Category Archives: Sides

Goetta – a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta – a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

If you’re from the Cincinnati area you’ll know what this is and if not, you should try it. Goetta (ged-da, silent o, pronounce like feta) is a hearty breakfast side made of oats and meat that’s fried and goes great with eggs. It’s of German origin and I can’t think of anything to compare it to, so taste it and form your own opinion. It may not be Italian but it’s certainly cucina povera in that it started out as a tasty way of preparing a hearty breakfast when there isn’t enough meat to go around. Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

A couple of points to remember:  (1) you must use steel cut oats, not rolled or instant and (2) some people use ground beef with the pork sausage and others use ground pork, it’s up to you.

Add oats, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the boiling water. Return to a boil, lower heat, stir and simmer until the oats are cooked and thick (1 to 1 ½  hours), stirring occasionally.

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Fry the onion in oil until soft and transparent. Remove the sausage skins and discard. Add the sausage meat, chopped meat,  and garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper. When it’s done, set aside the meat-onion mixture.

When the oats thicken, remove the bay leaf and add the meat-onion mixture and blend thoroughly. Cook for another ½ hour. If it’s thick enough for the spoon to stand up in, it’s done. If not, continue cooking. If it’s too dry, add a little water.Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Let it cool a bit and then pour it into a greased baking pan. It doesn’t matter if the pan is too big too big. Spread it to about a ½ inch thick layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Turn the pan over and cut the goetta into serving sized pieces. I got 12 out of this recipe. Fry and serve as a side with eggs or anything else you’d like. You can freeze any left-over pieces but wrap them separately so they don’t stick together.

And it’s not just for breakfast.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Potato Croquettes

Potato Croquettes

This is the first time I’ve ever made potato croquettes. They were pretty tasty but it wasn’t easy. Mashing the potatoes was hard work and breading and frying the croquettes was time-consuming and sloppy. Maybe it gets better with practice but the next time I want potato croquettes, I think I’ll just go to a Sicilian-run pizzeria and buy them.

 

Boil the potatoes in their skins for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain them and let cool 15 minutes then peel. Mash the potatoes and let them come to room temperature uncovered so they dry out.

Add 2 eggs, the Parmigiano, 5 tbsps. flour and parsley. Taste and season with the salt and pepper. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon and take some of the potato mixture and form it into a small canoe-shaped roll.

Roll the croquettes in the flour and shake off excess. Then dip the beaten egg. Drip off excess and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Let the breaded croquettes rest 20 minutes before frying.

Heat oil until a bit of the potato dropped into it sizzles. Fry the croquettes turning until they are evenly golden browned on all sides. This should make about 20 to 25 croquettes.

Drain and serve warm.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

I just got these at a local green market. Making stuffed zucchini flowers isn’t an exact science so I can’t give you exact ingredient measurements.
I got about 20 flowers and started by pulling out the pistil. It’s hard and takes up room that can be used for stuffing.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Pistils
I mixed 3 heaping tablespoons of ricotta with 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiana. I tasted it and it didn’t need any additional salt. I put 1 to 2 espresso spoons of stuffing into each flower depending on their size. The petals stick to the stuffing so there’s no need to tie them.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

I rolled them in flour and then beat an egg with 2 tablespoons of cold water to thin it. I dipped them in the egg wash and then rolled them in the flour again.Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Fry them until they’re yellowish-gold, drain and serve. 

Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Collard Greens Southern Style

Collard Greens Southern Style

I recently did a post on Collard Greens Italian Style. It’s only  fair that I do a traditional southern recipe. I got this from a couple I know whose families come from Georgia.

Collard Greens Southern Style

Collard Greens Southern Style

  • Place hock in a large pot and just cover with chicken stock, water or a combination of the two. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the liquid is reduced by a third.
  • While the hock is simmering, remove collard stems and roll leaves lengthwise like a cigar and slice into 1 inch pieces. Put cut leaves in a sink full of cold water and wash. Remove and drain.Collard Greens Southern Style
  • In a separate pan lightly sauté onion on a low heat in half of the fat or oil. Don’t brown.Collard Greens Southern Style
  • When the onion is soft and translucent add salt, vinegar, garlic, sugar, pepper and remaining bacon fat or olive oil to pan. Cook on a medium low heat for a few minutes then add to the pot with the hock.Collard Greens Southern Style
  • Turn heat to high and add greens, stir, cover and lower heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.Collard Greens Southern Style

Collard Greens Southern Style


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Jalapenos

Jalapenos

Sun Dried and Brochette

Sun Dried Jalapenos

Hang the jalapenos someplace where there is good air flow. They don’t have to be in the sun to be sun dried.


Depending on the weather, after a couple of weeks when they become hard and red, they’re done. Cut off the stem end and place them in boiling water for 5 minutes.


Drain them, pat them dry and lightly press them to squeeze out as much water as you can. Let them continue to dry for 60 minutes and then place them in a jar. Fill the jar with olive oil, close tightly and shake. This will release some air bubbles. Add more oil and refrigerate. They’ll be ready to eat in a week.

Jalapeno Brochettes

Start by roasting the jalapenos on an open flame. First, they’ll blister and then blacken – keep turning until they’re done.


Scrape off the blackened skin with the back of a knife and cut off the stem end. Some specs of black might remain and that’s OK. Don’t be tempted to rinse them. You’ll wash off the flavor.


Slice them open and scrape out the veins and seeds.


 

Put them on a slice of bread, a few drops of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt – done.

 Click here for updated GALLERY II

Writing Site  and  Yelp

Roasted Turnip Slices

Horses and Figures in a Turnip Field by William Edward Millner

 

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

My favorite vegetable has always been fried potatoes.  Vegetables aren’t really something I’m crazy about especially if they’re braised, boiled or steamed. But roasted is another story. Roasting is almost as good as frying and roasted  turnip slices even look like French fries.

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

Preheat oven to 425o.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Peel the turnips, and cut into French fry-sized sticks, about 1/3 by 4 inches. Place into a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, paprika, onion powder to the bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands.  Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until the done, about 20 minutes.

 


Roasted Turnip Slices

Writing Site  and  Yelp

Farro – Sweet or Savory

Farro – Sweet or Savory

Farro is an ancient wheat. It’s been around for so long in the Mediterranean and Middle East I’m surprised that I only came across it for the first time just a few years ago.  Some more farro information here.


Farro Porridge and Farro Breakfast Bowl

– same ingredients for both but a different preparation –

Farro - Sweet or Savory

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup farro
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup milk

Farro Porridge
Put the farro in a blender or food processor and process until it’s ground but some small pieces remain. It’s fairly hard grain so this will take a few minutes.Farro - Sweet or Savory
Bring the water and salt to a boil and pour in the ground farro while stirring. Lower the heat and cook while stirring often for about 15 minutes until it’s thickened. Stir in the milk and any dried fruit or nuts if you’re using them. Stir for another 5 minutes and serve.Farro - Sweet or Savory

 Farro Breakfast Bowl
Add farro and water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil cover it and lower the heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed and the farro becomes soft. Stir in the milk and any dried fruit or nuts if you’re using them. Raise the heat and simmer another 10 minutes uncovered and serve.Farro - Sweet or Savory

– toppings and sweeteners for both –
Topping for Breakfast Farro – Currents, raisins, chopped dried apricots, chopped nuts – add during the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking.
Sweeten with your choice of honey, molasses, maple syrup or brown sugar.Farro - Sweet or Savory

Savory Farro
Ingredients:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups farro
  • 4 cups water, stock or a mixture of both
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp.  olive oil
Put the farro and liquid in a pot with salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. It should be soft but chewy. Drain any cooking liquid that’s left. Place the cooked farro in a serving dish and sprinkle with olive oil and serve as you would rice.Farro - Sweet or Savory

 


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Writing Site  and  Yelp

Loraine’s Stuffed Artickokes

Loraine’s Stuffed Artichokes

The last time we were in Florida, our good friends Paulie and Loraine who live there, met us at our hotel. Loraine brought us a snack to pick on at the beach – stuffed artichokes. They were delicious and hit the spot. Here’s her recipe.Loraine's Stuffed Artichokes
Ingredients:
  • Plain breadcrumbs (about two cups)
  • A few cloves of garlic (more or less depending on your taste)
  • A little salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Locatelli Romano cheese (about a cup or more depending on your taste)
  • Olive Oil (not extra virgin)
  • 2 or 3 artichokes depending on size
Prep:
Artichokes – Cut the stem off – cut the top off – cut the leaves in steps – different levels for easier stuffing.Loraine's Stuffed Artichokes
Boil them for about 10 minutes to make them pliant.
Stuffing – Mix all together in a bowl – drizzle with the olive oil so it’s not too dry – not too wet.Loraine's Stuffed ArtichokesStuff the artichokes and then put them back in the pot you boiled them in – adding a little bit of the stuffing and add some olive oil. Sprinkle a little water over the stuffed artichokes to make sure they are moist. Cover and steam until the leaves pull off easily – keep watching to see if more water needs to be added.
After cooked- put them in a cake pan (round or square) – sprinkle with more Locatelli Romano cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes!Loraine's Stuffed Artichokes

ENJOY!Loraine's Stuffed Artichokes

Nicki, Loraine and Bridget


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Writing Site  and  Yelp

 

Latkes for Chanukah

Latkes for Chanukah

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I’m Italian-American and most often post Italian recipes. But not this time. I grew up in New York and specifically on the Lower East Side so that means I grew up with Jewish food. Latkes have always been one of my favorites and my grandmother used to make them. If you think about it, a Jewish latke isn’t very different than an Italian  potato and egg frittata.
My father’s mother, Amalia came to America from Italy in the early 1880s as a young teenager. Her family settled on Prince Street in what was to become Little Italy but was then a mix of Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants. Her first job was in a nearby Jewish garment factory and being surrounded by girls and women speaking nothing but Yiddish, that was the first language she learned in America. English came later.

 

My Aunt Sis told me that once when she was shopping with her mother, she saw a coat she liked. Grandma said it cost too much and started to leave the store.
One of the shopkeepers told the other in Yiddish, “These Italian mothers always give in to their kids. She’ll be back for the coat.”
My grandmother turned to him and said in impeccable Yiddish, “It’s too expensive but I might buy it if we could negotiate a better price.” The surprised shopkeeper did just that.
I remember family dinners at her apartment on Prince Street and there were often some of her garment worker friends invited. Grandma spoke perfect English and Italian and it was always fun for us grandchildren to hear her conversing with her old friends in Yiddish.
I think I’ve figured out the Latke recipe she used although it’s possible she fried them in olive oil. But whatever kind you use, the oil is a reminder during Chanukah of what was burned to keep the eternal flame alive the temple.

Latkes for Chanukah

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and stir until the flour is absorbed. Use the coarse side of a grater to grate the potatoes and onion. Latkes for ChanukahDo this right over a dish towel and then squeeze out and discard as much of the liquid as you can. Add potatoes and onions to the flour and egg mix and blend thoroughly.Latkes for Chanukah

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Put a tablespoon of the potato mix in the pan (I use an ice cream scoop) and flatten it with a spatula. Don’t worry about rough edges – they’ll get crisp and that’s what you want.Latkes for Chanukah
Cook them for about 4-5 minutes and turn them. Then the same on the 2nd side. When they’re done, drain them on a paper tower (or a brown paper bag like Grandma did) and sprinkle with salt. Serve them hot with apple sauce and sour cream. Happy Chanukah!Latkes for Chanukah

Click here for updated GALLERY II 

Writing Site  and  Yelp

Gladiator Diet

Pollice Verso (With a Turned Thumb) by Jean Leon Gerome, 1872

 

Gladiator Diet

I guess everyone has heard of the Paleo Diet – that’s what people ate 10,000 years ago. It’s basically meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables. There’s something a little more current, well, from about 2,000 years ago, the Gladiator Diet. It’s what Roman gladiators ate to stay in fighting condition. And surprisingly, it was almost a completely vegetarian diet.

Gladiator Diet

Barley Gruel


Gladiator Diet

Oat and Seed Cakes


No meat and potatoes for these guys. They ate mostly barley, beans and some pasta too, often flavored with fish sauce, trying to put on enough weight to cushion those sword and spear wounds in the arena. That wasn’t enough to strengthen their bones so they drank a sort of “sports drink,” a mix of wood and bone ash to build up calcium. They also drank goats milk and water but no wine. This combination of food and drink made them fit and tough.

String Beans a la Gladiator   (based on what we know they ate and what was commonly available in Rome back then)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. string beans
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2  chopped onion
  • 4 tbsp gaurm*

*The Romans used a fish sauce called garum. The modern equivalent is colatura di alici.

Preparation:

Boil the string beans for 5 minutes. In another pot sauté the onion in oil until soft, translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the drained, cooked string beans to the onions, add the colatura di alici and about 1/2 cup of the water you boiled the string beans in. Taste for seasoning. Colatura di Alici can be very salty and you may not need any more salt. Simmer for a few minutes and serve.

String Beans a la Gladiator


Some more information on the Gladiator Diet here –

BBC

Archaeology

Science Daily


Gladiator Diet

Definitely not part of the Gladiator Diet


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Writing Site  and  Yelp