Thursday, March 28, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Insalata di Mare / Seafood Salad with Dressing (for 6 or 50)

Tomorrow is Good Friday.
Time for another fish recipe.

I really like the recipes in Charmaine Bucco's chapter, Cooking for the Whole Famiglia 
in her husband Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
Charmaine gives recipes for a regular crowd and for when you've invited all the
in-laws, cousins and relatives over.
As often happens during the holidays.
Like Easter.

Charmaine's recipe for Insalata di Mare is perfect as part of una bella mangiata.
A great meal.

If you have extra mussels, no problem.
They would be great in Carmela Soprano's Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

After the mussels have soaked, scrub them with a stiff brush to scrape off any barnacles or seaweed.
Discard any mussels with cracked shells, and those that don't close tightly when tapped.
Remove the beards by pulling them toward the narrow end of the shell.

The squid should be cleaned and prepared by cutting crosswise into 1/2 inch rings.

If you are making the salad ahead of time, toss with only half the dressing.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
Toss with the remaining dressing just before serving.

                        Insalata di Mare

Serves 6                                                                     Serves 50   

Place in cold water to cover
2 pounds mussels                                                        16 pounds
Let sit 30 minutes.
Drain and scrub them with a stiff brush (see above).
Place the mussels in a large pot with
1/2 Cup water                                                              1/2 Cup 
Cover and cook until the mussels open (about 10 minutes).
Discard any that refuse to open.

Half fill a large saucepan with                                       dutch oven
Bring to a simmer.
salt to taste
1 pound medium shrimp                                                8 pounds
Cook for 3 minutes.
Scoop out the shrimp and cool under cold running water.
Bring the water to a boil.
Drain the shrimp well.
Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Drop into the boiling water
1 pound squid                                                                8 pounds                                             
Cook about 1 minute.
Scoop out the squid and cool under cold running water.
Drain the squid well.

In a large bowl combine
the prepared shrimp and squid
1 Cup thinly sliced celery                                                8 Cups
1 Cup sliced pitted green olives                                       8 Cups

Whisk together
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil                                     2 1/2 Cups
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest                                1 1/2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste                      1 Cup, or to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley            1 Cup
2 garlic cloves, minced                                                     16
pinch of crushed red pepper                                          To taste

Pour the dressing over the salad mixture.
Toss well.
Taste for seasoning.

Garnish with 
1 lemon, cut into wedges                                              6

Would I make Insalata di Mare again?
Yes, especially for Christmas Eve.
It would be perfect as part of The Feast of the Seven Fishes.
I mean, it has three different forms of seafood already!!
Then there's the eel...

One recipe down.  Twenty-eight more to go.

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