Italian Sushi

I know sushi is a Japanese concept, but as of late I have been eating it more and more in an Italian fashion.
Shout out to Gran Caffe L’Aquila in Philadelphia for giving me the joy of combining my two favorite cuisines. The concept is Japanese, but the flavors are Italian. The first recipe is savory and the second is sweet. They wont disappoint. And while I’m on a roll here (haha pun totally intended)
Get out to local fusion spots and embrace the melting pot of cultures America is so known for. (i.e I just heard of a new French & Lebanese spot called Cafe La Maude in Philly as well) I mean the world is your oyster. Support local restaurants and cafes! Not only will it be an enjoyable outing, it will help spark creativity in your own kitchens and cooking endeavors. Ok food PSA is over now just go and roll some sushi!

  • Salumi Sushi
  • 1 slice Mortadella
  • 1 stick/ thin wedge of fontina
  • 1 tbsp. of crushed pistachio
  • 1 tbsp. of fig jam

Lay out the mortadella, smear the jam and lay the cheese in center. Sprinkle the nuts, roll, and slice.
Just like our sultry salads these are palate pleasing ingredients with creamy cheese, crunch of the nuts, salt of the meat and sweet/fruity flavors from the jam.

  • Brunch Sushi
  • 1 Whole wheat wrap
  • 1 tbsp. Nutella (note for our lactose intolerant folks you can always substitute for peanut butter)
  • 1 banana
  • Lay out the wrap and smear the nutella or PB. Lay the banana in the center, roll, and slice.

This is so great as a snack or breakfast on the go. I make it the night before and refrigerate so the nutella serves as a glue and hardens a bit with the cooler temps of the fridge. Popping them in my mouth sitting in morning rush hr traffic.

Hope you enjoy both of these and can email us other ideas (Damndelish@gmail.com) or tag us in photos (@damndelish) of your Italian Sushi creations!

Happy Eating, XO.

Homemade Gnocchi

Being Italian, I thought it was high time to learn how to make pasta from scratch. Although, with it being just after the holidays I can’t afford a pasta attachment. The next best thing? Hands! The second best thing? Pairing it with our homemade red sauce (or gravy, or whatever you want to call it). Pour yourself a nice glass of Chianti, turn up your best Italian Pandora station and get to it!

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt

(that’s LITERALLY all you need!)

Peel the two potatoes while bringing a pot of water to boil. Boil the potatoes for about 30-40 minutes or until tender enough to mash. In a bowl, mash the potatoes until completely smooth. (I made the mistake of not mashing them enough the first time and the chunks create air pockets in the dough.) Once you have some smooth potatoes, add in the flour, egg, and salt until a dough begins to form. Kneed it until completely blended, but is still a little sticky. (Add a dab of water if it gets too dried out.) Take a fist size chunk of the dough and roll it into a long thin rope. Cut it into 1/2″ to 1″ pieces.

If you want to get fancy, with fork tines, make small indents in the pieces (another great fancy tip is adding a pinch of dried rosemary or chopped chives, both pair super well with gnocchi or any potato based dish). Boil another pot of water with a dash of salt in it and drop in the gnocchi pieces. You’ll know it’s done when the gnocchi starts to float to the top. In the words of Frankie Sinatra, now that’s amore!

Gnocchi

Happy Eating, XO.

Rolling with My Homies

So as per usual, I was hung-over & laying on the couch watching the Food Network channel. Much to my dismay though the show on the screen was making something much too difficult for anything I’d want to replicate. So I took the basic premise of the dish they were constructing and watered it down to the point that the home cook can make it (i.e. I tossed out the whole section about making your own fresh pasta dough, I mean please, if I could do all that I wouldn’t need to dine out. I don’t have the time nor the energy to get down like that). Anyway, I liked the concept of the dish and was craving some home cooking, good ole Italian food. Some prefer some southern comfort food, but pasta or anything Italian is the way to get me feeling all cozy & loved. So when I was finally hydrated and rid of the shakes from a super fun weekend with my homies- I got rolling in the kitchen. (ha get it, rolling because its a rollatini recipe!) Hope you guys enjoy & if you have any suggestions or spins of your own, please do comment below!

  • 3 oz. Prosciutto de Parma (thinly sliced, finely chopped)
  • 1 box of Lasagana Sheets (I think you could even use manicotti tubes & stuff those, but I guess that takes away the “rolling”/”rollatini” fun?!)
  • 1/2 cup Whole milk ricotta
  • freshly grated parmesan (I just grabbed a lil chuck of the reggiano from Whole Foods, try to avoid the pre grated stuff if you can)
  • 1 tsp. of crushed garlic
  • a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. frozen spinach (completely thawed & drained of excess water, this is imperative so don’t rush past this step)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. of butter

Boil the pasta just al dente. You want the lasagna sheet to be ply-able, but not so over cooked it tears when rolling. I’d say about 10-15 minutes in salted water. While the pasta boils: combine the egg, dried/thawed spinach, garlic, seasoning, cheeses, & prosciutto. Lay out the pasta sheets and pat them dry. Layer the mixture of the other ingredients like you would for a lasagna, but then roll the pasta up (don’t make too thick of a layer the stuffing will spill when rolling, also it helps to leave a little margin at both ends so that you have a seal to create when all rolled up). Flip it so its standing upwards in the pan, not laying down (See photos below). Repeat with all sheets. When the pan is filled, brush the tops with the butter and grate some more cheese on top. Stick in the broiler at xxx degrees & cook for xxx minutes while keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Serve warm with marinara sauce.

photo

Happy Eating, XO.

Stuff yo face, I mean veggies.

Ok so this idea is kind of a culmination of a few things. Not the idea of stuffing your face, the idea of this stuffed veggies recipe. Anyway, get amped guys. This is just a peak into the method behind the madness of this fun lil blog here. I realized that we try to always provide recipes that use and reuse ingredients. We want there to be enough overlap that when you are spending money on something, its being used to its full value. However, I can’t say that’s been true for the mirepoix mix that I reference in my turkey meatloaf recipe. So I got to thinking on what else I use that with. Not that you need a specific recipe because its something so multi faceted that it can be thrown in a frittata, it can be used as a starter to soups and stews (says the label on the packaging. ha so ya I felt like a fraud, saying hey guys just throw it in anywhere). Then, I ate this delicious stuffed zucchini the other day from this Italian deli I frequent (shout out to Tredici’s). They made the marinara fresh and it was stuffed with hot sausage. I was in love. All I had to do now was to find a way to make it easy & healthy (I mean some of us are still sticking to 2014 resolutions). Anyway, let’s get right to it. Oh and don’t be scared of the long list of ingredients, this dish isn’t complex, there are just layers to its yumminess.

Vegetables:

  • 3 large zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 bell peppers (any color works)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Filling:

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups of the mirepoix mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (use dark meat if possible)
  • 1 large egg, beaten, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray. For the vegetables: Using a melon baller (or spoon since I have no such melon baller in my kitchen) remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Reserve the flesh. Place the  zucchini and peppers, hollowed-out sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Season with the salt and pepper. For the filling: Place the zucchini flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, mirepoix, chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Blend until all the vegetables are finely chopped/mixed. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the blended vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. (make sure to taste the mixture before blending in the meat, make sure there is enough flavor & its seasoned enough). In a medium bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 cup Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top of the filling. (I also did some shredded cheddar because more cheese is never a bad thing). Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the tops are golden brown, 45 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve. You can accompany with marinara from the call it what you will recipe.

photo (1)

*I was out of zucchini & did it with squash, stick with zucchini though because you will get more “flesh” from the center to mix with the meat. I would also chop up the tops of the peppers and blend with the other veggie mixture. It makes the stuffing less meaty and more flavorful*

Happy Eating, XO.

#teamtruffle

So the best thing I have been hearing from people is that Jess and Sonia have the same voice. No one can differentiate who writes what post, because we have the same sense of humor, writing style, cooking/recipe style. Let me fill you in on a little secret, that was kind of the point & reasoning behind our fab collabo. Anyway, instead of keeping up the cryptic façade of who is writing this post, I will have to go ahead and spill the beans. Only because Jess is obsessed with all things TRUFFLE (you name it: fries, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, popcorn-check out her recipe, it is DIVINE). Having said that, she has now gotten me on the truffle bandwagon. I, too, am now OBSESSED. So in honor of Jess and missing our last face time date, I wanted to share this recipe with y’all.

•Kosher or Sea salt (something course).
•1/2 cup heavy cream (I tried to lighten this up and did half & half, I mean can you blame a girl: butter, cheese, cream. It was getting a lil cray even for my fattie/foodie side).
•3 ounces white truffle butter (should be about $7, I bought a 4 oz package for $7.99. Yes its expensive, yes its different, you tell us worth it or not. Also if you aren’t a fan of truffle butter or have skeptics coming to dinner perhaps use 2 oz. It’s a strong flavor so no one will hate you for cutting back, I stuck with 3 though because its “damn delish”).
•Freshly ground black pepper
•1 (8.82-ounce) package tagliatelle dried pasta (or any other egg fettuccine, Trader joes has a cheap egg papardelle)
•3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
•3 ounces Parmesan (shaved thin with a vegetable peeler or be lazy like me and have them shave it at the cheese counter for you).

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil & cook pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat. When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain & add the pasta immediately (you don’t want the starchy noodles to clump together sitting in a side bowl, not that it happened to me, ok gawsh). Add the drained pasta to the saute pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water, as necessary, to keep the pasta very creamy. (I added like 3 tbsp. not even). Serve the pasta & garnish each serving with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately so the sauce doesn’t over-thicken. Also the original recipe says that this makes 2 portions, but let’s be honest here…this dish is DECADENT! So I’d say it is realistically a starter course or side dish for 4 servings. Yup that’s it, can’t believe how quick such a fancy dish can be? Well, make it and find out for yourself. Make sure to comment below on your thoughts! Or tweet at us with your opinion: #teamtruffle worth the $ or not.

photo

p.s. less than one month till the dynamic duo’s birthday. #justsaying.

Happy Eating, XO.