Recipes to Sample:
Parmigiano-Reggiano is considered the king of Italian cheeses. It is savored alone or as an integral component to such beloved Italian dishes as risotto, pastas, soups and salads. So valued is the cheese that the 70-pound rounds are aged in high-security, temperature-controlled bank vaults—and yes, Parmigiano-Reggiano bank heists have happened. The cheese is cherished by Italians and is a mainstay of their diet, with only seven percent of the cheese's annual production set aside for export. Quality of the cheese is strictly monitored, and any cheese that falls short of the legislated standards is re-labeled as 'table cheese' by Parmigiano-Reggiano inspectors.
In Parmigiano!, cookbook author and cooking teacher Pamela Sheldon Johns takes readers to the heartland of Italy to the artisans' dairies to see how each round of Parmigiano-Reggiano is crafted. Detailing the history and geographical origins of the cheese, every step of the cheesemaking process, and how to store, age, buy and select it, Sheldon-Johns provides the first engaging, thorough, and practical guide to an age-old classic.
Parmigiano-Reggiano has many imitators, but no rivals. (Parmigiano is made in other countries, but has different flavors and textures, due to variations in cows' milk and processing standards.) Indeed, true Parmigiano-Reggiano can only come from Emilia-Romagna, the same region that gives the world Prosciutto di Parma and other fine Italian foodstuffs. In Parmigiano! each painstaking step in the cheesemaking process is chronicled by stunning color photographs; some 25 additional photos show the simple yet sophisticated dishes. Parmigiano!'s 50 recipes explore the heartiness as well as the nuances of the cheese in seven chapters, including,
Openers: Asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano Wrapped in Prosciutto; Parmigiano-Reggiano Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms;
Pastas: Spaghetti Carbonara; Penne with Roasted Beets and Beet Greens; and Fusilli with New Potatoes, Oven Dried Tomatoes, and White Beans;
Main Dishes: Grilled Tuna with White Bean and Parmigiano-Reggiano purée; Grilled Eggplant Parmigiano;
Baked Goods: Potato Focaccia with Red Onions and Parmigiano-Reggiano; Savory Parmigiano Biscotti;
Finishes: Italian Cheese Platter; Fragolini Parmigiani;
Basics: Building block recipes, including Pasta Dough; Zesty Tomato Sauce; and Pesto.
Resources: Where to go in Italy for the Parmigiano-Reggiano Festival, where to purchase and eat Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mail order services.
Don't be afraid to eat Parmigiano-Reggiano too often: it's lower in fat than most cheeses, and higher in protein and is intensely flavorful. with the recipes from Parmigiano!, you have yet another reason to indulge!
About the Author:
Pamela Sheldon Johns is a cookbook author, a cooking instructor, and the food editor of Santa Barbara Magazine. She is also program director for the Avignonesi Wine and Food Workshop in Tuscany. Her first book, the Healthy Gourmet Cookbook was a James Beard Cookbook Award nominee. She is currently working on several new cookbooks, including the forthcoming Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles: Vegetarian Cookbook. She travels to Italy frequently and writes about Italian food and wines for many national food publications.
by Pamela Sheldon Johns
(Color photography throughout)
$17.95, cloth, 112 pages, 8 3/4 x 8,
Ten Speed Press
September 15, 1997
Information provided by the publisher.
Copyright © 1997, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created 1997 and modified November 2006.
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