Mama’s Sicilian Sfinge from Jasper’s is Easy to Prepare and Tastyby Larry Cox on Sep. 02, 2010, under Uncategorized
Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook: Italian Recipes and Memories from Kansas City’s Legendary Restaurant by Jasper J. Mirabile, Jr. (Andrews McMeel, $19.99)
More than half a century ago, Leonardo Mirabile and his son, Jasper J. Mirabile, Sr., founded an Italian restaurant just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. The philosophy of Leonardo, Jasper, and later his grandson, Jasper, Jr. believed in the philosophy of eating and drinking well. Since 1954, that has been the main focus of the family business and it has built an international reputation for fine food and superb hospitality.
“Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook” is more than just a collection of recipes. It is a book that documents the rich, colorful history of the Mirabile family and how their hard work and delicious dishes earned the establishment the first restaurant in the city to win the coveted Mobile Four-Star rating for dining excellence. With Jasper Mirabile, Jr. now at the culinary helm, the honors have continued to come. It was named Kansas City’s Best Italian Restaurant by Zagat’s, captured a four-star rating from the Kansas City Star, and earned yet other four-stars from AAA.
In addition to the restaurants legendary recipes, Chef Jasper Mirable explains the origins of many of the dishes, some dating back to more than a century. He also shares ways to creature new variations on basic recipes, and lists resources for unique or hard-to-find foods and ingredients. All this is blended with interesting commentary, fascinating anecdotes, and culinary footnotes.
This is a wonderful collection and most of the recipes are user=friendly, even for the novice cook. I tested three recipes from this collection, Mama’s Sicilian Sfinge, a type of doughnut, Spinach Gnocchial Forno, which was a little tricky, and Pastry Custard, one of the signature dishes at Jasper’s.
Mama’s Sicilian Sfinge
1 c water
1 c all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 heaping Tbs solid vegetable shortening
Corn oil, for deep frying
Confectioners’ sugar for coating
Arizona honey, for serving
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the water is boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, salt, and shortening. Beat well with a fork. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Heat the oil to 350F in a deep fryer (use a candy thermometer for best results). Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sfinge batter into the hot oil and fry until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and drizzle honey on top. Serve hot.