Thursday, August 30, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Fiori di Zucca Fritti (Fried Zucchini (Squash) Flowers)


If you garden in Canada, September is a cruel month.
Plants, like tomatoes and zucchini, are still making flowers.
But you know darn well that there isn't enough time for them to ripen.

Another month, the garden will be compost fodder.

Still, there are those honking big yellow flowers on the zucchini plants.
It's a shame to just waste them.
So, don't...


In the Mia Cucina chapter of The Sopranos Family Cookbook there's a recipe for 
Fiori di Zucca Fritti, Fried Zucchini Flowers.
It's something like onion rings.
Well, not as tasty.
But it's a way to save a bad situation.


If you don't have a deep fry thermometer, drop a bit of the batter into the oil.
If it sizzles and quickly rises to the surface, start frying.
And don't crowd the frying flowers.

This recipe is for 16 zucchini or squash flowers.
If you have more or less, adjust.

Serve these with pride.
They are considered a treat... by non-gardeners.


                        Fiori di Zucca Fritti

In a small bow combine
1/3 Cup flour
1/3 Cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Stir in
1/2 Cup sparkling mineral water
Let stand one hour.

In a deep heavy saucepan pour
2 inches of oil
Over medium heat, heat oil to 375º

Dip a zucchini or squash flowers in the batter, coating it completely.
Gently place it in the hot oil.
Repeat with a few more flowers.
Fry, turning once, 2 minutes or until crisp.
Remove the flowers with a slotted spoon.
Drain on paper towels.
Repeat with remaining flowers and serve immediately.


Would I make Fiori di Zucca Fritti again? 
Sure.
And a teaspoon of onion powder doesn't hurt.
Along with a few prayers for better gardening weather next summer. 


One recipe down.  Eighty-three more to go.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paul, Pop and Wasps by Margaret Ullrich, part 6, Weeding

A few weeks ago I mentioned how, while watering, one gets to really see a garden.
Last week I was giving our tomato plants a much needed soaking.
Then I happened to glance at our chokecherry.


Let me tell you about our chokecherry...
When Paul planted it in 1989 it was just a stick.
It's now about as tall as our 2 story house.
In the spring it's a mass of lovely white flowers.
Well, it is for about a week.

Then the flowers are blown off by a huge wind storm.
The annual wind storm is guaranteed.
Same time every year.
After the storm the yard looks like it's covered in snow.

Chokecherries are not meant to be trees.
They sucker like crazy.
Paul has to hack the suckers down every time he mows the grass.
The branches are also prone to nasty black growths that have to be cut off.
The growths happen where the branches rub together.
If you're considering getting a chokecherry for your yard, don't.
Just a friendly word of advice.

Well, the birds enjoy the cherries, and we enjoy the birds.
So our chokecherry stays.


Anyway, last week I glanced at the chokecherry and was surprised to see a lump.
It was the same color as the wood.
I went to check out the new growth on the branch.
It was our fourth wasps' nest in about a dozen years.


In 1999 wasps had created a huge hive right under our bay window.
They had burrowed through to our basement.
They were flying around, getting settled for the winter.
We had to call an exterminator.
The poor guy got stung, but he got rid of them.


In 2002 Paul and I were sipping iced teas and enjoying our yard.  
Then Paul glanced toward the doghouse, frowned and went to take a look.          
There was something round hanging from the ceiling of the doghouse. 
I thought our bichon, BoBo, had hung up a doggie pinata.  

It was a rather large wasps' nest.         
Paul called the exterminator.  
He said Paul could buy a bug bomb and take care of it himself.  

We'd just seen a week's worth of Discovery's Blue Planet.
Maybe Paul had been fired up from images of Nature, red in tooth and claw.  
Or maybe it was a mid-life Hemingway type of thing.  
Anyway, Paul decided he'd tackle the wasps' nest himself.

We called my folks and told them about our wasps.
They regaled us with tales of their own wasp adventures.  
Pop had been stung in the eye as a child.  
Grandma's stung hand had swollen to twice its normal size.  
They wished us luck.  

Okay... forget about skipping out there in shorts and T-shirts.  
Paul prepared to do battle.
Finally... 10:00 p.m.  All good little wasps were in bed.  
Killing time.  
Paul pulled on his sweat pants, winter boots, coat, hat and leather mitts.  
His safety glasses had left some skin exposed.  
I grabbed a half dozen packages of cheesecloth and gift-wrapped Paul's face. 

With the heavy clothes and gauze Paul looked like an Eskimo mummy.  
Bomb in hand, Nanuk the Sweating Mummy stalked the wild wasp.  
Paul sprayed the wasps' lair.  
Twenty four hours later, another corner of Winnipeg's north end was safe for humans.
Thank God we don't live in Wolsely.   


In 2006 I found myself surrounded by wasps whenever I went out to hang laundry.
The detergent didn't smell that good.
Wasps had settled in under our air conditioner, right next to the clothes line.
Paul didn't waste time calling the exterminator.
He just bought a bomb and did the deed.
He also hung a couple of fake wasps' nests in our yard.
Wasps are supposed to politely respect other wasps' territory.
That's what the wasp bomb salesman had said.


Which brings us to the rude wasps who built a nest in our chokecherry in 2012.
Sunday afternoon we took a few pictures of the nest.
Sunday night Paul got dressed and wrapped.
He bombed the bejesus out of the nest.
Tuesday afternoon I was watering the tomatoes.

Just life in the 'burbs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anna Sultana's Ricotta Stuffed Shells, Maltese Style / Recipes Using Various Pasta Shapes


Got an e mail about the pasta shells in the store.
Yes, they do come in different sizes.

Some are small.
You can cook and serve them as you would elbow macaroni.
They are very nice with a seafood sauce.
Makes it look like you were going for a theme night.
Little kids really like theme nights.


Then there are the jumbo shells.
Yes, they do look like you're supposed to put something in them.
They are kind of like the manicotti tubes.
Yes, you're supposed to put something in them, too.

I don't know why there are so many shapes.
Just focus on a few favourites if they make you crazy.


Ma had a nice simple recipe for Stuffed Shells.
If there was a bit of leftover ham, she'd dice and add that.
Sometimes she'd also add cooked chopped spinach.
If it was the end of the month, the shells might have a little less stuffing.


Sometimes, when Ma was watching a rerun on TV, she'd make stuffed shells.
She would then place them (on cookie pans) in the freezer.  
When they were frozen, she'd place them in a plastic bag, seal tightly and freeze.

She could then take as many unthawed stuffed shells as she needed.
She'd place them in a casserole, cover them with a sauce and bake.
For frozen stuffed shells, an hour in a 350º oven usually did the trick.
A sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese before baking is also good.

What?  You think frozen dinners are a new idea?


                        Stuffed Shells


For Stuffing

In a bowl combine
1 pound ricotta
2 large eggs
1/2 Cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot place
4 quarts water
Over high heat bring the water to a boil.
Add 
salt to taste
Add
340 grams jumbo shells
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked but slightly chewy.
Drain the shells and rinse with cold water.
Stuff the shells.
If freezing see above.
If cooking see below.


If the shells are for tonight's dinner:

Have ready
Marinara Sauce (a double recipe or more, depending on the number of shells)

Preheat oven 350º

Place a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole.
Place the stuffed shells in the casserole.
Add some sauce over the shells.
Bake, covered, 30 minutes, until hot.
Serve immediately with 
grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Serve some crusty bread on the side to sop up the sauce.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Cavatelli - Homemade Pasta Shells

Okay...  The Meatless Marinara Sauce was a quickie.

Great for hot summer days.
And busy back to school days.

The recipe for Cavatelli (Gavadeel') isn't a quickie.
And not really worth the bother.

Cavatelli is Italian for pasta shells.
Yes, you can find shells ready-made, next to the spaghetti and other pasta shapes.
So, why bother?


The Cavatelli recipe is in the Sunday Dinner chapter of The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
This chapter was written by Tony's sister, Janice.
Yeah, right, recipes from the one with the Rolling Stone tattoo on her chest.
Janice said her Mom, Livia, a typical stay-at-home mom, made these.
Yeah, the typical stay-at-home mom who tried to rub out Tony.
Sure... 
I have enough sense to not argue with Janice.
Janice makes Charlie Sheen look calm and rational.
As Dr. Melfi would say, "Smile and walk away."


Back to the cavatelli ...
If you are not cooking them within an hour, place them (on the pans) in the freezer.  
When they are firm, place them in a plastic bag, seal tightly and freeze.  
Do not thaw the cavatelli before cooking.


This is another of those "Fun to read, but who the hell would make this?" recipes.
Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, enjoy some biscotti and read.


                        Cavatelli

Serves 6 to 8

In a large bowl combine
2 Cups fine semolina flour
1 Cup flour
1 teaspoon salt

Gradually add about 
1 Cup warm water (enough to make a stiff dough)
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
Knead until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and cover it with the large bowl.
Let dough rest 30 minutes.

Lightly dust 3 large cookie sheets with flour.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
Put 7 pieces back under the bowl.

On a lightly floured surface role the first piece of dough
into a 1/2 inch thick rope.
Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces.

Okay....
Using a small dull knife with a rounded tip, press your index finger against the side 
of the blade and flatten each piece of dough, pressing and dragging it slightly so 
that the dough curls around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape.
Place the cavatelli on a prepared cookie sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough.


Start reheating
the Tomato Sauce or 
a double recipe of Marinara Sauce


In a large pot place
4 quarts water
Over high heat bring the water to a boil.
Add 
salt to taste
Add
cavatelli

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked but slightly chewy.
Drain the cavatelli and place them in a heated serving bowl.
Add the sauce.
Serve immediately with 
grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese


Would I make Cavatelli?
NO.
But, I would buy and cook pasta shells.
And enjoy them.

And I hope you enjoyed reading the recipe. 


One recipe down.  Eighty-four more to go.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Meatless Marinara Sauce

Back in February I posted the recipe for Carmela's Deluxe Tomato Sauce.
Her Sunday Gravy is a fantastic recipe.
It has veal, pork sausages and tiny meatballs.
Something for everybody.
Not something you'd throw together at the last minute.
But worth the effort.


But, let's be honest, most of the time there isn't the time for the effort.
But the family wants dinner.
And the spaghetti looks kind of sad naked like that.

Back to The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Artie Buco...

The chapter Cooking in the Neopolitan Way has another recipe for Tomato Sauce.
It's really easy.
And perfect for this time of year.
Especially if you have plum tomatoes in your garden.
This recipe can use 2 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes.
Just peel, seed and chop them.
Or not.
Or use a 28 ounce can of Italian tomatoes.

If you're having company, and I hope you are, double the ingredients.
It's an easy recipe.
And you don't want to look cheap.
I mean, bad enough, there's no meat in this recipe.


On the page facing  the recipe there was a lovely thought:
relax, sit down, serve yourself a little pasta, and taste life.


                        Marinara Sauce 

Makes 3 Cups

In a large pot place
1/4 Cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, lightly smashed
Cook over medium heat, stirring, about 4 minutes.

Add
2 pounds prepared ripe plum tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of tomatoes, drained
salt to taste
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in 
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Serve over hot cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta.


Would I make Marinara Sauce again?
Sure.
And I'd triple the recipe.
Sauces, like stews, are better the next day.
And I'd broil some chicken. 


One recipe down.  Eighty-five more to go.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Folklorama, Pop, Zorba and Facebook's Timeline by Margaret Ullrich, part 5, Weeding

We had a wonderful time visiting countries during Folklorama!
Now we pace ourselves.
And get home at a decent hour.
No more bunny hopping out the door while the pavilion is being closed at midnight!

Someone once said,
Only seeing one country is like only reading one page of a book.
We absolutely enjoyed reading more pages of the world's book.


Some of the countries have stopped putting on a show.
The volunteers had gotten old.
The kids weren't interested.
No problem.
There are folks from other countries happy to take their places.
And the new pavilions we visited - such as Ethiopia's - were fantastic!

We also visited our old favorite, the Greek pavilion.
This year they featured Sparta.
The food and the dancers were excellent.
Of course the show ended with a performance of the Zorba dance.
The folks at St. Demetrios now have a second building where they had their displays.

Ending shows of some countries.
Starting shows of other countries.
New locations... bigger, smaller, older, newer.
There are always changes.


Speaking of changes...
Facebook has noticed that I wasn't using Timeline.

On Sunday I checked my Facebook and found a note: 
Your timeline goes live on August 26. This gives you a chance to review what's here, highlight or hide whatever you want, and even share new experiences with social apps.  Learn more. 

Well, whoop dee flippin' doo. 
I spent Sunday afternoon editing my 'About' section.
They'd wanted me to add pictures and write a bit about each of my "life's events".
Instead I cut the dates of my graduations and jobs so they weren't on the timeline.

Timeline is useless and confusing.
I had changed radio shows in 2007.
Timeline posted that I'd 'quit' and 'worked' at CKUW - in that order - in 2007.
That's supposed to make sense?
And who would care?

I also eliminated the year I was married.
FB sent a notice to Paul about that new experience in my life.
Big deal... Paul and I have still been married over 40 years.
Longer than that dumb kid Zuckerberg has been alive.


I'm not interested in using Facebook as a personal scrapbook.
I didn't bother learning about the social apps.
I really don't give a rat's patootie about them.
I got rid of some events and likes.
I also dropped a few of the groups I had joined in more innocent days.

But I did join one new group.
When I joined it, there were 42,610 members.
And the number is growing.
Seems I'm not alone in being annoyed at the forced "improvement".


The FB help forum is filled with people who HATE Timeline. 
None of the posts have been answered by FB.
The page for I Hate Timeline is itself in timeline.
Yes, that is a bit ironic.

Mark Zuckerberg must have an awfully thick skin.
His company's stock is tanking.
Advertisers are leaving.
Folks on Facebook are complaining.
Yet he's not listening.

One customer had posted:
Timeline looks like Facebook threw up on itself!!!!
I'll go along with that.
Whatever happened to that rule of business:
The customer is always right.


In a way I am grateful to Mark.
This might just be the last straw.
People seem to be posting less.
I know I am.


On Monday night we watched Zorba the Greek on Turner Classic.
I can't picture Zorba wasting time posting on Facebook.
Nope...  He lived and savored the whole catastrophe.
He had time to dance.
Opa!!


Bye, Bye, Mark.
I want time to dance.

And, Mark... I'll let you guess where you can put those social apps.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Balsamic Grilled Veal Chops l Balsamic Grilled Loin Pork Chops

I was getting wishes above my station and location.
Lofty dreams were filling my head.
As were the Grilled Spareribs.
And the Verdure alla Griglia made the gang sit up and notice their veggies.
Really.

Then I noticed the Balsamic Grilled Veal Chops recipe.
The veal recipe was opposite the Grilled Spareribs recipe in the Grilling - Italian Style 
chapter in The Sopranos Family Cookbook. 
The image of Veal... so delicious... so exotic... so out of my league.

What can I say?
Besotted with Veal Appeal, I asked my local butcher for veal chops.
Loin or rib, I didn't care.
Hell, I was desperate.

My request brought a smile to his face.
It was followed by a huge belly laugh.
I guess he lives for moments like this.
Brought to him by idiots like me.

He asked what I wanted to do to the veal.
As if it were a cultist's creed, I confessed the recipe.
He nodded sagely, then shoved a package of loin pork chops into my hands.
Absolved of my ludicrous wishes, I paid, left and cooked.

The pork chops were good.
But I still wonder what the veal chops might have been.


                        Balsamic Grilled Veal Chops

Place in a shallow dish
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Place in the marinade
4 veal loin or rib chops, 1 inch thick
Turn to coat evenly.
Let stand at room temperature.

Prepare a medium hot charcoal fire.
Place the grill rack 4 inches from the heat.
Place the chops on the grill rack.
Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare.

Serve immediately.


Would I make Balsamic Grilled Veal Chops?
No.  Not in this neighbourhood.
But, blessed Butcher help me, I'd like to,
instead of eating the loin pork chops.


One recipe down.  Eighty-six more to go.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Verdure alla Griglia - Grilled or Broiled Vegetables

When you barbecue, are your vegetables same old, same old?
You know...
Corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad.

Would Tony approve of that?
Hell no.


Grilled vegetables can be exciting!!
Really.
Check out Grilling - Italian Style in The Sopranos Family Cookbook.

If the vegetables are getting browned too quickly, move them to a cooler spot.
This recipe should feed eight.
If there's a vegetarian coming, maybe you should double amounts.

This recipe also works well in the broiler.


                        Verdure alla Griglia 

Trim and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 medium eggplant
Sprinkle generously with 
salt
Place the slices in a colander and let drain for 60 minutes.
Rinse the slices and pat dry.

While the eggplant is draining, prepare the other vegetables:
1 large red or Spanish onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 large mushrooms, remove stems
4 medium tomatoes, cored and cut in half
2 large red or yellow peppers, cored, seeded, cut into quarters
Generously brush all vegetables with
olive oil
Sprinkle with
salt and pepper

Prepare a medium hot charcoal fire.
Place the grill rack 4 inches from the heat.
Place the vegetables on the grill rack.
Cook, turning once, until tender and browned, about 15 minutes.

Arrange the vegetables on a platter.
Sprinkle with 
oil
6 fresh basil leaves, torn into bits

Serve hot or at room temperature.


Would I make Verdure alla Griglia again?
Of course.
I'm not feeding wild cats.
Veggies are good.
Really.


One recipe down.  Eighty-seven more to go.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Grilled Spareribs

It's still August.
It's still hot.
They're still hungry.

Don't like grilled sausages?
No problem.
Back to The Sopranos Family Cookbook's chapter on Grilling - Italian Style.

Some hints about grilling:
If you're slow cooking, have the grill further away from the heat.
A steak cooks quickly, so have the grill about 2 or 3 inches above.

Not sure how hot it is?
Place your hand 6 inches about the coal.
Count and pull away when you must.
2 seconds maximum - very hot
4 seconds - medium hot
6 seconds - low

Depending on the position of the grill and the heat, spareribs can take 
20 minutes or 30 seconds.
Of course marinated spareribs can also be broiled.

Using dried herbs?
One teaspoon dried equals one tablespoon fresh. 


                        Grilled Spareribs 

Combine in a shallow dish
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt to taste

Add
4 pounds spareribs, cut into individual ribs
Stir to coat them with the marinade.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a medium hot charcoal fire.
Set the rack 6 inches from the heat.
Grill the ribs, turning them frequently, until cooked thoroughly, about 20 minutes.
Serve hot.


Would I make Grilled Spareribs again?
Sure.
Along with the sausages.
Something for everybody. 


One recipe down.  Eighty-eight more to go.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pop, The Plaza and Folklorama by Margaret Ullrich, part 4, Weeding

Here in Winnipeg, Folklorama is winding down.
We've enjoyed visiting a few old favorites, and catching the fun at new, to us, shows.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about when we had taken Pop to new places.
Sometimes it didn't quite work out.
Oh, well, that didn't make me stop trying.


In 1993 my parents visited us during August.
Pop had never been in Winnipeg during Folklorama.
So, of course, we had to take them.

At first Pop was against going out to eat at the pavilions.
Pop was always wary of eating out.
I think his phobia stemmed from our Plaza experience.
Yes, THE PLAZA, Fifth Avenue, Central Park South, Manhattan.
Yes, Neil Simon had written a play about it.


Back in 1957 Pop and Mr. Lipsky had opened a television shop.
Point T.V. Sales and Service.
Television sets in those days were major pieces of furniture.
They came in different types of wood to match the decor.
They were so large you could easily place a coffin on top.

In 1959 a television manufacturer gave Pop and Mr. Lipsky 4 tickets 
to go to the Plaza and see the latest models.
There was also going to be a free dinner.
Pop and Ma liked the idea of a free dinner.
But they didn't know how they'd get to the Plaza.
Pop didn't drive.

Mr. Lipsky wasn't interested in going, but he gave Pop subway directions.
Ma knew about subways.
She used to shop in the Manhattan downtown area, around 14th Street.
I usually went with her to help carry the loot.
So, they dragged me, their nine-year-old, along as a navigator.

Okay... we got to the Plaza.
No problem.
We saw the television sets.
No problem.
Then we went to dinner.
Problem.

The Plaza doesn't stint.
Each place setting came with a complete assortment of cutlery and glass ware.
The folks on Downton Abbey, including Dowager Countess Violet, would've approved.

Pop sat down and stared at all the forks, knives and spoons. 
He said, "What the hell is this?" in a tone implying a turd had been placed before him.
Ma and Pop then picked the cutlery they liked and used them throughout the meal.
The staff knew how to accept paying guests' little quirks.

I went into my immigrant kid mode.
I sipped water, watched what the other people were doing and copied them.
The next day I went to the library for a book on etiquette.
Well, that's what the librarian gave me after I'd explained what had happened.


Back to my parents' visit in 1993 and Folklorama...
In the previous months Winnipeg had had two 'once in a century' rains.
Yes, folks joked, that was an awfully short century.
Our basement had been flooded.
The rains had hatched a swarm of mosquitoes, some eggs a few decades old.
Considering that we were often covered by a cloud of bugs, Folklorama went well.


We first went to the Ukrainian pavilion.
The food was served cafeteria style.
You picked your own pieces of cutlery.
Good start.
Pop said the pyrogies were like ravioli.
He ate them, without much enthusiasm, while the show began.
Pop perked up when the dancers leapt and spun around.
He left the Ukraine with a smile.  

Taking our cue from Pop's reaction, we planned for the week. 
We would go to countries with energetic floor shows.
Fancy needlework wasn't going to work with Pop.

We went to the Caribbean pavilion.
Rum punch, limbo dancers, fire eaters and half naked dancers.
Pop quite enjoyed the show.
Maybe a little too much.
When Ma tugged on his sleeve, Pop said, "I ain't dead yet."


We also went to the Greek pavilion in St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
We had taken Ma there when she'd visited in 1978.
She'd liked the Folklorama displays and the food.
We thought Pop would enjoy the food and the dancing.
Something for everybody.

Slight problem.
Pop had been raised in the xenophobic Maltese Roman Catholic style.
One did not, just did not, go into a non-Roman Catholic Church.
Pop sat in the last pew while Ma, Paul and I toured the church.
The guide returned us to the back of the church.
Time to go down to the basement to eat.

Pop got up and announced, "Some people say it is a mortal sin to be in here."
The guide knew how to accept visitors' little quirks.
God bless her, she just smiled.
Pop did enjoy the food and the dancers.
The ouzo helped, too.

I was flipping through our 1993 Folklorama pictures a few days ago.
I'm pretty sure Nia Vardalos was one of the performers in the Greek pavilion.
Oh, what she'd have done with Pop as a character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding!


At the end of The Godfather, while sitting in a garden, Vito told his son Michael that he'd found he was drinking more.
Michael told his Dad it was good for him.

It's all about family, gardens, religion, food...
And booze. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Salsiccie alla Griglia - Grilled Sweet and Hot Pork Sausages

It's the middle of August.
It's too hot to cook.
But, for some strange reason, the family still wants to eat.

Okay... fire up the grill.
It gets you out of the kitchen.
And it can make for some fun family moments.
Who can forget Tony using a string of sausages as a stripper's tassles?

Before you do that, make sure the cameras are all packed away.
Really.
And avoid lighter fluid.
Remember AJ's birthday party?
Hospital food still sucks.


Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook has a chapter on Grilling - Italian Style.
Perfect.
Let's start with Grilled Sausages.
What's the difference between 'sweet' and 'hot'?
Sweet sausages are seasoned with black pepper and/or fennel.
Hot sausages have crushed red pepper in them.
Now you know.

The guys are big on fresh sausages, like they get from Satriale's.
They don't like packaged sausages.
Who knows what's in it? they ask.
Yeah, well, remember when Christopher had to get rid of a problem?
He did the deed at Satriale's.
I'd rather wonder what - and not who - is in it.

There's a brand of Italian sausages that's often on sale.
Sometimes it even comes with bonus air miles.
Stock up and freeze.
They're also good broiled or in tomato sauce.


Oh, keep a spray bottle of water handy to put out flare-ups.


                        Salsiccie alla Griglia 

Serves 6

2 pounds assorted pork sausages 

Prepare a medium hot charcoal fire.
Place the grill rack 4 inches from the heat.
Place the sausages on the grill.
Cook, turning once or twice, until cooked through.
USE TONGS.
Piercing the skin causes the juices to run out.  Bad.
Serve hot.


Would I make Salsiccie alla Griglia again? 
Sure.
And I'd broil sausages in the winter.
Great with pasta or polenta.


One recipe down.  Eighty-nine more to go.