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 
1 T extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 T chopped parsley, for garnish 

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 halfway with ice cubes.

Add the lemon juice, Triple Sec or Cointreau, 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


Saturday, July 8, 2017

ITALIAN SAUSAGE & PEPPERS GRINDER

Whether you call it a sub, hoagie, hero, torpedo, Dagwood, or grinder, this is a delicious Italian-American sandwich. You can cook these sausages in a skillet or outside on your BBQ grill...like Roberto did!


5 to 6 good quality Italian sausages, hot or mild
1 T avocado or extra-light olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
5 to 6 Italian sausage rolls
Mustard of your choice

Fire up your BBQ grill with coals on one side of the grill.

Add the sausages, close the top and let slowly cook for about 40 minutes or until, when pierced with a fork, juices run clear. Rotate the sausage every 5 minutes or so.
You can also test with an instant meat thermometer for a temperature of 180 degrees F.

Meanwhile, add oil to a large cast-iron skillet and cook the peppers and onions over medium heat until soft and lightly golden. 

Just before peppers are done, add the garlic and cook another minute.

Place cooked sausages on rolls and add some of the peppers and onions and serve with mustard, of your choice.








Tuesday, July 4, 2017

BIG MAMMA 1881-1970



This is Big Mamma (Teresa Lapetina Greco) on her front porch in Portsmouth, Virginia.
I can almost smell her Sunday Gravy simmering away on her stove.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

PAN-ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PANCETTA & FRIED EGGS

This is another one of my husband's favorite Sunday breakfasts. If you don't have pancetta, by all means, use bacon. If you are a vegetarian, just leave it out. It will be equally delicious. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
To quickly make bread crumbs, if you have some Italian bread, cut off a couple of end pieces and tear up. Place in a small food processor or a nutrient extractor. Process a couple of seconds for medium size bread crumbs. This is so much better than store bought crumbs.


Spicy Gremolata
1 t avocado oil
¼ cup bread crumbs, homemade
¼ t red pepper flakes
¼ cup finely diced Italian parsley
Zest of ½ lemon
1 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¼ lb pancetta, diced
2 t avocado oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 eggs

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and bread crumbs and cook until bread crumbs are golden brown.
Add the red pepper flakes and cook a couple more seconds.
Spoon into a small bowl and let cool.
Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and Parmigiano, and set aside.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta until brown and crisp.
Spoon into another small bowl and set aside. Pour off any grease and discard.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and cook the asparagus, turning with tongs, until lightly golden brown and fork tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the asparagus between 2 plates, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while frying the eggs.

Again, in the same skillet fry the eggs until crispy on the edges and yolks are still soft.
You can place a lid over the skillet for a minute, to ensure the eggs are done to your liking.

Sprinkle the pancetta over the asparagus on the two plates.
Top with 2 eggs each and sprinkle on the gremolata.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 2 to 4