Spicy Muffuletta & Pepper Jack Cheese Bread

Not like I need a reason to enjoy baking / eating bread; however, now that Fall is almost upon us, I’m going to use that as my excuse. I love that freshly-baked-warm-bread dipped in olive oil & balsamic vinegar any time of the year, but it seems especially extraordinary in the Fall months. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the cozy feeling snuggled up to the warm kitchen.

There are many bread recipes floating around out there, but this is what I’ve found works the best.

Ingredients:

  • 4 packets regular active dry yeast (or if you’re like me and have bought the small jar of yeast, it’s 9 tsps)
  • 1 C warm water (~110°)
  • 1 C warm milk (~110°)
  • 4 C Bread or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 C drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta
  • 1 C cubed spicy pepper jack cheese
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 T reserved Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. If you have a mixer with a hook attachment, you can use that. If not, just use a large bowl and you will mix with your hands. Mix/stir in milk, 4 C of flour, salt, drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta, 1T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil, cubed cheese, & sugar. Add extra flour as needed to make sure dough is not sticky. If using the mixer, dough is ready after adding enough flour that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is completely wrapped around the hook attachment (~6 min). If kneading by hand, add enough flour so dough is springy and not sticky (~8 min).
  2. Use the extra 1 T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil to lightly grease a separate bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubles (~45 min).
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Gently push first into dough to deflate and pat dough into 14X10” rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll up tightly, beginning at 10-in side. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place (~30min).
  4. Heat oven to 450°. Make 3 slashes, about ¼” deep, across loaf. Bake 35 min or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. If using an electring thermometer, the internal temperature should read just over 200°. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

You’ll find that you’ll have a little extra Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta left over, as we are not using the entire jar in the bread recipe (unless, of course, you want to!!!) So my dad always taught me, “Waste not, want not.” Oh wait, or was that Benjamin Franklin?… As I started early in the morning making this bread, I was getting a little hungry while waiting for it to bake. So, I decided to whip up a healthy egg white omelet. I diced some ham, threw it in a non-stick pan, added some egg whites, and topped it all off with the remaining Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta. I diced some cherry tomatoes I found lying around and added them as a side to my omelet. It turned out fresh and delicious! After the bread finished cooling, I sliced a few pieces and enjoyed with an Italian coffee.

You don’t need Fall to enjoy a delicious loaf of freshly baked home made bread, so use this recipe any time of the year! Plus, you’ll feel better about baking bread using quality ingredients that are good for you and your family.

I’d love to see what you created using this bread – be it sliced alone with coffee, or toasted with butter as my brother likes to make.   Take a pic and post it to our Formato Brothers Facebook page!  We love learning from YOU as well!

–Andrea Formato

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Calabrese Cheesy Chips

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Thank you to Albert Vetere Lannon in Picture Rocks, Arizona for this delicious recipe & picture!

Arrange several handfuls of Southern Heat Sweet BBQ Potato Chips* on a microwaveable plate.  With spoon and finger drizzle and spread 2 to 3 spoonfuls (depending on desired heat) of Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread over the chips.  Drop a layer of Italian shredded cheese (Asiago, Provolone, Parmesan, Mozzarella) on top and microwave on high one minute.  Serve with plenty of napkins and eat with your fingers for lunch or snacks.  Yumalicious!

*Ok to use any of your favorite BBQ Potato Chips for this recipe.

http://www.formatobrothers.com

Chicken Cacciatore Formato Brothers Style

Thanks to our wonderfully talented friend, Gary Marino, here’s a new version of Chicken Cacciatore, Formato Brothers Style

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Bottle of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera

 

In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown, in batches, for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl as they are done.

Remove the skin from the chicken, pour the fat off from the pan and discard.  (Short cut:  buy precooked chicken, remove the skin and cut it up.)

 

Turn the heat down to medium then add chopped garlic and cook until the garlic begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low.

Add one bottle of tomato sauce

Add 1/2 cup Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera

Add ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives

Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cooked chicken to the sauce mixture.

Stir and simmer for 30 minutes to allow chicken to be flavored by the sauce mixture.  OMG……….the flavor is amazing if stored overnight in your refrigerator.

This classic Italian dish must have hundreds of versions, all resulting in a rustic braise of chicken, aromatic herbs and spices. “Some like it hot” my version uses Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera as the heat and flavor component.  If you prefer a milder sauce then I suggest using Formato Brothers Muffuletta as the flavor enhancer.

Enjoy!

Gary Marino, Formato Friend & Chef Extraordinaire

Spicy Muffuletta & Pepper Jack Cheese Bread

Bread 2 smaller sizeNot like I need a reason to enjoy baking / eating bread; however, now that Fall is almost upon us, I’m going to use that as my excuse. I love that freshly-baked-warm-bread dipped in olive oil & balsamic vinegar any time of the year, but it seems especially extraordinary in the Fall months. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the cozy feeling snuggled up to the warm kitchen. There are many bread recipes floating around out there, but this is what I’ve found works the best.

Ingredients:

  • 4 packets regular active dry yeast (or if you’re like me and have bought the small jar of yeast, it’s 9 tsps)
  • 1 C warm water (~110°)
  • 1 C warm milk (~110°)
  • 4 C Bread or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 C drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta
  • 1 C cubed spicy pepper jack cheese
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 T reserved Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.  If you have a mixer with a hook attachment, you can use that.  If not, just use a large bowl and you will mix with your hands.  Mix/stir in milk, 4 C of flour, salt, drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta, 1T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil, cubed cheese, & sugar.  Add extra flour as needed to make sure dough is not sticky.  If using the mixer, dough is ready after adding enough flour that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is completely wrapped around the hook attachment (~6 min).  If kneading by hand, add enough flour so dough is springy and not sticky (~8 min).

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Use the extra 1 T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil to lightly grease a separate bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat all sides.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubles (~45 min).

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Gently push first into dough to deflate and pat dough into 14X10” rectangle on lightly floured surface.  Roll up tightly, beginning at 10-in side.  Place seam side down on cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise in warm place (~30min).

IMG_0022

Heat oven to 450°.  Make 3 slashes, about ¼” deep, across loaf.  Bake 35 min or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.  If using an electric thermometer, the internal temperature should read just over 200°.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

You’ll find that you’ll have a little extra Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta left over, as we are not using the entire jar in the bread recipe (unless, of course, you want to!!!)  So my dad always taught me, “Waste not, want not.”  Oh wait, or was that Benjamin Franklin?  As I started early in the morning making this bread, I was getting a little hungry while waiting for it to bake.  So, I decided to whip up a healthy egg white omelet.

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I diced some ham, threw it in a non-stick pan, added some egg whites, and topped it all off with the remaining Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta.  I diced some cherry tomatoes I found lying around and added them as a side to my omelet.  It turned out fresh and delicious!

IMG_0024

After the bread finished cooling, I sliced a few pieces and enjoyed with an Italian coffee.  You don’t need Fall to enjoy a delicious loaf of freshly baked home made bread, so use this recipe any time of the year!  Plus, you’ll feel better about baking bread using quality ingredients that are good for you and your family.  I’d love to see what you created using this bread – be it sliced alone with coffee, or toasted with butter as my brother likes to make.

Take a pic and post it to our Formato Brothers Facebook page!   We love learning from YOU as well!

–Andrea Formato

Pagliacci Italian Seasoning & Chicken Burgers

Pagliacci seasoning 6

Being Italian is awesome.  I love all the various types of cuisine from the different regions of Italy.  Some days I’m a marinara type of gal, & some days I want to snuggle with a creamy bowl of Alfredo.  however, on certain occasions, I do love a gold, old-fashioned American cheeseburger.  As to not make my inner Italian jealous, I’ve combined the best of both worlds to create a healthy variation on an American classic.  Here’s what I use:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cloves (or more) roasted garlic *
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 T Pagliacci Italian Seasoning

* To roast garlic:  take a head of garlic & carefully cut off the tops of all the garlic bulbs, keeping them all in tact.  Wrap in aluminum foil & drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top.  Cover with foil & bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Let the garlic cool completely & squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs.  If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, 1 T of garlic powder will do just fine.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Note that I did not use salt or pepper in my ingredients.  The park cheese intrinsically has enough salt, & the Pagliacci Italian Seasoning has everything else I need!  Form into 4 patties.

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Spray your grill, indoor or outdoor, w/ non-stick spray & turn the heat to medium high.

Cook the patties on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Pagliacci seasoning 2

Grab a few buns & toast if you like.

Place patties on the toasted buns & add your favorite toppings.  I like freely cut tomato, basil & a slice or two of mozzarella.  If you’re feeling spicy, add 1 T Formato Brothers Spicy Pepper Spread.

Pagliacci seasoning 1
This burger was healthy enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to hit the gym right away, & Italian enough so I didn’t feel like I was cheating on my heritage.  My only dilemma now is deciding which beer should accompany my burger:  domestic or imported?  : )

–Andrea Formato

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Pizza

This is such an easy pizza to prepare.  It is quick if you use ready-made dough, or a little slower if you make your own.  We are always in a hurry so the quick way is the best sometimes for the Formato household.Caliente Hot Pepper Spred Mix Marino

Use olive oil spray or canola oil spray & spray a 10″ x 15″ rectangular pan.

Prepare pizza dough (I love to use a Pillsbury thin crust dough in a can).  This means to spread it out to fit the pan, you shouldn’t have to go up the sides w/ the dough.  It should fit nicely in this size baking pan.

Pour pizza sauce over it (here’s where you use the Pastorelli brand, which by the way, is delicious). 1 can can be used for 2 pizzas.

Sprinkle w/ shredded mozzarella cheese.

Add little balls of sausage (make it easy on yourself, remove casing from Italian sausage & form round pieces;  we like Johnsonville Italian sausage which comes in Mild or Hot).

Chop up some green peppers & sprinkle on top.

Bake for about 10 minutes or according to the package directions.  Cut into little squares & serve.

You can add more cheese before baking.

You can freeze & then add cheese before baking.

Usually there’s not much left every time this is served.

Hope you enjoy this!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Spicy Meatballs

Here’s another exciting & very tasty recipe for spicy meatballs.

4 lb 80/20 ground beef
2 lb pork sausage
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dired basil
2 tsp dried oregano
5 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2 eggs
2 tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain excess oil)
5 oz goat cheese for stuffing into meatballs once they are thoroughly mixed

Mix all ingredients together.  Use your hands….it’s therapeutic.  : )

Roll about 2 Tblsp into palm of hand, with your thumb press down to create a space to accommodate 1/2 tsp of goat cheese.  Use a small measuring spoon to be consistent.

Place on a rack on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 25 minutes until brown.

Or….fry in canola or vegetable oil at 360 degrees turning over after a minute or so until brown.  Then place on a metal rack to drain off excess oil.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–Carl Formato