Nonni’s Italian Pizza

Nonni’s Italian Pizza

Source:  Mama Joanne about 1990’s

Personal Notes:
We visited my mom for a few weeks during the fall.  The central point to our visit was the food!  She cooked up a storm and I was there to shoot the pictures, and sample of course!  Who could complain?  This pizza was very different to mine and all with a few variations of toppings.  Normally, my pizza is simple;  mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.  I learned it was fun to change things around on the pizza toppings.

I hope you enjoy the variations too.

click here for the pizza dough
Nonnis pizza

Toppings:

Italian Sausage Manchenco Cheese
Mushrooms White Cheddar
Mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Prepare the dough, add a bit of olive oil on the dough once it’s been spread out on the pizza tray.  I prepared the pizza’s @ my mom’s house by spreading out the dough with my fingers (no rolling pin), adding a bit of olive oil, then the toppings.  My mother said the pizza crust came out much nicer than hers normally does.  More crunchy, less soggy.

Once the dough is all spread on the tray and oiled, layer your toppings.  Sauce first, then cheese, then meat, then oven.

Enjoy!

American Classic – Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Source:  Auntie Paulie in the 1970’s

Personal Notes:
Well, it was a Thursday night after a day of touring around town.  The usual question came up, “What’s for dinner?  I’m hungry!”.  Gulp, I had to come up with something fast, or the natives would become restless!  My aunt came to my aid and said, “Let’s make grilled cheese sandwiches, those are quick and delicious.”  “Yes, great idea!”  I quickly replied-once we ate these, it immediately reminded me of my childhood.  Sure, I’ve made these before for the kids, but it’s been a while.

We used what we call here, “Bauern Brot” which is a rustic farm bread, sliced it up, pulled out what I had in the fridge for cheese, which was Gruyere and Appenzeller cheese, warmed up the cast iron pan, and cooked away.  Enjoy, and remember, never forget the simple things!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

Bread-hearty rustic style is delicious! Butter-for buttering the sides of bread
Cheese-nutty flavor such as Gruyere is great

Directions:
Slice your bread to your desired thickness.  Slice the cheese alike-I like my bread sliced thin, and my cheese as well, but we decided to grade the cheese this night.  It seemed it was a good choice-the cheese melted evenly and well and gave the sandwich a creamy texture.

Butter your bread on the cooking sides only (or brush on melted butter as we chose to do.  I think by brushing on the butter you get more of a crispier finished product.)  line the cheese, close the bread to become a sandwich and cook in melted butter.  You can go light on the butter if you cook in a nice seasoned cast iron skillet, as it wont stick to the pan.

Slice and serve alone or with fruit, chips, or whatever you have on hand.

Chicken stir-fry

Chicken Stir-fry

Source:  My Mom about 1980’s

Personal Notes:
This is a really simple dish – I can’t stress to you enough.  Before there was Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver, there was common sense!  Then along came the pre-made frozen meals and our common sense and creativity went out the window.  I’ve made this meal so many times in a pinch to feed the family, and it takes 15 min.  This is super served alone, with rice, over or along side noodles, over polenta, with beans…you can choose!  Enjoy!

chicken stir-fry

Ingredients:

Olive Oil to sauté 1-2 thick breast filet of chicken, skinned and sliced into 1-2” strips
Diced onion Lime juice for garnish
Sliced peppers (your choice, bell, Anaheim, etc.) Cilantro for garnish

Directions:
Begin with dicing onion and sauté along with olive oil.  Once onions are translucent and flavored well w/ salt and pepper, add your chicken strips and stir to incorporate all the flavors in the pan.  Cook for about 8 min. Clean and pear your peppers, can cut them in long diagonal strips.  Throw in your peppers and cover.  Adjust heat to medium.  Cook for about 5-8 min.  Check to be sure the meat is cooked throughout.  When it is cooked, pull pan off and plate your dish.  Sprinkle on the juice of a lime and garnish with chopped or whole cilantro.

PS: I accompanied the dish with Basmati rice, lemon, cilantro, beans and other toppings.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Source:  Aunty Paulie about 2010

Personal Notes:
My mom and aunty were visiting from California.  We’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen.  While sitting around the table discussing meals, my aunt said she would make a chicken pot pie – an all American favorite!  I’ve never had a home-made version.  Well, you’ll see from the pictures there wasn’t a scrap left-and loved it! This served about 7 people for dinner. If you make it in individual dishes its great to serve when having guests over or you can freeze the other dishes when you only 2-3 people.

first piece missing
first piece missing

For the filling:

1 Boiled whole chicken 2 cups carrots
3 Tbs. olive oil 2 cups frozen peas
Pinch of salt/pink of course! 1-2 onions/diced
Pinch of organic ground pepper ½ to a whole celery root
5 cups Chicken stock, preferably homemade  3/4C. flour
2-3 tsp. bouillon  1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1-2 Tbs. butter

For the crust:  (double recipe for a top crust, a must)

3 cups flour ½ to 2/3 cups ice cold water
1½ tsp. salt 1 egg beaten with water for egg wash
1 tsp. baking powder Salt/pepper pinch to finish.
75 gr butter

Directions: (filling)

Get a stock pot filled with water, and put the fresh chicken in.  Bring to a boil, and let it cook and boil until meat easily comes off the bones.

Begin to prepare the vegetables. In a large stock pot, melt butter and oil, add onions, diced carrots, diced celery root.  Cook until translucent and the carrots are a bit softer.  Add the flour, ¼ cup amounts at a time and stir.  Begin to add your broth, stir until all has been added.  Add your cream, and  your frozen peas to the mixture, and finally, add the pulled chicken.  At this point, it’s cooked, and ready to be placed in your dough lined baking dish.

Directions: (dough)

I happen to have a Vitamix, and not a cuisinart or kitchenaid.  My aunt showed me a very quick and an easy way to make the dough in the mixer.  Begin by adding the flour to the mixer-turn it on.  Add the salt and baking powder.  Slowly add your cut butter cubes, then the water.  Add enough water until it forms a ball and is well mixed.

Line a baking dish and pre-heat your oven to 200 °C.  Add the filling.  Place dough on top, paint on the egg wash, and bake for approx. 1 hour.

Serve, and watch the entire pie disappear!!!

Vegetable Burritos

Vegetable Burritos with Green Lentils

Source:  Mayumi’s Kitchen Macrobiotic Cooking

Personal Notes:
This is a great, fresh food to prepare for your family.  I have another post for burritos on the site, but you can see the two pale in comparison.  I must say, I prefer this light Macro-Burrito.  If you have never made a balsamic reduction, now is your chance.  It’s a nice bit of bitter/sweet to this wrap.  Enjoy!

vegetable burritos

Mayumi’s Version:

Left over lentils + ¼ c. spring water ¼ C. tofu Mayonnaise *
1 tsp. sesame oil 1 C. salad mix
½ C carrots ¼ C. fermented sauerkraut
8 boiled green beans ½ Avocado
Pinch ssea salt 1 Tbs. reduced balsamic vinegar
2 soft tortillas

My Version:

Left over lentils (cooked fresh or from previous) Tofu Mayonnaise *
1 boiled carrot sliced into match sticks Handful baby spinach
8 boiled sweet peas 1 avocado
2 soft home-made tortillas Reduced balsamic

Steps:

  1. Place the green lentils in a pan along with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom pan, and cook over medium heat, slowly warming and stirring constantly.  Set aside
  2. In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the carrot, green beans, and salt for 2-3 min.  Add a small amount of water if needed.  Set aside
  3. Warm up the tortillas over medium heat in yet another pan or in a toaster oven.
  4. Spread the tofu mayonnaise on the tortillas, then fill them with the salad mix, cooked vegetables, sauerkraut and green lentils.  Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar, roll into burrito form and serve.

*Tofu mayo:  mix ½ C. tofu mayo, along w/ 4-6 fine diced pickles.  Mix together, and you have your Tofu Mayo.