italy

Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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A few  years after I was born, the German “Wirtschaftswunder” (Economic Miracle) was in full swing (I wonder if my existence helped?), and Germany was in need of a new, different kind of army – an army of workers, to fill all the open labor-positions. It was the time (1955) when Germany invited millions of “Gastarbeiter” (Guest Workers) to come and make their luck and life in Germany. Mostly poor, working class people from Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal and eventually, in 1968, Yugoslavia, took a chance and started a new life in this new promised land, first alone, working very hard, saving money, learning the language and customs and then, usually a couple of years later, having their family join them and slowly but surely integrating themselves and their families, and most of them eventually becoming Germans. (Passport, language, customs, and all) 🙂
I don’t want to go into the political, economic and social results of this enormous “Völkerwanderung” (Human Migration), but rather talk about the effect it had on the culinary landscape.
Up until then, there were basically three culinary styles in Germany –
“Deutsche Hausmanskost”, which translates into plain home cooking
“Deutsche Koch Kunst”, or German Culinary Arts, meals that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate,  primarily available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
“Traditional French Cuisine”, also mainly available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
Of course, this all changed rapidly with the influx of millions of people cooking the traditional food of their countries of origin, and within a few short years one could easily find a Turkish doner shop, Italian pizzeria, Greek taverna, Spanish tapa restaurant, Portuguese cervejaria or Yugoslavian restaurant serving food from all over Europe, first in the big cities, but eventually even in the smallest of villages.
(Incidentally, nowadays you are more likely to find an ethnic restaurant than a typical “German Gasthaus” (German Tavern) in most places 😦
Securely wedged in my memory are the Cevapcici of that time. Up ’til then, we did not know “Burgers”. We had either buletten or meatloaf, typically served hot with mashed potatoes or pasta and mushroom sauce, or served cold with bread and mustard.
So when Cevapcici came along, they were pretty special and exotic to our palette and view.
Spiced with plenty of garlic, oregano and cumin among other seasonings, they tasted and looked very different to anything made with ground lamb (or any other ground meat) we’d seen up to then.
They were usually served with rice and salad or with some type of flatbread and salad, often accompanied by a yogurt sauce and raw onion rings.
Again, at the time, this was pretty new and exotic for most of us 🙂
So when I got this ground lamb yesterday, I was looking forward to preparing and eating, for the first time in many years, this wonderful dish.
I am happy I did because I enjoyed every morsel of it (and so did Bella) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !   (And full of memories) 🙂
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Pls note:
Replace the lamb with beef, or pork or a mixture of both if you prefer.
Cevapcici can be grilled, sauteed, baked (roast) or fried. However, do NOT overcook them or you are left with a dry stick of coal-like substance 😦
See the pic of the close-up of the meat. Well done but VERY juicy and tender 🙂
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Click here for  Potato Salad Recipe   (Add sliced, seeded cucumbers if desired)
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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Hans’ Panzanino

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The first written recipe for  Panzanella dates to the 15th century. Originally, stale bread was soaked in water, onions added, then dressed with olive oil, salt and vinegar. This eventually morphed into the modern  Panzanella , through the addition of cucumbers and, later-on, tomatoes.
Later still, lettuce, olives, mozzarella, white wine, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red wine, red onion, cucumber, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice, and garlic were sometimes added, although traditionalist’s still prefer the simple version of soaked bread, onions, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and sometimes fresh basil.
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The dish below is NOT panzanalla !!!
However, it shares with panzanella the rustic, vinegar and olive oil soaked bread and the fresh vegetables (and a lot of other stuff) 🙂
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Here  now is my (slightly askew and liberal) take on panzanella, sandwich and salad – all three rolled into one wonderful dish.
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Today I did not feel like cooking, so I thought I’ll have a simple “Vesper” (the Swabian word for a snack involving bread, cheese, cold cuts and sometimes onions, pickles and tomatoes)
……then I thought, why not make a nice salad of it………then I thought why not make an enriched variation of panzanella…….. then ………..
Well, here you see the final result of my back and forth considerations.
And what a great result/dish it had become. I am not sure if there was such a thing as a Panzanino in Italy before today, but in my opinion, it certainly should be from now on. Even if there was, if it does not include all the stuff you see here, it certainly would not be as splendid as the great  Hans’ Panzanino  you see here.
This dish absolutely rock’s, and for lack of a better name, I officially name it :
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“””   Hans’ Panzanino   “”””
(As in Panzanella / Panino)
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And there you have it.
A wonderful “Italian” style sandwich – born on 11/17/2016 in, of all places, Miami, Florida 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Panzanella  on  ChefsOpinion
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Hans' Panzanino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanella Panino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanella Panino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi  with corn, peas, ham, mushrooms, cream and Camoscio d’Oro.
(Camoscio d’Oro is an Italian cheese similar to camembert or brie, sometimes available in Italian markets around here ).
So, can you guess where I ate this dish the first time?  Yep, at  Via Candia 17, Torino, Italy.
I was about 20 years of age at the time and to this day, when I close my eyes, I can see the dish and the people I shared it with in front of me as if it was just a little while ago.
Happy memories, may they never fade…….. 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Gnocchi Recipe
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More Gnocchi on ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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” The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World ” # 5

Today: #5 Casu Marzu

From: Sardinia, Italy.

What the hell is it?

This, dear reader, is a medium-sized lump of Sweet f…… Christ. Casu Marzu is a sheep’ milk cheese that has been deliberately infested by a Piophila casei, the “cheese fly.” The result is a maggot-ridden, weeping stink bomb in an advanced state of decomposition.
Its translucent larvae are able to jump about 6 inches into the air, making this the only cheese that requires eye protection while eating. The taste is strong enough to burn the tongue, and the larvae themselves pass through the stomach undigested, sometimes surviving long enough to breed in the intestine, where they attempt to bore through the walls, causing vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Wait, it gets worse …
This cheese is a delicacy in Sardinia, where it is illegal. That’s right. It is illegal in the only place where people actually want to eat it. If this does not communicate a very clear message, perhaps the larvae will, as they leap desperately toward your face in an effort to escape the putrescent horror of the only home they have ever known. Even the cheese itself is ashamed; when prodded, it weeps an odorous liquid called lagrima, Sardinian for “tears.”

Danger of this turning up in America:

There is significant danger here, as we’re thinking the cheese companies have a lot of maggot stock in the back of their warehouse they’d like to get rid of. And, there may actually be a market for it. Self-loathing is a powerful force in this economy (see the diet section of your local supermarket) and there’ times you get low enough that, damn it, you feel like you deserve nothing better than infested cheese.

Excerpts from an article by
Tim Cameron on http://www.Cracked.com