italian boy

italian boy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

gluten free

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DRINK: cold vino with citrus and bourbon

So refreshing you can drink this all day.  Bottle of decent full-bodied red wine, 3/4 of a bottle of soda water, cup (+ or - ) of bourbon and a thinly sliced orange and lemon.  Combine everything, refrigerate at least for 30 minutes and serve over ice.  Depending on your company you can make this as strong or as light as you like so use your judgement.  Soooooo good.

sardinian pizza


Great cheese-less pizza that's just meant for hot summer days.  Toppings are super Sardinian and pretty easy to find..   Tuna (try and find better quality tuna packed in oil- otherwise regular canned will do fine), red onion, tomatoes, capers, cracked black pepper and sea salt.  Probably one of the healthier pizzas you'll sink your teeth into anytime soon.  
In case you forgot how to make the dough: 1 packet active dry yeast 3 ½ cups all purpose unbleached flour, 1 cup semolina flour (#1 durum wheat),1 ¾ cups warm water (80˚ F), a touch of olive oil, and just a sprinkle of salt.... 20 minutes at 375 or till the crust is golden brown. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

REVIEW: JJ's Cheesesteaks, 14 and U

My new late-night obsession. JJ's Cheesesteaks on 14th and U.
OMFG they're so good and especially at 2am-  though I imagine they'd make a perfect 1pm hangover cure just the same.  Every time I go I try and get a new one and they're all so good. My favorite is the Fire House 14.

They even have chicken and veggie sandwiches in case you want to pretend you're being healthy- but really you sold your soul the second you walked through the front door.  SO worth it- I def recommend checking this place out- if you're new to late night grease you might want to split one your first time.  They can be intimidating.
JJ's Cheasesteaks  1939 14th Street.

food and sex

I do love so much in this world but I have to say, food and sex are right on top.  If you haven't seen it, the Padma Lakshmi commercial... Safe for work btw.  MMMMM, I need a burger..


It doesn't matter who you are or how you roll... you know you want to lick that hot sauce off her leg. 





Monday, July 19, 2010

cold cavatelli with pesto

I don't know what the temperature is like where you live but this time of year in DC it's about a thousand degrees and ninety-nine percent humidity.  This COULD make dinners and entertaining less tolerable than expected, even if you do have killer AC.  One FOOL PROOF dish you can always count on is just plain pasta and pesto.  Make it the night before and leave it in the fridge or earlier in the day so you there's plenty of time for the food (and your kitchen) to cool off.  Just boil a pound of pasta as per usual.  Pictured above are cavatelli, but feel free to use whole grain pasta or even cheese ravioli. Drain them then gently fold in a 2 or so cups of pesto.  You can find it already made in almost any grocery store but if want to try your own pull out your blender and the basic ingredients are olive oil, basil, garlic and salt.  If you want, use cheese instead of salt or add some pine nuts or walnuts for a variation.  This is as easy as can be and acts as a pasta salad or main dish.  A tupperware of this in the office the day after is pretty off-the-chain too.

HUMMUS with fried chickpeas

So I've blogged about making hummus before but its about time I mention it again- this time we're taking it up a notch.  Ingredients are still the same (Chickpeas- 2 cans, tahini 2/3 of a cup, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt).. throw it all in a blender and voila.  NOW, throw a can of drained chick peas in a pan with a touch of oil and fry them till their golden brown and crispy.  Drain on a paper towel, season with salt and add these chick pea "fries" over your hummus for a welcomed savory CRUNCH (you can try them roasted as well).  It really is great and worth the extra couple minutes.  Prepare a couple hours in advance if need be and leftovers never stay left over for long.

HAPPY HOUR DC: Bar Pilar

Nice place for date or a small group.  Intimate setting, fun crowd and nice staff.  The food here is is pretty fantastic and they even have a small plate menu-  great to compliment your cocktail but not stuff you in case you're headed out for dinner after.  HH is 5 to 7 daily with $3 Yeungling, $4 select red and white wine.  There is very limited outdoor seating (one 4 top if I remember correctly) so get there early if you plan on people watching.
Bar Pilar, 1833 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009 (202) 265-1751

Friday, July 16, 2010

REVIEW: sushi @ Thai Chef, Washington DC

so I don't know why I've always been opposed to getting sushi at Thai Chef.  Maybe cause they're Thai and I get snobby when it comes to my sushi.  Anyway, I have to say, I am more than satisfied EVERY TIME (sometimes the knife work or presentation isn't exactly Japanese but hey, its DC in 2010).  Great quality sashimi, fun rolls (I generally stay away from crunchy rolls), AND you can mix and match with a fun Thai appetizer or soup.  Very casual, fun modestly priced cocktails (great happy hour specials) and convenient location off Dupont Circle.  Lately I've been hitting up the air condition and fresh fish on my way home from the pool. Thai Chef, 1712 Connecticut Avenue NorthwestWashington, DC 20009-1103(202) 234-5698

lentils with edamame, cauliflower and corn

I love me good dish of lentils- they're cheap and crazy healthy too.  This is perfect especially if you've been gorging on burgers and macaroni salads at back yard barbecues all summer long and need a "cleanse."  Throw some chopped onions and garlic in a large pot with hot pepper, oil and salt and start to cook on medium heat till the onions soften.  Add half a bottle of beer and let that reduce a bit then add a bag of dried but washed lentils and cover with about an inch of water.  Simmer on medium heat. After about 15-20 minutes when the lentils start to soften (but are still pretty al dente), throw in a whole head of washed and chopped cauliflower.  Let it all cook together for about 10 minutes then add a bag of frozen edamame and frozen corn.  Another 5 minutes, give it a good stir and there's your dinner. You can eat this hot as is, with yogurt and naan or pita, or sometimes if I want it cold as a side I add touch of vinegar for that added tang in acidity.  Screw Activia, this'll make you regular.

Every Italian boy loves his sausage. T-SHIRTS FOR SALE

Do you need a t-shirt that says "Every Italian boy loves his sausage."  If you don't I'm sure you know an Italian boy that does.  T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, tote bags and much more are all available at http://www.cafepress.com/italianboy1
FYI, I got a medium and its kinda big- just sayin.
More designs coming soon...

READER CONTRIBUTION: Kushi, Washington DC

Uh yeah, this looks fantastic.  I think the photo says it all.  From T. Langenkamp, Chirashi @ Kushi, $17.
Rumor has it the pork belly and their gelato are both fantastic.  Who wants to take me on a date?!
465 K St NW, Washington, District of Columbia‎ - (202) 682-3123‎

Saturday, July 10, 2010

string bean side

Whether you're grilling or just having a regular dinner you should always ALWAYS have something green on your plate, if not even try and have it be mostly plants.  Whichever way you swing though, people get tired of salads some times and honestly out in the heat they don't always hold up so well.  Try just having substantial vegetable sides that are cold and large enough to substitute a salad.  Get a big bunch of string beans (I know Giant and most grocers even sell fresh bags of them), wash them and remove any stems, then steam them if you like but I prefer to drop them in a pot of salted boiling water for only a few minutes till they're tender - do a taste test to see how al dente you want them, drain them, toss them in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil, a touch of red wine vinegar, a fair amount of chopped garlic and salt to taste.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Fresh healthy and DELICIOUS.

hotdog party!!!!


hahaha that just sounds terrible.  Well listen, it's summer and it seems there's a cookout every weekend.  If you want to change things up a little, set up an advanced hotdog toppings bar.  Grill your Hebrew National,  Soy Dogs, or whatever kind of bratwurst just as you normally would then direct people to a self serve station that would have ketchup, mustard, relish and onion for the old school purists (never imagined anything "pure" about consuming a hotdog) then these are some ideas some friends and I came up with that can also be offered: banana peppers, bbq sauce, buffalo wing sauce, jalapenos, cheese whiz and chili, American cheese, sliced celery, chopped olives, Thousand Island, kimchee, bacon, cream cheese, peperoni slices, pickled green beans or asparagus, sriracha, sour cream, diced tomatoes ... really, the possibilities are endless.  I just draw the line on m&m's and stuff like that.

ps... your hotdog topping bar should be conveniently located next to the make-your-own bloody mary bar...  I'm just sayin.

Friday, July 9, 2010

tomatillo garlic and almond salsa

I totally experimented on a taco night a little while ago and came up with an AMAZING salsa.
Use this to dip chips, throw it on a taco or use as a sauce for fish.  Wash a couple tomatillos, slice them in half and throw them in the broiler with some salt and olive oil till they just start to blacken.  Do the same to toast a couple chopped almonds but be careful they'll only take a minute before they brown.  Dump everything in a blender, add a jalapeƱo (or 2 depending on your taste), some lime juice, cilantro, a little more olive oil, salt to taste and hit puree.  In the photo above I wanted mine a little more watery so last minute I added a whole raw plum tomato and it was fantastic too.

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!

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