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italia84's Profile

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Eagle Cheese closed, OH NOOOOOO!

Ravioli Fair on 86th and 15th is also closing soon.

Give Pasta Fresca on 11th and 64th a try.

Jun 25, 2013
italia84 in Outer Boroughs

Please review menu for large family dinner

You can put together the baked clams the day before--that's what I do on Christmas eve. I put the clams on the halfshell on a cookie sheet, fill them with my breadcrumb mixture, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge till the next day.

Your menu sounds great, with or without baked clams!

Mar 12, 2013
italia84 in Home Cooking

$10 tip on $1400 pizza delivery

Wait, so you think getting pizza delivered is "second rate", but eating a frozen pizza isn't?? Even a second rate delivery pizza beats the best frozen pizza, I would think (not much experience with frozen I said, I live in Brooklyn!)

Mar 12, 2013
italia84 in Not About Food

$10 tip on $1400 pizza delivery

BiscuitBoy, you seem very...emotionally invested in this.

Mar 12, 2013
italia84 in Not About Food

Plantain help?

Another thing you can do with the unripe ones is make mangu--mashed plantains. Peel them (carefully with a knife!!) and boil under fork tender (maybe 15 minutes?), drain the water then mash them, adding salt, pepper and some water. While they're cooking sautee lots of onions in a pan and add some white vinegar to them, and serve the onions over the mashed plantains. A dominican friend taught me to make them, so good. They mostly eat it for breakfast but it's also good as a side dish at dinner.

Dec 19, 2012
italia84 in Home Cooking

Feast of the Seven Fishes

my favorite meal of the year! Here is this years menu:

frutta di mare (shrimp and calamari; some years I add scungilli or polpo)
baked mussels
stuffed mushrooms, cheeses, olives, roasted peppers, breads, etc

linguine and red clam sauce (crowd favorite, can't escape it)

swordfish with onions and vinegar
stuffed calamari
baccala with orange, lemon and olives (I don't make too much of it because some people won't eat it)
baked seabass (or halibut, dunno, I'll see what looks good)
potato croquettes and escarole on the side

I cook every bit of it myself except for the potato croquettes (my mother makes those).n For 12 people it's a lot of work and a lot of seafood, but it's a meal I truly love preparing. Other dishes I occasionally make for this meal are: baked clams, stuffed sardines, fried calamari/shrimps/scallops, shrimp scampi, lobster ravioli, shrimp risotto, stuffed filet of sole...

Dec 11, 2012
italia84 in Home Cooking

Woman suing Nutella over false nutrition claims

Just wanted to point out that the nutella sold in US grocery stores contains different ingrediants than the nutella in Europe (which is available in the US in specialty stores, salumerias, etc). Look for the glass jar; the stuff made in the US is in plastic. I only buy the one in glass.

Apr 04, 2012
italia84 in Food Media & News

fresh manicotti--make day before or day of?

I want to make some homemade manicotti for Easter. I've made it several times, but always cooked it immediately after making the pasta and filling them. Do you think it's ok to prepare the manicotti the night before and keep it in the fridge? (Prepare as in fill them, sauce them, put them in the pan they're going to be cooked in the next day)

If not, can I make the pasta dough the day before, wrap it, keep it in the fridge overnight and then roll and fill the next morning? (again, I've made fresh pasta hundreds of times, but never stored it...)


Apr 04, 2012
italia84 in Home Cooking

Recommendations for first night in Paris? (St. Germain)

My mother and I will be in Paris in the next couple of weeks, a full week from Saturday-Saturday. I've been to Paris several times (all solo trips), she's never been. The apartment we're renting is on Rue Bonaparte, just off of Boulevard St. Germain. Any recommendations for dinner that night within walking distance? I know we're going to be tired. Nothing too fancy, because we may be too worn out to properly enjoy the experience!


Oct 25, 2011
italia84 in France

acorn squash nutmeg fettucini? what to do with it?

My partner picked up some fresh acorn squash nutmeg fettucini from the farmer's market the other day. I've worked with squash filled pastas (butternut squash ravioli, etc), but never this.

Any ideas on preparations? I was thinking of tossing with brown sage butter, cubed and roasted butternut squash (since I have one in the house) and some toasted pignoli…maybe some dollops of ricotta on top, since I have some fresh from the farmer's market in the house.

Or…something else? Partner doesn't like goat cheese. It would be served as a main course. I also have some good bacon in the house if there's a way to work that in…don't have the fresh sage yet, would have to stop and get some if I do something with that...

Oct 05, 2011
italia84 in Home Cooking

Why does cooked chicken smell bad after being refrigerated?

I thought it was just me! After all these years...

I haaaaate reheated chicken, unless it's boneless and in some kind of sauce. Like, leftover chicken marsala is generally fine. If it's on the bone, no no no, has a weird smell and taste.

Sep 30, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

have you noticed ben & jerry's quality going downhill? espcially the classic flavors?

yeah, and there doesn't seem to be as much "stuff" in it either. I don't buy it...

Jun 07, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Whatever Happened to Scungili (aka Whelks)?

Hmm, I still see it all the time in Staten Island....are there any Italian markets near you? Try there. I've seen the cans (it's a light blue and white can, can't remember the brand), and I've seen the fresh stuff in fish markets around there, too. Definitely try an Italian store.

May 18, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Textural aversions

I loathe and despise water chestnuts, but don't mind bamboo shoots. But waterchestnuts, ugggh. Probably my least favorite food on earth.

May 18, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Another Reason Penzey's Is Awesome

I love Penzey's. I placed an order last month, had a five dollars off coupon, a coupon for a free jar of spice of my choice...ordered several things and also got a nice free sample of BBQ 3000. Love them!!

May 13, 2011
italia84 in General Topics


The Pastosa on Richmond Ave in Staten Island sells it, but only around the holidays; I just asked the owner about it, he gets only about 20 or so at a time. SO so good.

May 12, 2011
italia84 in Home Cooking

Is there a difference between zeppole's and beignets?

yeah, but they're totally different than the zeppole you get at a pizzeria. St. Joseph's Pastries are more like a cream puff consistency, not fried dough. The filling is either custard or cannoli cream (zeppole and sfinge; I always forget which is which...)

May 12, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

There are some foods that I will not even try.

I will honestly try anything (yes, this includes dog...I would try it, and I own four dogs as pets!), but draw the line at insects (though maybe chocolate covered ants) and anything still alive.

May 11, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

What makes a good pizza, to YOU?

brick/wood oven, well made dough cooked perfectly (with a few bubbles and some char), minimal amount of a simple sauce made with delicious tomatoes, and topped with perfect fresh mozzarella, with some fresh basil leaves. Simple, perfect, delicious.

May 11, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Which part of the squid is this?

I have the exact same plates.

May 11, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Guilty Pleasure

You really wanna know? Ok, I'll tell you...instant mashed potatoes. I really never cook them--in the four years I've been with my partner (who loves mashed potatoes--REAL mashed potatoes), I think I've made them once. But every once in a while, when my mother in law or grandmother cooks...I am secretly really excited to eat instant mashed potatoes.

Also, the only brownies I really love...are from a mix. Either Duncan Hines or Ghiradelli. And I've had all kinds of brownies from "best of" lists, from all over the place, made top recipes, etc.... I really never use cake mixes (or mixes at all, for that matter), so when someone sets out a tray of these, I go crazy for the corner pieces. No brownies come close. I would never, ever admit this in public.

May 09, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Are there any Traditional Easter Desserts?

Yes, pastiera, and also cassata. Enjoy!

Apr 21, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Any Hungarian restaurants left in this town...

Andre's, on 2nd Avenue in the 80's. Also has fantastic desserts, especially the chocolate babka!

Andre's Cafe
1631 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

Apr 21, 2011
italia84 in Manhattan

What time do you all eat dinner?

It depends--my mother in law technically lives with us, though lately she spends most/all of the week at her boyfriend's house. On days when she's there, I start cooking when I get home from work and we eat sometime between 6-6:30. Now that she's not there as much, it's closer to 7:30.

Apr 20, 2011
italia84 in Not About Food

Food trends in the coming decade?

Yeah, I just bought some Swordfish that was $22.95 a pound! wth happened??

Apr 13, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

Dorot Basil and Garlic from Trader Joe's

I don't buy the garlic, but I do buy the basil in the winter, as well as the cilantro.

Apr 12, 2011
italia84 in Chains

Purees/Smoothies for a sick friend

Avocado smoothies. Don't knock it till you try it! I do an avocado, some milk (I usually use almond milk, but whatever you like should be fine) and a touch of honey or vanilla protein powder, depending on my needs. Blend with ice. Delicious!

Apr 11, 2011
italia84 in Home Cooking

When you were growing up...What did your mom cook for Easter Dinner?

Always a nice antipasti, pasta (often baked ziti), pizza rustica, leg of lamb in addition to another kind of meat (usually ham, veal or pork), asparagus or peas, sometimes artichokes, roasted or mashed potatoes, a nice salad, and for dessert always a cassata and pastiera, in addition to whatever else people bring (italian cookies, pastries, etc)

yum! it actually hasn't changed much over the years...

Apr 08, 2011
italia84 in Home Cooking

After a holiday dinner do you give leftovers?

Yes yes yes. I always have waaaaaaaay too much food. I generally plan with the intent of having way too much, because it's not wasteful--we have a meal for the next day (or later that night!), the rest of my family has an extra meal, or sometimes we have unanticipated guests, etc. Always have leftovers! Keep in mind, these are not posh dinner parties, just family gatherings.

Apr 07, 2011
italia84 in General Topics

which brand of butter do you buy?

I usually have two kinds of butter in the house--Kerrygold for most stuff, but if I'm baking something that uses a large quantity of butter, I've been known to buy Land o'lakes or similar.

Apr 06, 2011
italia84 in General Topics