Showing posts with label ITALIAN AMERICAN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ITALIAN AMERICAN. Show all posts

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Godfather Fans Christmas Gift Ideas



Mario Puzo



Mario Puzo’s classic saga of an American crime family that became a global phenomenonnominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

A #1 New York Times bestseller in 1969, Mario Puzo’s epic was turned into the incomparable film of the same name, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the original classic that has been often imitated, but never matched. A tale of family and society, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it reveals the dark passions of human nature played out against a backdrop of the American dream.

With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.


Don Vito Corleone






And More ...



5oth ANNIVERSARY Deluz Edition 




Celebrating 50 years, this deluxe limited edition set offers, for the first time in one collection, the essential, definitive saga of the Corleone family, overseen by director Francis Ford Coppola and based on the bestselling novel by Mario Puzo. A global cultural touchstone captivating fans across generations, the enduring cinematic legacy of THE GODFATHER has immeasurably influenced popular culture, and rightfully earned its legacy as one of the greatest in the history of motion pictures. Remastered and restored in 4K UHD with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision, this collection includes Best Picture Academy Award winners for Best Picture THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II, alongside the acclaimed conclusion MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE. Includes both the Theatrical and 1991 cuts of THE GODFATHER PART III, as well as a special features Blu-ray featuring all-new content.





Monday, August 10, 2020

Homemade Pizza and Dough Recipe

Make Pizza at Home

"Yes You Can" !



Italian all over Italy, as well as their Italian-American cousins in America,love to make this tasty homemade pan pizza at home. It’s absolutely delicious, and a lot easier to make than you’d think. This is the basic recipe for a Pizza with Tomato & Mozzarella, and you can add other toppings like; Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and / or Sweet Peppers if you like. You can even make some delicious Rosemary Focaccia by eliminating the tomato and mozzarella, and adding fresh Rosemary instead. Once you know how to make this basic pizza, you can do a lot of things with this recipe. so give it a shot. Make it a few times and you’ll become a pro, and a hit at the Friday Night Pizza Party, or anytime at all. Buon Apettio!


Ingredients for the Dough :

1 packet Dry Yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 cup Warm Water  (about 110 degrees)
3 cups Bread Flour
2 tespoons Kosher Salt (or Sea Salt)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for dough & more for pan

You will need a Food Processor to make this dough.

Place the water, Sugar, and Yeast in a small bowl, stir it a little, then let it rest at room temperature until it starts to foam (about 10 minutes).

If your food processor has a plastic dough hook use that. If it doesn’t, then insert the metal cutting blade onto your processor.

Add the Flour and Salt to the food processor and pulse for 2 seconds.

Add the water / yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to the processor.

Turn the processor on and let it run until the dough starts to form a ball, and is pulling away from the processor bowl. Then turn the processor on again, for exactly 30 seconds and stop.

Get a large glass or ceramic bowl and lightly coat the whole inside with some Olive Oil. Place the dough in the bowl and move it around so it gets coated completely with olive oil. If you need it, add a bit more olive oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the dough to rise for one hour, in a draft-space. Usually somewhere on the kitchen counter is fine.

After one hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes, your dough should have risen to double its original size. The dough is ready ro roll out and make pizza.


A jar of Italian Passata di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
½ pound whole milk Mozzarella Cheese (Polly-O)
¼ cup grated Pecorino Cheese
8 Basil Leaves, torn by hand

Note : Passata di Pomodro is puree of Italian Tomatoes, aka Tomato Sauce. I recommend getting a good quality Italian product like, Mutti, or anything labeled San Marzano for best results.


You will need a half sheet pan (16.5” x 11.5” ) to make the Pizza.

Turn your oven on to 400 degrees.

Place 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in the sheet-pan, and spread with your fingers so the whole bottom surface of the pan has a thin coat of oil.
Remove your dough from the bowl and place it in the center of the sheet-pan. Pussh the dough down with your hand, and push and stretch the dough until it forms into the size of the pan, and is completely covering the bottom of the pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest inside the pan for 10 minutes.

Take a spoon and spread enough of the tomato passata (tomato sauce) over most of the pizza dough, leaving a half inch around all sides without tomato, as a border that pizzas always have. 

Drizzle a couple tablespoons of Olive Oil over the pizza. Sprinkle a little Salt over the whole pizza. 

Sprinkel the grated Pecorino Romano Cheese evenly over the whole pizza. 

Evenly spread all the torn Basil over the pizza. 

Then evnenly spread shredded mozzarella evenly over the pie. Don’t over do it with the cheese. There should be spots where ther is just tomato and no cheese over it. You don’t want the cheese to completely cover the pied or it will be out of balance.

Place the Pizza in the oven and bake for about 16 to 20 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned. Serve and enjoy.

Note : Naturally you can add other toppings to this basic tomato pizza, such as Pepperoni, Sausage, or Mushrooms, whatever you like.

You can make tasty basic focaccia by not adding the tomato and cheese as the toppings on the dough. Instead, add a little more olive oil, some extra Kosher or Sea Salt sprinkled on top. Then add some chopped fresh Rosemary on top, throw it in the oven and bake, and you’ll have some tasty Rosemary Foccacia.



ARANCINI (Rice Balls)

And More ... 

Sicilian Pizza 



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

New Orleans Triple Header on Decatur Street





"My Decatur Street Triple Header New Orleans" what is it, you ask? It's quite a wonderful thing and one I suggest you do if you find yourself in the fare city of New Orleans, Louisiana. I've been going down there for some time now, and know a thing or two about this, one of America's great cities, and certainly the most unique. As most people know, New Orleans is renowned for its food and restaurants, along with wonderful architecture and of course great music. But, you got to know which restaurants and other eateries are best, and the same goes for the music. 

Now, down to the food and drink, and my Deccatur Street Triple Header. OK, you still want to know, "what the Hell is It?" Well I first discovered that great sandwich, the Muffuletta at Central Grocery, along with the wonderful ritual of Beignets and Cafe Creme (Coffee) at Cafe du Monde on my first trip to the Big Easy with my Brother Michael, way back in 1995. We went to both these places, as well as the 3rd spot in my Triple Header, when we went for dinner at Tujague's after my sister-in-law Eileen won a little money on a Slot Machine on the Paddle Boat Casino that we took a ride on. "Thanks Eileen," we had a great time there at Tujague's, all having their famous Table d' Hote Dinner.

Now back to My Decatur Street Triples Header. First off, the first thing is heading over to the Central Grocery for their World Famous Sandwich, the Muffuletta which was invented there over 100 years ago by the Sicilian immigrant owner Salvatore Lupo. The sandwich is made, first off we start with the bread which the sandwich gets its name from, a large round loaf Sicilian "Muffoletta Bread" is a large flat loaf of bread. The bread is cut in half horizontally, then stuffed with Italian Provolone Cheese, Mortadella, Ham, and Salami and topped with the famous Olive Salad, made with large Green Sicilian Olives, Celery, Roast Peppers, and pickled Vegetables dressed in olive oil and Oregano. The Sandwich is one of the World's Great Culinary Delights and the perfect way to start my cherished Decatur Street Triple Header.

I must warn you that the current owner of Central Grocery who married into the Lupo family is one "Miserable Bastard," who has the personality of a Dead Fish. Just Horrible. Don't worry, the sandwich makes up for it. Order your sandwich, give the miserable bastard the money for the sandwich, don't let his "Horrible Attitude" bother you, get your sandwich, take it to the counter and eat it in delightful Bliss.




And a Barq's ROOT BEER





Cafe Du Monde

Decatur Street



Cafe Creme & Beignets





The next stop on my Triple Header of Decatur Street New Orleans, is to me, one of the greatest places, not just in New Orleans, but of all of Gods Good Earth, "seriously, I Love this place." Why's it so great? Well it's one of those places were everybody and anybody who goes to New Orleans goes here, to do what you do, when you got to the Cafe du Monde, and that's to eat Beignets covered with tons of Powdered Sugar every day 24/7, 365 days a year, "Cafe du Monde never closes." And to go with your tasty fresh fried French Beignets, you get a Cafe Creme chicory coffee, that taste so good. And it's all cheap enough for everyone to partake. This is my # 2 in my New Orleans Triple Header.







Now on to # 3, as we head back down Decatur Street to the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, "Tujague's" and their stand-up bar for a Grasshopper Cocktail. Yes, I said a Grasshopper Cocktail. And you're wondering why a Grasshopper(? Well, the drink was invented right here in 1918 by bartender Philip Guichet. Most people who go to the "Long Bar" at Tujague's have no idea the drink was invented here, and the 3 times I came here and ordered one, and everyone started to ask me what I was drinking, and after I told them, everyone in the bar started ordering Grasshoppers too. "I love doing this."




with a Friend at "The LONG BAR"











Thursday, February 16, 2012


There has long been a debate, fights, and Mud-Slinging in regards to Italian and Italian-American
food served in restaurants in New York and the rest of the U.S.. Culinary Snobs, people who "Think" they know what they are talking about and what not. I can set the record straight, being an
 Italian-American who has been eating Italian and Italian-American food for more than forty years, who has been professional Chef and someone who has eaten all over Italy on some 15 trips to the great peninsular. In addition to studying Italian Food in Italy for some 25 years, I am constantly reading all sorts of articles , cookbooks, and historical facts on this subject, in addition to being one of the countries foremost authorities on Italian Wine.
   Anyway, let me tell you. I myself was once a uninformed Food Snob who badmouthed and was slightly disdainful of unauthentic Italian food being served in restaurants all over the city. That's just in restaurants. Of course I Loved eating Sunday Sauce, Eggplant Parmigiano, and Meatballs that my aunts made at our frequent family get together s. And on the occasions that we weren't at one of the family's homes but in an Italian restaurant in Lodi or Garfield, I usually ordered Chicken  or Veal Parmigiano. Yes I loved it, but these dishes, for me at the time (1985-1993) had their place, and it was not in the kitchen or on the plates of any serious Italian Restaurant in Manhattan.
   Eventually as I learned more of the history of food in New York, Italy, and the World, I realized that there was actually a real true Italian-American Cuisine and that it was completely valid.
  Do you realize that if you think there is not a true valid Italian-American Cuisine, then you also must concede that there is No True French Cuisine, because the origins of what we now know as French food and Cuisine is really Italian. Yes, I said Italian. For the food and cuisine of French was quite primitive and did not begin to form into what we now know as French Food and French Cuisine until Caterina Medici of the Noble Florentine Family of the Medici married the King of France and brought her Florentine Chefs with her to the French Court way back in the 15th Century. So there. Many dishes which most people think of as French in origin, like Duck ala Orange, Bechamel, and others, are really Italian. "So there!"
   Anyway, back to Italian-American food. Food and cuisines are constantly changing and evolving. This is how Florentine Chefs of Italy, went to France with the newly crowned French Queen who was of the Italian Peninsular in one Katherine Medici  and taught the French how to cook. Thus Italians immigrating to the United States in the early 20th Century brought their ingredients and techniques from mother Italy to cook the dishes from their homeland, with some modifications do to financial issues (being poor) and the unavailability of certain ingredients, and started forming what would one day be known as Italian-American  food (Cuisine).

"to be Continued"

Daniel Bellino Zwicke