Lisa MushawA new generation doyenne on the rise who is staking her claim in the lofty arenas of international travel, tourism and the culinary arts, Lisa Mushaw is making transatlantic waves with TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE. TREASURES launched in November 2002 as a one-week vacation abroad with a twist – a cooking program where participants are given extensive exposure to Italian cuisine while discovering the physical beauty and traditions that are uniquely Tuscan. The idea was to offer “foodies” an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultural, personal and convivial rites that are the Tuscan Table, while basking in the charm of one of the world’s most exquisite and historic treasures. Lisa is a “natural taster” who cut her culinary teeth in the kitchen of relatives who excelled in the preparation of Creole cuisine. As a child, long before she knew the difference between battuto and affogato, she demonstrated a natural talent for discerning which ingredients were missing or used in excess in recipes. Her culinary gifts are no accident as her family roots include small business owners who made their living as caterers in New Orleans. A fervent student of food and wine, Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was completing a three year sommelier program. TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE is ideal for those with a passion for continental adventure who want to escape the drama of daily life and be transformed by a week in Florence – the center of the Renaissance, the Etruscan city of San Gimingnano or the medieval town of Lucca, creating memories that will last for years on end. Those who bask in attention to detail, pampering and personal service will want to join Lisa for the this extraordinary excursion to Toscana, the Italian province rich in beauty and character and the birthplace of much great Italian art, cuisine, and history.
Lisa Mushaw: Hi, I am Lisa Mushaw, owner of Treasures of Tuscany, an Epicurean Voyage. Today, we are talking about preparing Papaalpomodoro. Papaalpomodoro is tomato and bread soup. Right now, we are sauting the garlic and we are going to get ready to put the chopped tomatoes into the garlic-olive oil mixture.
So, all I am going to do is take my already chopped tomatoes and put them in. Turn this down, just a little bit, take it off the oven. And sometimes that happens. If your heat just gets too high, turn it down, take your pan off the stove and let it cool off for a second and then just simply put your pan back on the stove.
And you are going to go ahead now, and put the basal in and this is two bunch of the basal and like I told you earlier, I am a big basal fan so a little extra basal isn t going to hurt anything. And you simply just going to tear off the leaves and put them in.
This is cooking down so if you want to tear them and break them up even further, please feel free to do so, but you certainly don t have to. But you do want to make sure that you do not get the stems in there. So I am just pulling the leaves off the stem and throwing it into the dish. And the basal too has a wonderful smell, right now, you really can smell the garlic and the olive oil and the tomato and the basal. And the great thing too is, reason that you do not want to use too much garlic in this recipe is because you do not want it to overpower the rest of the ingredients. In Tuscany, that s a big thing, they don t over salt and they don t over garlic. Like we have it, and say sometimes to do here in the stage. They want to be able to taste each ingredient that you are using. And then we are going to be able to do that right here, all right.
So, I have used my bunch of basal and now I am just going to stir, I am going to just go ahead and stir the basal into the tomato and garlic mixture. And then this is going to saut and cook down for about 20-25 minutes and so, all the tomatoes are crushed and it s almost looking like a soup. The tomatoes will be liquefied.
And at this point also, I am going to go ahead and add the salt and pepper. You get a salt and pepper to taste and again like I said earlier, I believe in layering, so right now I am putting in pepper and salt and I will do it again towards the end, when we are adding the bread mixture. Okay, and I am going to stir this in a little bit. Also this is optional, but when you are cooking with tomatoes a lot times, the acid can be a little bit too high and I don t want to make this into a sugary dish by any such imagination, but to add just a pinch of sugar and I do mean just a pinch, just to balance out some of the acid, it s not bad then. So, now I am going to stir this thing again, and then we are just going to go ahead and let this cook down like I said earlier, for about 20-25 minutes.