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Ingredients:
8 chicken cutlets
3 large zucchini (cut into small pieces)
1 package small baby carrots
1/2 cup pecans
1 stick of butter plus 1 tbsp
flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup vegetable stock
sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
Directions:
*Note: At one point, you will have two skillets working at the same time.
Boil carrots until tender and drain. (about 10-12 minutes)
In a skillet, put 2 tbsp. olive oil. Cook zucchini until browned and tender. Set to the side.
Flour cutlets. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
In another skillet, put 1 tbsp. butter. Add pecans. Melt butter. Stir pecans for about a minute and remove.
Add 1/2 stick of butter. Cook cutlets on both sides until brown and well cooked. Then remove.
Add remaining butter to skillet. Melt. Add vegetable stock, brown sugar and pecans. Stir well.
Add carrots to zucchini skillet. Heat through.
Place carrots and zucchini on a platter. Place chicken on top. Pour pecan sauce on top of chicken.

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Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. lean ground beef
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry oregano
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 lb. fresh mozzarella (sliced thin)
tomato sauce
olive oil
Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients (except mozzarella, olive oil and tomato sauce) and shape into meatballs.
2. In a large skillet, put 3 tbs. olive oil.
3 Cook the meatballs for 5-6 minutes or until cooked through and browned on the outside. Remove.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. In a baking pan, coat the bottom with sauce. Put meatballs in pan. Put sauce on top of meatballs.
5. Layer slices of mozzarella on top.
6. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
*Serve on Italian bread as a hero if you like.
*You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of the beef.

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Q&A With Author John Contratti

 

Easter Bread

You need time to make this bread.
Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups flour
4 large eggs (one is for egg wash)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs. butter
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. orange or lemon peel (your choice) optional
colored eggs
Directions:
1. In a bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
2. Warm butter and milk and mix into dry ingredients. Add in 3 eggs and another 3/4 cup of flour.
3. Add in peel, if using. Mix well.
4. On a floured board begin to knead dough. Add remaining flour while kneading. Knead for approximately 8 minutes.
5. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover bowl with towel. Let rise for about 90 minutes.
6. When dough has risen, shape to desired look. You can braid it into a circle. Let dough rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
7. Decorate with colored eggs. (eggs should not be cooked, just colored) Press gently into dough.
8. Take one egg and beat with 1 tsp. of water. This is your egg wash. Brush on top of bread. You can also sprinkle sesame seeds on top, if you like.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Use toothpick to see if cooked inside.

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Pizza Rustica

*This Pizza Rustica Is Traditionally Eaten The Night Before Easter Sunday.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1/3 lb. ham (chopped)
4 large egg yolks (beaten)
1 large egg (beaten)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Pastry Dough Recipe:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening (cut into pieces)
1 tsp. sea salt
3 large eggs (beaten)
2 to 4 tbsp. ice water
Blend the flour, the butter, the shortening and salt in a food processor until the mixture is coarse. Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and saute until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
3. In large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, fresh parsley, ham and prosciutto to the mixture and stir well.
4. Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 18-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch.
5. Add the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan.
6. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round.
7. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges.
8. You can cut the extra overhanging dough into strips and put on top of pie. (see photo)
9. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven until the crust is golden brown. (about 1 hour)
Let cool for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.

 

 

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup green sugar for decoration
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until just blended.
Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in green sugar.
Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned at the edges.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Grilled Greek Feta Pork Chops

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Ingredients:
4 boneless pork chops.
1 cup of fresh leeks (chopped)
1 cup feta cheese
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
Directions:
Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Cook leeks until tender and a little crispy. Set to the side.
In a large skillet or on a grill, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook pork chops on each side. (Depending on the thickness, at least a total of 10-12 minutes.) Chops should be white when you slice into them. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
When chops are just about done, add cooked leeks and feta cheese on top of chops. Cook an additional minute and then serve.
Serve warm.

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Ingredients:
1 lb. cooked spaghetti
1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta
1 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella (shredded)
1 cup thinly sliced pepperoni
2 eggs (beaten)
4 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
Directions:
1, Boil spaghetti to desired tatse. Drain, pour cold water over spaghetti. Drain well.
2. In a large bowl mix ricotta, mozzarella, pepperoni, a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Mix the beaten egg into the cooled spaghetti. In a large frying pan, put olive oil. Put half the spaghetti in pan. Put all ricotta, mozarella, pepperoni mixture on top. Spread it out.
4. Put remaining spaghetti on top.
5. On a medium heat, cook on one side for 10-12 minutes. After 8-10 minutes, using a dish, flip over and put back in pan. Cook on other side for another 8-10 minutes. You want it to be crispy on the outside. (See picture) Serve hot.
Optional: If you have a cast iron pan, you can bake it in the oven. 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

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Ingredients:
1 dozen stemmed strawberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate (chopped) (milk chocolate if you want)
1/2 cup white chocolate (chopped)
Directions:
1. Rinse strawberries in cold water. Let thoroughly dry on paper towels. Leave 2 inches of the stem on the strawberry.
2. Melt chocolate and white chocolate separately. Once melted dip strawberries.
3. Let strawberries dry on wax paper and then refrigerate.
* If you have food coloring, you can add a few drops to melted white chocolate for extra designs on the strawberries.