Braciole

With cooler weather quickly approaching, the hunt for recipes to fight off brisk days has begun.  Nothing can warm the soul like a home cooked Italian dinner. Italians have spent centuries pouring love and time (and lots of tomatoes and cheese) into perfecting their dishes. While traditional Italian dishes can be tedious to make, the product makes it worth it in the end. Braciole is a traditional Italian dish that has been around for years! What makes this dish unique is that the slices of meat are extremely thin! Be sure when cooking this delicious meal to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! It’s also stuffed with herbs and cheeses, so it isn’t hard for this flavor packed dish to become a new favorite! Try pairing this dish with a big glass of Chianti. And what’s an Italian dinner without tiramisu?? This sweet treat is the perfect end to a delicious dinner you’ll be thinking about for weeks!

 

Traditional Braciole

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds braciole meat or flank steak, pounded super thin (1/8 inch)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups classic marinara sauce
  • Spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • butchers twine.

 

Instructions: Stir the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl, mix until well combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, then add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook for another minute. Turn heat off and stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the bread crumb mixture with the onion mixture, stirring well to combine. Lay the braciole flat on a large, clean work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb/onion mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly (if you’re using multiple pieces of meat, divide the filling accordingly). Starting at 1 short end, and roll up the steak “jelly roll style” to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher’s twine, tie the steak roll at the beginning, middle, and end to secure. Sprinkle both sides of the braciole with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides and edges, about 6 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil; this should only take a minute or so. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially and simmer until the meat is tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 2 hours, uncover the pot completely and continue cooking until the meat is tender, about another 2 hours. The total cooking time will be about 3 1/2 hours – 4 hours. The meat will be technically cooked before this point, but will not be as tender if you cut the cook time to an hour or so. When the meat has been cooking 3.5 hours, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta and transfer to a large serving platter or multiple plates. Top with lots of sauce and braciole. When ready to serve, remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the twine off all rolls. Then, using a large sharp knife cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into thick slices. Transfer the slices to a large serving platter or on top of plates of pasta. Spoon the sauce generously over the meat and pasta and serve with cheese.

 

Tiramisu

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • At room temperature, 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • ½ cup coffee liqueur or rum
  • 40 store bought lady fingers (like Savoiardi)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Cocoa powder (for garnish)
  • Chocolate shavings (for garnish)
  • Bittersweet chocolate (for garnish)

 

Instructions: In a large heatproof bowl or pot, whisk the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar until smooth and pale in color. Place the bowl/pot containing the egg yolk-sugar mixture over a pot of boiling water (so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture into a larger bowl and allow to cool. Fold the mascarpone cheese into the egg-sugar mixture. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold it into the egg-sugar-mascarpone mixture. Place in the fridge until needed again. In a smaller bowl, combine the strong brewed coffee and liqueur. Let cool completely. Dip the ladyfingers in the coffee-liqueur mixture and lay in rows in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish (you might need to cut some ladyfingers with a knife to fit the size of the pan). Spread half of the mascarpone cream on top. Cover the mascarpone cream with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers. Cover the ladyfingers with the other half of the mascarpone cream. In a bowl of your electric mixer, place the heavy cream and 1 tbsp sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the mascarpone cream layer. Dust generously with sifted cocoa powder and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and enjoy!

 

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