Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sorrento's Pizza

225. If you live anywhere near Long Beach, NY you have to try Sorrento's pizza! It is a small family owned Italian Deli and Pizzaria. Located at 255 West Park Avenue, this local shop has an old world feel. The moment you step in the front door you are greeted with a wonderful aroma of cheese, and meats and fresh baked pizza from their stone oven.
Neon signs in the front window welcome you to enjoy espresso and "fresh" meats.
You can eat al fresco outside or pull up a chair at a table inside. It's enjoyable to take in the sites of all the imported products lined around the shop and watch the locals stop in for their daily needs. The friendly butchers behind the counter are more than happy to share a sample or answer any questions you may have.
This shop was originally a butcher shop and the perfect place to purchase a variety of Italian specialties, pastas, oils, cheeses and other choice selections of prepared foods. Several years ago Sorrento's expanded and installed a brick/stone oven and bakery items.
Our pizza of choice was a "small" with riccotta. And this is what was brought to our table!
It was served on a long wooden paddle and cut by the baker right at the table.

The mozzarella is freshly made every morning and has such a wonderful flavor. And the sauce is fresh plum tomato marinara. To finish the layers of flavor, parmesan is grated over all and fresh basil leaves.
The crust is perfect, crispy, thin and very flavorful. And while you indulge, an Italian and American flag flutter in the beach air.
You will also be given "real" plates instead of paper plates and plastic utensils. The restaurant staff was pleasant, friendly and very eager to serve. The "small" can serve 4 people, although they say it is for 2. And the price was only $10.00 with an additional cost for each topping.
Now this is a reason to drive to Long Island...and Long Beach for this Italian treasure.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, July 15, 2011

Frozen Fruit Pops

224. With peaches in season and two sweet, ripe mangos, my daughter and I made a batch of Peach Mango and Blueberry Lemon Frozen Fruit Pops.

Our popsicle forms were from Bed Bath and Beyond and Tupperware.
The peaches smelled so delicious and I love the combination of mango and peach flavors.
We pealed and cut up 3 peaches and 2 whole mangos and placed the slices in a blender.
We added about 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar and adjusted by taste. We also added a couple drops of coconut extract and a few gratings of nutmeg. Then we filled the blender 3/4 full with fruit juice which was a mango, peach, orange juice mix and juice from 1/2 a lemon.
Blend till smooth and taste for sweetness and flavor. Adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.
Pour directly into clean popsicle forms making sure you do not fill them to the tippy top. This allows for expansion and keeps the popsicles uniform.
Place in freezer on a level surface. Freeze for about 2 hours or till juice becomes thick. Push popsicle sticks into center of each pop and push down about 3/4 of the way. Freeze over night.
Our Blueberry Lemon frozen Pops started with blueberries. We used whole berries but this will give you tiny bits in your popsicles...which I particularly like. If you do not like this, place your berries in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup water and about 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Strain the juice from the berries saving the juice and discard the berries. Press down on berries to release all the juice. Place the juice in a blender with 1/2 cup sugar.
Zest one whole lemon and add the zest to the juice/berries in the blender. Then add juice from one whole lemon, dash of cinnamon and fill the blender with lemon aid till 3/4 full.
Blend on high and taste for desired sweetness and make adjustments to your liking. Pour into prepared popsicle molds. Follow the same process as the previous popsicles and freeze overnight.
When ready to serve remove one mold and carefully run hot water over the bottom of the mold. Work with one popsicle at a time. You will begin to feel the popsicle release and slide out of the mold. Be careful not to place in hot water for too long...the popsicles will begin to melt. If this happens, return to the freezer till molded again.
I served the popsicles on a plate of crushed ice covered with plastic wrap. It worked beautifully.
What a big hit they were! You can do this! The molds were so inexpensive and if you don't have fresh fruit just pour fruit juice into the molds. It is surprising how easy, yet how impressed your kids or guests will be.

"A tree is know by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost;
He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."
~ Saint Basil

Monday, July 11, 2011

Striped Bass Fillets with Lemon Rice

223. Today our friend John brought us beautiful fillets of striped bass caught fresh from the Atlantic off Long Island ( NY) shore .

John's brother Billy prepared the fish impeccably! The fillets were beautiful! And each was wrapped separately in plastic wrap.
The fish was so fresh it had no scent at all! John's brother Billy is the Executive Chef at Becco
in NYC. Billy said to season it with salt and pepper and place it in a hot pan with heated olive oil. Sear about 3 minutes then place under the broiler for about 3 more minutes.
The fish cooked beautifully.
It was so flakey and tender. I brushed butter on the top and small amount of lemon juice.
To accompany the fish I made a side of Lemon Rice.
Lemon Rice
I place 3 Tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and a cup of uncooked rice. I take a small bunch of Angel Hair Pasta and break it into small pieces and toss it in with the rice. Turn the heat on high and brown the uncooked rice and pasta pieces in the butter for a few minutes. Pour in 2 cups cold water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. Test for doneness and seasoning. Add more salt or butter to taste and juice from 1/2 a lemon before serving.

"A great lie is like a great fish on dry land; it may fret and fling and make a frightful bother, but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still, and it will die of itself."
~ George Crabbe

"A fish may love a bird, Señor, but where would they live?"
~Drew Barrymore, "Everafter"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars

Photo courtesy of My Baking Addiction

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars
These bars are one of the best recipes I have found by far. I came across the recipe while reading You can see the original post here.

I used frozen blueberries and the baking process took a little longer.
This crumb crust tastes delicious!

This recipe has a fantastic and surprising taste. The lemon zest makes the flavor outstanding.
Serve with a bowl of fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

This is a keeper!

"Determine never to be idle.
No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Red, White and Blue Parfait

221. Fourth of July was restful and so enjoyable. My little kitchen helper wanted to make a special dessert so we decided on a parfait.
We started with red and blue Jell-o but included fresh blueberries and strawberries, but our secret ingredient was lemon zest.
First we chose tall glasses and dropped blueberries in the bottom. Filled the bottom third with blue Jell-o and placed them in the frig for about an hour.
Once the blue Jell-o was set we poured the red Jell-o next.
In a small bowl we cut up strawberries, added blueberries, sugar and lemon zest. We let this sit out on the counter so the fruit would sweat and the sugar dissolve. Then, placed spoonfuls of this fruit in the red jell-o and back to the frig. The red Jell-o will not set as thick as the blue but it will taste fantastic.
When we were ready to serve we dolloped whipped cream on top and then decorated with more blueberries and strawberries.
Our little red and blue windmills added just the right touch. (Not to mention the fabulous crackle manicure;o)
So simple but so refreshing and delicious. And don't forget the lemon zest!

"Instead of being taught independence, energy, and enterprise, our youth today is taught to look for security.
~B. Carroll Reece


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