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Old 10-10-2005, 12:26 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Greetings Veloholic, yes tandoor is not found widely in people's homes so that is one reason.

I personally like South Indian snacks (like Dosas and Idlis) but I prefer North Indian curries and tandoori dishes. I guess a lot depends on what you were brought up on. I am not a great fan of spicy food and yes I am Indian but I prefer milder more flavorful than just a gush of chilli flavors in my mouth.
Hello Yakuta, now that the issue of tandoori is brought up, I would like to ask you a question. We absolutely love tandoori chicken, but since we don't have that special oven, we just have to broil the chicken in the regular oven (I just use a boneless skinless chicken breast though...). It is good, but it is not quite the same thing. Do you have any suggestion for an improvement using a regular domestic appliance? Once we barbequed it and that was superb, but since we don't have a garden or a balcony in our own flat we can't do this all the time either... I would appreciate it if you could enlighten us!! TIA!!
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:49 AM   #32
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Hi urmaniac, tandoori chicken traditionally is not made with chicken breasts. Those are chicken tikka and yes they can be cooked in the tandoor as well.

If you are looking to make tandoori chicken the traditional way it's best to use legs and thigh attached peices. The meat is more juicer and less drier this way.

There are two catches to making a good tandoori chicken. First is the technique and then the appliance. If you don't have a tandoor or can't use an outdoor grill than use an oven or a stovetop grill pan to cook it.

If you use an oven cook the chicken covered first until it's tender. Then turn on the broiler and let it cook for 2 -5 minutes on each side. It will give a grilled and charbroiled taste.

If you put the chicken straight in the broiler, it will be dry and not properly cooked.

As far as the technique goes, ensure that you marinate the chicken overnight in 2 tsp of ginger, 2 tsp of garlic, salt, lemon juice, plain yogurt and spices of your choice (I like to use cumin and corrainder powder, freshly roasted and ground) and 1 or 2 tsp of red chilli powder. To get a red color add a pinch of food color.

I also use a similar technique for fish. I don't marinate it overnight but just a couple of hours and cook it the same way and it tastes really good. Plus there is no oil at all which makes it amazingly healthy.

Finally if you want to use chicken breasts and cut them into cubes and make chicken tikka's. You can use a similar marinade (I would suggest using a touch of cream in the marinade so that the tikkas stay moist). I would skewer them and cook them in the oven. Then once cooked. Remove them from skewers, put them in a flat pan and place them under the broiler to finish off.
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Old 10-10-2005, 03:19 PM   #33
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I LOVED this post/thread. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. :)
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:43 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Hi urmaniac, tandoori chicken traditionally is not made with chicken breasts. Those are chicken tikka and yes they can be cooked in the tandoor as well.

If you are looking to make tandoori chicken the traditional way it's best to use legs and thigh attached peices. The meat is more juicer and less drier this way.

There are two catches to making a good tandoori chicken. First is the technique and then the appliance. If you don't have a tandoor or can't use an outdoor grill than use an oven or a stovetop grill pan to cook it.

If you use an oven cook the chicken covered first until it's tender. Then turn on the broiler and let it cook for 2 -5 minutes on each side. It will give a grilled and charbroiled taste.

If you put the chicken straight in the broiler, it will be dry and not properly cooked.

As far as the technique goes, ensure that you marinate the chicken overnight in 2 tsp of ginger, 2 tsp of garlic, salt, lemon juice, plain yogurt and spices of your choice (I like to use cumin and corrainder powder, freshly roasted and ground) and 1 or 2 tsp of red chilli powder. To get a red color add a pinch of food color.

I also use a similar technique for fish. I don't marinate it overnight but just a couple of hours and cook it the same way and it tastes really good. Plus there is no oil at all which makes it amazingly healthy.

Finally if you want to use chicken breasts and cut them into cubes and make chicken tikka's. You can use a similar marinade (I would suggest using a touch of cream in the marinade so that the tikkas stay moist). I would skewer them and cook them in the oven. Then once cooked. Remove them from skewers, put them in a flat pan and place them under the broiler to finish off.
Thanx Yakuta for the suggestion!! I always appreciate your informative input!! My marinade mixture seems to be more or less right according to your recipe (I just use mild paprika instead of red chili, it is milder and I can put enough to get that red colour!) but I guess what I have been doing is more like Tikka, like you said. I always take precautions not to dry out the meat, but it is at times tricky. The thing is over the years I came to trust only breasts, it seems that any dark meat I tried to cook or tasted at someone's house had this nasty spongy texture, and weird smell/taste which was at least to me not pleasant at all (these were my experiences while I was in Texas). However like you pointed out, the Tandoori chicken made with thigh meat I tasted in the Indian restaurant was very good, and they had none of those unpleasant attributes I mentioned. I thought it was due to some special way of cooking to make it pleasant and I couldn't trust my skills to try it myself. But then Cristiano told me that probably my nasty encounters with dark meats were because they were the mass produced broiler chickens, who just had sat in the jam-packed shed for their entire life without proper exercise. He said the healthier chickens who'have been running around outside are much better tasting, and dark meat actually taste better than the whites. Do you agree with this? If this is true, I may try the tandoori with the thigh meat, traditional style on the next opportunity... wish me luck!!
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:39 PM   #35
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Yes I do get my meat from a butcher and the chicken is much younger and tender. Also getting rid of skin and trimming off most of the fat and innards (from the high peice) help as well.

I am not a huge red meat fan either and prefer breasts but if you are looking for a more moist preparation the thigh and leg really works better.

I spend a lot of time cleaning my meat. My butcher cleans the meat but I bring it home and then trim the fat even more. I wash it and then rub it with lemon before I have to prepare it. So I am a bit more assured using the darker meats.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:13 PM   #36
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The best tomato sauce I've ever eaten was cooked by my Dad's 1st cousin Iola in Italy. We spent a week there visiting, and I really wish we could have spent more! But on to the sauce. I watched carefully and have been able to reproduce it... it's actually very easy, and my mother glared at me for a week because she thought I was holding out on her by not sharing the recipe!

"But mom! It was so easy, I figured you already KNEW it!"

On to the easy tasty recipe:

3 ingredients
1 Big Can o' Tomatoes, looked like just chopped tomatoes to me, but I really don't remember reading the label... BIG can though...

Salt

Peanut oil

Put a little bit of oil and salt in the tomoatoes in a skillet and cook on medium heat for about an hour. She used the can lid to chop the tomatoes into pulpy goodness! Just a little oil (to taste) added a beautiful layer of flavor to the tomatoes. And of course salt to taste. When it's ready, pour over your favorite pasta and mangi!
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:42 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Ciao again!! As I have mentioned a few times, living in Italy I came to realise there are some big gaps between the Italian cuisine which are actually made in Italy and what are believed as "Italian foods" outside the country.
Ciao,
this is true for all the typical cuisines, but it is particulary interesting true in the Italian case. Being an Italian living in an English speaking country I see very creative names.

A few examples:
It's Panino, not Panini. In Italy we use panini to indicate more than 1 panino.
It's Salame, not salami to indicate only one item.
Common mistakes are also in the spelling of Fettuccine, Tagliatelle, Rigatoni, Lasagne, Tortellini, Ravioli... mmm, I am starving now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Firstly, a few example of general practice in Italian kitchens... many of the recipes are surprisingly simple with relatively few ingredients. They focus more on freshness and the quality, and make sure you can enjoy the flavour of the each item to the full extent.
This is true. It's typical of our cuisine and probably it is part of its strength. With a few ingredients we come up with very tasty dishes. Furthermore we tend to avoid the "heart attack on the plate", meaning that in average the classical "Dieta mediterranea" has less concentration of fried fats and more variety than other western cuisines/diets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Each servings of pasta is much smaller than that of foreign measure,
I don't really agree with this. I found the foreign portion more or less the same (maybe I am a fat-*** )

Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
because the pasta is only "primi", the first course, there are the "secondi", other plates to follow.
When I grew up, the typical lunch meal was:
PRIMO PIATTO: PASTA AL SUGO (Tomato Sauce Pasta)
SECONDO PIATTO: FETTINA DI CARNE (Thin beef steak)
FRUTTA (Fruits)
CAFFE'

Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
In proper dinner, there are usually 5 courses, antipasti(appetizer), primi(first course, pasta, risotto etc) then secondi (fish or meat), contorni (vegetable side dishes) then either fruit or dessert. In everyday supper/tea, it is often shortened to primi-secondi-fruits/dessert.
The 4 courses meal is just for special occasions. In everyday life it used to be: a Primo, a Secondo and Fruit + coffe'. Nowdays the Italian economy is going so down (Thanks Berlusconi, son of a biscuit) that most family have to rearrange their habits of eating. I see many families now cutting SECONDO at dinner, or PRIMO at lunch.

Quote:
-"Spaghetti Meatballs".... Many folks do like Ragu, bolognese sauce, or meat sauce, but throwing "meatballs" (or polpetti) into spaghetti is not a very appealing idea to the Italians, as "spaghetti" is considered as the first course, and "meatballs" are considered a part of "second course", the two just don't mix like this...
I kind of disagree with this point. Even if it isn't the most common thing in the universe, lots of people still to throw in small meat balls in their pasta with a Ragł sauce.

Quote:
-"Marinara Sauce"... They do exist, but they are sauces with seafood, as "marinara" indicates something to deal with ocean. "Marinara sauce" as you guys know is simply referred to "Sugo pomodoro" (Tomato sauce), or just simply "Sugo".
Correct... however PIZZA MARINARA is sometimes made with a Tomato sauce that you guys call "Marinara sauce".

Quote:
Just a few curious facts and "food for thought" for the day... I hope some of you find it interesting!!
Thanks for sharing your ideas/observations.

Cheers,
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:38 AM   #38
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Welcome to the forum Antonio and thank you for your opinion!! It is nice to hear an authentic Italian view!!
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:45 PM   #39
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I too enjoyed this post. I remember going on leave to Venice & FLorence, and the different dishes they had for the dinners we ate over there. I remember in Venice tho, that we had one meal which was served family style, meaning it was a large portion that all of us shared.

I have a question tho, it's about pasta not sticking if you use a large enough pot??? Please elaborate, altho I think I know why, it's the starch, right??

And, if the pasta names have been 'Americanized", then why is it we purchase the pastas made in Italy with the AMericanized names??

And, did Americans make up the concept of whole wheat pasta, or is there some relation to the pasta in Italy as well??

And, how do you pronounce Bruschetta?

I have seen on the Food Network, and thru reading my cookbooks that true Mexican food is NOTHING like what they serve over here. ALtho I must admit, I like our version of Nachos (My own too) and I always eat the cheese enchiladas when I go to a Mexican Restaurant. Love it... But, some of the dishes I have cooked from this cookbook, DIshes From My Mexican Kitchen (Can't remember the author, but he's famous for his take on authentic Mexican Cuisine, crap... ) are a long and laborious process, like the moles, I thought we were going to eat by 6PM, didn't even have 1/2 the ingredients cooking before 7PM. Proof that you need to read the recipe all the way thru before embarking on a foreign dish .

At anyrate, good topic. Interesting & informational.

B.
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:12 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeefaninseattle
it's about pasta not sticking if you use a large enough pot??? Please elaborate, altho I think I know why, it's the starch, right??

And, if the pasta names have been 'Americanized", then why is it we purchase the pastas made in Italy with the AMericanized names??

And, did Americans make up the concept of whole wheat pasta, or is there some relation to the pasta in Italy as well??

And, how do you pronounce Bruschetta? B.
For your Qs, you will need at least 1litre (1qt or slightly more) of water to each 100g of dried pasta (3,5oz). Pasta needs to be allowed to swim around while it gets cooked. If they are cooked too close together with unsufficient amount of water, that is what cause them to stick together. I found this article on cooking pasta correctly, I hope it will be helpful to you...
http://ks.essortment.com/cookingpasta_rnll.htm

If you find pasta that says "made in Italy" and carries an English name like "sea shells" or "elbow macaroni", probably they were imported as bulk then packaged abroad.

We do also have wholewheat pasta "pasta integrale", also there are pasta made of corn or farro available.

Bruschetta is pronounced as "Brusketta"...any time you see "chi" or "che" in Italian words, they are pronounced as "ki" or "ke" respectively, as Italians don't use the letter K traditionally.
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