Tag: lunch

New Year's Eve in Sicily: the chef's lunch, recipe included – Italian Cuisine


From the sauce of the false lean to the pasta 'ncasciata up to the buccellato, the lunch of the New Year of chef Procopio – recipe of the Aci trunzu cabbage as a gift

“The lunch of New Year's it has the scent of false lean sauce but also of cinnamon, toasted almonds and figs ". They are childhood memories that are perpetuated and relive in the memory but also in the dishes, those of Gaetano Procopio, executive chef of the Relais San Giuliano in Viagrande, at the foot of Etna.

The First of the Year it preserves the sacredness of the ritual of the holidays but also the adrenaline and the effervescence of a new year that is about to arrive. The sumptuous Sicilian tables overflowing with food narrate the gastro-Sicilian epic of millenary traditions. A texture made of contaminations, culinary stratifications bequeathed by the successive dominations on the island. Each dish is linked to a memory, an episode, a historical-legendary narrative.

Even the lunch of Sicilian New Year it does not escape anthropological storytelling and is intertwined with popular history. In the dialogue with the chef Procopio, who shared his with the readers of La Cucina Italiana New Year's lunch and its recipe, we enter the Sicilian kitchens, in constant ferment during the holiday period, in view of the big bouffe of the first of the year.

Chef Gaetano Procopio

"It starts with the appetizer – the chef tells us – where they can't be missing anchovy or ricotta crispelle, sweet and sour pumpkin, fried cod, stockfish salad, Sicilian caponata. The evergreens of Sicilian tables such as cured meats, cheeses and scacciate are inevitable ".

G.them appetizers, combined with Sicilian bubbles, they represent a warm up worthy of the best island tradition. The first courses are an unreserved homage to the most authentic expression of the island. Procopio has no doubts: “New Year's lunch pasta is a choice including lasagna, baked anelletti, n’casciata pasta. Personally, I will prepare lasagna, a classic that must not be missing to start the new year ".

A culinary marathon in slow motion, the table at the beginning of the year is an omen of health and joy, which in Sicily becomes even more high-sounding and abundant. We arrive at the latter with the joy and enthusiasm of waiting, well rewarded and satisfied. “The symbol of the New Year's Eve lunch is for me all in false lean, wrapped in pork rind and put in the sauce”- comments the chef Procopio. "In Sicily we call it"burnt"And it is the dish that takes me back to my childhood, when my grandmother started cooking the false lean on the evening of the 31st, only to wake up at dawn and flood the kitchen with the scent of sauce".

Octopus with sauce

THE Side Dishes are strictly made from seasonal and local vegetables, preferably wild such as broccoli, mustard, caliceddi, trunzu cabbage of Aci, the latter, a kohlrabi grown in the gardens of Aci, today a Slow Food presidium.

Like any self-respecting Sicilian chef, Procopio also makes the culinary memory a vivid present, signing a pact to give back to every Sicilian dish the gift of eternity.

"Almonds, chocolate, dried figs, pistachios, Sicilian mandarins, they guide us and prepare us towards the dessert of the beginning of the year. We are close to the grand finale, which for Procopio has a unique name and flavor: that of Sicilian Buccellato, “the true Sicilian dessert symbol of the holidays”, he adds. A donut-shaped cake, prepared with a semi-shortcrust pastry, stuffed with dried figs, almonds, dark chocolate, cinnamon, candied orange and citron peel, pistachios, walnuts, bitter cocoa powder. The work is completed with a garnish of candied cherries and chopped pistachios.

A pairing with a Sicilian sweet wine is a must: the Malvasia delle Lipari or the Passito di Pantelleria.

Memory takes yet another journey before final toast: the one that brings chef Procopio back to the decoration of the New Year's table. "All around is an explosion of perfumes: Sicilian mandarins, almonds, nougats, pistachios, a Christmas star as a centerpiece reminds us of the holiday".

Chef Procopio and the Aci trunzu cabbage

Chef Procopio's debut was in full adolescence, at the age of sixteen. It was then that he began his journey in Catania and its province, first in a pizzeria and later in the kitchens of restaurants and hotels in Taormina. After a preliminary apprenticeship on the island, chef Procopio arrives at The Pergola from Heinz Beck, where he spends five highly formative years. “Chef Heinz Beck taught me respect for raw materials and a great technique in working with ingredients”. The return to Sicily is in the kitchens of House Snout of Taormina and then in those of the exclusive Hotel Villa Sant’Andrea of the Belmond group.

There are still two years as a resident chef in one of the most charming places in Sicily, Monks of the Black Lands, before arriving in 2021, al Relais San Giuliano, a boutique hotel de charme in Viagrande, not far from the Etna volcano. In this historic residence, one of the most beautiful in Sicily, Procopio directs the brigade of the I Palici Restaurant, recently awarded two forks by the Gambero Rosso.

Chef Procopio collects the Aci trunzu cabbage

"I define myself as a contemporary chef – comments the chef – because my cuisine does not distort the ingredient but respects it in its essence while declining it in different expressions". Vegetables from the garden, meat, fish but above all a great technique and discipline that allow Procopio to work the raw materials with great skill without taking them to extremes and taking them away from their matrix.

Like when he conceived and created a vegetarian menu entirely dedicated to trunzu cabbage from Aci, a vegetable particularly loved by the chef because it is versatile, with extraordinary properties and above all a local resource. "Trunzu Cabbage Water Lily”Is the dish that best represents me, comments Procopio, who shared the recipe with the readers. It is carpaccio of trunzo cabbage marinated in vinegar with Sichuan pepper, cabbage powder and trunzo cabbage leaf sauce.

"Today being contemporary means reinterpreting the past but without distorting it, adding the contemporaneity of the technique together with the total respect for the raw material".

Recipe: Aci trunzu cabbage water lily

Arci trunzu cabbage waterlily

Ingrediants:
Trunzu cabbage from Aci
White balsamic vinegar 40gr
Carricante white wine 20gr
Salt 2gr
Black pepper 1gr
Extra virgin olive oil 130 gr
Sesame oil 20 gr
Black sesame 1gr

Method:
Remove the leaves, and pass them to an extractor. Peel the stems and cut them into a diamond shape and the central part in a slicer, marinate them in white wine, white balsamic vinegar and vinegar. With the peels of the central part dried at 60 degrees overnight, obtain a purplish powder. Prepare a dressing with 25 g of marinade, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Text collected by Liliana Rosano

Lunch in a masseria in Puglia – Italian Cuisine


A menu that is a manifesto of values ​​and territory: here's what to eat in the farm, to feel a little Apulian

In Italy, being at the table tells who we are. In the round of raw oil on the vegetables, in the slice of bread we use to make the shoe, in the wine we pour our friends. In every gesture and dish it is written which region we come from or which one we fell in love with. And each region to be fully understood needs a lunch, homemade. In Puglia you can take the real journey into culture in the Masseria.

Farm of the Barnaba sisters

Among the unkempt olive trees of the upper Murgia, a few minutes from Bari, the farm of the Barnaba sisters welcomed me with a blue sky, the wind coming from the sea and a selection of oils to taste. With the glasses in hand, I immediately immersed myself in that scent of grass and enjoyed that slight tingle in my throat. There are actually three oils in the catalog, coming from 15 different cultivars, but Coralina is mine Madeleine, immediately comes that memory of bread and tomato that takes me back to childhood.
The Barnaba sisters know that there is no better way to discover a place than to touch the earth with your own hands and what the earth itself produces. That's why in the farm with them you can try to collect olives, work at the mill or with a nice kilogram of flour on the table try to prepare pasta, as I did, with the inflexible guidance of the housewives. And away to turn the orecchiete, cavatelli and strascinati on the knife!

The agricultural restaurant

Sitting at a table in the restaurant "A passo d'olio", you enter a family dimension that feels like Sunday and you seem to be able to see grandmother appear from the door. Instead it is the smile of the waitresses that peeks out, together with the scent of the kitchen.
The word "appetizer" does not honor the dishes that are first served on the table. Each tells of a piece of vegetable garden, of a producer, neighbor, of a peasant tradition: who can resist in front of the Mashed beans and chicory or at bread balls with sauce?
The list is endless: eggplant parmigiana, green beans, cheese and cherry tomatoes, chops with sauce, salami from Martinafranca, cheeses and focaccias from nearby Masseria Lisi.
To conclude – but only because the space for the second is impossible to find – a plate of orecchiette made with my hands with sauce or turnip greens. This is how you understand Puglia a little more, in all its simple incredible genuine wealth.

Photo by Sofie Delauw

Roll of potatoes and meat, and Sunday lunch will never be the same again – Italian Cuisine

Roll of potatoes and meat, and Sunday lunch will never be the same again


Sunday for lunch, what to serve on the table? Surprise everyone with the potato and meat roll, a main course but also a single dish. Here's how to prepare it

There Sunday for lunch it is easy for a second of to appear on the table meat, which is a roast or a Meatloaf, accompanied by the inevitable potatoes, baked or in the form of puree. What if we told you that it is possible to serve these dishes in a single preparation that makes this Sunday classic a little different and original?
Do it with the potato and meat roll, main course and side dish together, but also, if desired, a single course.

Do you want to try it? Below here is the recipe explained step by step, while in our gallery, some suggestion to entice the dish.

How to make potato and meat roll: the recipe

Ingredients

To make the potato and meat roll, you will need: 800 grams of potatoes, 250 grams of minced meat, 40 grams of 00 flour, 2 eggs, 1 carrot, half a glass of white wine, half an onion, half a stick of celery, 2 spoons of breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of grated cheese, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Method

Start by preparing the chopped celery, onion and carrot. Fry it in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and then add the minced meat. Season with salt and then blend with white wine. Cook over medium heat, until the meat is dry. Now transfer the cooked meat to a bowl with an egg, breadcrumbs and grated cheese and mix well.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water, once boiled, make a purée with the help of a potato masher. Place the purée in a bowl with the other egg and flour, season with salt and pepper and stir until the mixture is well blended.
Now spread a sheet of baking paper, brush it lightly with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and arrange the potato-based mixture on top, roll it out until you get a rectangle. In the center, with the help of a spoon, place the meat and then, with the help of parchment paper, roll the rectangle on itself.
Take a plum cake mold and arrange the roll obtained, without removing it from the parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C and then cook the roll for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve in slices.

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