Category Archives: Lunch/Snacks

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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Robert Iulo at Yelp

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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Cheese Spreads

Cheese Spreads
Two recipes for cheese spreads with similar preparation techniques but different results.

Ingredients for both - blue and butter with Worcestershire and cheddar and horse radish, also with Worcestershire

Ingredients for both – blue and butter with Worcestershire – cheddar and horse radish, also with Worcestershire


Blue Cheese Spread

My father’s recipe, it goes well with cocktails or beer. Even people who don’t like blue cheese like this.

blue cheese

Crumble a piece of room temperature blue cheese and mix 4 to 1 with good quality room temperature butter. The butter takes some of the sharpness and even some of the stinkyness away from the blue cheese. Mash with a fork, adding a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce until smooth.

20160629_162655


Cheddar Horseradish Spread

I got this from a waiter at Fin, a seafood restaurant at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. They serve it alongside the butter with their bread basket.

cheddar

Grate some good quality sharp cheddar and mix with prepared horseradish 5 to 1. Mash with a fork, adding a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce until smooth.cheddar

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Sandwiches Italian-Style

Sandwiches Italian-Style

hoagieSubs, hoagies, grinders – that’s fine but in New York, it’s a hero. Sandwiches Italian-Style doesn’t necessarily mean 8 different kinds of meat and cheese and a bunch of other things, where each flavor cancels out the next. It shouldn’t be that complicated.

For a good Italian-Style sandwich the most important thing is the bread. On the right bread, cream cheese and Welch’s grape jelly can be something special. Then comes basic but high-quality ingredients. After that, the main condiments are simply salt, pepper and maybe a few drops of olive oil. Here are a few standards.


sandwich sausage and peppers

Sausage & Peppers – Fry some bell peppers and an onion. Then fry the sausage in the same pan. Simple


tuna-sandwich

Tuna with Lemon and Onion – Use imported tuna packed in olive oil, add some thinly sliced lemon (with skin) and onion. A little romaine if you like.


ricotta sandwich

Ricotta on a Roll – Scrape some of the bread out of the top of the roll to make room for the ricotta so it doesn’t squeeze out.


sandwich - mozzerella

Mootz & Tomato – Fresh cold mozzarella with sliced tomatoes and basil if you have it.


escarole-sandwick-904x1024

Escarole – Add  just washed and still wet escarole leaves to a pan where you’ve sautéed some garlic in oil.  Simmer until it wilts. It’s as easy as that.


Note that only one of these sandwiches contains meat, another fish and the last three are vegetarian. That says something about the Mediterranean Diet.

The photo at the top of this page is from Medonia Brothers Bakery on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

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Eggs Two Ways

Eggs Two Ways – I hope you weren’t expecting scrambled and fried.

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory

This one is fairly simple.  Start with left-over tomato sauce, the thicker the better. Pre-heat the over to 400 degrees. Heat the sauce in a frying pan large enough to hold as many eggs as you want to cook.  Use the back of a spoon to make indentations in the sauce and break the eggs into the indentations.  10-12 minutes in the oven and it’s done. Sprinkle a little cheese and serve.

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Potato and Egg Frittata

RECIPESd 9-25-14

A classic meatless Friday lunch. It’s good with a little ketchup.

Potato

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high and add the thickly sliced potatoes, salt and black pepper. After they cook for about 8-10 minutes add the onion. After the onion softens, with the edge of a metal spatula, chop and blend the potatoes and onions making an even mixture. Cook until the potatoes are tender and what you have looks like home fries.

In the meantime beat the eggs with the milk, parsley and salt and black pepper. Add the egg mixture to the pan, mix thoroughly with the potatoes and onions then spread it out to an even layer. Lower the heat and allow it to set for about 5 minutes. The top of the mixture will still be wet so place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Remove it when the top is lightly browned.

The omelet can be served in the pan, hot or at room temperature. Slice as you would a pie.

Whole Wheat Fruselle

Whole Wheat Fruselle

Whole Wheat Fruselle a
An unadorned fruselle

This is a round whole wheat loaf, baked, cut in half, then baked again. It’s thin, very dry, crisp and crumbly. It’s about 6 or 7 inches across. You can get them in a good bakery in Bensonhurst in Brooklyn or on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx.

Dip it in, or hold it under running hot water to soften it a little. Shake off excess water. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano and drizzle with oil. You can stop right there and eat it as is or you can add:

  •  roasted peppers,
  • sun dried or fresh tomatoes,
  • tapenade,
  • shavings or provolone or parmigiana,
  • red pepper flakes,
  • struzichino,
  • etc.  (you get the idea)

Serve it with a knife and fork like any open face sandwich. I’d be very surprised to ever see this on a restaurant menu.

Whole Wheat Fruselle b

Scotch Woodcock

 Scotch Woodcock

scotch wodcock

Taken verbatim from the 1861 Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton, Chapter XXXIII. Milk, Butter, Cheese and Eggs. I followed the “Mode” exactly, whisking over low heat until it thickened. The flavor was reminiscent of eggs Benedict. My father’s version of Scotch Woodcock is scrambling eggs with anchovies and milk, frying in butter and serving it on toast (see below). He said Scotch Woodcock was a late night snack that used to be served at bars in the 1930s and 40s along with Welch Rarebit.

scotch recipe

My father’s recipe:

FI scotch woodcock

Sauté five or six chopped anchovies in four pats of butter and then add 1/4 cup of milk. Let it rest off the heat for about five minutes. Reheat, add four scrambled eggs and cook until done. Serve it on toast, salt and pepper.

 

American Woodcock from Vickster's Vine
American Woodcock from Vickster’s Vine

Tuna and Lemon Sandwich

Tuna and Lemon Sandwich

Uncle Charlie and me at his summer house on Lake Mombasha in Monroe New York
Uncle Charlie and me at his summer house on Lake Mombasha in Monroe, New York

A tuna and lemon sandwich was one of my Uncle Charlie’s  standard late night snacks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can or jar of imported tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 small red onion
  • A sprinkle of olive oil (infused with chilies if you have it)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Crunchy seeded Italian bread

tuna sandwich

Preparation:

Drain the tuna and arrange it on the bread.  Add thinly sliced red onion and thinly sliced lemon (include skin). You’ll need a very sharp knife for this.  Sprinkle with plain or chili infused olive oil, salt and black pepper Add some Romaine if you like. This combination really works.