Under The Tuscan Gun The Extra Virgin Lifestyle, Delivered! 2014-03-03T17:34:46Z http://underthetuscangun.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Ossobuco alla Fiorentina]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=1605 2014-03-03T17:31:32Z 2014-03-02T01:41:09Z Ossobuco is a classic of Milanese cuisine that made its way to Florence simply because of its deliciousness. Nobody really knows how and when that happened (people travel, duh!), and the recipe by the way does not even appear to be that old. This great dish, that was probably created in a random Osteria in or around Milan, does not appear in the Anonymous “La Vera Cucina Lombarda” cookbook published in 1890 and Pellegrino Artusi waited until his 14th edition of “Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” in 1920 to mention it.Traditionally the dish is prepared by searing a shank of veal in butter and olive oil, a first pass of dry white wine and then a couple of cups of broth and a slow cook for a little over an hour, depending on the thickness of the meat. When I had the opportunity of learning this recipe in Florence however, red wine had replaced the white and unsurprisingly some pelati tomatoes had imposed their sauciness; enough to change the name into  ”Ossobuco alla Fiorentina”.

It does not matter which way you choose to prepare your shank tonight, red wine or white wine, tomatoes or not; the real Ossobuco is finished with “Gremolata”, a mix of finely chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest which delivers the true signature of this dish to your palate.

Last but not least, it is not unusual these days, when dining in an Osteria in Milan or Florence, to come across a Beef Shank Ossobuco. Veal has a very specific young-meat flavor and the shank is kind of fatty, not really a chew for everyone!

As much as the traditional recipe veal/white-wine/no-tomatoes makes me drool, there is no way my girls would let me cook it at home; they need the tomatoes and the red wine to create a sauce that is more “stewy”, and obviously expect beef and not veal.

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Mozzarella in Carrozza]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=2496 2014-03-03T17:32:49Z 2014-02-21T22:38:09Z My father taught to cook three things: meat on the fire, beer fritters and Mozzarella in Carrozza. You could say this is the Italian version of the grilled cheese, and it truly is a great recipe to put to work for a kids party or used as an adult appetizer. This past week debi and I were invited on ABC’s The Chew to promote our new season of Extra Virgin, which premiered two weeks ago.

I cannot believe I had the opportunity to cook one of my recipes for the maestro Mario Batali, and what did I make him? A cheese sandwich! But as Leonardo Da Vinci is believed to have said once: “Simplicity is the true sophistication.” I wonder if him and Mario agree on that, when it comes to food.

Debi and I had a blast, and our week long engagement in New York City has turned out very successful and incredibly romantic. Enjoy this video recipe with a Halloween twist, get inspired and use your cookie cutters to create fun shape Tuscan Panini with your kids.

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Mocha Lollipops]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=6262 2014-02-04T22:05:25Z 2014-02-05T09:00:01Z Which are the days of the year that inspire you to cook the most? Do you long for weekend tailgates or are you a Thanks Giving enthusiast? Is it your birthday that gets the kitchen going or a New Years’ Party?

Well, in our house one the days of the year that inspires us to cook the most is Valentine’s day. It does not matter which meal of the day we pick; it can be a simple breakfast in bed with flowers and the New York Times, or a romantic lunch at the house if the kids are in school. Even a late night dinner, when the house is finally quiet, is a good excuse to celebrate love and togetherness. And since Debi and I believe that there cannot be a proper Valentine’s without chocolate, we decided this year to develop a recipe a bit out of our ordinary repertoire; Mocha Lollipops. A sinful coffee infused chocolate ganache, covered by a layer of crunchy dark chocolate and garnished with ground almonds, all delivered in a four bite lollipop shape that is fun, happy and delicious.

Celebrate love this year, spend a few hours in the kitchen together, this recipe really is for playtime and also will allow you to have a break of a coupe of ours while your ganache sets, we’re sure you can think of a few ways to work your appetite today!

 

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=1972 2014-02-04T22:25:18Z 2014-02-02T22:59:56Z So the story is there was a brothel, and everybody was hungry after working and getting tired. It’s a pick-up for a brothel, so they made pasta with whatever they had in the cabinet, and I guess in this brothel all they had were tomatoes and olives and some spices. Puttanesca means “of the whore,” and this is the legend I was told about how this dish came to be. It works, it’s absolutely fabulous, and it’s definitely a pick-up after working hard.

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Octopus Salad]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=1941 2014-02-04T22:26:48Z 2014-01-26T19:03:16Z Octopus is one of those ingredients that’s present in the Mediterranean diet wherever you go. In Italy, during the summer, it’s really easy to find octopus salads or pasta with red octopus sauce. They’re really hard to catch because of the camouflage, but I remember catching them with a spear when I was a kid. I like the animal. It’s very smart and it tastes good. All you need here is a glass of dry white wine and a slice of toasted bread!

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Spicy Hot Chocolate Coffee]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=6222 2014-01-10T20:23:38Z 2014-01-09T14:32:46Z How have you been surviving this brutal cold wave? In case your grandmother’s Snuggie is falling short keeping you warm, here is a recipe that will provide you with the necessary warmth and deliciousness to “plow through” this ice cold weather.

Taking inspiration from the ancient Aztec tradition of adding hot spices to a chocolate drink, Debi and I are today spinning this ancient brew our way, by adding a generous shot of coffee in it to give it an extra “kick” and to widen a bit the palette of flavors. We used drip coffee (you know, the American way) which is less aggressive than espresso, in order not to mask excessively the chocolate flavor. However feel free to take this one for a test ride and play with ingredients amount: try using more hot pepper, or replacing drip coffee for espresso, or even sourcing different kinds of chocolate. I know that if my grandfather was still alive he would absolutely try adding a shot of liquor of some sort… I would guess Grappa, Brandy or Rum.

Enjoy the winter, brew and stay warm!

 

 

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Torta di Semolina e Ricotta]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=6208 2013-12-20T15:13:33Z 2013-12-20T15:13:33Z This is the time of the year you cannot excuse yourself from baking something delicious. Your kids will be asking for cookies, friends and family will be crashing your house, and your mother in law is probably anxious to see what you can “bring to the table”…

This Holiday Season show your love and care by baking this incredibly light and delicious tart. A recipe perfect for entertaining, easy to prepare and absolutely scrumptious; the lightness of the ricotta and semolina batter, the crunch of the crust and the luxury of the ganache will surely deliver absolute pleasure to everybody’s palate, while its “zestiness” will offer hints of luxury.

 

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Pasta al Vino (with Sausage and Saffron)]]> http://sethg.net/utg/?p=550 2014-03-03T17:34:46Z 2013-12-15T17:34:10Z My wife described this pasta last week, as we were testing the recipe, as “very feminine”… to me it means that this dish makes a perfect lunch!
As much as this sauce is rich in flavor, it is not an aggressive recipe for your palate, it has no kick, so to speak, but more a very round and politically correct aroma that you can feel on the back of your palate… you can smell it from the “inside”… balsamic, yes, that’s the right word. Never described a pasta dish as balsamic in my life though… I guess try the recipe and let me know if you understand what I mean.

Main ingredients of this recipe, aside from a good dry white wine (we used a Santa Margherita for this one), are pork sausages and fresh herbs.
I would recommend to cook with sausages that are not too spicy, or the aroma of the Saffron will suffer a bit: we now cook our Pasta al Vino using a combination of hot and mild pork sausages…. as a rule of thumb though, please avoid any fennel or anise seeds in your meat, otherwise your pasta instead of having a polite balsamic tone, it will attack your mouth with the violence of a nasty cough syrup!
Make sure you got a good playlist loaded in your iPod, crank the volume, fill a glass with some chilled white wine, wash your hands and let’s get going!

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Tagliatelle with Boar Ragu]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=6200 2014-01-09T16:42:01Z 2013-12-02T15:31:52Z The Tuscan country in this season offers quite an effervescent landscape. Farmers and land owners are harvesting olives together and delivering them to the local presses; the brand new Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pouring through shiny stainless steel spouts all over the region. Tractors are roaming the fields carrying loads of fruit, thin grey strings of smoke are rising toward the sky while fronds and little tree branches are piled up together and burned, and a sense of calm and gratitude toward the land is widespread and easily recognized while strolling through the olive orchards. However everybody’s ears are up, waiting for the occasional sound in the distance of the hunting rifles that have just been put to work. Every shot that is brought through the olive orchard by the calm fall breeze generates the biggest smiles you have ever seen, as people start dreaming about dinner: would it be it? Did they get one? People’s mouths start squirting saliva and stomachs start growling. After a long day of work in the fields there will be no better reward than a rustic meal prepared between the kitchen and the fireplace. As the Sun sets over the horizon and the last tractor leaves the fields for the day, everybody finally jumps out of their work outfits and muddy boots, the nets are collected around the olive trees, and the crowd splits in two very even groups: men will follow the tractors to the local press and supervise the production of the new oil, women will return home to prepare a hearty dinner, but not before stopping at the local butcher to see what the morning shots have brought to the store counter. Would it be pheasant, quail, heir or maybe… BOAR?

Brace yourself for one of Tuscany’s outmost revered  pasta sauces; Boar Ragu! Rich, hearty, traditional, but most importantly absolutely delicious, this sauce will enter your recipe book and become a staple of your winter life at the kitchen table.

Be Tuscan!

 

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Gabriele Corcos http://www.underthetuscangun.com <![CDATA[Brooklyn-Bahia]]> http://underthetuscangun.com/?p=6189 2014-01-09T16:42:14Z 2013-12-01T14:42:17Z How do you “drink” your winter? Are you trading off your summer ice cold beer for a glass of Amarone or Barolo? Are you switching gear from a Margarita to a glass of Mulled Wine infused with cloves and spices? Are you holding a warm mug of Zabaione in your hands while looking out the window in contemplation of the yellowish winter glaze, or  are you brewing an herbal tea and tweaking it with a shot of Rum or Bourbon?

Dare to dream, and treat yourself to a cocktail that will transport you far away from the misery of this ice cold season! Brooklyn-Bahia is a twist on the traditional Brazilian Caipiriña, with its muddled lime, mint and simple syrup. The clear Cachaca is here replaced with Due North, an artisanal Rum distilled in Brooklyn which offers a deeper and warmer body to this drink, and a shot of Aperol provides a well balanced kick of Italian bitters while tinting your drink like a tropical sunset.

Enjoy this wonderful cocktail this Holiday season, and let it transport you far far away, Salute!!!

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