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Massoni: A Winner From One of New York’s Hottest Restaurant Groups

Massoni: A Winner From One of New York’s Hottest Restaurant Groups



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Three Kings Restaurant Group — a partnership between chef Dale Talde, restaurateur David Massoni, and mixologist John Bush — has a lot on its plate these days. Talde, Massoni, and Bush continue to run Park Slope’s acclaimed Talde (with additional locations in Jersey City and Miami Beach), they have four new venues in the works at Chinatown’s Joie de Vivre Hotel, they’re working on a 7,000-square-foot restaurant near the Barclays Center called Atlantic Social, and they also run the dining program at the new Arlo Nomad Hotel on 31st Street between Fifth and Madison avenues. The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Massoni, recently opened and is one of the buzziest restaurants in the city right now, so we dropped by to check it out for ourselves. After working our way through the menu, we can officially say that it’s worth the hype.

If you’ve ever dined at Talde’s eponymous restaurant, you probably noticed how he isn’t afraid to defy conventions and turn Asian cuisine on its head; look no further than his pretzel pork and chive dumplings, crispy oyster and bacon pad Thai, and everything bagel-seasoned roti bread. What he did for Asian cuisine at Talde he’s doing for Italian cuisine at Massoni.

Beef tartare is piped into a pistachio-crusted cannoli shell, a crunchy counterpoint to the delicately seasoned beef, and it's a must-order. Perfectly fried arancini take on an Indian accent thanks to traditional biryani seasoning and yogurt tomato sauce. Traditional Caesar salad gets an umami boost by the addition of nori. Spicy bucatini amatriciana swaps the pancetta for smoky Nueske’s bacon (above). A whole steamed orata is showered with Marcona almonds, caper-ginger relish, scallions, and hot olive oil soy sauce (below).


A sense of whimsy infuses every dish, but there’s not a gimmick in the bunch. Plenty of straight-ahead pasta dishes and entrées are prepared with precision, and seriously inspired. Squid ink pappardelle is tossed with a spot-on vodka sauce, and an ample dose of lump crab is a wise addition. Campanelle is nicely complemented with a spicy octopus puttanesca sauce and breadcrumbs. Spaghetti with meatballs is pure unadulterated Italian-American bliss, and a 30-day dry-aged New York strip from Creekstone Farms is everything you look for in a steak for two. (Clearly, Talde also knows that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)

Pizza is also a must-order. The pies are square and smallish, in the vein of Brooklyn’s popular Emmy Squared, and are available in six styles. A simple cheese pie sets a very solid baseline; a mushroom pie is loaded with several varieties of mushrooms as well as French onion mascarpone and smoked mozzarella; and pepperoni is nicely paired with pickled peppers and mellowed by honey. The pizzas change regularly; a grand slam of a Buffalo chicken pizza (above) that was on the menu when we visited has since been replaced by an equally intriguing one topped with clam, bacon, potato, and parsley. (Guess I’ll just have to make a return visit to try that one.) Massoni is unlike any other Italian restaurant you’re going to find; a perfect synergy of Talde’s cooking chops and creativity, Massoni’s keen sense of hospitality, and Bush’s mixology skills. (Did I mention the cocktails? They’re great.) When they caught lightning in a bottle with the Talde restaurant, we assumed that it couldn’t be replicated, but by transposing the formula from Asian to Italian, the Three Kings defied the odds and found themselves a winner with Massoni.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


NY CHEESECAKE a la JUNIOR'S. made GF




  • 1 1/4 c gluten-free pecan shorties, or other gluten-free packaged or homemade cookie of your choice, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • ½ c finely chopped pecans
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • Four 8 oz. pkgs. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Singing Dog Organic Vanilla Extract (gluten-free)
  • 2 extra-large Omega-3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

STRAWBERRY SUMMER

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3-oz. package of strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 10-oz. of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 8 3/4-oz. can of pineapple
  • 1 fresh banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

THE BROOKLYN COOKBOOK

LOVE AND CARDAMOM

Copyright: All rights reserved.

It's almost upon us, rusty autumn with its promise
of feast days, holidays, and crispy winter
And I stand caught between blue oceans and bluer sky
Singing songs of purple harvest, golden grains
Prepping the kitchen for fall and winter, these are days
stuffed like date-filled cookies with
mellow thoughts of homemade goodies
·
Maybe this year Lebanese shortbread and
An apple-plus pie stained with the last of
the bramble berries and cinnamon scented
A pumpkin cheesecake with streusel topping
Perhaps a struffoli for Christmas, nut colored
honey soaked and cheerily doted with sprinkles
·
After suffocating summer, autumn comes
crashing and banging with cooling breezes
school supplies, renewed energy, and sweet

LASAGNA, BEST BROOKLYN MEMORY

Photograph by PD Photo.org

I'm surprised that whomever started this tradition, scheduled it in July. Too hot! A good, properly made lasagna takes hours to prepare. Although there are shortcuts. One innovation layers ravioli for what is certainly a quick - and probably a tasty - alternative.
I used to make a "mock lasagna" in the summer time. I would gather together some of my own frozen tomato sauce or some prepared sauce, full-fat ricotta, hard mozzarella, Ronzoni ochi de lupo (a wonderful, large macaroni), and various spices. I'd chop the cheese, cook the pasta, and warm the sauce. Then I'd put all the ingredients together in a large pot on a medium gas, stirring well until the mozzarella was melted and the lasagna was hot. Not particularly attractive, but the flavor was right. Add a green salad, some vino for the husband du jou r, and we were set to go. It was quick. The kitchen remained bearable. I never had any complaints.

As I look back, I don't think I've ever encountered a lasagna I didn't like but, quality ingredients and a good, classic, homemade meat-sauce, produces the best product. This means using homemade or artisan noodles, fresh high-quality cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, a variety of meats, good extra-virgin olive oil, and your own garden tomatoes or canned Italian plum tomatoes with basil. A superior lasagna requires a willingness to invest considerable time and money for something that will be immensely enjoyed, but pretty quickly polished off by family and guests, not to mention you.

My childhood and youth were rich in good cooks. A significant number of them were from Italy or were first generation Americans of Italian decent. My schoolmate, Fran V., and her mom made trays of lasagna on a regular basis and brought them from their home in Rego Park, Queens to our convent school in Brentwood, Long Island on Sunday afternoons. Mrs. V. would use imported noodles, which had a wonderful bite. Her sauce and her lasagna included a lot of delicious pork sausage with fennel seed. Mrs. D., another friend's mother, lived near the Russian embassy in Glen Cove, Long Island. She would always stud a large white onion with cloves and put that in her sauce as it simmered, removing it before serving. Nice flavor.
Everyone did something that made their sauce uniquely theirs. Some used wine. Mrs. D. felt there should be some heat and added dried red pepper. My high school sweetheart's mom didn't agree. She added a pinch of sugar to her sauce. One family added cinnamon, which strikes me as quite a Greek thing. Most added nutmeg to their ricotta. I knew women who thickened their sauce through long-hours of simmering. Other's speeded the process by adding a can of tomato paste. I think the latter makes for a highly acid sauce. I have found through time that the addition of meatballs with their breadcrumbs serves well as a thickening. Everyone used Locatelli brand Romano. No dry, tasteless cheese from little, round, green containers.

My Aunt Mildred (see also the post on Roman Egg Drop Soup) was the best of the Brooklyn cooks. She was a first-generation Italian-American. She used chicken in her sauce along with the other meats. The meats included a small tenderloin of pork, Italian pork sausages (sweet and hot) and braciole (top round, sliced thin and pounded, rolled around a savory filling, and tied with cotton string). Meatballs were standard additions to everyone's meat sauce, and my Aunt Mildred's were the gold standard. They were made from beef, sometimes from a combination of beef, pork, and veal. Generally eggs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, generous amounts of fresh, minced parsley,and grated Romano were incorporated into the ground meat, which was then formed into balls and browned in a fry pan before going into the sauce to simmer.

When assembling the lasagna, these wonderful old-world cooks would crumble meatballs and sausages and layer the crumbled meats in the lasagna along with the noodles, cheeses, and the sauce. Most of the time, the sauce and the lasagna would be made a day or more ahead. When this dinner was finally served, usually on Sunday, it started with a voluptuous vegetable salad with plenty of salty, oily olives . There was wine for the adults and water for the children. The meats were set out in a side dish. Extra sauce was served in a gravy boat. Big chunks of Locatelli Romano would be passed around the table along with a Muli grater, enabling each of us to have freshly grated cheese on our noodles. There were always dense, fragrant slices of Italian bread fresh from small, local, family-run bakeries. Sopping up extra meat sauce with the bread was a must and a delight. Dessert might be a selection of pastries, or fresh fruit that had been macerated or simmered in wine, or Amoretti cookies. There was espresso coffee too, often with grappa or a slice of lemon peel.

Lasagna Day or Lasagna Month, it's an interesting concept, but in the Brooklyn of my childhood, we didn't need an event. Many, many Sundays were lasagna day. It was quite a regular thing. I think it has probably become more and more difficult for people to come up with the time and money for such memorable civilities.

Actual product ingredients may differ from than that which is shown or suggested on this blog. Please remember that you should not rely solely on the information presented here or anywhere online and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before purchasing and consuming a product.


Watch the video: Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation Documentary. English version (August 2022).