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June 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day!


Lidia , Erminia Vittorio Franco in Astoria

 

Here’s an old one of (left to right) my mother, brother, me, and my father, Vittorio.

 

 

 

June 9, 2014

Father’s Day Weekend


The hotter weather always gets me cooking outside on the grill. Personally, I love to do some Kansas City BBQ, which I learned while out in KC at my Lidia’s restaurant there, cooking the meat slowly over a variety of wood and then brushing on my homemade mix of tomato and molasses based BBQ sauce.

With summer around the corner and Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I can’t think of a better way to spend time outside with family than around the grill. I’d love to hear back from all of you about your own BBQ favorites. Be sure to find me on Facebook or Twitter and share your own tips and tricks for summertime grilling!

For some great barbeque recipes, check out my monthly newsletter.

Lidia Bastianich

May 9, 2014

Mother’s Day Palacinke


Grandma with commonsense

Grandma Erminia is the star on Mother’s Day.  You all know she likes eating sweets, but she likes to prepare them for her family as well. Palacinke are one of her favorites; she counts how many the kids can eat, and the higher the number, the happier she is. Get my recipe for a tasty, nutty version of standard palacinke made with oat flour here!

May 2, 2014

A new favorite photo


Lidia enjoyed spending time at McGuire Air Force base and was proud to stand next to those bravely serving our country like Matthew Goniea Chief Petty Officer US Navy.

I really enjoyed spending time at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and was proud to stand next to those bravely serving our country like Matthew Goniea, Chief Petty Officer US Navy.

 

 

April 17, 2014

Easter Recipes


With Spring in the air, I’m looking forward to getting the family together for Easter. Of course Springtime brings plenty of rain, but for a chef, there is nothing more inspiring than the change of the seasons; asparagus, artichokes, nettles, peas, and fava beans are just some of the delicious fresh ingredients that make their way into my kitchen this time of year.

If you’re observing the holiday this weekend and you haven’t set your menu, I can highly recommend any of the dishes below–you can’t go wrong with seasonal ingredients. Buona Pasqua! 

Scallion and Asparagus Salad

Bucatini with Chanterelles, Spring Peas, and Prosciutto

Risotto with Vegetables

Mashed Potatoes and Fava Beans 

Stuffed Artichokes

Seared Loin Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce

April 12, 2014

Lidia featured on Cookstr


Visit www.cookstr.com’s Chefs & Authors page today, April 12th, to check out Lidia’s recipes and cookbooks!

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking 800px

April 10, 2014

Cooking 101: Smell the Herbs


It’s finally starting to feel like spring, and my mind has shifted to the garden. Growing your own herbs is an easy way to make sure you always have fresh ingredients on hand.

The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today and it is wonderful, but I recall as a young apprentice at my great aunt’s apron strings, for every pot that went on the stove there was an herb somewhere in the garden to match. Some herbs were better to cook while others were better added to the finished dish. Rosemary, bay leaves, thyme were mostly used for long cooking where their oils would be extracted slowly out of their leaves while sage, oregano, marjoram needed very little cooking time and basil, parsley and mint d tossed raw, is enough to get their aroma.

When I cook I love to crush herbs in my hands and then inhale their perfumes. It refreshes me and I get a good sense of what I am adding to the pot.

You never know when you’ll want to whip up pasta with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil!

Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella (2) 800px

April 4, 2014

Cooking 101: Using Pasta Water for a Quick Sauce


Don’t dump the pasta water! Boiling, salted pasta water is an essential component of skillet pastas, both in the sauce-making stage and in finishing the dish. Here are tips for when to add pasta water:

  • After you’ve caramelized all your seasonings and sauce ingredients, add water from the pasta pot as a medium to extract and blend their flavors.
  • Add water to prevent scorching if something is browning too fast!
  • In a large skillet, liquid will evaporate quickly. Replenish the moisture with pasta water whenever needed.
  • If your sauce is complete but must wait a while for the pasta to cook, it may thicken. Add more water (and bring it to a good simmer) before dropping in the pasta.
  • If there’s not enough sauce to coat the pasta when you’re tossing them together in the skillet, add more water.
  • A thin pasta, like capellini or spaghetti, will absorb more liquid than a tubular pasta, so be prepared to add more water as you toss the strands with the sauce.

And finally, remember that the cooking water is salty and starchy—qualities that can add seasoning and body during the final cooking of pasta and sauce. Enjoy!

March 27, 2014

Cooking 101: All About Olive Oil


Olive oil is the basic element of my cooking and the cuisine of the entire Mediterranean Basin.

Extra virgin olive oil is from the first cold pressing of olives and has no more than 1 percent oleic acid. This is wonderful drizzled on soups and pastas. You can also use extra virgin olive oil to dress your salads.

Virgin olive oil, also from the first cold pressing, contains from 1 to 3.3 percent oleic acid. This doesn’t have the flavor of extra virgin olive oil, but it’s perfectly fine for cooking purposes.

Olive oil (when not labeled “virgin”) is virgin olive oil with an acidity level of higher than 3.3 percent that has been chemically refined to remove impurities and excess acidity and has had some virgin oil added to it to replace flavor and color removed during refining. This too can be used for cooking, especially frying.

Olive pomace oil is the oil extracted from the crushed olives with the help of solvents, which is then blended with virgin olive oil. I rarely use pomace oil but it could be used for frying, though it may give you heavier results.

Personally, I love the light and buttery olive oil from Liguria and the Lago di Garda region for fish preparation. For meat and grilling, I like the peppery Tuscan variety. When braising vegetables and making soups, I use the herbal olive oil form Southern Italy. You can buy olive oil at regular, health food, and gourmet markets. Eataly in particular has a wonderful selection of nearly 100 different varieties of olive oil from regions all over Italy, and I love Monini‘s olive oil as well.

March 19, 2014

St. Joseph’s Day treats


March is a month that is very dear to Italians, as today marks Italian Father’s Day, or la Festa di San Giuseppe. The tradition of setting out a bountiful feast every year on this day dates back to Sicily in the Middle Ages, when St. Joseph is said to have ended a period of terrible drought and famine. When the heavy rains finally arrived, people gave thanks by inviting the poor inside to feast with them at their table. Every year the Feast of Saint Joseph is celebrated with a big table full of delicious food, so give these traditional St. Joseph’s Day Creampuffs a try! Or these neat little St. Joseph’s Fig Cookies.

 

st.-josephs-fig-cookies-sma

 

Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Italy in America
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
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Lidia's Pasta and Sauces
Enjoy Them Now!
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Lidia's Stoneware Collection

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