OK – I know everyone would rather see news about our guys, but we still have to eat while we await the return of our beloved Il Volo. IT IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!!! Yay
In the meantime, let’s eat. Now that summer is upon us and no more snow – let’s cook out – Italian style!!!!!
I received the following from our very own Ann. Thank you, Ann, for your suggestions.
Recipes and picture courtesy the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
For an APPETIZER, how about:
Grilled Marinated Shrimp
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound)
Four 12-inch bamboo skewers
Lemon wedges as an accompaniment
In a large bowl stir together garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.
In a shallow dish soak skewers in water to cover 60 minutes and prepare grill.
To grill, thread 4 shrimp on each skewer and brush with additional oil. Grill shrimp on an oiled rack, set about 5 inches over glowing coals, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Alternatively, brush shrimp with additional oil and grill in a hot well-season ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Garnish shrimp with rosemary sprigs and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
Olive oil flavored with garlic, fresh basil, or rosemary.
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil
Prepare barbecue (medium-high-heat). Brush both sides of bread generously With oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, about 1 minute per side. 6 servings.
For a MAIN COURSE, how about the following:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken cutlets
2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3-4 tsp lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
Good quality mozzarella (not shredded or sliced)
Fresh bay leaves or fresh basil
1. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until very thin. If you are using the cutlets, they do not need to be pounded.
2. Combine bread crumbs, cheese parsley, lemon zest and garlic
3. In another bowl combine even amounts of olive oil and butter
4. Dip chicken into butter mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture
5. Place a chunk of the mozzarella on the meat and roll up tight
6. Slice into 1 inch thick pieces
7. Skewer, using two skewers on each end of the meat to keep it from turning. Using two will make it easier to turn and handle on the grill, as the chicken won’t just roll around the skewer. Skewer the bay leaves around the chicken.
8. Grill over med hot coals, covered, and cook about 5 minutes per side. I use charcoal and have a bottle of water handy for any flare-ups.
It is very important to use fresh ingredients in this recipe. Do not use dry parsley, garlic powder etc. Do not leave out the lemon zest…It is the key ingredient!
Now for some:
3 small yellow squash (about 3/4 pound)
6 Vidalia onions or large shallots, peeled and cleaned and sliced
4 yellow and/or red bell peppers, seeded and each cut into 6 pieces
2 medium red onions, peeled and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges with root ends intact
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl toss vegetables with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill vegetables in batches on a rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals turning them, 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, transferring them to a platter as they are done.
Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce (Pesche Dolci)
5 oz raspberries,- preferably fresh (frozen will do if fresh not available)
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 medium fresh peaches, peel, halved
5 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter
In a blender or food processor, process raspberries and lemon juice until pureed. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and chill. Place the peach halves, cut side up, on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 18 x 12″). Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle into peach centers. Sprinkle with vanilla; dot with butter. Fold foil over peaches and seal. Grill over medium-hot coals for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also place in a broiler for 8-12 minutes for a similar result. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over peaches.
To make Bellini:
1 ounce white peach puree
5 ounces chilled Prosecco
Pour peach puree into a champagne flute, then add the prosecco. The peach puree can either be made from ripe fresh peaches that have been peeled and pureed or you can use a commercial peach puree.
I know – you are all wondering “What is Prosecco?” Prosecco is a sparkling wine, or in other words, Italian Champagne. Prosecco is made from an Italian grape called Glera. Italian tradition dictates that Prosecco is only drunk in the springtime, but I’m sure they won’t mind if it is extended into Summer (wink). Alas, do not fret. If you cannot find Prosecco, a nice Champagne will do.
Mangiare, Bere e Divertirsi (which means Eat, Drink, and be Merry – at least according to Bing)