Focaccia Barese

Polenta & Baccalá

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New blog post about another of the countless traditional focaccia made in Italy 🙂

This time we are in Puglia, a beautiful southern Italian region. And focaccia barese it’s so good that it’s famous almost through the whole country.

As the name say, it is typical of Bari, which is the capital city of the region. Its particularity is the fact that also potatoes are being used inside the dough.

This is a recipe that in its place of origin can be found through the whole day, it is perfect as an aperitive or for a merenda 🙂 obviously the best season to make it is summer, when the local delicious tomatoes are well ripe.

Traditionally it is made in large round shaped oven pans, and its thickness it’s not more than 1,5 cm but of course each location make it different, so in some villages far from Bari…

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Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes and Late Harvest Peppers

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

At this time of year there are so many varieties of peppers and heirloom tomatoes available at the grocery stores and farmer’s markets that it’s hard to resist the temptation to go nuts buying way too many for us to consume.  In lovely shades of greens, reds and oranges these flavorful peppers and tomatoes can turn any dish into a scrumptious dish.

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Butter Sautéed Tomato and Onions on Toast

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

I was nostalgic recently to have this tomato and onion dish my Mom and my Aunty Jaya used to make when I was much younger and growing up in India. Us kids would have this saucy tomato dish with buttered bread and it tasted like heaven to us back then. When we were living in India in the late 70s bread wasn’t widely available where we lived, and when we could buy some it was more of a luxury than a norm, which meant that when we ate bread it was a treat. One of the ways we had bread was with this tomato and onion sautéd in butter.

IMG_1236.jpg Mom & Jaya Aunty in Paris, France in 1970 holding a street performer’s monkeys. Mom and my Dad were stationed in London while Jaya Aunty and Chary Uncle were stationed in Paris for a few years as expats.

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Mom’s Grilled Cheese

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

My Mom made the best grilled cheese sandwich. Growing up my Mom made grilled cheese sandwiches on a regular basis, especially on the weekends for a quick lunch.  Hers was the only grilled cheese sandwich I knew. So naturally, when I started making them for my kids, I followed my Mom’s recipe.  Apparently this isn’t the standard recipe that most people are used to.  I didn’t know that.  Anjali and Rani’s friends loved these grilled cheese sandwiches. When I made these grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids I would get surprised happy reactions. Kids asked me for the recipe; it’s amazingly delicious I was told. Having only known my Mom’s grilled cheese sandwich I just figured that’s how it’s always made.  Turns out it was my Mom’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich.

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What makes my Mom’s grilled cheese so good?  It’s the simple good old-fashioned ingredients that go in it.  Nothing…

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Parisian Inspired Vegetarian Club Sandwich

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

During our recent visit to Paris this summer, my daughter Sri and I had lunch and dinner at many of the cafes and restaurants we stumbled upon as we explored the city. One of the restaurants was Angelina on Rue de Rivoli. We liked Angelina so much that we stopped by more than once to try not just their desserts but their lunch as well. Angelina is a local favorite and has been in business since 1903. They are famous for their pastries, tea, and lunch service. At Angelina’s is where we tried their vegetarian club sandwich and absolutely loved it.

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Artichoke Pesto Sandwich

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

I was assigned to make sandwiches for a picnic I was going on with a few friends and I just couldn’t find my favorite artichoke and jalapeño spread at the grocery store that I usually use for my sandwiches.  Out of a need to make something similar to my favorite spread with the same delicious results I came up with this artichoke pesto sandwich.

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Eggplant & Zucchini

@myfoodswings

It’s time for a vegetarian curry! I have been getting requests for more vegetarian dishes and this curry is a really tasty and healthy option. Many people aren’t big fans of eggplants but I think they are delicious and so versatile. Back in Kuwait, we have this ‘Falafel Mushakal’ sandwich and you always get this piece of fried eggplant, sometimes 2 if lucky and it’s probably my favorite bite in that iconic sandwich. For this curry, I microwave the baby eggplants for few minutes in the microwave which helps in easier cooking and greater taste. The process is similar to salting the eggplants before cooking to absorb the moisture. They can also be roasted over the fire and then the skin removed which just gives you amazing soft jelly like flesh inside. The zucchini gives you the bit of crunch you need in an otherwise really soft curry and pairs…

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How Make Clemenza Mob War Sauce

Cooking Italian

LEARN HOW TO MAKE SUNDAY SAUCE
alla CLEMENZA
ITALIAN GRAVY
1. GET A COPY of SUNDAY SAUCE
WHEN ITALIAN AMERICANS COOK
by DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE
CLEMENZA’S SUNDAY SAUCE RECIPE
Is In THERE .. IT’S AVAILABLE
on AMAZON.com .. Juts CLICK LINK ABOVE ..
“THAT’S STEP 1 .. FINITO !!!”
2. GO To YOUR LOCAL PORK STORE and or GROCERY STORE
For SAUSAGES, Ground Beef, Veal, Pork, etc., BRACIOLE,
OLIVE OIL, TOMATOES, PASTA, etc..
.
3. ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS, POTS and EVERYTHING
YOU NEED To MAKE The “SAUCE”
.
4.  SAUTE GARLIC & MINCED ONIONS in OLIVE In 
A LARGE POT.  ADD TOMATOES.
.
5.  BROWN BRACIOLE, THEN ADD To POT With TOMATOES ..
6.  IF USING PORK RIBS or PORK NECK, BROWN COMPLETELY
THEN ADD TO POT With TOMATOES .. If NOT, SKIP THIS STEP.
7.  LET SAUCE With THE MEATS (Except MEATBALLS)
SIMMER At…

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Meatballs with lemon and fennel

MangiaMangia

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Meatballs are another of those things I came late too (it’s a long list, I was a fussy child).  Their tinned version created a strong and stubborn aversion.  I assumed that they all came with that vaguely gristly sensation and slightly odd (perhaps offaly?) taste.  I also could never get my head around the pairing with spaghetti.  It seemed, indeed was, so impractical.   Guaranteed to make as the maximum amount of mess, use as much cutlery and be in no possible way as romantic as they made out in Lady and the Tramp.

So of course, when I first tried the real thing, made at home, with good meat, herbs and cheese; bound together by breadcrumbs and egg rather than a patented scientific process and browned before being coated in rich velveteen tomato sauce, my prejudices and aversions were overturned.  Not least because, actually…

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