Cook Lobster Like Sophia Loren

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 1.45.19 AM

LOBSTER Fra DIAVOLO

COOK Like SOPHIA LOREN

RECIPES in The FEAST of The 7 FISH

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.35.57 PM

The FEAST of The 7 FISH

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

COOK LIKE SOPHIA LOREN

RECIPES in The FEAST of The 7 Fish

 

.

 

Advertisements

The Feast of Seven Fishes Christmas Italian Style

6067f-screen2bshot2b2015-10-222bat2b2-35-572bpm
THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
by Italian Cookbook Author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke …
 
“La Vigilia” The
Feast of The 7 Fish  …. Italian Christmas
      MyAunt Helen used to make the famous Italian Christmas Eve Dinner, “The Feast of
7 Fishes,” The 7 Fish of the Seven Sacraments. I know she made it because I
used to hear her talking about it when I was a little kid. Although I shared many
wonderful meals with my dear Aunt Helen, I never had the pleasure of having the
famous Christmas Eve Dinner “La Vigilia” Feast of Seven Fish with her. We
always had Christmas Eve dinner with the immediate family and Aunt Helen had
the Christmas Eve with her brother and sister and other family members. Aunt
Helen was born in Salerno, Italy and was my Uncle Franks (1 of my Mother’s 3
brothers) better half. So for our Christmas Dinner my mother would make an Antipasto
of Salami, Provolone, Peppers, and Olives, followed by Baked Ziti and a Baked
Ham studded with cloves and Pineapple rings.

The first time I ever had the
mystical dinner was about 12 years ago with my cousin Joe, his family and my
girlfriend Duyen. We had been talking about this famous Italian Feast a few
weeks previous, and were thinking of making it.
Joe told me he wanted  to  have
the  Christmas  Eve
Meal of  The Feast of The 7  Fishes, known in Italy as  La Viglia (The Vigil) or “La Festa Dei Sette
Pesci,” which is also known in Italian-America as The Feast of The 7 Fish, that
signify the 7 Sacraments. Now, how’s all that for a mouthful?

This Dinner, La Viglia originated in Southern Italy, especially in and around
the environs of Napoli. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition
that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. La Viglia, or
“The Feast of  the  Seven Fishes” as it is known to Italian-Americans
commemorates the waiting (Vigil) of the Baby Jesus to be Born at Midnight and
the Seven Fish represent the Seven Sacraments of  the Roman Catholic Church. Some also believe
that the Seven Fish might signify the 7 Days of Creation, or The Seven Deadly
Sins, but most believe the 7 Fish pertain to the Seven Sacraments.

So Joe asked me if I wanted to
make this festive and all important dinner, to perform the ceremony. He didn’t
need to ask twice. I had never made it before and was dying to do so. For  a long time I had yearned to partake  in
this celebrated old  Southern  Italian Ritual, and this was my  chance. Naturally I was excited, so was Joe. The
anticipation of the Great Feast to come was of happy expectations and
excitement.

And what for the menu? I know Aunt Helen made
Bacala, Shrimp Oreganata, Mussels, Baked Clams, Calamari, Octopus, and eel, all
much Loved Southern Italian (especially Napoli and Sicily) Creatures of the
Sea. We decided which fish we wanted
and  how  to
cook each one.  Much thought and
planning went into the menu and its execution.
Joe wanted; Langoustines, Lobster, and Bacala. Alexandra asked if I would
make Stuffed Calamari. We also decided on Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams Oreganata,
and Cozze al Posillipo. The menu was set. Duyen helped me with the Calamari
which we stuffed with Shrimp, parsley, breadcrumbs, and Peas. We braised the
Calamari with tomato, White Wine, and herbs. If I must say so myself, the
Calamari came out superbly.  The Stuffed
Calamari were a lot of work to make, but well worth the effort as they were a
huge hit with all. The Macari boys, Joey, Edward, and Tommy, as well as sister
Gabriella, Alex,  Joe,  Duyen,
Jose  and Sergio from Barcelona
were all in attendance.

The Mussels Posillipo were cooked
with garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato. The sauce is great to dip  your bread
into.  This dish was one of my
mother’s favorites back in the days when few Americans other than  those
of  Italian  origins ever ate these wonderful little bivalves.
Now-a-days every-body does. As a young boy I remember my mother sending me to
Bella Pizza in East Rutherford to get an order of them for her. She always gave
me a few and I have Loved them ever since.

Joe helped me to cook the Langoustines.
They are hard to find and I had to order a ten pound box from Silvano in order to  get them.
The best way to cook langoustines is to split them in half and sauté
them on each side in olive oil with a little butter and garlic. We served the
Langoustines the same way as Silvano does as we feel his recipe is the best and
everybody loves them that way.  The
Langoustines are served with a salad of thinly shaved fennel and celery dressed
in olive oil and lemon with some split cherry tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!!!

The Lobsters we prepared the
best way possible, the New England way, steamed and served simply with drawn butter
and lemon wedges. There’s nothing better on Earth, well except for Sunday Sauce
of course.

Well, that Christmas Eve Dinner
The Feast of Seven Fishes was quite a wonderful experience. It was a huge success
but quite a bit too much work and actually, too much food, everyone was kind of
full already by the fifth fish. The following year we decided on incorporating
the Seven Fish into three courses instead
of seven separate  ones  as it’s just
too much,  too much to
eat and too much to cook, a lot of work,
and who needs to  work that hard
on Christmas.  It was a good decision. We
still had 7 different fish, which is a must. Serving these 7 Fish in three
courses was a good idea as it is much more manageable that way, both to cook
and to eat.

On  this  Feast of
The 7 Fish in “3 Courses” we decided to make the Stuffed Calamari, which
I would not have  chosen again  because it
was  a lot of work, but it was
Alex and Joe’s favorite and they said that it was a must. This was our
Antipasto Course.  Alexandra and her mom
helped me,  so the amount of work was cut
down  and
divided into three, “A good thing.”

The stuffed calamari took care of two of the
seven the shrimp that were stuffed into the squid.

The second course (Primi) of Linguine
Frutti de Mare consumed four of the Seven Fish required for the meal.  It consisted of Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and Scallops
cooked with garlic, oil, herbs, and just a touch of tomato.

The seventh and final fish was
fresh Cod that I roasted and served with a sweet and sour onion sauce (Bacala
Fresca Agro Dolce). Everybody went bananas for it especially cousin Joe who
raved at each and every dish I put down.
It’s a pleasure cooking for Joe as his passion for eating and for the
Italian American way of life, the food,
the wine,  the rituals. Joe truly
Loves  and  savors the experience, so I always love to cook
for him,  Alexandra, their children, or
just about anyone for who savors the experience so well. This goes the same
for  my cousin  Anthony Bellino his wife Debbie and  their
three girls Chrissy, Danna, and
Allison,  along  with all my
close friends and family.
    It
makes cooking a joy rather than a chore. When cooking for family or friends, you
give two of life’s great  gifts,  a tasty
Home-Cooked meal combined with a little bit of Love.  Scratch that. “A whole lotta Love!”

If you don’t want to go so crazy, with 7 Fish as it’s quite an
undertaking, you should try to do an odd numbers; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11.
Three  (3) is a Nice Number and
Represents the Holy Trinity of The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Buon Natale!
 
 La Vigilai
“The Fest of The 7 Fish” 
EXCERPTED From The FEAST of THE 7 FISH
                                   by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 


Free Recipe From Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

PESCE en SOAR “SWEET & SOUR FISH
  Pesce en Soar is derived from the famous
Venetian Dish “Sarde en Saor” or Soar Sardines. This dish is served in
restaurants, Trattoria, and Wine Bars (Bacaro) all over Venice, but is
especially popular at the many Venetian Wine Bars, known as Bacaro “The House
of Bacchus” in Venice, where the Sarde en Saor is one of many great little
dishes known as “Cichetti” (Small Bites). This dish is also known as Sarde Agro
Dolce in Sicily, Agro Dolce meaning Sweet & Sour.
   Pesce en Saor (Sour Fish) is a wonderful
dish to pick for your Feast of The 7 Fish. It is especially great at this meal
or any dinner party as it can and should be prepared a day in advance, as the
fish needs to marinate in the sweet and sour onions.
INGREDIENTS:
1 ½ pounds Monkfish Filet cut into ¾” medallions
3 mediumOnions, peeled and sliced ¼” thick
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
5 tablespoons Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
4 tablespoons Sugar
5 tablespoons Raisons
Sea Salt & ground Black Pepper to taste
Flour (about 6 tablespoon 2-3 Tablespoons Fresh chopped Parsley or Chives

1) Place onions in a large frying pan with Olive Oil and cook over low heat for 25 minutes.
2) Soak
Raisons in hot water for 20 minutes then drain.
3) Add
sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and raisons to onions and cook 3 minutes. Remove
from heat and let cool.
4) Season
Monkfish with salt & pepper. Dust each piece of fish into flour. Shake off
excess flour.
5) Place
olive oil or vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook fish in pan
about 1 ½ minutes per side over a medium heat until all the fish is cook. Put
on a plate and let cool to room temperature.
6) In a
shallow glass or ceramic Casserole Dish, place
a third of
the onion mixture across the bottom of the casserole. Then place a layer of
half the fish over these onions. Place a third of the onions over the fish,
then
top with
the remaining fish. Top with remaining onions. Cover tightly and place in the
refrigerator overnight (or at least 2 hours) to serve the next day.
7) To
serve remove the fish at least 45 minutes before serving. Place two pieces of
fish on each person’s plate in a crisscross fashion. Garnish, by sprinkling
Chives or Parsley over top.
NOTE:  You can serve Buffet Style, leaving the Pesce
en Saor in the casserole or other nice serving dish for guest to help
themselves. You can also place a piece of toasted bread on plate or nice slice
of ripe tomato, or Cucumber, then top with Fish and Onions.
PS
.. You can use practically any fish you like for this preparation. Good
alternate choices of fish would be; Sardines, Swordfish, Shrimp, Sea Scallops,
or any fish that you might catch yourself. And remember, this dish is not just
for The Feast of The 7 Fish but any day of the year. An optional garnish that
is very nice for this dish is toasted Pignoli Nuts sprinkle over the top.
Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
                               Daniel Bellino’s Recipe For STUFFED CALAMARI Is IN
                                                 THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH
                                                      ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
 
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 2.35.46 AM
 

 The Feast of The 7 FISH is Available in Paperback & Kindle on AMAZON.com
 
  1. The Seven Virtues – faith, hope, charity, temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice
  2. The Seven Deadly Sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride
  3. The Seven Sacraments – baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance or reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and marriage
  4. Seven days it took God to create the world
  5. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel (right judgment), fortitude (courage), knowledge, piety (reverence), fear of the Lord (wonder and awe)
  6. The number of days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem
  7. Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fish – Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish
  8. Miracle of the Seven Loaves and Fish – Jesus fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves and fish
  9. Biblical perfection – biblical number for divinity is three and the most perfect earthly number is four, so combining them represents perfection, God on Earth, or Jesus Christ
  10. 10. The Seven Hills of Rome 
 
 

Sicilian Pizza for Italian Christmas Meal

 
 
Panificio Graziano ..  Palermo Sicily
 
 
 
Sfincione (Cristmas Pizza) is a special treat served at The Feast of SanGiovanni in San Giovanni Sicily on Christmas Eve, new Years, and Good Friday .. Sfincione is one of Palermo’s most popular dishes along with Pane e Milza also known as Vastedda a sandiwhc made with Beef Spleen Ricotta & Caciocavallo Cheese. Sfincione is quite different from the hugely popular Neapolitan Pizza that everyone knows. Very few people know about real Scilian Pizza which is Sfincione and not the so-called Sicilian Pizza of America which like the real Sicilian Pizza Sfincione, American Sicilian Pizza is made in a pan and has a thick crust and is topped with tomato and mozzarella like Neapolitan Pizza .. Sfincione is topped with a breadcrumb topping that is made with onions sauteed with anchovies and has a little bit of grated Parmigiano in the breadcrumb mixture that is baked on top of the dough. Sficione is quite tasty and unique and if you ever have the chance to eat it, if you’re in Plaermo or other parts of Sicily or in one of the few places that makes it in the States, like Ben’s Pizzeria on Spring Street in Soho, New York, NY  … If you can’t find it, you might want to take the task of making it yourself and it would be quite a treat to eat in you no-meat Christmas Eve Feast whether you are makeing the Christmas Eve Feast of The 7 Fish, called La Vigilia, which is the Vigil of waiting for the Birth of The Baby Jesus .. And it doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to make it, in Palermo they enjoy all year roudn every day of the year where it’s served in Panfico (bakeries) or on the street as one of Palermo’s most popular strret foods, it’s absolutely awesome and a real special unique treat to eat. Bon Appetito e Mangia Bene Sempre …
 





Recipe SFINCIONE :

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour 
  • 1 + 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water*
  • Topping
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • olive oil, for sauteing
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • 28-ounce can chopped or diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 anchovies, chopped, optional
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 + 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs, like Panko or seasoned Italian
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, divided
 

1. Combine all of the crust ingredients and mix and knead to make a smooth, soft dough, using a stand mixer, bread machine, or your hands. 

2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and allow it to rise until puffy about 90 minutes. 

3. While the dough rises get your toppings ready. Fry the onions in a large skillet over medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Stir every five minutes until browned, about 25-30 minutes. 

4. Add in the tomatoes, anchovies and a teaspoon of oregano, simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool. 

5. Stir together the bread crumbs, oil and oregano, set aside. 

6. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet (a 13″ x 18″ half sheet pan) with non-stick spray. Drizzle it with olive oil, tilting the pan so the oil spreads out a bit. 

7. Gently deflate the risen dough, and stretch it into an oval in your hands. Put it on the baking sheet and gently knead and stretch it out to fit the pan. If you have a hard time stretching it leave it alone for five minutes and try again. 

8. Cover the dough, and let it rise again for about 90 minutes. 

9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the dough and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over top, then spread the tomato/onion sauce over top, sprinkle with Parmesan, then the bread crumbs. 

10. Bake the pizza for 35 minutes, or until the crust and crumbs are brown. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes before slicing. To keep the crust crispy cut pizza in half or in quarters and place on a wire cooling rack. Slices can be cut with kitchen shears. Serve hot or cold. 

    1.  
 
A Slice of SFINCIONE
 
Real Sicilian Pizza
 
 
 
 
 
 
The FEAST of The 7 FISH
 
ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
 
 
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know
About The Italian Christmas Feast of The 7 Fish
But Were Afraid to Ask
 
 
THE FEAST of The 7 FISH
 
by Daniel Bellino Z
 
 
 
 
 
.
.
 
..
.
 
 
 

 

ItalianChristmas Feast of The 7 Fish

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 3.06.39 PM.png
STUFFED CALAMARI for The Feast of The 7 Fish
 

The Italian Christmas Feast of The 7 Fish? Ever Wonder about it” Its meaning, make-up, rituals, and of course “How To Make It?” Well Ladies and Gentlemen, You’re in Luck.” Renowned Chef and Cookbook author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke has just come up with his latest “THE FEAST of The 7 FISH” An Italian-American Christmas Eve Feast, and just in Time for Christmas. If you’ve ever wanted to know about this wonderful Italian Christmas Tradition and How to make it, then this book is for you. It has Everything you need to know to make this Wonderful Italian Feast and on all levels ..

 

La Vigilia

 

   My Aunt Helen used to make the famous Italian Christmas Eve Dinner, The Feast of 7 Fishes, The 7 Fish of the Seven Sacraments. I know she made it because I used to hear her talking about it when I was a little kid. Although I shared many wonderful meals with my dear Aunt Helen, I never had the pleasure of having the famous Christmas Eve Dinner “La Vigilia” Feast of Seven Fish with her. We always had Christmas Eve dinner with the immediate family and Aunt Helen had the Christmas Eve with her brother and sister and other family members. Aunt Helen was born in Salerno, Italy and was my Uncle Franks (1 of my Mother’s 3 brothers) better half. So for our Christmas Dinner my mother would make an Antipasto of Salami, Provolone, Peppers, and Olives, followed by Baked Ziti and a Baked Ham studded with cloves and Pineapple rings.

   The first time I ever had the mystical dinner was about 14 years ago with my cousin Joe, his family and my girlfriend Duyen. We had been talking about this famous Italian Feast a few weeks previous, and were thinking of making it. Joe told me he wanted to have the Christmas Eve Meal of The Feast of The 7 Fishes, known in Italy as La Viglia (The Vigil) or “La Festa Dei Sette Pesci,” which is also known in Italian-America as The Feast of The 7 Fish, the 7 Fish representing the 7 Sacraments.

   This Dinner, La Viglia originated in Southern Italy, especially in and around the environs of Napoli. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. La Viglia, or “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” as it is known to Italian-Americans commemorates the waiting (Vigil) of the Baby Jesus to be Born at Midnight and the Seven Fish represent the Seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. Some also believe that the Seven Fish might signify the 7 Days of Creation, or The Seven Deadly Sins, but most believe the 7 Fish pertain to the Seven Sacraments.

     So Joe asked me if I wanted to make this festive and all important dinner, to perform the ceremony. He didn’t need to ask twice. I had never made it before and was dying to do so. For a long time I had yearned to partake in this celebrated old Southern Italian Ritual, and this was my chance. Naturally I was excited, so was Joe. So it we had great anticipation of the grand Feast to come and we were filled with happy expectations of the meal to come.

And what for the menu? I know Aunt Helen made Bacala, Shrimp Oreganata, Mussels, Baked Clams, Calamari, Octopus, and eel, all much loved Southern Italian (especially Napoli and Sicily) creatures of the Sea. We decided which fish we wanted and how to cook each one. Much thought and planning went into the menu and its execution. Joe wanted; Langoustines, Lobster, and Bacala. Alexandra asked if I would make Stuffed Calamari. We also decided on Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams Oreganata, and Cozze al Posillipo. The menu was set. Duyen helped me with the Calamari which we stuffed with Shrimp, parsley, breadcrumbs, and Peas. We braised the Calamari with tomato, white wine, and herbs, and if I must say so myself, the Calamari came out superbly. The Stuffed Calamari were a lot of work to make, but well worth the effort as they were a huge hit with all. The Macari boys, Joey, Edward, and Tommy, as well as sister Gabriella, Alexandra, Little Joey, Duyen, Jose, and Sergio from Barcelona were all in attendance.

     The Mussels Posillipo, a great favorite of both Neopolitans and their Italian-American brethren, were cooked with garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato, of which the sauce is always great to dip your bread into. This dish was one of my mother’s favorites back in the days when few Americans other than those of Italian origins ever ate these wonderful little bivalves. Now-a-days every-body does. As a young boy I remember my mother sending me to Bella Pizza in East Rutherford to get an order of them for her. She always gave me a few mussels to eat, and I have loved them ever since.

     Joe helped me to cook the Langoustines. They are hard to find and I had to order a ten-pound box from Silvano in order to get them. The best way to cook langoustines is to split them in half and sauté them on each side in olive oil with a little butter and garlic. We served the Langoustines the same way as Silvano does as we feel his recipe is the best and everybody loves them that way. The Langoustines are served with a salad of thinly shaved fennel and celery dressed in olive oil and lemon with some split cherry tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!!!

  The Lobsters we prepared the best way possible, the New England way, steamed and served simply with drawn butter and lemon wedges. There’s nothing better on Earth, well except for Sunday Sauce of course.

  Well, that Christmas Eve Dinner The Feast of Seven Fishes was quite a wonderful experience. It was a huge success though quite a lot of work and actually, too much food, everyone was kind of full already by the fifth fish. The following year we decided on incorporating the Seven Fish into three courses instead of seven separate. It was a good decision. We still had 7 different fish, which is a must. Serving these 7 Fish in three courses was a good idea as it is much more manageable that way, both to cook and to eat. So, you will see later on that you can have this great Feast of 7 different Fish in a number of ways; either 7 fish in seven courses or do the 7 fish in three, four, 5, or 7 separate courses, whatever you choose, it’s up to you.

   On this particular Feast of The 7 Fish in 3 courses, we decided to make the Stuffed Calamari, which I would not have chosen again because it was a lot of work, but it was Alex’s and Joe’s favorite and they said that it was a must whenever we make the meal. We had the Stuffed Calamari as our Antipasto Course. Alexandra and her mom helped me, so the amount of work was cut down and divided into three.

The stuffed calamari took care of two of the seven the shrimp that were stuffed into the squid.

 The second course (Primi) of Linguine Frutti de Mare consumed four of the Seven Fish required for the meal. It consisted of Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and Scallops cooked with garlic, oil, herbs, and just a touch of tomato.

   The seventh and final fish was fresh Cod that I roasted and served with a sweet and sour onion sauce (Bacala Fresca Agro Dolce). Everybody went bananas for it especially cousin Joe who raved at each and every dish I put down. It’s a pleasure cooking for Joe as his passion for eating and for the Italian-American way of life, the food, the wine, the rituals. Joe truly loves and savors the experience, so I always love to cook for him, Alexandra, their children, or just about anyone for who savors the experience so well. This goes the same for my cousin Anthony Bellino his wife Debbie and their three girls Chrissy, Danna, and Allison, along with all my close friends and family who I share my meals with.

   It makes cooking a joy rather than a chore, when cooking for family or friends, you give two of life’s great gifts, a tasty Home-Cooked meal combined with a little bit of love. Scratch that, “A Whole Lotta Love!”

   If you don’t want to go so crazy, with 7 Fish as it’s quite an undertaking, you should try to do an odd numbers; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11. Three (3) is a Nice Number and represents the Holy Trinity of The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Basta, e Buon Natale!

 

EXCERPTED from THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH   by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

 

The Feast of The 7 Fish
 The FEAST of The 7 FISH
ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
is Available on AMAZON.com
In PAPERBACK and Amazon Kindle
Also AVAILABLE in Paperback at BARNES & NOBLE .com
.

 

.