Nothing can match the unique taste of authentic Italian cuisine in Cecil Street. For the people who are having it for the first time or the people who enjoy the dishes regularly, they would find a connection to the richness of Italian food, if the food made well. If not properly made, they can also tell the difference in the taste of the food and just by their appearance.
To make Italian food from scratch and making it good can be a daunting task for any newcomers and old veterans in Cecil Street. The newcomers don’t want to ruin the dishes, and the veterans want to stick true to the authentic taste that the dish offers. One of the unique things, if not, the most important unique thing, about Italian dishes are the carefully selected ingredients that go into making one. Every ingredient in an Italian dish is carefully examined to know the true nature of the ingredients, where it lacks flavor, what other ingredients can fill up that space with its own flavor.
It is the job of an Italian chef in Cecil Street to know all of these things beforehand to execute in the kitchen without any mistake. Ingredients such as Olive oil, it gets used in Italian food all the time. It adds the authenticate taste of an Italian dish and also by being healthy to consume. There is a saying that cooking with ingredients that are taken from the same region will result in a better taste.
Why Italian Cuisine Is So Popular
Garlic, pasta, tomatoes, basil add the true nature of an Italian dish to the surface. What is so fascinating about these ingredients, that they are very common, and on the right hand they can bring more to the dish than thousands of rare material combined. A clove of garlic will bring all the hidden flavors from the dish, but can’t say the same thing to jarred garlic. Tomatoes, nearly every pizza, and spaghetti ever made on this planet have used tomatoes in one way or another. Basil, is another iconic ingredient in making Margherita pizza. There is a reason why the word basil is synonymous with King of herbs.
Another widely used ingredient in the Italian dishes are Rosemary, basil may be called King of herbs, but rosemary is known to be the queen. Rosemary really shines in a perfectly made risotto.
No Italian dish in Cecil Street would complete without the inclusion of wine. Wine in an Italian culture takes a significant role in making the cuisines and adds many more flavors to the dish. The wine gets used in the Italian dish is drinking wines, not cooking ones. If any ingredient doesn’t bring its own flavor then it is better left alone. Adding wine to a dish has long been a cultural identity for the Italians. If the wine isn’t fit to drink, then it would be no use in the making of an Italian dish, if used, then it wouldn’t be a genuine Italian product.
Focaccia it is a bread that is made in Northern Italy. You can add any ingredient that you prefer, to make it one of your own recipes. I will give you the list of ingredients that I prefer to use, and the technique to make Focaccia. Then you are off on your own to individualize the recipe for your taste requirements.
List of Ingredients:
For the Herb Oil
- 1 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1-2 T Basil chopped
- 1-2 T Thyme chopped
- 1-2 T Oregano chopped
- 1-2 T Rosemary chopped
- 3-4 cloves of Garlic you can add an additional clove/cloves, if you like more garlic
- 1 T of good sea salt or Kosher Salt
- 1/2 - 1 tsp of cracked Pepper
To make the Herb Oil for the bread: Combine all of the fresh herbs in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Just let it hang out until you are ready for it, but do not refrigerate.
Ingredients for the Focaccia Dough:
- 6 cups of Bread Flour
- 2-3 tsp of Sea Salt
- 2 tsp of instant yeast
- 7 tsp of olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups of water Make sure you water is not too hot between 105 - 115 degrees so it will not kill the yeast
To make your dough:
Combine all of the ingredients, other that the olive oil into a dough mixer. You could do this by hand if you want it will just double your mixing time. Mix until dough is all incorporated and together which will be about 3-5 minutes, and then add a little Olive Oil, just about 3-4 tsp. Then you will continue to mix the dough about an additional 1-2 minutes. You will remove the dough and add to a clean bowl. First you will coat the bowl first with about 1 tsp of Olive Oil, and then you will place the dough ball into the coated bowl. You will the let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Then you will punch/push/knead the dough down with your hands in a folded fist manner. You will not actually be punching the bread, it is just the name of the technique. After you do this process for around 1-2 minutes you will do the same thing over. Coat the bowl with about 1 tsp of oil, and this time you will cover with saran wrap and let the dough double in size. You want to keep an eye on the dough so it does not over ferment.
After it has double in size you will preheat your over to 400 if it is gas and 425 if it is electric. You are going to get your Focaccia bread prepped to bake. You will need a half sheet baking tray, and you will need to use some olive oil on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, and to help achieve a firm bottom crust. Transfer the dough to the greased sheet pan, do this gently, so it will not start to work the dough. Use your fingertips to start spreading the dough but do not puncture it while spreading. You will eventually work the dough out to the corners of the sheet pan. At this time you will let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes. Make sure that your dough has not shrunk in, if it has punch it back out at this time. Add your Herb Oil and generously cover the bread. Next you will add the ingredients below.
Ingredients for the bread before baking:
- 1/2 - 1 cup of Sun Dried Tomatoes julienne strips
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup of Olives that you prefer, I like the Kalamata Olives, but use your favorite
Your bread is almost ready to go in the oven, and this is the last step. Add these final ingredients, or ones you choose, and then put Focaccia Bread into the preheated oven. You will bake for around 8-10 minutes and turn 1/2 way or 180 degrees through the baking process and then cook until done, which could be an additional 10-15 minutes depending on your over. The top and bottom will be crisp, and it will have a slight golden or very light brown color. You will need to remove the bread at this time and add to a cooling rack to keep the bottom of the bread from getting soggy. Cool for about 15- 20 minutes before serving.
Cooking with these ingredients in a perfectly well manner style to bring out the richness of the ingredient is like learning a new language by normal interaction. The more you interact with others, the more you will get better at speaking. The same method can be applied here, learning Italian cuisine is a lot like learning a new language. And each ingredient becomes the grammar and the vocabulary for your final dish, which can be seen as a sentence in this metaphor.
Find Out What Are the Most Popular Italian Dishes
The first thing to do before starting to cook with the ingredients you have is to limit them. Almost all Italian dishes use a finite amount of ingredients to make the dish, overloading with unnecessary spices will put out the subtle taste of the natural ingredients. Learning the value of each of the ingredients will help you know their weaknesses and strength, finding a better ingredient to fill the weakness of another is the step to become a great Italian restaurant in Cecil Street.
The second thing to do is to make sure every ingredient in the pantry is fresh and well-seasoned. This process really helps to bring the dish closer to the authentic Italian dish that we know and love.
When cooking pasta, make sure to leave it a little undercooked, so the pasta can still have the bite factor. Otherwise, everything on the plate would be soggy and wet. Frequent tasting the pasta before serving will help you get to know the dish better and understand the time management of the sogginess of the pasta.
Most people will recognize pasta and pizza - two of the most popular dishes that form part of the Italian cuisine. However, Italian cuisine has a lot more to offer than just these two well known dishes. Most importantly, Italian cuisine also has a rich and tempting history - just like the different dishes that form part of its offerings.
All over the land of Italy, all the Italians always maintain a distinctive cooking habit or style that shines in their eating habits, their styles of preparing a meal and the way they select local ingredients. Right from the pre-Roman era till date the Italian food history has gone through a considerable change.
In the ancient times, the preparation of food was very important. One of the ancient and surviving cookbooks is known as the Apicus. The Apicus dates right back to 1st century BC.
It was after the downfall of the Romans that the spread of the Italian cuisine began. Individual states started to uphold their separate traditions and identities. Every region started its own special and unique method of cooking, from the very basic preparation of the meatballs to characteristic varieties of cheeses and also the wine produced in any locale.
For example Northern states developed the Tuscan beef, on the other hand black truffles was prepared in Marches, and the very famous Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses developed in South, simultaneously being the host of a lot of citrus fruits.
There were varieties in bread, pasta, and other different food preparation methodologies according to the region. The eating habits were also a total contrast as the people in Southern Italy loved hard-boiled spaghetti, but those from the North preferred the soft-egg noodles.
Different cities started to become famous for their specialties like Milan for Risotto, Bologna for Tortellini, while Naples for Pizzas.
In these past few years the Italian cuisine evolved greatly due to the wealth from outside influences which added a flavor and an appeal. The ancient Greeks with their wealthy imports from various places added an exotic ingredients and spices to the Italian cuisine.
The Coastal regions of Italy are popular for delicious seafood and fish. For example, while Sardinia has a traditional style of cooking that includes foods such as Swordfish, anchovies, lobster, sardines, etc, Sicily has heavy North-African influences.
Even today the varieties in Italian cooking show distinctions between the northern and the southern style of cooking. Each and every region carries their traditions reflecting deeply in history. This wonderful culture with never-ending preparations of appetizers, main-courses, and desserts that will always continue to tempt our taste buds.
You can follow all the rules in the textbook to create a perfect Italian dish but you won’t reach the final stage of an Italian dish without putting your heart in it. It is never about pleasing the crowd with Italian dishes, it has always been sticking to the original recipe, you can have all the ingredients but it won’t be complete without putting the heart and soul in cooking. Knowing who you are cooking for, what do they like the most, then creating the dish made especially for them will taste better.
Cooking School - Your Best Bet To Learn Italian Cuisine!
Italian Cuisine is much more regional and varied than many people imagine. It is easy to think that some pasta, some marinara sauce, a crust of Italian bread and a glass of wine is the beginning and end of Italian cuisine, especially if you grew up in the United States.
There is much more than red sauce and starch on the agenda for most Italian regional cuisines, and with all of the various regions and cultures in the boot on the ocean. Form the snow capped north to the sun drenched islands of the Mediterranean; Italian cuisine is as varied as the landscape.
Tuscany is one of the gems of northern Italy and thousands of tourist's flock to this beautiful region every year. Tuscany is sought out for its simple but delicious dishes, seasoned sparingly with basil, parsley, and thyme. Tuscan bread and a little bit of olive oil are a big part of the seafood dishes of the Tuscan region.
Abruzzo, a little known treasure in the Middle Eastern section of the boot mixes chili peppers into almost all of their dishes. Like many other regions in Italy, there is a mixture of mountain and seafood dishes. Although pasta is usually a main dish in many countries, in this and many regions of Italy it is as likely to be served as an hors dourves.
Most of the chefs in the Abruzzo region are skilled at hand rolling their own stuffed pastas, and crepes are used in meat dishes, rolled in savory sauces or put in to broths. Polenta is as prevalent in this part of Italy as pasta and the local sausages are some of the best you will come across.
Sardinia is home to a diverse cuisine and their island roots are reflected in their love of all things seafood. This, in addition to a rich heritage of not only Italians, but also Arabs, French, Greeks, and Spaniards, has made the island home to a diverse culture of seafood and meat dishes spiced with fennel and saffron. The Sardinians have a number of specialist cheeses based on sheep's rather than cows milk and a penchant for good solid home cooking, such as stews, that give the local cuisine a wonderful richness.
Emilia-Romagna although not a name that springs to mind when you are discussing Italy, has perhaps the finest regional cuisine in the country. It is often called the market basket of Italy. Located in northern Italy, Emilia-Romagna is home to many of Italy's most renowned dishes, like Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar. Highly spiced food and a more stylish presentation are the hallmarks of this wonderful part of Italy.
The Italian cuisine that we are used to eating abroad is only the tip of the iceberg and it is well worth exploring in depth the styles and variations of Italian regional cuisine. The style of the food is very often influenced by its proximity to other areas such as Northern Africa and other Mediterranean and European countries. All of these places have deeply affected Italian regional cuisines.
Shepard's, shopkeepers, farmers, and fisherman all contribute to one of the most diverse cultural cuisines in the world. . When you next go out for Italian food try and see if you can find something a little more regional than the ubiquitous pasta and pizza, who knows it could be the start of a real passion for Italian regional cuisine.
Rushing the stages of cooking is a bad way to cook Italian food. Cooking something good takes time, if not, the dish would come off under cooked and as the dish wouldn’t have much time to fully utilize all the ingredients in it. The end result would not match the standard quality. It is recommended to savor the moment because Italian dishes are more than just average fast food.
There is a rigorous process must be followed to create a perfect Italian dish. The addition of any new ingredients might spoil the genuineness of the dish. Italian cuisines leave much more than just a taste, they offer the traditional food aroma, the very quality of taste of the ingredients, and just by being healthy. Since there is no inclusion of any chemicals to appeal to a larger audience, the food can far away from reaching for the fast-food processed taste. Authenticity adds much more value to Italian food than just being another thing to eat while hungry.
Is there an Italian Chef hiding in you? If Italian cooking is one of your favorites, why not learn how to cook Italian cuisine yourself at home.
Your can find Italian cooking recipes online 24/7. You should be able to find enough recipes to prepare a different Italian cooking recipe every day of the year for many years to come. Some will be great, some will be not so great.The good news is that once you have sampled enough authentic Italian food at your favorite restaurants, you will know what is good and what isn't.
Another great free source for Italian recipes is cooking shows on TV. There are some great programs featuring professional Chefs preparing Italian cooking recipes that you can watch that will show you tips and techniques that sometimes would be hard to translate from reading the recipe.
AS with all ethnic foods, Italian food uses its own group of spices. The most popular spices used in Italian cooking are garlic, oregano, basil and thyme. Fresh spices add a really special touch to any dish, but if you can't find fresh and must used the dried spice, buy in small quantities and keep them stored in a cool, dark place, not over your stove on a rack. Dried spices do have an extended shelf life if properly stored, but they do not last forever.
You can buy cookbooks from many sources on Italian cooking. Most of them have pictures of the completed dish so that you will know what it should look like. That can be helpful if you have never seen the dish anywhere. It is usually best to follow a recipe when you first start to learn a new cuisine, but don't be afraid to start experimenting once you have the basics down.
The heart of Italian cooking is the use of ingredients that are in season. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh are the three words to remember most. These ingredients are used to transform ordinary items into works of art in the form of sauces, pastas, breads, side dishes, main dishes, soups and deserts. The possibilities are endless and exciting.
The subject of pairing pasta shapes with types of sauces in the world of Italian cooking is a fascinating subject all by itself. When you were a child in school, did your teachers ever have you experiment with a layered sandwich? You know, peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other. Take a bite with the peanut butter side down and describe the taste, then flip it and take a bite with the jelly side down and make note of the differences. It truly is amazing. Try serving a slow simmered tomato-based sauce with a perfect blend of ground veal, pork and beef and spices, the right showering of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on macaroni instead of spaghetti. A revolting development to say the least. Entire books can be written on this topic alone. It is a very important aspect of Italian cooking.
Choose the method of learning Italian cooking that suits you best and that you are most comfortable with. Don't be afraid of failures, they will be some of your best teachers. Think about the time when everyone will be asking you for your recipes because you will be the "Italian cooking expert". Now go to your kitchen, pull out that recipe, pick up that saucepan and go to work!