[Sca-cooks] Recipes for a handout

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 15 11:45:22 PST 2007

Hello all,

This Saturday at al-Hafla I'll be doing a class on Sicily under the Arabs and the Arab-influenced Normans. I thought as part of the handout I could include a couple of recipes that are MODERN Sicilian and Southern Italian recipes, but are directly influenced by the Arabs and their cuisine. I thought about including some period recipes from elsewhere in the Middle East, but there were already indications by the 900s that foodways there had started to differ from in the Middle East (see my note about onions below).

I thought I could include:

The Emir of Catania's Chicken  — chicken sauteed with onions, diced, combined with ground pistachios, almonds, and capers, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and spices, and baked in a hollowed breadloaf

Melanzan' all'Usticese  — sliced eggplants, fried, sprinkled with sugar, white vinegar, and fresh mint. A note: I might add sauteed onions to this, because one of the Arab visitors to Palermo complained that the denizens there loved onions too much for the good of their health, apparently they ate them in cooked dishes and raw. I also see this recipe as perhaps more exempifying the roots of caponata, before tomatoes had come to the island.

Cucusa — couscous made with seafood stew instead of lamb

Ceci e tria  — pasta and chickpea stew garnished with pieces of fried pasta (a Puglian specialty)

Pannelle — Chickpea flour fritters

Pasta con le sarde — pasta with fennel, raisins, pine nuts, saffron, sardines, and anchovies (absolutely no tomatoes in this recipe at all)

Coniglio in agrodolce — Braised rabbit in a sweet-sour sauce of vinegar, sugar, and raisins

Sarde beccafico — Sardines "songbird style" (or stuffed like little roasted songbirds) with a mixture of breadcrumbs, pine nuts, currants, lemon and orange juice and zest, sugar, anchovies, and olives

Cuccureddi — Cookies filled with figs, raisins, sultanas, honey, walnuts, pine nuts,  orange peel, lemon peel, cloves, and cinnamon

Torrone di mandorlo — nougat made with orange blossom honey, almonds, and pistachios. There's also a version made with sesame seeds and cut into lozenges.

Lemon, orange, and jasmine ices

Are there any other recipes that come to mind that I should include? I am refusing to include anything with tomatoes in it ...


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