Five Summer Specials

Five Summer Specials

Have fun with this “five-course” summer special: appetizer, salad, pizza, pasta, and dessert. I have a lot of recipes to cover, so let’s get right to it. Each of these recipes can be scaled up in direct proportion. APPETIZER Mozzarella Cheese Puffs These golden puffs are flavorful and fun. Kids, especially, love these. You justMore »

Tiramisu & Chocolate Martini

Mascarpone (mahs-kar-POH-neh) is not actually a cheese (no starter or rennet is used to produce it), but it is always included in the cheese family when the subject of relatives come up. And in the Italian arsenal of cheeses it stands tall. A rich and lush cow’s milk cheese, mascarpone is double or triple cream,More »

Fontina Asiago

Fontina and Asiago are two important Italian cheeses, and both are fortunate enough to carry a dual citizenship. Born in Italy –– fontina in the Piedmont, Asiago in the Veneto –– they have been successfully replicated in the United States by skillful cheesemakers in Calfornia and Wisconsin. In Italy, fontina and Asiago are made usingMore »


I could (and often do) make a meal of crusty Italian bread, Gorgonzola cheese, and a lusty Italian red wine (such as Barolo, Chianti Riserva or Barbaresco). The Gorgonzola I would select would be Gorgonzola naturale, which has a more assertive flavor than Gorgonzola dolce (aka dolcelatte), which is delicate. I could also, instead ofMore »

Incorporate Antipasta Across the Menu

Don’t limit the antipasto concept to platters. Consider the suggestions below to stretch antipasto across the menu: • Create an antipasto salad where assorted meats, cheese and vegetables sit over mixed greens. • Offer antipasto-style subs, paninis, wraps or sandwiches built around standard platter ingredients such as salami, pepperoni and cheese or roasted artichoke hearts,More »