Friday, February 25, 2011

The Food Of Italy: Veneto

Ciao Lovelies,

This week, my cooking class studied Veneto, a northeastern region famous for the towns of Verona and Venice. The cooking in this region uses lots of spices and vegetables, as well as rice and polenta; because this region borders the Adriatic Sea, they eat a lot of fish and seafood.  From Venice comes tiramisu and translates to "pick me up." Another desert from Veneto is Zaleti, corn flour cookies with raisins. Today our menu is stuffed calamari and cookies!

Calamari Ripieni Alle Erbe Aromatiche 
Zaleti

Calamari Ripieni alle Erbe Aromatiche:
Ingredients
4 Calamari
4 Slices of Toast
1 Lemon
A Few Sprigs of Fresh Oregano, Wild Fennal, 
Basil, Marjoram, Mint, and Celery Leaves
Garlic, Red Onion, Salt, Pepper, and Oil
Splash of White Wine

We were taught that fish is at it's freshest when the head of the animal is still on, so when she brought out the squid, we each had to rip the heads off, pull out the bone, and make sure that the eyeballs were detached from the head. The squid was then cleaned and washed and we began to prepare the stuffing which included toasted bread, lemon zest, oregano, wild fennel, marjoram, basil, mint, and celery leaves, all to be blended. We sauted onion with garlic and chopped up tentacles and then added lemon juice and white wine. Finally the stuffing was put in and cooked. After the whole concoction was cooked, we had to stuff the bodies of the squid and close it with a toothpick. They are then placed in a pan with olive oil drizzled on top. We baked them for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees celcius.


Cooking the stuffing
 
Stuffing the calamari!

The End Result!

Zaleti:

Ingredients
150 grams of very fine Corn Flour
150 grams Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
150 grams Butter
3 Egg Yolks
100 grams Sugar
100 grams Raisins

While the raisins were soaking in warm water, We had to mix the flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt and then add in the soften butter. In a separate bowl we beat the yolks with sugar and added in the dough and squeezed raisins. We had to roll the dough and then cut them into small squares and then baked them for 15 minutes at 180 degrees. Add some powdered sugar for a nice touch.

I was reminded of my mom and aunts when using this baking tool..they use it to make ravioli!

The delicious cookies!

I really enjoyed this meal, especially after the disappointment of last week's meal. I was skeptical to try the seafood because of what happened when I was coming home from Barcelona (damn seafood paella!), but I threw caution to the wind and had a few bites. It was pretty good! I'm used to friend calamri so the texture of this was surprising but the stuffing was the best with it's strong lemon flavor. The cookies were so delicious, soft, warm, and buttery. At home, I would definitely add a lot less butter because the cookies were too buttery, but it did help make them so soft. I shamelessly ate four.




Next week we are exploring the region from where my family immigrated: Emiligia Romana!

Ciao for Now :)
Eternally yours,
Stephanie

4 comments:

Closet Fashionista said...

Eeeeew!!! hahahaha....looks fun though :D
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

nookie said...

we have a similar courn flour dish here too;;)
everything looks delicious!

chiara said...

Hi - a lurker from Italy here. Love seeing your cooking classes chronicles: it really looks like you are having so much fun. I love cooking, so I really understand your enjoyement!

Maddy said...

I love calamari, but I would much rather eat it, not prepare it :) The cooking class must be fun though! I just did a cooking class myself last week and it was blast!