HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

B’stilla, Moroccan “Pigeon Pie”



I got over my fear of Phyllo
and made this sensational pie.
         I’ve been staring at a recipe for this pie for months now.  As appetizing as it looked, the main barrier to getting it made was a terror of working with Phyllo dough.  As is well known, I am not the baker in our house and I leave pastry making completely in Andrew’s brilliant hands.  Here, there was no pastry-making involved just the purchase of ready-made Phyllo from the supermarket freezer.  When I finally got up the nerve to make my B’stilla, it turned out all the trepidation was unnecessary.  I passed my Phyllo test with flying colors.  And you can too.  And once you do, you’ll be able to taste this aromatic combination of sweet and salty flavors under a crisp cover of pastry topped with powdered sugar.  And fear not, no pigeon is necessary to make an authentic B’Stilla.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gemelli Pasta with Lamb Ragu adapted from Michael Mina




         For all its popularity, ordinary supermarkets carry surprisingly few pasta shapes.  Granted, they do have a good representation of the types of pasta the home cook needs. But they never come close to the staggering number of varieties you’ll find at a pasta emporium like New York’s Eataly which is just across the street from Madison Square Park at 23rd and 5th Avenue.  The picture at left shows just one aisle of the store’s enormous pasta section!  How I took this picture with virtually no one in that aisle is something of a miracle.  Eataly, featured in this post (http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/11/visit-to-eataly-yields-delicious-veal.html), celebrated its second anniversary just last week.  And there was a lot to celebrate. The 58,000 square foot store was on track to net $85 million in one year, which works out to $1700 a square foot!  That’s a lot of pasta!  And Eataly would be a good place look for the Strozzapreti pasta that Chef Michael Mina called for in his original recipe.  We were nowhere near Eataly when we decided to cook this meat-y pasta dish with its spicy overlay of cumin and fennel and red pepper.  So we substituted Gemelli, which are easy to find almost anywhere. They’re also an approved substitute for Strozzapreti, which translates, from Italian into English as “Priest Strangler”.  Gemelli means ‘twins’ in Italian, so much less violent than ‘priest strangler’ don’t you think?