Friday, July 31, 2015

TOMATO SALAD WITH GARLIC & BASIL

I use whole cloves of garlic, cut in half, for this salad. Ernesto Noviello always ate the garlic pieces. He would say, “It’s good for the blood.” Garlic has a lot of health benefits and most Mediterranean diets, which are thought to be one of the healthiest diets you can eat, include ample amounts of garlic.



2 cups (500 ml) cherry, pear, or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, cut in half or left whole
8 large basil leaves, chiffonade (stacked and rolled up like a cigar and thinly sliced)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the tomatoes, garlic, and basil together in a bowl.
Drizzle in some olive oil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Set aside for at least 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors develop.
The garlic can be picked out before serving or just not eaten.

Serves 2

Friday, July 10, 2015

CHICKEN MILANESE WITH TOMATO SALSA & ARUGULA

I had this wonderful crispy chicken recipe in a restaurant in Amalfi, Italy. Arugula is also known as rocket in Italy and probably comes from the French word roquette. You can also make this with veal, but cook the veal for only 2 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite white Italian wine. Molto delizioso!



Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 cups red or multi-colored cherry tomatoes, diced 
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 t  balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T chopped fresh basil
½ t chopped fresh oregano 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl, cover and set aside while making the chicken.

Chicken Cutlets
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs

2 T milk or water
2 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese 

½ cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs

¼ cup extra-light olive oil or avocado oil, for frying
4 small handfuls arugula, washed and dried (one handful for each plate) 
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish

Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
Gently pound chicken between layers of plastic wrap to 
¼-inch thickness.


In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season generously with salt and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk or water and cheese. 

In a third shallow bowl, mix together the panko and plain dry bread crumbs.

Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Then dip the pieces into the beaten egg mixture and finally into the bread crumb mixture.
Set aside on a platter or baking sheet while breading the other pieces.


Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.


Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
Cook cutlets in batches for about 4 minutes on each side. 

Place cooked chicken on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the rest.
Wipe out the skillet with paper towels before cooking the remaining cutlets.


Spoon some of the tomato salsa on the bottom of each plate, place two chicken cutlets on top, and then top with some arugula. 

Finish up with some shavings of cheese.

Serves 4

ONE BIG SPICY MEATBALL


EGGS IN PURGATORY

Here is another classic Italian-American breakfast . . . eggs in tomato sauce with grated cheese and grilled Italian bread. You can use any good-quality marinara sauce from your grocery store or use my Casa Marinara Sauce (see recipe, page 64 in my cookbook) or Casa Tomato Sauce (see recipe, page 65 in my cookbook). Uova in Purgatorio.





1 cup good-quality prepared marinara or tomato sauce 
2 large eggs, preferably free-range
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spoon a litle sauce into two small ovenproof dishes or skillets. 

Break eggs into two small bowls.

Make a slight clearing in the center of the sauce by scraping with a spoon.
Carefully slide the eggs into the sauce and spoon more sauce around the eggs, but not on top.
 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and grated Parmigiano cheese.

Place dishes or skillets on a baking sheet. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until eggs are set and yolks are still soft.

Serve with crusty grilled Italian bread and additional grated Parmigiano cheese.
Serves 2


Note: You can make the recipe using two eggs for each serving—just use larger baking dishes.