Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We're Back with our Famiglia!

We made our way back to Boston for the summer to be with family.  Our first week was spent with our Grandson Daniel and oh yes, his parents.  We saw almost everyone else in the first week with visits, breakfast and of course, The Diorio's fabulous 4th of July celebration.  And today, as I write this post I am sitting in Sue and Vin's home where we will be for the remainder of our visit.  They have actually provided us our own space in their lovely home and have made certain all familiar items were in view.  That makes me smile...

Last night I made dinner after reading through Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen.  This wonderful cookbook has a place in the kitchen in full view and of course I just had to open and read through it.  I found a couple of recipes to wanted to try and made only a few changes.  What's to change with perfection!  The picture above is my version of Lidia's Fillet of Cod with Lemon-Parsley Sauce.

I began by peeling 8 cloves of garlic, smashing them and placing in a bowl of a 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil for about one hour.  Mix together 1 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons each of fresh parsley, thyme, basil, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the infused oil.

Place fillets on a sheet pan, season with salt and pepper.  Add a little of the infused oil and top with the bread crumb mixture.  Since it's July and hot, I put this on the grill, but you can bake in a preheated oven at 475 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes.

I then took two pints of both yellow and red grape tomatoes, cut in smaller pieces.  The remaining garlic infused oil was strained and went into a saute pan along with 3 tablespoons lemon juice, some thyme, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper and a small amount of rosemary.  I added the tomatoes along with salt and pepper and cooked for 5 minutes.

Once the cod was cooked to an opaque, white consistency, I plated and topped with the tomato mixture.

I then moved on to page 282 of Lidia's book and made her Lightly Stuffed and Baked Zucchini.

This dish went so well with the cod since they both used parsley and thyme and anytime you spend chopping for one, you might as well add others!  I also used some of the garlic infused oil to add a little zip to the dish.

Take three medium sized zucchini, cut off both ends and cut lengthwise.  Remove the center of each half and put aside.

One cup of day old bread with crust removed and place into a bowl of 1 1/2 cups of milk for 20 minutes.
Squeeze bread to remove as much milk as possible and chop small.

Mix the bread with a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons thyme and salt and pepper.  Add one egg and 6 tablespoons of the garlic infused oil.

Fill the grooves in the zucchini and top with the rest of the mixture.  Oil a pan and place the zucchini in and cover with foil.  Again, I placed this on the grill, but you can also put in a preheated oven of 425 degrees for 15 minutes, uncover and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

I thank you Lidia for making our first dinner of the summer with Susan and Vinny a great one.  We sat outside, ate good, healthy food and enjoyed our famiglia.  Here's to many, many more before we head south.

btw, I ended the night watching Lidia's son on Master Chef.  I guess it was a Bastianich night!

Enjoy your warm summer nights making healthy meals and enjoying them outside with your famiglia.  It will make life better than good...

fino a quel momento (until that time)


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