Ciao My Friends!
Lily and I have just returned back from Italy…Rome, Naples, and Capri to be exact and in our overloaded bags we brought back beautiful squid ink spaghetti from Naples! So, with that in tow, I decided to make my take on Pasta al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Pomodoro (Squid Ink Pasta With Squid and Tomatoes). This is an awesome dish that should only take about 40 minutes from prep to plate.
Here’s what you will need: 1 pound of squid ink spaghetti, 1/2 pounds of raw squid. 4 roma tomatoes, 6 big bulbs of garlic, 1/2 cup of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, two sprigs of thyme, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese, salt and pepper.
Let us know how yours turns out and enjoy!!!
Generoso and Lily
Music: Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto In B, Op 10, No. 5
Now that summer is approaching, Generoso loves making this simple sweet and slightly sour eggplant and caper based antipasto that is quick to make (about 40 minutes) and delicious. For this recipe you will need one large Italian eggplant, 1/2 cup of capers, three medium sized tomatoes, five cloves of garlic, one cup of red wine, one red onion, two stalks of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Let us know how yours turns out and thanks for watching! XO Generoso and Lily
Music: Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1
At every Vietnamese celebration, there is always a bowl of piping hot Sup Mang Cua. Incredibly simple, the crab meat of the soup has somewhat made the dish a delicacy for only special events, but whenever crab meat is on sale, I always think of this soup.
Overall, Sup Mang Cua is pretty light, making it a perfect soup for springtime, especially with the addition of fresh asparagus and the garnish of cilantro and scallions. Hope that it makes it to your table this May!
Happy Cooking Folks,
This dish is one that I decided to make in honor of my dear friends living on the East Coast this January. This tasty Northern Italian soup has a creaminess and a smoke to it that has little to do with dairy and nothing to do with any meat. No crazy ingredients here as the creaminess comes from the cannellini beans and the smoke coming from the toasted breadcrumbs and nuts. Total prep and cooking time is about an hour so I hope you will come back to this dish anytime you need need a fast, inexpensive soup to eat on these cold winter days.
You will need for ingredients: One half head of cabbage, 1/3 cup of cashew or pine nuts, one half of a small Italian roll, four cups of vegetable broth, one pound can of cannellini beans, two sprigs of fresh rosemary, four cloves of garlic, one cup of olive oil, salt and pepper (grated romano is up to you as a topping).
Please let us know how yours turns out and stay warm this winter.
Music: Georg Philipp Telemann’s Viola Concerto, TWV 51:G9
As much as we love the heavier dishes of Vietnamese cuisine, we want to eat a bit lighter in 2016. After contemplating on what dishes could be satisfying and delicious without too much salt, sugar, and red meat, Lily remembered Mien Ga, a perfect soup for the winter and spring.
Traditionally, Mien Ga is served with mung bean thread noodles. Lily loves Korean sweet potato glass noodles, so she serves her version with them instead. Additionally, the broth is made with chicken quarters and thighs. For a healthier version, you can use on the bone split breasts; you’ll most likely need to add a bit more fish sauce and salt and cook the stock a bit longer for better flavor.
In this version, Lily served the Mien Ga with a few serrano pepper slices. Beware! They are very hot, so do not place too many in each serving bowl.
Music provided by Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet, Hob. III:80
Bollito di Carne translates into “Meat Boil” and although I am using extremely pretty beef short rib for this recipe, I left the recipe as “meat” because you can use this process with pork as well. Trust me it will be delicious. The key to this dish is the boil that the aromatics get prior to adding your meat and vegetables and the subsequent cooking of the meat that is extremely slow which guarantees an almost butter texture and flavor that runs through each bite and to make things better, you will end up with a fantastic broth as well. Total prep to plate should be about three hours but there is little prep involved.
You will need: Two pounds of sliced (1/2 inch thick) beef short rib (my favorite), 4 potatoes, 3 carrots, 4 stalks of celery (preferably with the leaves on still), thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, parsley, a bay leaf, crushed red pepper. You’ll also need at least a four quart stockpot for all of the magic to happen in one place. As always, thanks for checking this out and please let me know how yours turned out.
Music: Georg Philipp Telemann’s Trio Sonata in A minor
As a kid, Lily loved Banh Mi Xiu Mai, a banh mi made with savory and sweet meatballs. When she moved to Boston, the Banh Mi Xiu Mai had a softer meatball that had a tomato sauce, which was satisfying, but it did not compare to the version she had as a child.
After plenty of recipes, Lily finally decided to tackle Xiu Mai. This version has a sugar based sauce similar to that used with Thit Kho, and instead of using traditional ground pork, these Xiu Mai were made with ground turkey. You can use whatever meat you prefer; Lily herself will probably experiment with a mix of ground beef and pork in the future!
We served the Xiu Mai as a Banh Mi sandwich, but you can eat the meatballs with rice, vermicelli, or pieces of bread. If you roll the meatballs smaller, you can even make them into tasty appetizers with a small slice of pickled carrot and daikon! Enjoy!
Music provided by Georg Friedrich Händel’s Concerto Grosso no. 1, HWV 319
Happy Holidays Everyone!
It is quite cold here in Southern California and as I had a cold as well I thought to make this warm comforting soup for you, Zuppa con Lenticchie e Pomodori (Italian Lentil and Tomato Soup) . This is an easy to make and hearty soup that only needs a few ingredients and just a bit of cooking time (about one hour). Here is what you’ll need: One pound of lentils, one an of crushed tomatoes, one container of chicken broth, 3 spring onions, 6 large carrots, one bulb of garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Give the short video a watch and let me know how yours turned out. Happy New Year!!
Check out our blog: https://lilyandgeneroso4ever.wordpress.com/
Music: Agustin Barrios Mangore’s Waltzes, Op 8
With Christmas just around the corner, I immediately think of sweets I ate around the holidays. After thinking about the different che I had over the years, I realized I had forgotten the one that I had the most: Che Ba Ba. Che Ba Ba is perfect for the holidays because it has all of the warmth from a variety of potatoes and a delicious richness from the coconut milk, making it the perfect closer to your holiday meal.
My version is made with taro, gold sweet potato, and purple sweet potato. Though Che Ba Ba is traditionally made with cassava as well, we really enjoyed the different types of sweet potato in lieu of cassava.
Make the che as sweet as you like! I prefer my che less sweet in order to taste more of the coconut, but do feel free to adjust the sugar to your taste! Enjoy! Merry Christmas! Happy eating!
Music provided by Jacques Offenbach’s Overture to “Orpheus in the Underworld”
As the holidays are approaching, the Neapolitan in me starts to think of fried foods. My Crocchette di Patate (Italian potato croquettes) are a wonderfully tasty appetizer that you can put on the table at any holiday party that will satisfy your guests. A deep fried mix of potatoes, cheese, ham, and spices that I know you will love. One key note: The drier your mix before frying the better. My recipe as it is made is quite wet so allow your mix at least 3-4 hours in the fridge to solidify. You will need: 6 medium sized russet potatoes, 8 oz of mozzarella, 8 oz of sliced ham (smoked, sweet, your call), 3 oz of pecorino romano cheese, 4 eggs, fresh parsley, oregano, plain breadcrumbs, one bulb of garlic (thanks Bob and Sherry Roffi), white flour, olive oil, salt and pepper.
I have a deep fryer but you don’t need one. That said, do not skimp on oil when making these as they absolutely need to be submerged in boiling oil for the crocchette di patate to properly cook.
Good luck! Let us know how yours turns out and Happy Holidays!
Music: Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 1 in D major