Thursday, May 31, 2012

White Pizza Recipe

A simple garlic pizza, you can turn into anything else you like for toppings, this is just garlic, plain and simple.


The crust is crispy and so is the mozzarella, brown and with a garlicy flavor.

When ever possible homemade fresh dough is always the best choice!


Using 1 lb of pizza dough  homemade or store bought

Make a round pizza pan stretched out thinly in a pizza pan greased with crisco or lined with parchment paper so it won't stick or for very thick pizza use a greased deep cake pan

Garlic sauce:
2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoon olive oil.
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Sprinkles evenly with oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper if you love garlic add some garlic powder too.
For heat, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
Sprinkle evenly with Romano grating cheese.
Top generously with mozzarella shredded cheese or a mix of blended cheeses and bake in a preheated hot oven of 430 degrees and bake until browned and crisp on the bottom.

Optional: 1/2 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese mixed with 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, place random spoonfuls over the pizza before topping with mozzarella cheese.
Other options would be sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, pepperoni, shrimps, scallops, sliced onions, zucchini slices, ham and pineapple. You can get as creative as you like...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pork Chop Apple and Stuffing Casserole Recipe




If you need a quick and easy throw together quick casserole, this is the one. We love how the flavors are bursting with compliments to the pork, how tender it is and
 leaves you totally wanting to make this again!



8 thick boneless pork chops
2 package of stove top stuffing
2 cups hot water
1 can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 can apple pie filling
1/4 teaspoon  each...salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper,
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs

Mix stove top in bowl with the water. Pour into a greased 13x9 pan lined with foil lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Place the stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Scoop out the pie filling and evenly place on top of stuffing. Arrange pork chops around the stuffing apple mix. sprinkle pork with spices. Pour the cream chicken soup mix over the top of the pork chops and the rest evenly over everything on top. Last top evenly on each pork chop with the bread crumbs. Bake loosely covered at 350 hot preheated oven for around 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes until browned on top.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crockpot Southwest Corn Pudding

A delicious side dish for your favorite barbeque!

1/4 cup chopped green, red peppers or chiles
1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 teaspoon fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 16 oz can cream-style corn
4 large eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
optional: garnish with cilantro
Saute garlic and green pepper until slightly softened; add tomato and saute for 1 minute more.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, creamed corn and seasonings; add the sauteed vegetables. Lightly grease a 3 1/2 quart crockpot (or a souffle dish which fits in a larger Crock Pot) and pour the mixture in. Cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours; add grated cheese to the top and cook until cheese is melted.  Garnish with cilantro.

Try these other Southwest Recipes:
Southwest Soup
Tequilla Lime Grilled Shrimp
Grilled Lemon Lime Pepper Chicken and Vegetables

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cornflake Fried Chicken Drummie Recipe



One of our favorites for fried chicken coatings, try some of our favorite dipping sauces
(see link below)

3 pounds chicken drummies, wings
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked freshly ground pepper (pinch of cayenne if you like heat)
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups crushed cornflakes
zip lock storage bag
1/2 cup flour
2 cups canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter



Combine 1/3 cup flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a zip lock bag. Put chicken in bag and toss to coat. Whisk together egg and water. Dip coated chicken in egg and water mixture. Combine corn flakes with 1/2 cup flour; roll chicken in the corn flake mixture.

Heat 3 tablespoons butter and 2 cups oil (I use canola oil) heated on medium high heat and test some crumbs that sizzle when you drop the crumbs into the oil.  Fry chicken pieces not crowding in hot oil until cooked and juices run clear around 35 to 45 minutes, lowering heat if coating cooks too fast, turning often.

Try some of our favorite dipping sauces, Click Here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Polynesian Style Grilled Steak and Pasta




1/2 cup mushrooms
8 sprigs of cilantro washed
1/2 cup roasted peppers chopped
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno peppers
two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice (drained)
8 ounces, rigatoni, mostaccioli or penne rigate pasta
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, divided
1 pound beef sirloin or flank steak
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper



Preheat grill. Fill large saucepan half full of water. Cover and bring to boil on high for pasta 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
Chop cilantro and then jalapeño and red peppers; place all in medium bowl. Stir in mushrooms and pineapple; set aside.
Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over both sides of the steak; then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the chili powder. Place steak on grill and cook for  4–5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 145°F (for medium-rare). Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure desired doneness. (Grills vary widely; adjust time as needed.) Remove steaks from grill; let stand 5–10 minutes before slicing.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 1–2 minutes. Place remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add pineapple mixture (set bowl aside), lime juice, salt, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Cook 4–5 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Transfer pasta to same medium bowl.
Stir pineapple mixture into pasta. Cut steak in 1/8-inch-strips diagonally against the grain; cut strips into bite-size pieces. Stir into pasta and serve.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pudding Cake with Lemon Filling



It's so funny how we relate to food and our past memories of it and good times. We always had this for special occasion's, birthdays etc.  As we grow older and reflect on yesteryear, we realize the simple things are best in life sometimes and we cherish those memories forever.  Life goes by so fast, then one day you think wow that was a long time ago and smile. We can always go back in time with food, the memories last a lifetime, the food will give you the warmth and comfort of childhood.
This one was in mine.

3 eggs separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
 
Grease a round 8 inch round pan or greased 8 inch square pan ( you can also make them individual size in small round ramekins dishes as pictured)

Beat egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks  are formed. In a separate bowl, add all wet ingredients and then fold in with dry ingredient and whisk together gently.  Carefully fold in the egg whites. Pour into your prepared pan or pans. Place the pan or individual pans into a water bath, ( using a large aluminum pan like a turkey roaster filled with water around two inches) Bake in a 350 degree hot preheated oven around 35 to 45 minutes. Dust with powder sugar or serve with whipped cream. Serve warm ..  Sprinkle with powdered sugar .

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Freezer Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe


4 to 8 regular or boneless chicken pieces
1/2 cup beer
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves crushed garlic

Place all ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer zip lock bag. Lay flat in freezer. To thaw and cook: Take the bag out of the freezer the night before, making sure the freezer bag is completely sealed so nothing leaks out, lay completely flat. For thawing take out the night before place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.  Remove from freezer bag when ready to cook. Chicken should never be thawed on a countertop always make sure it's in the refrigerator as it can become contaminated with bacteria.

Sauteed: Place in a heated medium size fry pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, saute' for two to three minutes on each side for thin or longer depending on thickness. Cook until juices run clear and no pink remains. 
Baking: Place on a piece of oil sprayed foil or parchment paper lined baking pan with juices. Bake
 @ 350 degree in a preheated oven. Around 60 minutes or until juices run clear.
Grill: Spray the grates lightly with cooking oil. Heat grill. Grill the chicken on each side till juices run clear basting with marinade while cooking.
Crockpot Method: Put chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Pour liquid herb ingredients over the chicken. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours or until done.  Serve with cooked fluffed white rice.

Try some of these other FREEZER recipes:

Italian style lemon lime chicken marinade
Peanut butter marinade
Hawaiian marinade
Lamb  Pistachio Pesto Marinade
Wine Steak Marinade
Mexican Marinade
Sweet and Sour Chicken Marinade

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Deep Fried Ricotta Appetizers



1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella  (I like fontina too so any white hard cheese that melts well)
1 egg white
1 cup Italian flavored panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon each oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
canola oil
Whip egg whites until extremely stiff. Mix both cheeses together, together with the herbs, spices and salt and peppers.
Fold in the whipped egg whites.
Add in the flour and mix all together.
Make round balls by using a melon ball scooper, and then roll them in the panko bread crumbs.
Heat oil. Drop a little batter in the oil to see if it sizzles. Fry until golden brown. Serve hot with Alfredo sauce or homemade Marinara Sauce.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best Upstate New York Haddock Fish Fry Recipes







Here are some great coatings to try:

Cornmeal Coating:

1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pounds haddock filets
oil for frying (I use Canola however the best taste comes from a vegetable and olive oil blend)
Beat together dip the fish in this mixture.

Then shake into this one:
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
Add to a plastic zip lock bag, shake fish in and fry in oil.

Batter Fried Fish:

3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
2 pounds fish filets
oil  for frying
Mix together. Coat fish and fry till golden brown.

Breadcrumb Coating:

2lb. fresh fish fillets, steaks or pan dressed whole fish
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 teasponn garlic powder
pinch cayenne

1 egg plus
1 tablespoon milk or water beaten together

1 cup Italian dry bread crumbs or buttery cracker crumbs

Dip the fish filets in egg and milk mixture. Shake them in crumb mixture and fry in oil till golden brown.

Beer Batter Recipe:

2 pounds of  white fish of choice fillets snook, cod, haddock, walleye, perch, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, redfish.
Batter:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp of each, parsley, oregano, basil
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 12 ounce can or bottle of beer
2 quarts of cooking oil for frying: heat to around 375

Combine all dry ingredients, add egg then beer. Dip fish in batter and fry in hot oil.
Drain on paper towels.

Italian Style Coating:

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup romano cheese grated
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
1 teaspoon each oregano, parsley and black pepper
Mix all the above ingredients adding to a zip lock bag.
Dipping mixture:

1 cup milk plus one egg beaten
2 lbs haddock filets
oil for frying

Dip haddock filets into milk mixture into coating mix and deep fry in oil.
Well there you have it some of the best fish fry coatings... if your ever in Upstate NY they have haddock in abundance... check out some of my reviews in My Index for suggestions ....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Upstate NY Great Food Experience at Franklin Hotel in Rome N.Y.




As promised, here is our great experience we had the very next day at Vescio's Franklin Hotel in Rome NY ( they are on Facebook too). When you walk in the door, your surely in heaven with the many rows of pastry in the see through glass cases.  A real family atmosphere who runs the business.



Hard to get by these without wanting to eat dessert first!
The cannoli are fantastic!

Everything from pusties to biscotti and more!

Just amazing. Italian pastry heaven. The pusties, cannoli, cakes, Italian cookies, lobster claws and many other Italian specialities awaits you. This is as close to homemade as it gets. The service and family atmosphere is just what I needed to recover from that last dissappointing experience at Cavallo's. I could have stopped right here at the pastry then came the menu..... oh boy and yes great food! Thanks to Aunt Linda and Uncle Joe for bringing us here for lunch!

Lunch Specials everyday, Wednesday when we went, they had Ham and bean soup, pasta and peas, manicotti, tripe, fried haddock, and much much more!

My husband and I had the Fried Haddock, cooked perfectly!
Great service and great food. All run by the family of course, Phil and Carol Vescio, are the owners( tell them Claudia sent you when you visit!) Phil Jr, does all the pastries, Mark is the chef, and Mary our gracious hostess.

Aunt Linda had the pasta and peas, not a pea left on her plate when she was done!
Uncle Joe had the Strawberry Chicken salad, doesn't this look amazing?

With so many scrumpticious desserts I chose the Cannoli and it did not dissappoint me... I could have eaten many more! Delicious!!
So if your ever in Rome, stop in, you will be having a great dining experience. Look for these two guys, will be waiting for you! Say hi to the two Phil's!


The Vescio's

If you want to try my recipes since I don't have any to share from this great establishment try some of my versions of these great meal:

Pasta and Peas My Grandma's
Batter Fried Fish Fry
Upstate  NY Cannoli
Pusties
Almond paste cafe cookies


Our Haddock favorite coating for Fish Fry is listed on our Traditional Christmas Eve Post Click HERE

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Utica New York Cavallo's Food Experience Review Part 1



This photo is what they have on their menu a version of Greens. My niece ordered them and laughed when she tasted them, she said I should have made them instead, mine are much better! These were a little gritty and not as tender as we would like.


As many of my readers know,  Utica, New York  is my home town and near and dear to my heart! I go back as often as possible for my favorite foods. For over 20 years now, I have gone to Cavallo's in New Hartford, NY on Genesee St., always with great compliments on their food and service.  Every time we go home, my husband and I make this our last night get together there, with the family and friends to meet for our last great dinner, well unfortunately, I can't say that this year.  The service was by far the worst treatment we had ever experienced not only there anywhere, even sadder we had the largest group there that went unnoticed!  On a Tuesday night, they weren't even busy to have an excuse!  The food and the whole lack of service experience for 15 people was terribly disappointing. We got there around 5:30 and the rest trickled in around 6:00pm.  First thing, I was told I couldn't buy a round of drinks for my guests on a separate check to do a toast, we had to run a tab, it was policy... that had never happened before. So no arguments, I proceeded to run the tab. My brother had ordered a pizza and wings at 5:30 he was starving, he arrived there earlier and didn't want to wait for everyone. At 7:30 no food for him yet but the rest of us ( all 13 people left)  had ordered way after him and we all had our food. Get the picture, not very accomodating? Well to make matters worse, the food was not at all what we had expected each one of us had issues with the preparation of what we ordered.  The calamari wasn't cooked it was cold inside and rubbery, the coating was falling off and the Vodka riggies, these were tasteless, and very little sauce. The wings were dry and overcooked, eggplant bitter and even a steak sandwich was tough and the cheese wasn't melted. After 20 years and 1900 miles to fly, ( not to mention the bill was $350.00, no refills on our drinks unless we asked and waved  the waitress down more towards the end of all our meals. Then with even the numerous complaints nothing was done to make a better experience for my guests or me. Late dinners, poor service and undercooked or overcooked food.  A very disappointed family and friends dinner,  it was not surprising no one came after I repeatedly asked for a manager.  Needless to say this establishment will now be a very distant memory after 20 years of dedicated journeys to meet everyone I will never say again "I can't wait to go back there!"  I was beside myself thinking of all the good times we had there at one time, what in the world happened?


Uncle Joe, Aunt Linda, my husband Nemo, sisterinlaw, Tonya, motherinlaw Sandy, sisterinlaw Bobbi and my nephew Craig....
Even Adriana the youngest one, wasn't crazy about the macaroni and cheese, she left that too!

My beautiful great nieces Vanessa, Adriana and niece Mary who makes some mean greens!

John, Luke, Mary had the wings... dry and overcooked! Joanne didn't say a word but Luke made several complaints on why it took two hours to get a pizza and everyone else was done by the time he got it?  Really, unacceptable!

The best part of the whole evening was getting to be with my family and some great friends, this is my brother Luke Colenzo and I catching up..... nope no pizza yet, it's already been an hour!

Two of my dearest friends came to see me, Helen LaMore and Mary Macenroe, head of the Utica Boilermaker
As you can see the breading was falling off, the inside actually tasted raw, cold but who was going to come so they could get sent back? No one ever came back or asked if we were good with anything.


Vodka Riggies? With very little sauce,
tasted like plain boiled macaroni
 I stopped taking pictures, it wasn't worth the waste of space
 on my SD card, 15 disappointed people!
So tomorrow check back to see where to go for  great service and food in our opinion in the Upstate NY area, even though we all know food is a matter of opinion, good food and customer service go hand in hand and that can't be compromised, when you lose one or both there is no going back. 

We just loved our next visits on our vacation. The pastry, the food the service and people were all fantastic...so stay tuned!

If you would like some recipes of what we really enjoy eating growing up in Upstate NY see some of our homemade recipes. We always go back to enjoy foods like Chicken Riggies, wings, pizza, greens all from Upstate NY specialities.... Our favorites are Napoli's Pizza, Florentine Pastries, Palateri Joes, Hemstroughts Half Moon Cookies, Chesterfields Utica Greens, Joe's and Rosario's Pizza.  All the local feasts for pizza fritte just to name a few traditional spots we hit. Love the bagels at bagel grove and love the fish fry at Eddies in Sylvan Beach!
St Anthony's Son's of Italy Mount Carmel!  I carry these back on the plane in tupperware!




   see links below:

Chicken Riggie Fest
Fried Calamari
Upstate NY Greens
Tomato Pie Upstate NY Style
Italian Lemon Ice
Pizza Fritte Feast Fried Dough
Pusties
Italian Gravy or Sauce the big debate
Feast Upstate NY Style Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
Upstate NY Apple Pie
Pizza Dough

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crockpot Homemade Stewed Tomatoes

You can make this chunky, in wedges or pureed



6 to 8 ripe plum tomatoes in thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Core tomatoes; place in boiling water for about 15 to 20 seconds, then into ice water to cool quickly; peel. Cut tomatoes in wedges or put in food processor to puree. In Crock Pot, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Remove bay leaf. Serve as a side dish or freeze in portions for soups or other recipes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Curt's Grilled Balsamic Italian Herb Chicken


6 fresh boneless chicken breasts sliced around 1/2 inch thick
Marinade for 1/2 hour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons lime juice. Drain.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with lemon pepper seasoning.

Grill boneless chicken breasts on each side or until juices run clear on low heat and golden brown on each side.

 Balsamic Lime Sauce:

1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon good grade balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon each oregano, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons parmesan
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon canola oil

Combine all of the above spices, herbs with oil. Simmer for around 1/2 hour.

Place  cooked chicken on a plate and pour sauce on top.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Burgundy Wine Pasta Fagioli Recipe



2 pounds of canned white beans  or 2 lbs cooked FRESH Homemade beans
1 can 16 oz  diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1  empty tomato paste can filled with Burgundy wine
16 ounces of chicken broth homemade or canned
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped celery hearts
3 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
grating cheese
1 fresh basil leaf,  and 1 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder  and 1/2 teaspoon oregano
In a large saucepan add olive oil, garlic, cook around 2 minutes. Add celery hearts, tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, herbs and spices. Add chicken broth. Add the beans. Simmer around 25 to 30 minutes.

 
In the meantime cook pasta.
1 cup ditalini cooked
1 cup orzo cooked or any kind of small pasta (I always use two different kinds but you can use all ditalini if you want too.
Cook pasta in boiling water in a sauce pan. Drain and add to the pot of beans and sauce when cooked. Mix together. Serve with grating cheese.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Italian Garlic Greens with Buttered Bread Crumb Baked Haddock and Pasta

A pasta dish with delectable flavors of Italian Cuisine.
Butters bread crumbs on a wonderful light white fish, for example, haddock
 and your favorite pasta dish!

2 bunches of escarole, cleaned and boiled in salt water for 45 minutes drained
1 pound of rigatoni cooked al dente' drained, tossed with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of finely minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley set aside
1 pound of haddock filets
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs with 1/4 cup romano cheese mixed into the crumbs
olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white dry wine
2 cloves minced garlic
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium fry pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 clove minced garlic. Sautee cooked greens until fragrant garlic smell. Add butter, wine, then haddock and sautee until haddock is cooked and bright white in color. Sprinkle the top of the fish with bread crumbs and drizzle with more olive oil. Season with salt,  pepper and cayenne. Cover for around 3 minutes.
Place pasta on the bottom of a plate, top with greens, then haddock. Season with parsley and spices to your taste.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Avocado Artichoke Mozzarella Tomato Salad Recipe



2 avocado cubed
1 ball fresh mozzarella cubed
3 tomatoes cubes
Canned or frozen boiled artichoke hearts
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil, garlic powder, basil, sea salt,
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 fresh Italianelle pepper chopped or bell pepper
1/2 cup black wrinkled olives or green pitted olives
1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil
 2 or 3 tablespoons good grade Balsamic Vinegar

In a small bowl whisk oil with mashed garlic, add all herbs and spices with balsamic vinegar, set aside.
Place all the vegetables in another bowl or salad plate. Pour the dressing over the cubed vegetables. Serve at room temperature with fresh Italian Bread.....