“Not So Gourmet Egg Sandwich”

Every so often, on a Sunday morning I will make myself an egg sandwich. Now this is not by any stretch of the imagination a gourmet treat. It is simplicity in its purest form. This humble breakfast reminds me of the many Saturday nights I spent sleeping over my best friend, Karen’s, house in the sixties. Hard to imagine that a few eggs, scrambled soft, placed between two slices of soft white sandwich bread covered with Heinz ketchup could taste so good! Well, when it brings back those wonderful childhood memories, there is nothing like it….period!

Now, I have to paint a clearer picture, perhaps to explain why this humble little offering is such a craving of mine.

When I slept overnight on a Saturday, of course, the next day would find us and her five brothers and sisters at nine o’clock mass. And every Catholic knows, that back in the day, you had to fast three hours before receiving Holy Communion. Yes, that meant, my friends, no breakfast or morsel of anything was eaten until we traipsed back to her house after mass which was a good twenty minutes. This put our estimated time of eating anything at around 11 o’clock. By the time we reached her house, her mom was busy in her kitchen assembling these egg sandwiches for us to devour as soon as we entered, kicked off our shoes and gathered around the formica table. Each of us grabbed a half of a sandwich and downed it with a glass of milk. Then another, then another until the plate in the center of the table was holding only a few leftover crumbs. Something about that milk, whole milk that is, fresh from Aupke’s farm was heavenly. We were so hungry, we could have eaten anything placed before us! Oh, and the bowl of blueberries, sweet and tart at the same time was another added attraction to that meal.

You see, I was introduced to so many new foods that never made an appearance at my house.
Eating at the DeFazios’ was always an adventure. I had Imperial Crab, Bavarian Strawberry Cream, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Shrimp dip, I could go on and on…. Mrs. D was always making something new for her card club ladies and Karen and I would sometimes help but mostly would sample what was being served. I feel this was the precursor for my love of cooking especially adventurous cooking. I did learn all of the basics at home, but was thrown into a more creative mode of cooking by spending time in her kitchen. (She did go on to open a very successful Italian restaurant called Le Cresta for 15 years.)

Back to the egg sandwich, I do find myself craving it and when I do make one, I am sure to eat it slowly, conjuring up all the beautiful memories that are served up as a side.

Published in: on June+00:00bMon, 11 Jun 2012 00:36:37 +0000000000Mon, 11 Jun 2012 00:36:37 +0000amMon, 11 Jun 2012 00:36:37 +000012 9, 2008 at 2:20 p06  Comments (1)  
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Panettone, Apple, Sausage Stuffing

I usually host our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, whether here or in Hilton Head. I always like to include one new dish to the menu already filled with family traditions.  A few years ago I prepared this stuffing recipe adapted from FoodNetwork’s very own Giada DeLaurentis.  It was a big hit and I haven’t made it since , so I decided to make it again this year.

It’s unusual yet very Italian as it’s main ingredient is a loaf of Panettone bread.  If you’re not familiar with that, it’s the Italian version of the tradition  fruitcake that everyone loves to hate!  Only this bread is really good.  It’s light and not too heavily filled with fruit, and it is great sliced and toasted for breakfast.  This year Panera has added it to it’s menu throughout the Holiday season.  You can also purchase it at any TJMaxx’s or Marshall’s store.  (Which is where I buy mine).  It comes in a decorative box, ready for gift giving. You can certainly make your own, (which I did try one year) but, believe me, it’s just too much work!

So here is one of the many offerings served alonside our turkey this year:

One loaf Panettone bread, cubed

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (out of the casings) browned and drained

2 tart apples , peeled and diced

1 red onion, peeled and diced

2/3 c dried cranberries

1 egg, beaten

1 stick butter

1 or two cans chicken broth

a pinch or two red pepper flakes

Saute onions and apples in butter, add cooked sausage, combine with bread cubes and egg. Add pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Turn into buttered baking  dish and pour chicken stock over just to moistened.  You don’t want it too soggy!

To make it even more Italian and yummy, sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I’ll still have to make the traditional stuffing for the picky eaters in our family.  Oh, and as every other year, the dish of pasta will have it’s usual place on the holiday table. This is what we Italians do!!

Published in: on November+00:00bMon, 24 Nov 2008 15:12:34 +0000000000Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:12:34 +0000pmMon, 24 Nov 2008 15:12:34 +000008 9, 2008 at 2:20 p11  Leave a Comment  
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The Best Summer Pasta Sauce…and no cooking, honest!!

Every summer I wait till we are able to pick the first of our juicy ripe tomatoes to make this dish, which I dream about all winter long!  It can only be made with fresh tomatoes and fresh basil leaves…believe me canned or dried will simply not do.

It is so simple and delicious you will probably make it from now until Sept. at least twice a week! ( if you’re not worried about your waistline). Ha!

Here is the much anticipated, number one summer recipe in my book!

In a large bowl, place four ripe tomatoes, cubed (any kind but plum, they aren’t juicy enough)

1 # of brie (remove skin if you like) chopped in one inch cubes

1 cup of fresh basil leaves

1 cup olive oil

2 teas. salt

1 teas pepper

1 # linguine

Let all ingredients except pasta, of course, marinate in the bowl for at least two hours.  Cook the pasta, you can use any kind you like, I prefer linguine, till al dente.  Drain pasta and combine with sauce in a larger serving bowl until the brie melts and everything is well mixed.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and lots of Italian bread to soak up the sauce.

You’ll love this!

Published in: on August+00:00bSat, 16 Aug 2008 14:54:25 +0000000000Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:54:25 +0000pmSat, 16 Aug 2008 14:54:25 +000008 9, 2008 at 2:20 p08  Leave a Comment  
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