How to Make Homamde Mozzarella – We’ve never made homemade mozzarella, but the Kitchn web site seems to have put together a decent guide and how to article. We were also informed by our reader Sasha that the book, Animal, Vegetable Miracle has a very good 30 minutes mozzarella recipe.
The Legitimacy of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – We received a bit of flack over our Olive Oil Guide article from a reader claiming that we should get our facts straight about extra virgin olive oil and specifically read through finding from a “UC Davis Olive Center” study. Apparently, the Center has released findings having to do with some olive oils being mislabeled and, moreover, that some American consumers had a preference for mellow tasting oil. Our two cents on the subject: use only very good (and pure) extra virgin olive oil for finishing dishes (think tomato salad, pasta sauces, and drizzled over very good bread and mozzarella) and find a moderately priced olive oil for sauteing and other everyday tasks (olive oil blends are fine, just as long as they’re labeled and prices are reflected as such).
Granita di caffe – The ultimate expression of “iced coffee”, granita di caffee is an Italian speciality beverage that includes shaved ice, espresso, and handmade whipped cream. Frank’s recipe is the real deal and if you really want to act like a local when visiting Italy order one of these the next time you visit a bar in northern or southern Italy.
Caprese Salad – The NY Times covers the standard tomato and mozzarella dish and explains you can alter the recipe a bit and add roasted peppers, prosciutto, etc. I agree with the New York Times that the dish can be modified; our version would include good olive oil cured sardines and anchovies, olives, etc.
Averna Vertigo – We’ve recently re-supplied our liquor cabinet and have added fresh bottles of Carpano Antica red vermouth, Bullet Rye, Lillet White, Aperol, Campari, and the lovely Sicilian amaro Averna. A great cocktail recipe featuring Averna is the Vertigo – combining high quality ginger ale, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and Averna.