Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)

(click on pics to enlarge)

(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal shank. However, veal shank can be expensive or impossible to find. Since the meat will cook for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has a place in this dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 beef shanks
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce or puree. (I make my own each year from scratch and freeze)
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Polenta
Flour
EVOO
Salt and pepper
Meat broth as needed (I use veal stock when available but chicken broth works fine also.)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

Mirepoix:
2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano or thyme
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish, mix all ingredients in a bowl):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped

Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.  The shank should be served whole with the bone in but I also find it better to cut it up in squares and serve the bone along with it.  It makes it easier to manage on the plate.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid (Dutch oven) in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.  An alternative is to simmer on top of the stove for nearly 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat tender.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.

As of 2/21/21

Chicken Piccata

(Click on Pics to enlarge)

Piccata is referring to a sauce.  Piccata in general is made with veal.  In this case chicken.  This dish is fried chicken with a buttery lemon sauce.

Serves 2

Chicken:

  • 1 Lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP black pepper

Slice the chicken in two pieces and then slice the thick part down the middle flat ways to make three equal flat chicken pieces.  Place plastic over chicken and gently pound the chick just a little.  Place the chicken in a bowl, add the salt and pepper and mix together and let sit for 15 minutes.  The salt will prepare the meat and change the strands and hold onto the moisture better.  Dredge the chicken in flour.  Add oil to a 12″ fry pan and get a little hot, add chicken and brown golden for a couple of minutes.  When the chicken is browned, remove, place in a platter.

Sauce:

  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 finely chopped clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1 TBSP capers
  • 1 TBSP chopped Italian Parsley
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP butter

In the pan drippings, add shallot and garlic and sauté, add the white wine and de-glaze the drippings a minute or so, and then turn heat to simmer. Add the chicken broth.  Add the flour to thicken and make a light gravy.   Add the lemon juice and lemon slices bring to a simmer.  Add back the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove chicken back into a platter.

Turn off heat and add butter and blend.  Add capers and parsley.  S&P as you want.  Serve with the lemon slices over the pasta and pour the gravy over the dish.

Pasta:

  • Thin Spaghetti

No matter what time zone or country of origin you are in, all dried pasta takes EXACTLY 12 minutes to cook in boiling water.

As of 1/31/21

Creamy Fish Fettuccini

Serves 2

Ingredients
• 6 oz. fettucine
• 1 cup of broccoli florets
• 1 TBSP butter
• 3 cloves garlic
• ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
• ¼ dry white wine (Chardonnay)
• 2 TBSP lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
• 1 Lb. of fully cooked fish (I mixed .5 Lb. salmon with .5 Lb. Pollock)
• S&P
• 1 cup shredded cheeses (Grana, Pecorino, dash Romano and Parmesan)
• 1 TBSP dried basil
• 2 tsp capers
• 2 tsp grated lemon zest
• Olive oil

Oil the fish and salt and pepper. Cook 12 minutes in 425° oven. Remove and cut into bit size pieces.

Boil water for pasta in salt water and cook the pasta in the boil for 7 minutes. Add the broccoli florets to the water and cook another 5 minutes. Drain all and add a dash olive oil to the pasta and toss it a little to keep it moist.

In a cast iron skillet melt the butter and sauté 2 cloves of minced garlic on low. (Just to add garlic flavor to the butter.) Add the cream and cook on medium cooking the cream down to a thick cream then add the wine. With a cooking spatula keep moving the cream so it won’t clump or stick.  Cook down while continuing to move the creany sauce in the skillet to evaporate the fluid and to get everything thick. Add the lemon juice and zest, cheese, dried basil, capers and S&P. Mix and get thick. The idea is to cook out almost half of the fluid.  If it gets to thick add more wine or water retained from the pasta boil.

Add the pasta and broccoli into an oven proof Pyrex or Corning pot with a cover.  The reason is so the pasta will be easier to clean after putting this dish in the oven.  Then add the fish and then the cream mixture from the skillet. With tongs mix and toss together. In the 425° oven cover and cook another 10 minutes until the pasta gets hot enough to serve. Serve.

As of 2/29/20

Zabaglione

Italian Desert Custard

6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup Madeira (or Marsala)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
Pinch cinnamon
Vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream
Blue berries (any fruit)

Fill a sauce pot with water half way. Bring water to light boil and reduce heat to slightly under medium. Use a round bottom metal double boiler. Place over the pot of water and add all the ingredients except the blue berries (fruit) in the round double boiler and whisk on low heat until the mixture makes a custard. Thius might take a little while.  Be patient.  When it is the desired thickness, remove and place in a large bowl to cool. When cooled add a cup of whipped cream (Cool whip) and whip until it gets peaks. In something like a wine glass, add the fruit, then the Zabaglione, more fruit, then cool whip. Cover the glass with plastic wrap and cool in the frig until it’s time to eat. This dish is enough for four people. It is very rich. But, can be served in smaller quantity.  It has a very bold flavor.

“Main differences: Marsala is from the town Marsala in Sicily. Madeira is from the Madeiros Islands in the Atlantic. Madeira is made from Malvasia, Verdelho grapes.”

Muffuletta

1 9″ round loaf Italian bread with Sesame seeds
1 Olive Salad
¼ lb. Sliced Genoa Salami
¼ lb. Sliced Black Forest ham
¼ lb. Sliced Capicola (You will find in the deli as Coppa Dry Cured Pork Shoulder)
¼ lb. Sliced Mortadella
1/8 lb. Sliced Mozzarella
1/8 lb. Sliced Provolone

Cut the bread lengthways in half, spread some of the oil from the olive salad on the bottom piece of bread, add the cheese, layer the meat and then the olive salad. Cook in the oven until the cheese begins to melt. Quarter it. “You’ve just created pure heaven.”