Italian – The Culinary Chase http://theculinarychase.com support local Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:52:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 fresh mozzarella, sweet cherry peppers and arugula pie http://theculinarychase.com/2017/04/fresh-mozzarella-sweet-cherry-peppers-and-arugula-pie/ Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:20:19 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13557 Flatbreads have been consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.  The humble pizza/pie (an expanded version of a flatbread), became popular in the USA in the mid-1900s when the Neapolitans came over for factory jobs.  According to history.com, the first documented pizzeria was Lombardi’s in Manhattan, licensed to sell pizza in 1905 and is […]

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pizza made with no-knead doughFlatbreads have been consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.  The humble pizza/pie (an expanded version of a flatbread), became popular in the USA in the mid-1900s when the Neapolitans came over for factory jobs.  According to history.com, the first documented pizzeria was Lombardi’s in Manhattan, licensed to sell pizza in 1905 and is still in operation.  Loads of people love pizza but making your own can be tricky.  The dough is key and can make it a wonderful or just so-so eating experience.

The no-knead dough recipe is from Jim Leahey.  Since buying his book back in 2012, it’s the only recipe I use and it works every time.  Once the dough portions are shaped, they’re like tiny pillows – so light, soft, and airy.  The toppings are whatever you fancy.  The base can be plain with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, covered with a bechamel, or the traditional tomato sauce.  When we were in San Francisco last month, we stopped at The Market and had pizza and prosecco.  The ingredients are similar to the one shown here with the exception of no tomato sauce. Their pizza included marinated peppadew chiles and I enjoyed the slightly sweet piquant pepper with the creamy burrata.

makes 4 balls of dough
(500g) 3 3/4  cups flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups water

In a bowl blend flour, yeast and salt. Add water and mix thoroughly with your hands or a spoon. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 18 hours.  On a work surface lightly dust with flour and remove dough from bowl. Cut into 4 pieces and shape: take right side of dough and pull it toward the center, then left, then top, then bottom. Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down on work surface. If sticky dust with flour.  To shape the dough, watch the video of Jim.  It’s easier for you to watch than for me to write it out.

For the pizza to be airy and chewy, the oven needs to be at 500f (260c).  My oven goes as high as 550f and that’s what I cook it at.  If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven on a rack about 4-inches from the top element while it’s heating up.  If not, use a heavy-based pan or something that won’t warp.  Jim recommends the oven be heated at this temperature for 30 minutes before adding pizza.  Turn off oven and switch on broiler for 10 minutes.

toppings
buffalo mozzarella or burrata
2 to 3 prosciutto slices, pan-fried
sweet cherry peppers, sliced in half
arugula, lightly dressed in extra-virgin olive oil
Parmesan, thinly sliced

notice the pockets of air bubbles in the dough - light and airy

notice the pockets of air bubbles in the dough – light and airy

Arrange dough on a lightly floured board or on a pizza paddle (if you have one).  Lightly drizzle olive oil over base.  Open oven door and slide dough onto pizza stone.  Bake 3 to 4 minutes.  It’ll have some charred areas but that just adds to the look and taste.  Remove and finish dressing the pie with arugula, crumbled prosciutto, cherry peppers, Parmesan and place a torn apart mozzarella ball in the middle.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  The sweet cherry peppers are an absolute delight.  Enjoy!

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cioppino and a San Francisco mini trip http://theculinarychase.com/2017/03/cioppino-and-a-san-francisco-mini-trip/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:45:25 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13480 During the first week in March, Mr. S and I were in San Francisco; he was attending GDC while I was a tourist for 5 days.  I had never been before and was eager to explore as much as possible and I did!  Each day was packed with something new.  We stayed in the Mission […]

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Italian American fish stew - cioppinoDuring the first week in March, Mr. S and I were in San Francisco; he was attending GDC while I was a tourist for 5 days.  I had never been before and was eager to explore as much as possible and I did!  Each day was packed with something new.  We stayed in the Mission District (so glad we did) and would walk to the Moscone Center every day.  Breakfast was in a different place each morning usually eating at establishments that promoted locally grown food.  Some of the memorable ones were Blue Bottle Coffee (the softest poached eggs on toast with avocado), Chow Food Bar (buttermilk pancakes to die for), and Tartine Bakery & Cafe (ham and swiss croissants that melted in your mouth).  I would have breakfast with Mr. S and then bid him farewell as he went on to the GDC.

Four Barrel coffee, Mission District

Popular tourist sights and local cuisine are always high on my list of things to do along with brushing up on local history.  This brings me to cioppino (chuh-pee-noh) – an Italian American fish stew.  While I didn’t have one of San Fran’s signature dishes while there, I did make it when we got home.  Thanks to Italian immigrants for this dish; they would bring home whatever was the catch of the day and make into a tomato based stew.  It’s easy to make and packed with flavour.

San Francisco’s vintage streetcars

 

 

top of Lombard Street which has 8 hairpin turns (Coit Tower in the background)

Use this recipe as a guide and change the amounts where you see fit.  It’s a forgiving dish so you can’t really mess it up.

Serves 4
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (can use a small onion, chopped)
good splash of olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch or two crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
28 oz. can Italian tomatoes
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 cup water
1 cup white wine
1 lb. of clams
12 large shrimp, peeled
1 lb. firm white fish cut into bite-size chunks
1 lb. mussels, cleaned
8 to 10 large scallops
1 squid tube, cut into rings
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook fennel until it is soft, roughly 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in oregano, red-pepper flakes, and bay leaf.  Add crushed tomatoes and their juice, white wine, water, and clam juice; bring to a boil then reduce heat.  Add clams and mussels. Simmer, covered, until shells open. Add fish, squid, and shrimp to pot. Simmer, covered, until fish is opaque and shrimp are pink, around 2 to 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and any unopened clams. Remove pot from heat and stir in parsley.   Serve immediately with a slice of focaccia or sourdough bread.

famous painted ladies

 

Sightglass coffee – one of our favourite spots in San Fran

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  I used a can of clams as the food shop didn’t have any fresh on hand.  Enjoy!

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grilled radicchio with bagna càuda http://theculinarychase.com/2016/08/grilled-radicchio-with-bagna-cauda/ Mon, 08 Aug 2016 18:48:09 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12894 Sometimes less is more and in cooking terms it’s spot on.  Simple ingredients can make any dish shine. Bagna càuda is an Italian sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies.  The Italians eat it with fennel, peppers, carrots, cauliflower.  Fresh bread dipped in this sauce is simply scrumptious!  Or, give your taste buds […]

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grilled radicchio with bagna caudo sauceSometimes less is more and in cooking terms it’s spot on.  Simple ingredients can make any dish shine. Bagna càuda is an Italian sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies.  The Italians eat it with fennel, peppers, carrots, cauliflower.  Fresh bread dipped in this sauce is simply scrumptious!  Or, give your taste buds a real treat by grilling radicchio wedges and slather with bagna càuda.  I’ve grilled radicchio before as well as romaine but never served it with bagna càuda.  The oil and butter help to round out the garlic while softening the salty flavour of anchovies.  It’s a sauce that is super easy to make, has minimal ingredients and loaded with flavour.

Some cooks prefer more butter than olive oil and some will say only salt-cured anchovies.  The thing is, it’s a sauce you can alter the ingredients to suit your palate and therefore cannot mess it up.  If you have any leftover sauce, toss it with vegetables or drizzled over a meat sandwich.

Serves 4 
1 radicchio (about the size of a grapefruit)
sea salt and black pepper
olive oil

Bagna Càuda sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
8 to 10 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, chopped or smashed
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced or made into a paste

radicchio 1To make the sauce, in a small frying pan over medium heat add olive oil and butter. Allow butter to melt then add anchovies and garlic. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until anchovies have dissolved.  Be mindful of the heat as you don’t want to burn the butter.

radicchioPreheat barbeque. Cut radicchio into quarters and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until slightly wilted. Remove and divide between plates.  Spoon over bagna càuda sauce and serve.

bagna caudo sauceThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  For added mouthfeel, top radicchio with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

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fried olives stuffed with cheese http://theculinarychase.com/2016/01/fried-olives-stuffed-with-cheese/ Fri, 22 Jan 2016 21:56:08 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12008 What is your favorite snack? Do you go back to the same one time after time or do you like to venture out and try new ones? If you have not tried fried olives, you must! They are a crunchy flavor bomb!  I’ve made these a few times now and each time it’s with a […]

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fried olives stuffed with cheeseWhat is your favorite snack? Do you go back to the same one time after time or do you like to venture out and try new ones? If you have not tried fried olives, you must! They are a crunchy flavor bomb!  I’ve made these a few times now and each time it’s with a different stuffing.  I first stuffed the olives with blue cheese and while they were yummy, I felt the saltiness from the cheese was too much for my palate.  So, next I stuffed with sausage meat combined with cheese curds…whoa!  That was one amazing combo!

Use the stuffing or cheese to help close the olive and don’t worry if the stuffing or cheese is slightly exposed.  Also, before deciding on what olives to use, do a taste test as some can be on the bitter side.  Most places will give you a sample if you’re not sure.Fried olives are lovely on their own or as part of a charcuterie board.  Looking for a wine pairing?  The quintessential glass of prosecco is always a good bet but you can also use pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc.

olives pits removed (large ones work the best)
any soft cheese such as brie, mozzarella, goat cheese
bread crumbs (I used Panko for a crunchier taste)
oil for frying
1 to 2 eggs, beaten
all-purpose flour

Place the olives in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to get rid of the briny flavor. Dry with paper towel.  Make a slit in the olive to make it easier to stuff.

Roll olives in flour, shake off any excess, then dip in beaten egg and coat in bread crumbs.  Pour enough oil into heavy frying pan to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 350f (180c).  Add olives in batches (don’t over crowd) and fry until breadcrumbs turn a golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove and transfer olives to paper towels to drain.

fried olivesThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  If you don’t feel like stuffing the olives, most delicatessens offer them already stuffed with cheese, garlic or nuts.  Make a big batch and freeze for later use.  Enjoy!

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antipasto salad – a cinch to make http://theculinarychase.com/2016/01/11988/ Wed, 20 Jan 2016 22:11:21 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11988 Antipasto (Italian – before the meal) simply refers to the dish that precedes all the others to come. It should be colorful allowing the senses to awaken and gets the palate ready for the meal that follows. It is there to whet the appetite and not be too filling. A typical antipasto dish consists of […]

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antipasto saladAntipasto (Italian – before the meal) simply refers to the dish that precedes all the others to come. It should be colorful allowing the senses to awaken and gets the palate ready for the meal that follows. It is there to whet the appetite and not be too filling. A typical antipasto dish consists of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, coppa, speck, mortadellaArrange the meats on a large platter and serve with various hard cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano and garnished with a variety of olives, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Many scrumptious ingredients go into an antipasto dish so why not convert it into a salad?  After all, antipasto is before the meal and in English it’s called an appetizer.  Or if you’re French, it’s called an hors d’oeuvre.   Whatever you choose to call it, this is one heck of a salad bursting at the seams with flavor and color!

antipasto salad - a cinch to make
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (use white if you can)
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed into a paste
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • romaine lettuce, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • handful basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • handful Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 whole roasted red or yellow pepper, sliced
  • marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • handful pitted black olives, rinsed and sliced
  • roasted tomatoes
  • fresh mozzarella, drained and torn apart
  • sliced salami
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic and maple syrup until well combined. In a thin stream while whisking pour olive oil into mixture until it emulsifies.
  2. In a large bowl combine lettuce, garbanzo beans, basil and parsley leaves. Pour half the vinaigrette over lettuce mixture and toss to coat well. Spread lettuce mixture out onto a large platter. Scatter roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, and salami on top of lettuce. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad and season with freshly ground black pepper.

 

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linguine with clams (linguine alle vongole) http://theculinarychase.com/2015/12/linguine-with-clams-linguine-con-le-vongole/ Fri, 18 Dec 2015 20:12:24 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11846 This is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and […]

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linguine with clamsThis is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and you’re experiencing a Venetian staple that started off as peasant food.  Clams have roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken but contain more vitamins and minerals.  Serve this delicious and light dinner with a side of salad, sit back, and relax.

Well folks, 2015 has been an interesting year for me and my husband.  I hope all who stop by to take a peak at my blog are reflecting on the year and that you take a moment or two to reach out to family and friends with a warm embrace.

Xmas 1Serves 2
1/2 lb. linguine
1 lb. little neck clams
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)
oven dried cherry tomato halves, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup
handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Cook linguine according to packet instructions.  Or check out how to cook perfect pasta every time.

While the pasta is cooking, in large sauté pan over moderately high heat, add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When butter has melted add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, oven dried tomatoes, and some of the parsley (leave some for garnish). Simmer, covered, until clams open about 7 to 8 minutes – discard any that do not open.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain linguine and add to pan. Toss until linguine is mixed well with clam mixture. Add, if necessary, some of reserved cooking water to keep from becoming too dry. Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley, and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Substitute fresh clams with bottled or canned clams if fresh is not available.  Enjoy!

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broccoli affogato crostini http://theculinarychase.com/2015/11/broccoli-affogato-crostini/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/11/broccoli-affogato-crostini/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:08:36 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11741 Affogato in Italian means drowned.  Most are familiar with the dessert version using a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a shot of hot espresso; simple and really quite scrumptious.  Broccoli affagato is a simple Sicilian recipe that can be used on toast (crostini), in pasta or on its own as a side.  […]

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broccoli affogatoAffogato in Italian means drowned.  Most are familiar with the dessert version using a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a shot of hot espresso; simple and really quite scrumptious.  Broccoli affagato is a simple Sicilian recipe that can be used on toast (crostini), in pasta or on its own as a side.  It’s a forgiving dish as you really can’t mess it up.  It can be prepared a few hours before serving…just reheat.  In this Sicilian recipe, the drowning bit is where a glass of red wine is poured over the steamed broccoli.

Before the late 1950’s, the Italian rural population were quite poor.  Meat was eaten on special occasions (too expensive) and therefore their diet consisted mainly of vegetables, legumes, and greens.  Frugality was the norm; peasants learned how to make do with little and turn what little they had into something tasty.  And boy, did they know how to churn out delicious meals!  Take for instance panzanella – it makes perfect use of stale bread.  Ribollita (bread soup), polenta, aglio e olio (pasta with olive oil, garlic, and parsley), coniglio con pomodoro (roasted rabbit with plum tomatoes) are some of the dishes born out of a poor kitchen.

Serves 4 to 6
2 to 3 broccoli heads, cut into florets
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 to 3 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, roughly chopped
olive oil
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese (more for topping)
rustic bread, sliced
garlic clove, cut in half

In a large frying pan over medium heat a generous splash of olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft then add broccoli florets. Stir to combine then add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let the water steam the broccoli (5 minutes). Remove cover and add wine. Stir to combine and replace cover. Cook a further 10 minutes or until broccoli is pierced easily with a knife. When done, add cheese and let melt.

broccoliToast bread slices. While still hot, rub garlic half over bread.  Spoon over broccoli affogato and sprinkle more cheese on top. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Love the flavor of garlic? Instead of rubbing garlic on the bread slices, finely grate over each slice. Enjoy!

broccoli affogato crostini
 
Affogato in Italian means drowned. Most are familiar with the dessert version using a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a shot of hot espresso; simple and really quite scrumptious. Broccoli affagato is a simple Sicilian recipe that can be used on toast (crostini), in pasta or on its own as a side. In this Sicilian recipe, the drowning bit is where a glass of red wine is poured over the steamed broccoli.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 broccoli heads, cut into florets
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup grated pecorino cheese (more for topping)
  • rustic bread, sliced
  • garlic clove, cut in half
Instructions
  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat a generous splash of olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft then add broccoli florets. Stir to combine then add ½ cup water. Cover and let the water steam the broccoli (5 minutes). Remove cover and add wine. Stir to combine and replace cover. Cook a further 10 minutes or until broccoli is pierced easily with a knife. When done, add cheese and let melt.
  2. Toast bread slices. While still hot, rub garlic half over bread. Spoon over broccoli affogato and sprinkle more cheese on top. Serve immediately.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Love the flavor of garlic? Instead of rubbing garlic on the bread slices, finely grate over each slice. Enjoy!

 

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pork scaloppine sandwich http://theculinarychase.com/2015/08/pork-scaloppine-sandwich/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/08/pork-scaloppine-sandwich/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:10:10 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11323 Before I chat about this insanely delicious pork scaloppine sandwich, I want to give a high five to the farm-to-table experience in Nova Scotia that’s been brewing here for years.  Farm-to-table movement isn’t new nor is it unique to this corner of the world.  But what I will say is this; it’s the reason I […]

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pork scaloppine sandwichBefore I chat about this insanely delicious pork scaloppine sandwich, I want to give a high five to the farm-to-table experience in Nova Scotia that’s been brewing here for years.  Farm-to-table movement isn’t new nor is it unique to this corner of the world.  But what I will say is this; it’s the reason I started this blog.  We were still living overseas and were deciding where in Canada we’d like to move to.  Our first visit to Nova Scotia was the summer of 2005.  We explored, ate, drank and went away feeling like we had stumbled onto something good.  We decided to take another closer look at Halifax the following year just to make sure our vacation euphoria didn’t cloud reality.  The food scene, local hospitality and a general sense of fitting in welcomed us and we were smitten.  The second time back felt just as good as the first and we were pleased with the way locals embraced all things from the land and sea.  This sense of local support revved up the foodie in me and when we left Nova Scotia, it spurred me on to start some sort of food writing.  I cannot believe I have been writing about food in a very public way for nine years!

I know it’s not a magical number but nine years is a long time.  It’s allowed me to explore, get knee-deep in learning the way food, herbs, and spices play an important role in our diet, trying to impart that newfound knowledge to my readers, to improve my photography, and to engage more with social media which is something I’m still discovering.  Ok, happy birthday TCC now back to the local food scene.  It feels as though new restaurants are opening up left, right and center but what’s really cool is that some are being run by those under 30.  This younger group of restaurateurs are not only feeding us with scrumptious morsels from the land and sea but also introducing us to mixologists creating unique cocktails and locally crafted beers.

So how does this influence me?  Each time Mr. S and I visit a new restaurant I am awestruck how the food is cleverly presented and their unique pairings.  This excites me and I go home wanting to replicate it.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I don’t give up.  The same sort of enthusiasm is shown when I look at a recipe from a cookbook.  This dish is inspired by a recipe I saw in Sean Armstrong’s Kitchen.  Scaloppine (an Italian dish of thinly sliced meat) is usually served with a sauce but I like the idea of using the meat as a sandwich.  This particular sandwich has some of my favorite toppings and every bite is worth savouring just a bit longer.

Serves 2 to 4
4 pieces of thinly sliced meat (chicken breast, turkey, veal, pork, beef)
fresh mozzarella, sliced
basil leaves,
4 slices of prosciutto

coating for the meat –
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
flour, for dredging

Preheat oven to 350f (180c).

If you can’t find the meat thinly sliced (scaloppine style), don’t fret.  Buy the meat, slice it and then use a meat tenderizer and pound out to 1/4-inch thick.  In a bowl mix panko crumbs with oregano and season with sea salt and pepper.  Take 1/2 a cup of flour and add to a dinner plate.  You should have your dredging stations all set.  First, dredge the meat in the flour to lightly coat then dust off any excess flour.  Dip the floured meat into the bowl of beaten eggs and let drip.  Next dredge the egg-soaked meat into the panko crumb mixture.  Repeat process until all meat is coated.

dredging station for pork sandwichIn a frying pan, over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Place two pieces of the meat and fry 1 to 2 minutes or until golden.  Flip and cook until golden.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat process for remaining meat.

To assemble, place one slice of scaloppine on a baking tray and add a slice of prosciutto, basil leaves to cover the prosciutto and sliced mozzarella cheese to cover.  Place another scaloppine on top.  Repeat process for remaining scaloppine.  Add a dollop of butter on top of each scaloppine and cook in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, slice and serve with bell pepper salad.

pork scaloppine sandwichThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  The traditional meat used for scaloppine is veal but you can use other meats.  I chose 4 thin cut pork chops (I cut out the bone), place the meat between waxed paper and pound until 1/4-inch thick (roughly).  The pepper salad consisted of sliced bell peppers sautéed in olive oil with garlic and chopped green olives.  So tasty and delicious you’ll want to serve this more than once.  Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
pork scaloppine sandwich
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2 to 4
Ingredients
  • 4 pieces of thinly sliced meat (chicken breast, turkey, veal, pork, beef)
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • basil leaves,
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • coating for the meat –
  • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • flour, for dredging
Instructions
  1. If you can’t find the meat thinly sliced (scaloppine style), don’t fret. Buy the meat, slice it and then use a meat tenderizer and pound out to ¼-inch thick.
  2. In a bowl mix panko crumbs with oregano and season with sea salt and pepper. Take ½ a cup of flour and add to a dinner plate. You should have your dredging stations all set. First, dredge the meat in the flour to lightly coat then dust off any excess flour. Dip the floured meat into the bowl of beaten eggs and let drip. Next dredge the egg-soaked meat into the panko crumb mixture. Repeat process until all meat is coated.
  3. In a frying pan, over medium-high heat, add ¼ cup of olive oil. Place two pieces of the meat and fry 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Flip and cook until golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process for remaining meat.
  4. To assemble, place one slice of scaloppine on a baking tray and add a slice of prosciutto, basil leaves to cover the prosciutto and sliced mozzarella cheese to cover. Place another scaloppine on top. Repeat process for remaining scaloppine. Add a dollop of butter on top of each scaloppine and cook in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, slice and serve with bell pepper salad.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: The traditional meat used for scaloppine is veal but you can use other meats. I chose 4 thin cut pork chops (I cut out the bone), place the meat between waxed paper and pound until ¼-inch thick (roughly). The pepper salad consisted of sliced bell peppers sautéed in olive oil with garlic and chopped green olives. So tasty and delicious you’ll want to serve this more than once. Enjoy!

 

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pasta with haddock http://theculinarychase.com/2015/07/pasta-with-haddock/ Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:51:17 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11056 I am the first to admit that we don’t enough fish (mea culpa).  The Mayo Clinic recommends two servings a week.  Some weeks we eat that and some weeks we don’t…especially when we’re on a vegetarian kick or the carnivore in me takes over.  The fish balance is a thin line for me.  I need […]

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pasta with haddockI am the first to admit that we don’t enough fish (mea culpa).  The Mayo Clinic recommends two servings a week.  Some weeks we eat that and some weeks we don’t…especially when we’re on a vegetarian kick or the carnivore in me takes over.  The fish balance is a thin line for me.  I need a craving for fish otherwise it just isn’t going to make it to the table.  We have been watching a mini series, Italy Unpacked, with art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli.  The series focuses on different regions of Italy where they both share their knowledge of Italy’s culture and cuisine.  The episode featuring Sicily caught my attention.  Giorgio made a simple traditional Sicilian pasta dish with fresh sardines dotted with sultanas – yes, sultanas.  It stems from the Arabic influence that helped define Sicily’s food by combining fruits, meats, nuts, vegetables, herbs, spices – like cumin, saffron and sumac.

There’s nothing more contagious for me than to see someone cook with passion and enthusiasm.  It fires me up and while watching this episode, my mouth watered.  I wanted to make it right then and there!  But there’s a problem with this dish.  I don’t like small fish because of the bones – a phobia of mine.  If I’m going to eat fish it has to be filleted, no ifs, ands, or buts.  Also, finding fresh sardines can be a challenge.  Of course tinned sardines are available and would have worked in a pinch but the ones I found either were packed in a tomato sauce or a hot sauce.  Line-caught haddock was calling out my name when I entered Afishionado’s shop.

Serves 4
3 to 4 haddock fillets, chopped into chunks
4 to 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, roughly chopped
good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sultanas (aka Thompson Seedless)
pinch of saffron (optional)
handful fennel fronds, finely chopped or use fresh dill, chopped
spaghetti or other thick spaghetti-like pasta

In a large pot of salted boiling water, add pasta and cook according to instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook until translucent then add the anchovies, stirring until they dissolve. Add sultanas, saffron, and stir followed by tomato paste and a spoonful of pasta water.  Bring to a boil, adding just enough water to make a sauce. Reduce heat to medium and toss in the haddock and chopped fennel or dill. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly, stir and cook until fish starts to break up – about 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain pasta but keep some of the water. Toss pasta into the haddock sauce.  If needed, add a spoonful of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce.  Serve immediately and top with fresh fennel or dill.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: If you’re not sure about adding the sultanas, halve the amount but don’t leave them out.  The sweetness from the sultanas go well with the saltiness from the anchovies.  This meal is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Enjoy!

pasta with haddock
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 haddock fillets, chopped into chunks
  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, roughly chopped
  • good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas (aka Thompson Seedless)
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • handful fennel fronds, finely chopped or use fresh dill, chopped
  • spaghetti or other thick spaghetti-like pasta
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, add pasta and cook according to instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook until translucent then add the anchovies, stirring until they dissolve. Add sultanas, saffron, and stir followed by tomato paste and a spoonful of pasta water. Bring to a boil, adding just enough water to make a sauce. Reduce heat to medium and toss in the haddock and chopped fennel or dill. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly, stir and cook until fish starts to break up – about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta but keep some of the water. Toss pasta into the haddock sauce. If needed, add a spoonful of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce. Serve immediately and top with fresh fennel or dill.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: If you’re not sure about adding the sultanas, halve the amount but don’t leave them out. The sweetness from the sultanas go well with the saltiness from the anchovies. This meal is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Enjoy!

 

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Pasta e Patate (pasta and potato) http://theculinarychase.com/2015/05/pasta-e-patate-pasta-and-potato/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/05/pasta-e-patate-pasta-and-potato/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 19:45:05 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=10545 Pasta e Patate is a recipe from a dear friend of mine.  I met Francesca in Singapore back in 2001.  I had heard glowing accounts of her Italian cooking classes and was eager to meet this culinary wizard.  Francesca did not disappoint.  Her kitchen was light and airy and her cheery disposition made all who […]

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Pasta e Patate - a quick midweek mealPasta e Patate is a recipe from a dear friend of mine.  I met Francesca in Singapore back in 2001.  I had heard glowing accounts of her Italian cooking classes and was eager to meet this culinary wizard.  Francesca did not disappoint.  Her kitchen was light and airy and her cheery disposition made all who attended her class very welcome. 

Her classes all began with a history lesson about the region the dish came from, its importance and how it evolved, (if any) from then until now.  Francesca’s obvious passionate interest in Italian food history and food traditions of her country, made her classes a treat to attend.  I would always learn something interesting and new.  If you think you own a lot of cookbooks, you haven’t seen Francesca’s collection – over 1,000!  In 2004 her first cookbook, Pasta in a Wok, was published.  A book full of her recipes that are easy to make, delicious, and ready in 15 to 20 minutes.  She begins each recipe with a short story or history lesson preparing the reader for the dish.  I especially like the message before the spaghetti alla chitarra con le vongole recipe:

Mamma is a very good cook, but don’t ask her for recipes because she never weighs anything and will answer any request for clarification with a meaningless “what’s needed” or “just enough”.

Although the following recipe does include measurements, it is a forgiving one where you can’t really mess it up – do ‘what’s needed’ – and be a bit like Mamma.  Buon Appetito!

Francesca

Serves 4
400g short pasta such as tubetti (I used De Cecco mezzi tubetti no. 63)
500g potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup olive oil
100g tomato purée (or use 2 to 3 tablespoons Italian concentrated tomato paste)
chicken broth
Parmigiano or Pecorino, grated

In a large pot over medium-high heat add olive oil. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook until vegetables are tender then add tomato purée. Stir to combine and cook a few minutes then add potatoes. Stir and then add chicken broth – enough to cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta, cover, and cook according to packet instructions. Serve with grated cheese.

pasta e patate ingredients

My copy of Francesca’s cookbook has a short note written on the inside page and is a gentle and fond reminder of my time spent with her:  “I’m sure that you will enjoy cooking pasta for your friends and family and I will be with you, always, in your kitchen!” 

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Make sure the veggies are of similar size to ensure even cooking. I had 3 leeks in the fridge and used that in lieu of onions. When adding the pasta, make sure there’s enough broth to cover.  This dish should not be dry but slightly moist.  Enjoy!

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