|Mamma de Colmanio|
La donna è mobile
Qual piuma al vento,
Muta d’accento — e di pensiero.
Sempre un amabile,
In pianto o in riso, — è menzognero.
The dishes I cook were taught to me by my affectionate little nonna, Mamma de Colmanio. The handmade pasta spreads out beneath my rolling pin like a thin pale yellow puddle, without a tear or bubble. Intense thick and deep red tomato sauce simmers quitely on the stove.
It is so wonderful to be talented, beautiful and Italian!
Time To Wake Up!
Who am I kidding. I'm not Italian. I'm a mutt. I am struggling to figure out how only an egg or two and all that hard yellow flour will ever made a smooth sheet of pasta. I can't speak a word of Italian. My grandmother cooked squash -- in a pressure cooker.
Outside its July on the Gulf Coast and as hot as the hinges of Hell. Frances Coleman trudges in from the garden looking like a sweat soaked stevedore. The tomatoes, peppers and eggplant tumble from her dirty and damp over sized tee shirt. The complexion of her Irish ancestors -- never meant to bear this subtropical heat -- is blotched and red. Beads of sweat gather and run down her neck through rings of honest dirt.
Come with me, little Melanzana, I'm going to introduce you to shrimp.
|Forgive me father for I|
have put cheese on Seafood
As you can see, this dish combines eggplant, shrimp and .... cheese.
Straight to the confessional for you! Cheese and seafood! Any lover of great cuisine and devoted watcher of food television will tell you (and tell you and tell you) that no self respecting know-it-all about Italian food would ever consent to putting cheese on a seafood dish! Bestemmia!!
I say, remember what Duke Ellington said about music, if it sounds good -- it is good. The same goes for seafood and cheese. You might want to try something a little milder than an aggressive pecorino romano.
Little Melanzana! Or is it Melanzano?
Eggplant! Boy Eggplant or girl eggplant? As an experienced eggplant sexer will tell you, there is a difference. The little boy eggplant is on the left, the girl eggplant is on the right. The girl eggplant has more, well, seeds -- if you get my drift. That's where the bitterness comes in.
Besides, you can really impress your friends by known these arcane facts!
|All the stuff you need. Always do the prep work first. If you|
are not cooking immediately, put it neatly on a sheet pan and
cover with plastic wrap.
Make sure the white bread is not what my children used to call "dough bread" that mushy stuff used to make sandwiches in elementary schools (and prisons) is worthless. Use a good bread with some body.
The recipe is in black, comments in red
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop meat from shells.
|The Melon Baller is easiest!|
You can also use a small melon baller (It looks like a little ice cream scoop. They come in various sizes for this purpose. It is lots easier and will keep you from cutting through the skin of the eggplant.
Hey, how hard is that! Just don't burn anything. I like to add some garlic (we are cooking Melanzana here!)
Chop the eggplant pulp and add to sauteed vegetables. Add parsley, bay leaves and other seasonings.
Remember, eggplant will soak up a lot of oil. Add some if you need to.
Meanwhile, soak bread slices in milk. Squeeze dry and add to eggplant mixture.
I've never liked this bread soaked in milk dumped into things idea. However, it won't hurt anything. You can also try adding bread crumbs, or even better, rice to the mixture. Not in the recipe, but I like it.
|Stuff the halves!|
Stuff halves and sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs blend some softened butter with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with whole shrimp which have been sauteed very briefly in butter. Here is something you should do. Put the garnishing shrimp on just before you serve. Don't let the garnishing shrimp sit in the oven. There is not a shrimp out there that needs to be cooked with dry heat for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Place in a shallow baking pan, adding enough water to cover bottom of pan. Don't put water, put a little oil. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. Serves 6.
Can you hear it now?
She is a sex machine..
Tomatoes red and bright
You know what they look like
Norma Jean at midnight
You'll want to take a bite...