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Recipes from the Region of Umbria

Focaccia with Black Truffle Topping
When you can get fresh truffles you may want to enjoy them on top of fresh pasta as soon as you can! For those that you don’t use right away, you should shave the truffles, mix them with olive oil and freeze them in small bags. Another fantastic treat is warm focaccia topped with black truffle paste. Since truffles lose their aroma once cooked, spread the paste across the flatbread after it has been baked, and while it is still warm. Since it can be difficult to obtain fresh truffles, you can also make the focaccia using truffle paste, or tartufata sold in jars with very good results. You can buy a quality brand of tartufata in many specialty food stores.

focaccia-truffles
Ingredients Preparation
  • 5 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 additional tablespoons to oil bowl)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups warm water

Topping

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (3.2 ounce) jar of tartufata or 1 cup black truffle paste
  • coarse sea salt
Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water. Add everything except the water into a large bowl and stir. Add half the water and stir. Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a ball.

Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside. Roll the ball of dough around in the oil ensuring that the sides of the bowl and ball of dough are both lightly coated.

Cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a dampened kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size (about 90 minutes).

Lightly oil a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet with sides. Place the dough into the pan, punching it down to deflate it.
Use your fingers to push and press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Drizzle about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of your focaccia, and let it sit to rise again for 15 minutes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. After the focaccia comes out of the oven, spread the tartufata or truffle paste over the top. Let cool 10 minutes then slice, serve and enjoy!

Venison Tenderloin with Squash Flan, Umbrian Lentils and Escarole and Sauce
A traditional Umbrian meal often will have game meat, some form of lentils, greens, such as escarole and for a little extra flair - a vegetable flan! The berry sauce will add a touch of sweetness to balance the richness of the venison, while the lentils, escarole and flan will combine textures and flavors that will surely make this dinner a special one!

venison-tenderloin
Ingredients Preparation
  • 1 pound of venison tenderloin
  • 2 pounds of yellow squash
  • 3 oz cream
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 oz Umbrian lentils
  • 20 oz chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 12 crushed juniper berries
  • sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 head escarole, cleaned and stemmed
  • 4 oz Orvieto white wine
  • 3 oz honey
  • coarse salt
  • olive oil
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 small basket of blackberries
Squash Flan - Peel each squash, cut in half and remove the seeds. Roast in 300 degree oven until soft. Place the squash into a food processor and puree until smooth, then add the cream, lightly season with salt, add the eggs and blend again in until thoroughly mixed. It is then best if the mixture is then strained through chinoise. Coat muffin tins and fill with 2 ounces of mix. Bake in 250 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Lentils - Soften garlic and onions in olive oil.  Cook until translucent.  Add the lentils, thyme, salt and 2 cups of the chicken stock. Simmer until tender.

Escarole - Sauté escarole with olive oil and salt.  Add a bit of water to soften the escarole.

Venison - Season with the venison tenderloin with crushed juniper berries, salt and pepper.  Sauté with olive oil over high flame on all sides till golden brown.  Allow to rest for a minute and slice.

Sauce - Heat the honey until lightly boiling. Add the Orvieto wine and allow mixture to reduce to about ½ its volume. Add 4 ounces of chicken stock, bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce by about by 1/3. Add the blackberries and simmer until soft.


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