Welcome to Gordon and Julie Italian Seconda Parte (Part 2)
Italian Food is a favorite of ours and seeing as how we love to share things we find particularly tasty, here a but a few more recipes for your enjoyment. Italian food is always delicious as well as beautiful, healthy as well as artistic, and traditional as well as modern.
We do hope that you will fall in love with these recipes as much as we have.
Gordon and Julie
Spaghetti, most American’s first introduction to Italian food which is why most American mom’s make it so often for their families.
If you would like to check out a few of our other Italian posts…….
But, while waiting for any number of these delicious recipes to cook, you can always serve some very pretty and delicious Italian themed appetizers, and some wine. Like so……
I Love Little Cheeses, Sausages, Crackers and Mustards……
Select a good bottle of Italian Wine
Fruit and Plants or Flowers are always a nice touch.
String of Pearls, or as I like to call them, String of Peas
The Stomboli with the Pesto
Making the Pesto, Step by Step
1 Cup Parsley Sprigs
2 Cloves Garlic
¼ Cup Pine Nuts
1 Tbsp Shaved Parmesan Cheese
1 ½ Cups Basil Leaves
A few grinds of Black Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
½ Cup Olive Oil
Making Pesto is quite easy as you will see…
Strip off most of the stems of the Parsley and place them into the blender.
Putting Parsley into your Pesto will make it stay green longer. This is a trick I learned in Culinary School.
Add your Garlic Cloves
Then add your pine nuts.
And now your Parmesan Cheese
Now add your Basil Leaves
Fresh black pepper, salt, and Olive oil
Blend the mixture until smooth as shown adding more olive oil as needed. Now wasn’t that easy!
The History of Stromboli is Italian/American, or Italian Immigrants that settled in Pennsylvania.
We knew a family when we were living in Hawaii, who were Italian and originally from New York. (Or was it New Jersey?) Anyway, our daughter’s were friends in Girl Scout’s and at many Pot Luck Dinner get-together’s Jeanne would bring Stomboli. I would usually eat the most of it because it just tasted so good! Well, I asked her for the recipe and here is what she wrote…….
Stromboli for Julie
4 Cups of Bread Flour
1 Pkg. of Yeast (Rapid Rise)
1 Tbs. of Salt
Add Salt to Flour, mix package of Yeast with 1 1/2 Cup of Warm Water. Mix Flour and Salt to Yeast and Water. Knead into dough ball. Let rise 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 450F.
Cut dough in half. Roll out dough (not too thin)
Add Cold Cuts:
Roll dough and cold cuts (not too tight)
Coat dough with olive oil and place on greased pan, cookie sheet…
Bake until Brown.
Now for OUR Stomboliwhich we based off the above recipe.
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Warm Water – between 100’F and 110’F
1 pkg Yeast – Rapid Rise (Instant)
½ tsp. Sugar
1 tsp Salt
Add half of your flour to a large bowl.
Now add your one Packet of yeast and sugar to your bowl.
Then your salt.
Place your water into a microwave proof container and microwave until it reaches luke warm to hot… about 35 sec on high.
Measure the temperature with a thermometer… it should be between 100 to 110’F. Any hotter and it will kill the yeast.
Now add your olive oil to the water.
Add your liquids to the bowl and begin to stir the ingredients together first using a wooden spoon as shown.
Add the rest of your flour a little at a time as you mix the flour mixture together.
You will see it start to come together.
Add flour to help absorb the liquid and remove it from the edge of the bowl as shown.
It should now start to look like dough. Begin to kneed the dough in the bowl as shown.
Using another bowl, wipe the sides with some olive oil…
Heat the bowl using the microwave for about 30 sec. You could also use the oven if it is on low.
Place your dough into the bowl and add a touch of olive oil to the top of the dough as shown and rub it all over the dough.
Place the dough into a warm place like around your oven and cover with a towel to let it rise… which takes about 1-2 hours.
3-4 Provolone Cheese Slices
4-5 Mozzarella Cheese Slices
3-4 Tbsp Fresh Pesto
3 -4 slices Various Deli Meats – Honey Ham, Smoked Ham, Prosciutto
Using a Tbsp of flour, spread it evenly over your working surface… doing this helps the dough not to stick to the table top.
Using a knife, cut the dough in half.
Spread the dough out flat using a roller to about ¼ inch thick as shown.
Spread your pesto over the dough as shown, keeping it about an inch away from the edges.
Now place your cheese slices on top of the pesto.
….as well as your deli meat slices.
Gordon Arranging the Ingredients so Nicely
Fold ½ of the side of the dough to the center of the meat slices, then fold the other side down and over the bottom side making a package as shown. Fold the left and right edges over sealing them shut making a package.
Place them on a cookie sheet that has been first sprayed with Pam or oil.
Make an egg wash by cracking your egg into a small bowl and add around a tsp of cold water. Whisk them together until fully combined using a fork.
Brush your Stromboli completely with the egg wash to give the dough a great color.
Bake in the oven at 400’F for about 30 min. or until golden brown as shown below.
When slightly cooled, slice in sections.
Great Italian Night, Sandwich Night
You can also make a great dip using an Italian Salad Dressing dry seasoning mix and some olive oil as seen in the pictures. Dip your Stromboli into the seasoned olive oil for more great Italian flavor!
This is soooooo Delicious!
3 Sausage links – casings removed – Sweet or Savory type
½ Cups diced onions
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
¼ Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1-2 Tbsp Oregano leaves
1 Tbsp Dried Basil leaves
1 ¼ Cups Parmesan Cheese – Shredded
Fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Place your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Using a knife, remove the casings from the sausage links.
Place them into the skillet.
And add your onions and stir together.
Continue to mix the meat and onions together and add some of the tomato paste.
Mix the ingredients and add the rest of the tomato paste.
Continue to stir the ingredients breaking up the sausage as you go.
When fully cooked, add your breadcrumbs.
Turn off the heat and add your fresh oregano leaves.
Now add your dried basil.
Add ¼ cup of your shredded Parmesan cheese.
Add your ground pepper and stir everything together to fully combine.
In a large baking dish add enough olive oil to slightly coat the bottom.
Using a vegetable peeler remove the skin of the zucchini so it will lay flat.
Using a sharp knife, remove a small portion of the top of the zucchini… about ¼ inch. Using a melon baller, remove the center section of the zucchini as shown without going too deep.
Place the zucchini into the baking dish and prepare the rest of the zucchini the same way.
Spoon your meat mixture into the zucchini.
Continue to add the meat to all the zucchini.
Lightly cover the filled zucchini with a small amount of bread crumbs.
Now, sprinkle the rest of the shredded Parmesan cheese over the zucchini.
Cover the baking dishes with foil and back in the oven at 400’F for about 20 min.
Remove the foil and continue to cook for another 10 min. until the zucchini are soft and the meat topping begins to brown as shown.
I did get a bit “Pic Heavy” here at the end but these Stuffed Zucchini were so good and beautiful, that I just couldn’t resist.
Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
2 Cans Artichoke Bottoms – about 16
2 Jars Marinated Artichoke Hearts – drained, and chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
¾ Cup Zucchini – Diced
½ Cup Green Bell Pepper – Diced
½ Cup Red Bell Pepper – Diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Garlic Cloves – Chopped
2 Cups Orzo Rice – cooked per container instructions
2 Tbsp Oregano Leaves – chopped
1 3/4 Cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Using the Leftover Zucchini from the recipe above.
Drain the canned artichoke bottoms in a small colander.
Place your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Using paper towels, dry off your artichoke bottoms.
Drain your marinated artichoke hearts in a colander and set aside.
Chop your zucchini into diced sized pieces.
Place them in your skillet.
Next add your green, and red bell peppers to the skillet and stir the ingredients.
Add pepper and salt to taste and stir together.
Fill a medium sized pot with ¾ the way up with water and start it to boil.
Remove the outer paper-like skin of the garlic.
Cut off the root end and discard then chop the garlic as shown.
Next chop your marinated artichoke hearts and add them to the skillet.
…….and stir all the ingredients.
The water for your Orzo is likely at the boil so add yourOrzoto the pot and cook as directed.
Adding Orzo Pasta to the Pot
Add the chopped garlic to the skillet and stir.
Chop your fresh Oregano
Orzo Pasta Boiling
And add your Oregano to the skillet and stir.
Now add ½ Cup of grated Parmesan to the skillet and stir.
When ready, drain your Orzo in a large colander.
And add as much or as little as you would like to the skillet. I made more to have for leftovers. Taste the skillet mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil.
Place your artichoke bottoms on the cookie sheet curved side up and fill the artichoke with your skillet mixture.
Once Filled they are Ready for the Grated Parm
When they all are filled, top them with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven at 400’F for 20 min. or until the cheese is melted and the tops start to brown.
Let Cool, Great Finger Foods
I love my “World” tablecloth, especially the Roma, Italia part.
Italian Chicken Breasts
5 Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dried Basil Leaves
½ Tbsp Dried Rosemary chopped
1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Chicken Stock – ¾ or all of the box
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Place your olive oil into a large skillet or oven proof sauté pan and heat to Medium heat. For a pan to be oven proof, it can’t have any plastic handle that would melt.
Season your chicken breasts with the lemon pepper and garlic powder on both sides. When the oil is hot, place your chicken breast pretty side down into the hot oil. You always want to cook the side of the meat you will be presenting first. Nice picture Julie of what I was talking about. You can see that this side it the side of the breast that was cut away from the bone… or the ugly side.
Season the ugly side of the breasts with the dried Basil and Rosemary.
Sautee the chicken breasts until they are golden brown on the one side as shown in the picture with the middle breast. Turn all the breasts over and season the pretty side with the Basil and Rosemary.
Place the sauté pan into a 400’F oven for about 10 min. or until the chicken is fully cooked and the internally temperature reaches 160’F.
When the breasts are fully cooked set them aside on a plate to rest for about 10 min. Doing this will allow those hot juices from inside the meat to flow back into the center of the breast, creating a juicy chicken breast. If you don’t let it rest, those juices will simply flow out onto the plate making a very dry piece of meat…. So let them rest!
Here you can see the chicken juices and fats along with some of the Fond or pieces that stuck to the bottom of the pan. I also poured in some of the chicken stock to cool down the pan.
Add your flour to the pan and turn the heat under the pan to low. Use an oven mitt as the pan’s handle will be extremely hot at this point.
And whisk away until the lumps go away and the sauce starts to thicken.
Add the rest of your chicken stock and turn off the heat and whisk more. Add a touch of pepper to the gravy and you are done! Be sure to taste the gravy as you may want to add more Basil or Rosemary.
Perfect, especially with the leftover stuffing for our Artichoke Bottoms from above, as a side.
The Muffaletta’s Origins are Italian
One of my, Julie’s, favorite sandwiches, the Muffaletta. My favorite Muffaletta I ate years ago in the French Quarter in New Orleans. I also found the best used bookstore ever there! Piles of books stacked up to the ceiling! I was having a field day shopping when Gordon wanted lunch, so we found an excellent restaurant and ate. I can see it all in my mind as if it were yesterday. Food and Memories go hand in hand.
And although the sandwich is of Italy in nature, there is no such sandwich in Italy. That’s because it was invented by Sicilian immigrants that arrived in the late 1800’s from the Port of Palermo to the Port of New Orleans. They quickly settled in and their food became popular.
So, here is our quick and easy Muffaletta Sandwich.
Wheat Loaf Bread, Round
4 Tbsp. Grainy Mustard
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
~12 Oz. Muffuletta Salad (You can make your own or buy it ready made.)
3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Lb. Provolone Cheese slices
1/4 Lb. Turkey Pastrami slices
1/4 Lb. Honey Ham slices
1/4 Lb. Swiss Cheese slices
1/4 Lb. Mozzarella Cheese slices
All of our Meats and Cheeses
Slice the round loaf in half
Remove by hand some of the inside of the bread to allow room for all the other ingredients.
Using a good grainy mustard, spread a good amount on one side of the bread.
French Grainy Mustard
Use a good extra virgin olive oil to stop the excess liquid from the Muffuletta mixture from seeping through the bread… oil and water don’t mix!
Brush on a thin layer to the bread half.
Drain the Muffuletta Salad mixture well.
This brand was really good! Just look at all the vegetables.
Spread a good amount of the mixture all over the oiled half of the bread.
Using a good balsamic vinegar, drizzle a good amount over the salad mixture.
By applying the olive oil to the bread first, it prevents the moisture from the olive tapenade to sink down into the bread making it wet. This sandwich will keep in the refrigerator for days without it becoming soggy. Also, eating the Muffaletta a day or two later allows the flavor’s to meld together nicely making it taste better.
Layer your cheese and meats over the Muffuletta salad mixture.
I used the Mozzarella cheese first.
The Turkey Pastrami is good and peppery.
Layer the Provolone on top of the Pastrami.
Then the ham and the Swiss cheese.
Combine the sandwich.
Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwich into quarters.
Layering the meats and cheeses makes for a great presentation.
The Magical Taste of Leftovers
This sandwich and it’s flavors have been mingling together in the refrigerator and actually tastes better in a day or two. Great to take in to work the following day!
Julie and Gordon
If you would like to view our other Italian food posts……