Bresaola with Arugula

Bresaola with Arugula

Bresaola is a cured and air dried beef that is the specialty of Valtellina in the Lombardy region in northern Italy. You should be able to find it in a good Italian deli or specialty store. I remember whenever my Dad had some in the restaurant, I used to love slicing it up paper thin, drizzling a little extra virgin olive oil and squeezing some lemon on it for a little snack just before the dinner rush hit. It is even better when you add some arugula, shaved Parmagiano-Reggiano and cracked black pepper. Bresaola with Arugula Recipe Serves 4 6 ounces of thinly sliced bresaola 2 cups of baby arugula, rinsed and patted dry extra-virgin olive oil one lemon, cut in half 1 hunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese freshly ground black pepper to taste Using 4 small dishes, spread out 1/4 of the bresaola in each dish, slighty overlapping the pieces. Pile a handful of the arugula in the center of each dish Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze a little lemon juice over each plate. Top with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano (use a vegetable peeler) and a few twists of the pepper grinder and...
Prosciutto e Melone

Prosciutto e Melone

Prosciutto and Melon is another simple and classic Italian combination in the same vein as last week’s Caprese Salad. Once again, quality ingredients are key here, use good imported Prosciutto di Parma or if you want to try something different, Prosciutto di San Daniele from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. The balsamic vinegar is optional, but does add a nice touch. Please only use it if you have a really good aged balsamic vinegar, not that phony supermarket balsamic. And remember a little goes a long way. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like much of a recipe, but it really is an awesome combination, and is worth posting here if only to remind you of something you may not have had in a while. The saltiness of the prosciutto and the sweetness of the cantelope really play off of each other. Nothing beats being able to throw something so delicious and satisfying together so quickly. Prosciutto and Melon Recipe 1 cantelope or honeydew melon 1/2 pound Prosciutto di Parma, sliced paper thin Balsamic vinegar for drizzling (optional) Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and slice into 1-inch slices, removing the rind. Wrap each slice of melon in a slice of prosciutto, leaving a little melon showing at the ends. Arrange in serving plates, and drizzle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, if using, and...
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

We have actuallly had a Baked Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus recipe on the site for years. But lately, I find myself making it on the grill much more often. The prosciutto gets nice and crispy and you get a smokey flavor, expecially if you use charcoal. Plus, this recipe is about as easy as it gets. If you want you can top it with some shaved or grated Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese as soon as you take it off the grill, while it is still hot. Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Recipe Prep time: 5 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 15 min Serves 4 16 large asparagus spears, tough ends removed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil salt & pepper to taste 16 slices Prosciutto di Parma, sliced thin Place the asparagus in a baking dish or bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until the asparagus are well coated. Wrap each asparagus spear in one slice of prosciutto. Grill over direct medium heat on a gas or charcoal grill, turning occasionally, until prosciutto is crisp and asparagus are tender, but not limp. About 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve...
The Great Cherry Pepper Hunt of 2011

The Great Cherry Pepper Hunt of 2011

The week after Christmas, I was chatting with my friend Mark on IM. He was telling me about the Christmas Eve fish dinner his Mother (she is originally from Naples) made. He was running down the list, Linguine con Vongole, Fried Calamari, etc. While it sounded like a great dinner, it didn’t really excite me that much, because I am allergic to shellfish. But, all of a sudden he said “Vinegar Peppers stuffed with anchovies.” I stopped him dead in his tracks, I had to know about these peppers. As he told me about the stuffing, my mouth started to water: bread, anchovies, olives, pignoli. I had to make them. I had one question though, what kind of peppers? I figured they weren’t hot cherry peppers, but you never see sweet cherry peppers in the store anymore. He told me they were the sweet cherry peppers, but they are really hard to find. His mom keeps an eye out for them all year long, the ones she used this year (Sclafani brand) she bought in June! Still, I figured I could find them somehow, so I needed the recipe. Mark promptly got her on the phone, and transcribed the recipe into IM: very difficult to take the stem and seeds out slow take stem and seeds out very difficult good italian bread in food processor just the white in the food processor also put chopped garlic and parseley put in a bowl add to bowl anchovies, quantity: you know, depending on phil add to bowl capers, quantity: COME ON, same, depending on phil!!! add to bowl olives: sliced black...
Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Here goes another great and easy Holiday appetizer recipe. The stuffing is pretty much the same as for the Stuffed Artichokes recipe I posted last week, except the stems of the mushrooms are chopped up, sautéed with onion, and added to the stuffing. Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 45 min Serves 4-6 24 (two 8 ounce packages) largewhite stuffing mushrooms 1 small yellow onion, diced 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 1 cup bread crumbs 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1 clove of garlic, minced salt & freshly ground pepper to taste Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean the mushrooms, then remove and finely chop the stems. Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until tender, another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine bread crumbs, Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, parsley, minced garic, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Add the cooked mushroom stems and onion and mix together well. Stuff the mushrooms with the filling and place in an oiled baking pan. Drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil. Place pan in oven and bake until the mushrooms are tender about 25-30 minutes and...
Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes

The Holidays are coming and Stuffed Artichokes makes for an excellent appetizer. We have them on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are deceptively simple to prepare, the video below demonstrates how easy they are to stuff, and work well as a make-ahead option. You can stuff and refrigerate them the day before you are going to cook them, or if time is really an issue, cook them the day before and reheat before serving, they will still be great. As a kid growing up, I was a very finicky eater. If I didn’t like the way something looked I would refuse to eat it. Stuffed Artichokes is one of the dishes my Mom would make that I would not touch. All I can say now is I am glad that you grow out of some things. Stuffed Artichokes Recipe Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 45 min | Total time: 1 Hour Serves 4 1 cup bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1 clove of garlic, minced salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 6 tablespoons olive oil 4 artichokes 2 cloves of garlic, sliced Combine bread crumbs, Pecorino-Romano Cheese, parsley, minced garic, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix together well. Wash the artichokes under cold running water. Cut the stems off, flush with bottom. Cut pointy leaves off the top of the artichokes. Spread leaves of each artichoke out and push stuffing in between them. In a pot just large enough to fit the artichokes, add the sliced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of the olive...