Saturday, March 19, 2011


on march 19th
italians celebrate
st. joseph
in gratitude 

during a drought and subsequent famine
in sicily
the faithful prayed to st. joseph 
in hopes he would intervene

 when the prayers were answered
rain and a successful harvest
the people of sicily
vowed to give thanks
for eternity

you may find italians
wearing red
praying in churches
preparing the altar
abstaining from meat

you will also find this italian
enjoying sweets

this is a day of 

last year 
i dispensed sage advice
(if you want to read it, click here)
this year
you get a recipe
(you can buy them..there isn't a prize for the person who slaves over hot oil all day making these)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbs crisco or lard
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup marsala wine
1 egg--whisked with a bit of water
combine the flour, sugar, salt and lard together.  slowly add the marsala while kneading the dough. continue working the dough until it is well mixed and a rather hard dough is formed. cover with plastic wrap and let sit an hour and up to 3 hours. roll the dough out to 1/4" sheet and cut with a 4-5" round cutter.  quickly run a rolling pin over the rounds in 1 direction to form the rounds into ovals.
place a metal tube in the center of the oval and bring the sides up, overlapping enough to form the shell. brush seams with a bit of egg wash to seal.  
heat oil in a pot.  drop the shells a few at a time into the hot oil and fry until they are light brown and bubbly.  remove from oil and place on greaseproof paper. allow to cool long enough to handle, then slide the tube out and allow the shells to fully cool. 
1 1/2 lbs ricotta--drained to remove excess moisture
1/2 cup powdered sugar
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbs finely grated lemon peel
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mini  semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
mix all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to meld. filled cannoli shells tend to get a bit soft after time. if you want your shells to remain crispy, wait until you are ready to serve before filling them.
makes about a dozen

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tickled pink @504main


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