sabato 15 gennaio 2011

Pitoni alla Messinese

Due to many (MANY!) friends waiting for their photos to be uploaded on Facebook, the first 2011 recipe is the "Pitone", sort of fried bread dough bags filled with cheese and endive lattuce and anchovies or ham, a typical and most appreciated dish from Messina, Sicily.
Andrea, this dearest friend of mine, traditionally hosts a "Pitonata" at his beautiful house every 26th of December.

Andrea's mom, as a perfect directress, puts the most ready and willing guests at work and this year they produced more than 300 pitoni for about 30 or 40 people! My role was the best: just taking photos and eat!
But please, come in!

6 people (but probably Andrea's quantities were for 60!):
for the dough (please consider that good reasults can be obtained with bread dough as well):
  • 500 grs of flour
  • a cube of brewer's yeast
  • 50 grs of lard or pork fat
  • a full spoon of salt

for the filling:
  • 50 grs of salty anchovies
  • 500 grs of curly endive
  • 200 grs of "tuma" (I donnow how to translate it, it's a fresh chees easy to find in Sicily), alternatively, any other cheese that melts easily is good as well
  • black pepper
  • abundant olive oil or good quality seed oil
Warm up some water in a casserole (it shouldn't boil) and melt yeast and salt in it. Put the flour on a table like in volcano shape, add slowly the water and mix carefully. Add the lard and go on mixing. If necessary, add water and/or flour. Wrap it up in a cloth and let it rest for one hour at least.

In the meanwhile, cut the cheese into little cubes and the endive in little pieces and season it with a few olive oilput both in containers easy to reach.
Spread the dough (that's a hard job, best suited for guys)

and cut it into small circles, the size of  a medium dish circa. You can use it to measure, as Roberta's doing in the picture.
In one half put a tuft of endive, 3 or 4 pieces of anchovies and enough cubes of cheese, then close it as Roberta again is courteously showing in the picture. If necessary, wet the borders in order to make them sticky. By the way, a variation really appreciated provides for just ham and cheese.

 When all are ready
be careful that your younger son wears an apron and start frying in abundant hot oil.

Wait till they get golden... eat!

Perfect way to get friends smiling.

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