We found a couple versions and had to try it. We didn’t have grapefruit juice but we did have some Fresca, which actually worked really well. Here’s our version for one drink.
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 1/2 oz Fresca (or any grapefruit soda)
2 basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 drops of bitters
1 grapefruit slice (optional)
1 preserved cherry (optional)
Add the bourbon, Fresca, and basil into a cocktail shaker and then fill the shaker with ice. Shake well and then strain into a cocktail glass with a large ice globe (or 5 ice cubes). Add the lemon juice and two drops of bitters.
You can garnish with a slice of grapefruits and a cherry.
If you have fresh grapefruit juice, you can substitute the Fresca with 1 oz of grapefruit juice and 1/2 oz of simple syrup.
OK, we tried our hand at making pizza dough again. We tried in the past and just couldn’t get the right taste and texture with any consistency. Then we found the fresh dough from Trader Joe’s and started to use that because it’s so much easier and the dough is good. For Christmas I got Curt a gift box from Marcelli Formaggi called Trattoria Pizza Maker’s Kit. It has everything you need for a truly authentic Italian pizzeria experience.
I had to find a new recipe to use for the flour that is included in the kit. We ended up using the recipe provided on a card that is included in the kit. That recipe is below. I also reached out to some friends who are my go-to people for help, advice, and inspiration in my cooking. Luke is a professional chef and is now teaching future chefs. Josh is a fellow Italian American from Texas that has some awesome kitchen skills in both Italian cuisine and traditional Texan food (think BBQ, smoking, and similar items).
Here are their suggestions and then at the end is the recipe from Marcelli Formaggi.
One 12” NY Style Crust 150g flour 4g sugar 2.5g kosher salt 2.5g instant yeast 8g olive oil 100g water
blend dry ingredients in food processor-add water and oil and blend until dough forms-place in greased bowl and cover for 4hrs (or in the fridge overnight)-punch down, shape in a ball, refrigerate 1hr-remove from fridge 1hr before baking-shape, top, bake.
I am not particularly a pizza kinda guy. But my go to is.. 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon instant yeast 6 ounces of water
Combine dry ingredients, then add water. Mix, cover, and let rise at room temp for 8-10 hours. Divide dough in half, roll up in balls, and place in bags or a container to rest in ths fridge for 2 days. Let rest for an hour or so at room temp before using. That’s enough for two small pizzas
Here is the recipe that came with the Trattoria Pizza Maker’s Kit from Marcelli Formaggi.
I do want to point out that this is for a pan pizza, so it’s very runny and meant to be poured into the pan, not rolled out like a traditional pizza. We didn’t realize this and started adding flour on the second day. Then even more on the third. We were using a 1000 gram bag and ended up with about 50 grams left. The dough rested in our refrigerator for two more days, so a total of 4 days after we initially mixed the dough.
In total, we ended up with 3 lbs of dough and separated it into 3 sections. We used one section to make pizza, and ended up dividing this section into two 10-inch pizzas. Both pizzas were awesome, so about 950 grams works, it’s just that this is a whole lot of dough and you might not want to make so much unless you’re having a pizza party.
I was going to update the recipe below, but wanted to leave it because I want to try it next. If you don’t want to make a pan pizza, try one of the recipes able from Luke or Josh.
Yield: 1 10″ x 14″ pizza Time: 7 to 10 hours
300 grams Caputo 00 Chef’s flour
6 grams of salt
3 grams instant yeast
300 grams room temperature water
2 tablespoons semolina flour, or as needed, for dusting
Whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water and mix with a spatula to form a wet dough, resembling a thick batter.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, use a rubber spatula to fold the dough. Pull on corner to the center and then give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the process. Do this a total of four folds and then flip the dough over, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, repeat the folding process and then, instead of flipping the dough in the bowl, flip it out onto a pizza pan that’s been lightly dusted with semolina flour. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, gently stretch the dough to fill the pizza pan. Cover the pizza pan and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours before adding topping and banking the pizza.
Preheat oven to 500 F
Add toppings to your pizza and bake for 20 minutes, turning the pan at least once during the process.
Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan to cut.
We always have a lot of leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. This year it was just the two of us, so we had even more than normal. We did get a smaller turkey (it was only 13lbs) but we made full sized dishes of everything else. One reason we made so much was for the leftovers. Our favorite thing to make with the leftovers are Thanksgiving Tamales.
For this recipe, you’ll need leftover cornbread stuffing, turkey, and fresh made turkey stock. Our cornbread stuffing has chorizo and peppers so it adds a nice flavor. Also, if you didn’t make any stock from your turkey, go ahead and use chicken stock. If you have leftover cranberry sauce, grab that too.
This recipe should make about 20 tamales, depending on the size of your corn husks and the thickness that you put the masa on the cornhusks. We used the Maseca tamale masa that you should be able to find in major super markets or from Amazon.
Making tamales is not complicated, but it helps to “see” it first so check out some youtube videos to help out. Here is how Pati Jinich makes hers as a point of reference
1 cup masa
1 cup stock (turkey or chicken) or water
1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups leftover cornbread stuffing
1/2 cup stock (turkey or chicken) or water
Start by mixing the masa, 1 cup of stock, lard, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix this together until it’s a grainy paste. Once this is mixed well, mix in your stuffing. The extra half cup is for blending in the stuffing. You want the mixture to have a grainy paste texture again, so it will probably be too dry after you add your stuffing. Slowly add the extra 1/2 cup until you get back to that texture.
tamale dough (from above)
1.5 lbs turkey pulled into small pieces
20 corn husks
Soak the corn husks in water for a few minutes, until they are soft and flexible. Then remove from water and drain them off. They don’t have to be completely dry.
Spread a thin layer of tamale dough on the corn husk over the top half of the husk.
Place a few pieces of turkey in the center of the husk. If you have leftover cranberry sauce, a thin line of this sauce is a nice treat to add to the tamale.
Fold one side of the husk over to the other side, where the tamale dough from each side come together. Push them together to make it firm, then fold the bottom part up over the seam. Then place the tamale into the steamer pot. We lay our pot on it’s side and place them in with the folded side down.
Once you’ve filled the husks with the dough and turkey, steam them over water for 2 hours. Check the water level regularly and replenish as needed. One tip is to put a penny in the bottom of the pan (in the water). If you hear the penny start to rattle, it’s time to add water.
I’ll admit, I’d never had this fish stew. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been to San Francisco before and we live far enough from the ocean that good fresh seafood is hard to come by. However, I do love fish and I was looking forward to this dish.
Cioppino is a stew that originated in San Francisco by Italian immigrants. The story is that the immigrant fishermen would use the catch of the day to make a stew while on the boats. As Italian restaurants started becoming popular, the stew became popular with everyone else. There are a ton of recipes online for this stew and, apparently, one of it’s best attributes is that is very versatile. We used the recipe provided by Luke but made a couple modifications based on what’s in our pantry and creativity. For example, some of the online recipes…
Each year I grow hot Italian chillies and as I harvest them I sun-dry them in batches for use throughout the year. Once dried they store in an airtight jar for a year or so. Just make sure when you pick some out that your fingers are dry, a tiny drop of water in the jar will spoil them. As my chillies in the orto are almost ready to harvest I decide to use up some of last years to make way for the new crop.
I’ve also been growing some Jamaican Scotch Bonnets, the plant is in its second year and after a not so good season last year, I took advice and potted it up to restrict the roots and it’s bearing lots of bright orange fruits this year. So using these two varieties I thought I’d create a Caribbean-Italian fusion hot pepper sauce.
When we were getting the shrimp ready for our ravioli, I saw a recipe mention that you should use the shells and tails for a stock or broth. I’d never heard of this so I thought it would be easy, since we had a big ole pile of shells and tails.
If you have the shrimp heads, rinse them before using. Then put the shells, tails and heads into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add some pepper corns, a pinch of salt and a bay leaf then simmer for about 45 minutes.
When it’s done, pour the water through a strainer and then you use the stock right away or freeze it for later use.
I can’t wait to use it then next time we make gumbo.
As some of y’all know, Movember is a fundraising and awareness raising campaign that goes on around the world. This fundraising organization is focused on men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancers. Money is raised by supporting your Mo brothers as they grow a mustache through the month of November. The other purpose is raising awareness, which comes from the discussions that inevitably come from growing out a mustache.
This is my second time to grow out a mustache for Movember and I will tell you that friends and family do ask about it and gives you an opportunity to tell people why you’re growing it. Awareness is key to men’s health issues because we all know that men (yes, me too) avoid acknowledging health issues. By giving information about health issues men face, hopefully, some will make lifestyle changes or at least visit their doctor and discuss their risk factors.
If you’d like to make a contribution, please feel free to make one on my Mo Space. At the very least, please go to the site and take a look at their resources for health issues. At the bottom is a link for men’s health that has tons of information for you.
This is a more complex chicken stock that came with the recipe I found for the chicken potpies in a pumpkin. It does turn out great, but I usually don’t have the time so I use what ever is available. Sometime, I use some stock that we have have in the freezer and other times I just use a good quality canned stock.
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
6 sprigs fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill
6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 dried bay leaves
2 leeks, washed, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/3
2 carrots, scrubbed, cut into 1/3
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3
1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1 1/2 pounds chicken backs
2 (48-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth, about 12 cups
6 cups cold water
Place peppercorns, dill, parsley, bay leaves, leeks, carrots, celery, chicken, wings, and backs into a large stockpot. Add stock and 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Liquid should just bubble up to the surface. A skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim this off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. After 45 minutes, remove chicken from the pot, and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, set the meat aside, and return the bones to the pot. Shred the chicken, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Continue to simmer the stock, on the lowest heat possible, for 3 hours, skimming as needed. The chicken bones will begin to disintegrate. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a very large bowl. Discard the solids. Place the bowl in an ice bath, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. If storing, leave fat layer intact to the seal the stock. Before using, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the surface. Yield: 5 quarts
I’ve been cooking this for years and we love it. I found it in a cookbook that I got for Curt back in 1997. The book is “Cooking with Too Hot Tamales” and I gave it to him for our first Christmas.
Here are the ingredients:
2 cups dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight
6 cups water, or more as needed
1 cup beer (or 1/2 can)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small red onions, diced
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2-3 hot peppers diced – jalapeno or serrano peppers are best (if desired)
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 small bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Chili Powder mix, recipe follows
1 (12 oz) can diced plum tomatoes
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
juice of 1 lemon
There is also a chili powder mix. Just mix these ingredients together and you can adjust this as you prefer:
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse salt
There are a lot of things that go into this so take a list with you to the grocery store. I will also admit that you can add or delete ingredients as you see fit. I usually modify this on New Years Day to create a black-eyed pea soup. Also, it’s really helpful if you get all your ingredients ready before you start, otherwise you’ll be rushing to get them all cut and diced before you have to add them to mix.
Here are the general instructions:
First get your beans ready. You can use canned beans but why would you want to do that when beans are so easy to prepare. Follow the instructions on your beans to soak them and get them ready. Once you’ve soaked them, drain the beans and rinse under cold running water. In a large soup pot, combine the beans with the water and bring to a boil, skim off and discard the white scum that rises to the top.
Add the beer and return to a boil. You can use any kind of beer but Shiner is what I prefer. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Keep an eye on the beans and add water if you need to in order to keep the beans covered with water.
When you’re done, drain the beans in a colander and save the cooking liquid for use later.
While the beans are cooking your going to get the vegetables ready. The first part is essentially a sofrito base. To start, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and then add the red onions and salt and pepper to taste and cook for a couple minutes to get them starting to soften. Once they start to soften, add the garlic, green pepper, celery, carrot and jalapeno peppers and cook about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until these start to soften. Don’t over cook these vegetables because they are going to continue to cook while the mixture simmers. The original recipe has you cook them longer at this stage but the time you’re done, they are all mush, so I prefer to reduce the cooking time and keep the vegetable firmer.
Add the zucchini and red and yellow bell peppers and cook about 8 to 10 minutes longer, until all vegetables are nicely softened.
Now you are going to stir in 4 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, the vinegar, half of the parsley and the spice mix and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the drained black beans, tomatoes, corn and lemon juice and cook 15 more minutes. To make it more soupy, add the beans a little earlier so they are softer and start to break down.
Stir in the remaining parsley and serve. You can garnish this with sour cream, scallions and some Monterrey Jack cheese.