Tag Archives: Italian

Homemade Pizza with 00 Flour

IMG_5645 Updated

I had never heard of 00 flour when I first bought it.  My regular grocery store had never heard of it.  Even Whole Foods seemed unfamiliar with it.

Finally, after searching The Hill, Saint Louis’s Italian neighborhood, I found a grocer who carried this Italian flour.  Having tried it, I’m glad I did; it makes an extraordinary pizza crust.

As Saveur notes, 00 flour is ideal for pizza crust because it is finely ground and because it has a lower gluten content than other flours.  In Italy, flour is graded from 1 to 0 to 00, with 1 describing a rough grind and 00 describing the finest grind.

Gluten is the natural protein that remains when starch is removed from wheat grains.  It creates the elasticity you feel when biting Continue reading

Cranberry-Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti

One of the problems of having a food blog is – quite obviously – making sure that you have food to photograph. This problem is particularly acute when making dinner or when otherwise cooking at night. Photography at night is a no-win situation. There is no natural light, leaving only the harsh glow of the incandescents. When it comes to dinner, there is the option of photographing on long exposures while the meal grows cold, or simply hoping for presentable leftovers. When it comes to other recipes, the challenge is saving enough for a future daytime photograph.

And that’s the rub here. I made these chocolate-cranberry biscotti Continue reading

Whole-Wheat Homemade Pizza

IMG_3819Pizza is the ultimate convenience food.  There is the restaurant pizza, ready in minutes, delivered to your table, warm and sliced.  There is the delivery pizza, delivered to your doorstep with the push of a few buttons.  In the freezer section, there are countless versions of the frozen variety, ready to be brought home and baked or microwaved in a manner of minutes.  There are even pre-made pizza doughs and pizza crusts, leaving the harried home chef with some room for creativity and imagination.

To be sure, we’ve tried each and every one Continue reading

Garlic Free Pesto

Garlic can be — to put it mildly — a little strong.  There’s a reason that it’s used to ward off vampires.

And if you ask Caitlin, garlic seems to have a particular staying power with me.  I can come home around 9:00, some eight hours after having eaten lunch, and Caitlin will come up to me, and draw back, before demanding, “What did you eat that had garlic in it?”

To avoid those moments of recoil, Continue reading

Spaghetti with Homemade Pesto

Sometimes the simplest dinners are the ones that shine and surprise.

This dinner was not inspired or born of a late-night epiphany.  Instead, its origins were pedestrian and utilitarian.  It was a question of practicality over originality.  There was no high math.

It was Saturday morning and I was taking inventory in the refrigerator.  I was checking expiration dates, volume levels, and the state of the fruit and vegetable drawers.   Milk was running low and the sour cream was running bad.  There was plenty of fruit, but not enough vegetables.  The cheese still looked strong, but the herbs were getting soft.  Continue reading

Crostini

Sometimes you just have to say, “Prego,” and go for it.

Between switching jobs, moving, and studying for the bar, Caitlin and I were having a whirlwind summer.  Which is why, perhaps, it was only fitting that we decided to book a trip to Italy and Croatia with only two weeks to plan for it.  But sure enough, a day after the bar exam, and three days after my belongings and I arrived in Cincinnati, we were on a plane headed to Florence.

As I said, sometimes you just have to say, “Prego.”

We arrived in Rome Friday morning, and scrambled Continue reading

Peach Italian Ice

Peach Italian Ice

Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor is an unassuming place, sandwiched between an Asian restaurant unsure about its own ethnicity, and a sports bar with saloon doors for an entrance.  On one corner of the street sits a warehouse, with stacks of rolled carpet piled high in all directions;  on the other corner rests Junque Antiques, the building itself looking several birthdays older than its wares.

Peach Ice Collage

Parking for Angelo Brocato’s is limited to an empty gravel-filled lot, or whatever spaces are available at 45-degree angles on the wide sidewalk on the river side of North Carrolton Avenue.  The parlor itself occupies a one-story storefront in the mid-city neighborhood of New Orleans, a safe distance from the reverie of the French Quarter.  Inside, the store displays the black-and-white portrait of its founder, and the wire-rimmed chairs, apothecary jars, and Continue reading