italian boy

italian boy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TIP: espresso

You don't always have to go reaching for dessert. Growing up I learned the best way to put a period to the end of your meal and cleanse your palette is with a nice cup of espresso and a piece of fruit. Much healthier than most traditions in the US but in my opinion the perfect way to finish lunch or dinner. If you don't want one of the expensive Nespresso machines or anything like that, buy a stainless steal Moka caffettiera - I just saw some at Target. They'll probably run you $30 bucks (clearly they can go up to $80 or $90+), the espresso maybe $6-$10 for a can, but the tradition will last a lifetime.

peel and eat shrimp


Whether its a small dinner or a back yard bbq, peel and eat shrimp are a great idea. I always say to get them with the head on if thats available but all you need to do is arrange them in a steamer season them however you like and keep them refrigerated till you're ready. Be as creative as you want with celery salt, chili powder, garlic, et cetera - or just buy yourself a can of Old Bay seasoning. Some people like to steam them with beer. Water works just as well. You know they're done when they get nice and red. These don't need to be served hot so they're fine to leave out on a table or buffet throughout the dinner. This small effortless side really pays off in the end.

look at that rack! (dijon mustard horseradish crust)

Wanna impress someone with some of the easiest meat you can ever prepare? Make a roasted rack of lamb with a Dijon mustard horseradish crust. Fantastic! In a bowl mix together: bread crumbs, Dijon mustard (with whole mustard seeds if possible), a fair amount of horseradish (you don't taste it as much after its cooked), some fresh chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Mix everything until it becomes a paste, coat the lamb (you may need to pack it on) and put it on a rack over aluminum foil in a 450 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes for medium rare. 25 min for medium well. This delicious meal looks fantastic, tastes even better, and cutting each individual rib makes perfect small portion sizes. Great for dinner parties. Prep everything in advance and throw it in the oven 25 minutes before you want to eat.

eggplant rollatini

Fantastic soul warming and traditional Italian treat that my mom would often make. Have you marinara sauce ready prepared on the side. Get your eggplant, peel and slice it in long sheets, dredge them in flour, dip them in egg, and gently place them in a finger or two of hot fying oil for about a minute on each side or till they're golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel to cool. Then get standard casserole and put a thin coating of marinara sauce on the bottom.  Get your sheets of fried eggplant and roll them with a long piece of mozarella inside (freezing your mozzarella before you cut it works best) and a leaf or 2 of fresh basil. Line up all the rollatini, drizzle some more marinara sauce on top, grate some parmigiano and throw it in the oven at 375-400 for 20 minutes. Let it cool for 10 -15 more and YOU ARE DONE. Fantastic

faux pho

So I love Vietnames Pho with Pho14 being one of my favorite restaurants in DC. Lately I've been experimenting with different Phos at home and I not too long ago made a vegan Pho that was FANTASTIC. I started with vegetable stock that I often times make on hand and keep frozen- make your own or buy it made. Bring that to a simmering boil with some cloves, cardomum seeds, cinnemon, a chili pepper or two, soy sauce and lime juice. At the same time prepare a small batch or rice noodles. In a shallow pan cook some chopped portobello mushrooms in olive oil, then combine everything, add fresh basil, fresh chopped spring onions, bean sprouts and fresh lime wedges. Keep more soy sauce or sriracha sauch handy but this is sure to please anyone- ESPECIALLY on these cold winter days!

REVIEW: little BIGS sliders in Houston

I really tried to explore and enjoy everything I could in Houston but I have to admit it was hard. I could not find decent food ANYWHERE. Maybe I was looking for love in all the wrong places but seriously it's close to impossible to find ANYTHING thats not fried, meat or covered in ranch dressing, if not all three. Even when I asked for a plain salad at my hotel restaurant with nothing on it and dressing on the side my salad came with hard boiled egg, bacon and blue cheese. Oh well. Well this place was decent, though everything was fried (even if it was flat grilled I'm sure there was enough grease to actually fry it) and mostly meat, and covered in spicy ranch dressing. I got a beef slider, [fried crisy] chicken slide, and a [also fried] faboulous black bean slider. All very good. Fun place, LOVED the bean slider- makes me want to find a good recipe for one, but holy Lord, I'd be obese and dead in a month if I lived in Houston.

REVIEW: street ceviche in Costa Rica

this was the BEST ceviche I've ever had. Hands down. This was just a little cylinder-shaped "kiosk"/stand on the side of the road at Playa del Coco in Costa Rica (thats the best description of an address I can give you). The flavor of the Dorado (also known as Dolphin fish- sustainable seafood, btw) was nothing short of exquisite. The girl at the stand said the marinade was fresh Dorado (I'm sure you can use most fresh sashimi grade white fish), lime juice, FRESCA soda, cilantro, chili and salt. I can't wait to try this at home!

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