Chicken Baked with Paprika

Chicken Baked with Paprika – a one pan Middle Eastern dish with just a few simple ingredients. I’m using thighs but you can substitute a whole chicken cut into pieces.

 

Chicken Baked with Paprika

Mix the spices with  2 tablespoons of olive oil to make a paste. Don’t be tempted to use more than 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. A little goes a long way.


Combine the room temperature chicken and onion and throughly coat with the paste. It’s easier if you use your hands for this. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up in an oiled pan and bake in a 500o preheated oven for 30 minutes.


When done, remove the chicken and onions from pan and place in a serving dish. Heat the pan on the stove, add a pat of butter and deglaze  with white wine. Pour the sauce over the chicken. We usually serve this with rice.


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Nick and Nora Glasses

(Nick and Nora with Asta in the middle)


Nick and Nora Glasses

I love going to steak houses. They’re known for big portions and big cocktails glasses. Two drinks and you’re fried. Well, there was a time when glasses weren’t huge and I learned about it in an old movie.

I was always a big fan of “The Thin Man,” with Dick Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a husband and wife detective team. They were stylish, elegant and an all-together classy couple. The story takes place in New York between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. It seems that rather than solve a murder, Nick would prefer to stay mildly drunk.

There’s one scene where Nora tries to catch up with Nick’s drinking. She asks the bartender how many drinks he’s served Nick. When she’s told “six,” she orders six Martinis and says, “Line ’em up.” They’re served in beautiful little cocktail glasses that were popular at the time and are now know as “Nick and Nora Glasses.”

A Nick and Nora is about 3 ounces, compared to the steak house 8 – 10 ounces. In a smaller glass your drink stays cold until you finish it and if you want more, simply order another one or maybe another six.


If you’d like to see “The Thin Man,” you can get it on Netflix .

Just Google NICK & NORA GLASS if you’d like to get some.


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Calabrese Pasta

Calabrese Pasta
My Salernitano grandmother used to make this for my Calabrese grandfather. I don’t really know if this was something that was common in Calabria or simply a dish that he liked. When my mother made it, she said we were having Calabrese pasta and that’s what I still call it.
I list precise measurments for ingredients but it’s not written in stone. If you like olives, add more. If you don’t like capers, use less. You get the idea.

 

This is a very quick sauce so put up the pasta water before you start anything else.

Lightly sauté the anchovies, olives, capers and garlic in olive oil.


When the anchovies dissolve and the garlic begins to turn golden, add the tuna, tomatoes, pepper and oregano. Taste for seasoning and let it simmer for no more than 8-10 minutes to keep a fresh taste.


Toss the pasta in the sauce and serve with grated cheese (no cheese if you use the tuna).


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Spatchcocked Lemon Chicken a la Martha Stewart

Spatchcocked Lemon Chicken a la Martha Stewart
This is Martha’s recipe but she used one 4-pound chicken instead of two 2-pound  young chickens and shallots where I used red onion.
Spatchcocked chicken is splayed or butterflied. It’s done this way so it cooks faster or can be cooked on a grill. It’s also easier to carve than a whole roasted chicken.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at thigh end, cut along 1 side of backbone with kitchen shears. Turn chicken around; cut along other side. Discard backbone or save for stock. Flip chicken, and open it like a book. Press firmly on breastbone to flatten.
  2. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brush 1 tablespoon oil in the center of a rimmed baking sheet slightly larger than the size of the chicken, and place half the lemon slices in a single layer on top of oil. Place chicken, skin side up, on lemons. Beginning at the neck end of breast, carefully loosen skin from flesh of breast and thighs with your fingers. Slide remaining lemon slices under skin in a single layer.
  3. Roast chicken 20 minutes. Toss onions with remaining teaspoon oil, and scatter around chicken. Continue to roast chicken until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes more.
  4. Transfer the chickens to a serving platter, and let it rest 10 minutes. Cut it into halves or serve whole with roasted some lemons, onions, and pan juices.

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Pasta All ‘Amatriciana with Veal

Pasta All ‘Amatriciana with Veal
Some people say Amatriciana can only be made with guanciale and served over bucatini pasta. Sometimes I make it with guanciale, sometimes with pancetta and this time I used porcetta. And I never serve it with bucatini. I find bucatini unmanageable. It has a mind of its own when you twirl it on your fork and it inevitably spots your shirt with sauce. So, I’m using short fusilli.

 

Pasta All ‘Amatriciana with Veal

Drain a can of plum tomatoes and cut them length-wise into ½ in. strips. Save the liquid from the can. In a frying pan, sauté porcetta until brown and crisp and remove. Brown the veal in the porcetta fat and remove it.


Lightly sauté the sliced onions in oil and add the chopped garlic in a pot. Don’t brown. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste.  Add the tomatoes to the onions in the pot.


Don’t add the tomato liquid until the tomatoes fry for a bit. Then add the liquid, porcetta and veal to the pot. Deglaze (the Le Fond post tells you all about deglazing ) the pan that you browned the porcetta and veal in with ½ cup each of water and red wine and add to the sauce in the pot. Stir it and bring it to a boil. Taste for seasoning. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Now’s the time to make the pasta. Cook it until almost done. Remove the veal from the sauce and stir in the pasta to finish cooking it in the sauce. Serve with grated cheese, maybe Pecorino Romano if you have it. Amatriciana should have a little heat to it so add lots of black or red pepper.


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New York’s Original Ray’s Pizza

New York’s  Original Ray’s Pizza
I grew up on Mott Street, just around the corner from Ray’s Pizzeria. It was a few doors from where my grandmother lived on Prince Street. I remember when it opened, in the same storefront where my barber, Luca, had his shop. Luca retired and Rayfie opened his pizzeria and eventually made it larger with an expanded the menu. It was great having a good pizzeria so close to where I lived.
For years, in New York, there’s been a dispute about which “Ray’s” pizza was the first one. It’s gone now, but based on my experience and backed-up by this old New York Times article, the “Original” was Rayfie Cuomo’s on Prince Street. I hope this settles some arguments.

 

For the whole NYT article – click here.


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Channel Bouillabaisse

Channel Bouillabaisse
This is a very basic form of bouillabaisse. Just a few ingredients and there isn’t any shell fish or anis or fennel and the stock is made as it’s cooking. You can start with this recipe and add on to it but it’s really very good as simple as it.

-just a few simple ingredients-


Simmer the onions, garlic and tomatoes in oil with salt and black pepper on high heat, until they soften and release their liquid. There’s no need to peel or cut them too finely since they’ll be strained out before serving. Add the saffron and stir.


Lay the cleaned whole fish (any kind of white fleshed fish will do) on top of the vegetable mixture and cover them with boiling water. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 -15 minutes.

Remove the fish and place it  in a platter and filet it. Return the bones to the broth and bring to a rapid boil for a few minutes then strain the liquid.


Place crusty bread in bowls and lay pieces of the fish on top of it, then some of the liquid and a sprinkle of chopped parsley if you like.


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Mozzarella, Tomato, Eggplant Sandwiches

Mozzarella, Tomato, Eggplant Sandwiches
There’s a pizzeria/Italian restaurant called Capone’s on North Ocean Drive in Hollywood Beach, Florida. The last time I was there I had this and gave it a try at home. It was easy and worked out perfectly. I’m not sure what they call it on their menu but it looks like a sandwich.

 

To make the eggplant – (see Eggplant under Some Simple Kitchen Tips)

Cut the ends off the eggplant and slice vertically. Discard the first and last slice which will be mostly skin. You need 9 slices to make 3 sandwiches.

Beat the eggs with some salt and black pepper. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg wash and then in the breadcrumbs. Fry them in oil until deep brown. Drain on paper towels and let them cool. 


To make the sandwiches –

Start with a slice of eggplant and cover with mozzarella. Add another slice of eggplant and cover with one layer of sliced tomato. Add another slice of eggplant and cover with more grated mozzarella. 

Place the 3 sandwiches on a baking sheet and cook in a pre-heated 300o oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. When done, sprinkle with the parsley and drizzle with a little balsamic and some olive oil.


 

It might look like a triple-decker sandwich but serve it with a fork and knife.


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Le Fond

Chef  and Owner Jake Eberle

Le Fond

From Le Fond’s website – “Colloquially, cooks refer to the browned bits that form at the bottom of the roasting pan as the ‘fond.’ Cooks deglaze the pan with wine and scrape up those bits with a wooden spoon. This is where deep, complex flavor is generated and that is why the wooden spoon is the symbol of Le Fond restaurant.”

 

Chef Eric Prokscha in the kitchen

We went to Le Fond for the first time last week and we’ll be sure to go again. It was hard to chose from their creative menu but we ended up with perfect selections. Octopus fennel soup for me and Bridget had pork belly with apples and greens for starters. We followed that with beef short ribs, and duck ragout with pappardelle. We shared an almond cake at dessert accompanied by coffee and madeira.

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