Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Baked Fish with Potatoes - Pesce Arrosto al Forno con Patate

Baked Fish with potatoes is a light dish but tasty at the same time.

Any firm-fleshed fish such as fresh cod, red snapper or thick flounder will do.  
We prefer Fresh Cod.  While it's rich in vitamins and minerals, the calorie count remains low.




Baking dish large enough to accommodate both the fish and the potatoes in one layer
1-1/2 pound fish fillet
3 red potatoes, peeled, and cut into very thin slices
1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
4 or 5 fresh parsley sprigs (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Sea salt
Black pepper



Preparation
    1. 1. Turn on the oven to 400°F. 
    1. 2. Wash the fish fillet, and pat it dry with paper towels.
    2. 3. Place the fish fillet in the center of the baking dish, pour half of the olive oil over it.  Scatter half of the parsley and garlic cloves, salt, and pepper over the fish.
    1. 4. Add the thin slices of potatoes around the fish fillet.  Sprinkle the remaining parsley and garlic over them.  Add the remaining oil over the potatoes.  With a fork, toss the potatoes gently.
    1. 5.  Bake for 30 minutes or so.
    1. 6.  If you like crisp potatoes like we do, place the baking dish under the broiler for few minutes.
    1. Buon Appetito!

    1.  


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Chicken Sausages with Peppers and Parsley - Salsiccie di Pollo con Peperoni e Prezzemolo

After eating the bland chicken sausages from the grocery store, I decided to make my own.


Chicken meat is very lean, and there has to be something added to the sausage to ensure good taste and texture.
I prefer using chicken thighs over chicken breasts.   The breasts are far to dry and bland.



Chicken has a very mild flavor, but sausages made with chicken do not need to be bland. Its mildness makes poultry ideal for mixing with spices, herbs, and other flavors.




Recipe:

3 lbs. chicken thighs
2 cups chopped parsley
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 small chopped red onion
1 cup chopped fresh peppers (I prefer chiles)
Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
Grind the chicken thighs
Add the spices and herbs and mix well
Stuff immediately into casings.










Saturday, March 2, 2019

Patate con buccia al Forno e Peperoni Arrostiti - Baked Potatoes with skins and Roasted Peppers

Baked potatoes with golden peel, crispy outside and soft inside for a side dish that goes well with everything.
Start with roasted peppers. This can be done ahead.


I use both russet and red potatoes. Allow 1 russet and one red potato per person.
  1. Preheat oven at 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and dry the skin.
  3.  Cut potatoes in half.
  4. Place each half directly on oven rack.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and place directly into a large bowl.
  6.  Roughly cut the baked potatoes with the help of a fork and knife.
  7. Combine the potatoes with roasted peppers.  Add fresh parsley and garlic, salt and pepper and a good amount of olive oil.
  8. Mix well and serve immediately.










Saturday, January 26, 2019

FRITTATA aka OMELET

No time to cook, make a frittata, Italian version of an omelet. It is very healthy, tasty and quick to make too.

They are delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner!   They are super-versatile, one can add fresh vegetables,  meats or cheeses – the choice is yours!

A good frittata is perfect steaming hot, or at room temperature the next day.  We take for lunch, at a picnic, to the beach or on the road.



Asparagus Frittata For Two:

4 tablespoons of olive oil

8 oz. asparagus – woody ends trimmed off and cut into 2-3 inch pieces

4 eggs – beaten (season with salt and pepper)

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese – grated

In an 8 inch non-stick pan add olive oil.  Add asparagus and gently saute' over medium heat until just starting to soften.  About 15 minutes.
Pour beaten eggs over asparagus and let cook till set around the edges.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  Flip once and continue to cook few more minutes. 


Onions and Pepper Frittata
Onions and Pepper Frittata
Frittata for One

2 eggs
1 red hot pepper chopped (friers - frying peppers)
1 green sweet pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper

In a small, non-stick pan, add olive oil, chopped peppers and onion, saute' over medium flame about 10 minutes turning often not to burn. Lightly beat eggs, add to peppers and onions. When egg mixture firms up, flip over once, cook few more minutes and serve.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

CHIACCHIERE (small talk) What's the Gossip About?

During Carnevale delightful, sweet, crispy strips known as chiacchiere are seen throughout bakeries in Italy.  They are fried treats that go by many names: 
Cenci, Crostoli, Frappe, Cioffe


They are also made in different shapes: squares, sheets, strips, diamonds, knots and twisted ribbon. 

Recipe

3 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup whisky or sambuca
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Confectioner's sugar

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, salt and whisky until well blended.  Sift flour with baking powder and add gradually to batter until a stiff dough forms.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Divide dough in half; roll each half as thin as possible (noodle thickness).  Cut into strips (5" x1") with a scalloped pastry wheel.

Preheat oil to 375 degrees.  Fry cookies few at a time for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Dust with confectioner's sugar.  Yields about 4 or more dozens.

What makes this timeless pastry truly heavenly and addictive is their light and crisp texture, which pairs beautifully with a coffee and dessert wine.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Artichokes and Fava Beans - Carciofi e Fave

 

Carciofi e fave is an ancient dish, spread a little in all parts of Italy, but my recipe is a typical dish of Abruzzo, which was prepared in late spring, when all the vegetables used were fresh and available. 

If the fresh fava beans are not available or too costly, I substitute frozen ones.



Ingredients
1 lemon
6 baby artichokes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red liquid gold or red pepper flakes in oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 pounds fresh young fava beans, shelled or frozen
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper

Directions

Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into a bowl of water. Trim the artichokes to the hearts.  Remove the choke, cut the artichokes into 1/4-inch thick slices, then toss the slices into the lemony water.



In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onion and garlic. Sweat the vegetables in the oil until they are soft and just golden brown. Add the fava beans and stir to mix well. Drain the artichoke slices then add to the pan with the favas.* Add the liquid gold or red peppers flakes in oil and mix well.  Add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer gently. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Carciofi e Fave

* When using frozen fava beans, I cook them separately by boiling them in water until tender.  Drain and add to the cooked artichokes.  Mix well and cook for few more minutes.

You may also like Dandelions and Fava Beans - Cicoria e Fave

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Italian Weddings, Confetti and Memories




Sugared almonds (Confetti in Italian) always embodies the indivisibility of the new wedded couple.  Always given in uneven numbers (five), white confetti mean fertility, longevity, health, wealth and happiness.

Many years ago, there was a popular ritual of throwing sugared almonds by the wedded couple from the balcony.  After the religious ceremony, the couple went back to the house and threw confetti to friends and relatives gathered under the balcony for the celebration.  There was never a shortage of children who rushed to collect the confetti.  I remember, few people even came with umbrellas.



Today, confetti are given to guests in the form of wedding favors.  They are tucked into pretty boxes called

bomboniere

that are personalized with the couple's names and wedding date.






 wedding favors




wedding-flowers-and-favors