May 2009

Porterhouse Steak Florentine (Recipe)

OMG STEAK, originally uploaded by roboppy.

My first experience was at home, My father would buy big Porterhouse Steaks.

He would then slice small slits into the body of the meat and fill the holes with fresh garlic and fresh Italian parsley.

The Porterhouse Steaks were then seasoned with salt and pepper. The Steaks were then simply grilled on a hot grill fired with charcoal briquettes.

He made a Porterhouse for each of us! I loved the flavor of the Fresh Garlic, Italian Parsley and seared beef!

We would fight for the juices left on the platter so we could soak it up with Italian Bread and savor the intense fatty juicy beef essence!

The image is from Osteria Bepo which was the same restaurant where I experienced the classic Florence version.

The Steak was dry aged and around 24 oz. I was able to see the Chef carrying beef on his shoulder into the kitchen so I knew it was cut in house! The Steak  was sliced table side and presented on a platter with the natural jus, wonderful simple rich deep beef flavor!

Here is my version, you may use a boneless Strip Steak or Ribeye Steak. I like the Porterhouse because it has the Strip Loin and the Filet cut plus the bone. By the way my Mother would never leave a bone not cleaned!

To this day it kills me not to be able to clean the bone of a great Steak when eating out at a Steak House!

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Italian Ice (Recipe)



My earliest memories of Italian Ice was as a child growing up in Chicago.

My family lived in the Taylor Street neighborhood around our Lady of Pompeii School. My father would take us to this place which had Lemon "Italian Ice" he would order all of us a big refreshing scoop.

The sweet refreshing "Italian Lemonade' with chunks of lemon rind served in a Dixie cone cup. I can hear the scraping of the ice which makes a hollow sound as is is scooped into the cone.

This is the perfect treat after having shared a slice of Sicilian Pan Pizza or an Italian Beef or Sausage Sandwich.

We also made this at home, especially on hot days. We all took turns...

hand cranking the freezer  until it was done, the lid came off and everyone enjoyed the refreshing Italian Ice.

At the time I only remember Lemon as the only flavor but now you can get all kinds of fruit ices, even ones that are infused with herbs or spices, Lemon Basil, Strawberry and Pepper, and Watermelon.

For this recipe I chose the classic Lemon. Make this part of you Summer ritual, have fun and enjoy delicious Italian Ice!


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Homemade Ricotta Cheese (Recipe)


Home Made Ricotta Cheese




I was making some Homemade Mozzarella and wanted to make Ricotta.

The Ricotta cheese is made is my adding an additional amount to the acidified whey that is left after you have made your Mozzarella (Ricotta means "re-cooked").

The Whey has to be fresh and does not hold well. So what do you do if you just want to make Ricotta cheese?

Here is a recipe that is not exactly the classic way but will get you where you want to be. You may make this whenever you want and not have to make Mozzarella first.

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo - Brother Devil (Recipe)

Shrimp Fra Diavolo


My Mother Anna Marie LOVED this classic Italian-American Spicy Shrimp pasta!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo is the name given in Italian-American cooking to shellfish (shrimp or lobster) in spicy tomato sauce and often served tossed with Linguine Pasta.


Shrimp Fra Diavolo Recipe - Brother Devil print version


1/3  cup  olive oil
16 each 16/20 size Shrimp, peeled and deveined
7 cloves peeled Garlic, minced fine
3 Shallots,  chopped
San Marzano Cherry Tomatoes (about 6 oz.), cut in half
10 cups
San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Pino Grigio
1/4 cup crushed
Sicilian Style Cracked Olives
1 tbsp Leaves of Fresh Oregano, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 lb. Percatelli, Bucatini or Linguine
Leaves from 2 sprigs Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
1 tsp. Crushed Red Chili


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add shrimp and cook, until just cooked through, about 2 1/2  minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  • Add garlic and shallots to skillet and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add San Marzano cherry tomatoes, San Marzano crushed tomatoes , Pino Grigio, and Leaves of Fresh Oregano, Sicilian Olives
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if liquid starts to boil too rapidly, until  sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes.

While you are making the sauce cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until just tender Drain, reserving 1\4 cup of the pasta water.

Add parsley, Crushed Red Chili, pasta, pasta water, and shrimp to skillet and toss well. Divide pasta and sauce between 2-4 warm plates, arranging half the shrimp in center of each plate.