Plus Happy Hanukkah And OY, That Ain't No Latke
Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis
Linguine and Prosciutto Frittatas
Arugula and Roasted Fruit Salad with Panettone Croutons
Parmesan Potato Pancake
To get the recipes:
Giada is dressed in all white to greet her guests. Oh, I get it, she’s hosting a White Christmas brunch. She’s making individual frittatas…what an excellent idea.
Now we’re in the kitchen with her and she’s dressed in another white outfit. She breaks 7 eggs into a blender. WHY is she using a blender? Don’t tell me, it’ll be part of HER cookware line.
Anyway, Giada tells us that the idea of a frittata is to use whatever is left over. Of course, she’s not doing that today for THIS special brunch. But it would be a good idea to hold on to her formula of eggs and milk to flavorings and keep it for another time when you are emptying out the fridge.
She adds ½ cup of whole milk to the eggs with ¼ cup heavy cream, and ½ cup ofmascarpone. She whirls that together in a blender. The reason for using the blender is beyond me. In fact, I think that would overbeat the eggs and make the entire dish a bit tough.
She cuts up cooked linguini into smaller pieces. Hmmm..would it be easier to break it up BEFORE cooking? Perhaps. She pours the egg mixture over the linguini and adds 1 cup of grated smoked mozzarella. Then she adds Asiago cheese, which I personally always regret using, because it tastes sour to me, not tangy. Some chopped prosciutto goes in to keep the men in her family happy. I think chopped mushrooms, sautéed until the all their liquid is gone, would be a good alternative.
Then Giada adds 2 cloves of chopped garlic (I’m definitely getting out my garlic press here - I don’t want to risk an overly large piece of garlic in these little individual servings.) She grates in fresh nutmeg, and then adds salt, pepper and parsley. It really is a delicious looking mixture.
Why is her cleavage is getting more heaving by the moment? It IS funny how they mix in the closeup shots with the wider shots and there is often a variation of skin showing…
She scoops 1/3 cup of the mixture into each muffin hole in a non-stick tin. She bakes it at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes.
Eew, there was a slightly suggestive ad from Rachael Ray. “Your stocking‘s not the only thing getting stuffed this year.” And then seconds later, there she is AGAIN in a Ritz commercial in an unattractive old-fashioned beige corduroy dress.
Giada moves on to a sweet dish using panettone. I have to admit, I’m usually unmoved by panettone because of the candied fruit (except in a French toast or bread pudding type of thing). Giada is making croutons from it. THIS is a wonderful way to use up those huge cakes. She slices an entire panettone in half and cuts it into one inch pieces. I think she’s only using half. They go on a baking sheet and into a 300° oven for 45 to 40 minutes.
G starts on a roasted fruit salad that will be served with the croutons. This is sounding so good. She mixes together one cup of cranberries, 1 cup of seedless grapes and a Barlett pear, cut into wedges. Then she slices 2 plums and adds them.
Giada likes how the “roasting intensifies the flavor of the fruit” and that this dish can be prepared ahead of time. She adds a couple tablespoons of lemon juice “to bring out the flavor of the fruit and to balance out the sweetness”. The last ingredients are 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. She pours the fruit onto a baking sheet and spreads it around to make one layer. She bakes it at 425° F for 25 to 30 minutes.
For the dressing, she zests half a lemon and then rolls it on the counter to release the juices. She needs ¼ cup. Then she adds ¼ cup honey (could that be too much?) and ¼ cup canola oil, which she likes for its mild taste.
She pours the dressing into a bowl to await fruit and arugula. Of course, there’s arugula. She whisks in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to finish the dressing.
Giada is pouring tea for Todd, actually maybe it’s coffee. Todd gives her a beautiful necklace, like the one she often wears with circles. I want that!
She moves on to the potato pancakes. But first, she takes the roasted fruit out of the oven.
For the pancakes, Giada heats up a non-stick pan on medium heat and adds extra virgin olive oil. Watch out for that, folks. Never overheat a non-stick pan, particularly an empty one. And get your birds out of the kitchen!
She DICES her onions. Normally, one would GRATE the onions. Oh, look at this, she’s sautéing them first with a little garlic and salt. WELL! This is certainly no Jewish grandma’s recipe that I know of.
She peels 4 Yukon gold potato. No self-respecting latke maker would use Yukon golds. Russets are the potatoes of choice. She peels them and tells us she likes them because they’re “creamy and golden.” They get cut in half and grated in a food processor.
She places them in a dish towel over a bowl and squeezes them out to get rid of the liquid. There’s a lot. She puts the grated potatoes in clean bowl and adds 1 cup of grated parmesan and fresh chopped basil. She likes the color it adds to it. She seasons the mixture and adds the cooked onion and garlic.
Maybe this doesn’t quite rise to the level of blasphemy, but it is close. Obviously, we have to remember the title of the show and realize that Giada is going to give everything an Italian spin, but it‘s still a bit jarring…to add COOKED onions to potato pancakes.
She heats her non-stick pan and adds more olive oil. Don’t forget to get Woodstock out of the kitchen. She adds the entire contents of the bowl at once to the frying pan. HUH???????!!! She presses it down into ONE potato pancake. She flips it after 12 to 15 minutes. It looks way too brown, if you ask me. I just think this was an odd choice for a show screened so close to Hanukkah.
We see her dressed impeccably as she observes all her beautifully laid out food. Back in the kitchen, she finishes the pancake by flipping it like a frittata, laying a plate on top of the pan and turning it over quickly. She slides it back into the pan to finish cooking.
Giada adds arugula to a bowl and spoons over the roasted fruit salad. The panettone croutons go on top. THAT is a special dish. She slides her dinnerplate-sized potato pancake onto a board and cuts it into wedges like a pizza. Whoops, her bustline is getting in the way.
The family arrives. Oh how pretty, even the dishes and GLASSES are white. She has one of those all white trees with only gold and silver balls. Little kids open presents. Wow, she looks beautiful holding a baby. Who cares about her recipes? She looks like an angel. It really doesn’t matter if she can cook. But the good thing is she can.