In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. When almost smoking, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the clams, lemon juice, and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until most clams have opened.
Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce slightly.
Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water - this will remove the pasta's natural starches. Place pasta into the clam saute pan and mix thoroughly. Check seasoning.
Pour pasta into large serving bowl. Zest lemon over the dish, being careful not to zest the white part of the lemon, which is bitter. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve immediately.
1 can Progresso cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 TBSP olive oil
fresh ground pepper and parmesean cheese to taste
In a large stock pot, sautee garlic in the olive oil until slightly browned. Add the escarole and sautee for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beans, cooked sausage and some parmesean cheese and simmer until the beans are warmed through, about 5-10 minutes.
When serving, add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serving with ciabatta bread is delicious, but it adds some empty calories and carbs. Recipe as listed serves 2 firefighters. Adjust the recipe accordingly for larger groups.
This salad is great as a lunch or as an appetizer! Recipe as listed serves 4. Prep time: 20 minutes
8 oz fresh green beans cut into 1 or 2" pieces (about 2 cups)
1 head of Romaine lettuce, torn or cut
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/2 red onion, slivered thinly
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup exrta virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black peppercorns
1/2 cup shaved parmesean cheese
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and then transfer to ice water in a bowl and cool for 3 minutes. Drain and dry the beans.
In a large bowl, combine the green beans with the lettuce, cannellini beans, olives and red onion. Toss to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesean cheese and serve.
TIP: Dress the salad with the lemon juice and olive oil just before serving as the acid in the lemon will wilt the crispness of the Romaine lettuce. Also, Firefighter Mercurio (Chef-Extraordinare) recommends soaking the onions in water for a few hours before adding to the salad so they do not overpower the salad. This theory was tested in the firehouse and works!
The name etouffée refers to “smothering” the shrimp with a heavy sauce and the only way to get a delicious heavy sauce is to take the time necessary to prepare it. Fresh herbs make the best sauce, but you can use dried.
1 1/4 cups basic beef stock or canned beef brothand deveined. (about 35 to 40
1 cup dry white winecount per pound)
2 bay leaves1/4 cup chopped parsley, stems Cooked riceremoved
Heat a large Dutch oven and add the peanut oil and the flour.Toast this to a light “peanut-butter- colored roux.This should take about 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat.Be very careful not to let this burn.Stir constantly.
Add the yellow onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic.Sauté for about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender but not over done.Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the beef stock and wine.Stir constantly until this mixture thickens.Add all the remaining ingredients except the shrimp, parsley and cooked rice.Simmer covered over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the shrimp and parsley and simmer for another 20 minutes uncovered.You might have to raise the heat a bit.Do not let the pot boil, only simmer.Boiling will make the shrimp tough.
This tends to sloppy if all the liquid is left in the bruchetta when it is served.Remove the solids with a slotted spoon and place in an attractive bowl surrounded by the toasted Italian bread.There is no need to let the bruchetta drain as you spoon it into the bowl.You still want a good amount of juice so it will soak into the bread.
1 quart plum tomatoes, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 cup black olives (calamata olives are fine or any other black Italian olives)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Combine all the ingredients and marinate un-refrigerated over night.
This must be marinated at least 12 hours for the best flavor.
This simple but elegant Spanish sausage which you do not pre cook is essential for flavor so don’t omit it if at all possible. It’s well worth the extra time.By all means don’t use regular or Italian sausage.The resulting taste will over-power the delicate seafood flavors.
1/2 lb. coarsely ground lean pork1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. chili powder1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon1/2 Tbs. paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed1/2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbs. cider vinegar1 Tbs. water
Now the hard part of the Chorizo recipe... combine all ingredients, mixing well.
Heat a large paella pan or very large skillet.Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and brown the chicken pieces.Remove them from the pan and set aside.Add the raw Chorizo, the onions, garlic, and ham.Sauté until the onions are clear and then add the diced tomatoes.Sauté for five minutes more and remove from the pan.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pan and add the uncooked rice, stirring over medium heat until the rice starts to brown lightly.
In the meantime, bring the chicken stock to a boil.Add the saffron, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the stock.Reduce to a fast simmer.
Pour the thawed peas over the rice in the paella pan, top with red bell pepper slices and artichoke hearts.Add the Chorizo mixture along with the chicken, distributing evenly.Top with the squid and shrimp.Push the seafood down into the rice a bit then pour the simmering stock gently over the pan being careful not to churn up your creation.
Cook, uncovered, for about ten minutes, or until the rice begins to absorb the liquid.Be careful this does not burn!!Turn the pan often on the burner so that everything cooks evenly.Now add the clams, hinged side down.Pour the wine slowly over the whole pan and continue cooking until the clams are wide open and the rice is light and tender.
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and de-stemmed
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Combine the vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix until the salt dissolves. Drizzle in the oil as you stir, mixing until the vinegar and oil come together in a smooth creamy dressing.
Place all but a large handful of the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with most of the dressing. Add remaining spinach and continue tossing until well coated. Add walnuts and cheese, and toss with the reserved dressing until well blended. Serve immediately.
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil3 cloves garlic minced
1 tin of anchovies (2 oz.)6 ozs. black callamata olives (also
2 tsp. capers (the ones in salt, not vinegar)spelled kalmata) pitted and chopped
4 large fresh tomatoes peeled and1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves coarsely
coarsely chopped chopped (for garnish)
1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb. of your favorite pasta or spaghetti
Drain the anchovies and blot with a paper towel.If you desire to lower the amount of salt in the anchovies (this might sound weird, but it works,) place the fillets on a saucer and cover with milk for half an hour.Rinse and pat dry.Chop the anchovy filets to almost a paste or smash with a fork.Rinse the salt from the capers and coarsely chop.
To easily peel the tomatoes, place in a pot large enough to hold the tomatoes covered with water.Remove the tomatoes and bring the water to a boil.Have another large pot or bowl ready with cold water handy to stop the cooking process of the tomatoes.Place the tomatoes into the boiling water for several seconds.Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the cold water the moment you see the skin split.The skins will now be easy to peel and often just slip off.Core and coarsely chop.
Drain and remove the pits from the black callamata olives.Coarsely chop.
Start cooking your pasta to al-dente.Drain when ready.
Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat & add the minced garlic.When the garlic is just golden, add the anchovies, stirring until chopped filets dissolve.Add the olives, capers, and tomatoes.Stir well and cook for about 6 to 10 minutes.
Place the cooked pasta in a warmed bowl and add in about half of the puttanesca sauce, tossing well.Pour the remaining sauce over the top and garnish with the chopped parsley leaves. (Optional: sprinkle red pepper flakes on top just before serving.)
This usually doesn’t require any additional salt, but if you wish, add salt and pepper to taste.Cheese is not used or needed with this recipe.
This dish is delicious served either hot or cold, but I prefer it hot.
Recipe by retired Bridgeport Captain and Author Vince Tanner
A classic Italian desert made with ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese.It can be made in a trifle bowl or a spring form pan.
Prep Time: Approx. 30 min.
Cook Time: Approx. 30 min.
Makes about 12 servings
6 egg (separated)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 cups mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 (3 ounce) packages ladyfingers (12 to a package)
1 cup strong coffee or espresso
1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur
3 Tbs. Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (for garnish)
1 tsp. powered sugar (for garnish)
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
2 Tbs. rum or Marsala wine
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Combine the mascarpone and the rum (or Marsala wine) in a large bowl, beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in vanilla.
Combine the 6 egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water.Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.Without waiting beat this mixture into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
In two small additions, fold about 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream.
Then fold the whipped cream into the remaining mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
Beat the 6 egg whites and salt on medium until foamy. Increase the speed and add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, beat until glossy but not dry. Fold the egg whites, all at once into the mascarpone mixture.
Combine the coffee, coffee liqueur and Grand Marnier and set aside.
Split the ladyfingers in half and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl or spring- form pan.(You can lightly toast the ladyfingers, cake side up under a broiler for a few minutes until just golden for a firmer texture.) Brush with coffee-liqueur mixture.(An easier way is to use a spray bottle containing the coffee-liqueur mixture.)Be careful not to over-wet the ladyfingers.You don’t want them soggy.Spoon half of the cream filling over the ladyfingers.Repeat lady fingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers.Sprinkle generously with the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls made by using a vegetable peeler run down the edge of the chocolate square.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours or better yet, over night.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry Sherry
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon (packed) chopped garlic
4 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 pound flank steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin strips
4 large head broccoli, cut into florets
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooked white rice
Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add meat; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Blanch broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
Heat oil in heavy large wok or skillet over high heat. Drain meat well, reserving marinade. Add cornstarch to reserved marinade and mix until smooth; set aside. Add meat to wok and stir-fry until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add reserved marinade mixture and boil until sauce thickens and coats meat and broccoli, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.
6 firm heads of Romaine lettuce 2 18oz pkgs. Of hearts of Romaine
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar plus more for dressing
4 tablespoons lemon juice
8 cloves garlic
8 anchovy fillets
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Combine 4 tablespoons vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and anchovies in a blender until smooth.Add 2/3-cup olive oil if not enough liquid to move mixture in blender.Add mustard, hard-boiled egg yolks, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining olive oil, if any.Blend until creamy.If too tangy, add a splash or two of olive oil.
9 x 13 x 2 inch Pyrex baking dish 1 lb. if fresh, 25 to 30 per lb. tiger shrimp 1 full fresh garlic bulb 1/4 c. virgin olive oil 1/8 c. cooking sherry 3/4 c. Italian flavored bread crumbs Salt Black pepper Paprika
To begin first clean shrimp by peeling and deveining, then slice down the back so you can fill them. Next clean garlic and chop into very fine pieces and then put the minced garlic into the oil, let this sit. Begin arranging shrimp in cooking dish so that the backside is up so that they can be filled.
Now with a teaspoon take the garlic trying not to get too much oil with it and begin butting garlic into the backs of the shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste. Then sprinkle sherry over entire dish. Now take the 3/4 cup of bread crumbs and sprinkle over each shrimp to cover each shrimp totally.
Take the paprika and sprinkle over the shrimp and also add a few spoonfuls of water around the sides of the dish. Put uncovered dish into oven and cook until shrimp are firm and lightly browned.
The term Piccata means simply, “sharp,” and it refers to the blending of the flavors of capers and lemon juice found in this recipe.This dish can also be made with veal.
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped3 cloves of garlic, crushed
6 green onions, chopped8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste4 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. dry sherryJuice of one lemon
2 Tbs. capers, choppedUp to 2 cups of chicken stock( the
16 thin slices from the center of a lemonamount will depend on how thick or
for garnishthin you want the sauce)
2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
This is best prepared with breasts that have not been frozen.
Split the chicken breasts along the natural division in each breast.You will end up with 8 large pieces, 8 smaller pieces and usually 8 pieces I like to call chicken fingers.
Between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper, gently pound each individual piece of chicken working from the center of the piece toward the edges.Pound with the smooth side of the meat up so the meat fibers don’t break.Be careful not to pound to hard or the meat will break apart.Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick.Set aside.Leave one piece of plastic wrap or wax paper under each piece.It makes them easier to handle.
Sauté the yellow onion, green onions, and garlic in the olive oil until just tender.Don’t over-cook.Remove from the pan and set aside.
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together and place in a flat bowl.Dip the flattened chicken pieces into the flour mixture, heavily coating each piece evenly.Lightly brown the chicken in the butter, 2 to 3 minutes on a side.Remove the chicken and arrange on a warm platter.Cover to keep warm.
Increase the heat and add the sautéed onions and garlic.Add the sherry, lemon juice, and capers.Stir until sauce thickens.Add some chicken broth if the sauce becomes too thick or a bit of the dredging flour if it is too thin.I like a lot of sauce so I usually add all the broth and a bit of the flour until the sauce is a bit thicker than usual gravy.
Pour the simmering sauce over the cooked chicken breasts.Garnish with lemon slices and chopped parsley.
Serves 8 Recipe by Vince Tanner retired Capt. Bridgeport Fire Dept.
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