Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rosemary - Garlic Focaccia Bread

Rosemary - Garlic Focaccia Bread

This recipe will make the best rosemary - garlic focaccia bread you've ever tasted.    


1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling


In a bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water and proof for 15 minutes.

Stir in 4 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well, and form into a soft, slightly sticky dough ball.

Transfer to a lightly-oiled clean bowl, turn to coat, and let rise, covered in a warm place for 1 hour.

Knead dough down and press with lightly-oiled hands into a well oiled 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan and let rise, covered loosely for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Set oven rack in center of oven.

After 30 minutes, dimple dough with your fingers in places.

Drizzle, and spread 3 tablespoons olive oil over dough; sprinkle with rosemary and minced garlic.  YOU CAN MAKE A MIXTURE OF THE OLIVE OIL, ROSEMARY AND GARLIC AHEAD OF TIME AND REFRIGERATE UNTIL NEEDED.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt over dough.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until pale golden.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting bread.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

8 to 10 servings

Italian tested and approved!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Classic Tiramisu

Classic Tiramisu

This is the classic Tiramisu Italian dessert.  It has been Italian tested and approved (see picture below).


6 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, divided
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
4 large egg whites
2 ounces dark rum
24 packaged ladyfingers
2 cups brewed espresso, room temperature
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish


In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.  Add the mascarpone cheese in 2 or 3 additions, mixing after each addition.  Add the dark rum, mixing once again until combined.

In a clean mixing bowl, using the electric hand mixer once again, beat the egg whites and remaining sugar to soft peaks.  DO NOT UNDER BEAT YOUR EGG WHITES.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU BEAT, BEAT AND CONTINUE TO BEAT FOR THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TIRAMISU.  SOFT PEAKS!!!

Fold the egg white into the mascarpone mixture in two or three additions.

In a 8-by-8-inch baking dish with sides, spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture into an even layer.

Quickly soak each individual cookie in the coffee (both sides) and arrange them tightly on top of the mascarpone mixture until completely covered.  DO NOT SOAK THE COOKIES FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  1 OR 2 SECONDS AT THE  MOST ON EACH SIDE.

Spoon another 1/3 amount of mascarpone mixture onto the cookies.

Repeat with another layer of soaked cookies and the last 1/3 amount of the mascarpone mixture, spreading it into an even layer.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 to 24 hours.

Just before serving, dust with bittersweet chocolate shavings.

5 to 7 servings

Crowded Kitchen suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness.  To reduce the risk, we recommend that you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean A or AA eggs.

Looking for another Italian Dessert?  If yes, check out this Italian Cream Cake Recipe.  It's Delicious and easy to make.

Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Italian tested and approved!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meatball Sandwich

Meatball Sandwich

You can buy bottled spaghetti sauce if you are rushed on time.   If you have time, you can make the spaghetti sauce from scratch and it will guarantee the best meatball sandwich ever!  The "All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce" is tasty and easy to make.  Give it a try!  Make the sauce and meatballs the night before and put them together in one bowl and refrigerate. This meatball sandwich will become a family favorite!


1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup Progresso, Italian style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten

6 hoggie rolls
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch salt, or to taste
1 (14 oz) jar  "All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce" (recipe address below)
6 slices provolone cheese, halved


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, gently mix by hand the ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and egg.  Shape into 24 meatballs, and place in a baking dish.

Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cut the hoggie in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from inside to make a well for the meatballs.  Brush with olive oil, and season with garlic powder and salt.


While the bread toasts, warm the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.

When the meatballs are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the sauce.

Spoon the sauce/ meatball mixture onto the hoggie and top with slices of provolone cheese.

Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese.  Cool slightly, and cut into servings.

6 servings