Cast Iron Margarita

Cast Iron Pan Margarita Pizza

This recipe is for a 12 inch pan. Smaller pan = less dough. I buy my dough ready made for a nearby pizzeria. Here’s a link to a recipe if you want to do it yourself. I don’t buy jarred marinara sauce. It’s too easy to make. There’s a recipe at the bottom of this page.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 oz. marinara sauce
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
Start by heating the oven to 500 degrees. Flatten and shape the dough to fit the round pan. Pre-heat the pan so it’s hot but not smoking. Spray or brush the pan with olive oil. Place the dough in the pan and stretch it across the bottom and up the sides. Touch the dough, not the pan – it’s hot.
Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pan on a burner at medium heat. Just when it starts to bubble pour on and spread the sauce. Place a few thinly cut slices of mozzarella on top, leaving some spaces so the red sauce shows. A Margarita should be red (tomato), white (mozzarella), and green (basil) like an Italian flag.
Put the pan in the 500 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the over and scatter torn basil leaves over it while it’s still hot. Let it cool and slice.

Marinara Sauce for Pizza
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Salt, black and red pepper to taste
  • 1 28 oz. can of pureed San Marzano tomatoes
Put the oil in a pan on low heat and lightly saute the garlic. Add the salt and pepper. Don’t let the garlic brown. Pour in the tomatoes, stir and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
That’s marinara sauce – easy, right? You can also make this with crushed tomatoes but puree is better for pizza. After you use 3 ounces for the pizza you’ll have enough left for to serve with a pound of pasta.

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The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

 

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

Hailed as “One of the year’s more engaging cookbooks...” by the New York Times, the book has sold well over 100,000 copies. 

“…a one of a kind collection of heartwarming stories and authentic recipes that you’ll want to have for your cooking library…these recipes recall special memories of far away lands or of dearly loved relatives…much more than a recipe compilation, it is a personal journey with stories and reminiscences that will touch your heart.” ~ Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book Club


Arroz Con Pollo – adapted from the Ellis Island Immigrant Cook Book

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs. of chicken pieces (I used breasts and thighs cut into smaller pieces)
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 3 cups hot chicken broth divided
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tsp. saffron
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt
Equipment – You’ll need a large oven proof pan with a cover for this. Mine is 15 inches. If you don’t have one that big, cut the recipe in half.
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the chicken until golden brown. Do same to pork and remove.
Sauté the pepper and onion in the drippings until the onions are transparent. Add tomato, parsley, garlic and bay leaf. Mix well and cook until soft. Set skillet aside.
Add the chicken and pork to the pan with the vegetables. Take 1 cup of broth and dissolve the saffron in it. Add the wine and lemon juice to the broth and pour this mixture into the skillet over the chicken and pork. Cover and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning.The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook
Add the rice between the chicken pieces. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth. Stir carefully. Bring to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated 325° oven for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is done.  Remove, let stand 15 minutes covered.The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

Purchase a copy of The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook here

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook


Click here for information on Save Ellis Island’s  HARDHAT TOURS.

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

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The Churchill Tavern

The Churchill Tavern
We had a great lunch last Sunday at the Churchill Tavern. They served their traditional Sunday Roast – a choice of roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken with a bunch of sides – and regular menu of English favorites.
Full menu here

They have a wide beer and cider selection on tap and in cans and bottles, including many English brands. There’s a nice selection of Single Malt Scotch too.
If you’re in New York and want good English food and ambiance  you should try the Churchill Tavern.

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Neopolitan Meatballs

 

Neapolitan Meatballs – (Polpette Alla Napolitana)

This is an old-fashioned recipe. You can leave out the pinoles and currants but if you use them it makes these polpettes special.
Polpette Alla Napolitana
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup dried currants (soaked)
  • A small loaf of day-old Italian bread with the crust removed
  • Some milk to wet the bread
  • About 1 lb. of ground beef chuck
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 1/3  cup pinoles (pine nuts)
  • Olive oil for frying
Soak the currants in a little warm water. Soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk, break it apart and put it in a bowl with the beef, parsley and garlic.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

Mix it well and add salt and pepper, the egg, cheese, the pinoles and drained currents.  Mix this thoroughly with your hands.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

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 and then fry in a good amount of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

Keep rolling them to brown on all sides. Drain and serve with tomato sauce. They’re very good plain too.

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Eating in Little Italy

Where to Actually Eat Well in NYC’s Little Italy

I came across an interesting article in Eater New York. It’s a list and description of the best places to eat in New York’s Little Italy.

Here’s Eater’s list –

You can find the complete article here.

If you’re in NYC, you might find this list useful, and I’ll help with my opinion on the places that I’m familiar with.
I’ll start with their No. 1 – Emilio’s Ballato. I agree that it should be No. 1. It’s my favorite Italian restaurant in Little Italy. Not only that, it’s located in the building that I grew up in -55 E. Houston St. I remember the original Mr. Ballato and Emilio has continued his high-quality cooking tradition.
After that, I’d rate Il Cortille and Forlini’s as the same quality. They’re both excellent and stand out from the  mediocre red sauce restaurants in the area.
For pizza Lombardi’s is the best. They brought Napolitano  pizza to New York when they opened on Spring Street in 1905.
Umberto’s Clam House is pretty good and famous for that Joe Gallo incident but they should have also included Vincent’s, on the corner of Mott and Hester Street. It’s been around for a long time and was always one of my favorites.
Di Paolo’s is a first rate food store on Mott and Grand Street. I’m surprised the equally good Alleva on the then same block wasn’t also on the list. It was my mother’s go-to Latticini e Salumi.
Their only pick that I take issue with is Ferrara’s. It used to be good but not anymore. Instead of trying to educate their non-Italian customer on what good Italian pastry is all about, they dumbed-down their menu and quality. There are much more authentic patisseries in the area. My choices are Caffé Roma – 176 Mulberry St, Caffé Palermo – 148 Mulberry St. and La Bella Ferrara – 108 Mulberry St.

Caffe Roma

Caffe Palermo

La Bella Ferrara


The restaurants on the list that I didn’t mention are new to the neighborhood. Maybe you should give them a try and let me know what you think.

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Peugeot

Peugeot

When you hear the name “Peugeot,” cars come to mind. But what a lot of people know them for are high-quality pepper mills. We’ve had 2 of them for a very long time. They’re reliable and make a precise grind. Peugeot didn’t start out a s a car manufacturing company.  There was a recent article in FOOD 52 about Peugeot and their exceptional pepper mill.

3 Little-Known Facts About Peugeot & Their Iconic Pepper Mills

by: Amanda Sims

“It hardly matters what’s being served (simply dressed greens, strawberries and cold whipping cream, cardboard)—top a plate or bowl with freshly cracked black pepper from a proper grinder and it will take on an air of sophistication. Become something to sit down to. Wine might appear on cue. . . “

The complete article here


Our 2 Peugeots – old but still going strong.

Our 2 Peugeots - painted red and green to decorate the table one Christmas.

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