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Eating Alberto Il Magnifico: from beak to tail.

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Alberto Il Magnifico was a capon, raised with loving care and surrounded by our growing appetites.
In case you are wondering, a capon is a castrated rooster. According to Wiki, the Romans ‘invented‘ capons as a way to get around grain rationing for chickens. Those crafty Romans would snip the little testicles off their roosters, feed them grain and they would grow to be twice the size of a chicken. And here is your word for the day: caponization. Yup, that means snipping off of the balls. Now, use it in a sentence and report back.

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Cooking Simply the Italian Way Video

Cooking Simply Intro

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Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

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In a Pickle

Short days and cold nights mean it’s time to shut the orto down for the season.
No more happy wanderings over to the garden to see what I can scrounge up for dinner. No more sun warmed tomatoes; instead there are soggy plants with green tomatoes that need to be picked.
I could be sad, but I’m not; I love the changing of the seasons.

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50 Shades of Salt

Let me see a show of hands. Are you a sweet or a salty person? Potato chips or gelato? And for the smug amongst us who are voting for umami..sit down. That’s a story for another day.

I’m salty. I’ll take a good pickle over a pastry anytime. Which is a good thing because living in Umbria, you better like salt.

Good sea salt is about 20 cents a kilo in Italy, so we
use it with wild abandon. You can pour an entire kilo onto a baking sheet to roast a fish and not blink a parsimonious eye. Which also means you can take salt for granted, and not pay attention to all the flavor possibilities.

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Pickled Everything!

What do you do when your garden is onions all needed to be picked at once, the peppers are crazy…

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Risotto Milanese

Risotto Milanese

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Rastafar-Asian Fusion Confusion

Asian fusion confusion on a pork chop! Inspired by Vietnamese chef Duc Tran, who is the epitome of fusion. The guy has worked in Texas, Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Japan and has two world class restaurants named after Mangos in Hoi An Viet Nam. That’s enough to confuse anyone.

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12 Cookbooks Good Enough to Give

‘Tis that gift giving season again, and nothing warms a cooking person’s heart like a new cookbook. Here is my completely subjective list, in no particular order, but arranged by delicately nuanced categories, of favorite books to give to deserving friends.

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Grocery Shopping NYC Style: Seriously Whole Food

But, I had to break down and buy some food. All I had in the fridge was a lone bottle of Bud that my nephew had left there over the summer, and Budweiser just doesn’t work as a coffee substitute in the morning. Maybe for some of us…
As I’m walking down Mott St., checking out the vegetable stalls to see what looks good, there is a spiffy looking new storefront, aptly called: “New York Mart”. It looks intriguing, so in the name of neighborhood research, I wander in.

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THE Perfect Lunch

It’s one dish you shouldn’t mess with. No foams, no vacuum sealed marination with lovage shoots. It’s not improved by a precision presentation, because then it looks like you are aiming for distraction, instead of palate satisfaction. It’s simple and it should remain simple.
Yes, it’s time for my annual ode to prosciutto and melon.

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Rustic Sausage & Peppers

Some flavor combinations are classic; and sausage and peppers fall into that category.

Remember the old cartoons where the vapor would rise from the dish, and then beckon you to eat? That’s what happens when you saute peppers and sausage.
This dish is perfect just as the weather turns cool, and the last of the tomatoes are still on the vine.
Keep this dish simple, ok? Just be sure to use some good, fresh Italian sausage.

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