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Jun 09

Chocolate Pistachio Baklava

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Sicily , Recipes , Celebrity Chefs
Dolce Debbie makes Chocolate Pistachio Baklava

Since the Turks made the original version in the 1300s, baklava has gone through a lot of changes. Over time, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves were added to give it more flavor.

Now, in the 21st century, it's time to pump up the flavor once again. When we were visiting Mykonos, Greece, Barry fell in love with the pistachio baklava, so I substituted pistachios for the walnuts frequently found in baklava recipes here in the states. I then added anisette, cocoa, and chocolate to really kick it up a notch. The sweetness of the honey balances the cocoa and dark chocolate, and the anisette gives the dish a bright, fresh flavor.

So come with me to Mykonos, and try my Chocolate Pistachio Baklava. - Debbie

Click here for my recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Baklava!

Dec 19

A Taste of Paris

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Recipes
Dolce Debbie makes the Croque Monsieur

“Paris”, Hemingway once said, “is a moveable feast.” And while there are certainly plenty of wonderful restaurants in Paris, such as Ducasse and Le Meurice, when Barry and I go to Paris we love eating at the smaller cafes and bistros.

One of Barry's favorite cafe foods is the Croque Monsieur – a ham and cheese sandwich. But this is no ordinary ham and cheese sandwich, this is Paris, after all. The French add a creamy béchamel sauce to the ham and cheese inside, then they grate Gruyere cheese on the top, and place the sandwich in a broiler until the exterior is crusty and bubbling. It's an explosion of flavors in your mouth!

So take a trip with me to the Left Bank, and try this delicious Parisian specialty, the Croque Monsieur. - Debbie

Click here for my recipe for the Croque Monsieur!

Aug 15

The History of Tiramisu

Posted by: SALLC | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Recipes



Today (February 2010) I went to the town of Treviso, 20 minutes north of Venice, to discover the real story of how and where Tiramisu was invented. I had read a story on the internet that it was a creation of Alle Beccherie, a restaurant in Treviso. I had also read, however, that it was invented by a chef now in Baltimore (Carminantonio Iannaccone), at his restaurant Piedigrotta in Treviso. Other stories had also pointed to Treviso, but to different restaurants. As my mother was raised in Treviso, I decided to ask friends, elderly relatives, and locals what they know about the true origins of my favorite northern Italian dessert.



My first stop was a small cafe where a girl no more than 20 years old was working. “I'm not sure where exactly, but I know it was invented in Treviso.”, she said. This was no help at all. At the next cafe, where the Tiramisu seemed more traditional, with the free-flowing zabaglione covering the Savoiardi cookies, a man in his 30s offered that Tiramisu was invented “...right down the street, where there was a bordello. Downstairs, a man asked the madam for something that would pick him up. The madam made a concoction of mascarpone, sugar, eggs, espresso, and amaretti biscotti. This picked the man up, and made him a satisfied customer of the bordello (“Tiramisu” means “Pick Me Up” in Italian). “Later”, the man in the cafe continued, “the amaretti were replaced with the more readily available savoiardi biscotti we see today.”



This was an interesting story, but when I went to my 70 year old aunt (a lifelong resident of Treviso) to confirm the story, she said, “Cipriani's, that's for sure.” Wow. Everyone had their own story. As it turned out, two days prior, I had an hour long conversation with Chef Piccolotto, executive chef of Cipriani's. During the interview about both the chef and Cipriani's, not once did he mention Tiramisu. And so I continued to the next cafe. The waiter here could only confirm that it was invented in Treviso. A young girl in her twenties said, “Wasn't it invented in a bordello?”



At a visit to the final cafe, I asked an old man (who admitted to being in his 90s) where Tiramisu was invented. “In Treviso, in a bordello”, he chuckled.



My original plan was to capture these locals on video telling their stories of Tiramisu. But no one, that is no one directly connected to a supposed inventor of Tiramisu) wanted to be filmed talking about it. Exhausted, I headed back towards the train station, intent on taking the next train back to Venice. Hungry for something other than Tiramisu, I stopped at a local trattoria to dine on octopus, calamari, anchovies, sardines, and to discuss Prosecco with the owner, as he is very active in a local Prosecco club. Before leaving, I asked him, “Tell me, where was Tiramisu born?”



“Here”, he said.
“Here in Treviso?”
“Yes, right here.”
“But where in Treviso?"
“In a house of pleasure. A client wanted something to pick him up, like Viagra, but years ago”, he laughed.



My appetite for fish, Prosecco, and stories of Tiramisu satisfied, I took the next train home to Venice, where I was certain that this evening my dessert would be anything but Tiramisu.



For a great recipe for "Original" tiramisu including a step-by-step video, click here.

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Aug 01

Life Really is Peachy!

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (3)
Tagged in: Recipes
Dolce Debbie gets peachy with a new burger dish!

It's no big secret how much I love Twitter and this post is a direct result of twitter and perfect example of the wonderful things ripe for the picking!

While catching up with friends and chatting on Twitter not too long ago, I noticed that I had received a direct message. To my pleasure, it was from one of my newest friends Michael Baxter otherwise known as @BaxtersOriginal. Michael owns a company in Georgia that sells BBQ Smoking Woods, Baxters Original. For more information visit www.baxtersoriginal.com. Michael graciously offered to send me a trial of some of his products. Of course I'm not one to turn down a good thing when I see it, so I think I replied yes before he had had time to click the send button.

Within a couple of days my much anticipated package arrived. Inside I found peach wood chips AND this phenomenal peach smoked sea salt. I think I pondered for all of about 2 minutes and decided that whatever I did had to involve peaches! I mean, HELLO, it had come from Georgia and the wood was from a peach tree. I wanted to do something a little different than the typical smoking of ham, chicken, ribs, etc. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a FREAK for hamburgers. Well, the rest is history and here is the result...The Baxter Burger. You have to try this guys to believe it. I've made these several times since as requested from many who have had them. I even made them into sliders for a party.

Dolce Debbie gets peachy with a new burger dish!

Make sure to visit my friend Michael's site www.baxtersoriginal.com and order your supplies for making your next masterpiece and if you're on Twitter make sure to follow him at @BaxtersOriginal.

Click here for my recipe for the Baxter Burger!

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