Showing posts with label Naples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Naples. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bistecca Alla Pizzaiola-{Steak Pizzaiola}

You're probably wondering what the heck is a Steak Pizzaiola...when pizza has nothing to do with this dish, paired with steak. A little history on this hearty and delicious dish that was so popular in Italian-American homes in the seventies and eighties. I've often made this dish as well, for my family, but have made the steak totally different, using a cheaper cut of beef, pounding the meat thin, sautéing  it, and braising it, smothering the steak with the cooked tomato sauce, along with the onions, garlic, and peppers. This was the only way that was prepared, not using the better cut of the beef...such as N.Y. strip or T-bone, that would also be smothered in the sauce at the end.
Actually there really wasn't a real recipe for the Steak Pizzaiola back then...we just cooked great foods from 'handy-me-down' word of mouth and wrote it down; but the basic ingredients are whole tomatoes, (I switched it to diced) pepperoncini (the Italian pickled peppers which I skipped)...and/or bell peppers red-yellow-orange, sweet onions sliced, and garlic sliced. You can also add sliced mushrooms which goes great with the addition of the other vegetables. In my opinions, of mozzarella cheese would be added...then I would think of it as a pizzaiola sauce.

The originality of this dish started out in Naples, Italy, just like the pizza originates from Naples, as far back as the late 1800's.
All you need with this hearty dish is a nice loaf of crusty bread to mop up the sauce and enjoy those perfectly sautéed vegetables. To me, having a more up-to-date presentation makes this dish more appetizing, and attractive as well!

Bistecca Alla Pizzaiola-{Steak Pizzaiola}
recipe by; Elisabeth

1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper
cored, seeded and sliced into strips
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 med. sweet onion sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic sliced thin
2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-14 ounce diced canned tomato
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
1 or 2 N.Y. strip, rib-eye, or T-bone steak

In a large skillet, heat the oil until it sizzles on med-high heat. Add the garlic slices, and the onion slices sautéing them until they sizzle. Add the bell peppers, and the oregano at this time, to infuse the flavor. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the mushroom slices and sauté for about a few minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of water and cook for about another  10 minutes.

Now you can add the diced tomatoes (I added spicy red pepper) you can add crushed red pepper if you don't find this type, or omit the red pepper if you don't want it spicy!

Add the tomatoes to the skillet, and add the 1/2 cup of red wine. You can add about 1/2 of the water to the can, swish it and add that as well.

(you can omit the wine, and add more water 1/2 cup extra)

Bring the sauce with the vegetables to a simmer
and cook for another 15 minutes, until the pepper get soft and the sauce thickens. Set it aside, and keep it warm.

Season the steak (s) with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet, or a grill pan, and sear the steaks over high heat, covering it if it lets out too much
smoke. I seared mine for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium, but you can sear it 2 minutes for rare, or about 5 minutes on each side for medium-well.

Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing it thin, across the grain, or leaving it whole.

To Serve:
You can pile the sauce and peppers on top (the old fashioned way...or gently place the slices of the steak on top of the sauce and vegetables.
Crusty bread makes it even better, or you can cook some rice to serve as a full course, along with some salad greens...yumm!
Serve while it's hot!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Pizza Margherita...{semi- homemade}

No matter what I try to do to this photo, to make it look better, its just not working! Its one of those photos that you have no choice at night, under a light that is just not gonna do justice to the photo. I made this semi-homemade pizza for myself, just the day before my family arrived back from their vacation, in Italy.

It was the easiest pizza...ever, and I must admit; the TASTIEST! know why?...because all you have to do is buy a fresh pizza dough from your local favorite supermarket, that's already in a plastic bag, and it weight 1 lb. and the dough is already risen. Costs about $2.50...and you don't have to do anything else, just spread the dough out on a pizza pan, and I will show you how I made it...and devoured almost the entire pizza by myself.

For the last time...alone in my daughter's house, I decided to go out on the patio with my glass, or two of my favorite Chardonnay wine, and just enjoyed the beautiful night...not exactly standing in this spot...where I took the photo of my son-in-law's creative 'trellis' design, where the beautiful bougainvilleas grow, but no flower at this time!

I am not having much luck with my computer today...or is it with Blogger? Thanks to my dear friend Angie...she wrote me an e-mail, just about an hour ago, which showed that she could not open my blog..."by invitation only"...what's up with that? I corrected it right now its working, again.

Also, I cannot open my new photos that I intended to post for today's post. Lora took the photos at her house yesterday; of the Zucchini Quiche that I made, since I didn't have my camera with me, and I cannot upload it!
Will post it next week! here's my super easy pizza with the 'ready dough'...BTW, I learned this method of actually getting a 'hands on' tutoring from a friend from Naples who was an expert 'pizza guy' my workplace at the famous caffe Luna Rosa, on the beach in Delray Beach, Florida. Now, its a chic and trendy caffe, but back in the late mid to late nineties, it was more of a small pizza, and panini place!

Pizza Margherita  
 recipe by; Elisabeth

1 lb.fresh, (not frozen) bread/pizza dough
or your favorite homemade dough
3 or 4 ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes sliced fairly thin
Kosher, or sea salt, freshly ground pepper,
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes
dried oregano, dried basil
fresh basil leaves for garnish

1/2 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First step: get your pizza pan ready, spray with cooking spray, take dough out of the plastic bag, and place it on the pizza pan...punch the dough down, and spread as much as it allows, leaving a border at the edge of the dough. In a small bowl, add the oil, garlic, the salt, pepper, the dry spices, and brush the dough lightly, with a pastry brush! Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes, and stretch again, leaving a border.

Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F. Also, brush the top of the tomato slices with additional oil, mixed with herbs, or if you prefer, just drizzle plain extra virgin olive oil on top. Place the pizza with the baking rim on a 'pizza stone'...if you have it, if not; it will still work fine. Bake for about 5 minutes...just to get the rawness out of the dough. Take the pizza out carefully; just don't burn your hands. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dough, carefully put the fresh tomatoes on top of the cheese topped pizza, put back in the oven...lower the temp. to 450 degrees F. and bake for an additional 15 minutes longer, until the tomato gets slightly wilted, and cheese bubbles. The rim will get nicely golden brown, and crunchy!
Slice with a pizza cutter, and enjoy!...perfect pizza...and it really is homemade, because you made the entire pizza by yourself, and just used a 'little shortcut' dough, which saves you time, and waiting for the dough to rise!

You can top your pizza with whatever you have on hand, just a suggestion: which will help you each and every time. Brush your dough with the herb-based olive oil, and pre-bake for about 5 to even 10 minutes, depending on the topping you will use. You will never get a slimey, soggy top, underneath the topping, and will be sure to get a nice crunchy bottom, as well!
Mangia, mangia...Buon Appetito! xo

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Teresa's Zucchini Quiche, and More!

Now that Teresa and Domenico (my daughter's in-laws) departed for Italy, it's been real quiet at my daughter's household...not that they were noisy, but a lot of cooking and baking going on, a lot of "hustle and bustle"...only Italian language heard.

I went there yesterday, to help organize all the many frozen and canned items she made to last for several months. We all miss them, and our Italian language has improved a lot...LOL

Since I attempted to make my last dish, which was the Cayman Fish, I must say I have not cooked anything, because every day my son comes over to the beach to go surfing at lunch time, before he goes to his classes at the local University, working for his Masters degree.

He brings me so much food, all ready to be re-heated, that's all I have to do...literally.
My ankle is improving tremendously, I don't even have to use the walker any's folded up, and will be donated to Goodwill. My diagnosis is all blood clots, no vascular problems...just had to see my chiropractor, because my back, my shoulders, my neck was all "out of line"...a few cracks of the ribs, and everything is back to normal...but I'm still just "tippy toeing" on that foot, time, all will heal!

Getting back to the Quiche, which is part of the Easter tradition, whether it's in a pie form, filled with meats, or just vegetarian, and most of the time, filled with generous amount of grated cheese of your choice. Different regions of Italy, have different traditions, but they all agree that the use of the eggs are the real purpose, for the use of the Easter Pie...Pastiera...or Quiche, even pizza is considered as part of the tradition, especially, in Naples. Teresa made this beautiful Zucchini Quiche, also 2 kinds of pastas, one vegetarian, and a mostaccioli with little meat balls, mozzarella cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs, and with her homemade tomato sauce...amazing.
I want to share my recipe to the quiche which was quite similar to this quiche...the only difference is that this quiche was made with puff pastry dough, but my recipe which I use...and "tried and true" every time, is a Mark Bittman's recipe, for both the Quiche, and the crust!