italian boy

italian boy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DRINK: blackberry rum

So a month or 2 ago I went with Lita, Vic and a couple friends to Homestead Farms in Virginia to go peach and berry picking.  Tons of fun.  Great relaxing day, you get to picnic, get a hotdog if that's how you roll and just chill in the sun.  Well, we got so many blackberries I wasn't sure what to do with them since pie isn't really my thing.  I ate a bunch, smoothied even more, froze a huge tupperware, and with the rest I divided them into mason jars pack with a washed lemon rind and half a cup of sugar.  Once they're all packed in fill the remaining space with white rum.  Close tightly and refrigerate for at least 2-3 weeks occasionally  turning the jar upside down and right sight up again to help dissolve the sugar. This soon becomes an amazing treat as the blackberries swell with alcohol and the rum turns dark purple.  Try couple spoons of this over vanilla ice cream.  mmmmMMMM

Friday, September 24, 2010

Repost: Rainbow Bacon

Fun idea, no?  I could see this anywhere from a ridiculous brunch to kids party or pride. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

veggie fajitas

So I had this at Lauriol this weekend with Shannon with our usual Sunday afternoon pitcher of sangrita.  Easy enough to make at home, this is an awesome idea if you wanna share a healthy, fun, low stress meal.  At Lauriol they essentially get two of all the vegetables they have (cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, onion, whatev)  and throw them on the flattop grill with a nondescript Worcestershire-ish sauce.  They bring it out on a fajita plate with some guac, salsa, sour cream and tortillas. How easy is it to get two different bags of mixed frozen vegetables, throw them in a saucepan with a touch of oil and Worcestershire or soy sauce, wait till they brown a little then serve them just like that with a couple tortillas and a vat of guacamole. Plus its another great excuse to make margaritas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

REVIEW: Pret a Manger, Wash DC

Pret a Manger is something we need more of, and EVERYWHERE.  They rave on their high quality, always fresh, and never a day old food- and you can tell.  The breads for their sandwiches are top notch and worth the carbs.  Ingredients are all natural and dropped off by suppliers each morning.  So, the deal is, you walk in, look at a refrigerated and heated shelving system that holds sandwiches, wraps, parfaits, drinks et cetera, you choose what you like walk over and check out. Only bitch is when its crowded you have a pile of indecisive jokers on their lunch hour holding up your way to the front- whatev, its worth it.  Stop by if you're in the hood, its right across from H&M. Pret a Manger  1825 i st nwWashington, DC 20006 (202) 403-2992

melon, jalapeño, lime, red onion and cilantro salad (or with chicken)

This is hands down one of the best summer dishes you can have.  
Vegan or with lean chicken, this can please anyone. Cut a whole cantaloupe in bite sized pieces, and mix with a large chopped red onion, a few jalapeños (depending how hot you want it), a handful of cilantro, juice of 4 limes (assuming they're large and juicy) salt and black pepper.  If you want it vegan stop here, otherwise pull the meat from a rotisserie chicken or chop a few grilled chicken breasts and mix it all together. DELICIOUS, healthy, sweet, savory, spicy and tangy all in one. 

baked cheese tortellini with eggplant

Throw a chopped eggplant, bell pepper and garlic with a touch of salt and olive oil in a saucepan and cook on medium heat till the garlic just starts to brown then add a 12 oz can of crushed tomatoes.   Stirring occasionally cook everything till eggplant is tender then remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Drop your cheese tortellini in a pot of boiling water--they'll sink to the bottom but as soon as they float to the top collect them with a slotted spoon and they're done.  Gently fold in the tortellini with the eggplant and sauce, move everything to a large oven-safe casserole and cover with a generous layer of Parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 275 for 10-12 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble but doesn't quite burn.  Carefully remove and set aside for a minute to slightly cool but should still be served hot.  A helping of this with some cracked pepper and some fresh basil will keep you going back for more.  Sure to please almost any crowd.

sicilian sausage over navy beans simmered in beer and fresh vegetables

Was using up some odds and ends I had in the kitchen and invented one of my favorite new dishes.  In a large skillet or saucepan slowly cook 4 links of Sicilian sausage with a red onion, bell pepper and a handfull of chopped porcini mushrooms and lightly season with salt.
After the sausage is browned and ready, remove from heat and set aside (be sure to leave everything else).  Quickly deglaze the pan with half a bottle of beer being sure to catch any bits stuck to the bottom and add 2 12-15 oz cans of white navy beans (or the equivilant of dried navy beans you've soaked over night).  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until everything has reduces and the beans become a loose mixture instead of a watery stew.  Mix a generous amount of chopped cilantro, move to a large serving plate and add sliced sausage links on top.  This is a fantastic, hearty meal probably best for a nice autumn or winter day- but we still enjoyed it in the dead of summer.

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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