Chicken Madeira

 


  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

Move over Chicken Marsala...we're here to introduce you to our juicy Chicken Maderia that will elevate your dinner to a whole new level that's sure to please! Tender chicken breasts combined with mushrooms and asparagus in a wonderful creamy Madeira sauce topped with melted gooey mozzarella (or as our old family from Brooklyn would say, Mootzadell, dropping the last vowel of a word was very common because they were always in a hurry! In carrying on that tradition, we think we'll start to call it Mootz) 😂😂 Whichever way you pronounce it, this dish is delicious. Our family loves this chicken dish and we hope it will become a new favorite of yours. We're sure your family and friends will be asking for more just like ours do so you might want to make a double batch! 😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 12 -15 thinly sliced chicken breasts, season with salt & pepper
  • 2 bundles of asparagus, blanched
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 32 oz small button mushrooms, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced (or 4 frozen Dorot garlic cubes)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 3 cups Madeira wine
  • 3 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Trim asparagus by snapping the ends off. Wash well and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil, enough to cover asparagus and boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove to a large bowl filled with ice water to stop color turning. Drain well then set aside.
  3. In a large oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat melt half the butter & half the EVOO until hot. Add the whole mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until golden brown. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes then add the garlic & parsley. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove the mushroom mixture to a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet on medium-high heat, add the remaining butter and EVOO. Once hot, place seasoned chicken breasts in a single layer and sear quickly about 2 minutes on each side, just to get golden brown. Do not overcook as the chicken will finish cooking when everything is combined. Remove chicken and drain in layers on paper towels. Set aside.
  5. In the same skillet on high, add the Maderia wine and boil until reduced by half, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the beef broth and boil for about 10 -12 minutes until reduced to half.
  6. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in heavy cream and simmer until sauce thickens. Season with salt & pepper to taste. (Sauce will not be real thick; however, you may add a small amount of flour to thicken)
  7. Add chicken back to skillet coating both sides with sauce. Add the mushroom mixture and asparagus on top then sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
  8. Broil on top rack in the oven just until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve.

 

Notes:  For a large crowd, simply triple the recipe. This recipe is Gluten-Free & Keto-Friendly as long as you don’t add flour. Chicken Madeira is a delicious meal on its own but if you’re looking to stretch it, serve with pasta or rice to soak up the amazing Madeira sauce.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Eggplant Zucchini Lasagna Casserole – Twiins Style 🍆🍆

 


  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Easy

Casseroles are a great way to combine your family's favorite vegetables into a one-dish meal that is sure to please. Our family loves eggplant, zucchini, ricotta cheese & mozzarella (among many other foods) so we combined all those ingredients into a delicious casserole? They loved this dish so much that they requested it 3 nights in a row! You can make this casserole with or without sausage because it's just as hardy without it plus you get the added bonus of it being Gluten-Free and Keto friendly if you follow a keto diet. You and your family will love it! 😋😋

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, firm to touch
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (or 1 of each,  personal preference )
  • 1 lb bulk Italian Sweet or Hot Sausage, optional (bulk country sausage can be substituted)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 8-10 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • enough EVOO to lightly coat all the sliced eggplant & zucchini before roasting, plus extra for lightly coating the baking sheet
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to season eggplant & zucchini before roasting
  • 1 cup ricotta (we used whole milk but you can use skim or fat-free if desired)
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  •  2 shakes crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated plus extra for between layers
  • 8 oz. mozzarella, grated & divided in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped & divided plus a few whole leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Cut the end stems from each end of the eggplant, zucchini or summer squash.
  2. Slice into 1/2-inch thick round pieces.
  3. With a small pastry brush, lightly brush EVOO over both sides of the eggplant and zucchini.
  4. Position your oven racks to upper and lower thirds of your oven.
  5. Preheat oven to 500ºF. Once it reaches 500ºF lower to 425ºF.
  6. On a small rimmed baking sheet (no parchment paper) place tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves.
  7. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon EVOO over the tomatoes & unpeeled garlic. Toss with your hands to coat, roast on the top oven rack for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes blister & garlic is soft & caramelized. Remove from oven when done and set aside to cool.
  8. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and drizzle a very small amount of EVOO in each pan.
  9. Arrange the eggplant slices in a singer layer in one of the pans then arrange the zucchini in the second pan.
  10. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the tops of eggplant & zucchini only.
  11. Using a pastry brush, use 2 Tablespoons or more of EVOO to lightly brush over the eggplant and zucchini slices in both pans (both sides).
  12. Place pan with eggplant on top oven rack and zucchini on middle rack and roast at 425ºF for 15-25 minutes until nicely browned but not burnt. Zucchini might brown before the eggplant so check often as individual oven temperatures vary.
  13. Once browned, use a spatula to flip eggplant & zucchini over. Continue roasting the eggplant & zucchini until brown, about 10 minutes, checking often.
  14. Once done, remove from oven & let cool.
  15. In a medium skillet brown the bulk sausage meat until fully cooked. Drain & set aside in a bowl until ready to begin layering process.
  16. In a medium bowl combine 1 cup ricotta, red pepper flakes, 1/2 beaten egg, 2 Tablespoons chopped basil, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and 6 oz mozzarella. Drizzle a tsp of EVOO and mix with a fork to combine. Add salt to taste.
  17. Remove the cooked garlic cloves from the cooled tomato pan & move to a cutting board. Using a fork, press on the skins to remove the soft, caramelized garlic. The skins can be discarded. Mash the cloves into a paste then add to the ricotta mixture and combine well.
  18. In a shallow 2-qt baking dish drizzle some EVOO on the bottom. Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant & zucchini in a single layer. Add 1/3 the blistered tomatoes and scatter them around. Add a dollop of ricotta evenly over each vegetable section (do not spread, leave dollop as is). Add half the drained cooked sausage and sprinkle on top of ricotta dollops. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
  19. Tear some of the basil leaves and generously scatter around the first layer.
  20. Repeat step 18 & 19 for the second layer.
  21. Add remaining ricotta mixture on top of the second layer, top with remaining slices of eggplant & zucchini then add the remaining tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Roman cheese and top with remaining shredded mozzarella.
  22. Bake approximately 20 – 25  minutes at 425 ºF or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.
  23. Remove from oven. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

 

Notes:  2 large and 1 small rimmed baking sheets are needed for this recipe. We used Neese’s Country Sausage (bulk) in this recipe; however,  the meat is optional.  Add some sauteed mushrooms if you’re a mushroom lover like Teresa is. Can be served as a main dish (4-5 servings) or a side dish (6-8 servings).

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Italian Sausage and Peppers

 

Italian Sausage and Peppers

  • Servings: Yields 4-6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy

Italian Sausage & Peppers has been a favorite in our family for as long as we can remember. Typically our parents and grandparents used only green bell peppers but we always liked to use a mix of red, orange and yellow bells for taste and pop of color. For an easy weeknight dinner-this Classic Italian meal is delicious and if there are any leftovers you can combine with scrambled eggs for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch the next day! It’s so easy and quick to cook you’ll surely want to make this a regular item on your menu. Whether you serve it casually as a sandwich or over your favorite pasta you’re family or guests will love it. 😋😋

Ingredients

  • 12 Italian Sausage links (mix sweet and hot together for a little heat)
  • 2 Red Bell peppers, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Yellow Bell peppers, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Orange Bell Peppers, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Green Bell pepper (Optional), sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large onions, sliced thick
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper to taste                                                                                                                          

Directions

  1. In a large skillet (we use a 16-inch electric skillet with lid) heat 2 Tablespoons of EVOO on medium.
  2. Place all sausages in a covered skillet and brown on all sides. (Cook sausages in 2 batches if using a smaller skillet).
  3. Once browned add oregano, peppers, and onions and cook covered 7-10 minutes until vegetables are softened and slightly charred/browned. Stir regularly.
  4. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  5. At this point, you can serve hot as is or add some Basic Tomato Sauce and serve over pasta or rice.

Notes: It’s important to cook the sausage & peppers in a covered skillet to keep in the juices and get the sausages tender. This recipe can be doubled or tripled for a large party gathering. It’s always a big hit and chances are there won’t be any leftovers!

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Mom’s Asparagus Patties

 

Mom's Asparagus Patties

  • Difficulty: Easy

Whenever we saw our Mom and Grandma Florence mixing a batch of asparagus patties it sparked our excitement for the upcoming holiday meal. The aroma of cooked asparagus, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, and grated cheese filled the air and made our mouths water. As kids, we really didn't like a lot of vegetables but asparagus patties were always one vegetable we looked forward too. We would always sneak some from the covered aluminum tray where they piled them up until cooking was complete. To this day we are brought back to our childhood when we make them with loving memories. You don't have to wait for a holiday to make this wonderful side dish. It's a great side that goes well with most poultry, beef, and pork.

Ingredients

  • 2 bundles fresh asparagus, cooked until soft then cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 5  eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the mixture is too loose)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  •  5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Canola or Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Cook the fresh asparagus spears in salted, boiling water until soft, approximately 6-8 minutes. Drain all water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the grated cheese, parsley, salt, pepper & garlic.
  3. Mix together until everything is combined.
  4. Add cut asparagus to the mixture then add the bread crumbs and mix well. The mixture should be on the thick side but not dry. If too loose add additional bread crumbs 1 tsp at a time. (Not too dry) If too dry, add another egg.
  5. In a large skillet pour oil to 1/8-inch depth and heat on medium until hot then lower flame to medium-low. Using a regular tablespoon drop mixture into skillet to form patties. Don’t overcrowd the skillet.
  6. Let cook until brown. Turn over and cook another minute or two until browned.
  7. Remove each pattie with a spatula and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Make layers of patties using paper towels in-between to absorb the excess oil.
  8. When all patties are cooked, pat excess oil off and place on a serving platter.
  9. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes: Try adding some crumbled bacon or diced pancetta to the mixture for a punch of savory.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

 

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Montauk Lentils & Couscous

 


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

In August of 2010 Teresa and I took an end of summer weekend trip to Montauk, Long Island with all of our girls. My youngest niece Lauren was also passing on the ‘clean-up’ torch to my granddaughter which she adamantly refused to accept! Our group of seven included me, my daughter Jennifer, granddaughter Stefani, Teresa, her daughters Tracy, Susan, Lauren and Kerri, her daughter-in-law. We were all crammed into a 2 bedroom rental for an end of summer weekend getaway with just us girls to relax & enjoy the sun and beach. Teresa bought matching whimsical nightgowns from Kohl's to commemorate the trip (as was her custom). Needless to say, it rained the whole time we were there! No sun, no beach, but plenty of food and laughs. We brought an abundance of groceries with us but forgot the couscous. When lunchtime came around we went to the only store close to our rental and purchased some. I originally came up with this dish for my son Jason's vegetarian friend when he was in college. It quickly became a favorite of mine as it was so quick and easy to prepare. The girls loved it and couldn't get enough of it so the recipe became known as Montauk Lentils & Couscous. When the rain finally stopped it was time to head back home. Although we were rained out for the entire weekend, we made our own sunshine & have the best memories of our girls trip.🌞🌞 The Rhode Island girls trip is another story...has anyone seen the Naval War College? Where's the token for the bridge, again? 😂 😂

Ingredients

  • 2 cans lentils, do not drain (or 2 cups cooked brown lentils)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh spinach, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups cooked Israeli couscous  (aka Pearl couscous)
  • Pecorino Romano  cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth if needed

Directions

  1. In a large skillet heat EVOO & butter.
  2. On medium-low heat, saute onion & garlic until they are translucent and start to carmelize.
  3. Add salt & pepper along with the dried thyme & stir.
  4. Add the torn spinach and continue to saute until spinach is wilted.
  5. Add the lentils and stir well. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, garlic powder or thyme if needed.
  6.  Add the cooked couscous to the lentils and heat for a few minutes until hot.
  7. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and enjoy!

Notes:  If too thick, add 1/2 cup chicken broth. To make this dish gluten-free use  GF  Couscous or GF Orzo pasta.

 

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Penne Alla Vodka

 

Barbara first made Penne Ala Vodka for her son’s engagement party using a recipe from a friend of a friend. It has undergone a few changes over the years before it became an all-time family favorite…her granddaughter Stefani could live on this alone! Stefani recently requested that Barbara make it for her baby shower, and she was disappointed when there weren’t any leftovers to take home to Virginia! It’s always a big crowd pleaser and a must have for every holiday dinner.

This recipe is delicious and not your typical restaurant flavor. If you’re not a fan of a little heat, omit the cayenne but it’s really not a strong kick. 

Ingredients

Servings: 8-10

  • Prepare basic tomato sauce ahead of time (see recipe link below)
  • 2 lbs. Penne pasta with the lines (sauce sticks to it better)
  • 6 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 8-10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for a bigger kick)
  • 6-8 shakes red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1/2 lb. very thin sliced Prosciutto, shred into pieces with your fingers
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1 qt heavy cream (light cream can also be used)
  • 4 cups of already prepared Basic Tomato Sauce, (or your favorite red sauce)
  • 4 heaping handfuls of Pecorino Romano grated cheese (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese,  shredded or diced

Instructions

  • Saute garlic and prosciutto in melted butter in a deep skillet.
  • Add salt, cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes.
  • Add vodka to deglaze and stir well.
  • Add cream, red sauce, and Pecorino Romano cheese. 
  • Simmer & stir until it comes to a boil, don’t overcook.
  • Add mozzarella just after it comes to a boil to avoid mozzarella from balling up.
  • Pour 2 ladles of vodka sauce over cooked penne to coat.
  • Use remaining sauce to top individual servings and pour the additional sauce in a gravy boat for the table.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves. 


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The Best Napoletana Meatballs – Twiins Style

 

The Best Napoletana Meatballs - Twiins Style

  • Servings: Yields 30-35

One of our best Sunday morning memories is of our mother frying meatballs for our Sunday dinner. There is something to be said for the wonderful aroma of meatballs frying along with the anticipation of the meal to follow, as it was usually shared with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It wasn't just a meal...it was an event! Sundays were always special in our home because we would get to spend time with our cousins who we had so much fun with. As soon as Mom started placing the cooked meatballs in the bowl we would sneak into the kitchen to grab them out of the bowl while they were still hot; a tradition that our children and husbands still carry on today! 😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 2½ lbs ground beef 80-85% lean/20-15% fat (or 2½ lbs of  ground beef, veal, and pork mixture)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 loaf day-old Italian bread soaked in milk (should yield 8 squeezed-out meatball sized mounds of bread)
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 large handfuls grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EVOO (for frying)                                                                                                                                           

Directions

  1. Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl, break up with a fork and set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, soak bread in enough milk to cover. Let bread absorb milk then squeeze out milk between your hands. (You should have 7-8 handfuls, discard milk)
  3. Place squeezed out bread on top of ground meat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to combine well.
  5. Make a well in the center of the meat mixture and place all the eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and the parsley.
  6. With a large fork scramble the eggs, cheese, and parsley in the well, then start to combine into the entire meat mixture. You can do this best with your hands that are scrupulously clean or with gloves…your preference.
  7. Once well combined (don’t over mix) scoop out about 1/2 handful of meat mixture and roll into a ball and place on parchment or waxed paper. Continue making meatballs until all meat has been formed.
  8. In a large skillet pour enough EVOO to about 3/4 inches in depth. Let the oil get hot, then working in batches, brown all sides (Don’t overload, allow each meatball some breathing room).
  9. When meatballs are browned and crisp remove to a paper towel lined bowl or tray. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked.
  10. 30 minutes before your tomato sauce is ready, place cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce and continue cooking the sauce.
  11. Serve with your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Notes:  These meatballs freeze well and can be used at a later date. They are delicious as a stand-alone meal with or without tomato sauce. Make them smaller and they become a delicious appetizer, add mozzarella & some tomato sauce for meatball parmigiana heroes!😋😋

 

 

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Creamy Garlic Shrimp & Scallops with Fettuccine – Twiins Style

 

Creamy Garlic Shrimp & Scallops with Fettuccine - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup EVOO, plus 2-3 Tablespoons
  • 10 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large shallot heads (4 big cloves)
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 2 cups white wine (we use Chardonnay)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh basil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh thyme (or 3 tsp dried)
  • 3 cups heavy cream or Half-and-Half cream
  • 2 lbs sea scallops (20-30 count)
  • 1½ – 2 lbs extra-large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • sprinkle of garlic powder on scallops before sautéing
  • 2 tsp lemon zest for garnish (optional)
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil for garnish (optional)
  • 1½- 2 lbs cooked fettuccine or angel hair pasta (use Gluten-Free pasta if gluten is an issue)

    Directions

    1. Heat pasta water to boiling then lower to simmer before preparing the meal.
    2. Pat dry the scallops and shrimp on paper towels. Cover with paper towels and set aside.
    3. In a large skillet, heat 1/3 cup EVOO on medium then sauté shallots and garlic until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes.
    4. Pour the white wine into the skillet to deglaze.
    5. Add the parsley, basil, and thyme and cook until liquid is reduced by half.
    6. Transfer mixture into a medium saucepan.
    7. Add the cream & half the Pecorino Romano cheese into the medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by half (about 15 minutes).
    8. In the large skillet add 2-3 Tablespoons of EVOO. Using medium-high heat, allow the oil to get hot enough then add the scallops and sprinkle garlic powder on top. Sauté on both sides just until they turn opaque & feel springy with a pair of tongs. Don’t overcook. Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
    9. Bring pasta water up to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Cover and set aside until remaining seafood (shrimp) is cooked.
    10. Now sauté the shrimp in the same skillet until the shrimp just turn pink. Remove and place the shrimp in the platter with the scallops, continue to cover with foil.
    11. Add 1/2 the cream sauce to the large skillet and quickly toss with the cooked pasta. Mix well and plate the pasta in individual pasta dishes. Pour remaining cream sauce in a small gravy boat to add extra sauce if desired.
    12. Top with asparagus & arrange the seafood on top, garnish with extra sauce, grated cheese, lemon zest, and sprigs of basil, if desired.
    13. Enjoy!

    Notes: Substitute with Gluten-Free pasta for a delicious Gluten-Free meal.

     

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    Italian Cannoli Cream – Twiins Style

     

    Italian Cannoli Cream - Twiins Style

    • Servings: 40-60 Cannolis
    • Difficulty: Easy

    Anyone who knows Barbara knows she's a cannoli snob! She compares every cannoli she tastes to her favorite Italian Bakery in Lindenhurst, New York (including the cannoli we had in Italy). There are so many versions of cannolis throughout Italy and every Italian neighborhood throughout the United States that it would be impossible to choose which one is best... So, we set out to incorporate the best of all the cannolis we've ever tried and are so happy to share our best version with you. ❤️❤️

    Ingredients

    • 4½ lbs whole milk ricotta (drained overnight to remove all excess liquid)
    • 1½ lbs granulated sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2-3 drops cinnamon oil (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
    • 1/4 cup citron, diced
    • 1/4 cup candied orange peel, diced
    • 4 oz semi-sweet Mini chocolate chips (may substitute with bittersweet chips, depending on your preference.)

    Directions

    1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, place the drained ricotta cheese into the mixing bowl, mix the cheese on lowest speed to combine and smooth.
    2. Add granulated sugar and allow to mix in until dissolved completely. The texture should be smooth, not grainy.
    3. Add the vanilla & cinnamon oil.
    4. Mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.
    5. Gently fold in the citron, candied orange and mini chocolate chips.
    6. Place in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to pipe into cannolis & serve.
    7. Before piping, cut the tip of the pastry bag large enough to allow the chips to pass through.

    Notes: If using ground cinnamon, your cannoli filling will not be white. 

    Do not fill cannoli’s until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy.

    Cannoli Cream Filling can also be used for cakes, cupcakes, and as a pastry filling.

     

     

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    Pastiera Napoletana (Easter Grain Pie)

     

    • Servings: 2 pies
    • Difficulty: Medium

    We are so excited to share our all-time family favorite Easter dessert with you, Pastiera Napoletana or Easter Grain Pie, also known as Pizza Grano. During our trip to Italy last year, at a farmhouse dinner in Naples, we had a wonderful dessert at the end of our meal. As soon as we tasted it we thought it was just like Grandma Florence & Mom used to make! That unique flavor was such a wonderful memory for us. After Grandma and Mom passed away, the only time we could enjoy Pastiera Napoletana was to buy it at the Italian bakery during Easter time. We searched high & low throughout all of our recipe folders & boxes for their recipe but never found it. Then while gathering our recipes for this blog, we discovered that Teresa's daughter Tracy had it, or should I say had all 3 versions of the same recipe... Mom's handwriting and instructions made it somewhat challenging to decipher. Our first bite took us back in time...we nailed it! Don't be intimidated by the many steps to this recipe. We know it seems like a lot of work but if you break it down as we recommend, it's not difficult. If you're looking to add to your holiday traditions, this recipe is well worth it! Happy Easter 🐰 🐰

    Ingredients

    • GRAIN
    • 1 jar 580 gr Grano Cotto (we use Fratelli D’Amico Cooked Wheat Grain– 20.5 oz)
    • 3 ¼ cups whole milk
    • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
    • 2 lbs. whole milk ricotta (wrap in cheesecloth then put in a large strainer inside a bowl in the refrigerator overnight to drain excess liquid)
    • FILLING
    • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup Paradise Candied Citron (diced)
    • 1/4 cup Paradise Candied Orange Peel (diced)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (slightly heaping)
    • 6 eggs
    • 3 drops Fiori di Sicilia
    • DOUGH
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 12 Tablespoons salted butter – cold
    • 1/4 vegetable shortening – cold
    • 2 tsp orange zest
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • ice water (1 Tablespoon at a time as needed)

    Directions

    1. DAY 1 – First Step grain filling.
    2. In a 6 qt pot, add the jar of Grano Cotto, milk and butter. Cook on the lowest heat setting of your stove for about 2 -4 hours. Stir frequently to avoid burning bottom. Do not let the milk curdle. The mixture should be thick & creamy and the grain extremely soft. (On the lowest burner setting it was still too hot so we put an additional stove grill on top of the cooking burner and it was just right to prevent the milk from curdling, see pictures below.)
    3. Add additional milk if it dries out before the grains are soft.
    4. Once the grain mixture is done, pour in a bowl and cool. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    5. Day 2 – Make the Dough
    6. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, vanilla, salt, sugar and orange zest. Mix to combine well.
    7. Add the cold butter, shortening and mix until it looks combined. You should see little pieces of butter & shortening not mixed throughout.
    8. Add the eggs and mix until the dough starts to come together.
    9. While the mixer is still running, add 1 Tablespoon of ice water at a time until the dough starts to form a ball.
    10. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a round ball then cut into 2 equal portions.
    11. Roll each piece into a round ball until smooth. Cut 1/3 off each dough ball (use a scale to weigh each for accuracy). You should end up with 2 large dough balls and 2 small dough balls. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap then slightly flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for about an hour.
    12. Day 2 – Make Part 2 of the Grain Filling (Ricotta Filling)
    13. Using the whisk attachment, place the drained ricotta into the large bowl of your standing mixer. Add the sugar and eggs. Whisk until smooth, a few minutes on the low setting.
    14. Add the cooled grain mixture and continue to mix a few minutes until well incorporated.
    15. Lastly, add the citron, cinnamon, and Fiori di Sicilia. Mix on low until blended. Set aside until ready to fill pie pan.
    16. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter two 9-inch metal pie pans and set aside.
    17. Work with one of the larger dough balls at a time and roll out onto a floured surface to about 12 inches round. Place over one of the metal pie pans; make sure the dough is hanging over the pan edge.
    18. Fill the dough with half of the grain & ricotta filling but do not overfill. The filling should be about 1/2 inch below pan ridge. The filling rises quite a bit during baking.
    19. Lightly apply water around the rim of the pie dough. This will seal the dough to the strips in the next step.
    20. Using the small balls of dough, roll out onto a floured surface then cut strips about 1 inch wide. Lay them across diagonally to form a diamond pattern.
    21. Using the overhanging dough, pull up & over the strips & press to seal. Place completed pie on a large baking sheet and repeat the same process for the second pie.
    22. Bake approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or a little longer. The filling should be set, not jiggle. The crust should be golden brown. If the edges brown faster than the top, cover edges with foil.
    23. When done, remove from oven and let pies cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
    24. Day 3 – Remove pie from the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a great cup of coffee or espresso.

    Notes: Don’t overfill the pie pan as depicted below. Teresa got a little carried away forgetting we had another pie pan to fill.🤦🏻‍♀️

    Must be room temperature before refrigerating.

     

     

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