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June/July 2009 issue
Quote of the Month
100 Mile Pizza
Menu of the Month
What’s in Your Fridge? Interview with Chef Michael Moran
The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School in Italy Events
Upcoming Happenings & Events
La Cucina Italiana Magazine Recipe Contest
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
” Cooking is one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts but to cook well one must love and respect food”
Summer is here, although it officially begins in late June. Pizza makes a great dish anytime of the year but especially fits in with those hazy, lazy days of summer. I love the article on the 100 mile pizza showing how you can make a pizza that respects the environment! The Basic Art of Italian Cooking school has been traveling all over the US and a special thank you to all those who have come out to master The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm cooking method. You see why the method has been trademarked. A Happy Father’s Day and Fourth of July to our readers as well! Many more cooking events are coming so see list of events at end of newsletter. Don’t forget you can also catch up with more recipes and articles at http://twitter.com/marialiberati and http://mariaandco.blogspot.com
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The 100 Mile Pizza
During any given season, most of us can saunter into our local grocery store and find strawberries, tomatoes, celery and fresh herbs. It’s easy to take it for granted that we can get our hands on most types of produce at any time of the year. And yet nothing beats the way you shudder with delight after taking a bite out of a freshly picked locally-grown tomato. In fact, it is often a stark reminder of how bland and cardboard-like “fresh” produce can be during off-season.
With growing concern for the environment and for our own health, there is one concept that is gaining popularity all over the globe: The 100-Mile Diet. Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon spent one year eating only food that was produced within a 100-mile radius of their home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This is not an easy task. However the idea of eating food that is fresh, local and has not spent countless hours travelling hundreds or thousands of miles in trains, trucks, planes or boats, has been catching on worldwide.
On the surface, eating a 100-mile diet seems somewhat easy to do, but depending on where in the world you live, it can be quite challenging to get your hands on certain ingredients. With some digging and asking questions around the neighbourhood, you will be surprised what you can find.
Take one popular food: Pizza. Any pizzeria in the vicinity has probably ordered flour from wheat grown in an area likely many hundreds of miles away. The oil used in their dough is also likely from afar-most likely a different country; perhaps from the other side of the globe.
Tomatoes are a commonly imported vegetable in many countries during the off-season-especially canned tomatoes. Herbs, garlic, salt and spices are all very likely to be from some far away land as well. Ask any chef where they get their garlic from and they might be able to tell you which distributor delivered it, but that’s about it.
Cheese is one of those little treasures to be appreciated wherever you go, especially when it’s local. A little internet search and chatting it up with members of your community can lead you to the best local places to find fresh and aged cheeses of all varieties. Your local farmer’s market is always a good place to start. But beware-not all farmer’s markets offer only local ingredients, so when in doubt, be sure to ask.
Do you want to build a pizza of only ingredients from within 100 miles of your home? Forming a relationship with local farmers and producers in your area is also a key element to getting your hands on some local grub. Buying your tomatoes and cucumbers from the eccentric lady with the oversized straw hat is far more interesting than picking them up and dropping them into your cart, wouldn’t you say?
Depending on the season and location, a 100-mile pizza would look very different. Using the examples of 4 major cities in the world, here are some unique ideas for building 100-mile spring pizzas:
New York: Finding flour that has been grown and ground within 100 miles of NYC is not impossible, but will take some decent detective work. However, creativity abounds when making pizza. Consider a base made of local eggs. Using an oven-friendly frying pan, simply cook up a few whisked eggs like you would an omelette, only keep the base flat. Once it is well cooked, top the egg base with a generous helping of caramelized onions blended with some dried or fresh Italian herbs (locally produced, of course). Top with some sautéed fiddleheads, locally-made sausage, spinach and some locally-made cheese. Don’t feel the need to stick to mozzarella-see what’s available in your area and pick 2 or 3 cheeses to add to your creation!
Vancouver: It is possible to find locally grown wheat in temperate British Columbia. But since olive oil is shipped in from much farther away than 100 miles, alternatives must be found. Almond oil or walnut oil could work in small quantities, and for a treat, try using some locally churned butter. Toppings could include: mushrooms, spinach, garlic chives, parsley, jumbo prawns, local sausages, and dried garlic. Again, be absolutely creative with your cheeses. See what is offered nearby and use what is available.
London: Again, what grows in the UK and a small bit of detective work will yield some locally produced flour for a base. Topped with some broccoli, asparagus, locally-produced lamb sausage, oyster mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes, you will have a hard time eating run-of-the-mill pizza again!
Florence: How about a pesto sauce with some locally raised chicken, some olives and a blend of local artisan cheese, for an unforgettable pizza your friends will be begging you to make again?
There is no hard-and-fast rule for the 100-mile diet, except to find food that has not come from the other side of the continent. 100 miles is merely a guideline and it makes a point. Any kind of locally-produced food-even if it’s 150 miles from your home-is always better than the mass-produced generic stuff you’ll find that has been flown in from who-knows-where. So make your friends some fun spring pizzas and impress them with your creativity and fresh ingredients. You might never go back to the old way of eating pizza again.
For more information about locally-produced food in these cities, check out:
Vancouver – http://www.getlocalbc.org/en/
London – http://www.lfm.org.uk/
To read more about pizza go to http://marialiberati.com/blog2/?p=582
Pizza dough (recipe follows)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. tomatoes, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne strips
extra virgin olive oil
1. Let olive oil, tomatoes, and salt marinate in bowl while making the dough.
2. Flatten dough out with hands and lightly rub with some olive oil. Remember to flatten the dough evenly and thinly to ensure it will rise appropriately
3. Turn the edges of the dough up slightly and top with tomatoes and mozzarella, then sprinkle some olive oil on top.
4. Preheat oven to 450F and bake on pizza stone (clay stone) for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
5. Top pizza with basil leaves after removing it from the oven.
6. Allow pizza to cool, then cut into slices and enjoy!
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water (be sure that the water is warm- not hot or cold)
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. (For this recipe, Maria suggests that you add more water than the amount listed on the yeast package.) Add salt and a pinch of sugar and mix lightly with your fingers.
2. Make a “well” in the center of the flour. Pour yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the middle of the flour. Pull a small amount of flour at a time into the center of the bowl and mix it into the liquid with your hands.
3. As you knead the dough, you may need to add a small amount of warm water to it, so keep some close by. Work the dough well with your hands, pushing and turning it until it becomes a firm ball and all of the flour is absorbed. It should be sticky and similar to elastic in texture.
4. Dust a large mixing bowl with flour and place dough in the bowl. Set aside in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for two hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide into four equal pieces. Form each piece in to a disc shaped round and place on a pizza sheet. Allow to rise a second time until each disc has doubled in size.
5. When the discs have doubled in size, punch down the one you will be using and shape it to cover a round baking sheet. (Wrap the others tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Add toppings and bake at 475° for 10-12 minutes.
MENU OF THE MONTH
Appetizer: Cornetti di Prosciutto con Noce (Stuffed Ham Cones with Nuts)
First Course: Pizza Margherita
Second Course: Salad with walnuts, arugula, thinly sliced pears
Dessert: Fresh Fruit Macedonia
Aperitif: Fragole con Balsamico (see recipe: http://marialiberati.com/blog2/?p=658)
All recipes can be found in The Basic Art of Italian CookingTM or at www.marialiberati.com
All recipes are copyright 2006,2007,2008,2009- The Basic Art of Italian CookingTM, by Maria Liberati, Art of Living, PrimaMedia, Inc.
Send us your ideas, feedback, and tips. If your submission is featured here in our newsletter, you will win a limited edition gift tag. Email to: email@example.com
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WHAT’S IN YOUR FRIDGE?
This month, Chef-Instructor Michael Moran of Florida International University
gives us a peek inside his fridge
Maria: What is in your refrigerator now?
Michael: Pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, Portobello mushrooms, A bone in beef tenderloin, snapper filet, some beef stew and chicken stir fry.
ML: What types of food do you like to keep on hand in your refrigerator?
MM: Lots of fresh vegetables especially in summer including asparagus, mushrooms, a variety of fruits including mangos lemons and limes.
ML: What are your favorite foods?
MM: I love fresh fish, light pastas and composed salads. Grilled lamb. And anything long and slow cooked.
ML: Do you stick to a special eating regimen?
MM: I eat carefully and often to keep my body running efficiently.
ML: What foods do you like to indulge in?
MM: I love homemade pasta and pizza.
ML: Is the kitchen an important part of your house?
MM: It is the “Heart of my House”
ML: Do you cook and/or enjoy cooking?
MM: Cooking is my passion and my life’s work I do not enjoy it I LOVE it.
ML: Do you share your fridge with anyone?
MM: My beautiful wife Elaina and my 2 sons David and Dylan.
ML: What are your favorite things to cook? (If you have one- feel free to share your favorite recipe with us- not mandatory)
MM: Grilled grouper with Mango salsa.
ML: Is there someone in particular who has influenced your cooking and/or eating habits, in what way?
MM: My Father taught me to look for the best ingredients and the Joy of sharing at the table.
ML: In your dream dinner party who would you like to invite to your home for a dinner party? (can be someone dead or alive, in the past or present)
MM: Winston Churchill, Ben Franklin, Julia Child and Giuliani Bugialli.
ML: What would you serve or what would be on the menu?
MM: Fresh seafood Lasagna, Chopped salad with pecorino Romano, Roasted saddle of lamb with truffle sauce, for dessert Ricotta Cheesecake and berries with zabaglione.
Cooking School in Italy Events
(for more info go to
A view of the villa in the hills of Umbria
Enjoying a dinner after a cooking class at the Villa…
The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm Cooking School in Italy-Sept 23- October 6th. Join Celebrity Chef-Maria Liberati for a the 7day -6night Experience Italy event filled with hands on cooking classes, wine tastings at local vineyards, olive oil artisans, work with locally grown produce, sightsee, experience nature trails in the hills of Umbria all while relaxing as a special guest at the villa which houses the school. Limited to 12 participants only. Includes all meals, transportation from Rome -Fiumicino airport and back, all meals, 4 hands-on cooking classes, wine tastings, special farewell dinner at local castle, wine tastings, sightseeing,stay at the villa (double occupancy. Single occupancy available but for extra amount). All while you relax at the villa in the picturesque, quiet hills of Umbria. $1795. Or register with deposit before July 1st and receive a $200 discount plus free souvenir apron upon arrival. To register or for an email brochure send email to: email@example.com or call 1-800-581-9020.
Upcoming Happenings & Events
Regal Springs Tilapia-Calling all economical cooks. Regal Springs Tilapia is hosting a competition for an economical cook t ocome up with creative yet economical recipes. Some Cash Prizes!For all details go to www.regalsprings.com
Mambo Sprouts is hosting a contest for healthy recipes for details go to
June 2nd, Kenilworth Library, Kenilworth, NJ 7PM cooking on a budget with The Basic Art of Italian Cooking
June 4th– The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School with Maria Liberati- How to make a Tuscan Picnic at Foster’s Gourmet Store ,Philadelphia, Pa, 399 Market St, Phila, Pa 19195 215-925-0950 To register call Temple Univ. continuing education at 215-204-6946. Includes 4 course sample of authentic Tuscan picnic $55 www.temple.edu/tucc
June 6th- Horsham Day-Book signing and The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School demo with Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati. Deep Meadow Park 1-3 PM
June 7th-Book signing and on stage appearance-Chicago Tribune Literary Festival- Printer’s Row Chicago. Celebrity Chef-Maria Liberati will be bringing The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School to Chicago along with a book signing. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking was one of the books specially selected to be a part of this annual event. For more info email:firstname.lastname@example.org
June 15th– Book signing and Cooking on A Budget with The Basic Art of Italian Cooking. Demo of how to cook on a budget with recipes from the bestselling book, samples and recipes provided. Willingboro Library- 220 Willingboro Parkway, Willingboro, NJ
July 18th– The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School at Whole Foods Market, Falls Church Virginia-Cooking up a Tuscan Picnic
October 5th– Horsham Township Library, 435 Babylon Rd, Horsham Pa 19044 215-443-2009
October 20th- Lower Southampton Twp. Library -an evening with The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and book signing. Includes cooking demo.
SUMMER IN ITALY RECIPE CONTEST..
THE BASIC ART OF ITALIAN COOKING BY MARIA LIBERATI
& LA CUCINA ITALIANA MAGAZINE
Win a free subscription to La Cucina Italiana Magazine & your recipe printed in the Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm ezine.
Give us your best summer recipe. Do you love to barbecue, grill, preserve fresh produce, make summer salads or fresh fruit preserves or anything that uses fresh fruits or vegetables in season during the summer months of May, June, July & August. Send us your best recipe and you could win a subscription to La Cucina Italiana Magazine-each issue filled with recipes from Italy but in English.
Qualifications & Rules: Summer in Italy Recipe Contest!
Recipes must be original and should contain either fresh fruits or vegetables, herbs that are in season during May, June, July & August. We are looking for recipes that promote locally grown produce.
*No processed ingredients, no corn syrup, lard, margarine allowed in recipes and recipes containing these will be eliminated.
*By emailing or mailing your recipe you give all rights to the Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc for any reprints or publishing in print or electronically. The recipe(s) may be reprinted without any permission or monetary compensation to the sender.
Deadline: recipes must be postmarked or emailed no later than June 1st 2009. Winners will be selected by staff of the Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and all winners are final. Winner wins a year subscription to La Cucina Italiana Magazine and their recipe will be featured in an issue of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm ezine .
This contest void where prohibited by law. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm is not responsible for any lost mail, emails, any omissions or guarantee of receipt of subscription of La Cucina Italiana magazine. La Cucian Italiana Magazine is responsible for winning prize of annual subscription and winner must correspond with :La Cucina Italiana Magazine if any delays In receiving subscriptions. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati, Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc is not responsible for issuing the subscription to the magazine and can not be held responsible.
Where to send recipes:
Email recipe, name ,address ,phone number & email to us at:
Mail recipe(s) to: Place recipe on 3x 5 card, include recipe, name, address ,phone and email (if you have one) to:
Recipe Contest, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm, 292 Main St, Unit 291, Harleysville, Pa 19438
Recipe must be legible or will be automatically eliminated if not legible
BUONA FORTUNA ( Good Luck!)
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