When my grandparents retired to Florida they learned that some of their favorite Rochester foods weren't sold in Florida. A huge favorite of theirs
especially their white hots. These hots pop when you cook them and pop when you bite into them and they have a flavor like no other.
When my grandparents came to Rochester for a visit they would buy a box of Zweigles white hots and freeze them for their trip home.
Well now there is a place online that sells many of the foods that Rochester is known for and they will deliver them right to your door, anywhere in the world. The place is called; “NewYorkStyleDeli.com”
Living here all my life I sometimes take for granted all the wonderful foods that Rochester is famous for. If you are from Rochester or have ever visited you already know how great these products taste. For those who are unfamiliar with some of these local goods, give them a try. You will not be be disappointed.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
When my grandparents retired to Florida they learned that some of their favorite Rochester foods weren't sold in Florida. A huge favorite of theirs
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The one thing I always had trouble eating when I was younger was liver. Specifically beef liver. I loved chicken livers, especially when my mother made chopped liver just like what we would buy at the Jewish Deli. The majority of my family would actually crave liver and onions. For some reason just the smell would send me running the other way.
My mother and grandmother would always soak the raw beef liver in milk for a few hours or overnight before cooking. They said it would take away the strong odor and taste………yeah, right! I’d always try it, but just didn’t like it.
One day at my grandmothers house she said;” Julie I made a batch of cutlets, have some”. I love cutlets, so I said yes immediately. My grandmother made cutlets out of everything;” Chicken, pork, beef, catfish and tilapia, each one delicious. So as I was munching on the room temperature cutlet, which tasted fabulous by the way, my grandmother says;” I thought you didn’t like beef liver”? I don’t! Well you must like it, because that is what you are eating.
I was in shock, my grandmother tricked me……oh who cares, that was the best beef liver I ever ate.
I still to this day prepare my beef liver cutlet style but my tastes have grown, I can now eat plain old liver and onions with a smile on my face.
Beef Liver Cutlets
6 medium to large slices of beef liver
In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Dip the beef liver in the eggs, then in the crumb mixture. Place the crumbed cutlets in the refrigerator until nearly time to serve. In large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook cutlets on each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
This can be adapted for use with any meat or fish. If using meat or chicken, pound between plastic wrap to flatten out and tenderize. No need to pound the liver or fish.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Growing up I remember all the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, especially on Sunday. What we all commonly called sauce would be simmering on the stove in the wee hours of the morning. The smell would drive us nuts along with the smell of the meatballs frying. It was only a matter of time before those wonderful aromas got the best of us. My great Aunt would get some fresh bread from the bakery and we would start breaking off pieces of the bread and dunking it in the pot of sauce. My grandmother would lovingly yell at us to stop dunking. She would make each of us a meatball sandwich to hopefully keep us out of the pot of sauce until dinner. Actually it really wasn’t sauce at all it was“Sunday Gravy”. This is what it is truly known as in Italy. The meat from the Sunday gravy which always consisted of;” Meatballs, pork ribs, Italian sausage and pork hocks”. Was always served on a separate platter. My grandmother told me that in Italy they really do not do Spaghetti and meatballs that is actually an American interpretation of the dish. In Italy the meatballs are more a main dish to be served with salad or potatoes.
Here is an old recipe that I dug up. Make extra and freeze it. Your house will smell like a little slice of heaven and fill your senses with love.
Italian Sunday Gravy
2 large cans of tomato puree
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1 quart chicken or beef stock
2 cups of dry red wine
¼ cup olive oil
2 yellow onions peeled and minced
½ cup chopped parsley
6 garlic cloves, chopped
½ pound of fresh mushrooms, chopped
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil or 3 times as much fresh basil
½ tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound pork neck bones (this is what truly adds that special flavor)
In a large pot, place tomato puree, tomato paste, chicken or beef stock and the wine. Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft but not too brown (or else it will taste bitter) Add to the pot along with all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a light boil and then turn to simmer. Simmer for 2 hours partly covered, stirring often. Remove the bones and discard (or save as a snack for yourself)
Skim the fat from the top and discard, store in the refrigerator or freezer
Friday, March 23, 2007
A real Italian favorite. Cucuzza is a squash that can be cooked as you would most other varieties of squashes. The flavor of cucuzza is a cross between yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber. Cucuzza must be peeled before it is cooked, the seeds are edible much the same as cucumber seeds.
Cucuzza actually means squash in Italian so it can refer to any variety such as zucchini, summer squash, butternut etc. But the actual italian cucuzza variety can grow up to three feet long and is lime green in color. As with most varieties they can be prepared in a multitude of ways; “fried, steamed, baked. They can be used in savory cooking as well as desserts.
If you cannot find the Italian Cucuzza squash you may substitute zucchini. But if you can find it give it a try.
One 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
2 lbs cucuzza squash peeled and cut it to bite sized chunks(if using zucchini there is no need to peel)
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey is optional (but really adds so much more to the dish).
Place oil in a large skillet and sauté chopped onions. Add meat and brown. Season with your salt, red pepper and oregano. When meat is almost cooked, add stewed tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir squash into mixture and cook for about 30 minutes more or until tender. Serve plain or over spaghetti with Romano cheese.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
That her mother would prepare.
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped lean ham
1/2 cup green bell peppers
1/2 cup chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 (8 ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
2 cups uncooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large saucepan, set to medium
Add ham, chorizo, onion and green pepper, garlic and cumin.
Sauté until vegetables are tender.
Add beans, tomato sauce and Tabasco sauce.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add in remaining ingredients and 4 cups water.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender.
Don’t forget to leave the Tabasco on the table for those who want to add more heat.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Did you know that a half-dozen plants will provide enough rhubarb for a family of four?
Something to think about for that backyard garden.
My mother use to make what we called; “rhubarb sauce” which really was applesauce without the apples. We really loved the rhubarb sauce as a side when we had pork chops for dinner. It was also great poured over vanilla or strawberry ice cream.
Rhubarb is just one of those economically sound ingredients with limitless cooking potential.
To welcome in spring here is a recipe that is easy to make and even easier to eat.
Touch of Spring Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup sliced fresh rhubarb
2 teaspoons of sugar
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg, milk and oil until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients, just until moistened. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb.
Fill greased or paper –lined muffin cups three fourths full. Sprinkle each with a little sugar before baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.
Makes 1 dozen muffins
I also thought that I would include my mother’s recipe for Rhubarb Sauce…..enjoy.
Place all these in a saucepan; cover, and let simmer over medium heat until all the rhubarb has melted down(about 20-30 minutes).
Here is an interesting tip regarding color; if you peel the rhubarb your sauce will be green, if you leave the peel on, your sauce will be red. No matter which method you choose the taste will be the same.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I tweak a few things when I make this such as;” I use Farfalle(bow tie) instead of spaghetti. I also prefer to use boccacini (little mozzarella balls) instead of sliced. I also add a few different kinds of pitted olives. For a touch of meat try some thin sliced prosciutto”. But trust me, there is no need to change anything, it is great just the way it is.
Spaghetti con Pomodoro Crudo* (Spaghetti with uncooked tomato sauce) from "Sophia Loren Recipes & Memories" (GT Publishing). "
Friday, March 16, 2007
It’s also warm, creamy and smooth like a fine dessert”. It really is quite good, nice at the end of the day when you need to unwind. Enjoy
Creamy Irish Coffee
4 cups Strong fresh coffee
Some “IRISH TOASTS” to go along with that Irish Coffee;
- May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
- May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.
- May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
But where is it written that food has to stick to your ribs to be good……..
Sometimes the best food in the world just has to stick to your fingers, sure it’s messy
But who says messy can’t be deee –licious.
¾ cup seedless raspberry jam
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp of cayenne pepper (if you prefer less heat just substitute black pepper)
20 whole chicken wings (about 3 pounds)
In a saucepan, combine jam, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute.
Cut chicken wings into three sections; discard wing tips. Place wings in a large bowl; add raspberry mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Line a 15”X10” baking pan with foil, heavily grease the foil. Using a slotted spoon and reserving the marinade place wings in pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring marinade to a rolling boil; boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes or until thickened. Brush over wings. Bake 20 – 25 minutes longer, turning and basting once, or until chicken juices run clear.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
This is an easy version using canned beets. You can use fresh but it really isn’t necessary the canned taste just as good. They keep really well 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Makes a great quick side dish or add it to some mixed greens, the sliced eggs with the yellow yolk and ruby red whites make a beautiful salad.
My favorite way to eat them is with some chunks of blue cheese (I love blue cheese)
And believe it or not, beets and blue cheese go very well together.
Pickled Beets and Eggs W/ Vidalia or any Sweet Onion
1 (1 lb.) can beets (whole or sliced) drained, retain liquid
1 small to medium onion sliced and separated into rings (optional, but I like it with the onion)
1/2 c. sugar(white, light brown or splenda) it’s up to you
Put eggs and beets and onions in a plastic container that has a lid.
Pour hot liquid over beets, eggs and onions. Add a little water if needed to cover completely. Cover and store in refrigerator a day or two occasionally shaking the container so that the eggs color evenly. Then they are ready for you to eat and enjoy.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Blog about. Sometimes all I really want is a bowl of cereal. Yes, I said cereal,
I love it so much I sometimes have it for dinner. These days I go for the healthier brands
Although I am a big fan of; Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, Corn Pops and let’s not forget Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But since I am trying to eat healthier which means cutting back on my sugar. I now choose a high fiber bran cereal which I then add dried cherries or blueberries and some almonds or walnuts to. If I need it sweeter……thank goodness for Splenda (I prefer the brown sugar blend).
The only problem with cereal is it’s usually hard to take with you whether it’s to the office or the park. Well not any more, check this out;” Cereal-to-go”. A truly great product for the cereal lover in all of us.
Monday, March 12, 2007
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (more if you want a saltier taste and if you are not going to use it for desserts)
Don’t forget Thermometer(temperature is key)
Rinse the inside of the pot you intend to use with cold water (this helps prevent the milk from scorching). Place 1 gallon milk in large, heavy non-reactive pot on medium heat. Add salt and stir briefly. Allow milk to heat up slowly, stirring occasionally. Soon you will notice steam start to form above the surface and tiny bubbles appearing on the milk. You want it to reach 180-185 degrees, near scalding temperature, just before it comes to a boil. Check the temperature with your thermometer.
When it reaches the correct temperature, take the pot off the burner, add the vinegar and stir gently for only one minute. You will notice curds forming immediately. Cover with a dry clean dish towel and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours. You can also begin preparing your ricotta in the morning before going to work and let it sit until you come home.
When the ricotta has rested for 2 hours or more take a piece of cheesecloth, dampen it and place it inside a colander. With a slotted spoon, ladle out the ricotta into the prepared colander. Place the colander with ricotta inside of a larger pan so it can drain freely. Let it drain for two hours or so depending on how creamy or dry you want your cheese to be.
Lift the cheesecloth up by the four corners and twist gently. If the liquid runs clear, squeeze a little more. If the liquid runs milky, there is no more need to squeeze. Place in a tight sealed container. Refrigerate. It will keep for up to 7 days. Ricotta does not freeze well.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Those canned artichokes. My poor grandmother tries to have these as an extra side dish at the dinner table but by the time we’re all done munching they’re just about gone. These taste great hot or cold.
5 tbsp Bisquick
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
2 Eggs, Beaten
2 tbsp Butter
2 cups Zucchini, Grated
Blend the bisquick, parmesan, salt, pepper. Add eggs. Mix zucchini into batter. Grease hot pan or griddle with butter. Pour batter into pan and fry 3 minutes on each side. Serve warm, a delicious way of serving zucchini. Makes 8 to 10 fritters.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
You will put one of these heavenly little gems in your mouth and moan…..they just melt.
1 cup softened butter or margarine
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
There are many variations to this recipe; different fruits or spices etc…but this is the one I grew up with and to this day is my favorite. My second choice would be one I had with canned pineapple chunks in it instead of raisins.
8 ounces cottage cheese
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt, or half of each
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey (or to taste)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons wheat germ (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Grease an 11 x 14-inch baking dish well.
4. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, including the drained noodles. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, including the drained noodles.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden and crusty.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
as are fine wines. They tease our senses and lift our palates to new heights.
This isn’t the salt and pepper that was on our family dinner table growing up.
The big decision use to be whether to serve red wine with meats or white wine with fish.
Now it could be red salt with meat or white pepper with fish. Do I want a smokier flavor or a more earthy taste. It’s not only flavor any more it is also texture. Certain salts don’t dissolve as quickly and leave a crunch others are flaked and melt instantly.
I like to put a little bit of coarse salt around the edges of my focaccia before baking. The soft dough and the crunchy salt are a nice combination.
Have fun, experiment the choices and combinations are endless.
Here are a few resources for your salt and pepper pleasure:
Monday, March 5, 2007
My Great Aunt Mimi on occasion would take me to a very fancy restaurant to experience the etiquette and the culture. All those different forks and knives were a bit overwhelming to say the least. But she was patient and step by step helped me navigate a seven course meal.
I remember that I was fascinated by something one of the waiters was doing at the next table. He had a little cart with a fry pan that had flames shooting out of it. The people at that table were oohing and aahing. I asked my aunt about it, she said it is considered very elegant to get your dessert done table side, like cherries jubilee or in this case she thinks they were making Crepe Suzettes. I had never heard of Crepe Suzettes but I sure was curious to know more. As we made our way through our meal my aunt asked me if I would still have room for dessert. I said yes.
When the waiter came to our table he asked; “would you ladies be interested in some dessert”? Before my aunt could utter a word, I said quite assertively; “I will have some of your Creepy Susan’s”. My aunt howled as did the waiter once she explained.
My aunt decided that we would both have the “Creepy Susan’s” the waiter put on quite a show for us while he explained each step of what he was doing. We oohed and aahed, I was so wide eyed with anticipation. When he put the plate in front of me he said; “Bon Appetit`”. The Crepe Suzettes were so good; they just melted in your mouth.
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
Friday, March 2, 2007
These cookies do not store that well, so if you need to keep them longer than a couple of days, store them in the freezer and remove them as needed. If you bake the cookies a little less, you will have a soft cookie, bake them longer and you will have a chewy cookie. There really is no need to add flour to these cookies they will still turn out fine but by adding the flour it prevents the cookies from spreading leaving you with a more uniform cookie. When done these cookies should have a light golden color.
You may completely omit the flour if you so choose.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
It isn't made with eggs, or cream it is actually a mixture of milk, syrup and seltzer water. If done properly the mixture is very creamy and frothy. The stories vary on how egg creams actually came to be but a lot of people are glad that they did. Egg Creams were something you always associated with New York City. I believe they originated in Manhattan. Over the years soda fountains started to dwindle along with those wonderful soda jerks who would whip up those egg cream masterpieces. Little by little soda fountains and egg creams are making a come back.
But if they are hard to find in your area, I found a place that makes a bottled version that might just ease your egg cream craving until a soda fountain comes to town.
EGG CREAM AMERICA, INC. - MANUFACTURER OF JEFF'S SODAS
In 1990's the founders of Egg Cream America developed their initial corporate mission - in simpler terms, to put the delicious fountain egg cream in a bottle for mass consumption.