If you live in New York you’ve probably heard of Schaller and Webber. It’s an old-fashioned German butcher shop but really more than that. In addition to fresh cut meat they also have a variety of wursts and smoked meats, quite a few salads, and imported European groceries and beer.
It’s on the Upper East Side and we live on the Upper West Side, so it isn’t close. We still manage to shop there at least every 6 weeks. Since CORVID 19 we’ve been using a service called Mercato for some of our shopping. You order on their website and they arrange purchases at the best independently owned food stores in New York and delivery it to you within a day or so. So, here’s our most recent delivery that made a great dinner.
Here’s a basic and simple focaccia recipe using just 4 ingredients. The total time spent on it is about half an hour – not counting rising.
1. 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2. ½ tsp. dry yeast
3. ½ tbs. kosher salt
4. 4 tbs. olive oil divided + more for greasing
1. Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the water (about 1 ¾ cups) and stir with a spatula until you have a sticky dough. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in another bowl. Add the dough and roll it around to coat it with the oil. Cover it tightly with Saran and refrigerate for at least 1 and no more than 2 days.
2. Brush ¼ baking sheet (9”x13”) with oil. Put the dough in the pan and spread it with your fingers. Add more oil if it starts to stick. If it doesn’t get to the edges of the pan it will when after it rises. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it doubles its size. Pat down the dough down to about 1 inch thickness and dimple the entire surface with your fingertips. Sprinkle or brush it with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. While you’re waiting for it to rise pre-heat the over to 450 degrees.
That’s basic focaccia but the toppings are up to you and now is the time to add them. Sprinkle it with coarse sea salt and herbs, chopped tomatoes, chives or scallions, sliced pitted olives, sesame seeds and/or onions. (Be creative.If you’re feeling artistic you can make a focaccia garden.)Lightly press the toppings into the dimpled dough before you add the olive oil. I often make it plain because I like it for breakfast with butter and preserves.
3. Bake it for 20 to 25 minutes rotating the pan once, front to back. Let it cool and then remove it from the pan. It’s good while it’s still warm and will last another couple of days unrefrigerated if wrapped in Saran. It’s thick enough to slice and use for sandwiches.
I came across this article in PLAIN. I’ll let it speak for itself.
“. . . We’re absolutely enamoured by the latest print campaign shot by London-based photographer Annie Collinge for Luncheon Magazine. Titled Table for One, the food-themed shoot revolves around a quirky character posing as various fruits, vegetables or snacks… or is it the other way around? “
I’ve only recently heard of these. They aren’t something that anyone in my family ever made. I read about them in an article in L’Italo-Americano and decided to give them a try. Easy to make, not too sweet, very crunchy and just right for breakfast.
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
Sugar for glazing
Mix the wine, oil, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Add in the flour and make dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it stops sticking. Put it back in the bowl, cover it and let it rest for ½ hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil the baking sheet. Pinch off a walnut sized piece of dough and roll out to form a log about 4 inches long. Overlap the two ends of the log and pinch to form a ring. Pour some sugar onto a small plate. Dip one side of the cookie only in the sugar and place, sugar side up, on the baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So, when you can’t get fresh clams, use canned. You don’t need fresh clams for this one. Clam sauce and linguine traditionally go together but if you can’t get linguine use whatever pasta you like.
¼ cup olive oil and more for drizzling 3 cloves of garlic, sliced Salt, black and red pepper 1 can of clams 1 bottle of clam broth ½ half cup of chopped parsley divided 1 lb. linguine
Heat the oil in another pot on medium heat and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Give the garlic a few minutes to flavor the oil. Strain the canned clams, saving the liquid and add them to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes, add half the parsley and the liquid from the canned clams and the bottle of clam broth. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
When the pasta is almost done add it to the pot with the sauce to finish cooking. Remove it to a serving dish, sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and drizzle it with some olive oil. Most Italians agree that’s it’s a mortal sin to put cheese on seafood.
Here’s another easy recipe. This one’s for a side dish. Arugula with garlic and oil is just three ingredients plus salt and pepper. Precise measurements don’t matter much for this one. Arugula is also known as rocket and is similar to spinach and collard greens which you can also make this way.
Arugula –as much as you like
2 sliced cloves of garlic – more if you like garlic
Olive oil – enough to coat the greens
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes to infuse the oil with garlic flavor. Don’t brown it. Add the arugula, a ½ cup of water, and toss it until it wilts.
“In 1944, at the height of World War II, 20 million home gardeners across the United States dug deep to support the war effort. As the country poured the bulk of its resources into the conflict, Americans grew Victory Gardens to bolster the domestic food supply. . .”Bitter Gourd
In Italian its pasta e fagioli – that means “pasta and beans.” Some people call it pasta fazool. Both pronunciations are correct. In the Neapolitan dialect its pasta e fasule, often spelled pasta fazool in America.
In a large pot, cook the trinity in oil. When the vegetables are soft, add the beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for 2 hours.
Add salt and pepper, the cherry tomatoes, 2 more cups of water, and the pasta. If necessary, add more water as the pasta cooks. When the pasta is almost done, throw in a couple of hands full of arugula or spinach. I’m using a mix of both. When the greens whilt, it’s ready to serve.
I think it’s tastier reheated the next day. Just add some water to the pot and stir over a low flame.
A pound of beans and a pound of pasta can rally grow as they cook. You might to cut those 2 ingredients in half.
“. . . Tuscany. If you’ve never been, I can guarantee you’ll be in awe of the beauty of its rolling vineyard filled hills, Cypress lined driveways and the golden glow that covers that land as the sun sets. They say it is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, so its no wonder that the world’s rich and famous have been BUYING up all of Tuscany for the last century…or more!
Although many of the most beautiful areas and ancient Villas have been bought up by rich foreigners much of ‘Chiantishire’ or simply Chianti, is still owned by the original families as is the case with the Villa Barberino that still belongs to the Conti Family. . . “
Here’s a simple dish. It’s easy to make with just a few easy to get ingredients.
broccoli cut into florets
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 lb. pasta (your choice)
Salt and black pepper
Place the broccoli in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the broccoli to a bowl and withthe water continuing to boil, add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in another pot lightly sauté the garlic in the oil and then toss the broccoli, thoroughly coating it with the oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
When the pasta is almost done remove it from the water and add it to the broccoli, garlic, oil mix to finish cooking. Add some of the pasta water and a sprinkle of oil, stir and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if you like. This recipe also works with cauliflower instead of broccoli.