Wednesday, August 10, 2005

DINNER WITH BELINDA AND GIACOMO

Belinda has a few weeks off so we invited her and Giacomo for dinner last night. They’re heading to Amsterdam to meet with friends and take long relaxing cruise through the canals. After that it’s off to Sicily for a wedding in Giacomo’s family.

I had a craving for panzanella and decided I’d serve this instead of pasta. In the summer panzanella is my favorite tomato dish, and even though it’s not very hot right now, the tomatoes are plentiful, delicious and cheap….60¢ for TWO kilo! (Obviously my orto is still struggling!)

I had some chicken thighs thawed out and decided to try a new recipe with them….what a surprise! Grilled eggplant from the garden would complete the dinner. The appetizer was something that’s quickly become my favorite…
Pecorino drizzled with honey. It’s so simple, tastes great, and isn’t too heavy.

Normally I would serve the chicken on a bed of rice or pasta, but we usually don’t eat pasta a night, and were glad when Belinda and Giacomo said they don’t either. The simple sauce with chunks of fresh tomatoes, olives and celery was perfect by itself, and I plan to serve this dish again.

For dessert I made a crostata using the jam I’d made from the yellow plums Giacomo and Belinda had brought a few weeks ago. I combined some of the sweetened jam with some of the unsweetened, and the result was just the right amount of tartness. Next time I’ve promised to make Giacomo a traditional American pie.

They brought a book with them….”Il Giro del Preto”, the one Adamo had written about San Venanzo. Giacomo had just found this book at the stationery store, and had brought it to show us the other house they own closer to Ospedaletto. This house is in need of extensive renovation, and they hope to begin this project soon.

The book had several pictures of their house and also gave some history of the house…..it was built in the 1600’s for a noble family…a family that would produce THREE popes. When Giacomo visited Adamo to ask him more about the house Adamo told him that he should be very proud to own this house. We can’t wait to see it later this month.

Here are the recipes from tonight….

PANZANELLA

350-400 GRAMS DAY OLD BREAD
2/3 CUP OLIVE OIL (OR MORE TO TASTE)
4-5 TBSP RED WINE VINEGAR
2/3 CUP CELERY, SLICED
I MED CUCUMBER, THINKLY SLICED
5-6 LG FRESH TOMATOES, CUBED
1 LG RED ONION, THINLY SLICED
2 CUPS LIGHTLY PACKED BASIL LEAVES, SHREDDED
SALT & PEPPER

COARSELY CRUMBLE THE BREAD IN A LARGE BOWL. ADD THE CELERY, CUCUMBER, TOMATOES, ONION AND BASIL. TOSS. DRIZZLE ON OLIVE OIL. SEASON TO TASTE W/SALT & PEPPER. TOSS WELL TO COAT THE BREAD W/THE OIL. GARNISH W/A FEW BASIL LEAVES. JUST BEFORE SERVING ADD RED WINE VINEGAR.


Pollo all’ Apulia

1 fryer (3-4 lbs.), cut into 8 pieces
¼ cup olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 large onion, minced
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. basil
½ cup sliced green olives
1 ½ tbsp. capers
½ tsp. sugar
½ cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the chicken pieces well and drain. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg, and then roll in the flour. Sauté until golden brown on both sides. (The chicken shouldn’t be cooked all the way through because it will be baked later.)

Preheat oven to 350o F.

Add the onion and garlic, and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Be sure not to brown the onion or garlic. Add the celery, sauté for a few minutes, and then add the tomatoes, basil, olives, capers, sugar and wine. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn all ingredients into a large casserole, cover and bake for 1 hour.

3 Comments :

At 8/16/2011 06:53:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Ahhh memories!! I made your Panzanella recipe last night - added tuna and cannellini beans and it was fabulous! Hope all is well.
stoi pensando a voi,
Rosemary

 
At 8/16/2011 06:54:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

oops I think that should have been sto, not stoi!

 
At 8/16/2011 11:19:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks Ro - panzanella is good no matter how you make it - as long as the tomatoes are in season. We think of you two often and love following along with you on FB!

 

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