On June 17 & 18 we hosted our first ever Ciao Chow with Chef Deborah Kudelka
Zuppa Di Roquetta (Rome)
Many years ago, the 80’s to be exact, while visiting my family in Rome, I was introduced to a vegetable called roquetta (rocket). The name both intrigued and confused me, because it sounded like we were having a rocket on our pizza! Well, to my delight, it was not a rocket, but peppery lettuce. Rocket gives this summary soup its bright green color, while the potato and coconut milk provide a creamy texture. Gluten free. Vegan (without the feta)
Ensalata Di Riso (Milan)
When I graduated from high school, I wanted to go to art school, but my mother was not too thrilled with this idea. So, after I graduated from a two-year college, she thought it best to send me to live with her sisters in hopes that I would get this crazy idea of studying art out of my head. So off I went to Paris, France, and Rome, Italy, where her sisters lived. What was wrong with my mom’s plan? She sent me to 2 of the world's greatest cities for fine art! While in Milano, I learned to cook with my cousins. One of my favorite light summery dishes is ensalata di riso, a salad of fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella, provolone, salami, mortadella, capers, olives, evoo, salt and pepper. If there's room, add the kitchen sink...or not. Gluten free. Vegan & vegetarian versions available
Envoltini Di Melanzane Alla Norma (Sicily)
Sicily is known for many things: lemons, eggplant, volcanos, history, culture, and of course, the cosa nostra (the mafia). I visited the island of Sicily with my cousin and his family for a few days. As we were driving through different towns and villages, I noticed armed soldiers on roof tops. They were everywhere. We stopped at a small, inconspicuous spot to for lunch. It was the first time I had pizza alla norma, pizza with roasted eggplant and ricotta salata. Delicious!! Envoltini di melanzane alla norma is stuffed eggplant with ricotta, ricotta salata, smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, and bread crumbs; braised in a tomato sauce. As for the soldiers on the rooftops... when we returned to Rome, we learned there had been a massive raid on the mafia that took down many of the mafia heads, seizing their drugs, money and properties. It was one of the greatest seizures ever conducted in Sicily! Gluten-free and vegetarian. Vegan option: zucchini stuffed eggplant .
Polpette Di Melanzane (Rome)
Years ago, I worked in an Italian restaurant for my externship. I remember how adamant the chef was about protecting her recipes. She would remind me every time we made something new not to steal the idea… well I did. It's really not a secret but her version is just a little different and I liked it. These polpette are made with eggplant, egg, panko, parsley, garlic, and parmigiana. They’re breaded and fried until golden brown. Vegetarian. Gluten-free and vegan option: stuffed mushrooms
Pollo al Limone (Sicily)
When I was in my 20’s, my mother and her two sisters took me to Sicily to visit the village of Buscemi, where their father was born. We traveled by bus through countless lemon groves. Lemons are everywhere in Sicily and therefore, a very common ingredient. Zia Jeanette and I must have eaten a hundred Granita di Limone. To celebrate the citrus of Sicily, I’ve sautéed chicken tenders in fresh squeezed lemon, lemon zest, and of course, a little white wine for tang, I’ve added dijon mustard and capers. Served over pasta. Vegan and vegetarian: Pasta al Broccoli (broccoli sautéed in olive oil with fresh garlic, and pepper flakes. Gluten Free: Lemon Chicken over Polenta
Insalata Mista (Italy)
I learned a lot from eating my way from the top of Italy to the toe. One thing that all Italians have at the end of a meal is. fresh salad to cleanse the palate. This salad is one of my favorites! I combine artichokes and hearts of palm, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with gorgonzola crumbles Vegan: no gorgonzola
Crespelle Ripiene (Rome)
This is another recipe that I borrowed from the restaurant in Rome. “Crespelle” means “crepe” in Italian and “ripiene'' means “stuffed.” This crepe is stuffed with nutella. What makes this crepe special is the coffee/liqueur sauce. Vegetarian. GF and vegan crepe available.