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Cibo del Ciraulo - July 1987

My dad's first food article was titled simply 'Cibo del Ciraulo' and was published in The Lion (a NATO publication) in July of 1987.  My father was stationed at NATO headquarters in Naples, Italy from 1982-1987, and stayed another three years following his retirement in 1987.

Cover of The Lion Magazine, AFSouth, JFC NATO, May 1987 Photo by Boyd Belcher, USAF

My dad's publications always seemed to start in July, and of course presently it is the tail end of January, so I hope to eventually 'catch up' and have his articles match the current season, as a lot of what he writes about is seasonal.

Cibo means food in Italian, and Ciraulo is our family name, so the translation is 'Ciraulo's Food'.

It began with a forward from 'The Editor', whose name I don't currently know, but if I find out I will add it here.

This is the first of a series of monthly articles dedicated to the wines and foods, restaurants and unparalleled hospitality of the Southern Region.  The author, Bob Ciraulo, an American-Italian, and the son of Sicilian immigrants, grew up in the shadow of his grandfather's "Palermo" bakery in San Francisco, California.  Always interested in foods and how to best present them, he has been an avid innamorato of subsistence for over 30 years.  Bob has lived and traveled throughout Europe for over 14 years and is currently a Plans Officer with P&P Division, HQ AFSouth.  He is also the founder and president of Naples International Ski Club, "SCI MARCO" (NATO's only Gourmet Ski Club).   - The Editor 

And so we begin ,,,

***

Cibo del Ciraulo

by LTC Bob Ciraulo, USA

It's July once again, and the balmy breezes have returned.  The beaches are beckoning - the windsurfers have cleaned off their boards - the skiers have hung up their skis - the young girls are sporting tans (burns?)  - even the VCR'ers have rewound their tapes.  For what? And old-fashioned cook-out, Southern Region style.  So for those who want to add a little dignity to an otherwise mundane Bar-B-Q, I would like to present three rather simple grill recipes for your family Cook-Out or "Beach Bash".

FLANK STEAK (American)
(Serves 4)
-Trim membrane and excess fat.
- Marinate overnight in 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup red wine, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 1 teaspoon ground whole peppercorns.
- Broil quickly (over hot coals) allowing 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Carve on the diagonal in 1/4 inch slices.
NOTE: Cold beer is super with Flank Steak dishes.

MARINATED LEG OF LAMB (Greek)
(Serves 10)
- Have the butcher remove the bone (or if you're clever with a boning knife, do it yourself).
- Marinate overnight with 1 large onion, finely chopped, the juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground peppercorns, 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano.
- Grill over medium coals according to size for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
NOTE:  Most people tend to overcook lamb and in the process miss its true flavor and tenderness.  Lamb (in its ultimate) should be served between rare and medium rare.

KÖFTE (Turkish) 
(Serves 4 to 6)
- 3 pieces of bread (without crust)
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin
- 1 large grated onion
- 1 cup water
- 1 raw egg
- 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef, lamb, or combination
- 1/2 teaspoon Köfte Bahari (or substitute paprika)

Soak bread in water.  When thoroughly soaked, remove and squeeze by hand.  In large bowl. mix all ingredients and knead until well mixed.  Divide in 24 pieces and roll each in the palm of your hand to make them round, then press them into a flattened oval shape.  Grill over medium coals.
NOTE: If you've attended or plan to attend the Annual Bazaar at the AOC, Köfte is the traditional Turkish grill that has been the "Gourmet Delight" for all who attend.

Next month:  Gelateria Supremo




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Welcome to il Cibo del Ciraulo

This blog is dedicated to my father, and his great love of food.

A career Army officer, he was also a misplaced chef.  Upon his retirement in Italy he wrote a regular food article for The Lion, a NATO publication, and then when he returned to the US, self-published a food and travel 'zine for many years.  He also published a cookbook for his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

I have hard copies of all his writings, which is a treasure, but would like to save them in another format, and also share them with the world.  They are wonderful and insightful and I feel that while he is no longer he with us, he would love the idea of his love for food being able to reach new people via this technology which unfortunately did not exist readily when he was alive.

Upon his death, he was also in the process of writing a cookbook. I believe his notes still exist in some format in his home office, which has largely remained untouched.  It would be my greatest hope to be able to collect and pub…