Wednesday, September 26, 2018

LEMON & PARMIGIANO CHICKEN OVER ARUGULA, RADICCHIO, & FENNEL

When in Italy, my favorite meal to order in a ristorante is Chicken Milanese. This time I added the addition of Parmigiano cheese and lemon zest to the breading to give it a little different twist. Serving it over a bed of arugula and is a very popular entree in Positano, Italy. I added radicchio and fennel. I served this with roasted new potatoes but risotto would also be delicious.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
When frying any meat or vegetable, use an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, extra-light olive oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil. Save your good extra-virgin olive oil for salads and drizzling on finished dishes.



½ cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg beaten with 1 T water
½ cup dry plain bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ t fresh oregano leaves, minced
Zest of ½ lemon
1 T unsalted butter
1 T avocado or extra-light olive oil, for frying
Shavings of Parmigiano cheese

Arugula, radicchio, & fennel, enough for 2 people

Lemon Vinaigrette
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season with salt and pepper.
In a second shallow bowl, whisk the egg with the water.

In a third shallow bowl, mix together the dry bread crumbs, Parmigiano, oregano, and lemon zest.

Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
Place each chicken breast half, one at a time, in a plastic resealable bag and lightly pound with a mallet or rolling pin to an even ¼-inch thickness. 
Set aside on a plate and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Dredge each chicken breast in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. 
Dip in egg to coat each side and then in the bread crumb mixture. 
Place coated chicken back on the plate.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat.
Cook the chicken breasts for about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through and golden brown.
Place on a clean pizza pan or baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while making the salad.

Rinse salad ingredients and spin dry.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place arugula in a bowl and add some of the vinaigrette. 

Place salad on 2 plates.
Top each with a chicken breast and add a few shavings of Parmigiano and a lemon wedge or two and serve.

Serves 2 




Saturday, September 22, 2018

ROMAN CACIO E PEPE POPCORN

We have popcorn almost every Saturday night and watch a movie. Our parents did the same when we were kids. I like flavoring popcorn with different spices, such as chili powder, Cajun seasonings, Old Bay seasoning, curry powder, and the recipe for Cacio e Pepe that is famous in Rome over spaghetti or bucatini. It works so well with popcorn too.




1 large bowl of popped popcorn
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 T unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, add the olive oil and butter. Melt over medium heat and add the pressed garlic. Mix to combine and pour over popcorn in bowl.


Mix in the cheeses with your hands, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.


Serves 4


Thursday, September 6, 2018

THE NOVIELLO FAMILY IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA C1943


SHREDDED BEEF SANDWICHES WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS & PEPERONCINI

This sandwich makes a delicious dinner accompanied with a salad or soup. There is enough left over for another couple of dinners or lunches. The entire house had the amazing aroma of that chuck roast slowly cooking in my oven for hours.



2 T extra-light olive oil, divided
2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
½ to 4 lb chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 T liquid beef bouillon concentrate
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 T fresh oregano sprigs or freeze-dried
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
Provolone cheese, sliced
Golden peperoncini in a jar with juice
Buttered and toasted Italian hoagie rolls

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, for about 20 minutes until caramelized; stirring often.
Remove and set aside in a bowl and cover.

Season the roast on both sides with salt and pepper.
To the same pot, add the other tablespoon of oil and brown the roast on both sides.

When brown, add the beef broth, beef concentrate, rosemary, oregano, garlic, and juice from the jar of peperoncini.
Cover with a lid and bake in a 275 degree F oven for 6 hours.

Remove from oven and carefully transfer roast to a cutting board.
Cut away the string on the roast and let cool a few minutes.

While roast is cooling, pour the beef broth from the pot through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan. Keep warm on the stove.

Using two forks, shred the beef completely and place in a medium saucepan and keep warm on the stove. Discard any fat still left on the roast.

To Assemble
Place a generous amount of shredded beef on the bottoms of the toasted rolls.
Add some of the caramelized onions.
Top with cheese and place under a broiler for just a couple of minutes; long enough to melt the cheese.
Top with a few peperoncini, trimmed of stems.
Serve with individual small bowls of the beef juice for dipping the sandwiches.

Serves 6 to 8


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

PIZZA WITH CAPICOLA HAM

Capicola, capocollo, or coppa, is a traditional Italian cold-cut (salume) made from pork.


One recipe for pizza dough or already-prepared dough
One recipe for pizza sauce or store-bought pizza sauce

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 oz capicola him, thinly sliced
Oregano for sprinkling on top of the pizza
2 t extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.


Lightly oil two pizza pans.

Preheat a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven for 15 minutes.

Place a ball of dough onto the center of each pan. Use your hands to stretch, form, and flatten each ball of dough to a 10 or 12-inch round.


Spread a ladle of pizza sauce on the rolled-out pizza dough, leaving a border all around.

Sprinkle with a little Parmigiano cheese, 4 slices of the mozzarella cheese, and 4 slices of ham. Sprinkle with a little oregano.
Place pizza pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake 5 minutes; then slide the pizza directly onto the heated stone and bake another 10 minutes.

Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and add a garnish of basil when finished baking.


Makes 2 12-inch pizzas or 4 personal size pizzas