Escarole Pie

Escarole Pie
My aunt used to make this, or something like it. I never got her recipe but this is pretty close. It’s a simple dish (especially if you buy pizza dough instead of making your own).

If you  want to make your own dough instead of going to a pizzaria, here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart .

Escarole filling –

Remove the base and cut the escarole into 1 inch slices and clean it. Drain it  but it should be wet so it steams.

Heat the garlic and oil with some salt, black pepper and red pepper. Add the damp escarole and stir to coat with the oil. After a few minutes, it should begin to wilt. Add the olives and capers if you’re using them. Add some water if necessary, cover and steam  until it’s completely wilted and tender. It may seem like too much when you start but after it’s wilted, it’s just the right amount.Uncover and keep it on a low heat until it begins to dry. If there is still too much liquid, drain the excess. Add some olive oil and let it cool.

Preparing the pie –

Pre-heat oven to 375o. Coat the baking pan with oil. Cut off about ¼ of the dough for the top of the pie. Roll out the rest and cover the bottom and sides of the baking pan with it. Place the cooked and cooled escarole in the pan (it should be moist but not dripping) and tamp it down.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough to the size of the top of the pan and cover the escarole. Squeeze the edges of both pieces of dough together and trim the edges at the top of the pan.

Make some small slits on top of the pie with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. Brush the top with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool and serve at room temperature.

 


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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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Robert Iulo at Yelp