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Old 08-02-2010, 04:55 PM   #21
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I'm interested!!!!!
are you interested in my m-i-l's take on Italian gravy? She was from Genoa and it is wonderful.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:06 PM   #22
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are you interested in my m-i-l's take on Italian gravy? She was from Genoa and it is wonderful.
kades
If she's not I am!
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:23 PM   #23
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If she's not I am!
Here ya go...
this is a single batch I double it for my gang they like to take home some gravy but I'll just give you the single recipe.
2lb. chuck roast of 2 lbs stew meat. when done save part of the meat and blend in f/p to mix in you gravy if you like it nice and thick. I find it clings to pasta better this way.
1cup evoo
2cups chopped yellow onions
4-5 cloves of crushed garlic
4 cans good 8oz tomotos crushed
2 cans or 4 cups beef stock
salt and pepper 2 Tab. fresh chopped parsley
4 tab. marjoram I love it here and tend to go through a little more
2 tea. thyme
1 tea rosemary
1 tea. basil
1 tea oragano
2 cups dry mushroonrehydrate and save the broth, but be sure to run the broth through cheese cloth or a coffee filter to make sure there is no sand I don't use the very last bit to be sure not to get grit. This broth will make your gravy abeautiful brow not red tomatoy
Bron your meat and onion and garlic Add all other ingredients and cook 4-5 hours, enjoy the smell that wills the hous, When almost done I cook the full 5 hrs. grab a piece of good french bread and dip in the sauce yummm Put mushroom in blender anc chop fine add to gray add the broth from the mushrooms a little at a time. til all is used. Enjoy
cj
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #24
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Sounds REALLY good! Definately for a rainy Sunday or a cool fall weekend.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:44 PM   #25
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Kadesma, thank you so much! I'm looking forward to trying it!

I really appreciate everyone's help today!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #26
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ReKop welcome to DC... Once you have found a recipe you enjoy you will make it for many years... Here is the one i've been using for a very long time, it's very simple and not really thick at all...

4-28 oz cans of whole tomatoes (for me they must be san marzano)
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1 medium onion-minced
4 cloves of garlic-minced
kosher salt (to taste)
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
fresh basil (about 1 cup)
1 tsp dried oregano

Saute onions in a large pot until soft, then add garlic...
While onions are cooking puree tomatoes in a blender, and set aside... Once the onions and garlic are translucent, not browned, add your tomatoes bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer... Add your S&P and allow your sauce to cook for about 1 1/2 hours... Tear your basil leaves and place in sauce along with oregano, cook a few minutes longer... Taste for seasoning and your done...

I hope you have much success in your quest for the perfect sauce...
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #27
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Having spent the first 32 years of my life in Italy, I agree with DaveSoMD and Andy M..."Let the mother teach you". She will be happy with that, and so will BF.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:40 AM   #28
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I would just tell your story, you didn't have a mother around to teach you alot of recipes and would love to have you show me how to make your sauce.

I told my MIL I wish I new how to make Polish food, boy did I get my wish, pigs inblanket, kupusta, perogies.

Now to save face with boyfriend. I would make one of the recipe above let him taste and decide. And when you get to taste hers, you can say thats nothing like mine. and then ask her. Or maybe he will say this is better then my mothers. If so do not let him tell his mother!!! Nothing worse then a girlfriend showing his mother up.

By the way all the recipes above look yummy and have put me in the mood for pasta. I make mine like Mimi but i put lil tomato paste in till I get the thickness I like and I also add beef bones while it is cooking then take them out after.

goof luck to you
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:33 PM   #29
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May I make a suggestion for future attempts? Especially if you get really serious with this guy.

I never even remotely attempted to compete with my MIL or even any friend who had a specialty. Let me tell you, you can't compete with Mom.

Instead, just be up front. "I would LOVE to be able to make a sauce as special as yours, but it is something you have to learn at your mother's knee and I didn't. Would you come over (or have me over) for an afternoon and show me how you do it?" The hour or few that she's teaching you can be a good bonding time; and you can establish that you aren't trying to take her place in her darling son's life. It is far better to flatter her, and you're bound to learn something while doing it.

Yes, I did this with my future MIL when my husband and I first started living together a year or so before we married. Yes, my mom had taught me to make cabbage rolls, but hubby raved about his mother's halupke, and I had her show me, and yes, some tricks and such that I hadn't known. My recipe is now my own (and MIL has long since passed away), but asking for a cooking lesson will win the family's heart far more than competing with her!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:10 PM   #30
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Kadesma, thank you so much! I'm looking forward to trying it!

I really appreciate everyone's help today!!
I'm happy to help. My m-i-l was pretty careful about sharing but my dh got her by telling her he would miss her gravy if anything happened to her BINGO but it was after we had been married about 10 years...So hang in there she is bound to give in when she realises times waits for no man
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:26 PM   #31
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Go rent some "Everybody Loves Raymond" TV show seasons and watch them.
THEN you will be prepared for the MIL.... and will understand why kissing up to her is important!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:39 AM   #32
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Everyone Loves Raymond is a good one to watch if you are thinking of getting married, It will stop you in your tracks from thinking of getting married.
My MIL was Irish and FIL Polish - I'm Dutch and English, let me tell you I have had a few rounds but we ironed out out differences. Her hot temper and his bullheadness. but then you have my husband the combination of both Polish/Irish and he was the one that straignten them out. been maried 33 years. Shared alot dishes together and alot of laughs along with a few arguments -but start out honest and be yourself as I did and you will go far.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:38 PM   #33
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I tried once to butter up my MIL by asking her how she made her fried chicken, she gave me directions to the local KFC...she didn't cook.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:57 PM   #34
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My m-i-l felt no one could cook for her boys like she did and she wasnnn't about to tell what she did. My dh managed to get her to teach me but it was miserable, because I was as stubborn as she. I inststed of measuing and weighing every think so we finally got things straight. Funny thing my husband and his brothers all agreed that I did the recipes exactl like her, but she wouldnt touch a thing I made. There was always an excuse. Today my husband is the only one left and you should see him when I make something his mom use to make for her boys, It gives me so much pleasure to make him happy.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:45 AM   #35
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Since there are so many preferences for how a red sauce should be, I won't post mine - but I will give you a few ideas to consider.

1. Instead of adding sugar or trying to remove acid, try caramelizing a bunch of common onions as though you were making an onion soup.

2. Use a food mill to smooth out the sauce instead of a blender/food-processor/immersion-blender. This method prevents aeration and over-emulsification which can lead to an orange sauce and odd mouth-feel.

3. Use a splash of alcohol. Tomatoes have quite a few alcohol-soluble flavor and aroma compounds that just won't be released for your enjoyment without some ethanol. Red and white wine are great choices (I go with a simple Pinot Grigio). For the same reason, make sure you have some sort of fat (such as olive oil or meat drippings).

4. Most importantly... use tomatoes that taste good. If fresh tomatoes taste like acidic water laden sand-bags, don't use 'em! If you choose a canned tomato and it doesn't taste great straight from the can, find another brand!

Good luck, and I second the lessons if you know someone who makes a sauce you love.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:28 AM   #36
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If you are going for an authentic Italian tomato based sauce, the #1 taboo is to mangle 500 different ingredients, spices and herbs. Italian cooking is all about simplicity.
Instead, concentrate on using a quality, in-season ingredients.
Ripe, fresh san marzano tomatoes (often known in the english speaking world as "Roma Tomatoes") are the ideal main ingredient, but some tinned product will do if it is of high-quality.
Enforce the flavour with minced garlic, salt & pepper (to your taste), fresh basil leaves (do not cook them in the sauce, or add it just to get them warmed and blend into the sauce) and drizzle of good extra virgine olive oil will do more than it's job.
This is the basic recipe. For the variation you can add caper, chopped olive, shallot, oregano instead of basil, chopped anchovy fillets etc.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:46 AM   #37
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all great advice above! and keep it simple, let the accompaniments flavor the sauce. meat balls, or sausage or pork cutlets etc. basis being the onions cooked through, the fine sweet tomatoes (often canned and hand crushed or food mill) a nice splash of red wine. salt pepper maybe chili flake (for an spicy sauce). there are some traditional herbs but often they are added at the end fresh ie. basil. fennel can be cooked with the onions from the start. Oregano or rosemary might also be used for various reasons/dishes. But not all at the same time. (basil alone or with meatballs, fennel with sausage, rosemary with chicken for example) as you head south stronger flavors and various sauces occur: putanesca (olives capers anchovies) tonnata (tuna) etc.

So start with the classic taught by mamma (or mil) and go from there as you see fit.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #38
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I have a question for all of you. Do you like your gravy to be bright red like the tomatoes? Or do you like a rich brown gravy thats has a less acid taste and tastes mor like the herbs and mushrooms
kadesma
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:21 AM   #39
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I expect my sauce to be red and not acidic
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:06 AM   #40
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I have a question for all of you. Do you like your gravy to be bright red like the tomatoes? Or do you like a rich brown gravy thats has a less acid taste and tastes mor like the herbs and mushrooms
kadesma
I consider these two difference types of sauce CJ, and it depends on what kind of food goes with it. I use very little tomato paste on the second type (brown gravy type), and mainly with red wine and fondo bruno, with some herbs.
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