Monday, July 31, 2017

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GARLIC & PARMIGIANO CHEESE


Cauliflower is one of the super foods and is often an overlooked vegetable in our diets. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K which is critical in keeping your bones strong and arteries clear. Cauliflower is also an anti-inflammatory and important for brain health. One more thing—roasted cauliflower is delizioso!


1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
¼ cup avocado oil or extra-light olive oil 
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 T chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place cauliflower florets into a large bowl.
Mix in the oil, bread crumbs, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of the grated cheese.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour into a casserole dish.
Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Stir after 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.
  
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Serves 4

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ITALIAN-STYLE LEMON DROP MARTINI

The lemon drop is a vodka based cocktail that is sweet, sour, and lemony. It was invented in the 1970s in a bar in San Francisco. This is an Italian-Style Lemon Drop because in place of simple syrup or sugar, I added an ounce of Limoncello. It's not too sweet this way.


Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 oz Triple Sec or Contreau
1 oz Limoncello
4 oz vodka

Place two martini glasses in your freezer for at least one hour.

In a small pitcher or cocktail shaker, fill half way with ice cubes.
Add the lemon juice, Triple Sec or Contreau, Limoncello, and vodka.
Stir or shake to combine.

Remove martini glasses from freezer and rub the rims of each with a lemon wedge.
Dip in a saucer or bowl of granulated sugar.
Strain martini into the two glasses and garnish with a lemon peel or sliced lemon.

Makes 2 drinks




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PROSCIUTTO & MOZZARELLA CROSTINI

Another delicious antipasto. . .and so easy to make. Make sure you buy fresh mozzarella, freshly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. Italian food is all about the freshest ingredients. You or your guests will love this. It can also be served for a lunch for two. 


1 thin baguette, cut into 8 thin slices, save the rest for other uses
1 large clove garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
8 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma
Freshly ground black pepper
Basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish

Place sliced bread on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 2 minutes, per side.
Let cool slightly and then rub the top side of each with the clove of garlic.
Drizzle or brush on a little olive oil and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top.
Return to the turned off oven and let cheese slightly melt, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Top each crostino with a slice of prosciutto and drizzle on a little olive oil.
Add a little freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle on some basil leaves.

Serves 2 to 4


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

CLASSIC TIRAMISÙ

Tiramisù roughly translated means "pick me up" or "lift me up". It is a traditional dessert from Italy made with espresso, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, Savoiardi (ladyfingers), and a custard called zabaglione. Every Italian mamma has her own recipe. I was fortunate enough to enjoy one made by my friend Giuseppina Cappiello in Positano.



Espresso Syrup
1 cup brewed espresso, or 2 T instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
¼ cup plain brandy, or coffee liqueur (Kahlua), or almond liqueur (Amaretto)

Zabaglione
4 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 T plain brandy or your favorite liqueur

1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream

24 Savoiardi Ladyfingers 
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix together the espresso and your favorite brandy or liqueur and let cool.

Make a double boiler by placing a metal bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
Do not let the bowl touch the simmering water.
Beat egg yolks and sugar using a hand-held electric mixer until tripled in volume, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove bowl from heat and beat in the mascarpone until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream until well combined.

Quickly dip both sides of each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture.
Line a 9-inch pan with the ladyfingers. You will have to cut some to completely fill the pan.
Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top.
Dip the rest of the ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over the filling.
Spread the remaining mascarpone filling on top.
Cover and refrigerate 6 hours.

Let tiramisu stand a room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Dust with cocoa and garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Serves 9