Sunday, July 31, 2016

I left my heart in Italia

Classic Caprese celebrating the colors of Italia!

Every summer my posts are few and far between, but I promise it's with good reason. This time around I was a bit preoccupied being the happiest glutton in Italy. We took a family vacation to the magnificent Lake Como, marvelous Milan, and mysterious Venice. Every meal we drank about 3 bottles of San Pelligrino, had either a Caprese or proscuitto e melon, and my dad would most certainly order the linguini alle vongole. I ate a surprising amount of eggplant parmigiana and ordered zucchini blossoms and tiramisu whenever it was on the menu. My mother was all about the Adriatic seafood, wanting to try everything from the lake fish to sea snails. My brother developed an obsession with pappardelle Bolognese, and I with proscuitto di Parma and gelato, though that's not new. I love eating in Italy, and Italian cooking is clearly a big part of my life. It's all about the fresh ingredients used in simple ways to bring out the natural flavors of the food. Also, major shout out to everyone in the service industry. Every server was so professional and courteous! Oh, I reminisce sometime;  how I wish I were sipping a cappuccino in Milano right now!  

the most impressive crab pasta by Villa Olmo
a beautiful butter roll at Ristorante Raimondi

the original Bellagio

Como lakeside lunch
linguini alle vongole, the family favorite
zucchini flowers everywhere! (before)
zucchini flowers (after) by Giacomo Arengario
such a great strawberry tart, we had another one
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II by night

fresh on fresh at Antica Trattoria della Pesa
osso bucco with risotto Milanese in the back at Antica Trattoria della Pesa

my brother's favorite, the pappardelle Bolognese at Peck
figs and peaches for my morning proscuitto
the bustling city of Venice
mornings at the Rialto fish market
the perfect way to end a meal: ricotta cheesecake at Al Covo
the amuse bouche at Il Ridotto, watermelon tomato soup with fresh ricotta
the whimsical island of Burano
7 euro pitcher of house wine
the legendary seafood risotto at Trattoria da Romano
and but of course, gelato all day erryday

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Easy barbecue country style ribs

Just got back to New Orleans from New York and a family holiday to Italia (photos to come)! After some time away from the south, I was really missing barbecue. Lucky me, the first day back I went grocery shopping, there was a pack of country style ribs on sale. Got the pack, seasoned the ribs, slow baked them in my skillet, and had amazing tender barbecue all in less than 2 hours. So easy, so good, so can't believe I didn't try making my own ribs until now. 

Next time I'm going to try making my own char siu honey soy sauce! 

Barbecue country style ribs 
2 lb bone in country style ribs
1/2 tsp Cajun spice (Slap Ya Mama spicy) 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp oil (peanut, olive, canola, your choice) 
1/3 cup barbecue sauce * 

1. Mix together all spices and rub seasoning onto ribs 
2. Preheat oven to 315F 
3. In a cast iron skillet, sear ribs in oil over high heat until slightly browned on both sides
4. Place skillet in oven and bake covered (I used a sheet of foil) for 90 minutes or until ribs are tender
5. Brush barbecue sauce on ribs and broil on high for 3-5 minutes
6. Remove from oven and serve! 

* For barbecue sauce, I used Jay D's hand crafted Louisiana small batch barbecue sauce that I got for free (best swag bag ever!) from a lecture I attended at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.