fried chicken cutlets
There is nothing more delicious and special than a stuffed artichoke. My parents made these as a special treat for us growing up. Sometimes cooked in the oven, sometimes on the stovetop. This yummy spiral journey begins by eating each leaf, packed with yummy breadcrumbs and a bit of artichoke. You must scrape the leaf between your teeth. Like climbing down a flight of stairs anticipating the last step, you come to the heart. Ahhhh. Joy. Be sure to remove all the fuzzy hairy fibers or “choke” that sit atop, protecting the jewel of this glorious vegetable.
Here is what I think is the best and “foolproof” way of making an artichoke.
First wash the artichoke. Pull off the outer tough leaves, and then with a scissor trim each leaf so the tips are blunt. Next, with a very sharp knife cut off the top third of the artichoke. I leave the “choke” intact, i don’t mess with it. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop carciofe in the water and let cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from water, drain excess water. Stuff them with breadcrumb mixture.
2 cups breadcrumb, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1/2 cup grated pecorino, bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped, handful of basil leaves chopped, black pepper, 1/2 cup chicken stock
Stir mixture together stuff carciofe (artichoke) and drizzle each one with olive oil. Roast in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes to one hour. Cover with foil for first 30 minutes. You will know when artichoke is done if leaf pulls away with ease.
This past weekend NY was hit with a blizzard!! Fun! Fun! I love the first snow-fall of the winter, always have! As soon as the very first flakes of winter fall from the sky, it almost feels as if it’s the first time all over again. So this weekend we had plans with our very close family friends to come over with their two children for early dinner on Sunday. I decided to make what was in the house, so we did not have to go out… a little of this, a little of that…and here is what i came up with:
Linguine with Cici and Tomatoes
I sauteed an onion in a large skillet with olive oil and a little butter. I smashed about 7 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, added this to the onions and let slowly brown on low for about 20- 25 minutes or so. Do not let this burn. I had Italian parsley (this is the flat leafed parsley) and fresh basil in the fridge which I chopped up and three in to the onion mixture. When everything was soft, light brown and fully cooked, I added a nice splash of red wine, turn up the heat for about 3 minutes or so…stir with wooden spoon, then add about 3 tablespoons of butter. I had cherry tomatoes in fridge, sliced these and threw them in as well. Let the tomatoes blister a bit. I then opened a can of cici beans (chick peas), rinsed them in a colander…drain and add to the pan. Add more fresh parsley and basil…let all of these flavors marry together in saute pan, then add cooked linguine to pan and warm through. Add a few tablespoons of peccorino cheese toss and serve!! So freakin good!!! SOOO goood!!
There is no substitute for FRESH and I mean FRESH, just made, still warm mozzarella!! (I prefer salted to non) I recommend calling your local Italian Pork Store and find out exactly when they make their mozzarella. You want to pick it up while it is still warm and on the counter. You don’t want it once it has landed in the refrigerator. When you get it home and unwrap it from the plastic, warm milk should ooze out. As you slice it, it should be very soft and milky. Get it while it’s hot!!
I am in the process of learning how to make my own… will let you know how it turns out!