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Calabrian pork and fig rolls

"Let's go see the garden" Patrizia walks us down a steep mountain path. I completely fell for her from the first sight. Gorgeous at her sixties she was harmony itself. Married to Enzo, the head of Barbieri family, hostess of the kitchen of the family hotel, mother of three adult children, many times grandmother, she was always shining with genuine care for each and everyone around her. My lovely friend Alina brought us to Barbieri hotel this August. "You just have to meet her" she said, and as soon as I saw Partizia I knew exactly why.
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Chermoula Squash Pies

I made these with extra pastry from yesterday's Cinder Banoffee Pie. It only had a little bit of sugar in it so I figured it would be fine for something savoury, and I thought the mixed spice would go well with something Middle Eastern. I've also just discovered harissa paste and smoked paprika, both of which are ambrosically delicious, and would never turn down an opportunity to use both of once; so, I decided to adapt this Daily Telegraph* recipe for chermoula squash as a pie filling. No pictures, because I didn't have the skill inclination to fold them into nice neat pie shapes, so they just looked like brown blobs. There was, however, much more to them than met the eye; inside they were sweet, spicy, golden and delicious.

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*Please don't think I'm a Conservative! I'm a card-carrying Guardian-reading leftie, but I use a lot of Telegraph recipes. This is because I believe it's a good idea to challenge my political beliefs by reading right- as well as left-wing news sources, but in practice I find all the right-wing news and comment articles too soul-destroying to read much of, so I mostly just read the food section. But it still counts.

Moroccan mint tea and stuffed dates


I absolutely adore Moroccan mint tea. After a tagine dinner there is nothing better than this hot and aromatic lightly sweetened drink. You pour it (in an ideal world from a silver pot into colored glasses) and sip it throughout the evening. It relaxes you and makes you smile. Moroccan meal doesn't really need a substantial dessert to follow it. However once I tried these dates stuffed with pistachio marzipan along the mint tea and it turned out that these two really work magically together.

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Sundried tomatoes

I'm wanting to stuff some jalapenos and roast them. Usually, I leave it at stuffing them with cream cheese, but I found this Joe's Screaming Stuff Jalapeno Poppers and it is definitely screaming out to me. But I don't know (nor have I known when sun-dried tomatoes are called for in any other recipe), if a recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes, does this mean simply the incredibly tough and crunchy dried tomatoes or is it the dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil?
I actually asked for advice on doing this about six months ago, and have finally got round to doing it. Thanks: it turned out well.

C&Ping from my personal blog...

I've posted multiple-stuffed birds (to my main blog) before (I think 5 levels is the most I've ever done). This, however, was a bit different, and even by my standards, getting silly. Stuffed in reverse order of size. Rather than having the biggest on the outside, and working down to the smallest in the middle, this goes in reverse order, with the partridge as the outer-most bird.

No, I'm not using whole birds, it's all right. I boned the partridges, then added layers of meat before closing it all up.
In order from the bottom up: chicken, duck, and turkey (sausage-meat). One bird is about 1 pound of meat and serves two people.

  • Four partridges, boned, leaving the legs and wings intact and the skin as near whole as possible
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Most of a 0.175g pack of duck breast fillet strips
  • Two turkey sausages
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon.

With all pictures, click through for the full size on Flickr.
First stage of assembly:
1 - partridge, chicken

Duck placed on the left, turkey sausage as well on the right
2 - Partridge, chicken, duck, turkey sausage meat

Ready to go in the oven once I'd done two more
3 - oven ready

After 30 min cooking time:
4 - 30 minutes in

5 - partridge done

Easy to carve:
6 - easy carve partridge

and on the plate
7 - Partridge plated

Individual three-bird roasts

OK, so I'm mad. Let's get that out of the way to start with.

I've done three-bird roasts before, and five bird, and so on. Bone birds, wrap them round each other, probably with something in the middle (an egg, one time - very young bird), leave the outer one with skin and outer leg bones. Not a problem.

This year, for New Years Eve, I've had an Idea - how about taking a partridge (like the ones on half-price in Sainsburys), and use that as the outer bird of a multiple roast, and serve one per diner? I have a goose breast sitting in the freezer, that could be cut up as part of the inner layers, and I could add chicken breast (so as to have white meat in contrast to the dark), and possibly go and buy some pigeon breasts.

Has anyone tried this before, and have advice to offer?

What would you serve with it?

Aug. 4th, 2009

I have this:

(I tried to take a pic of me holding it, but there was no way it wouldn't end up looking just filthy.)

Sharpie for idea of scale, of course.

I am thinking stuffed zucchini. However, I have never done this before! Any recommendations? I'm thinking a mix of rice, some sort of meat (not sausage, since the roomie doesn't like sausage), cheese of course...


Zucchini of WOWZA.

My mom's friend has a garden and gave us this zucchini. Yes, it's a ZUCCHINI. (I left it around all those other items for this photo so you can see just how huge it really is.) It's MASSIVE! I loove zucchini and while I know you can easily find recipes anywhere, I want to make something REALLY special with this zucchini and really want to make it the star of the show. (plus I want to make something with it before my mom decides to chop it up and give some of it to my aunt. No!! It's ours! I'm greedy!) What would you recommend making with this Zucchini of Awesome and Might? Should I make the biggest stuffed zucchini ever? Anyone have any zucchini recipes worthy of this monster? Thanks! :)

stuffed tofu

I tried searching the memories; wasn't a lot there regarding tofu.

Wanna try stuffed tofu, and I have a recipe I like, but I thought I'd check here first.

Any suggestions?


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