Cambrian: Opinion

Shalom, Salaam, Friede, Mir, Pokoj, Henva, Beke, Sulh . . .

Shalom, Salaam, Friede, Mir, Pokoj, Henva, Beke, Sulh, Vrede, Iri’ni, Paco, Ruaha, Iri, Perdamaian, Kapayapaan sa Mundo, Beannachtaí na Féile, Hauole Makahiki Hou; Pas and Pax Vobiscum.

Amani Duniani; Asomdwoe ä; Selam ä; Here ä; Mutenden; Lumana ä; Nye; Runyararo ä; Emirembe; and Ukuthula ä from the African nations.

No matter what the language, “Peace be with you all in the New Year from the Culinary Corner!”

As I bid adieu to 2012, I made a point of observing the Winter Solstice from the Cabrillo Club deck in Santa Barbara, during festivities for my niece’s marriage on the auspicious date they had chosen.

May Dina and Rocky Giannetta find hope in the New Year and their future as they begin their married life together. God blessed us all with the perfect weather for the occasion and pictures between incoming coastal storms!

With this column I also bid adieu to the series about the Mediterranean cruise, appropriately with dessert. Jane Tullo was among the many Cambrians who enjoyed the voyage and excursions, and we encountered each other up in Ericè where we were served cannoli (canolo in the singular form). I could tell it was not quite her cup of tea, so asked for her personal recipe to compare what we were served — a very large, very sweet, very dark confection.

Our guide had said that there are variations in taste even between the villagers’ version with the one served down in Palermo, where chocolate would be integral in the filling. Jane deduced that that there must have been cocoa powder in the pastry wrapping, as well as wine instead of the traditional brandy. This was so rich, it may well have been my once-in-a-lifetime treat!

Jane Tullo’s Cannol

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup lard

5 eggs

2 tblsp. brandy

Salad oil for frying


3/4 lb. cream cheese

3/4 lb. ricotta cheese

2 tblsp. heavy cream

Juice of one lemon

1 tblsp. granulated sugar

1/4 cup pistachio nuts

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour and sugar; cut in lard until crumbly. Add eggs and brandy; mix well. Let rest 1/2 hour. Heat deep fryer about half full with oil; heat to 350 degrees.

Roll dough into circles about 4-1/2 inch diameter. Roll each on a wooden dowel to overlap, sealing edges with water. Fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels, then remove from dowel with care.

Blend filling ingredients until creamy, then add nuts and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.

If you are planning such a wonderful dessert, plan on having lighter fare for canapés. I realize that I love goat cheese much better than the salty feta, so have had a lot of fun “playing” with that lately.

Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and topped with a pistachio are great finger food, but if you have plates, you can drizzle them with Italian Modena balsamic vinegar.

Goat cheese stuffed baby sweet peppers are colorful and wonderful, but go over the top if you slice them in half, add the cheese, place them in an olive oil sprayed dish, and top them with buttered panko crumbs. Heat in a 350-degree oven about 15 minutes until golden, and serve hot. They were even good cooled later. The best part of these canapés and dessert for your New Year’s party is that they can be prepared in advance so you can enjoy your guests.

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