.

First wash the artichoke.  Pull off the outer tough leaves, and then with a scissor trim each leaf so the tips are blunt. Next, with a very sharp knife cut off the top third of the artichoke.  I leave the “choke” intact, i don’t mess with it.  Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil, drop carciofe in the water and let cook for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from water, drain excess water.  Stuff them with breadcrumb mixture.

Breadcrumb mixture:

2 cups breadcrumb, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1/2 cup  grated pecorino, bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped, handful of basil leaves chopped, black pepper, 1/2 cup chicken stock

Stir mixture together stuff carciofe (artichoke) and drizzle each one with olive oil.  Roast in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes to one hour.  Cover with foil for first 30 minutes.  You will know when artichoke is done if leaf pulls away with ease.

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angeletti or anisette cookie

I am quite fond of this soft pillow-ey Italian cookie.  I made them last Christmas and decided to make them again this year, but when I started out to make the recipe I did not have enough baking powder.  This recipe calls for a wopping (no pun intended) 6 tbls of baking powder!!  So instead, I found another recipe as a substitute. Not as good!!   So I am going to share with you my favorite recipe for angeletti.   I believe the  transaltion is “little angels”.

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, large

6 tbls baking powder

3/4 cup oil

1 1/2 tbls anise extract

Icing:

1 tsp anise extract (and hot water as needed) to 1 cup confectioners sugar to make icing smooth.

yield: 40 cookies or so

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the oil milk anise and eggs  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  With oiled hands roll into 1″ balls and slightly flatten top.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Dip cookies into icing while still warm.  Buon Natale!

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Filed under baking, cake decorating, Christmas, confections, Cooking, Baking, Food, italian food, recipes