Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grilled Halibut with Watermellon and Arugula Salad

 This salad is fabulous and light for summer.  I just had it the other night out on David's back patio.  I wanted to lick the bottom of the salad bowl when finished!  I know the thought of cheese and watermelon sounds strange but the salty feta goes great with the melon and the buttery halibut just tops it all off!  Halibut is a bit pricey but well worth the money!  Its a very mild fish and almost has the same flavor as sea bass.

4 cups watermelon, cubed
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup sweet onion, such as Vidalia, Walla Wall, or Texas Sweet
3/4 cup goat cheese, cubed
2 limes zested and juiced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade
1/2 cup olive oil
4 6-ounce halibut filets
Salt and pepper

For the Watermelon Salad:
In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, arugula, sweet onion and goat cheese. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Dressing:
Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, rice vinegar, sugar and basil. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle in olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Halibut:
Season the halibut filets with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot add the halibut filets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until the fish is just cooked through.

To serve, toss the watermelon salad with some of the dressing and divide among four plates. Place the filets alongside the salad and pour remaining dressing over each piece of fish. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This wonderful classic Italian dish is the ultimate in comfort food and it plates well for a dinner party! It consists of flank steak pounded thin with a meat malot and then filled with garlic, sliced egg, pine nuts, spinach, and prosciutto and then rolled and slow cooked for a few hours until tender. It is delicious and not all that time consuming for something that looks so elegant on a plate!



  • 4 lbs of flank steak
  • Kitchen string
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • Provolone cheese, sliced
  • Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ lb of prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of pine nuts
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • Romano cheese, grated
  • Parmigiana Reggiano cheese , grated
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 quarts of marinara sauce (see recipe for Sunday sauce or use a good jarred sauce like Midi)
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 spring of Italian oregano
Using a meat mallet, pound each flank steak until thin and tenderized. Lay flank steak out on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread minced garlic over surface of flank steaks. Lay spinach, pine nuts, provolone cheese slices, prosciutto slices, chopped parsley on top of steaks. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Starting from the edge closest to you, roll the steak like a jelly roll taking care not to lose the filling. Tie with kitchen twine tightly at each end and also the in the middle of the roll. In a large braising pan, add the rosemary sprig and heat olive oil and then brown each roll on all sides and then remove. Remove the rosemary and discard. De glaze pan with red wine and simmer for five minutes to reduce. In a large stock pot, add sauce, basil, oregano, and the red wine reduction and stir well. Add the steak rolls and submerge in the sauce. Place in oven at 300 degrees and cover with foil. Slow cook for 1.5 hours.
Remove rolls and allow to cool slightly. Cut strings and slice into ½ inch thick slices. In a pasta bowl place some sauce in the bottom and then arrange the steak slices on top of the sauce. Garnish with grated Romano and Parmesan cheese and a parsley sprig.

May also be served on top of some good creamy polenta with a little sauce over top or with a side of pasta.

Serves 4 people.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Please Feel Free To Submit....

We are always up for trying new recipes, so if there is something you would like to share, or would like to see posted, let us know!  You can submit recipes to  Also, let us know what you think about our recipes, or if you need help making something!

Buon Apetito! 

Michael and David

Veal Osso Bucco

Creamy Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms and Pancetta

I adore a good creamy polenta in the winter. It's the ultimate Italian comfort food. This is also one of my favorite recipes of David's Give it a try!



  • 1 box of polenta
  • ½ lb of diced pancetta
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 to 3 cups of chicken stock (stock in a box works great!)
  • 1 container of dried porcini mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup of shaved pecorino romano
  • ¼ cup of fresh chopped chives


    Saute pancetta in a non stick skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and leave rendered fat in bottom of pan, add diced onion and sauté on low until soft. In a small sauce pan, heat ½ cup of water to boiling and add dried mushrooms. Remove from heat and allow to soak for 15 minutes.


    Heat chicken stock to boiling. Use the liquid to polenta ratio on the package. When chicken stock is boiling add the correct amount of polenta and stir until the polenta begins to thicken. Stir in the mushrooms (*see note) and the liquid from the mushrooms, the onion, grated cheese, pancetta, and the heavy cream. Continue to stir over low heat until the polenta is thick and creamy. DO NOT stop stirring or the polenta will burn on the bottom! If the polenta is too thick you can thin it down with a little water. It should be thick, but not dry, and also not soupy. The best way to describe the consistency would be of a custard. Serve in a deep pasta bowl and top with shaved cheese and chives. Drizzle with a good quality **olive oil. ***Serve immediately.




    *when using the mushroom liquid, do not use the last ¼ cup because porcinis always have a bit of grit or sand that settles in the liquid. You don't want this in your dish!


    **good olive oil is essential or you will not appreciate the flavor of the oil! You can also top with roasted red peppers in addition to the cheese if you wish.


    *** If you wait to eat the polenta, it will become firm when it cools and will loose it's creaminess. This dish is best served and eaten right away!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Café Cubano

A little something that I picked up from my friends in Miami. Cuban coffee has a wonderfully sweet taste to it and goes great with breakfast. It's easy to make and goes down even easier!





Café Cubano

  • Fresh ground Cuban or good Italian coffe
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tbs of brown sugar


Make four shots of espresso if you have an espresso machine, or brew a pot of coffee. Using a medium sized sauce pot add brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil to scald the milk. Allow to cool slightly. In a large coffee mug, add a shot of espresso or fill about a ¼ of the way full with fresh brewed coffee. Top with ¾ of scalded milk. Dust with cinnamon if you desire. Enjoy!

Sunday Gravy

If you grew up Italian then you know what Sunday gravy is! Even though I am only a half breed (or a wanna be, as David calls me), my Mother who was the Italian half, used to make pasta sauce on the weekends. It's a slow cooked red sauce that simmers all day and fills your entire house with the wonderful smell of Italian food! Everyone has their own version of what they put in it. It is almost like an art form and each sauce has its own unique flavor. My recipe is sort of a conglomeration of my Mother's sauce combined with some of David's secrets. I made it for him several weeks ago and it seemed to have passed the "real Italian" test. We joke all of the time because David is 100% percent Italian (and a hot one at that!) and my parents were Italian and Swedish. He calls me the "wanna be"!


Sunday Gravy

  • A large Dutch oven or heavy sauce pot
  • 1 large onion peeled and left whole
  • 4 country spare ribs
  • 2 links of Italian sausage (the real stuff, not the hot Italian stuff they pass of at the grocery store as being real, go to an Italian deli!!!!)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • Rind from a wedge of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hardboiled egg, peeled
  • 4 large cans of chopped San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 large dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup of dry white wine

    Add olive oil to the dutch oven and heat over high heat. Add meats and brown evenly. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to low and add garlic and sauté until slightly browned. Add in tomatoes and paste to pot and white wine. Return browned meats to pot. Reduce heat to low. Add whole onion, cheese rind, egg and all the herbs. Simmer over low heat for 3 to four hours stirring often to avoid burning the meats that will settle to the bottom of the pot. Sauce will reduce and thicken. The slow cooking process will sweeten the sauce on its own so there is no need to add any sugar!

    Remove meats, cheese rind, and onion and egg and set aside. Serve sauce over any type of pasta with fresh grated cheese on top. The onion and egg make a great treat! Serve the cooked meats on another day for a separate meal if you wish or have them with the pasta on the side.

David’s Anchovy Pasta

David makes a wonderful Italian dish called Aioli, using good olive oil cured anchovies. I know that a lot of people cringe at the word "anchovy" but if you have never had good ones then you are missing a real treat. DON'T use the anchovy paste! Use a good Italian brand of cured ones that can be found in any good Italian grocery store. The paste has a very fishy and salty flavor and the cheap anchovies are also very fishy. A good anchovy should have a nutty flavor when cook and will dissolve into the cooking oil.


David's Pasta Aioli


  • ½ cup of pecorino romano cheese grated
  • ½ cup of pecorino romano cheese shaved
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion finely sliced
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • ½ cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 oil cured anchovy fillets


Cook pasta according to package. In a large skillet sauté onions over low heat in a little olive oil until carmelized. Set aside and clean skillet. Do not leave any onion pieces in the skillet or they will burn and make a bitter taste in the dish. Add ½ cup oil to skillet and heat over low. Add the whole garlic cloves and allow to slowly brown. Remove and discard garlic. Do NOT allow garlic to burn or again you will have a bitter flavor in your dish. Add anchovy fillets to hot oil and mash them into the oil until they start to dissolve. Cook for three minutes and remove skillet from heat. Add cooked pasta, onions, basil, grated cheese, and bread crumbs to skillet and toss to evenly coat. Plate and top with shaved romano cheese. Enjoy!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Although I have not made these for David yet, I wanted to share them! Summer is coming and I am getting a craving for fresh tomatoes! As a kid, I grew up in the country on a farm and we always had our own vegetable garden. My father grew fantastic tomatoes and I was spoiled by having them. It ruined me for any sort of store bought, half ripened, flavorless tomato! In the summer, after school, my grandmother would go out to the garden and grab a few fresh green ones and fry them up as an after school snack. They were FABULOUS. If you have never tried them, I highly recommend it!


Too Green

Just right!
Ok, the trick to a flavorful green tomato is all in the choosing. When a tomato ripens it goes through several phases. First it's a very bright emerald green color when its first forming. It then begins to turn a lighter green, then to almost white, then to a light orangeish yellow, and then finally red. You want to choose a tomato that is still in the light green phase of the ripening process. When they are this color they have an almost tart flavor to them and are delicious. Emerald green tomatoes have very little taste and the orangeish yellow and almost white ones are too soft and mushy to fry and begin to taste like a regular ripe tomato.


Fried Green Tomatoes
  • 4 green tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • Fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tbs of salt
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar
  • 3 cups of white flour
  • Ground black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • Cold water
  • ¼ cup of whole milk

    Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices and place in a large bowl with salt and vinegar. Fill bowl with enough water to cover tomato slices. Refrigerate for one hour.

    Beat eggs with milk and place in a medium sized bowl. Finely chop dill and set aside. Place flour in a medium bowl. Place olive oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium high heat. Preheat oven to 350.

    Dip tomato slices in egg mixture and then dredge in flour, and then re-dip in egg mix. Place in hot oil on skillet. While frying sprinkle dill and black pepper over slices. Brown until golden on both sides. Remove and place on a baking sheet and bake in oven at 350 degrees for ½ hour. This will finish cooking the tomato slices. If you skip this process the tomatoes will not be fully cooked and will be chewy.

    Remove from oven and allow to cool a little. For a great sandwhich butter two slices of whole wheat bread and place two slices of tomatoes in between. Tastes awesome!

Lemon Dill Papradelle Pasta with Breaded Veal Chops

Last night David created a wonderful romantic dinner for two as a little Palm Sunday surprise. Here is what was on the menu for the evening!


Lemon Dill Papradelle Pasta
  • 1 lb package of Lemon Papradelle Noodles
  • ¼ cup of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of cooking water from pasta
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup of fresh chopped chives
  • ½ cup of fresh chopped Italian broad leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 4 tbs. of grated Pecorino Romano cheese

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of hot cooking liquid. In a large mixing bowl add the ricotta and cooking liquid and blend until creamy. Add salt, pepper, chives, parsley, dill, olive oil, and cheese to mixture. Give it a good stir until creamy and blended. Run a knife through the baby spinach so that it is roughly chopped into large bite sized pieces. Add spinach to mixing bowl and toss to coat. Stir in pasta and mix until the sauce is evenly distributed through the pasta. If the mixture is too dry you can add a little more pasta water. Plate and serve along side the breaded veal!

    Breaded Veal

  • 4 veal cutlets
  • 1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon


Pat the veal dry with a paper towel so that the breading will stick. Place olive oil in the bottom of a non stick skillet and heat on medium high. Beat the egg in a medium sized bowl. Plaee breadcrumbs in a medium sized bowl as well. Dip veal into beaten egg and then dredge in breadcrumbs. Place in skillet and brown evenly on both sides. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove and squeeze lemon juice over top of breaded veal. Plate and serve!