By Rachel Kubicek
In the mood for Italian?
Chef Jose Nieves, head chef at Amore Cooking Center, 2639 E. 32nd St., has a bevy of recipes that will transform an array of ingredients into delicious Italian cuisine.
But an authentic Italian meal just isn't complete without a mouthwatering dessert. Nieves offers up zabaglione with strawberries - an Italian custard with Marsala wine - as the perfect finale to the meal.
"You will usually find this in upscale restaurants and will cost between $15 to $20 per serving," he said. "It is very easy to make on your own,"
Nieves says the dessert can be made in just a few easy steps.
What you'll need
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup white wine
A splash of Marsala wine
1/2 cup sugar
3 drops vanilla
Remove the green from the strawberries and cut into slices. Nieves says he uses organic strawberries. “You pay a little more for organic, but they are a little smaller and more meaty with great flavor,” he says.
Drizzle lemon juice over the strawberries and set them aside. The lemon juice will help bring out the sweetness and color in the dessert dish, according to Nieves.
Mix all remaining ingredients, including 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, in a saucepan.
Over medium heat, beat vigorously until mixture thickens. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. If necessary, remove the pot from time to time until mixture reaches desired consistency.
“The mixture will have a custard-like consistency,” Nieves says.
Pour the zabaglione over the strawberries. Refrigerate if desired or serve warm.
Beef stew with tomatoes
2 pounds beef cubes
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for sauting
2 onions diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
2 to 3 carrots chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas
Dash of hot sauce
Dredge beef cubes in flour. Shake off the excess flour. Sear beef cubes into hot oil and remove from pan. Saut onion and garlic until translucent. Add beef back to pan and deglaze with wine. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add carrots and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add sweet peas and hot sauce. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until meat is tender.
Garlic mashed potatoes
2 pounds red skin potatoes, cut to 1-inch pieces
10 tablespoons butter (11/4 stick)
3 garlic gloves-minced
salt and pepper
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling, salted water until tender, about 18 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saut until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Coarsely mash the potatoes. Add chicken base to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Spinach salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette
Roasted garlic vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon roasted garlic puree
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 shallot minced or 1/4 onion minced
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In mixing bowl add garlic puree, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Add oil while whisking to emulsify.
1 (9-ounce) bag of spinach
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 squash sliced
1 zucchini sliced
1 small red onion sliced
In large mixing bowl, add spinach and toss with vinaigrette. Plate spinach and top with vegetables.
Learn the 'Fundamentals'
The Amore Cooking Center is currently offering the "Fundamentals of Cooking Series." The 10-week series is $395, or $49 per class. For more information, visit www.amorecookingcenter.com.
By Rachel Kubicek
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