Mozzarella

Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chops

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If  you never tried  Panzanella, chances are that a dish using stale bread is on the bottom of your “must try this” list.
After all, nowadays stale bread is usually used either for bread pudding, bread dumplings, or, most likely of all – thrown into the garbage bin.
Now, I have to admit that most bread you can buy is best thrown away after a few days, since it was nothing special to begin with. But if you are a fan of really good bread, it would pain you to throw away some of it just because it has survived a few more days than usual and has become a bit stale. If this happens in my kitchen, I usually slice the bread thick and grill it, which will revive it beautifully and will give a loaf at least another 4 days of good use.
Or, surprise surprise – I’ll make  Panzanella.
The first written recipe for  Panzanella dates to the 15th century. Originally, stale bread was soaked in water, onions added, then dressed with olive oil, salt and vinegar. This eventually morphed into the modern  Panzanella through the addition of cucumbers and, later-on, tomatoes.
Later still, lettuce, olives, mozzarella, white wine, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red wine, red onion, cucumber, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice, and garlic were sometimes added, although traditionalists still prefer the simple version of soaked bread, onions, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and sometimes fresh basil.
If I prepare  Panzanella as a main dish, I usually add boiled eggs, anchovy fillets, capers, garlic paste, roasted marinated peppers and lots of chives and fresh basil and oregano. I don’t soak my Panzanella  in water but rather in a generous amount of dressing of good olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before I dig into it, by which time the dressing has been soaked up by the bread. Usually, I over-eat on this stuff because once I start, I can’t stop until it’s all gone 😦 🙂
However, since I had grilled pork chops with this one, I kept it simple and used only bread, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and dressing. What a wonderful meal this was…….
So, I hope that next time you have some good, rustic bread which has seen better days, you will give this delicious dish a try 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

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Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chicken Parmigiana

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This  post is for David’s mom, who needs a fool proof recipe/instructions for chicken parmigiana.
David, make sure you send us pictures when your mom prepares it 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !


Click here for Tomato Sauce recipe

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

season skinnles chicken breast with salt and pepper, bread with flour, egg and bread crumbs

season skinnles chicken breast with salt and pepper, bread with flour, egg and bread crumbs

saute in butter until 3/4 cooked through, remove to baking rack

saute in butter until 3/4 cooked through, remove to baking rack

sprinkle with grated parmesan, cover with tomato sauce

sprinkle with grated parmesan, cover with tomato sauce

covered in tomato sauce

covered in tomato sauce

sprinkle with shredded mozzarella, sprinkle with oregano, bake until cheese has melted

sprinkle with shredded mozzarella, sprinkle with oregano, bake until cheese has melted

meanwhile, cook bucatini until al dente, strain, add finely sliced chilies, scallions, garlic paste, heavy cream, tomato sauce, red wine, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

meanwhile, cook bucatini until al dente, strain, add finely sliced chilies, scallions, garlic paste, heavy cream, tomato sauce, red wine, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

meanwhile, cook bucatini until al dente, strain, add finely sliced chilies, scallions, garlic paste, heavy cream, tomato sauce, red wine, grated parmesan, some of the cooking water, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

meanwhile, cook bucatini until al dente, strain, add finely sliced chilies, scallions, garlic paste, heavy cream, tomato sauce, red wine, grated parmesan, some of the cooking water, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

sprinkle bucatini with fresh basil

sprinkle bucatini with fresh basil

bucatini in creamy tomato sauce

bucatini in creamy tomato sauce

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana







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Insalata di Ciliegie

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I love  these little mozzarella balls dressed with a nicely aged balsamic vinegar, a good amount of garlic, salt, black pepper and good quality olive oil. In this version of a classic antipasti dish, I have replaced the traditional olives with cucumbers and the basil with scallions and added grape tomatoes and finely diced onions. To me, this gives a more vibrant and fresh, crispy texture and taste. However, add whatever tickles your fancy, such as marinated peppers, pearl onions, different mushrooms, etc, or even as I sometimes do, good quality canned anchovies.
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Bon Appetit !  Life is Good !
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