Limoncello…FATTO!!

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My Limoncello is DONE!!!!!!

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My wait is over and WOW it was GREAT!!!

I enjoyed my first batch of Homemade Limoncello with a good friend of mine, Paul, after a nice dinner of steaks, grilled cabbage and onions with Perogies…It was all so good and what a cool beautiful night is was outside as we sat enjoying the weather and looking out at my beautiful luscious green lawn!! (which I really cannot take credit for as my Dad does a GREAT job in keeping my grass green and cut…Thank you DAD!!!)

So after I pulled the jar out of the darkness of the cabinet

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I strained out the lemon peels

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Lemon peels are good for your disposal if you have one ūüôā

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Then I pour it into a glass bottle that I had saved (Voss Water bottle)

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and then Freeze (keep it in your freezer) and enjoy!!!!

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Check out my first two posts if you missed them

First     https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/18/ciao-bella-limoncello/

Second     https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/04/25/limoncello-part-two/

Pour it!!!

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and ENJOY IT!!!!!!  Ciao !!!!!

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Chef Jon Molnar Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Sauce

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As we go through the summer, I will be doing more product reviews, as we all know the summer time becomes very busy for all of us. ¬†Well as least for me, I’d like to spend a little more time out and about with my family and friends. ¬†So I have been given some products to taste test and I will be letting you all know how they taste and what you can do with them.
I’m sure I’ll come up with some recipes too, but I am looking forward to these products that are from all over the world.

This is one that I have today is Fantastic, I really must say…I have a great connection with the Gia Russa people which are right here in Ohio.

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Chef Jon Molnar’s love and enthusiasm for cooking can be traced back to the roots of his family. At an early age, Jon’s grandmother, Helen, demonstrated that cooking is a labor of love. With his grandmother’s guidance, Jon Molnar pursued his passion and perfected his craft at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. Since his graduation in 1994, Chef Jon Molnar has been a professional in the commercial and private sectors of the culinary world, holding prominent positions in various parts of the United States. With tireless years of experience, Chef Jon Molnar’s cuisine crusade has led him to develop Chef Jon Molnar Culinary Creations, in an effort to produce products that are of the highest quality and standards, from his kitchen to yours.

Finally, you can get genuine Italian sauces right here in the U.S.A. They taste so much better than American sauces, you may never go back. Chef Jon Molnar and the chefs of the top Tuscany restaurants in Italy now provideGenuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Saucesright here in America.

Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Saucesare made with the exact recipes and actual tomatoes from the Tuscany Province of Italy. Tuscany is famous for having the best tasting pizza and pasta sauces in the world. This is due to their superior recipes and superior tomatoes.

Tuscany tomatoes are the best tasting tomatoes in the world because of Tuscany’s ideal soil, ideal climate and ideal sun exposure. The recipes for the sauces are also different and superior to American pizza and pasta sauces.¬†Chef Jon Molnar’s Genuine Tuscany Italian Sauces¬†are all-natural, gluten-free, contain no preservatives, and are produced in a green facility. Once you taste¬†Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Sauces, you will immediately notice the superior taste.

I loved this sauce so much, it was rich with a pure tomato flavor and so balanced, it was great on the pizza and with the pasta!!

This totally gets “Two Thumbs Up” from me…if you see in your local grocery store make sure you pick it up!!! ūüôā

Pizza Ingredients – Crust, ricotta, provolone, spinach and Chef Jon’s Sauce

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spread some ricotta, then sauce, then spinach the top with cheese

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It was very very good!!

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Pasta easy and simple Ingredients

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cook pasta then add some ricotta, sauce top with Parmesan

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Enjoy!!!

Pork Saltimbocca

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Saltimbocca is a dish (popular in southern Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece) made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage.

Again I use pork, from my recent purchase of a pork tenderloin, I also had Saltimbocca at a local Italian restaurant and it was so good, that I thought I would make it with my pork.
There are many, many recipes out there, but this is one I came up with, hope you will like ūüôā

Ingredients

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Place cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap and pound thin

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Place sage leaves on pork, then top with prosciutto

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Place paper back on top of prosciutto, and lightly pound a couple of times

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Dredge cutlets in flour, add oil and butter to skillet of medium high heat

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prosciutto side down first, browning on both sides

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Place on baking sheet top with sliced Mozzarella, set aside

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drain most of the oil/butter from the skillet, add wine

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let reduce to about 1/2 cup, while scraping the brown bits from the skillet

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once reduced add a couple pinches of sugar & remaining butter to finish

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place cutlets under the broiler until cheese is melted & browned

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Then serve, I serve mine with polenta

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Recipe

1 Pork tenderloin, slice in half lengthwise, then each half cut into 3 pieces, so you have 6 pieces in total
Fresh Sage leaves, 4 to 6 leaves per cutlet
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter, divided
8 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced, 2-3 per cutlet
6 oz. white wine
Prosciutto – 1-3 pieces per cutlet, depends on how much you want
a couple pinches of sugar

Place each cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap, pound thin to about 1/4 inch thick.  Place sage leaves on top of pork, then lay prosciutto over pork and leaves, allowing it not to hang over the sides.
Place flour in a shallow dish, dredge cutlets in flour, in a skillet add oil and 2 tbsp. butter and saute cutlets prosciutto side first, flipping and browning on both sides.  When cutlets are done browning place on baking sheet top with sliced mozzarella, set aside, 6 minutes before you are ready to serve, place baking sheet with pork under the broil, just until cheese is melted and brown.

For sauce

Once you cook the last of the cutlets, drain most of the oil/butter, add the wine and with a wooden spoon scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Once the liquid has reduced to a about 1/2 cup add a couple pinches of sugar and the remaining butter and serve over the Saltimbocca.

Serve with the side of your choice, this time I made some polenta.

Enjoy!!

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Limoncello……………….Part Two!!!

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Okay everyone its been 42 days!!! ¬†Hello old friend ūüôā

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It is turning yellow and I can’t wait to move on to

Part Three…Drinking it ūüôā

If you missed Part One you can click here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/18/ciao-bella-limoncello/

So let move to Part Two

I added my sugar to my pan with water

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over medium heat and stirred until sugar was dissolved 

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once dissolved I let cook for 1 – 2 minutes

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remove from heat and let cool completely

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once cooled add to your jar, give a shake

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Recipe Part Two

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water

add sugar and water to sauce pan, heat and¬†dissolve¬†over¬†medium¬†heat, once sugar has dissolved cook for 1 -2 minutes more. ¬†Remove from heat let sugar water cool completely. ¬†Then add to jar, give a shake and put it back in a dark cool spot for another 42 days…every week or so give the jar a shake.

Goodbye Old Friend see you in 42 ūüėČ

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Rag√Ļ alla bolognese…My way!!!

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Oh how I love thee!!! ūüôā

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Rag√Ļ alla bolognese¬†is a complex sauce which involves a variety of cooking techniques, including sweating, saut√©ing and braising. As such, it lends itself well to interpretation and adaptation by professional chefs and home cooks alike.

And I’m sure most of you have a recipe that has been pasted down the family tree ūüôā

Common sources of differences include which meats to use (beef, pork or veal) and their relative quantities, the possible inclusion of either cured meats or offal, which fats are used in the sauté phases (rendered pork fat, butter, olive or vegetable oil).

I used ground chicken ūüôā

What form of tomato is employed (fresh, canned or paste).

I use paste, I like using this the best.

The makeup of the cooking liquids (wine, milk, tomato juices, or broth) and their specific sequence of addition.

One day I hope that I could travel to Bolgana, Italy ūüôā

But until then this is¬†Rag√Ļ alla bolognese…My Way!!!

Ingredients –

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I freeze my bacon so it would be easier to slice and dice

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diced bacon

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Cut celery into thin strips                    then dice

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Diced onion                                                           add bacon, celery and onions to skillet

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Then add carrots

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stirring not to burn

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add ground meat

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breaking up meat with wooden spoon

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add red wine

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chicken broth

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add tomato paste

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stirring in tomato paste

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then stir in 2 tsp. beef base paste

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turn to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours

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warm up half n half/ milk                             stir in

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continue to cook for another 45 – 55 minutes, stirring occasionally

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its now ready for pasta

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LOVE Gia Russa products you must try them………….boil water

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add pasta                                             remove a cup of pasta water, set aside, in case  you need to thin out sauce

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Grate your Parmesan cheese

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remove your pasta                                                          toss with sauce

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turn out on to platter

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top with cheese and serve

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Delicious!!!!!!!!!  

Recipe

3 (3 oz.) strips bacon or pancetta, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled, grated
1 med-large onion, finely chopped
1.25 lbs ground meat (i used ground chicken breast)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
2 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. beef base paste
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup half n half or milk

First off have everything ready to go, chop everything, measure out everything its just easier or at least this is what I like to do.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add oil and bacon/pancetta, celery and onions, cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring not to burn.
Add grated carrots continue to cook for 5 more minutes, add ground meat, cooking and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly so not to burn, turn heat down just a little if needed.

Add red wine cooking for 2 minutes and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add broth and then tomato paste, stirring to combine, then add beef base reduced heat to low and gently simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally. 

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce.

Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 Р55 minutes, season with salt to taste. Stirring occasionally.

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil, once boiling add a good handful of salt, stir and then add pasta, when pasta is just al dente, remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside, I like doing this just in case I want to thin out the sauce. (i did not use any pasta water with this recipe, but you should always get in the habit of taking out pasta water just in case)

Drain pasta and add pasta to the sauce, tossing to completely coat the pasta, turn pasta out onto a serving plate or large bowl and top with fresh Parmesan cheese and then serve it right on up!! 

Enjoy this one and tell me about your recipe or maybe you have one that has been pasted down the family tree, I’d love to try any that you may have in your recipe box!!!

Ciao Bella…..Limoncello

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cover Limoncello is simply delicious, and I’ve always wanted to make it, but it does take some time and you must be¬†patient.

FYI – below was taken straight from Wikipedia

Limoncello (Italian pronunciation: [limonňąt É…õllo]) is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi and islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri. It is also produced in Sicily, Sardinia, Menton in France, and the Maltese island of Gozo. Though there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.

Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons or Sfusato Lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Clarity and viscosity are affected by factors like the relative temperatures of the two liquids. Most lemons, including the more-common Eureka lemon, will produce satisfactory limoncello

Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo. Along the Amalfi Coast, it is usually served in small ceramic glasses themselves often chilled, the Amalfi coast being a center of both ceramics and limoncello production. This tradition has been carried into other parts of Italy.

Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy but has recently become popular in other parts of the world. Restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are increasingly offering limoncello on their beverage and dessert menus. In the United States commercial producers using California lemons have introduced USA made limoncello, including Rometti Limoncello, Ventura Limoncello, and Fabrizia Limoncello. Limoncello is an increasingly popular ingredient in cocktails. Limoncello imparts a strong lemon flavor without the sourness or bitterness of lemon juice.

Okay let’s get making this good stuff!!!

 There are so many recipes out there for Limoncello, using Everclear, vodka, a lot of sugar a little sugar, steep for 7 days, steep for 21 days, steep for 45 days.  

This is the way I did it, first I choose to let steep for 42 days, so part two coming in 42 days, then part three coming in another 42 days.
I used 10 lemons, and I used “Potato Vodka” 80 proof…yes I know its better with Everclear or Vodka that’s 160 proof, but I have been wanting to drink “Potato Vodka” for awhile now so instead I decided to make my Limoncello out it.

Now part two will be adding the simple syrup, then letting steep for another 42 days…so I figure on April 25th will be the post date for part two and then part three post and drinking day should be on June 7th. ¬†Ahhhh just in time to start the summer, I can already picture me sitting on my back deck, at dusk, listening to the fountain that runs in my little pond, maybe having some friends over for the 84 day celebration to sip on my first batch of Limoncello!!

Wait 84 days!!!!! ¬†to make one batch…maybe I will start another batch in April, then another in May…just so I have enough to last the summer and if its good!! Well I might have a batch making party monthly!!!! ¬†We will see!!

This is what you will need to the process

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wash the lemons!!!

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peel your lemons, only the yellow part, try not to get the white pith part the best you can
I found out that the fresher your lemons are the easier they are to peel, so try to look for nice bright firm lemons.

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put peels into a glass jar that can seal tightly

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filter the alcohol, now you don’t have too, but some people do, its a debate all around¬†whether¬†to do this or not, most say to use a brita filter, but I didn’t have one so I used a coffee filter…will I filter next time…NO

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make sure all the peels are covered by the alcohol

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seal tightly and put in a dark cool place, every few days or once a week give your jar a swish

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Now what to do with all those lemons…juice them and make Fresh Lemonade!!!

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Or you can pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze, then once frozen put cubes in a ziploc bag and now you have fresh lemon juice when you need it for a recipe.

Okay “Part Two” Limoncello in 42 days!!

Recipe

Part One

750 ml  pure grain alcohol (like everclear or 150 proof vodka)
I used 80 proof Potato Vodka, next time I will try it with a higher proof
10 firm lemons
1 large with a tight lid (i used a half gallon Ball canning jar)

Part Two in 42 days

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water

Wash lemons with vegetable wash or soap…I did
then peel the zest of the lemons, you only want the yellow part, do you best not to get the white pith part or at lest very much of it.
Put peels in the jar, and pour your alcohol over top of the peels making sure all are covered.  You can use a coffee filter and strainer to pour the alcohol through as I did, next time I will not do this process.  I will just pour it straight in the jar.

Store the jar in a dark cool spot, and every few days give a swish until Day 42.

On Day 42 in a small sauce pan add  sugar and water, cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved  once dissolved let cook for one more minute then remove from and a cool completely.  Once mixture has cooled pour into jar with the peels and alcohol and stir.  Then put it back into that cool dark spot for another 42 days.
When day comes, strain (to catch peels) jar¬†contents¬†into a pitcher, then using a funnel pour liquid into¬†decorative¬†bottles or bottle, you can give them out as gifts if you want, or like me I’ll be keeping my “Liquid Gold”.
Whatever you keep store it in the freezer, that is how you want to serve it, ice cold in small glasses just for sipping.  

Let me know when you start your own batch!!  Enjoy!!!