Monday, February 29, 2016

FIGS WITH GORGONZOLA CHEESE, THYME, & LEMON INFUSED HONEY

My last summer of camp was when I was 12 years old. My mom packed a bag of Fig Newtons in my suitcase. I really didn't like them but I loved the movie "The Parent Trap" with Haley Mills. She shared her Fig Newtons with her fellow campers, so I wanted to be like her character in the movie. This recipe does not taste like the old figs I remember and is a delicious way to serve fresh figs. There are a lot of recipes out there with the combination of figs, honey, and cheese. I infused the honey with thyme leaves and lemon zest. I think you will enjoy this for a healthy light lunch or breakfast.


4 slices whole grain bread
2 t unsalted butter
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese, softened
¼ cup raw unfiltered honey
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
Zest of ½ lemon
3 Brown Turkey figs, stems removed and thinly sliced

In a skillet or griddle, melt butter and toast the bread until golden on both sides.
Spread the Gorgonzola cheese evenly on all 4 slices of toasted bread.
Pour honey into a small saucepan or bowl and heat slightly.

Add thyme leaves and lemon zest.
Arrange figs on each slice of bread.
Drizzle with honey and serve.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

MINESTRONE

Just about every region of Italy has its own minestrone or “big soup.” This was a basic, hearty soup for Italians in the new country. For Minestrone alla Genovese, add a dollop of basil pesto sauce on top of the soup. For Minestrone alla Milanese, add arborio rice instead of pasta and omit the pesto sauce.



Soffrito “underfried”
2 oz pancetta, diced
2 T extra-light olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium leek, cleaned, white part diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the pancetta over medium-high heat until golden.
Add the oil to the pot and sauté the onion, leek, and celery until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute.

Soup
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1 small savoy cabbage, cored and chopped
1 (3-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme, tied together with cotton butcher’s twine
1 t freeze-dried or chopped fresh basil
1 t freeze-dried or chopped fresh oregano
1 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
12 cups (3 qts) chicken stock

3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
1 small bunch Swiss chard leaves, trimmed of stems and chopped
1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup ditalini or ditali pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for the table

Pour tomatoes into a bowl and hand-crush them, removing the hard center cores.
Alternatively, use an immersion blender to chop the tomatoes.

In the pot with the soffrito, stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cabbage, cheese rind, bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, partially cover and let simmer 30 minutes, stirring a few times.
Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer another 30 minutes.

To the pot, add the zucchini, parsley, Swiss chard, beans, and pasta.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer until pasta is al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the cheese rind, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs, before serving.

Sprinkle with a little more parsley and serve with crusty bread and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Serves 4 to 6




MARIE THERESA NOVIELLO CASAZZA



In her kitchen in 1968, Temple Hills, Maryland 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ITALIAN GRINDER

Whether you call it a sub, hoagie, hero, or grinder, this is a quintessential Italian-American sandwich.  


1 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut into 2 (6 to 8-inch) pieces 
Mayonnaise
Capicola or other Italian ham, sliced
Pepperoni, sliced
Genoa salami, sliced 
Provolone cheese, sliced 
Shredded lettuce
Onion slices
Tomato slices
Pepperoncini peppers, stems removed and sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Garlic powder
Freeze-dried or chopped fresh oregano red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice each piece of bread lengthwise to make sandwich rolls.
Spread a little mayonnaise on each side of the bread.
Layer the bottom half with a slice of the ham, pepperoni, salami, and provolone. 
Place under the broiler for a minute or two, just to melt the cheese.
Add the lettuce, onion slices, tomato slices, and pepperoncini. 
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Sprinkle with a little garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the top half of bread on and serve. 

Serves 2 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ANGELINA CECELIA GRECO


Angelina (Angie) as a maid of honor in her older sister, Mary Geraldine's wedding to Francis Boccardi on 22 April 1935, Portsmouth, Virginia.