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Old 10-25-2004, 01:32 AM   #31
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lifter, why no pasta with seafood? i think they go well together, just don't add cheese (a venial sin, imo)
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Old 10-25-2004, 02:34 AM   #32
 
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Hi Buckytom!

Personally, I have to agree, Seafood Linguine just turns me into hyperdrive for appetite,

Shredded Snow Crab and mini shrimp in pizza just kick butt, even if you have to do it yourself (Sorry for such reference Elf!)

Regrettably, we don't get a lot of the good and fresh stuff here, nor do the wife and daughter appreciate it, even when we do, and I'm not much on linguine, unless its got all those goodies..and you are TOTALLY right about the cheese thing...

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Old 10-25-2004, 02:39 AM   #33
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oh man, snow crab!!!!!!!!!!!!!! never had it on pizza. my favorite crab, sweeter and more flavorful than king.

try making mussels marinara, or fra diavolo, then use the leftover sauce for pizza, yummm.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:49 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifter
Hi Buckytom

There you go...if I served pasta with seafood here, I'd get hung on my own front door!, but you are right that you do it your own way, with just a few clues for guidance and if it tastes good, it probably IS good!

Noting to Iron Chef that we cannot seem to get canned or fresh Marzano tomato's here, and even if we could, adding chili flakes would have me back up there on the crucifix...

Its funny, to have the feedback on "Roman" dishes, in June, Margaret and I went to Rome and while I sought to find a "spaghetti dish" similar to our North American sorts...alas! its not like that at all...and again, here in Hamilton, there are more Italian sorts than anywhere else in the world but Italy itself...and so I question the advice abit...


And some of the "jarred stuff" has progressed since "Luv's Food" was 2 years of age, fortunately, and even us greying, balding types get good tips from our Elven contributors...I've tried a splash of wine, Elf, and that kicks it up a bit, but will now try the vinegar thing, and, yes, will be a ontrol freak of how "big" a "splash" but you are likely onto something here

Okay, will let you al, shoot at me now!

Lifter

I'll try to be nice...

I worked and trained under Chef Donato Loperfido, from Alborobello (sp?), a village in Puglia, Italy, and he taught me the basics and techniques behind true Italian cuisine. Chef Donato worked and trained in restaurants in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, and Piemonte. It was he, who taught me the Amatriciana sauce, as well as the usage of red chili flakes in Italian food. FYI, red chili flakes is widely used, most notably in Sicilian cooking, but throughout Italy as well. I'm pretty sure those people back in Italy knew what they were doing.

True Italian food is unfortunately found too few and far between in North American restaurants. Unless someone is lucky and has a neighborhood Italian Bistro that serves up dishes like Risotto al Funghi con Tartufo or Spezatino alla Boscaiola, the only places you can really find true Italian cuisine is at a higher end restaurant such as Mario Batali's Lupo or Babbo. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but Bucca di Beppo and the Olive Garden does not serve true Italian food and they're both horrible anyway. Unfortunately, the majority of restaurants only serve stuff like Veal Marsala/Picatta, Fettucine Alfredo (gag), and Eggplant/Veal/Chicken Parmesana because 90% of the people perceive that is what Italian food is. They serve what they have to in order to appease the masses. I don't condone that because everyone has to make a living, and that's ok. It just makes it harder when we get some idiot who comes in the restaurant who thinks they know how something should be prepared, when all of their knowledge of food and a cuisine comes from a recycled generic product that's been served over, and over, and over again.

The best pasta is a seafood pasta: Risotto ai Frutti di Mare. There's nothing like it.
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:00 AM   #35
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ironchef, i'll be nice also.
have you ever been to nyc? we have a few italians here too.
there's both kinds of italian food here, the italian-american recycled generic stuff, which can be quite good, and the "real" italian. i put real in quotes because trying to nail down a specific recipe for any true italian dish is very difficult. as i'm sure you know, the 2 main things that define italian cooking are regional foodstuffs, and their season or freshness. but then wthin the regions, every family has it's own little secrets and traditions in the food prep and cooking. sometimes, there's even differences within a family.
in my town alone, a small suburb 10 miles west of the city, there are 4 or 5 small restaurants that are owned by naturalized italians, each re-creating the dishes that they grew up on, or have learned the last time they went home to visit family. they are local places, often byo, far from a high end restaurant. one place, really a glorified pizza place, has excellent real italian dishes. i've ordered cioppino there, as well as chicken parm. both were excellent. i've even made a deal with the owner that i'll come in some friday night and wash dishes, and in return he'll teach me how to make some of my favorite dinners.
italian food in america may have started out as chey boy-ar-dee (chef boyardi, an actual italian immigrant), but has become so popular that the masses here are clamoring for the real thing, along with pizza and parm .

btw, i happen to agree with you about the olive garden, and fettucine aldredo.
and i have had risotto with mushrooms (con tartofo?), and seafood risotto. i prefer seafood over angel hair, but that's just my preference. my wife's fav new restaurant near us is called risotto, where they offer about 10 different risotto dishes. her fave is the risotto al frutti del mare.
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:34 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
ironchef, i'll be nice also.
have you ever been to nyc? we have a few italians here too.
there's both kinds of italian food here, the italian-american recycled generic stuff, which can be quite good, and the "real" italian. i put real in quotes because trying to nail down a specific recipe for any true italian dish is very difficult. as i'm sure you know, the 2 main things that define italian cooking are regional foodstuffs, and their season or freshness. but then wthin the regions, every family has it's own little secrets and traditions in the food prep and cooking. sometimes, there's even differences within a family.
in my town alone, a small suburb 10 miles west of the city, there are 4 or 5 small restaurants that are owned by naturalized italians, each re-creating the dishes that they grew up on, or have learned the last time they went home to visit family. they are local places, often byo, far from a high end restaurant. one place, really a glorified pizza place, has excellent real italian dishes. i've ordered cioppino there, as well as chicken parm. both were excellent. i've even made a deal with the owner that i'll come in some friday night and wash dishes, and in return he'll teach me how to make some of my favorite dinners.
italian food in america may have started out as chey boy-ar-dee (chef boyardi, an actual italian immigrant), but has become so popular that the masses here are clamoring for the real thing, along with pizza and parm .

btw, i happen to agree with you about the olive garden, and fettucine aldredo.
and i have had risotto with mushrooms (con tartofo?), and seafood risotto. i prefer seafood over angel hair, but that's just my preference. my wife's fav new restaurant near us is called risotto, where they offer about 10 different risotto dishes. her fave is the risotto al frutti del mare.
Buckytom, you're lucky that you do live in an area that has a high Italian population. Most people aren't that lucky, and aren't exposed to good Italian food, nor do they have the access to amount of Italian food places that you do. Where you live is comparable to what I have for access to Mexican food. I was lucky that I had the opputunity to work with Donato, who showed me the different cuisines of Italy using ingredients that were more prevalent to those specific regions. I wish I could agree with you in the sense that the masses are clamoring more for the real thing, but the reality is that the masses go to Olive Garden, The Old Spaghetti Factory, etc. Maybe not where you live, but that's comparable to saying that the masses in America are clamoring for more Mexican food, so less people are going to Taco Bell, in comparison to where I live. People go to what's available to them, and most don't have a neighborhood family owned Mexican or Italian place that serves great stuff.

But, once again I do envy you. Italian food is my favorite cuisine, and the restaurants in NYC sure does beat the ones we have in LA. Spagos? Overrated.

To answer your question, yeah, I've been to NYC three times. Great food. Best street vendors in the country NYC is my third favorite food city in North America. San Francisco is #1. LA is #2. NYC is tied for third with Miami. However, NYC does have my favorite restaurant, Le Bernardin in Manhattan. I just prefer West Coast seafood to East Coast seafood, that's all. Oh and mushrooms is funghi. Tartufo is truffles.
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:43 AM   #37
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i will agree again (about west coast seafood) with a few exceptions. i prefer east coast oysters, they're a little more briny and/or mineral-ly, and nothing beats maine lobster. oh, i also prefer gulf shrimp, and maryland blue claw crabs, but then i've never had a good dungeness.
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:10 PM   #38
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Old 10-25-2004, 08:45 PM   #39
 
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Its said there are more Italians uin the Toronto Hamilton corridor than anyplace else on the planet outsside of Italy, and I believe it. The local grocery "Fortino's" stocks basic and advanced ingredients year round.

We were over to Rome in June, and the "Italian cooking" on offer there is vastly different from the run of the mill restaurant here, but there are good ones here if you go looking for them...

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Old 10-25-2004, 10:42 PM   #40
 
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Just to quickly answer a few points...

We don't do seafood with pasta because a) the girls don't like it and b) our youngest would go into toxic shock from contact with most shellfish, but loves pasta (a special needs child, on a very restricted diet)...so its not worth it.

Likewise, with the chili pepper flakes, the tolerance for adding heat to food here is VERY low...why cook what people won't eat, much less enjoy?

It is "neat" to note that if you travel Quebec, or to predominantly "French" parts of Canada, the language they speak is not "French" in the current "Parisian" concept...but a "French" that is evolved from those roots...(and likewise their cooking is contental French in tradition, but adapted to North American supplies, and again, evolved to what they enjoy...)

So it goes, I would think, with Italian cooking issues...our Roma tomatoes are widely used with good success; our versions of Parmesan and Asiago are subtly different than those I tasted in Italy, as obviously our stock feeds differently than does theirs...and spices and herbs are probably grossly different too... The methods remain the same, or at least "similar", so to my thinking its still "Italian cooking", even if it gives in to not being so finicky on each and every component...

Likewise, I get off work at 1700 on good days, and dinner is supposed to be served for 1800...this makes the "do it yourself" methods a little too time intensive in preparation to be practical... and suggest that I am "typical" of readers on this Board...

Likewise when in Rome, I visited the local grocery markets and noted the canned and bottled "spaghetti sauce" that looked no different from Prego, Classico, etc, likewise both fresh ravioli in fridge packs, tortellini, and dried pasta,, likely made from the same durham wheat shipped to Italy from North America...and witnessed bona fide Italians buying the stuff and taking it home...I can only infer they were not dumping the contents and using the containers for other purposes...

All this being said, I'm quite interested in what IronChef has to say in terms of ingredients and preparation...some day I will be retired, and am anxious to use the spare time to pursue excellence...a description and source of his tomatoes would be a great start!

And by all means, MORE POSTS!

I can get the veal, cut and cured to foreign specifications at our custom packers here, I just don't know how to take it from there! By all means, SPEAK UP, IronChef...

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