Monday, May 18, 2009

Memorial Day Cookout Italian style!!

I love the warm weather and grilling season! Nothing is better than cooking outside on the grill and eating al fresco!! The warm sun shining down on you while you enjoy the smells of Italian sausage, peppers and onions wafting towards you making your tummy growl and mouth water! Yum! This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day! I will be celebrating my sons 15th birthday also. So the family will be over and we will be cooking outside! Here is our menu! I have a lot to do this week!

Antipasto tray
grilled eggplant
grilled marinated shrimp
Chicken and Veal Speidini
Italian Sausage with peppers and onions
Grilled Veggies
Caprese Salad
Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
1 ounce white peach puree
5 ounces chilled prosecco
Pour peach puree into a champagne flute, then add the prosecco. The peach puree can either be made from ripe fresh peaches that have been peeled and pureed or you can use a commercial peach puree.

Mixed Grilled Vegetables
Verdura Mista

3 small yellow squash (about 3/4 pound)
6 Vidalia onions or large shallots, peeled and cleaned and sliced
4 yellow and/or red bell peppers, seeded and each cut into 6 pieces
2 medium red onions, peeled and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges with root ends intact
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl toss vegetables with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill vegetables in batches on a rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals turning them, 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, transferring them to a platter as they are done.
Serves 6.

Bruschetta Grigliata

Olive oil flavored with garlic, fresh basil, or rosemary.
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil
Prepare barbecue (medium-high-heat). Brush both sides of bread generously With oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, about 1 minute per side. 6 servings.

Scampi Grigliati

1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound)
four 12-inch bamboo skewers
lemon wedges as an accompaniment
In a large bowl stir together garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.
In a shallow dish soak skewers in water to cover 60 minutes and prepare grill.
To grill, thread 4 shrimp on each skewer and brush with additional oil. Grill shrimp on an oiled rack, set about 5 inches over glowing coals, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
Alternatively, brush shrimp with additional oil and grill in a hot well-season ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Garnish shrimp with rosemary sprigs and serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 4.

Pesche Dolci

5 oz raspberries,- preferably fresh (frozen will do if fresh not available)
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 medium fresh peaches, peel, halved
5 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter
In a blender or food processor, process raspberries and lemon juice until pureed. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and chill. Place the peach halves, cut side up, on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 18 x 12"). Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle into peach centers. Sprinkle with vanilla; dot with butter. Fold foil over peaches and seal. Grill over medium-hot coals for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also place in a broiler for 8-12 minutes for a similar result. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over peaches.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mothers Day Breakfast Italian Style!

Make Mom breakfast on Mothers Day!! Don't forget the espresso!!

Spinach and Ricotta Frittata

Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced
8 large eggs
4 ounces (1/4 cup) whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
4 ounces (1/4 cup) grated Grana Padano cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or fresh grated nutmeg
a liberal helping of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms; saute 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add spinach and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a medium bowl beat eggs. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, 1/2 of the Grana Padano, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. Add to the eggs and lightly mix. Pour into the skillet.

With a fork, gently move the egg mixture from side to side allowing the egg to seep to the bottom of the pan. Do this for 5-7 minutes, until the eggs start to solidify and a crust begins to form around the edges. Give the pan handle a jiggle, and when the eggs appear nearly set, evenly sprinkle the second half of the cheese over the top of the frittata.

Remove the pan from the stove top and place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, or until the top puffs up and turns golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Optional garnish: In a small bowl toss 1 cups of halved cherry tomatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs such as basil, dill, or parsley. Serve atop the frittata.
Frittata on Foodista

Monday, May 4, 2009

grilled chicken spiedini


I love this recipe for the great flavors and for the convenience of being able to make them in the morning and throwing them on the grill for dinner. My boys and husband love these. It is my oldest son’s favorite dinner. I usually make up extra of the breading and use some veal cutlets in this recipe too. I also double this recipe as they disappear so fast!

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken cutlets
  • 2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3-4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Good quality mozzarella (not shredded or sliced)
  • Fresh bay leaves or fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Melted butter

1. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until very thin. If you are using the cutlets, they do not need to be pounded.

2. Combine bread crumbs, cheese parsley, lemon zest and garlic

3. In another bowl combine even amounts of olive oil and butter

4. Dip chicken into butter mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture

5. Place a chunk of the mozzarella on the meat and roll up tight

6. Slice into 1 inch thick pieces

7. Skewer, using two skewers on each end of the meat to keep it from turning. Using two will make it easier to turn and handle on the grill, as the chicken won’t just roll around the skewer. Skewer the bay leaves around the chicken.

8. Grill over med hot coals, covered, and cook about 5 minutes per side. I use charcoal and have a bottle of water handy for any flare-ups.

It is very important to use fresh ingredients in this recipe. Do not use dry parsley, garlic powder etc. Do not leave out the lemon zest…It is the key ingredient!

Happy Family

Happy Family
Myself, hubby Louie and Ricky and Ronny on my big 40 birthday!

About Me

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Italian American Mom, Wife, Daughter, living life to it's fullest, and trying to preserve traditions and family values of our culture.