Sunday, September 26, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Grilled Meatball and Sausage Skewers and Anna Sultana's Fenek bit-tewm u bl-Imbid (Rabbit with garlic and wine, Maltese Style)

Like Julia Powell's latest book Cleaving wasn't bad enough.  
I had to go to the source - Julia Powell's Julie & Julia.
What the hell's the matter with me?
I'm still under the influence of her obsession.

I have a cleaver, but I'm not about to split bones and scoop beef marrow out of them.  
No recipe's that good.  

I just wanted a nice simple meat recipe.  Carmela must have had days like this.  Found it!!  The perfect thing in Entertaining with The Sopranos for an autumn day - Grilled Meatball and Sausage Skewers.  

It's your basic shish kebob.  Italian pork sausages cut into 1-inch pieces, red onions cut into wedges and meatballs.  Again with the ground sirloin!  

There were 2 good hints: 
Don't make the meatballs larger than 1 1/2-inch, or they'll break apart on the skewers.
Cover and chill the prepared skewers 30 minutes to allow the meatballs to firm up. 

Easy.  done.  Tasty.

Yesterday Paul and I watched a bush bunny munching on the grass in our back yard.  Pop would've loved it.  He had a soft spot - right about where his stomach was - for rabbits.  He was also fascinated by seeing the fish swim by the Red River shore when we walked with him at the Forks. 

Pop loved ready, available food on the hoof, foot or fin. 

In 1973 Paul and I lived in Surrey, British Columbia.  My family came up for a visit.  I tried to be a good Maltese hostess.  But I couldn't find rabbit at our local market.  When I told Pop about the rabbit situation, he said not to worry.  

The next morning Pop got up before the rest of us and went for a little walk.  After Paul left for work, Pop came back with a rabbit.  When I asked, he shot me one of those Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies looks, like he usually did when he'd bring home something that had fallen off a truck.
My 18-year-old sister - picture Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinnie - and my 16-year-old brother, a hefty Al Pacino type, were New York born and bred.  
They'd seen it all.  
All I heard from them was, "OOO... Look at the cute widdle bunnie!!!"  

They'd never made the connection between cute little furry beings and the main dinner course.  I got the garlic and started chopping.  I didn't want to get attached.  
Pop stood it for as long as he could but, as dinner time approached, he figured enough was enough already.  It was time to get the cute little bunny ready for his starring moment.  Pop wanted the fruit of his loins to give him a hand.  Maybe he thought it would be some kind of family bonding experience.  

He had a plan: George would hold the bunny, Pop would knock it out and slit it down the middle and Rose would skin it.  

Well, a trip to Disneyland it wasn't.  
It took my siblings a few minutes to realize what was about to happen to Mopsie the bunny.  When they understood that, 'No, we won't be needing a little hutchie wutchie for our little bunnie wunnie', well, it wasn't what I'd call a Kodak moment.
Rose and George - who could cheerfully face a New York mugger and give him what for - raced to my bedroom and locked the door.  

Okay...  The show must go on.  
Pop went to plan B.  Like an understudy after the star'd come down with the flu, I'd go from garlic chopper to rabbit killer.  
I couldn't take the sudden promotion.  I ran and pounded on my bedroom door. 
"Let me in," I yelled. 
"You're the oldest," they yelled back.
Realizing that living in North America had made their children wimps, Ma helped Pop prepare Mopsie for dinner.
Paul had been at work while Mopsie had come and gone, as it were.  He just saw cooked meat and had seconds.  
Rose, George and I filled up on garlic and pasta.  
Paul said it was great.  He wanted me to make it a regular part of our diet.  

It was the first time Pop actually approved of his new son-in-law.  
Mopsie didn't die in vain.    

Would I make the Italian shish kebobs.  Sure.  With lean ground beef.

God bless multiculturalism.  Rabbit is now in stores.

Another recipe down.  Forty-four more to go.

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