03/27/13 Monte Cristo Chicken

"Anche l'occhio vuole la sua parte." (Even an eye wants it's part. Even one's appearance is important.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Potato, Onion and Fennel Salad
  -Linguine with Leeks in Spicy Tomato Sauce
  -Monte Cristo Chicken

"Buongiorno a tutti!" Thank you again for taking some time out for your Italian recipes. More recipes are on the way... "Ciao!"

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Potato, Onion and Fennel Salad

Potato, Onion and Fennel Salad
Insalata di Patate, Cipolla e Finocchio


8 baby golden potatoes, cut in half
1/4 large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (save the fronds)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Agave nectar
1 and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1-2 tsp for roasting
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh black pepper


Preheat oven to 425?F.

Place potatoes, onion, and fennel on a rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Toss, with hands to be sure all of the vegetables are coated.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning the vegetables just one time, until the potatoes are cooked through and starting to brown slightly.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a mixing bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight lid, and shake the jar to emulsify the dressing.

Spoon as much of the dressing as you need onto the warm vegetables, and stir to combine (the vinaigrette will absorb into the warm vegetables).

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Garnish with the saved fennel fronds, and serve. Serves 2.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Leeks in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Linguine with Leeks in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Linguine con Porri in Salsa di Pomodoro Piccante


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), split lengthwise, sliced crosswise
1 and 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

12 ounces linguine
1 and 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, divided


Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add next 3 ingredients.

Saute 1 minute.

Add leeks.

Saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes.

Stir 1 minute.

Add wine and vinegar.

Bring to boil.

Cover and cook until tomatoes break down, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain, reserving 1 and 1/4 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta liquid, and 3/4 cup cheese to sauce in skillet.

Toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, adding more liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve, passing 1 cup of cheese separately. Makes 4 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Monte Cristo Chicken

Monte Cristo Chicken
Pollo Monte Cristo


1 tablespoon plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
Herbes de Provence
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon butter
Julienned lemon zest (optional)


Heat oven to 375?F.

Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat.

Season chicken with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence.

Dust with flour, tap off excess.

Cook, meaty side down, 5 minutes.

Turn over and cook 1 minute.

Add garlic and shallot and stir 30 seconds.

Add wine and cook 1 minute.

Add stock and cook 30 seconds.

Add lemon juice.

Transfer pan to oven.

Bake until chicken is cooked through, 9 to 13 minutes.

Transfer chicken to cutting board.

Place pan over medium heat.

Simmer sauce 1 minute.

Add butter.

Swirl pan until butter incorporates and sauce thickens slightly.

Cut each breast into 4 slices.

Transfer each to a plate.

Top with sauce and garlic.

Garnish with zest, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Those Poor Southern Italians...And Their Yachts

Bari - April 3, 2012 - In a nation wide push to clean up tax evasion, officials in the southern port town of Bari cross-checked income declarations with boat values and uncovered owners declaring little or no incomes with costly boats, police said on Tuesday.

The operation dubbed 'Sailing Money' monitored 963 private boats, including 755 yachts over 10 meters in length, docked in ports around Bari.

Police checks uncovered the owner of a yacht valued at 310,000 Euros ($409,000 USD) who declared no income, a company with a 36,354 Euro ($47,990 USD) yearly turnover in possession of a 120,000 Euro ($158,000 USD) sailboat and a company earning 1,326 Euros ($1750 USD) annually listed as the owners of a 700,000 Euro ($924,000 USD) yacht.

Italy's internal revenue agency has been ramping up pressure on tax dodgers by introducing a new system to flush out evaders through income and spending cross checks.

Hmmm...we could be mistaken but we strongly feel Italy's internal revenue agency is being a bit harsh and nitpicking on the poor South again. Don't you agree? "Si?"

The revenue agency should take into strong consideration that most of these yachts were purchased by Southern Italians that scrimped and saved for many years. Remember, growing your own food, pumping your own gas, collecting coupons and saving string goes a long way.

We don't know about you but it pains us to see these poor "figli di puttane" pull in and drop anchor in front of the soup kitchens.

Not to change the subject, but we would also like to point out that most Southern Italians are proud and honest people who are capable of proving the stereotypes wrong:

- We're not afraid of hard work...well, unless it's low paying hard work.
- No need to act surprised that we wear shoes and belts to hold up our pants instead of spare rope.
- We have gas stoves in our homes. We don't have to wait for lightening to hit a tree for a fire to start.

But, "mamma mia", we would have loved to have filmed the scenes down at the port when those "Baresi" tried to explain where those yachts came from.

"Ma, porca vacca, NO, NO and NO! The taxes owed last year minus the..." (watching their conversations go visual, words highlighted by hands which work furiously overtime, and fingers moving into extraordinary shapes as if the talker were working on invisible pizza dough in his hands).

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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