Thursday, June 9, 2011


Food Crawling with Fritcialing's!
Sound it out!  Fritch -ah- ling! lol and no, it's not a bad word!
When I was growing up my mother would make some dishes that were so simple, sometimes using what was left over from a previous meal. In our house nothing went to waste. It was just her way. She grew up in Italy and was deprived of food. Later on in life she felt the need to make sure we would never be without food, and I have to say that we always had  abbondanza! (plenty)
My mother's parents left Italy, one at a time, to come to America. My grandfather came first, and when he earned enough money he sent for my Grandmother,  Sabina. (we called her Nona Vera.) 
My mother was left in Torino,  Northern Italy with an Aunt and Uncle  along with her two siblings. My mother, Ottavia, was the oldest in her family, and became the matriarch of her little family at the young age of 12.  By the time she was 14 she had become a Partisan, doing what ever she had to do. Sometimes that meant stealing food and other times it meant bombing German trains. She did not have an easy life.
from left to right Frank, Josie and Ottavia 

From what we were told, my mother and her siblings were not always treated fairly by her relatives that they were left with. They were treated as if they were a burden. And I suppose that they were. Food was sparse during the war and the relatives were stuck with three more mouths to feed, probably wondering how they were going to feed themselves. 
My grandparents sent the money to help defray the cost of food for their family, but sometimes the money wasn't spent on food for them.   This is how my mother learned to make something out of nothing.
Today our food crawl is about Fritcialings! 
I know, it's not a word, and if you ask anyone who grew up in my neighborhood, they'll know what a fritcialing is and they'll want one!
The root word is probably frittata.
These were always made with some left over spinach and rice.
I never saw my mother measure anything for these. For that matter, I never saw her measure anything unless she was baking!  I hope my measurements will help you a little. 

about 2 cups rice
about 3 cups of cooked spinach
6 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for pan frying
In a bowl mix up the spinach and rice . 
Add eggs
mix it all up and add the cheese

Now you can stop at this step  and have a nice vegetarian fritcialing, or you can add some meats to the mixture. My mother added what ever she had on hand, it might have been a piece of chicken, or a piece of steak, nothing went to waste.
I had steak made with mushrooms and onions left over from the other night.  They went into the food processor and I hit pulse a few times.

I used an ice cream scoop to form the patties.

Pan fry the fritcialings for 5 - 6 minutes on each side, on medium heat until they are a nice brown color.

My brother, Mark and a childhood friend, Ed loved eating these with ketchup! I say, no way to that!
I usually have to hide these if I want to serve them with dinner.  I, can be very satisfied with one or two of these and a nice salad.

Buon Appetito

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