This is Amy + Michelle

This is Amy + Michelle

This A.M.

Amy and Michelle became instant friends because of the common interests they share in their love of fashion, food, music and traveling. In This A.M. Amy and Michelle will share recipes, thoughts on eats, their unique fashion style and lifestyles from Toronto to Tampa...... 1,098 miles apart!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Steve-O's Italiano Birthday Feast

This A.M. Steve is still in bed. He is not sick, just had a little too much fun last night! Yesterday was his birthday and since we had been out every night this weekend, Steve asked if we could celebrate his birthday at home. But being at home didn't stop him from enjoying a few drinks while I was cooking him a special dinner. His favorite food is Italian so I made Caprese salad to start and Chicken Parmesan served with angel hair and 5 grain Italian bread stuffed with 6 cheeses and spinach. Steve loved his dinner so I thought I would share the recipes with you (recipe for the yummy bread coming soon)!

Caprese Salad Tower

2 large fresh buffalo mozzerela
3 vine tomatoes
balsamic syrup*
extra virgin light olive oil
fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Method: Evenly slice mozzarella and tomatoes. Lay them all out and lightly salt and pepper them. Build each tower with the largest tomato slice in diameter on the bottom, followed by the largest slice of mozzarella, next a drizzle of balsamic syrup and finally a pinch of basil. Repeat process until you have 3 evenly stacked towers. Now drizzle a small amount of olive oil over each stack, drizzle a little more balsamic syrup and sprinkle extra basil around and on the plate.

*Balsamic Syrup - Heat 4 cups of sugar and 2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a pan until boiling and all the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for up to a month. The secret ingredient I use on many things! Wonderful with pancetta wrapped shrimp (recipe here) or on a green bean salad topped with a goat cheese fritter (get that recipe here)!

Chicken Parmesan

4 chicken cutlets (if you only have the large boneless skinless breast, slice in half lengthwise, in other words turning one thick piece of chicken into two thinner slices.)
2 cups of shredded Mozzarella or Italian 6 cheese blend
1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for the table
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
About 2 cups Marinara sauce* plus extra for pasta and for sauce lovers, serving extra with the chicken parm
Basil for garnish
Favorite pasta

Preheat oven to 375 and place a pammed 9 x 13 baking dish in the oven.

Line up three bowls. In the first put the flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper, in the second the whisked eggs and in the third the bread crumbs with 1/4 cup off the mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Coat chicken in flour, then egg and finally in the bread crumb mixture, patting to coat well. Place chicken in baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top each piece of chicken with about 1/4 cup marinara followed by a liberal amount of mozzarella cheese. Spoon marinara around chicken pieces so they are semi-submerged in sauce. Return pan to oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with basil, serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.

Mackers' Marinara

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup pureed or finely chopped onion
1 cup white wine
2 minced garlic cloves
1 28 oz cans of Tomato Puree
1 15 oz can of Tomato Puree
1 28 oz can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon dry parsley
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Sea Salt, fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh basil, add just before dinner time

Heat a little olive oil in a pot. Add onion and saute until tender. Add wine and garlic and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Add all the spices and cans of tomatoes, bring to a boil stirring frequently, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. These yields enough sauce for some leftovers, make pizza with it later in the week. The sauce is fine in the fridge for 5 or 6 days.

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