Italian Recipes – Straining the Bread for Panzanella

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,274
    Culinary and Lifestyle Specialist Lisa Mushaw demonstrates how to strain the bread for Panzanella.

    Lisa Mushaw

    A 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 preparing Panzanella. Panzanella is tomato and bread salad.

    Right now we are straining the bread that we had sitting in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. So, what I did was I went ahead and poured the bread water into a strainer and I am just going to show you how we do this. I literally, I am just going to be pushing all the bread down trying to get the water to strain out of it and you really just like a kid have to gets your hands in here and squeeze out as much water as you possibly can, like so, and its just bread, dont be afraid of it, you just keep pushing as you can hear it until all the water, or not all the water but as much water as you can possibly get out is released. You just keep pushing and pushing and it will get there shortly.

    I remember the first time that I ever made this I thought I must be doing something wrong, this couldnt possibly work. Its going to be a messy solid, but the great thing is, is when you put this bread in the salad, people wondering what did you do to that salad? Its just enough to add great conversation and theyll never figure out that its bread; if anything they might think its cheese.

    So, here you go and I dont know if you can see this or not, I am going to tilt it for you to see, but as you can see a pretty much Ive gotten out, see how I am squeezing the bread. Theres not that much water left in here. So, this consistency is going to be fine to put in the salad.

    So, were going to leave this for just a moment while we continue on with the rest of the salad.

    And now I am going to show you how to chop tomatoes.