italian boy

italian boy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

salad for dinner

Half the people I know don't eat half the greens they should. If you need to get more green in your diet but have a hard time stomaching it just make the salad work for you. The other day, i made fresh bacon bits, hard boiled eggs, sliced avocado, I chopped dried figs, grated cheddar cheese and cut up some jicama on top of a huge bowl of romaine lettuce. Salt pepper, oil vinegar and that's it. This is by no means the healthiest salad on Earth but probably healthier that what you'd get out. Get creative, mix flavors and textures. If you have to add meat and cheese go for it but cut back on dressing (just use oil and vin) to watch calories.

Other things to top your salad: chopped apples, orange or tangerine wedges, blue cheese gorgonzola or goat cheese crumbles, shelled edamame, chopped peppers, olives, marinated artichoke hearts, diced lunch meat slices, cubed grilled chicken breast, canned corn, ground beef, canned beans... really the posibilities are endless.

wild rice risotto

So a couple days ago I made some chicken stock and immediately froze it in a Pyrex container for the future. Well, I was short on groceries so I threw the frozen stock in a large pot and let it thaw on low to medium heat. Once it came to a boil I added 2 cups of wild rice, a chopped onion, carrot, a hot pepper and a fist full of parsley. I let it cook for 45-55 minutes (till the rice was cooked and the liquid absorbed) then just before serving I threw in a large handful of grated mozzarella. THATS IT. Yum!

turkey cupcakes

Sometimes I call them turkey muffins. Hahaha, I know it sounds gross but I decided to jump on the cupcake craze myself. I have a whole line of savory cupcakes... well.. actually these are oversized meatballs baked in a cupcake tin. For these I cot a container of ground turkey breast, breadcrumbs, an egg, parsley, chopped onions, chopped carrots, shredded cheddar cheese, horsradish, salt and pepper. Roll them into large balls, drop them in a cupcake pan sprayed with Pam and throw it all in the oven at 275 ish till they're nice and brown. This is a fun novelty at a dinner party or a just a GREAT idea to make a batch (as lean and healthy as you like.. or not) early in the week and take two for lunch th rest of the week (Try these with ketchup, mayo, hotsauce, wasabi- or anything else that blows your skirt up).

Monday, October 12, 2009

sarde ripiene al forno

Quite impressive for simple dish. Buy a number of fresh cleaned sardines (2-3 per person), if you can buy them butterflied, do that, if not, when you get home all you do is open the cavity and run your thumb nail under the spine (starting from where the head was) to the end of the fish and breaking off the bone just before the tail. So you basically have one flat filet of sardine meat with the [decorative] tail at the end. Lightly flour each side and lay them flat on a work surface skin side down. In a large mixing bowl combine breadcrumbs, one beaten egg, a fair amount of
grated cheese, fresh parsley, finely chopped nuts if you have them, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix that all together (add breadcrumbs if too soft, add some white wine if too dry), spoon a bit of the mixture on each of the sardine fillets, roll them and lay them flat, seam side down in an oiled baking pan. Once they're all packed pour some white wine on bottom of the pan and bake covered for about 10 minutes then uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. You can prep these well in advance but pop them in the oven last minute so they can be enjoyed warm. This is a delicious treat I learned from my Zia Luisa in Sardinia a few years ago. Give it a shot and I can guarantee that people who aren't even devoted seafood fans will love this.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Basically, you just make the standard Abrusci meatball mix (we usually like pork or a pork/beef mixture). Mix the meat with breadcrumbs, eggs, salt pepper, fresh parsley and grated cheese. Roll them into tini meatballs slightly larger than a marble then quickly drop them in a pot of hot oil for just a minute or two till they brown evenly. Drain them on a paper towl and from here they go GREAT in a tomato sauce, add them to any soup, serve them at a party with a couple toothpicks, or just snack on them the way they are. If youre worried about frying then just bake them on a cookie sheet. Kids will love them, they're so delicious and just fun for any dinner.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

shrimp and rice

(sorry my camera's in the shop so the rez is terrible on this) A traditional Bahraini dish I learned from my friend Zain years ago, just make a little plain rice, if you can add a little saffron, salt, pepper, capers or whatever your favorite seasonings are and at the same time sautee a couple shrimp (I took the shell off and split them down the middle to butterfly them) in olive oil and some chopped garlic. Add the two together and THATS IT. It incredible how fast you can get a top not meal.

bloody mary time

I think one of the best brunch ideas ever is to have a make-your-own bloody mary bar. Have out the vodka, tomato juice, clamato if you like, A1, hotsauce, black pepper, lemmon wedges, beef broth, old bay, cracked pepper, pickled green beans, celery, asparagus, crispy bacon... the options are endless. This is a great way to get inventive and one of the few occasions where I say "more is more." Today this modest bloody had vodka, tomato juice, worchestershire sauce, a touch of taco seasoning, cracked pepper, hot sauce, fresh parsley, green olives, celery and a lemmon wedge. PERFECTION.

fried green tomato blt

SUCH a good idea. This time of year you can always find green tomatoes at the grocer or farmers market. Get a couple, slice them thinly, dip them in a beaten egg, then dredge them in flour seasoned with some salt and black pepper and carefully drop them in a frying pan just coated in olive oil. Once they brown up on each side, throw'em between two slices of toast with mayo lettuce and some crispy bacon! YUM YUM.

About Me

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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!

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