Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends before attending the Key West Literary Seminar. The theme this year is food and I will be in a poetry workshop led by poet Jane Hirshfield. As you can imagine, I can’t wait to focus on food & writing for ten days. I’ll be sure to share some of what I’ve learned when I return.

As you continue your holiday shopping, you might browse through my Amazon store with cookbooks and other suggestions or consider buying a gift certificate for your favorite traveler or chef to learn the Italian language or Italian cooking

Eat well over the holidays! If you’d like to guest blog here in January about something related to food or Italy, let me know. I welcome your words.

While I won’t be blogging until I return to the office on January 20th, I will be updating answering emails (Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) and I look forward to hearing from you.

See you on January 20th!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Give the Gift of Language & Cooking

Looking for the perfect gift for the traveler or chef in your life? Give the gift of language and cooking with a gift certificate that can be used towards private or small group Italian language classes or an Italian cooking class, with or without a language component.

Gift certificates are available in $20.00, $50.00 and $100.00 denominations. You can pay by check or for an added $4.00 fee, via Paypal. A personalized certificate will be emailed or mailed to you immediately.

Gift certificates expire after one year from the date of purchase.

To order your gift certificate today, email me: ChloeMiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Search for the Perfect Burger, Part II

Clearly if you need someone on a serious, time-sensitive search, I’m not your person. I started this search back in September with a burger at our local, Glover Park restaurant Kitchen.

To continue, I investigated BGR The Burger Joint. They make a fine burger. I pass the Arlington location (there are six locations) on my drive back from work three days a week. And it sits there, smiling and taunting me as only a burger place next to the wonderful Italian Store.)

The other day I gave in and stopped for lunch. Of course I ordered my favorite:

The Wellington
Roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic with a touch of mustard seed and blue cheese all atop our burger. Served on a fresh, buttery-toasted brioche bun with our mojo sauce.

Even though I really wanted the sweet potato fries or some onion rings, I was brava and only had the burger. (I have to live through this search, right?) Believe me, the perfectly cooked, medium-rare meat topped with the earthy mushroom and blue cheese flavors were more than enough. My goodness. I want one for breakfast right now.

What other burger places should I try on my search (you know, within the next few months?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Haven Pizza in D.C.?

Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza makes not only great arancini, but also great pizza.

This pizzeria is very particular on their website that their pizza is different from New York or other style pizza because of the crispy crust, cooking temperature and a few other details that can be read here.

In fact, they write about New York:

Frank Sinatra used to send a driver up to New Haven to get a pizza from Sally's whenever he was performing in New York City. New Haven style pizza is not New York style pizza, and it is not a derivative of New York style pizza.

While perhaps the traditional, New Haven pizzas cooked in coal ovens were distinctive from other pizzas, this pizza was delicious just like other American, thin-crusts pizzas. I’m happy to wonder about their description as long as they continue to serve great pizzas.

When we were there, we couldn’t resist the (aptly named?) New Haven Pizza with White Clams, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pecorino Romano, Oregano. This pizza was delicious, although not for the garlic-shy. In my book, that makes it even better. The tomato-sauce-free flavor reminded me of one of my favorite dishes: linguine with a white clam sauce.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza: Perfect for a small, city kitchen

Now that we live in a small, city apartment with an equally small, city kitchen, it can be difficult to make homemade pizza (cheating and buying the dough from Trader Joe’s or not.)

There just isn’t space on the counter to roll out the dough and prepare the toppings. The solution? Deep dish pizza. The dough can be made in the food processor (perhaps I’m still cheating here, but it works) and minimum space is used.

I followed this Epicurious recipe for the dough. Instead of rolling the dough out on the counter and kneading it by hand, I threw the ingredients into my food processor. After letting the dough rise in another bowl, punched it down (definitely the most fun part of making pizza dough) and finally pushed it into a pie pan before adding the toppings and baking it.

For the fillings, I made my own tomato sauce and then threw on leftover onions, peppers and salami. (From the picture, you can guess that the salami didn’t need to cook as long as the rest of the pizza. Cooking is always a learning process.)

Since our oven is a rented apartment’s oven, it isn’t new or fancy and it doesn’t hold a temperature exactly well. To help solve this problem, I keep a pizza stone on the floor of the oven. It helps to hold in the heat while I’m cooking and occasionally opening the oven door to check on the dish.