- Separate eggs and to the egg whites add the tapioca and cream of tarter. Set aside while preparing crust.
- Mix ingredients for the crust together (works best when done by hand) and press into pie pan.
- Beat eggs until foamy, and while beating, slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff.
- Cut berries in half or leave whole and gently mix with the egg whites.
- Pour into crust and bake in a 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
We can trace the term "cottage pie" back to the 1790's when the potato was first introduced as an edible, and affordable, food source for those of modest means. It began as a rudimentary peasant dish which utilized any type of leftover meat stylishly dressed inside a mashed potato crust.
The term "shepherd's pie" first appeared in 1877, and it specifically alluded to the use of mutton, or lamb, as the pie's primary meat ingredient (hence the name shepherd).
Over the course of time, the name "Shepherd's Pie" has become synonymous with "Cottage Pie" regardless of whether the principal meat used in its preparation is beef or mutton. For the sake of historical accuracy and tradition, I'll refer my version of the dish, that listed below which utilizes beef, as cottage pie.
Struffoli are a holiday favorite for many Italian families, particularly at Christmas and Easter. They originated from the Naples area of Italy, which throughout history has been influenced by a variety of peoples including, Roman and Greek. In fact, the name is derived from the Greek word, “strongulos” which translates to “round in shape”.
Easy to make, these sticky and sweet, ball-shaped treats make a tasty and colorful addition to any holiday menu. Who knows, they may well become your tradition.
Growing up in an Italian home during the holiday season, was truly a celebration and a time for joy. There were many traditions we followed and grew to love, as well as those we'd forever associate with the holiday itself.
For me, regardless of the distance I seem to travel from my roots with each passing year, I cannot think of a Christmas past without envisioning a plate of Struffoli adorning a table as a welcoming gesture to each holiday visitor.
That association takes me back to my most cherished childhood memories and never fails to incite the warmth of deep nostalgia within me. Funny how a simple food can do that.
For those that do not know, Struffoli are essentially little, deep fried balls of dough, roughly the size of marbles. They are coated with honey and although traditionally dressed in a variety of manners, the most popular is with nonpareil sprinkles, and less frequently, cinnamon and bits of orange rind.
It was also popular because it could be made cheaply with items grown in the backyard such as escarole, onions and parsley. Meals like this came about during lean times and became a staple in Italian households, not by choice but by necessity. Perhaps on a Sunday or a special occasion, the dish would be elevated in status with the addition of a few meatballs or sausage, or perhaps even, small soup pasta like ditalini or farfalline.
Today, soups like Scarola e Fagioli have become fashionable menu items within the trendiest restaurants nationwide. Few realize the dish found its humble beginnings as essentially, a peasant food amongst immigrants trying to make a life in a new world. For me, that journey makes the taste all the richer.
One of those occasions I've chosen to adapt available ingredients is with the preparation of Callaloo.
Callaloo, is a popular dish served throughout the Caribbean who's origins can be traced to West Africa. Brought to the West Indies by slaves centuries ago, its preparation differs from island to island. The one constant, however, is that the main ingredient is always a leafy vegetable.
To complicate matters, the very name "Callaloo" is often implied as the leafy vegetable itself, as opposed to the dish, and that differs from island to island as well.
In Jamaica and Guyana, Callaloo refers to amaranth. In Trinidad and Tobago, callaloo is the taro leaf, or the dasheen bush. Outside of those islands, it is not unusual to see water spinach utilized as callaloo.
So again, I was faced with choices, and since I don't have any West Indies markets close at hand, I had to decide which options would take me closest to the essence of the traditional dish. I chose to emulate the Trinidad variety.
I will say, I've had callaloo on numerous occasions throughout the Caribbean in all its glorious incarnations. I can assure you with complete certainty, this recipe stands up well against any of them. Enjoy!