‘Salumi’ – Cookbook of the Day

Slashfood ‘Salumi’ – Cookbook of the Day Filed under: New Products, Cookbook Spotlight
‘Salumi: Savory Recipes and Serving Ideas for Salame, Prosciutto and More’ John Piccetti and Francois Vecchio with Joyce GoldsteinChronicle Books — 2009Buy it at Amazon A couple years ago Slashfood sat before a monstrous plate of strange Italian salumi in Milan, blindly eating items that we only knew by the name “delicious.” In hindsight, we wish we had had this book to learn the actual names.
 “Salumi,” co-written by the owner of San Francisco’s cured-meat giant Columbus Foods, is one part history, one part encyclopedia and three parts cookbook with recipes for antipasti, snacks, first and main courses, and salads and vegetables. Can’t tell your cotechino from your sopressata? Consult the book. Not sure if you should eat that moldy casing? Consult the book. Need a way to dress up a lonely cucumber and carrot with salame? You guessed it … the book.
 Takeaway tips: Salumi should be made only with pork!
 Store salumi in butcher paper in the refrigerator. Toss the first slice you cut off a stored piece. Serve it in small portions. Salame is singular, salami is plural, salumi is the general Italian term for cured meats. Quality of pictures: Eye popping and mouth watering
 We tested: Pane per la Pizza (basic pizza dough) and Pizza Alla Pancetta, Porri e Formaggio (pizza with pancetta, leeks and GruyreThis is a traditional dough recipe, so allow time for it to rest, double in size and rest again. Slashfood (shame on us) didn’t read the recipe as we began to prepare it on a time crunch and had to fall back on a quick dough recipe to get us through the first pie. That said, by the third pizza, the dough was ready and it turned out breadier with more bite than our thin-crust standby.
 It was the blend of toppings, though, that were really yum-zow-bam good. The toppings are precooked — leeks sauteed in butter and seasoned with nutmeg, pancetta strips cooked long enough to render the fat — and meld deliciously with Gruyére for this “northern Italian pizza topping with a French accent.”
 Worth the investment: Yes, for lovers of all things cured, this book gives a good history and background on Italian-style salumi.
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