1 cup of chicken stock
5 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice ( Juice form 1 ½ lemons)
1 teaspoon of drained capers (nonpareil packed in brine)
3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
3 ounces of sherry
½ teaspoon of salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 sprigs of chopped Italian parsley
Add all ingredients in a large skillet. Simmer on medium heat until reduced and slightly thickened. It usually takes about 10 minutes.
This sauce is used on Chicken Scallopini, Veal Scallopini, Scallops, Shrimp, Filet of Sole or Soft Shell Crabs.
For this recipe I used the Parisienne Sauce with Soft Shell Crabs. In my next post I will love to tell you all about Soft Shell Crabs… how to shop for them and how to cook them.
*Although the restaurant called this sauce Parisienne Sauce please don’t confuse it with the French version of Parisienne Sauce that uses cream and eggs.
1 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 ½ cup chopped fresh basil
½ cup grated cheese (parmagiana is best)
½ extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup toasted walnut or
¼ cup of toasted pignoli nuts
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp salt
½ boiled potato (1/4 mashed) yellow potato is creamiest to use
and coarsely chop
Toast the pignoli in a small skillet for a few minutes until lighty browned
Add grated parmagiana cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt
Blend together either in blender, food processor or an immersion blender. Then add boiled yellow potato
and continue blending
It is ready to serve. Pesto is served mixed in with pasta. Of course pasta “al dente.”
I made my friends a pasta that was served in the restaurant. It was pasta that was layered with a ladle of hot marinara, a scoop of pesto, and topped with spoon of ricotta cheese. We called it:
1 cup of chicken stock (unsalted)
5 TBSP butter
Juice of 1 ½ lemons (1/4 cup)
3 dashes of Tabasco
3 oz of sherry or white wine ( milder)
½ tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 sprigs of chopped Italian parsley
*Prepared Chicken Scallopini
Add all ingredients to prepared chicken scallopini and the whole wedges of lemon. (You also prepare sauce separately and add chicken later)
and simmer on medium heat until reduced and slightly thickened about 10 minutes. Remove chicken and wedges of lemon and finish simmering until thickened. Just about 2-3 minutes.
This sauce can be used for veal, chicken, shrimp, filet of sole, soft shell crabs….
Plate chicken and pour sauce over. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.
*We used chicken for this recipe:
A package of 2 skinless boneless breasts. Depending on the size of the breast…slice it into 3 horizontal slices . Take each slice and cut it in half. You will have 6 pieces. Sometimes the meat departments will sell the chicken already in large scallopini slices which you will still have to slice in half.
Take one of the slices and put it in a plastic gallon size freezer bag ( freezer bags are thicker than the regular storage bags) using the flat part of the meat cleaver pound 3-4 times on one side and then flip to pound the chicken on the other side. Do this to all the other 5 slices. Using plastic freezer bags makes it easier to keep your kitchen clean and sanitary.
Beat up three eggs in a bowl and put ½ cup of flour (you may need more) in another bowl. Salt the slices of chicken on both sides, dredge in flour and then in the beaten egg. These slices are then fried in a pan with vegetable oil until golden in color. Don’t worry if they aren’t cooked through because we finish cooking the chicken in the sauce. After all the chicken has been prepared we set it aside and make the Francese Sauce.
“However exciting it was for my parents and their siblings to start a restaurant business it really did take a toll on us children. The three families lived in one apartment building and all the adults worked in “the restaurant” except for one sister. The one sister would babysit six children who were all under the age of five. Needless to say we children were desperately in need of some tender loving care. The days we got to spend with Nonna (my grandmother) were memorable! Nonna in her caring and nurturing ways cooked all of our favorites for us! My brother and I absorbed all that love that we so desperately needed. As I got older I looked forward to listening to all her stories. Even though they were sad stories she always prefaced them by how happy she was once her family came to America. Nonna, a deeply religious woman when speaking of her life would always equate God answering her prayers with coming to America.
Nonna Concetta was born in 1913 just before World War I on the island of Ischia, an island in the bay of Napoli, Italy. Her dad was a prominent fisherman where he and his brothers owned a fleet of fishing boats. Nonna did not remember much about her mom because the mom died when Nonna was only 5 years old. Right after the WWI while the island of Ischia was just getting back on its feet, a contagious illness ripped through the island like a tornado, leaving a trail of destruction in its path! Some say that the soldiers brought it back with them. It was flu, so deadly that people would get sick before bed and not wake up. The infamous Spanish Pandemic Flu of 1918 affected young people ages ranging from 15-35. This flu destroyed so many people so fast that there was a shortage of coffins, morticians and grave diggers. The unfortunate families had no other choice but to bury their loved ones at a mass grave located in the cemetery in Ischia Ponte. Nonna’s mom was one of the victims buried in that mass grave. For some reason it almost wiped out the entire side of the mom’s family. But Nonna, her father and four siblings were spared. The dad had no other choice but to marry right away so he had help to raise his five children.
It wasn’t the perfect family. The children grieved for their mother while dealing with their newly married young step mother. The step mother was so overwhelmed by taking care of five young children that she was borderline abusive. Nonna would tell me many stories of the step mother’s abuse and Nonna had turned to religion for solace praying for it to get better. One story that really saddened me was that being that she wasn’t allowed to attend school Nonna paid her step sister to teach her to read and write just so that she was able to read the bible. Nonna, a very tall beautiful woman remained in that house until she married at age 22, ecstatic to finally get away to start and raise her own family. Her happiness did not last long because WWII broke out in 1939 and her husband had to serve as a Medic in Mussolini’s army for 6 years. It was difficult but she managed to raise 4 children on her own while her husband was away. In 1945 the war ended and life was pretty good with my grandfather being back home. Although the family struggled they never went without any food. Nonno, my grandfather not only farmed on the inherited piece of Nonna’s mom’s land but also was a fisherman. My grandparents had three more children. Many families left Ischia to go find work and live a better life. After two wars Ischia was economically ruined. Work was minimal and people struggled to make a living. In 1949 Argentina was experiencing great prosperity under the Argentinean President Juan Peron and his wife Evita. Nonno decided to go to Argentina to see if he can start a new life for his family. Leaving his wife with 6 children and another child on the way Nonno set out for Argentina with the intention of his family to follow later. He found prosperity in Argentina as soon as he arrived but unfortunately the prosperity was short lived. The money that Nonno sent to Ischia had no value in the Italian currency and his family was literally starving. The church would send food to Nonna’s house but it wasn’t enough for a family of 7. But Nonna persevered and she and her children helped themselves by knitting and making baskets to sell to tourists. Nonno ended up staying in Argentina for three years before a heartfelt letter written by his daughter convinced him to return home. Finally life seemed good and Nonna was happy to have her husband back and the stress of taking caring 7 children on her own dissipated. But alas it was still very hard to make a living in Ischia. Many Ischiatanos left to find work in other countries. My grandmother’s sisters and brother ended up leaving Ischia for England, Australia and the US. Nonno needed to find a better life for his family. His two brothers had moved to Marlboro, NY and were doing well. So he started the immigration process to move his family to New York. In 1955 Nonno, along with three of the older children moved to New York to prepare a life so the rest of his family could join him. My mom, her sisters and Nonno worked very hard in factories located in Newburgh, NY. In five years they made enough money to buy a house and were able to move the rest of the family to the US. In 1960 the day my Nonna stepped off the boat in NYC to join her whole family she vowed to never move back to Italy because for the first time in her life she was truly happy. There was food on the table that night and every night after that! Her husband even made sure that the church was just 2 doors away.
It took 42 years but God finally answered all Nonna’s prayers! To this day whenever I hear the words “God Bless America” I always think of Nonna’s relentless faith and her long journey to keep her family safe and together!”
28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes ( coarsely chopped)
1 ¼ cup of crushed tomatoes
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
6 medium to large fresh basil leaves
10 sprigs of parsley (trim off the stems)
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 ½ tsp of oregano
¾ tsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of black pepper
Combine all tomatoes in a medium pot
Saute 4 cloves of garlic in 4 oz of extra virgin olive oil in a small skillet until garlic turns a golden brown.
Immediately put chopped parsley in the garlic/oil and take out of the burner.
Pour garlic/parsley/oil saute into the tomatoes
Slice or tear basil leaves and fold in the tomatoes
4 chicken breasts (pounded well – make sure they they evenly pounded)
1/4 cup of milk
pinch of salt
1 cup of flour for dredging
2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Corn oil or soybean oil
Mozzarella Cheese (either fresh or aged mozzarella)
Marinara Sauce (home made or the 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce)
1. Pound chicken breasts well inside a gallon size freezer baggie. Make sure that it evenly pounded. If it’s uneven it will not fry evenly.
2. Dredge pounded chicken in flour.
3. Dip in egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 1/4 of milk)
4. Then place the flour dredged chicken that has been dipped in egg wash into bread crumbs. Flip the chicken while patting it down into the breadcrumbs coating both sides well.
5. In a skillet place 1/2 cup of oil and heat on medium high.
6.Fry the prepared chicken breast in the skillet. One piece of chicken at a time or the oil temperature will drop. If the oil temperature drops the chicken cutlets will absorb all the oil. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side. The chicken will be golden brown in color. Keep an eye on the chicken so it doesn’t burn.
7. Drain on paper towels.
8.Place the chicken cutlets on a cookie sheet and top with ladles of marinara sauce. Amount of marinara sauce varies to your liking. We just put enough to cover the cutlet.
9. Top with mozzarella cheese. We used fresh mozzarella cheese. But you can also use shredded mozzarella cheese or sliced mozzarella from the deli. Same with the mozzarella it is all to your liking. We just put a couple of slices to cover but you can add more if you like.
10. Place cookie sheet with prepared chicken ala parmagiana on second rack in oven and broil just until the mozzarella melts. About 5 to 10 minutes depending on your oven.
This stuffing has been a favorite amongst our customers through the years. It has been a sought after recipe. The only reason of our reluctance to share was only that there are so many steps in making this coveted dish. I believe this recipe originated from a dish served at one of the restaurants that the brothers had worked at in the 1950’s. I want to say it comes from Nick Beni’s Anchor Inn. I am sure it has been tweeked from the original recipe. Take your time and enjoy!!
16 oz Crabmeat (lump or claw)
9 oz Sherry
3 large mushrooms
1 medium onion ( 2cups of finely chopped onion)
1 ½ sticks of butter ( 12 TBS butter)
1 quart of whole milk
¾ cup of clam juice ( reserved from 4 cherry stone clams) or buy clam juice in a bottle at grocery store
4 cherry stone clams finely chopped, optional
19 oz flour
10 oz corn starch
10 oz shortening
1 ¼ tsp egg food coloring
¾ cup of water
11 oz water
1 TBS salt
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp oregano
2 medium pots, 1 large (2 gallon) pot 1 bowl, whisk, knife, measuring cup, measuring spoons.
Finely chop onions. Set aside.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Slice and dice whole mushrooms (stems and all). Set aside.
Coarsely chop crabmeat. Set aside.
Combine the 2 cups of finely chopped onions, ¾ cup of water, 12 TBS butter in a pot over high heat until it comes to a boil then lower the heat to simmer. Continue simmering on low heat while the rest of the ingredients are put together.
Corn Starch preparation: In a bowl with 1 cup of cold water slowly add 10 oz of corn starch whisking vigorously to avoid clumping. The mixture will set up and become thick. Set aside. Don’t worry if corn starch sinks to the bottom.
Rue: In a very large pot (all the ingredients will be combined in this pot) melt 10 oz of vegetable shortening on low heat. Turn off heat and remove pot from the burner. Slowly add flour until all the flour is mixed in and the rue becomes thick. End product should be the consistency of a thick paste.
Clam Juice: Either buy a bottle of clam juice found at your grocer. Or shuck 4 cherry stone clams reserving ¾ cup of the juice and chopping the clams and adding it to the mixture. One may even add small tiny shrimp to this. We have done both in the restaurant.
In a separate pot warm 1 quart of milk with 1 ¼ tsp of yellow food coloring over medium heat.
At this point there will be 3 pots and a bowl. You will have the large pot with the rue, smaller pot with onion mixture, small pot with the yellow warm milk and a bowl of cornstarch mixture. At this point we will start combining the prepared ingredients.
To the pot with the onion mixture add the 9 oz of sherry , chopped mushrooms, chopped crabmeat, chopped clams (optional) and ¾ cups of clam juice. Keep simmering on low heat.
Start warming up the rue again and when it starts to bubble slowly add the yellow milk mixture and vigorously whisk so that no lumps form and the yellow mixture is thickening. Keep stirring until you take it off the heat or it will burn. It should become a very thick and smooth.
Turn off heat on onion mixture and slowly pour into the yellow rue and stir until smooth. Bring to a boil. You will see bubbles and popping. Turn off heat.
Add the seasoning: 1 TBS salt, 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper, 1 ½ tsp oregano
Taste it and see if it to your liking. This is the time to adjust the seasoning. Add a little more salt if you like.
Stir the cornstarch mixture in the bowl. If the cornstarch sank to the bottom and will be hard just keep stirring until it is all blended again.
Put the yellow mixture on medium heat until it becomes bubbly again. Add the corn starch mixture in small doses (like in 10 parts) . Whisk the corn starch continuosly. Continuosly stirring and completely incorporating the cornstarch during each addition. It will become very thick where it is hard to turn the whisk. You may want to have someone hold the pot in place as you stir.
Let it cool and then place in refrigerator to set.
This is a large batch and it yields 11 cups of stuffing. You can freeze it. But it needs to be portioned out in balls and wrapped individually and put it freezer. We never froze it in the restaurant but for the home cook these are large portions. I even stuffed clams shells and wrapped each one and then froze them. The frozen balls can then be put on shrimp or wrap filet of sole around them and placed in oven.
** Suggestion: Timing is critical in this recipe. Have all the ingredients and utensils ready. Please be sure to have all the pots of ingredients boiling hot when they are added except for the milk. You can turn off the heat while you get to next stage but be sure to bring to temperature when you are ready to add to the final stage. (Milk should be hot but not boiling as it will burn.)
For stuffed clams the oven is preheated to 350 degrees. Sprinkle paprika on stuffed clams and drizzled with olive oil. Bakes 20-30 minutes depending on size and amount of stuffing. I generously stuff the clams. Bake until the tops of clams are light brown and crispy. Then serve.
For stuffed shrimp: Roll a large a heaping table spoon of stuffing into a small log and place in the middle of a shrimp. 3-4 shrimp per person. Put in a casserole with a little water on bottom top with mozzarella cheese and drizzle with melted butter. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
1 tsp salt
1 pint of heavy cream
1 tsp flour
2 egg yolks
10 TBS salted butter
4 dashes of Tabasco
3 heaping TBS of grated imported Peccorino Romano Cheese ( grated Parmagiano cheese can also be used) (The imported Pecorino Romano cheese is saltier )
White pepper is optional
1 tsp of chopped parsley
Whisk together egg yolks, cream, flour, salt and Tabasco in a bowl.
Melt butter in a skillet.
Slowly add cream mixture to skillet while whisking the whole time.
Add the Imported Pecorino Romano cheese and contimue to whisk while simmering.
As the cream thicken large bubbles will form. Turn off the heat.
The Alfredo Sauce is ready. You may add cooked fettucini to the skillet and toss. Serve with chopped Parsley.
In the restaurant we would also use this sauce on ravioli! We would even add shrimp to the Alfredo Sauce. The shrimp needs to be sautéed separately in olive oil and then add to the Alfredo sauce.
I decided to change things up from the garlic and oil based recipes for this week. Instead I thought I would share another popular sauce from the restaurant. Marsala Wine and Mushroom Sauce! We used it on Veal Scaloppini and also on chicken, shrimp, scallops,filet of sole and even pasta! I thought I would use veal in this recipe. In the restaurant we used the best milk fed veal to get the most tender pieces. For the home cook it may be a little harder to get the best veal. I tried two different local grocery stores to get the veal and neither were labeled milk fed. You can tell by the color of the veal if it’s milk fed. Milk fed veal has a pink color and more expensive than the grass fed version. The prices ranged from $14.99 to $18.99 a pound. I tried both and the milk fed was much more tender. They are both labeled as veal cutlets and the better quality one was labeled veal cutlet top round. You only need a pound to serve 4 people.
Take a veal cutlet and cut it in half across the grain to make a smaller piece called a medallion. A pound of veal should yield 12 medallions.
Pound each piece with a meat tenderizer with the side with small teeth about 3-4 times each side.
Object is to make small round medallions. Salt and dredge the medallions in flour.
Fry the prepared veal in canola oil. The veal is thin so it’s less than a minute on each
Marsala Wine and Mushroom Sauce
½ cup salted butter (8 Tbs)
1 cup of veal stock or chicken stock (unsalted)
6 oz of Marsala Wine ( dry not sweet) (grocery store cooking marsala wine is fine)
6 dashes Tabasco Sauce
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
10 oz (weight) of sliced white mushrooms (6 large)
Prepare the veal ( or Chicken, pork,shrimp,scallops, or filet of sole). Salt the veal and dredge in flour. Fry in canola oil.
Pour out oil from the skillet and deglaze with Marsala Wine.
Clean off mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Don’t wash them or they will absorb all the water. Then slice.
Add the meat back in the skillet.
Add the rest of the ingredients, butter, stock, Tabasco, salt, parsley and mushrooms.
Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes and remove the veal.
Continue to simmer for 2 minutes longer to thicken the sauce.
and then pour the sauce over the veal and serve.
You can also double the sauce and serve it over pasta.