Tonight is Holy Saturday and I have so many blessed things to do. (lol) Actually, I have been cooking all day and have had a great time doing it. Making some old favorites and something new that may become a favorite.
For the last 10 years or so, I have made Colombo di Pasquale (Easter sweet bread made in the shape of a dove) for Easter. It's a 2-day process that is well worth the time and effort. But this year, I decided to give another sweet a try. (Since there's only two of us and I'm the only one who indulges, it makes no sense to make more than one thing that will add inches to my waistline.)
It seems like the word, "Pastiera" kept popping up here and there. I'd seen recipes for this unusual ricotta- and wheat-filled torte but always brushed it aside thinking I'd make it "someday."
"Someday" arrived today after Deb DiMaggio, one of my good online friends from Jamie Oliver Forums announced that she was making one for Easter.
Then when she said she had been soaking the wheat for its 12-hour bath, the ritual of it all stung me. The next thing I knew, I was making sure I had enough homemade candied orange peel for the recipe (buying another 5 pounds of oranges "just in case") picking up 1 half gallon on local milk and measuring out cream for freshly make ricotta and making sure that the wheat I was picking up was the kind I needed. Those were the fun and easy things. The only daunting task turned out to be making the pastry dough.
At first glance, the pastry dough seemed pretty straight forward to me. "Hmmm, just a regular pasta frolla. No sweat." Or so I thought. This recipe was more than just the pastry I've made so many times with flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and eggs. First, there is no baking powder and then only egg yolks. The rest of the moisture is made up of cold water. The dough is very sticky and not at all easy to roll out particularly if you follow the instructions and try to roll it out between two very large sheets of floured wax (or parchment) paper. The instructions said not to worry if it breaks because you can patch it. Patch it!!! Good Lord, there's a wide line between patching and repairing huge rips that occurred when I tried to invert it into the spring form pan. Didn't happen. It defied gravity and stuck to the paper as if I'd not used a speck of flour.
In all of that, I must say it doesn't look half bad. Not as gorgeous as Deb's, but not too bad.
I didn't get around to giving the Quick Fix recipe in my last blog so I'll do that here right after apologizing for the un-clickable link to Martha's rice recipe from last week. Don't know what's going on. If any of my fellow bloggers knows how to do this, please let me know.
OK, on to the recipe.
Day Before Payday Fried Rice
3 tablespoons oil
3 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cups cooked cold rice
2 cups leftover meat such as chicken, roast pork or ham. (Or uncooked shrimp)
1 stalk celery sliced diagonally
1 large carrot grated
1 cup frozen peas
2 green onions sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon in 12-inch skillet and pour in beaten eggs tipping pan for them to spread.
When done on one side, turn and cook til set. Chop and set aside.
Add rest of oil and sesame oil to pan and heat. Add rice and fry trying to get a crust on the bottom of it.
Add the rest of the ingredients except soy sauce, turn over several time to coat and mix well, then cover and steam for five minutes.
Mix in eggs and soy sauce and serve.
Tune in on Monday for rest of the rice show and some interesting things to do with leftover hard boiled eggs.
One week from Monday, make sure to listen in (and tell your friends) when we move things South of the Border to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! An all-Mexican recipe show!