Anchovy Tomato Sauce

Anchovy Tomato Sauce – (pasta con acchiughe e pomadoro)

 

I’m not going to try to convince anyone who doesn’t like anchovies to eat them. Just keep in mind that anchovies dissolved in sauce like this aren’t the same a eating them directly from the can. Give it a try – you might like it. I called it ????? Tomato Sauce in the subscriber email so you anchovy haters wouldn’t ignore it.

*toasted breadcrumbs

Put up a pot of water for the 1 lb. of pasta – spaghetti or perciatelli is good with this sauce.


Put the anchovies and oil from the can into a large pan with an additional ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the garlic, pepper and half of the parsley and sauté on a low heat until the anchovies dissolve.

Add tomato paste and after it’s blended in with the garlic and oil and caramelized, add the water. Blend and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes. Check for seasoning – the anchovies are salty so you shouldn’t need any more salt.


When the pasta is almost done add it to the pan with the sauce to finish cooking. Add some pasta water to thin the sauce. Mix in the coloratura di alici, half of the breadcrumbs and remaining parsley just before serving. Serve with the remaining breadcrumbs.


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Japanese Hospital Food

Japanese Hospital Food

If you’ve ever spent time in a hospital you’ll know that the food they serve isn’t exactly gourmet. It’s far from it. The best you can say is that it’s well-balanced and nutritious. But it’s bland, tasteless and unappetizing. It’ll get you through you stay at the hospital without starving but it’s nothing to write home about. Most patients, if they’re not on a restricted diet, have friends and family bring them real food when they visit. It looks like this would be unnecessary in Japan.
Recently an American woman gave birth in a Japanese hospital and was so impressed by the food she was served that she photographed it.

Japanese Hospital Food

“Chicken with mushroom sauce, braised pumpkin and pork, daikon carrot salad, rice, miso soup, chawan mushi.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Mackerel, konbu salad, natto, spinach salad, miso soup, rice, milk, green tea.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Chicken fingers with shredded cabbage salad, bitter melon stir fry, agedashi tofu, carrot salad, rice, miso soup.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Sea bream, pasta salad, chicken meatballs, pickled daikon, rice, miso soap, chawan mushi, green tea.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Forget this fish name, braised vegetables, niku jaga (meat and potatoes), cucumber and baby corn salad, rice, miso soup, green tea.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Fried fish with tartar sauce, braised mountain potatoes, hijiki salad, spinach and carrot stir fry, rice, green tea.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Salmon, tofu, spinach salad, natto, miso soup, rice, milk.”

Japanese Hospital Food

“Final Oiwai Dinner – Camembert and raisins, roast beef, mashed potatoes, kabocha, lotus root with gravy, corn soup, rice, salad, tiramisu, fruit, orange juice, green tea.”

Japanese Hospital Food

If you’ve ever been to a US hospital, this is what you could expect.

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Cooking with Garlic

Paul Scorvino slicing garlic in Martin Scorsese’s Good Fellas

 

Cooking with Garlic

Cooking with Garlic

Lots of people think that all Italian food MUST be made with tons of garlic. That’s a myth started by Italian restaurants that served mostly non-Italians. Garlic is a useful aromatic. It makes certain recipes taste better but it should never overwhelm the dish.

Sauteing it slowly and over low heat is the best way to get its flavor. It softens but doesn’t brown. A hint of golden color is fine but brown means burnt and bitter. Minced garlic cloves burn more quickly then sliced, so sliced is easier to work with. Large chunky slices are useful sometimes because you can see them and avoid eating them (if you want to).


Everybody knows I’m into kitchen gadgets so at Christmas and birthdays I get some interesting ones. Here are two that are basically miniature mandolins for garlic. They both work well and make easily make thin, even slices.Cooking with Garlic

Cooking with Garlic


A micro-plane is quick and convenient. It makes a fine pulp. A garlic press does the same but eliminates the garlic fibers and adds a more gentle flavor.Cooking with Garlic

Cooking with Garlic


. . . or you can do it like Paul Scorvino with a razor or use a standard utility knife the old fashioned way like my mother and aunts did. A sharp knife and years of practice is all you’ll need.Cooking with Garlic


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The Simplest Pasta Sauce

The Simplest Pasta Sauce

The Simplest Pasta Sauce

This is the simplest pasta sauce I can think of. Just 3 basic ingredients – tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. You can use any kind of ripe fresh tomatoes or a 28 oz. can of San Marzanno tomatoes would work too.
These 3 ingredients plus pasta, water, salt and pepper make a meal. You can build on it with other ingredients. You can simply add some grated parmigiana, torn basil leaves and a few drops of olive oil when serving. Maybe brown some sausage or saute a few shrimp in the pan before you add the tomatoes then simmer them in the sauce. There are lots of possibilities.The Simplest Pasta Sauce

The Simplest Pasta Sauce

Preparation:
Put on a pot of water for the pasta.
Start the sauce  by lightly sauteing the garlic in the oil until it’s pale orange, not brown. I prefer it cut into large pieces but do it any way you like. Use a low heat and take your time to flavor the oil. Add salt, black and red pepper depending on your taste. (You can stop right there if you want. In addition to being the base for lots of things, seasoned garlic and oil is all you need for a standard dish – PASTA AGLIO E OLIO.)
The Simplest Pasta Sauce
Add the tomatoes. They can be just roughly chopped alla rustica, or cored, skinned and de-seeded, depending on how much time you have. Let them simmer while the pasta water comes to a boil. As they soften you can break them up with the back of a wooden spoon.
The Simplest Pasta Sauce
When the pound of pasta is almost done, drain  it and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Instead of absorbing water the pasta can absorb some of the sauce. Add a bit of the pasta water to loosen the sauce.The Simplest Pasta Sauce

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Ellington in the Park

Ellington in the Park
Ellington in the Park is situated on two levels (we prefer the upper) of a terrace in Riverside Park. Its approximately between 105th and 106th Street. Perfect for lunch and even better for drinks or dinner watching the sun set over the Hudson River. Ellington in the Park

A FULL BAR

Ellington in the Park

GOOD BAR FOOD AND MORE

Ellington in the Park

Ellington in the Park Menu

Ellington in the Park

Ellington in the Park

Ellington in the Park

Ellington in the Park

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Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island

Somehow, a tradition started a few years back, where every Father’s Day my daughter Kristina takes me to Coneys Island. The amusement area isn’t as big as it used to be but it still has that good old Coney Island feel – a little seedy and not gentrified.
Coney Island
Kristina, Bridget, me, Nicki, Stephen and Jack – Molly had to work.

Ruby’s
We meet at Ruby’s Bar on the boardwalk for lunch. They have traditional Coney Island food – hot dogs, clams, onion rings, etc.

Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island

 


The Beach

Coney IslandAfter lunch we spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach. There must have been a crack down on vendors. You used to be able to buy just about anything on the beach – water, beer, ice cream, loose cigarettes, loose joints and nutcracker. One of my favorites was fresh mango sprinkled with hot chili powder – sounds strange but delicious. All we could get this year was lime ice.Coney Island

Kitchen 21
After a day on the beach we’d walk down to Brighton Beach and have dinner at one of the Russian restaurants but since Kitchen 21 opened we’ve been eating there.Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island


Coney Island

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Johnny Walker Black NY Yankee Scotch

Johnny Walker Black NY Yankee Scotch

I went to the liquor store to get a bottle of my brand of Scotch, Johnny Walker Black, and couldn’t find it on the shelf. I looked for the traditional black box and didn’t see any. I asked the clerk and he pointed to a black and white pin-striped box. It was a New York Yankees 2018 Limited Edition Johnny Walker Black.
The box, the label and even the bottle cap – all in pin stripes and Johnny is carrying a bat over his shoulder and tossing a baseball.

Johnny Walker Black

So, if you’re a Scotch drinker and a Yankee fan, this is for you. Since it’s a limited edition it’ll probably become a collectible and in a couple of years people will be bidding for it on eBay.
But I think I’ll drink it now.

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Macaroni and Beans

Allesandro Castelli-Italian Peasants by a Cottage

 

Macaroni and Beans

Macaroni and Beans

I don’t always do real La Cucina Povera (the cooking of the poor) recipes but this time it’s one of the best – macaroni and beans. What could be a less expensive meal for a family?  And the best part about it is that it’s delicious. Every weekday night my mother would start dinner with one of her mother’s recipes, a kind of macaroni and “something,” maybe beans, lentils, cecis (chick peas), broccoli, cauliflower and then she’d serve the main course. These macaroni dishes were terrific but she  never considered them “good enough” to serve to guests.

So here’s the family recipe for Macaroni and Beans.

Macaroni and Beans

Macaroni and Beans

Start a pot of salted water for the macaroni.

Saute the onion slowly over low heat in oil. Don’t brown. Season with salt, black and red pepper. Add the tomato paste, parsley and blend. Add 1 cup of the pasta water and let this continue to simmer on a low heat as the pasta cooks.

Macaroni and Beans

When the pasta is almost done add add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Add the beans and some of the pasta water so it has a somewhat soupy consistency. Check for seasoning and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and,if you like, some grated cheese or toasted bread crumbs.


 

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


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Elvis’ Favorite Sandwich

Graceland

 

Elvis' Favorite Sandwich

Elvis’ Favorite Sandwich
This is something that I’ve always wanted to try but never got around to – a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich. It’s a combination that most people would never have thought of but Elvis was a very creative guy. It may be a little heavy on the cholesterol but that’s not something the King worried about and neither do I. You can vary the recipe. I’ve heard that some people add a little honey.

Elvis' Favorite Sandwich

Elvis' Favorite Sandwich

While the bacon is frying start to prepare the sandwiches. Butter one side of each slice of bread and spread peanut butter on the other side. This is a little sloppy but worth it. Remove the bacon from the pan. Slice the bananas length wise and then in half. Elvis' Favorite SandwichGive them a quick fry in the bacon fat, put them on the peanut butter and then add the bacon. Squeeze the sandwiches closed and grill them in the hot bacon fat. Elvis' Favorite SandwichFlatten them a bit with a spatula and cook for a few minutes on each side, the way you would with a grilled cheese sandwich. Let them cool, cut them in half and serve.


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