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DECEMBER RECIPES

A traditional Italian meal with fish and pasta...

Marinated Vegetable and Olive Salad
Ingredients

1 large (2 1/2 pounds) head cauliflower
1 pound(s) carrots, peeled
1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup(s) red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup(s) fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon(s) sugar
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
1 cup(s) brine-cured green and ripe olives
Fresh flat-leaf or Italian parsley sprigs, (optional)

Directions

Trim cauliflower and separate or cut into small flowerets. Cut carrots into 2 1/2- to 3-inch by 1/2-inch sticks. In 5-quart saucepot, heat 2 inches water to boiling over high heat. Add carrots and reheat water to boiling.
Add cauliflower to water with carrots. Cook vegetables just until tender-crisp. Drain vegetables and rinse with cold water; set aside in large bowl or food-storage container.
In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, chopped parsley, sugar, salt, dry mustard, and pepper until well mixed for the marinade. Pour over vegetables; toss and cover. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, add olives to vegetables and toss until well mixed. Spoon into serving bowl.
Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.


Fried Baccalà Recipe - Baccalà Fritto

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds (1.2 k) soaked baccalà (this is about 2 1/4 pounds unsoaked)
A small bunch parsley, minced
Oil for frying
Flour
Salt if need be
Lemon wedges

Directions

Frying baccalà is simple. Once you have soaked it (see instructions if you have never done it) cut it into 1 by 3-inch pieces. Flour them, fry them in hot oil, drain them well on absorbent paper, salt them if need be and serve them with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley as garnish.

To prepare it, rinse the salt off it and soak it in cold water for 12 or more hours, depending upon its thickness (refrigerate it in hot weather), changing the water 2-3 times daily. Once it has soaked,skin it, pick out the bones, and it's ready for use.



Three Meat Cannelloni Bake
Ingredients

1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground veal
12 ounces ground pork
12 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound fresh pasta sheets



Directions
Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrot, and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add veal, pork, and beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink. Add wine, and reduce for 1 minute. Stir in broth. Add herbs, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, and reduce until almost dry. Discard bay leaf. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan set over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour for approximately 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Transfer the cooled meat mixture to a large bowl. Mix in egg yolks. Mix in the cheese and parsley sauce. Set aside.

Combine the tomato sauce and cream, set aside.

Cut the pasta sheets crosswise into 5 inch lengths. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles a few at a time until al dente. This should take only a minute or two with fresh pasta. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. Spread the noodles in one layer on paper towels to drain.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling down the center of one noodle, and roll the noodle to enclose the filing. Transfer the cannelloni, seam side down, to a well buttered gratin dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and filling, arranging in single layer. Ladle the tomato sauce over the cannelloni, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until bubbling. Run under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, or until golden.



Broccoli Raab
Ingredients

1 pound broccoli raab, trimmed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom of the stems of the broccoli raab and place in the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli raab and saute 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired doneness. Dust with parmesan cheese, if desired.


Panettone
Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted (optional)



Directions

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy. Add eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms into a manageable ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. (May need up to 5 cups flour.) Place dough in a large, lightly pan-sprayed bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and spray a round 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, toss dried fruit with confectioners' sugar. Punch down dough in bowl, transfer to floured surface, and knead in the fruit.

Form dough into a ball, place in prepared cake pan, cover loosely with dish towel, and let rise 30 minutes. (Loaf will rise above the pan sides.) Brush with melted butter, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 10 wedges.




Cannoli
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white
3/4 cup red wine
1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel



Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the shortening and egg white. Add the red wine one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Knead the dough enough to bring it together. Cover and let rest for half an hour.

Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide dough into 2 parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch long ovals. Place a cannoli tube onto the oval lengthwise and roll up with edges overlapping; seal with a dab of egg white.

Fry cannoli shells 2 or 3 at a time in the hot oil. When golden brown, remove from the oil to drain on paper towels. Remove tubes.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and confectioners' sugar. Fold in the vanilla, chocolate chips and candied orange peel. Chill for at least half an hour before filling shells. Drain off any excess liquid. Fill cooled shells and smooth off the filling at the edges.

Keep refrigerated until serving.




Cranberry-Pineapple Cooler
Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
1 cup fresh orange juice, chilled (about 3 oranges)
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, chilled (about 4 lemons)
1 2-liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
Cranberries and lemon slices (optional)



Directions

For syrup, in a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl or 1 cup glass measure. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

In a large punch bowl stir together the cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and chilled syrup. Stir in ginger ale and serve immediately. If desired, garnish with cranberries and lemon slices. Makes 14 (about 8-ounce) servings.




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