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An Italian’s Favorite Ingredients in America | 5 Favorite American Foods
I tend to film my Italian wife, Eva, eating a lot of new foods here in America that she isn’t terribly enthusiastic about. This has unfortunately led many people to believe that she hates ALL American food—but nothing could be farther from the truth!
In this video, Eva shows us five ingredients that are either uniquely American or that she learned to appreciate in the USA, and demonstrates what she likes to cook with them.
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SQUASH – “ZUCCA IN SAOR” RECIPE
Bring 2 tbsp olive oil up to medium heat in a skillet. Add 2 1/2 large red onions, sliced. Sautée until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of white wine, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tbsp pine nuts, and salt/pepper to taste. Cover and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes. Check occasionally and add a splash of warm water as needed if the onions dry out and risk burning.
Scoop, peel and slice half of a butternut squash into 1/2-inch strips. Lightly oil a non-stick pan and bring up to high heat. Working in batches if necessary, sear the squash strips until they begin to blacken slightly. Cover pan as they cook and slat/pepper lightly. Flip and repeat to sear the other side.
Arrange squash on a platter and top with onions. Allow to cool, preferably overnight, before serving.
CHICKEN – “POLLO ALLA CACCIATORA A MODO MIO” RECIPE
Bring 3-4 tbsp olive oil and 1 crushed clove of garlic up to medium/high heat in a sautée pan. Add diced 1/2 onion, diced 1/2 large carrot and diced 1/2 stalk celery. Sautée for 3-4 minutes. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Add 4-5 chicken drumsticks and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the chicken skin is slightly browned.
Add 1/2 cup of white wine. Allow the wine to reduce briefly, until the smell of alcohol has evaporated. Salt/pepper to taste, and add 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives, and 1 tbsp capers. Mix 1 tbsp tomato paste into 1/2 cup of water and add into the pan. Cover and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender. Add a splash of warm water when necessary if the moisture evaporates.
Serve with a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley on top.
LOBSTER – “ASTICE ALLA CATALANA RECIPE”
Steam a large lobster for 15 minutes. While it cooks, slice 1 large red onion and mix with 8-10 oz. (about 1 cup) of halved grape tomatoes. When the lobster has finished cooking and is cool enough to handle, break it down and remove the tail, claw and knuckle meat. Chop and spread over the onions/tomatoes.
Open the lobster’s body cavity and scoop out the “tamale” (green stuff). Mix with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, the juice of half a lemon, and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard. Drizzle over the salad, along with some extra olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
CREAM CHEESE – “PASTA CON PHILADELPHIA” RECIPE
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt liberally. Add 5 1/2 oz. (160g) dry pasta—we recommend linguine, spaghetti, rigatoni, fusilli or penne—and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix 8-10 oz. (about 1 cup) of halved grape tomatoes with 1/2 cup cream cheese, 1-2 oz. of the pasta water, a pinch of dried oregano, a generous grating of Parmigiano cheese, and salt/pepper to taste.
When the pasta has finished cooking, strain it and add into the sauce. Stir all together and serve immediately.
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