Monday, January 25, 2016

GRILLED DELMONICO STEAKS

Delmonico Steaks are grilled 1½ to 2 inch rib-eye steaks. Don't marinade the steaks for more than 20 minutes because the bourbon will cook the steaks. You don't have to go to Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City to have their famous steak and my version of Delmonico Potatoes. To test steaks for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer.
Medium-rare - 140 degrees F
Medium - 155 degrees F
Well-done - 165 degrees F


2 (8-oz) bone-in or boneless rib-eye steaks

Marinade for Steaks
3 T bourbon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T extra-light olive oil
1 T honey
2 t Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place steaks in a shallow bowl, fitted with a top.
Pour marinade ingredients over steaks and let marinade on your counter top for 20 minutes.
Turn the steaks over after 10 minutes.

Herb Butter
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
½ t minced chives
½ t minced parsley
½ t minced thyme
¼ t minced rosemary
1 T lemon juice
½ small shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the herb butter ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place on wax paper in a row and roll into a log, twisting the ends closed.
Refrigerate until ready to use and then cut a pat for each steak.
You can do this in the morning or a couple of days before you grill the steaks.
The butter also freezes well for furture use.

If using a charcoal grill, prepare a pile of coals on one side of the grill.

Sear the steaks over the hot coals for 2 minutes on each side.
Move them to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook for another 10 to 12 minutes.
Do not flip over again.

When done, place on a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes.

Place the steaks on plates and pour the accumulated juices over each.

Add a pat of Herb Butter on top of each steak and serve.


Serves 2 



DELMONICO POTATOES

Delmonico Potatoes originated in the famous Delmonico Hotel restaurant in lower Manhattan, New York City, in the mid 19th century. I serve these potatoes with grilled rib-eye steaks, sautéed mushrooms and Creamed Spinach.


5 to 6 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 T (15 ml) extra-light olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T (45 ml) unsalted butter
2 T (30 ml) extra-light olive oil
½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock or broth
¼ t (1 ml) grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (60 ml) half & half

½ cup (125 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

In a food processor, fitted with a coarse grater, shred the potatoes, or you can use a box grater and grate the potatoes using the largest holes.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the tablespoon of olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. 
Add the garlic and sauté another minute. 
Spoon into a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet add the butter and olive oil and cook the potatoes over medium heat for a few minutes until a little golden; stirring often.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) degrees.

Add the onion and garlic mixture to the potatoes and mix through. 
Add the chicken stock and nutmeg and cook another couple of minutes. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the half & half and half of the cheese and mix through.

Pour into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serves 4






Sunday, January 24, 2016

MULBERRY STREET, LITTLE ITALY, NEW YORK CITY - C1900


My husband's great grandfather, Louis Casazza, started a fruit stand in New York City in the early 1890s. He later expanded to a store and occasionally traveled to Italy to order merchandise. On the 4th of July 1898, he, his daughter Rose and brother Giacomo were passengers on the ship La Bourgogne. Early that morning it collided with the British ship Cromartyshire in dense fog off of Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. He perished along with his daughter and brother. This tragedy occurred 14 years before the Titanic.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CHICKEN CACCIATORE WITH POLENTA

This hearty dish was introduced to me by my mother-in-law, Marie Noviello Casazza.
Pollo alla Cacciatora in Italy actually means “chicken of the hunter's wife”. When the hunter came home his wife had a backyard chicken stew waiting for him but he would have hunted for a rabbit, if he were successful. Cacciatore means “Hunter”. 
Chicken Cacciatore (with an e on the end), as it is called in North America, is standard of Italian-American home cooking.




2 (28 oz/796 ml) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
2 T (30 ml) unsalted butter
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, bones and skin left intact
1 ½ cups (375 ml) white or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and sliced 2 medium onions, cut in half and sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t (5 ml) red pepper flakes

½ cup (125 ml) dry red wine
3 T (45 ml) tomato paste
1 t (5 ml) freeze-dried or chopped fresh oregano 2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T (15 ml) chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese



Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and hand-crush them, removing the hard center cores. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to chop the tomatoes.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them on both sides in two batches. 
Transfer to a platter and set aside.
Add the mushrooms and onions; cook for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.

Add the wine, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in the reserved chicken, cover and slowly simmer for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender but not falling off the bones.
While the chicken is cooking, make the polenta.


Polenta
4 cups (1 litre) water
4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
2 t (10 ml) sea salt
2 cups (500 ml) polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal
3 T (45 ml) unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, bring the water and chicken stock to a boil, then add the sea salt.
Add the polenta to the saucepan in a gentle stream, whisking as you pour.
Reduce the heat and let the polenta simmer, whisking constantly for about one minute.
Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent it from sticking.
Remove from stove, add the butter and grated Parmigiano cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Set aside to keep warm.


To Serve
Add the fresh basil to the sauce. Spoon some polenta on plates, place 1 to 2 pieces of chicken on top and spoon on some sauce. Serve with grated Parmigiano cheese at the table.


Serves 4 to 6