Tuesday, December 11, 2018

La Festa dei 7 Pesci at San Lorenzo Ristorante

"The Feast of the 7 Fishes" is one of the most cherished Italian-American traditions.  Because seafood is so abundant in Italy and Catholicism encourages abstinence from meat on the eve of some religious holidays, dining on 7 types of fish (or two types of fish prepared 7 different ways) became a Christmas Eve tradition.  Although not widely celebrated in Italy, this custom dates back to early 20th-century America, when Italian immigrants in the United States wanted to pay tribute to their homeland, and is still carried on by Italian-American families today.   

This year, San Lorenzo Ristorante will honor this Italian-American ritual.  The restaurant is offering a pre-fixed menu on December 23rd and 24th for those who want to take part in this tradition. The menu is listed below, featuring many dishes that will make their debut during this event. Click here to reserve now! 

Sunday, December 23
Monday, December 24

4 COURSE ~ $65 per person

ANTIPASTI (choice of)

Lobster Bisque, Bay Scallops, Fregola, Sherry, Chives

Grilled Octopus, Shaved Fennel, Artichoke, Fingerling Potatoes, Pancetta Vinaigrette

Tuna Carpaccio, Blood Orange, Hearts of Palm, Osetra Caviar

PASTA (choice of)

Maine Lobster, Roasted Fennel, Ginger, Lobster Jus

Manila Clams, Squash Blossoms, White Wine, Calabrese Peppers

Lump Crab, Burrata, Chives, Black Garlic Aioli

SECONDI (choice of)

Sea Bass, Baby Vegetables, Roasted Tomatoes, Olives, Acqua Pazza

Salmon, Asparagus, Shaved Beets, Basil Crema, Crushed Potatoes

Scallops, Sunchokes Purée, Baby Kale, Prosciutto, Parsley Pesto

DOLCI (choice of)

Traditional Italian Dark Chocolate and Nut Holiday Cake, Whipped Mascarpone, Cranberry-Orange Coulis

Nutmeg and brandy-infused Ricotta Cheesecake, Caramel Sauce, Butter Cookie

Sorbet of the Day served with Italian Wafer Cookie

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Italian-American Celebrity Chef/TV Host Pioneer, Mary Ann Esposito Chats with CiaoDC on Her Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy!

CiaoDC Publisher, Alyssa Ciccone, chats with friend, Celebrity Chef/TV-Host and renowned author, Mary Ann Esposito on being the pioneer of Italian TV food shows; a family business; and her love letter to Italy, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy!  Be a part of the conversation here.

"Food is the glue of every family."
-Mary Ann Esposito, Italian Celebrity Chef/TV Host/Renowned Author

CiaoDC followers will receive an autographed book at a 10% discount!  Purchase your order here. use promo code CIAODC.

Enjoy Mary Ann's delicious "Deconstructed Cannoli" recipe below.  Learn the story behind this recipe in her book and CiaoDC Chat. 

Here is an unconventional way to make cannoli without having to wrap dough around a tubular form. Instead of wrapping the dough around a tubular form, roll and cut the dough into round disks and fry them. Sandwich the rich ricotta filling between the disks.

Deconstructed Cannoli
Cannoli Decostruiti
Serves 8

Ricotta Cheese Filling
1-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese, well drained*
3- tablespoons Confectioners sugar
2- teaspoons cinnamon
½ -cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped semi sweet chocolate
½- cup natural pistachio nuts, minced
1 cup whipped cream

Cannoli Dough
1-cup unbleached all purpose flour
1-tablespoon sugar
1-tablespoon butter
4 to 5 tablespoons Marsala wine

To fry
2 cups vegetable oil
Colored sugar sprinkles
Confectioners' sugar

In a bowl, whip the cheese, sugar, cinnamon and heavy cream and beat together until smooth. Stir in half the chocolate and half the nuts and cover and refrigerate.

To make the dough, place the flour in a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and sugar and mix with a fork or process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Slowly add the wine and process until a ball of dough forms. Add additional wine if the dough appears too dry. It should be soft but not sticky. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth, about 3 minutes. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 45 minutes.
Place the chilled dough on a floured work surface and divide in half. Work with one piece of dough at a time; keep the remaining dough covered. Roll the dough out into a very thin long rectangle about 14 inches long and 4 inches wide, either by hand or using a pasta machine set to the highest setting. Cut the dough into 3-inch circles. Place them on a towel lined baking sheet.

Heat the vegetable oil to 375ºF. n a heavy-duty pot and fry the disks a few at a time until golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on absorbent paper. Cool to room temperature.

To serve, lay one disk on an individual dessert plate and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta filing over the disk. Top with a second disk and spread 2 more tablespoons of the ricotta mixture. Top with third disk and add a doll-up of whipped cream and sprinkle the cream with a few of the reserved nuts and chocolate. Dust with confectioners' sugar over the top
Serve at once.
·       It is difficult to find sheep’s milk ricotta but if you can, use it.
Recipe from CIAO ITALIA (My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy) Mary Ann Esposito

Pizza Workshop at Pizza University

Pizza University is hosting a Global Pizza Workshop on December 12th, from 6:30-9:30pm.  This workshop will show students how to combine "traditional inspiration and gourmet innovations," teaching about the history of Neapolitan pizza, wine-and-pizza pairing, and more! 

Tickets must be purchased by tomorrow, December 5th.  Click here to RSVP

Thursday, November 29, 2018

CiaoDC Chat with Host of "Dream of Italy" on PBS!

CiaoDC recently chatted with Kathy McCabe, the Executive Producer and Host of PBS' Dream of Italy travel series and Editor and Publisher of Dream of Italy magazine.  Tune into our latest interview as Kathy discusses her Italian heritage, visits to the country, and her work on Dream of Italy.  Listen here to listen to the full CiaoDC Chat or visit dreamofitaly.com to learn more!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bella Italia Market - Vendor List

The much-anticipated Bella Italia Market at Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center is happening this weekend, December 1st and 2nd. The market will serve as a great venue for Christmas shopping, with Italian goods, food, and more!  See a list of some of the market's vendors below:

Dolci Gelati, cheese & ice cream
Appian Market, handcrafted accessories, shoes
Barboursville Vineyards, wine
Franca Bartoli, fashion designer
Batistini Farms, olive oil & more
Beretta USA Corp., sport fashions & leather accessories
Calligaris, home decor
Giancarlo Chiancone, art
Daminano Durante, art and portraits
Ferrante Fotography, photo art
Illy Coffee, espresso & more
The Italian Store, specialty foods & more
LA MOTO of Washington, D.C., Vespa motorcycles
Patricia & Franca, Italian treasures
Paolo Nascimbeni/Life in Italy, Deruta ceramics, wall art
Melitta Paterni, cashmere accessories
Davide Prete, sculpture & jewelry
Angela Puglisi, art
Giovanni Raspini, silver jewelry
Regina Grace Designs, novelty items
Regnum Siciliae Imports, Sicilian ceramics, bags, more
Amina Rubinacci USA Inc., upscale fashions
Santa Maria Novella USA, beauty products
Serafino Fine Italian Leather, leather accessories
Monica A. Tierney, books 

"Stars for Darfur" Event to Help Genocide Victims

Italians in DC is teaming up with Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) to raise 
money for Sudanese genocide survivors in honor of International Human Rights Day.  
All proceeds will benefit humanitarian crisis relief.

"Stars for Darfur" will feature Italian and Sudanese musicians and an auction for handmade crafts made by women in Darfur.  The event will be held at Tenley Bar & Grill in D.C. and will begin at 5pm on December 8th.  Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. For more information, contact program@darfurwomenaction.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

CiaoDC Chats with Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich on her new Memoir and PBS Special!

CiaoDC Publisher and Host, Alyssa Ciccone chats with Emmy-Award winning Chef/Author Lidia Giuliana Mattichio Bastianich.  Lidia discusses her struggle as an immigrant, her journey of building an Italian food empire, the importance of the family, the sacredness of the dinner table, and, finally, rediscovering America through food!  For full podcast, listen here.

PBS Special: Lidia Celebrates America , A Heartland Holiday Feast will debut on December 18th on PBS. For more information click here.  Her new memoir, My American Dream, A Life of Love, Family and Food is in bookstores now!  See more information here.

"Being Italian is all about family....and the dinner table is a very special place."
-Lidia Bastianich