Ciao a Tutti,
Oh. My. God. I don't know about you out there, but I am still in a state of recovery both mentally and gastronomically. The holidays are indeed, the most wonderful time of the year, if only for the fact my scale is somewhere in the city dump and anyone who mentions caloric content is bound and gagged with tinsel! With Christmas behind us it's time to focus on New Year's Eve/Day, and with what we're cooking up this week you'll hardly remember the food coma from the week prior.
My Nonna Romana and I will be whipping up my absolute favorite food-based anything: Frittelle! (Fried, filled pockets of dough). Frittelle are a staple of any Italian New Year's celebration (those who are extra lucky also get them on Christmas Eve), and are a homemade take on a modern convenience: the Hot Pocket.
But Frittelle are much more than any off-the-rack Hot Pocket. They're warm and golden and filled with anything your heart desires to put in them, as long as it's mozzarella and tomato. Joking aside, the little New Year's delights can be filled with anything, the most traditional being mozzarella, tomato and capers, (my personal favorite, tastes just like a pizza!) and scallions, olives, and tomato (sensing a pattern?) The two produce very aromatic and distinct flavors. The capers really add that salty special something that makes the tomato and mozzarella really stand out. Some people add anchovies to make it especially flavorful. The scallion and olive frittelle are always a sleeper favorite -- one minute everyone says they don't like the combo, the next they're all putting scallions in their cereal.
Nothing gets me more in the mood to cook than the holidays, and there's nothing like the holidays to get you in the mood for gatherings of family and friends. That's the Cooking with Nonna ethos at its core. And, as we come to both the end of 2009 and our second season, I'd like to thank everyone who makes this show possible. Without our magnificent crew the show most certainly could not go on; my family, for giving me this truly wonderful opportunity to share with the world some of the finest in authentic Italian cuisine; my loyal viewers for watching and for all the new ones who will be watching and learning along with me.
Most importantly, I would like to sincerely thank each and every Nonna for appearing on our show. For just about all of them it is their first time in front of a camera, and if I may be so bold, each one brought their own immense charm to the show, so much so that they are truly their own. I cannot truly express how overcome with gratitude I am for having them, but I sure have tried. Have a wonderful New Year's celebration!
Buon Anno a tutti!