Octopus salad

puglia crestInsalata di polpi. From Puglia. This is one of my favourite antipasti.

 

Octopus salad ingredients

Octopus salad ingredients

 

  • 1 large Octopus (at least 500g), cleaned
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

 

 

 

  1. Put the octopus in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat until tender – about 25 minutes.
  3. Allow to partially cool in the cooking liquid.
  4. Cut into bite size pieces, dress with vinegar and garlic and allow to marinate for at least a couple of hours.
  5. When you are ready to serve, adjust the seasoning and dress with olive oil and parsley.
  6. Serve as an antipasto or main course
  7. Variation: Substitute lemon juice for the vinegar.

 

 

Octopus salad finished dish

Octopus salad finished dish

 

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Soused chicken breasts

Petti di pollo in carpione. I got this recipe from the English translation of il cucchiaio d’argento – The Silver Spoon. This book is I think on the whole a clever marketing trick. It is a 1950s cookbook with a few modern recipes tacked on the end. Add to that an appalling translation, don’t trust any measurements! The recipes still appear in the original Italian alphabetical order even though they have been translated into English. I have met some people who have heard of it here, a bit like the good housekeeping books in the UK, but I have yet to find anybody who has used it. It can be useful for ideas if you already know what you are doing. The following recipe is in fact very nice ūüôā Serves 4

Soused chicken breasts ingredients

Soused chicken breasts ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast portions
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g breadcrumbs
  • 25 g butter(or use all oil)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (I usually use much less)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 350 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 4 fresh sage leaves (or a teaspoon of dried)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  1. Beat the chicken with a meat mallet until evenly thin.
  2. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt in a dish, add the chicken and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Spread out the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Drain the chicken and dip in the breadcrumbs to coat.
  3. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan, add the chicken and cook over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in another pan, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the vinegar and wine and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat and add the sage and garlic.
  5. Place the chicken in a dish, pour the hot marinade over it, leave to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

Soused chicken breasts

Mackerel in vinegar

Mackerel in vinegar finished dish

Mackerel in vinegar finished dish

puglia crestSgombri All’aceto. From Puglia. Mackerel is a very cheap and tasty fish. It is readily available and stocks are ample. ¬†There is a campaign at the moment to get the British to eat more, especially in chip shops Fish Fight¬† Here in ¬†Bari there is no such aversion. This is a very simple recipe, but you must use very fresh mackerel. The blanching should be very brief, be careful not to overcook. The traditional way to time the cooking is to recite the pater noster or Lord’s prayer.

  • ¬†fresh mackerel, cleaned and filleted
  • ¬†white wine vinegar
  • ¬†olive oil
  • ¬†garlic, finely chopped
  • ¬†fresh mint, finely chopped
Mackerel in vinegar ingredients

Mackerel in vinegar ingredients

  1. Blanche the mackerel fillets for a few seconds in boiling, salted water. I’ll start you off. “Our Father… ” ūüôā
  2. Put the fillets into a non-metallic dish and cover with vinegar.
  3. Leave to marinate for an hour.
  4. Remove the mackerel from the vinegar and transfer to a serving plate.
  5. Dress with olive oil, garlic and mint.

Note: If you don’t want to eat the mackerel immediately, they will keep for a while in the fridge if you cover them with olive oil.

Fennel ‘alla diavola’

 

Finocchi alla diavola.¬† Alla diavola¬†¬†translates as ‘the devil’s way’ which usually means a little spicy. In this case it means that the dish includes hot mustard. The recipe comes from the Silver Spoon, so I haven’t actually seen it in Italy.¬†It is¬†good for people who don’t normally like fennel, as the mustard and vinegar remove the strong aniseed taste that many people find distasteful. Serves 4.

Fennel alla diavola ingredients

Fennel alla diavola ingredients

 

  • 4 salted anchovies (or 8 tinned fillets) — cleaned, filleted and soaked, then chopped
  • 50¬†ml ¬†olive oil
  • 4 fennel bulbs — trimmed and cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp dijon or English mustard
  • 1 tsp¬†white wine vinegar
  • juice of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon, until they have almost disintegrated, then add the fennel.
  2. Mix together the mustard and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the mixture over the fennel.
  3. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until the fennel is tender. Add a little water from time to time if necessary.
  4. Remove the fennel from the pan and place on a warmed serving dish. Turn up the heat, add the lemon juice to the cooking liquid and stir until it starts to thicken
  5. Pour the sauce over the fennel and serve.
Fennel alla diavola finished dish

Fennel alla diavola finished dish