Fancy Food, a Spotted Pig & a Gelato Triple Play Part I

Yesterday was the last day of NASFT’s Fancy Food Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center in NYC.  My wife and I ventured in on Monday to walk the aisles and see what was new in the world of food.  To be honest, it was too much to absorb in just one day.  So I asked my friend, Giorgio Klinar (owner of Sotto Zero Gelateria in North Arlington, NJ) if he wanted to check out the show.  He said yes.  So we took the ferry into the City, and so began our New York City food adventure.

Let me start off by saying this was my first year attending the Fancy Food Show.  So for a newbie, I was extremely overwhelmed.  I mean I’ve been to the Javits Center in the past, but never have I seen one show take up the entire building.  I mean there were booths everyway.  Our plan was to not walk up and down every aisle (I actually did that on Monday).  Instead, our strategy was to attack certain areas of the show.  I think this is a better plan, especially on the last day of the show. 

In case you have never been to the Fancy Food Show, let me take a brief moment to explain to you what this show is about.  For those of you that have been, bear with me for a moment.  Okay, so the Fancy Food Show is about FOOD!!!  That’s right, Folks, you will see all kinds of food, from the obscure to the bizarre to the mainstream.  It really is a mixed bag of food.  The Fancy Food Show is where you’ll find the next big thing in the food biz.  On top of that, the show has pavilions that feature countries throughout the world and their specialty food products.  The country with the largest and busiest pavilion was Italy.  And all of this is takes place throughout the entirety of the Jacob K. Javits Center.  Every level is dedicated to the Fancy Food Show. 

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Grilled Italian Eggplant Is the Perfect Addition to Any Barbecue

This past Saturday night, I had a small barbecue with my wife, aunt, uncle and cousin.  I made the usual suspects: hamburgers, hot dogs, bone-in strip steaks.  But the dish that was the real hit was the grilled Italian eggplant.  And the preparation could not have been any easier.  Let me share it with you.

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“Simpler is better”: How I make an Arrabbiata Sauce

“How do you make an Arrabbiata Sauce?”

This question was recently posted on my Facebook page. The following is the answer that I posted back:

“That’s a nice spicy sauce that’s easy to make. You saute some garlic in olive oil. I alway use extra virgin olive oil in my cooking. To the garlic add red chili flakes. The more you add the hotter the sauce. You have to adjust the heat to your taste. Maybe start out with a 1/2 teaspoon. Once the garlic starts to brown, add crushed tomotoes (canned or fresh). Season with salt. You can use the pasta of your choice. I like spaghetti. Although in the States, penne is often used. Plate up & sauce the pasta. You can top it with grated pecorino romano & some flat leaf parsley (not the curly stuff). Buon Appetito!

P.S. Some variations include adding onion and/or pancetta. But I think simpler is better!”

Living to eat,
Tony Mangia

Introduction: “Giving in to my passion: FOOD”

Well I guess it was only a matter of time until I stopped wading in the baby end of the food blogging pool and dived into the deep end.  Ever since I can remember food has played an integral part in my life.  Even before I really “got into” food, I was into food.  Growing up, food was always around.  It was what brought our family together; whether it was a holiday, a wedding, a funeral or just our nightly supper.  We always seemed to be breaking bread. 

I can remember being mesmerized on a Sunday morning as my Father prepared the sauce.  That’s right, in the Italian-American family I grew up in we always called it sauce.  My Father would start off by making his meatballs.  He would mix all the ingredients in a BIG bowl; ground beef, raw onion, parsley, pecorino, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper.  He would then roll out these beautifully round meatballs.  These meatballs would be pan fried in olive oil.  That’s right olive oil.  We didn’t have canola oil or soy oil or corn oil or sunflower oil.  All we had was olive oil.  My favorite part of the morning was eating one of the superbly fried meatballs straight burning hot from the frying pan.  Once all the meatballs were fried, my father would move onto the sausage. After the sausage were done frying that is when the magic of the sauce began.  In the same frying pan that he fried the meatballs & sausage he would deglaze the bottom of the pan with some red wine.  Once the tasty meat bits were loosened from the bottom of the pan, he would add a small can of tomato paste.  He would proceed to cook the rawness out of the paste.  Once the paste turned a darker shade of red, he would turn the heat off.  He would then get out a big sauce pot.  One that could hold four 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes.  He would saute garlic and onion with some olive oil in the pot.  Once they started to brown, he would add his four cans of crushed tomatoes.  He would add a little water to one can, and then proceed to wash each can out with that bit of water.  The tomato water would be added to the pot.  To that he would add, he reserved cooked tomato paste.  He would then season the sauce with salt & pepper. And, yes, he put a pinch of sugar.  He always said that that was what his mother did.  Once the sauce came to a boil, he would add the fried meatballs & sausage, lower the heat so the sauce could simmer slowly for the afternoon.

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