italian boy

italian boy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

bistecca fiorentina

so this is something i heard i've been meaning to pass on for a bit. when i was in italy a few weeks ago our extremely knowledgeable server/butcher/chef was talking to us about meat. specifically a bistecca fiorentina which is basically a porterhouse steak but here is where quality comes into play.

in most all beef, but especially this cut, the meat should come from a female cow between 7 -1o months old. a calf will stop drinking its mother's milk around 7 months which start the transition process between veal and beef. two very distinct colors, textures and flavors. now in the range of 7-10 months, as the cow starts to eat grass and other solid greens, the muscle begins to transform but still reattains much of the fat and tenderness from the previous months.

generally, people will often prefer meat from a female- a cow, as opposed to a bull because due to the sheer difference in body size a bull is designed to carry much more weight so the nerves and tendons are thicker and more prominent.

so according to our master butcher/chef, a steak from a 7 - 10 month old cow is gaurnateed to be tender and flavorful. i believe it.


some advice and a tip to pass on. it's an email from James (he's on the short list)... so start from the bottom....

yeah, you can find it much easier in the middle east. but it's not always as good. you can also find it in some latin bodega's here- but still not as good. for true color and flavor, for real saffron, you
need to pay for it. $8 for only a few stamen. i've bought it a whole foods before. it came in a black plastic bag inside the standard wholefoods glass spice jar. i'm sure harris teeter woul dhave it too.

they also sell sunflower saffron, which gives a great color, but lacks in flavor.
what i usually use if im in a rush or on a strict budget, is sazon goya they sell it in most international sections of grocery stores. it has saffron and a few other spices (a few too many honestly), but it dissolves quickly and is great for a yellow rice, rissotto, marinade or sauce.

- Hide quoted text -

On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 10:51 AM, James <> wrote:
> wow. well, PB&J is a tough act to follow. you did valliantly.
> I had a saffron emergency yesterday. I couldn't find it anywhere, and still
> haven't. I called you while I was at the store. you called back while I
> was frantically sautéeing and deglazing.
> do I need to order saffron online? in the middle east, they sell saffron by
> the bucketful, but I think it may be other stamen stewed with saffron (à la
> imitation crab meat).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Windows Catering

Windows is probably among the best catering you're going to find in the District. Bite-sized pieces of heaven and professional service make all the difference when planning an event- from corporate lunches to weddings.
They catered a photography opening I had last night sponsored by the 1869 Society of the Corcoran Gallery of Art at CUSP in Georgetown and the food was simple but delicious. A spinach quiche, seared tuna with sesame seeds and pickled rashish with a raspberry vinaigrette reduction, and mini lemon meringue pies. The cocktails we exceptional as well.
Great job.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


GIACOMO'S PIZZA... the base recipe.. thre's a million varieties

1. dump more-or-less one cup semolina and 3 cups all purpose flour in a bowl.
2. melt one packet of yeast in a glass of warm H20. stick your finger under the tap- if your finger is burning its too hot and itll kill the yeast, if its warm, then youre cool.
3. crack an egg over the flour.
4. add a couple spoons of sugar and some salt.
5. add the H20 with yeast and start to massage it all together.
6. add water and/or flour till you get the right consistency.
7. let rise- 1/2 hour to an hour.
8. drop in buttered AND oiled [deep] [and clean] cookie sheet.
9. start to flatten it out, then turn over (to transfer oil) and finish flattening (like youre playing the piano).
10. add one layer of slices of mozzarella or cheap american cheese or provolone or...(stay away from the crust).
11. add diced tomatos, oregano, peppers, onion, garlic, salt, sliced ham, olives, anchovies, eggs, PROSCIUTTO, whatever.
12. let rise another 1/2 hour- 1hour.
13. throw in the oven for about 20 minutes @ 375. or until the crust is golden-brown and the pizza lifts easy from the cookie sheet. the UNDERSIDE of the pizza should also be golden.
14. Let cool for a few minutes and easiest cut with kitchen scissors

carmalized cipollini onions

it's an email, START FROM THE BOTTOM.. just thought i'd share the wealth to you too....
its the easiest thing Diana! Peel the onions and if they're small enough leave them whole, if not slice them up to whatever manageable size. Then get a regular sautee pan or even a larger pot, coat the bottom with olive oil (you can use palm oil too but just don't put too much if youre using palm oil). Add the onions and sprinkle salt over all of them (add some fine ground black pepper too) and put the heat on the LOWEST possible. if the burner cant get low enough, double up
the grills over the flame and still keep it on low heat. if the heat gets too high then the onions will brown before the carmalize. scrape the bottom with a wooden spon every once and a while so they dont stick but its okay it little brown marks stick to the bottom. once the onions become clear you can raise the heat till they start to brown. at the very end once they ve started to brown (not too much!) you can add just a little bit of white wine to sizzle on the bottom and
"deglaze" the pan- the white wine will pull off all the brown parts that stuck to the bottom and add flavor to the rest.
MMMM my mouth is watering now! i miss you tons and hope youre doing something extra fun for your birthday sunday!!!!!
big kiss.

- Hide quoted text -

On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 10:50 PM, Diana R <> wrote:

Hey sweetie!
Ur gonna laugh at me sooo hard but... my mom was trying out this recipe the other day with carmelized onions and I kept getting flashbacks of walking into ur apartment in the berks and peeking through your fork curtain at these little onions that you would cook! sooo good... and now I have this terrible craving... its like Im pregnant or something (no chance in hell! dont worry you will be made aware if I make u an uncle... ) anyways I need ur recipe.. I remember u cook very randomly and with little to no guidance but you must have an idea of how u used to make these... they were little onions about the size of a golf ball or smaller which you would cook for hours and they got super sweet and yummy... pleeeease Im giving you my toothiest smile here... at least some pointers...
un besote,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

broiled asparagus

one of the fastest easiest side dishes you can ever imagine.
buy a bunch of asparagus- the thinner the better.

wash them, snap off the cut end to where the stalk becomes tender.
lay them in a cookie sheet covered with foil.
drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.

let them broil for about 5 minutes or untill they start to crisp and brown, turn them over with tongs and broil for just a few more minutes on the other side.

if you dont have garlic powder, no worries, just use salt.
if you want a sweeter taste drizzle balsamic vinegar


so yesterday afternoon i ate at zed's in georgetown with tanya. it was OKAY. the one fat hostess/server was absolutely terrible and needs to be fired immediately. she had the WORST attitude and zero manners. our other server though, with the accent, was fantastic, attentive and a pleasure to be served by.
The first major turn-off is the menu it states "an additional $7 charge will be added for those who share an entree." EFF THAT GARBAGE. what if i wanted to split 3 appetizers and an entree? that is just blatant poor customer service from the start.

the food was good- but traditional Ethiopian dishes tend not to vary so so much in my opinion (though i'm no expert). tanya and i got Chicken Doro Watt ( Tender chicken, red pepper sauce, spices served with hard boiled egg) and Beef Kaey Watt ( Beef cubes simmered in Ethiopian red pepper sauce, flavored with spices). we both enjoyed the meal.
it was a bit pricey compared to other ethiopian restaurants but you ARE paying for outdoor seating on M street.

do i reccomend it? why not. would i go back? probably not- i'd rather go to Dahlak Restaurant (1771 U St. , NW Washington DC 20009 Phone: 202-332-6435 Near 18th St. and Florida Ave. Ethiopian/Eritrean. Pool table. 3pm-12:30am M-F, 4pm-2am Sat-Sun)
This place is MUCH more authentic. Its nicer than most Ethiopian and Eritrean places on U street. FOOD IS FANTASTIC.  They have INSANE beer specials with your meal (i think it was and 5 beers for $10).  Great local bar and restaurant.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

tip: energy [and food] saver

Fold a piece of cardboard or cut a thick piece of plastic (really only a few millimeters is necessary) and slip it under the two front feet of your refrigerator. this way, if you leave the door open or accidentally don't push it in all the way, the door will automatically swing back and close. It really does take zero effort and it could save a bit here and there.

i am currently suffering from a broken refrigerator. i had to run out of town for a few days on short notice so tanya got my milk and eggs but EVERYTHING else stayed. for whatever reason-- the heat wave, improper door closing practices or sure sabatoge, something caused the motor to my fridge to burn out and i returned to a box filled with warm prosecco, spoiled kimchee, rotten cod, and cheese with far too much mold, among other casualties. i'm still a few days away from getting my replacement so i'm taking advantage and eating out till then.

But please, protect yourself and your perishables. Elevate the front of your refrigerator and don't let this happen to you.

it's all fun and games till someone gets salmonella

it really is okay to buy tomatoes. my favorite fruit is not by any means tainted or a risky snack. just wash your food! some people call me a hypochondriac, some people call me OCD, some people call me tan. but really, to be safe just throughly wash your fruits and vegetables BEFORE you eat them.. even when you buy the already picked and washed baby romaine or spinach salads another quick rinse or two wont kill you- it might in fact, do the opposite.

if you're feeling too lazy and need a tad of inspiration to wash that grape or apple, just picture the exhausted migrant worker in the vast fields of west virginia who had a bit too much tequila the night before and had to relieve himself behind a fruit tree with only his thumb as a substitute for hygienic paper... and then the lad goes right back to picking.

now obviously if youre eating out, the general rule of thumb is if youre dining in a shady restaurant order cooked food as opposed to raw salads that's advice you hear when traveling abroad but it applies the the US as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Triscuit Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil

basically, all i have to say is i cant stop eating them. if you were a fan of any brand salt and pepper chips, GET THESE INSTEAD. They taste just as good, if not better, are not oily or fried, have a ton of fiber and even 3g of protein/serving.

I was using them to shovel Tribe brand hummus into my mouth but let that go and just stuck to the crackers since they're so yummy.

Great crackers for $3.75

About Me

My photo
Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

Search This Blog