Friday, September 30, 2011

Three to Tango! - Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake

Okay, I admittedly have a sentimental attachment to cannoli cake. After all, it shows up at every celebration, and sometimes for no reason at all.. But, after cannoli cake, tres leches is my second favorite, hands down!  This version combines the Southern classic, Red Velvet Cake with a Spanish classic, Tres Leches.  Top with a lightly sweetened  cinnamon whipped cream for a little extra decadence!  Aww, heck, why not?!

Peppers and Italian Sausage!

The historic Mediterranean struggle against hunger resulted in a vast repertoire of fresh, dried, and salted sausages and cured meats. Although the origin of sausages is to be found in the classical period, if not earlier, it was during the Middle Ages that sausage-making abounded. Salt meat often took the form of sausages, and the sausage peddler in Italian towns was a familiar character.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Seared Chicken with a Sage&Walnut Gorgonzola Sauce

Grilled foods are one of the signatures of Tuscany!

On a bed of Italian Baby Zucchini. Topped with Grilled Pear/Walnut and Radish Sprouts Salad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mulberry Street Meatballs

Nothing says Sunday like a fantastic meatball!


2 pounds of  ground beef (80/20)
2  pounds  of ground pork
1 loaf of day old bread  (torn into small pieces)
Organic tomatoes from my garden 2011
1 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, (grated)
2 eggs (beaten)
½  cup of milk ( or a little more, if needed to soak bread)
4-5 cloves of garlic, (minced finely, or pushed through a garlic press)
2 cups of plain breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon of sea salt
¼ cup  of fresh parsley, (chopped finely)
1 tablespoon of chili pepper flakes


1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) In a very large mixing bowl, mix ground beef and ground pork together with your hands.  In a separate bowl, combine the bread pieces, milk, grated cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and mash with a fork. Mixture will be like a mush.

3.) Add to meat mixture, then add beaten eggs and mix thoroughly.  Do not over mix or meatballs will be too dense.

4.) Heat a skillet pan on medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Pour breadcrumbs into a wide, shallow bowl.

5.) Form the meat mixture into meatballs and then roll in the dry breadcrumbs.

6.)  Quickly fry until browned, turning often to ensure even cooking. This should take about 6-7 minutes.  You just want to brown the outsides, as they will finish off in the oven in a baking pan. Remove from pan and set on a paper towel -lined plate.

7.) Line a baking pan with as many meatballs as you can fit and bake for another 25-30 minutes.  Check for doneness, as oven vary.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

White Peach Clafoutis


1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup of cherries, blueberries, peaches, etc...
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine in a bowl the flour, salt, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Process for about 45 - 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the batter is completely smooth, dump in the fruit and give a couple stirs. Not too much. You can also drop some fruit right on top for a pretty presentation.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rustic Breakfast Flatbreads Trio

A great way to use up leftover greens!

1.) Egg & Greens (Joe Morelli Style) with fried egg 2.) Caramelized Onions & Zucchini 3.) Greens & Beans with Cherry Tomatoes. (egg not shown for last two pizzas.) Pizza della bianco with garlic and sharp provolone cheese.

Egg & Greens Pizza was made using leftover greens.  So delizioso!!!

Italian Greens ~ A leftover's best friend!

Utica Greens (Deluxe Version)

·        3 heads of escarole(rinsed)
·        2 tablespoons of olive oil
·        2 cloves of garlic (pushed through a garlic press)
·        5-8 Hot cherry peppers (roughly chopped; quantity depending on how much heat you like)
·        5 -7 slices of Prosciutto, torn into 2 inch pieces
·        1 cup of plain bread crumbs, (not Italian.)
·        1 cup of artichoke hearts (quartered)
·        2 cups of mini Portobello mushrooms, (quartered)
·        ¼ cup of grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano) optional, but who doesn’t love cheese??

1. Cut the bottom of each escarole head, and chop into large (4 square-inch sized) pieces.  Steam the escarole in a wire basket over a large pot of boiling water (2 inches of water) for about 7-8 minutes, or until limp and still a bit firm.  It will reduce greatly as it steams. (Do not boil the romaine, as it may get to mushy)
2. Meanwhile, in a 12 in skillet, crisp the prosciutto, first.  Next, add the hot cherry peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, and garlic on low heat in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil
3. Next, with tongs, remove the escarole from the wire basket and add it to the sauté and toss, turning quite a bit so the ingredients incorporate.
4. Sprinkle in the bread crumbs liberally and toss, thoroughly.  (The breadcrumbs give a nice, fuller- bodied texture you want.)
5. Sprinkle in the grated cheese and toss again.
6.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes, so the dish can blossom.