Italian


Watermelon Radish Chicken Milanese // www.acozykitchen.com

I spent the long holiday doing all sorts of exciting things like making sweet corn custard and binge-watching Cesar Milan, which has made me realize that perhaps I’m not what he calls “pack leader.” It’s a devastating realization, actually. I’m guessing it feels similarly when your kid tells you to “shut up, mom” in front of other people. I’m not sure what to do with my beast of a child but this week I’ve vowed to be “calm and assertive”—not my best attributes.

In other news, there’s this perfect summer lunch or dinner. And a giveaway! First, let’s talk about the recipe.

Chicken Milanese might be one of my favorite quick meals EVER! The chicken is pounded to be super thin and then dipped in light, panko bread crumbs. The chicken is pan-fried in a pretty small amount of oil, resulting in delicious, crispness. The salad that usually accompanies chicken milanese is pretty normal; usually some sort of lettuce. Instead of going the ol’ normal route, which I’ll admit is also delicious, I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com

Watermelon radishes are maybe the most beautiful radish in existence. If the season’s change, or if you can’t find watermelon radishes, feel free to swap them out with another type of radish. Watermelon radishes are mild in flavor–just a little bit spicy, so they’re perfect to eat all on their own. I mixed in a bit of flat-leaf parsley and fresh tarragon for added flavor (I love tarragon and chicken together!). The whole salad is tossed in a easy combo of lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Super simple.

It’s no secret that I adore Le Creuset products so it was no surprise that I loved this 3 quart sauté pan. The pan is light yet sturdy and conducts and spreads heat evenly resulting in chicken that’s perfectly cooked.

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com

Today we’re giving away this 3 quart sauté pan to one winner. All you have to do:

1. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite flavor of Ice Cream (I need inspiration for the upcoming Ice Cream Week that I keep promising)!

One winner will be chosen on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014. Giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Steph who said:

“My local ice cream shop made a flavor they called Mango Unchained. It was amazing- sweet from the mangos and spicy from cayenne pepper.”

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Fried Calamari with Quick Marinara | www.acozykitchen.com

No matter who you are, you’ll like this recipe. You’ll LOVE this recipe if:

A. You grew up in the 90s and used to go to TGIFridays with your friends where you’d eat appetizers only.
B. You and your parents would go out to dinner at Olive Garden and you’d order fried calamari and the tentacles would terrify you, but you’d still play with them and give them voices.
C. If you went to Macaroni Grill and loved drawing (borderline offensive) things on the paper tablecloths in crayon.

I know I just described my 12 year old self here but I also did all of these things in college, too. Very little spiritual growth happened for me during that time.

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Mushroom Bolognese // www.acozykitchen.com

Yesterday I asked the question: “What’s your favorite Winter meal?” The answers have been so fun to read through and I’ve gotten so many new ideas as to what to cook for the remainder of this season.

This plate of awesomeness you see pictured is my favorite Winter meal. It’s filling, rich and so so good. Bolognese will forever be my favorite thing to eat on a cold night. It never isn’t satisfying to me. This rendition highlights cremini mushrooms, which give it a nice earthiness and meatiness.

For the recipe and other stuff, head over to The Mushroom Channel’s blog. (Throughout the year I’ll be sharing some other recipes I created for them featuring our favorite ingredient…mushrooms!)

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Superba Snack Bar // www.acozykitchen.com

I was first attracted to this restaurant by its name, specifically the “snack” part. The child in me has always been obsessed with snacks. Superba does have a selection of snacks on the menu, but this restaurant does so many things well, specifically pasta.

Italian classics are given new, adventurous twists. The smoked bucatini carbonara is mind blowing. Honestly, when I had smoked pasta for the first time my mind was a bit blown. Superba’s cold smoked carbonara might be my favorite preparation of the dish to date. And their friend chicken is hand down my number one fried chicken in all of Los Angeles. If you’re familiar with Korean fried chicken (my fav out of all the fried chicken genres), then you’ll love this. It’s crispy, sweet and a little spicy. I could write an entire dissertation on my love of Korean fried chicken, which I won’t because were here to talk about chocolate pasta, which is equally as exciting.

Superba Snack Bar // www.acozykitchen.com

Last year I went to Superba with a group of friends and the dish that caught my dessert-loving eye was the chocolate pasta. I suggested it and everyone had a bit of a brattitude about it. The pasta sounded “too weird,” “too strange,” but when it arrived at the table, it became the instant favorite.

While chocolate pasta might sound a bit brand new, perhaps even a bit weird, Chef Nerroni explained that it’s actually very traditional. Chocolate pasta first originated in Sicily after the Moors occupied the island. They had in their arsenal culinary gold: chocolate.

Superba Snack Bar // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Marcella Hazan's Parmesan Risotto // www.acozykitchen.com

As many of you know, Marcella Hazan passed away last week. One of the first cookbooks I ever owned was her Essentials of Italian Cooking. I’m pretty sure I was around 11 or so when my uncle gifted it to me, but I didn’t cook from it until years later.

It was Christmas and I thought it was a genius idea to throw a Feast of the Seven Fishes, and cook every.single.dish myself. I was an ambitious and totally naive party-thrower. To no surprise, I was a dang hot mess. There was cursing, there was a burn or two, there was lots of sweating and when I ended up with gummy, overcooked risotto, there were tears.

Last week was the first time I tried her recipe since I was a teenager and to no surprise it totally worked. I followed her words, her ratios and stirred. And then stirred some more. About 30 minutes later, I was met with creamy perfection.

This recipe is the perfect base recipe for risotto. Puree some butternut squash and throw it in it. Add some meat or fish or vegetables. Or you can add more cheese and call it a day.

The full recipe and more pictures is PBS Food.

Marcella Hazan's Parmesan Risotto [click to continue…]

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Lamb Bolognese // www.acozykitchen.com

This is a story about a girl and dinner…and how she never cooks it.

This may come as a shock but after cooking for this space and doing my freelance stuff, the last place I want to be (usually) is in the kitchen washing dishes. Cooking is never really the deterrent, but the dishes keep me away. And plus, it’s so nice to go out and about sometimes. But recently, all I’ve wanted to do is cook dinner. It also helps that Josh does the dishes. Teamwork is pretty chill.

A few weeks ago I went to my neighborhood grocery store and picked up a few ingredients for an impromptu bolognese with some ground lamb I already had in the fridge. I kind of thought nothing of it, in fact I actually fell asleep midway through because I was coming down with a cold. I came thisclose to burning it AND the house down, but luckily I didn’t and I’m alive to share this recipe with you, because it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve made in quite some time, so said Josh.

Lamb Bolognese

Lamb Bolognese

Lamb Bolognese [click to continue…]

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Spicy Watermelon Granita // www.acozykitchen.com

I have lots of random thoughts going on in my brain right now.

Number one: If I could write my blog posts using emojis I would. I probably would’ve inserted a fire emoji and a smiley face (with the sunglasses on, of course!) next to the title of this post. I wonder when/if Apple is ever gonna put emojis on a keyboard. That’ll be the end. I’ll be the most annoying person in the world.

Number two: I just realized that Lindsay Lohan’s dress (from her interview with the big O) is actually the same shade of yellow/orange as the soup from yesterday. Very matchy-matchy!

Number three: I know I’ve had a productive day when my feet hurt and my shorts and shirt are stained and all I want to do is sit in bed and eat whatever is in the freezer/fridge. Currently: a small bowl of this Spicy Watermelon Granita. It’s the perfect dessert that doesn’t really taste like a big dessert. This ain’t no cake. It’s refreshing and light and the spice is a nice kick.

Spicy Watermelon Granita // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Etsy: Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto

The first time I made risotto, I cried. And not like, oh cute-teary-Demi-Moore-cry, but more like a ugly-face-contorted-Carrie-from-Homeland-cry. It was Christmas and the house was filled. I thought it would be a genius idea to make every single dish for Christmas dinner, from scratch, and all by myself. Everything was going great, totally fine, I mean I was frantic and super busy but I was on my way to Martha Stewart hostess-type success, but then…risotto.

Since it was my first time attempting this dish (and I was 16 years old), I had no idea what was involved. I was way over my head. I started the process of toasting the rice, adding the broth, etc. I’m pretty sure I got distracted by various other things and came back to the pot only to be met with a gummy, dried up, disgusting mess. I was heartbroken. Tears fell. An Adrianna-melt-down occurred. There was lots of, “Oh we don’t even like risotto,” that was said over and over to me.

It took me years to give it another go, but when I finally nailed down the process I felt like a damn professional chef, no lie. Nowadays I really, really love making risotto–it’s actually not stressful at all but it took me a while to get to this place of risotto-calm. I found a few fun facts and tips to help along the way, and I’m sharing them–along with the recipe itself–over on Etsy.

Etsy: Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto

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Spaghetti & Meatballs

I very big part of me hopes and wishes that you read this blog post title as, “Spaghettiii and a Meat-a-balls!”

I feel like I just talked about my love of gangster movies a few weeks ago but I really do love that scene in Goodfellas where they’re all in jail and they’re like, who cares so what and cook up this like massive feast. Oh and that one guy slices the garlic with a razor blade. So unnecessary but so awesome.

The other day I was driving and had a very weird craving for spaghetti and a meat-a-balls! I mean, it’s not super unusual because I could subsist on pasta every single day, but the meatball part is. I never really think to make them, but whenever I do I’m like, why don’t I eat these everyday?! what is wrong with me?!

So, that my friends is what Los Angeles traffic will do to you: crave meatballs.

Spaghetti & Meatballs [click to continue…]

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Gnocchi

Growing up I had an obsession with gangster movies. It started when I was like ten years old and my film buff of an uncle showed me Reservoir Dogs. When my parents picked me up from his house later that day and I started telling them my favorite lines from the too-grown-up-for-me movie I had just seen, they knew he had corrupted me. My parents were pretty bummed that I now wanted to trade in my Disney princesses for mob dudes, but I’m happy they let me watch all the shoot-’em-up movies I wanted. It made me a more well rounded child, I think.

So, When I used to think of gnocchi, my brain would first think of The Godfather 3, which, by the way, never see. Truly awful. It was the world’s first introduction to Sofia Coppola. She was sitting on a table in a velvet black dress, looking drop dead gorgeous, rolling gnocchi. While the movie was a total bust and super sad because it could’ve been good, the gnocchi scene is still one of my favorite food scenes.

If you’ve ever made gnocchi, it’s hardly diffcult, but much like pupusas, it’s very touch and feel. And I do think making it for the first time might be a little intimidating, so I figured doing a little how to on making gnocchi might be helpful.

Make Gnocchi [click to continue…]

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