Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas at Mise En Place...December 14, 2030 hrs

Here is a Christmas dinner that you don't want to miss...Mise En Place , THE cooking school in Vomero has organized an end of the year event that is the hot ticket of the season.  Dinner with the chefs and staff of Mise En Place...

Chef Vito Bardaro, Alessandro Romando, and Armando Palmieri ---finger foods

Chef Claudio Campanile...antipasto (variazione di baccalà ; sfogliatella di baccalà in casseroula, baccalà mantecato al pepperoncino, baccalà in tempura con granatina di Asirinio di Aversa)  and first course (spezzatino di tonno al profumo di finocchietto)...

Chef Giuseppe Giuliano...second course (rollatura di pesce spada al pistacchio con caponatina di ortaggi in agrodolce profumata al canella)

Chef Maurizio Santin ...dessert (grolla e golosità al cioccolata)

The wines will be selected by journalist Luciano Pignataro as he presents his new book Guide alle Piccole Cantine della Campania,  which will be also your 'Christmas gift'.    Wines will be presented by wine consultant Marina Alaimo.

The price of this amazng festa is 55 euro, and reservations are necessary...
For more info, contact info@lesatnzedellacultura.it or andiamotrips@gmail.com  (English)

The dinner will take place at Le Arcate, Via Aniello Falcone 249, Vomero...
The fun starts at 2030 ish...
See you there !!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Presentation of Slow Wine Guide 2011 - Avellino, Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another wine guide...and another opportunity to test the best wines from Campania and Basilicata...The appointment is for this Saturday in Avellino, at  the Auditorium Banca della Campania (Collina Liguorini) . A chance to meet with producers from Campania and Basilicata andto learn about wines and winemakers. A time of celebration and reflection around wines in Campania and Basilicata.
At 1030 there will be a conference entitled "Environment, authenticity and quality. Viticulture ethics is possible, "with the participation of: Roberto Burdese, president of Slow Food Italy, the editor of the guide Giancarlo Gariglio, and Luciano Pignataro, responsible for the Campania, Basilicata and Calabria Regions. Cosimo Lombardi, Large Corporate Banca della Campania, and Lucio Napodano, Slow Food Trust of Avellino. The conference will be chaired by by Gaetano Pascale, president of Slow Food Campania.

Afterwards there will be a chance to try the wines  from Campania and Basilicata which have received major awards in the guide. Awards which take into account not only the wines tasted, but also work in the vineyard.

The entrance to the conference is free, access to the tasting at a cost of 27 € (25 € for members) and entitles the tasting of the wines presented, the glass, the glass d pouch and a copy of Slow Wine Guide 2011 .

Napoli Street Food...Frittatine di Pasta by Chef Claudio Campanile

Last week, during chef Claudio Campanile’s lesson on Naples street food, Romina Sodano, director of Mise En Place, asked Which recipe are you going to put on the blog this week?...And at the same time we both responded with a smile Fritatina di Pasta!…

Here it is…

Bucatini pasta 500 gr.
Milk 1 ½ liters
Flour 300 gr
Peanut Oil 3 dl
Grated Parmegiano 150 gr.
Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper
Prosciutto Cotto 150 gr
Fior di Latte 200 gr
2 Eggs
Yeast 15 gr
Oil for frying 1 lt
Bread crumbs


Prepare a roux with peanut oil and flour. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add boiling milk. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, add salt and pepper, then let cool. This will be your besciamella needed for the next step.

Cut the prosciutto and fior di latte into small cubes and mix with a portion of the besciamella and put to the side.

Cook the pasta until it reaches the al dente point and place in a casserole dish. Let it cool down and then chop it up into large pieces. Season the pasta with  parmigiano, salt, pepper, parsley and remaining besciamella. Mix well so that it  is nice and compact. Form into small balls, filling each ball with a little bit of the prosciutto and fior di latte mixture that you prepared earlier.

Prepare a frying batter using 200 ml of water, 2 eggs, yeast , salt, and 300 gr of flour. Dip the balls in the batter, then bread them with the bread crumbs.

Fry in hot oil and drain.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Campernauti Flegrei on Tour …la Basilicata...Abraxas Osteria, December 2

The Camper is back on the road...this time the Basilicata region is Nando and Co.’s destination. This region is rich in interesting but not so well known products. On this shopping trip, they’ll be in search of products such as caciocavallo podolico, salsiccia pezzente, melanzane rosse, as well as visit some interesting local wineries. All to prepare a special menu for Thursday December 2nd at Abraxas Osteria. The menu, to be announced later, will consist of appetizers, 2 first courses, a second course, side dish and dessert. Wine will be provided by Cantine del Notaio- Il Rogito 2006,il Repertorio 2007,l’Atto 2008,la Firma 2007.

The cost of the evening is 35 Euro and will start around 2030 ish

To reserve a spot call 0818549347-3392236700

Abraxas Osteria

scalandrone 15

Pozzuoli, Italy

Festivity 2010 -Città del Gusto, Naples, Wednesday, December 1, 2010 – 2000hrs

Città del Gusto Napoli has organized a great event based around Carpenè Malvolti, accompanied with fine finger foods created by their chefs and surrounded by music from Radio Capri.

Price: € 18.00

Gambero Rosso subscribers: € 15.00

Tickets can be purchased at Città del Gusto prior to the event (Office open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 17.00 pm).

Note: The price is € 15.00 for Cral members, Slow Food, Ais, Fisar, Onav, and Aspi Feltrinelli card holders, but you must present your membership card .

To buy tickets online, click here
Città del Gusto

via Coroglio 104 / E 80124 Naples

Tel: 081/19808900/902/910


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chef Paolo Barrale and Marennà-Not your Typical Thanksgiving Meal

November 25 2010. The fourth Thursday in November. A day where Americans, all over the world, celebrate Thanksgiving. A day to share with family and friends…A day to go home for the holidays…

I decided to do just that..go ‘home’. My home away from home…A16. This time I headed towards Sorbo Serpico…towards Feudi dei San Gregorio. To their Michelin star restaurant Marennà, and to my friend Chef Paolo Barrale.

On this particular cold, rainy autumn day, the staff at Marennà made me feel instantly at home the minute I walked in the door. Angelo Nudo, Marennà’s sommelier , greeted us, took our coats and showed us to our table. Chef Paolo Barrale…Paolone… grinned, waved, and greeted us with a Happy Thanksgiving…No turkey today, he smiles, but I am not disappointed. I knew that whatever would come out of his kitchen would be appreciated…would make me feel comfortable and cozy…make me feel at home.

DUBL Spumante Greco di Tufo 2006 arrives…a toast to the holiday, and we begin. And what a beginning…two appetizers; candele (candle shaped pasta) stuffed with shrimp, along with frutta di mare and spring onions…the second was baccala with a creamy potato and mayonnaise sauce with truffles. Angelo paired our appetizers and first course with Pietricalda Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2009.

Next, Chef Barrale and his team sent out two fantastic firsts from the kitchen…a risotto with salmon cubes sprinked on top (salmon that had been marinated with oranges, lemon and dill) with a shower of lemon peel. Then, my new best friend…ravioli with a turnip and potato filling on a bed of burrata, a soft creamy cheese.

At this point I was about to ask for another glass of Fiano when Angelo set down two glasses on my table. I want you to try these two wines during your second course…okay Angelo, you’re the boss. Primitivo 2008 and Piano di Montevergine Taurasi Riserva DOCG 2002. With a glass of wine in hand, I walked over to the kitchen to watch Paolo at work.

I watched as Paolo led his team of assistants in preparing, plating, and presenting the dishes that would be served next. Dishes such as braised pork with radicchio, turnips, spinach, and truffles. Pork cheek cooked for hours in Aglianico until it becomes so tender that it practically melts in your mouth. This was served two ways…on a bed of creamy potatoes with truffles and with a side of creamy pumpkin.

Dessert---two assaggi…a pomegranate sorbet and Sicilian cannelloni with pistachios, sided with hazelnut sorbet and orange marmalade…Angelo served Privilegio Fiano di Avellino 2007.

Over a caffè, I reflected, as I usually do, about not only the meal, but my experience. My desire was to feel at home. A home away from home.

To have a full and satisfying meal with friends…with family.

To relax…and to give thanks…

Thanks Paolo…


Località Cerza Grossa
83050 Sorbo Serpico (Avellino)

Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Lunch only on Sunday.
To make a reservation, call 0825-986666 - 348.3639531.

Italian Version

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Napul' E'...With Chef Claudio Campanile at Mise En Place

Amidst the traffic, the chaos, the vicos, the vias, the pizza, the music, the history and the art…it’s there.
You can’t miss it. Neapolitan street food. In perfect harmony with the hustle and bustle of the city. The city that brought us O Sole Mio and Christmas Alley (Via San Gregorio Armeno) brought Napoli a culture of spectacular street food. And at Mise En Place, last Monday evening, Chef Claudio Campanile took us strolling through the Spanish Quarter sharing some of the recipes that make his Napoli Bella

Claudio presented a wide variety of fried foods, many with a particular batter. Mozzarella in carrozza, fried pizza stuffed with cicoli and ricotta, zucchini flowers, frittatina di pasta, fried zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, and pizzete d’alghe. He also tossed in a surprise...fried polenta with cicoli...in Naples it’s affectionately called e’ scagliuozz.

That wasn’t the only surprise…in a clear glass bowl, it sat. Musso…the snout of pig. This snout that became part of our insalatina di musso. Add trippa (lemon version, or with tomato sauce), a hot spicy octopus broth and we were set…satiated…satisfied. I saved enough space, however, to finish off this stroll through the sidestreets for our mini babà...no Neapolitan meal is complete without this light piece of heaven soaked in sugar water (and in many cases rum) with a side of whipped cream...

This week, our menu was paired with St Mary pale ale artisan beer from B1080, Battipaglia.

Naples…Claudio Campanile’s Naples…a Naples that that evening transformed Le Arcate, where lessons are held, into SpaccaNapoli…Montesanto…or any of the dozens of side streets and alleys in Naples.

Sidestreets full of the aroma of frittura and the laughter of family and friends...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Città del Gusto Napoli Christmas Cooking Classes

Città del Gusto Napoli has recently announced their line up of cooking classes to get you in the Christmas spirit...

1 December-Christmas Lunch
2 December-Christmas Chocolate
7 December-Christmas Eve Dinner-Revisited
9 December-Christmas Desserts
15 December-Christmas Eve Dinner-Traditional
16 December-New Year's Eve Dinner

For more information and to sign up, contact Città Del Gusto Napoli,
Via Coroglio 57/104E
napoli@cittadelgusto.it or call 081 19808900

Dinner da Enzo Coccia, Pizzaria La Notizia...Reloaded

A promise is a promise.  And I promised my son David that I would take him to the new Pizzaria La Notizia, back to Enzo Coccia, after the inaguration...after things calmed down, well, calmed down a little.

So, Sunday evening (1930 is the perfect time for families) we pulled up to Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio 94/A and walked in.  Before the usual crowd...that did arrive later.  Before the beautiful organized Neapolitan chaos...that did show up, David and I had a chance to chat with Enzo...Chat about how he's been, what he has been up to, what he has in store next.  But David reminded me that we came for pizza.  David wanted the Enzo...a pizza with fresh tomato slices, mozarella and rucula.  I opted for one with fresh funghi porcini mushrooms...

Between bites of our pizza, we watched Enzo back in action preparing his specialties like rotolo con ricotta e pezzente (rolled pizza with ricotta and ham from Caserta), pizza al bianco, and pizza with prosciutto cotto.

It was great to be back and smell the aromas from the oven...
It was great to be back and hear the laughter of Enzo's patrons...
It was great to be back...punto.

Pizzaria La Notizia
Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio 94/A
081 19531937
Reservartions are highly reccomended.
Open only for dinner.  Closed on Mondays

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Diary of a Sommelier Student-Muffa Nobile, Up Close and Personal

Muffa Nobile-Noble mold or rot. I heard these words for the first time during my level one sommelier class. Latin words…Botrytis cinerea, a mold that forms inside a grape, and is the goal of any winery who wishes to produce a passito, a dessert wine. A couple of paragraphs in our text book, a photograph on page 164.

I wanted to get up close and personal…to visit a vineyard with grapes still on the vine while this muffa nobile formed. To walk through the rows of vines and pick this sweet fruit off the plant, like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to go back to Montemarano…I really wanted another visit to Mastroberardino’s Aglianico vineyards.

Saturday afternoon, November 13th. Back in Antonio Dente’s SUV after a week of wind and rain in Irpinia. Rain that turned this vineyard’s terrain into a muddy mess. No way a tractor could get through here for the harvest the following week, Antonio shared. Wow…I was here about three weeks earlier. What a difference. First of all, half of the grapes had been harvested about 10 days earlier. Mastroberardino left behind the bunches whose grapes were spread out…whose grapes had room to breathe. Another major difference was that a large quantity of leaves had been stripped off the vines thanks to the weather earlier in the week. From a distance, however, spectacular views of Autumn in Irpinia.

But I came for a look up close. To see, touch, and taste the grapes along with Antonio as he picked up where my textbook left off. He pointed out how the grapes had changed. The bunches that were left behind had become darker, drier, more concentrated. We picked a few from the vine and tasted. Sweet, dolce. That extra time in the vineyard, under the right conditions, with the proper care gave way to what Mastroberardino had hoped for.

My lesson continued. These grapes would be harvested, and laid out to dry in a room under carefully controlled temperatures and climate. Here the grapes will continue to lose water and become more concentrated, sweeter. Here the grapes will spend at least 1 ½ months before they continue their trip to becoming one of two aglianico passitos that Mastroberardino has in mind. This Aglianico, a very sensitive grape, was on its way to give their Aglianico DOC Irpinia Passito the desired sweetness, the aromas similar to balsamic vinegar and dried figs. Antonio looked satisfied.

There was another vineyard he wanted me to see. Santo Stefano, Fiano di Avellino grapes. I thought that these grapes had already been harvested, but Antonio let me in on a little ‘secret’. An experiment. Three rows of Fiano were left behind after the October 29th harvest. Left behind to form that muffa nobile. Here it was easy to tell by looking what was going on inside the grape. Here the grapes were turning brown, becoming sweeter. A few tastes confirmed this.

It was getting dark, so back in the SUV. On the drive back to the winery, I was trying to absorb all the information Antonio shared with me that afternoon. Now that I better understood this muffa nobile, I was very interested in knowing how all this hard work would look like, smell like, and taste like in a glass…

Magari la prossima volta che torni ti faccio provare...(The next time you come back, I'll let you try...)

Ok!! See you next time..

Italian Version

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Napoli Street Food with Claudio Campanile at Mise En Place, November 22

Claudio Campanile

Mise En Place hits this streets again.  This time, Chef Claudio Campanile presents a menu straight from the vias and vicos of Bella Napoli...

• mozzarella in carrozza
• pizza fritta ripiena cicoli e ricotta
• fiore di zucca in pastella
• frittatina di pasta
• pizzette d'alghe
• musso all’insalata
• la trippa
• brodo di polipo piccante
• mini baba’

This week's menu will be paired with artisan beer from B1080.

The course begins at 1800 ish, at Mise En Place's usual location, Le Arcate, Via Aniello Falcone 249 (Na)
The class costs 75 Euro and includes the lesson, a Mise En Place Kit stocked with recipes and other surprises, dinner, and drinks.

For more information, go to the site www.lestanzedellacultura.it/miseenplace or call  081 19806236

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Sandwiches-Pani Ca' Meusa by Chef Marcello Valentino

Chef Marcello Valentino presented a Sicilian street food menu last week at Mise En Place that included this tasty sandwich.  Not your typical ingredients, but it was so good that after eating two, I wanted a third!

Sandwich rolls
Milza (spleen)
Polmone (lung)
Strutto (pork fat)

Boil the spleen and lung until they are tender.  Let cool at room temperature.  Afterwards, cut into thin slices and sautè in hot strutto.  Add a little salt and pepper.  You may also add lemon juice or ricotta (made from sheep's milk).Serve on a toasted sandwich roll.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sicilian Street Party with Chef Marcello Valentino

My third visit to Mise En Place brought me face to face with Sicilian chef Marcello Valentino. A chef who led us through the streets of Palermo…introduced us to a menu rich in history…a menu that proudly displayed Sicily’s street food and cous cous.

I took a quick glance at the recipes included in my Mise en Place Kit…just to get an idea of what was up ahead. Chef Valentino, however, gave us much much more. Many in the class pulled out their pads and pens to write down…capture every tidbit of advice…suggestions…neat little pearls of wisdom.

Cous cous was up first. Marcello explained the various ways to cook this ancient dish including a toasted cous cous version that he came up with about 5 years ago…

Next, the classic crocchè (cazzilli), panelle (fried ground chick pea flour), and arancina/arancino (fried rice balls). Recipes presented, then a chance to try it ourselves…If you don’t cook, you don’t eat Romina Sodano (director of Mise En Place) said jokingly.

Sicily has a rich street food culture…full of flavor…full of surprises. One of those surprises came between two pieces of bread, smothered in ricotta cheese. Milza and polmone…spleen and lung. A spleen sandwich. Don’t judge a book by its cover our Sicilian chef said…….It was amazing. The recipe will hit the blog soon.

No lesson at Mise En Place is complete without wine. This week it was Cantine Olivella who paired these dishes with their Katà (100% Catalanesca) and Lacrimanero (Piedirosso, Aglianico, Olivella). These wines were perfect with Marcello’s buffet full of the items that we prepared as well as surprises such as tripe and fishballs.

I sat down, relaxed with a glass of wine and a plateful of Sicily. I talked and laughed with friends. Marcello continued to give more tips, recipe and buffet ideas…I lost count at this point. I glanced over his shoulder, out the window at the wind and pouring rain that hit Naples that evening.

Inside, however, I was warm…comfortable. I was in Sicily, walking through Palermo. I was resting on a bench, on a street corner enjoying my cous cous…my street food…and the company of my new Sicilian friend, Marcello Valentino.

Italian Version

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dolci al Cioccolati with Maurizio Santin, November 15 and 16

Maurizio Santin, Il Cuoco Nero

Chef Maurizio Santin is coming back toNaples…

Coming back to Mise En Place.

Two evenings, two lessons all centered around chocolate desserts. I had the pleasure of participating in one of Il Cuoco Nero’s sweet lessons a few weeks ago so I am looking forward to this one.

This time there will a new menu, new recipes, new wines to try, and a guaranteed great time.

Classes are held at Le Arcate on Via Aniello Falcone 249 Napoli from 18800-2200 ish.

For more information on costs and/or to sign up, go to the site http://www.lestanzedellacultura.it  or miseenplace@lestanzedellacultura.it or call 081 118 806236 or 340 782 1415.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bere Bene Low Cost 2011 at Città del Gusto Napoli-The Seminars

Wine seminar at Città del Gusto Napoli

A seminar is one of the best ways to learn about wines.  This Sunday's event at Città del Gusto is packed full of them  Here is the lowdown:

1930 hrs “Mineralità Low Cost” – Those recognized for quality/price in Campania and Basilicata
Campi Flegrei Falanghina ’09 – Farro
Taburno Falanghina ’09 – Fattoria La Rivolta
Irpinia Ros’Aura ’09 – Feudi di San Gregorio
Taburno Piedirosso ’09 – Fattoria La Rivolta (premio qualità prezzo regionale)
La Sfida ’09 – Bonifacio
Sannio Rosso ’08 – Antica Masseria Venditti

2015 hrs “Giù al Nord” – Those recognized for quality/price in Piemonte, Lombardia and Trentino

Trentino Nosiola Bottega Vinai ’09 – Cavit
Curtefranca Bianco ’09 – Ferghettina
Ronco del Garda ’09 – Cascina la Pertica
Trentino Marzemino ’09 – Cantina d’Isera
Barbera d’Asti No Wood ’09 – Scrimaglio
Barbera d’Asti Sup. RoccaNivo ’08 – Scrimaglio

2100 hrs “Adriatico Quotidiano” – Those recognized for quality/price in  Puglia and Abruzzo

Pietraluna Torre Guaceto ’09 – Racemi
Anarkos ’09 – Racemi
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’09 – Masciarelli
Primitivo di Manduria Segnavento ’09 – Racemi Felline – Pervini
Donna Marzia Rosso ’08 – Conti Zecca
Cantalupi Negroamaro ’08 – Conti Zecca

2145 hrs “Bere Bene Sicilia (con intruso)” – Those recognized for quality/price in  Sicilia  Toscana

Vernaccia di San Gimignano ’09 – Rocca delle Macie
Centopassi Bianco ’09 - Centopassi
Polena ’09 – Donnafugata
C’D’C’ Rosso Cristo di Campobello ’09 – Baglio del Cristo
Sedara ’09 - Donnafugata
Shymer ’08 – Baglio di Pianetto

The seminars are available to participants of the wine tasting event, but you must reserve a spot. Seats are limited.

You can reserve your place by emailing  napoli@cittadelgusto.it or eventi.na@cittadelgusto.it

For more information on the event Bere Bene Low Cost on the 14th of November see the earlier post.

Fantastic Firsts-1/2 Paccheri con Provolone del Monaco by Chef Nicola di Fillipo

One of the best things about cooking classes at Mise en Place is the kit full of recipes.  Here is one by Chef Nicola Di Fillipo (La Laterna).
500 g paccheri (pasta)
2 tablespoons anchovy sauce 
400 g of Provolone del Monaco
Extra virgin olive oil

500 g cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

200 grams of nuts from Vesuvius

Basil leaves

100 grams of grated parmigiano cheese


Wash the tomatoes and crush them with your hands. Make a sauce with olive oil and crushed garlic.
A part of the sauce will be saved and used to add to the al dente pasta. Dice some of the provolone to add to the al dente pasta. Thinly slice some that will be added to the dish before serving.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and toss in the pan with the tomato sauce. Add the diced provolone, 2 teaspoons of anchovy sauce, parmigiano cheese and toasted grated nuts from Vesuvius.

Assemble the dish with paccheri, sliced provolone and basil leaves.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vineyard Hopping-Sunset in Santo Stefano (Av)

One more stop…One more vineyard Antonio Dente tells me. Stop three on a vineyard hopping voyage that had me in Pompei in the morning, Montemarano in the early afternoon, and now…? Now we were off to Santo Stefano for the Fiano di Avellino harvest. Fiano grapes destined to become Mastroberardino’s Radici Fiano di Avellino DOCG.

Sunset in Santo Stefano is spectacular. I hopped out of Antonio's SUV and walked through the rows of vines in silence. A cool breeze, low hum of the tractor, and rustling leaves were my company.

Beautiful golden Fiano grapes…grapes that could stay out and play longer than their cousins in Lapio due to this vineyard’s location. 550 meters above sea level…south - west sun exposure...sandy soil, rich in minerals…

I could envision this Fiano in a glass a year from now. Visualize its straw yellow color. Smell its fresh aromas such as peach and fresh flowers.

I looked around for my guide Antonio. He was busy with the boss. Antonio Mastroberardino, the head of the winery. Mr. Mastroberardino in the vineyards for his 64th harvest.

I don’t think Vineyard Hopping gets any better than this…

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Stelle del Sud nel Cielo Flegreo, November 10th

Maneula Piancastelli and Marianna Vitale

Wednesday, November 10, 20.30, is the date for an exceptional evening at SUDMarianne Vitale and Pino Esposito’s restaurant in Quarto (Na). The great creative cuisine of Marianna, the south’s shining star, meets the wines of Terre del Principe. Peppe Mancini and Manuela Piancastelli will present their "stars", Pallagrello and Casavecchia .  These wines which were awarded the 5 Grappoli 2011 'Italian Association of Sommeliers and Gambero Rosso's  Tre Bicchieri 2011.

Here is the menu:

- Beef tartar and salt cod with fennel soup, anise and lupini. Paired with Fontanavigna 2009 Pallagrello Bianco
- Cheese-cake of salt cod with tomato confit flavored with fennel and lemon peel. Paired with Fontanavigna 2009 Pallagrello Bianco
- Risotto with caprino fiorito, dill and roasted onion, flavored with lemongrass. Paired with Le Serole Pallagrello Bianco
- Pork fillet on a cream of purple potatoes, broccoli, and black olives.Paired with Centomoggia 2008 Casavecchia
- Small selection of cheeses. Paired withVigna Piancastelli 2007
- Meringue tart with a heart of warm dark chocolate 70% and orange marmalade. Paired with Grappa Pallagrello Nero

The cost of the evening is 55.00. Info and reservations: 081.0202708 Sud 081.0202708 (via Santi Pietro e Paolo, Quarto NA); info@sudristorante.it

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vineyard Hopping- Montemarano (Av)-Mastroberardino

Another stop on my journey with Mastroberardino during the Campania harvest season...

It takes about 45 minutes to drive from Mastroberardino’s Piedirosso vineyards in Pompei (Na) to their Aglianico vineyards in Montemarano (Av). So after a quick lunch, it was back on the road. On the road to Irpinia. To the hills of Irpinia. About 500 meters above sea level. Where the soil is chalky, clayey. Where the soil hosts aglianico vines.  My aglianico…dark blue aglianico grapes alongside fantastic fall colors of red, yellow, and green. Here, where the soil demonstrated Antonio Dente’s concern for this year’s harvest. A harvest season that has seen more rain and has caused more work stoppage than he has ever experienced in his 10 years with Mastroberardino.

250 mm of rain fell in September and October. Rain that turned this soil into Montemarano mud, but did not deter me from my vineyard hopping.

Contrada Pastanella. The road in which Mastroberardino’s aglianico vineyard calls home. A vineyard that can basically be divided into two parts. A vineyard that produces grapes for two great wines. The lower part of this vineyard with spectacular views is for Mastroberardino’s Taurasi Radici. A blend of their aglianico grapes from here and Mirabella (Av). The upper level…la parte alta…Well, here is where it gets interesting. Grapes from here are for Mastroberardino’s Taurasi Riserva, but there is something else going on. Something new amidst the rustling of the leaves. The cool Avellino Autumn.

In early November, half of the grapes will be harvested. Some will be left to dry and sweeten in the cantina, while the others will be left on the vine until about the 10th of the month. The goal here is muffa nobile. "Noble mold" , botyris cinerea that gives it that sweet special aroma…flavor.

Perfect for a dessert wine.

Perfect for a Aglianico Irpinia Passito.

And perfect for another vineyard hopping…

Italian Version

Dal Vesuvio al Mare...at Mise en Place

Chef Nicola Di Fillipo (La Lanterna) took us on an amazing ride through Campania with his recipes last Tuesday night. A menu which not only presented Campania, but embraced it.

For starers-Insalata di polipo su lettino di patate con salsa verde (octopus salad on a bed of potatoes with a fresh green sauce). Then an amazing first course of mezzi paccheri con provolone del Monaco and colatura di alici,nocceline del Vesuvio and pomodori del piennolo (‘paccheri’ with provolone del Monaco cheese, sardine oil, nuts, and piennolo tomatoes). Baccalà in cassuola e fritto (fried cod in a casserole dish with tomatoes, black olives, and capers). The dessert…yes dessert. Caprese, of course!

Nicola expertly demonstrated each recipe, showed us how to compose the dish, and then we were on our own. Marina Alaimo, Mise en Place’s wine consultant presented two wines this week from the Azienda Donna Chiara in Avellino. For our appetizer and pasta, she chose Falanghina del Beneventano IGT. Our fish dish was paired with an aromatic Fiano di Avellino DOCG.

Romina Sodano again made her guests feel part of the family. An international family which include Jeff and Lisa…a couple who was celebrating their wedding anniversary at Mise en Place. A couple who, like me, has the desire to discover their surroundings through the culture, the food, and the wine of Campania…

And we did. I practically rolled away that evening. I drove home with a full stomach and a smile…

Can’t wait until the next lesson…

Mise en Place
Via Aniello Falcone, 249, Napoli

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cous Cous and Sicilian Street Food with Chef Marcello Valentino at Mise en Place

Chef Marcello Valentino

Mark your calendars...
November 10th...

Mise en Place Cooking School is pleased to present Sicilian Street Food and Cous Cous

A cooking  course for those who want to develop their passion and want to learn or improve their  techniques in preparing cous cous and Sicilian street food. This course is also perfect for those who have a smattering of the basics and want to have fun!.

Chef Marcello Valentino will be our leader on this wild gastronomical ride...

The course runs  from 18:00-22:00 ish.

Participants will also be treated with a wine pairing mini lesson with Marina Alaimo in a parallel path that will lead them to discover the wonderful world of wine.

Wine offered by Cantina Olivella.

As with every Mise en Place course, each participant will receive a Mise en Place Kit, regional food samplings, gifts that will be presented during the evening,and a certificate of participation signed by the chef.

Course fee: 75 euro
The class will be held at
Le Arcate

Via Aniello Falcone, 249 (Na)

For information and registration: http://www.lestanzedellacultura.it/

tel. 081 19806236 / 49 Fax 081 19806236 340 7821415 cell

Monday, November 1, 2010

Città del Gusto Napoli Threw a Party...And Campania Came

October 31st...Instead of trick or treating, I,  along with about 500 Campania wine lovers attended the Galà del Vino Campano

The idea was Paolo De Cristofaro's, head of Gambero Rosso's Campania section.  His plan was to celebrate Campania wines.  So he called a few friends to discuss  Campania and its wines in general. Friends such as Daniele Cernilli, Luigi Salerno, Carlo Flamini, Nicola Venditti, Michele Farro, and Salvatore Avallone...

He invited a few wineries...34 to be exact.  They brought some wine...43 different labels.
He invited AIS Campania to help during the wine tastings and seminars.  Four seminars, each with a different theme, different wines to taste and discuss.

He called on Michele Leo and Gennaro Sarno to serve up some amazing pizza.  And they did.

My plan for this event was simple.  To have fun.  To mingle with old friends, many whom I haven't seen since Vinitaly like Gaetano Bove from Tenuta San Francesco, Maria Felicia Brini from Masseria Felicia.  To celebrate Gambero Rosso recognition with my Vineyard Hopping companions such as Giovanni Ascione, Flavio Castaldo, Antonella Lonardo, Feudi di San Gregorio's Alessandro Palmieri, Manuela Piancastelli, the entire gang from Mastroberadino -Piero Mastroberardino, Dario Pennino, Massimo Di Renzo, and Antonio Dente, Il Cancelliere, Villa Raiano.  To try wines that I hadn't tried before from wineries such as Pietracupa, Ferrara Benito, Villa Diamonte and Sanpaolo.

To laugh, discuss, observe, learn, admire, enjoy myself.  To put away my camera, for a little while and celebrate with Campania.  And to silently, if not impatiently, prepare for future Città del Gusto Napoli events.

Grazie di cuore Paolo...

Amazing Appetizers -Ciambotta e Ricotta in Formella by Chef Rosanna Marziale

Here is an amazing appetizer by Chef Rosanna Marziale of Le Colonne in Caserta. 

100 gr ricotta
18 g egg white
Gr.10 of juice from a red pepper, yellow pepper and basil to color the ricotta

Place the ricotta and 'colorings' in a mixer and mix depending on the softness of ricotta.
Let chill for 20 minutes
Using a pastry bag, line a cheese-mold leaving the center empty.
Steam 26 minutes at 85 ° C

Ciambotta (vegetable mixture)
5 gr onion
12 gr eggplant
16 g zucchini
5 gr red bell peppers
5 gr yellow peppers
10 gr potatoes
30 g ripe tomatoes
1 mint leaf
3 basil leaves
10 gr ricotta (To be added to the cooked ciambotta later)
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 gr mozzarella sauce to put on top

Cut all the vegetables into small pieces. Sauté the onion in the oil and start cooking the vegetables starting with the firmest ones. Once ready place the mixture, along with the fresh ricotta into the cheese mold. Place in the oven for 3 minutes at 80 ° C. Serve accompanied with the a little of the ciambotta on the side.

Le Colonne
Via Nazionale Appia, 7-13

81100 Caserta
0823 467494

Rossidisera, November 5th, La Locanda del Bu, Nusco (Av)

Chef Antonio Pisaniello and his wife Sommelier Jenny Auriemma have put together an incredible series entitled Rossidisera (Reds of the Evening). This Friday,November 5 Jenny has chosen the Azienda Agricola Boccella from Castelfranci (Av) to sit side by side a 5 course meal prepared by Chef Pisaniello.

The cost is 40 Euro (wines included).

For more information, contact La Locanda di Bu at 0827 64619 or 392 26 03 952