Old School Italian Restaurants
Italian food is probably my favorite, followed by a close second Mexican food. I LOVE both these food styles,and today we are going to talk about Italian.
I was first introduced to authentic Italian at the ripe age of 13. It was a birthday party for Grandma, at the time I sure I did not have any fun at… You can remember how it felt to be at a grown up party when you are at the cusp of becoming a teenager, boring and bummed you’re not with your friends. Because let’s face it, that is what was important at the time. Hanging out with friends not family; boy was I wrong.
There’s a saying “If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently” I find this to be very true, I would have done things differently. As I have grown older (UGH, SIGH) I have realized that spending time with family is the most important thing you can do. I have lost many important people in my life as I’m sure you have too. I now live pretty far from home and don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with family now.
With the holidays fast approaching, we will be moving at light speed to get everything done that needs getting done. But this is the time to spend with loved ones, so this year I’m going to try to slow it down a little, not complain about ANYTHING, and try to truly enjoy this time. So this Holiday season let us raise a glass to all of our families out there, to all the ones that are with us and the ones who are not! Cheers to both my Grandfathers and Grandmothers, and the rest of the family. All the ones who have helped shaped me into the person I am. Thank You!
Chicken breasts- 5 six ounce (boneless, skinless)
Flour- 1 cup
Salt- 1 tbsp
Pepper- 1 tbsp
Bread crumbs- 1 cup
Salt- ½ tbsp
Parmesan Cheese- ¾ cup (fresh, grated)
Basil- 1 tbsp (dried)
Oregano- ½ tbsp (dried)
Eggs- 5 large
Salt- 1 tsp
Pepper- 1 tsp
Milk- ½ cup
Provolone Cheese- 10 slices (cut in half)
Marinara- 3 cups (recipe to follow)
1) In three separate bowls set up your breading station. In bowl number one, add the flour 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of pepper mix well. In number two add the bread crumbs, ½ tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of pepper, the Parmesan, basil, and oregano, mix well. In bowl number three add the eggs, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper and the milk, whisk well.
2) Spread out the chicken, and season with salt & pepper. Dredge each breast first in the flour, shaking off the excess, then the egg wash and finally the bread crumbs. Lay them out on a small baking pan. Refrigerate until ready.
3) Pre-heat oven to 400.In a sauté pan or deep fryer heat vegetable oil to 375. Working in batches fry chicken until golden brown and set aside. When ready for diner place chicken oven and bake for 10 minutes, add provolone cheese bake for another 1-2 minutes or cheese starts to bubble.
4) Place two breasts per plate, add ½ cup of marinara and garnish with a chiffonade of basil. For the garnish, lay one basil leaf onto top of another. Roll them up gently, and slice thin.
Olive Oil- 2 tablespoons
Yellow Onion- 2 cups (medium diced)
Garlic- 2 ½ tablespoons (minced)
Tomatoes- 4- 28 oz cans
Tomato paste- 1- 6 oz can
Basil- 1 cup packed tight (2 packages)
Salt & pepper- to taste
Method to the Madness
1) Heat oil in a sauce pan; add onions and a pinch of Salt & pepper (this is called layering). Sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent, add garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.
2) Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil for 1 minute turn down heat and let simmer. Add tomato paste, season with salt & pepper. Let the sauce simmer for at least 45 minutes or for best results 2-3 hours.
3) After your desired simmer time. Turn off the heat and let rest for an hour. Then add the basil and puree. I like my sauces smooth if you don’t, just add the basil and you’re ready to serve.