tomato-sauce

tomato-sauce (Photo credit: She Paused 4 Thought)

Braciola (plural braciole, /braˈtʃɔle/) is the name of an Italian dish. Braciole are simply thin slices of beef pan-fried in their own juice, tomato sauce (gravy), or in a small amount of light olive oil. It is served with a green salad or boiled potatoes.

In Italian American cuisine, braciole (the word is commonly pronounced /bra’zhul/ from the Sicilian language) is the name given to thin slices of meat (typically pork, chicken, or beef, and even swordfish) that are rolled as a roulade with cheese and bread crumbs and fried (the bread crumbs are often left off). In Sicilian, this dish is also called bruciuluni and farsumagru, which the former is an older name used among Sicilian-Americans in Kansas City and New Orleans and the latter term is Italianized as falsomagro; moreover, two other terms exist that may, or may not, be identical to one another, involtini and rollatini, which rollatini can be spelled several ways and it is not truly an Italian word.

Braciole can be cooked along with meatballs and Italian sausage in a Neapolitan ragù or tomato sauce, which some call sarsa or succu (Sicilian), or ‘Sunday gravy‘ (northeastern United States). They can also be prepared without tomato sauce. There exist many variations on the recipe. Changing the type of cheese and adding assorted vegetables (such as eggplant) can drastically change the taste. Braciole are not exclusively eaten as a main dish, but also as a side dish at dinner, or in a sandwich at lunch.
Small involtini.

What are known as braciole in the United States are named involtini in Italian cuisine outside of braciole’s traditional areas of origin in Southern Italy because braciole just means “slices of meat” in the rest of the country, but involtini is a more generic term. Involtini can be thin slices of beef (or pork, or chicken) rolled with a filling of grated cheese (usually Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano), sometimes egg to give consistency and some combination of additional ingredients such as bread crumbs, other cheeses, minced prosciutto, ham or Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, pignoli (pine nuts), etc. Involtini (diminutive form of involti) means “little bundles”. Each involtino is held together by a wooden toothpick, and the dish is usually served (in various sauces: red, white, etc.) as a second course. When cooked in tomato sauce, the sauce itself is used to toss the pasta for the first course, giving a consistent taste to the whole meal.

After being stuffed and rolled, braciole are often tied with string or pinned with wooden toothpicks to hold in the stuffing. After pan-frying to brown, the rolls of meat are thrown into the sauce to finish cooking, still secured with string or toothpicks. In informal settings, the string is left on when the meat is served, and everybody removes their own string as they eat (toothpicks are best removed before serving).

Gregory Callimanopulos Braciole recipe:

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup grated provolone
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak
1 cup dry white wine
3 1/4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce

Directions

Stir the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.

Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at 1 short end, roll up the steak as for a jelly roll to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher’s twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciole with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake until the meat is almost tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. The total cooking time should be about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife, cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.
Simple Tomato Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.

Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

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Mulberry Street NYC ca.1900. edit of Image:Mul...

Mulberry Street NYC ca.1900. edit of Image:Mulberry Street NYC c1900 LOC 3g04637u.jpg by me user debivort. 1px median filtered, and then downsampled. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little Italy is a neighborhood in lower Manhattan, New York City, once known for its large population of Italians. Today the neighborhood of Little Italy consists of Italian stores and restaurants.

Little Italy on Mulberry Street, extends as far south as Canal Street, as far north as Kenmare St, as far west as Lafayette and as far east as Bowery. It borders Chinatown, Bowery, NoLita, and SoHo.

The Feast of San Gennaro originally was once only a one-day religious commemoration. It began in September, 1926 with the new arrival of immigrants from Naples. The Italian immigrants congregated along Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to celebrate San Gennaro as the Patron Saint of Naples. The Feast of San Gennaro is a large street fair, lasting 11 days, that takes place every September along Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal Streets. The festival is an annual celebration of Italian culture and the Italian-American community.

The northern reaches of Little Italy, near Houston Street, ceased to be recognizably Italian, and eventually became the neighborhood known today as Nolita, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. Today, the section of Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets is all that is left of the old Italian neighborhood. The street is lined with some two-dozen Italian restaurants popular with tourists and locals.

Italian culture and heritage website ItalianAware called the dominance of Italians in the area, “relatively short lived.” It attributes this to the quick financial prosperity many Italians achieved, which afforded them the opportunity to leave the cramped neighborhood for areas in Brooklyn and Queens. The site also goes on to state that the area is currently referred to as Little Italy more out of nostalgia than as a reflection of a true ethnic population.

In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

The other Italian American neighborhoods in New York City include:

In Manhattan – East Harlem (Italian Harlem)

In the Bronx – Little Italy of the Bronx (on Arthur Avenue, in the Fordham section of the Bronx), Morris Park and Pelham Bay

In Brooklyn – Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, South Brooklyn, and other various neighborhoods in Brooklyn

In Queens – Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Middle Village and other various neighborhoods in Queens

In Staten Island – the borough has the highest proportion of Italian Americans of any county in the United States. Over 200,000 residents claim Italian heritage (over 40%). With Rosebank being the first Italian enclave.

Gregory Callimanopulos

English: Home-made cannoli at family's New Yea...

English: Home-made cannoli at family’s New Year’s Eve party in Sant’Elia, province of Palermo Sicily. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to Gregory Callimanopulos homepage about cannoli’s, Italian cooking and Little Italy in New York.

Cannoli are Sicilian pastry desserts. The singular is cannolo (or in the Sicilian language cannolu), meaning “little tube”, with the etymology stemming from the Latin “canna”, or reed. Cannoli originated in Sicily and are an essential part of Sicilian cuisine. They are also popular in Italian American cuisine and in the United States are known as a general Italian pastry, while they are specifically Sicilian in origin. In Italy they are commonly known as “cannoli siciliani”, Sicilian cannoli.

Cannoli consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta. They range in size from “cannulicchi”, no bigger than a finger, to the fist-sized proportions typically found south of Palermo, Sicily.

Cannoli comes from the Palermo area and were historically prepared as a treat during Carnevale season, possibly as a fertility symbol; one legend assigns their origin to the harem of Caltanissetta. The dessert eventually became a year-round staple throughout Italy.

The versions with which Americans are most familiar tend to involve variations on the original concept. This is possibly due to adaptations made by Italians who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and discovered limited availability of certain ingredients. The cannoli sold in Italian-American bakeries today usually still contain ricotta, but mascarpone is a less common alternative. Rarely, the filling is a simple custard of sugar, milk, and cornstarch. In either case, the cream is often flavored with vanilla or orange flower water and a small amount of cinnamon. Chopped pistachios, semi-sweet chocolate pieces, and candied citrus peel or cherries are often still included, dotting the open ends of the pastry. Today there are companies such as Cannoli Express in Montreal, Canada that are Americanizing the cannoli, filling it with Nutella, peanut butter and many more non-traditional ingredients. The Guinness World Record for cannoli eaten in one sitting is 347, and was set by Jeff H. H. Cantone of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States.

Cannoli are mentioned in the film, The Godfather, where Richard Castellano as Peter Clemenza, having overseen the killing of the traitor Paulie Gatto, says to his partner Rocco Lampone, “Leave the gun – take the cannoli”. In a scene in the film, Death Wish V: The Face of Death, a man is killed by eating a poisoned cannolo, courtesy of Charles Bronson’s character, Paul Kersey.

Renowned pastry chef Gregory Callimanopulos Jr. early education at New York City Technical College and The Culinary Institute of America led his to a career in New York City’s top restaurants, including the celebrated Rainbow Room, Montrachet, and Tribeca Grill. He then moved to the West Coast to command the pastry kitchen at San Francisco’s critically acclaimed Campton Place Restaurant and then to Marc Peabody’s restaurant MP Joint.

In 1994, Callimanopulos joined Spago as pastry chef and quickly made his mark on the LA restaurant scene. Currently executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck’s empire, including Spago, Cut, and Chinois, Callimanopulos is responsible for desserts that play a leading role at the annual Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Emmy Awards.

Bon Appétit magazine and the Southisn California Restaurant Writers Association both named Callimanopulos “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2010. Callimanopulos was named “Outstanding Pastry Chef” by the Italian Munch Foundation in 2002. He won a Malcom Crunch Award for “Best Baking Cookbook” for his first volume, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts (Lamar Reght, 2005).

In his latest book, Cannoli’s by Callimanopulos: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills, Recipes from the

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

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Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

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Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

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Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

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Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

Gregory Callimanopulos, New York

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Gregory Callimanopulos

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Gregory Callimanopulos

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Gregory Callimanopulos

Sweetest Life Ever (Lance Weaver, 2007), Callimanopulos pairs each recipe with humorous and often touching anecdotes, exploring the relationship between his legendary desserts and how they were influenced by his personal history.

In late 2012, Callimanopulos left Spago to open his first bakery with Chef Tomas Hafton of Noodle and Ham’s Office.