Christmas 2020

The Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 


 

Christmas 2020

Typically, Italians have a big celebration on the Eve rather than Christmas day. It used to be a fast day, so no meat but lots of seafood and we still keep that tradition. We’d generally have dinner at our place (we have a big dining table) for 15 people. But this year because of COVID 19 and social distancing it will just be a few of us and Skype. We won’t cook as much food, but we’ll still have a variety of seafood and deserts to share with our neighbors.

Some Christmas Eve recipes –

Christmas Eve Seafood Salad

CHRISTMAS 2020


Fried Little Fish 

CHRISTMAS 2020


Christmas Punch 

CHRISTMAS 2020


Kipful 

CHRISTMAS 2020


Struffoli 

CHRISTMAS 2020


Rosettes

CHRISTMAS 2020

Happy Holiday, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Festivus, or whatever you celebrate.

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry

Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry

It’s the pepper that really makes a Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry. If your pepper mill can’t grind it coarse enough, put the pepper corns on a dish towel and whack them a few times with the bottom of a frying pan. 
Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry
Ingredients:
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper (very coarsely ground)
  • 1 lb. sirloin steak, cut into ¼ in crosswise slices
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. peanut or canola oil
  • ½ head green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced scallion (optional)
Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry
Stir fry goes fast so lay out all of the measured ingredients in advance.
Combine the garlic, brown sugar, corn starch, and coarsely ground black pepper in a bowl. Add the sliced steak, mix, and let sit 30 minutes.
Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and cook the steak until it starts to brown (4 or 5 minutes). Add the soy sauce, toss with the steak, and remove it leaving the juices in the pan.
Add the cabbage to the pan and cook until it wills and begins to brown. Add the vinegar and return the steak to the pan. Add 3 tbsp. water, toss for a few minutes and remove to a serving dish and serve with rice.
Black Pepper and Beef Stir Fry

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

 

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans can also be made with broccoli or broccoli rape. There’s an informative article about their differences here.


Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ lb. broccolini, washed & stems removed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, hot or sweet, skins removed
  • 2 gloves, minced garlic
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 – 15 oz. can white beans strained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiana cheese
  • ½ lemon – zest & juice
Start a pot of salted water for the broccolini and later the pasta.
Remove the rough stem tips and roughly chop the broccolini and boil on high for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove the broccolini and add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in another pot add the olive oil and break up and cook the sausage meat. When it’s lightly browned, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the wine and deglaze the pot and stir for a few minutes.

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans
Add the cooked broccolini and the beans. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and a cup of the pasta cooking water and toss.
Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter, cheese, juice of ½ the lemon and zest. Mix until the butter is melted and serve with additional cheese.

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Cranberry Lemon Bars

Cranberry Lemon Bars

Too late for Thanksgiving but in time for Christmas and Hanukkah. Cranberry Lemon Bars have a sweet-tart topping on a butter cookie base. I got this in the New York Times.

Cranberry Lemon Bars

Cranberry and Lemon Topping –
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large lemons
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  • Confectioners’ sugar
The Crust –
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
9 by 13 inch pan, lined with foil and coated with cooking spray

Cranberry Topping
Combine the cranberries, ¾ cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of water, and the zest of 2 lemons in a small pot. Bring it to a boil, stir and cook for about 10 minutes until the berries burst.
The Crust (heat oven to 350o)
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Mix until dough forms. Press the dough into the pan in an even layer. Bake 18 – 20 minutes or until brown around the edges.
Lemon Topping
While the crust is baking squeeze the zested lemons for ½ cup of juice. Squeeze another lemon if needed. Mix the ¼ cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and the beaten eggs until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.Cranberry Lemon Bars

Assembly
After the crust has cooled for a few minutes spread the cranberry topping over it. Then slowly pour the lemon topping on the cranberry.

Cranberry Lemon Bars

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the topping is set. Let it cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Cut into bars and sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar.

 

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp