My grandmother Nicolina was from Salerno but her husband was Calabrese so this is how she made meatballs.
1 lb. mix of ground pork, veal and beef chuck
1 clove of garlic finely minced
2/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup of grated Parmigiana cheese
2 tbs. of olive oil
Salt and black pepper
A handful of chopped Italian parsley
5 tbsp. tomato sauce
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. It’s easier to mix the 3 meats first and then add the other ingredients. You can really only do it with your hands. Shape the mix into small balls (I use an ice cream scoop to get them the same size) and let them rest for 15 – 20 minutes. Fry them in a good amount of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan. Keep rolling them to brown on all sides. Drain and serve with tomato sauce. They’re very good plain too.
Try to stick to these simple ingredients. Don’t be tempted to add so-called “Italian” seasoning or garlic. This is a fresh tasting salad, and either of those would muddy the flavors.
Salt and black pepper
Red wine vinegar
Start by peeling and sectioning the orange. Use a blood orange if you can get one. Cut each section into 2 or 3 pieces. It’s easier if you use a scissor. Place the sections in the salad bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the oil and the 2 kinds of vinegar. A good ratio is 2 parts oil and 1 part vinegar. Use a mix of ½ red wine vinegar and ½ balsamic. Let the oranges macerate for 20-30 minutes to flavor the dressing.
Chickens as we know them are a human invention. The most common chicken species, Gallus gallus domesticus, owes its existence to the domestication of four species of wild jungle fowls, a group of colorful birds that once roamed the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. As early as 10,000 years ago, people began to keep these jungle-roaming creatures for everything from egg-laying to bird-fighting. Today, poultry is the second most common type of meat around the world after pork. But most contemporary chickens no longer enjoy the freedom of their distant cousins . . .
Michele was the chef at my Uncle Charlie’s restaurant, The Fisherman’s Wharf. This was one of my favorites.
Rinse the shrimp and blot them dry. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg with about two tablespoons of the milk. Dip the shrimp into the egg wash and drip off any excess. Coat with the breadcrumbs and place on a rack for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil to 375o. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a few breadcrumbs in the oil, and if it sizzles, it’s hot enough. Deep fry until golden.
Serve with lemon wedges and Heinz Chili Sauce on the side.
Between 1886 and 1942, the USDA’s Division of Pomology commissioned thousands of watercolor paintings. These beautiful illustrations helped establish a national register of plants and fruits that documented new varieties and issue research findings to growers and breeders throughout the country.
Why the USDA Hired Artists to Paint Thousands of Fruits
by ROHINI CHAKI
As a child in the mid-19th century, Deborah Griscom Passmore would clamber onto the wide stone windowsill of her ancestral home in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and paint watercolors of flowers and fruit using the juices from her subjects. Little did she know that one day she would be leading the project to create one of the most beautiful botanical archives in existence. . .
Sauté the pancetta in the oil. Remove it when it browns. Then add the onion, salt and pepper. Fry the onion until its softened. Add the garlic and tomato paste – stir and coat the onion. Then the bay leaf and the rest of the bottle of wine. Raise the heat and let it reduce – about 10 minutes.
Bring the pasta water back to a boil and cook the pasta until almost done. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir as it absorbs it. Add some pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Stir in the browned pancetta, the butter, parsley and Parmigiana. Check for seasoning. Serve with more grated Parmigiana.
Chicken with Vinegar, Raisins, and Onions – An interesting combination of flavors – with kind of a sweet and sour finish.
Boil the onions in salted water for about 5 minutes. Remove and place them in a bowl. Fry the pancetta in a pot until it browns. Remove and place it in a separate bowl.
Add the boiled onions to same pot with the pancetta fat and cook until they begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with pancetta.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the chicken to pot starting skin side down and cook, turning, until browned. Transfer to bowl with onions.
Pour off the fat from pot and return to medium-high heat. Add both vinegars to the pot and bring to a boil and deglaze. Add broth, raisins, bay leaves, browned chicken thighs, pancetta, onions, and garlic to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is fork-tender, 25 – 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken and onions to a platter. Continue cooking the sauce for another few minutes so it reduces. Spoon the sauce over chicken and onions and serve with pasta or rice.
Saint Joseph is highly regarded by Italians and we celebrate his feast day on March 19th. Like a lot of other Italian celebrations, his feast day centers on food. A standard is the Saint Joseph’s pastry – zeppole and sfingi – made by Italian bakeries in March. Another is Pasta con Sarde, with a sauce made from saffron, fennel and fresh sardines.
There’s a popular sit-com called The Big Bang Theory. One of the characters, Raj, can’t talk to a woman unless he’s had a drink. His drink of choice, of all things, is a Grasshopper. I’ve heard of them but never had one, so I thought I’d try it.
It’s a simple three-ingredient cocktail –
You put all the ingredients together, shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. You get a pretty green drink that I suppose is the same color as a grasshopper. It’s a pretty cocktail for Saint Patrick’s Day.
It’s great for a sit-com but I’ll probably never have one again. It tasted just like a Peppermint Patty.
FYI – If you replace the crème de menthe with brandy, you have a Brandy Alexander (much better).
My daughter came up with this one. It was so good we added it to our Christmas Eve seafood menu.
1 chopped garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup plain fine bread crumbs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and black pepper
2 large filets – grey or dover sole, or flounder
Mix the first 5 ingredients. Blot the filets dry, season with salt and black pepper and place in an oiled roasting pan. Cook in 350o oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cover with the breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Return to oven for 5 minutes and then under broiler for 3 minutes – just enough to brown the crumbs.