Shrimp with Orange Sauce and Salad – An interesting recipe adapted from Bon Appetit – the mix for the marinade is also used as sauce and salad dressing.
Mix orange juice, Sriracha, honey, soy sauce and ¼ cup oil. Reserve ½ of it to be used as salad dressing and sauce. Add the shrimp to the remaining half. Let it stand 30 minutes, mixing occasionally.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a pan. Drain the shrimp, reserving the liquid and cook them until pink. Remove the cooked shrimp and add the reserved liquid. Boil until slightly reduced, check for seasoning and then ladle over the shrimp.
Serve with rice and salad using the marinade as dressing.
¼ cup dried currants (soaked in warm water 15 minutes)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
Olive oil for grill pan and basting
Salt and black and red pepper to taste
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes.
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors combine.
Remove the meat mix from the refrigerator and pull off a piece about the size of a large egg. Form this tightly and evenly on a flat skewer. If the meat is too wet, add some breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining mix.
Place the skewers on an oiled grill pan heated to medium-high. Baste with oil as they are grilling. Carefully turn once. Cook until the outside is slightly charred.
Olives and Oranges is a tasty and simple dish to prepare. It works as an hors d’oeuvre, appetizer, brochette or side dish.
Keep the peel on the orange and cut into wedges. Cut each wedge into small triangular slices, about 1/8-inch thick.
In a heavy flat skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the olives and orange wedges to the pan and stir and combine. Add the garlic. Continue to shake the pan back and forth to gently stir the contents for about 5 minutes, until the olives are warmed through, the garlic soft and shiny, and the orange slices slightly wilted.
Stir in the oregano, transfer to a bowl and serve warm.
Fry the garlic in oil. Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly soft.
Add the broth, bay leaf, and the pasta. Keep adding heated water, maybe 2 or 3 cups, to keep a soupy consistency. When the pasta is almost done, add the peas, stir and cook for a few minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
It’s an argument that will probably go on forever among Italian-Americans. Is it sauce or gravy? Most non-Italians couldn’t care less and it doesn’t really bother me but I’m going to add my opinion anyway.
In any dictionary, gravy and sauce have almost identical definitions although it seems that to be called “gravy” there must be some meat, or meat juices or drippings involved.
In Italian, there’s sugo (thin sauce/gravy made with meat) and ragu (thick sauce/gravy made with meat). Then there’s salsa, not made with meat and which I would translate as sauce.
When people think of gravy it’s usually brown and often made with meat drippings and a bit of flour to thicken it. Well, why can’t it be red and made with meat drippings and tomatoes instead of flour?
When my mother had a pot of bubbling tomatoes on the stove filled with meatballs, braciole, and sausage she called it “gravy.” When she made marinara, that’s tomatoes with no meat, it was “sauce.”
So that’s my take on the unending sauce-gravy argument. And here’s a recipe for a ragu. You can call it what you like.
Sweat one cup of trinity in oil and then add and lightly brown the pork. Add the crushed tomatoes and sachet. Simmer for at least one hour.
Put on a pot of water for the pasta. Add the peas to the tomatoes and pork and simmer for another 10 minutes while the pasta is cooking. Taste for seasoning.
When the pasta is almost done drain and add it to the ragu to finish cooking. If it’s too dry add some pasta water. Serve with grated cheese.
There are a lot of variations for this one – but always meat and tomatoes. Here’s a simple, basic recipe which you can vary.
Sausage – hot or sweet
Dried sausage or soprasade
Garlic (2 chopped cloves)
Salt and black pepper
Brown the sausage and oxtails in oil. Do it in batches and don’t crowd the pan. Remove and add the dried sausage and garlic. Don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat, taste for seasoning and simmer for at least one hour.
There used to be a grocery store where I grew up on Mott Street called May’s. I’d go there for lunch because May made great sandwiches, especially fried baloney sandwiches. I know a lot of people have never heard of fried baloney but it really tastes great and is very simple to make.
For some reason, we call it baloney when it’s spelled Bologna, the city in Italy where it was first made. I guess that’s an Americanization, like saying “gabagool” for “capicola.”
All you need is bread, baloney and a little oil to fry it in. The better the bread, the better the sandwich. I like mine the way May used to do it, with mustard, relish, and lettuce.
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, most of what we heard about in New York was the damage done in New Orleans. New Orleans got the headlines but Katrina affected the coastal areas of three states; Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Requests went out from those states for help and one of those requests, Mississippi’s, found its way the New York City Department of Buildings. Our Commissioner agreed to send ten of us with five SUVs and whatever equipment was needed to help with structural assessment.
. . . After two days of driving, we arrived at the border of Jackson County. That was as far as our instructions took us. We already were seeing downed trees and overturned trailers miles from the coast. Stopping at sort of a combination gas station-fried chicken restaurant we called for further directions.
. . . We arrived at the Gautier City Hall and were welcomed by a group of officials. They thanked us for coming and gave us some local maps. One official said something like “…as soon as we get a quiet evening, I’m sure we can boil and burn something for all y’all.” I knew he said something positive so I thanked him. I found out later he was inviting us to dinner.
. . . We were able to get breakfast and dinner at the Imperial Palace but were on our own for lunch. There was a Red Cross food van that was surprisingly good. We had to go to Camp Vancleave fairly regularly to have our laundry done and to get gas at the FEMA tank truck. Jack and I made it a point to go in the morning so we could have “Mohler’s” excellent donuts for breakfast.
. . . Eventually a family run restaurant on Bienville Boulevard called “BB’s Po’boy” reopened and Jack and I became regulars.
Our waitress apologized for not having any of their famous Gulf shrimp saying, “The boats hadn’t been able to go out because of the flotsam left by the storm.”
The proprietors and staff were glad to be back and their customers were happy to see them. When we talk in New York we’re usually exchanging information, in Mississippi they exchange “pleasantries” and it really was a pleasure being surrounded by such nice people. The food was good enough for us to go through their whole menu in the weeks we were in Ocean Springs but more than that, lunch time was an hour of gentile normalcy taken out of what was usually a bleak day.
. . . Toward the end of our stay some local building and fire officials invited all of us for dinner at their favorite Irish pub in Pascagoula. They served us corned beef and cabbage with homemade soda bread and the Guinness flowed like water. After dinner a lot of locals showed up just to meet the “inspectors from New York” and they all made a point of shaking our hands and thanking us for coming such a long way to help them. A little embarrassed by the compliment, we in turn, thanked them for their hospitality.
We had dinner with our nephews Stephen, Francesco and Doug. They put together a great meal but I loved the pasta most. I think maybe my niece Danielle had something to do with this too. They used a Giada DiLaurentis recipe.
So here it is – delicious. I used goat cheese instead of gorgonzola. Giada said that would be OK.
Add the pancetta and olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often until the pancetta is crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook another minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Cook, stirring often until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
When the pasta is almost done (reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water) add it to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Scatter the cheese over the pasta and stir to combine. Continue to stir, adding pasta water as needed, until a light creamy sauce is formed. Add the spinach and toss until it wilts.
I grew up with Drake’s Cakes – Yankee Doodles, Coffee Cake, Devil Dogs and Ring Dings. They were my childhood favorites and I loved seeing that happy duck logo.
They’re all still available and sometimes I give in to my urge for comfort food. But there’s one that I miss – Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies. I’ve searched all over but it seems that they don’t make those any more.
They used to come three to a cellophane wrapped package. They were classic cookies, not chewy but crisp and crumbly, also cheap and perfect for a snack. There was nothing like them dunked in coffee for breakfast. I’d given up on ever tasting them again until our neighbor Susan brought over some cookies she’s made. There was a variety and I noticed a few oatmeal cookies that looked familiar. Well, they looked like Drake’s, crumbled like Drake’s and they tasted like Drake’s. Susan, being from Baltimore never heard of Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies, a New York phenomena, and didn’t know why I got so excited.
I’m not a baker but I got her recipe and made them. Even if you’ve never had a Drake’s Oatmeal Cookie you should try these.
Susan’s Oatmeal Cookie Recipe that tastes like Drake’s
In Bowl #1 – Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
In Bowl #2 – mix the milk, vanilla, and eggs.
In Bowl #3 – or in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the brown and white sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the (rolled) oats. Place the dough in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let the dough come to room temperature. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on the cookie sheet. Press it with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to flatten dough into rounds.
Bake until light brown (14 to16 minutes) rotating the sheet halfway through. Allow them to cool and become crisp before serving.
For the breadcrumbs – Cut off the crust of a loaf of day-old Italian bread and break what’s left into irregular shreds about 1/4-inch or a bit larger. Leave it on a kitchen towel for a few hours to dry and get crisp.
Once you start cooking the pasta put the torn bread crumbs into a pan with ½ cup of oil seasoned with salt, black and red pepper. Be sure the oil is hot enough so that the crumbs fry and don’t get soggy. Stir and coat the crumbs with the oil until they just start to toast and then add the garlic slices. Continue stirring and tossing and don’t let the garlic get brown. Remove the crumbs and garlic from the pan.
If the pan looks too dry add some more oil and toss the cooked pasta in it until it’s coated. Add the oregano. If the pasta seems dry, drizzle over more oil and/or a little pasta water but not too much water because the crumbs will get soggy.
Return the toasted breadcrumbs to the pan and add the parsley. Toss well and serve.