Thanksgiving: Two Weeks Out

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Okay, there’s no secret that we love the holiday season. Not just because we love to cook and that the foundation of most (holidays) are pieced together by tradition and classic family recipes— but we are also family people. Simply put, the holidays bring us together. While this is exciting, it can also be stressful as these moments are often fleeting, and we all want to ensure that the day is perfection. You don’t get into Julliard on a solo audition, well, maybe if you’re really good, but for everyone else (including us), we must practice.

Alright, since you’re reading this, we will assume you’re hosting. First off, congratulations, Thanksgiving kicks off everything else, so it’s kind of a big deal. Now, let’s take physical and mental inventory. Ask yourself these questions below:

  • How many people are coming?
    • Do you have enough:
      • Main / side plates
      • Silverware
      • Drinkware
      • Seating
      • Tablespace
    • Does anyone have any dietary restrictions?
  • Envision the items
    • What are you making? What are others bringing? Run through the list of every item, including beverages (non/alcoholic), that will be available on T-Day.
    • Don’t end up shorthanded! Run through your spread and mentally place each item in its own serving dish, on perhaps a hot plate, with its serving utensil— do you have enough to accommodate yours and anyone who may have forgotten to bring one for their dish?
  • Prep ahead!
    • What can you do now to help avoid last minute stress? Purchase your non-perishable items ahead of time.
      • Items such as, canned goods, potatoes, ice, and décor.
    • Rehearse
      • We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that you don’t eat holiday side dishes on the regular, which means you might want to practice making them. This will also give you enough time to research and test recipes if you don’t love how it came out the first time.
    • Don’t forget about dessert
      • Thanksgiving is all about the bird, but there’s a start, middle, and end of the meal that must be also addressed. Our advice is to delegate appetizers and desserts OR outsource them (check out our catering menu here). If you’re focus is on the main / sides, let it be your focus.
      • Even if you’re not making the pie(s), you are responsible for coffee and tea. That means, ensure you have enough cream, sugar, stirrers, and cups to satisfy your sleepy (and full!) guests.

Good luck and feel rest assured knowing that a successful Thanksgiving is all in the prep work. Also, if you need a hand, Roma’s offers the full Thanksgiving dinner (we’re accepting orders through November 19th!).

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EVOO or the Other Stuff?

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We live in a world with abundant choices. Perhaps, too many. The same goes for olive oil. There’s so many different brands, with different labels, and then there’s the decision of Extra Virgin or Regular. What does it all mean? Isn’t olive oil, olive oil? No. Not for this one. We’re firm believers that the type of olive oil you use can make or break a meal.

The first thing you should know is that are there two major differences in olive oil: refined and unrefined, or in other words: “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” and “Regular Olive Oil”. One of the first things you may notice about the two is the color. EVOO (refined) is noticeably darker whereas Olive Oil (unrefined) is lighter. Why is that? It’s because EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and is treated to remove impurities, and the regular olive oil is a blend, including both processed and cold-pressed oils, and is left unrefined. What’s pressed in the bottle, stays in the bottle. What about all that “good stuff” that olive oil contains? In the process of refining the EVOO, some of those healthy antioxidants are removed, that’s why it’s best to always have a bottle of each in your kitchen.

So, what to cook with? It’s about preference. Experts say to have both versions in hand when cooking as you may not taste the richness of EVOO in the prepared meal, and to use the better stuff to finish dishes or to use as dips. However, yet again, it’s personal preference. We’ve cooked with both, we enjoy both. We enjoy the food prepared with EVOO just a little bit more.

Tell us: which type of olive oil do you cook with?

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Thanksgiving 2017

We are now accepting your Thanksgiving orders now through November 19th! Please call our Latham location to place your order at 518-785-7480.

Roma Thanksgiving FB 10-17-17-01

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The Unexpected Comfort Meal, You Can’t Stop Craving

While we been having unseasonably warm weather (we’re not complaining!), the chilly fall air is starting to creep into our evenings. Embrace our delayed, and beloved, season with this unexpected comfort meal created by ingredients in our shop! Enjoy!

Roma Blog 10-11-17-3

 

What You’ll Need:

Makes two .

Couscous preparation (plain):

– 1 c. Israeli Pearl Couscous

– 1.5 c. water

– 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

– Salt (for water)

Couscous “toppings”:

– 5 thick pieces of Asparagus, sliced (5 cuts per piece)

– 4 cloves of garlic, sliced

– ½ large yellow onion, diced

– 8-10 (assorted sizes) baby Portobello mushrooms, quartered

– Salt, to taste

– Pepper, to taste

– Garlic powder, to taste,

– Red chili pepper flakes, to taste

– Extra virgin olive oil

– Block aged Parmigiano Reggiano

– 2 eggs

 

Directions:

  • Heat large skillet to medium, coat with EVOO. Once to temperature, add: sliced asparagus, diced onion, quartered mushrooms.
  • After about 5 minutes, add sliced garlic. Add salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Let cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are browned and onions are caramelized (20 minutes, drop heat to low once vegetables start to brown).
  • Once your vegetables are browned, turn the skillet to low or off. In a sauce pan, add water, EVOO and salt. Bring water to boil. Add in couscous. Drop to low and cover pan. Stirring occasionally, until all water is absorbed. It will take about 10 minutes.
  • In another sauce pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, prepare two eggs to be poached. *An easy way to do this is by taking a small glass ramekin, and placing a sheet of plastic wrap over it; slighting dipping in the middle of the ramekin. Crack egg into the dip you created, and fold over plastic sheet sides— so that entire raw egg is covered. Take two plastic ends and tie in middle. Be careful not to break the yoke. Once the water comes to a boil, carefully drop each egg into the water, and swirl the water with a wooden spoon (never touching the eggs). Turn off, and cover. Set timer for 7 minutes. for a runny egg yoke and 9 minutes for a soft poach.
  • While your eggs are poaching, turn the skillet with the vegetables back on to low. Add in cooked couscous, mix thoroughly. Add in more salt, pepper, garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes and EVOO to taste. Plate couscous mixture into two equal serving bowls. Grate aged Parmigiano Reggiano over couscous.
  • Carefully remove poached eggs in plastic wrap from hot water, this will be very hot. Use a slotted spoon and place the plastic wrap egg onto a plate with a paper towel on it (to absorb some water), as you don’t want water in your couscous. Cut plastic wrap with kitchen shears to avoid getting burned. Carefully pat away any excess water and place poached egg onto couscous mixture with spoon. Drizzle EVOO and finish with fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

 

 

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Roma’s 71st Anniversary Sale

It’s the sale you’ve been waiting all year for— our 71st Anniversary Sale! Join us in-store from September 28th through Columbus Day (October 9th) for exclusive savings on specialty goods that you’ll only find at Roma’s! We like to think of our annual sale as a small thank you for your loyal support and patronage for over seven decades.

Roma 71st Sale Flyer

Grilled Italian Meatball Burgers

frank's Grilled Italian Meatball Burgers

 

By: Frank Bolognino

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ c seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ lb. Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • ¾ c shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 8 Kaiser rolls, split
  • 1 c roasted garlic Parmesan spaghetti sauce, heated

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl
  • Crumble beef and sausage into the bowl and mix well, shaping into burgers
  • Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and coat your grill rack
  • Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side (thermometer should read 165 and juices should run clear)
  • Sprinkle burgers with cheese, cover the grill, and let cheese melt (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Remove and keep warm until ready to serve— serve on toasted Kaiser rolls with warm sauce.

 

Note from the author: Grilling or broiling the rolls just before you’re ready to eat is highly recommended!

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Olive Oil Gelato Recipe

Well, it definitely feels like fall out there… But there’s sunshine in the forecast for this weekend and there’s only one way to celebrate in our books— with gelato. More specifically a gelato recipe submitted by one of our very own customers— Amanda Hesser. We hope you enjoy her recipe for Olive Oil gelato!

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Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • Large pinch salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  • In a medium-size saucepan, stir together sugar, water, milk, and salt. Heat until bubbles form around edge of pan.
  • In a separate bowl beat egg yolks until frothy. Continue beating while pouring in the combined liquids in a thin stream. Return the mixture to pan.
  • Heat mixture over low to medium heat, stirring consistently until the custard thickens to a loose custard sauce consistency or reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (Take your time and take the pan off the heat, if needed, because you don’t want to scramble the egg).

 

  • Immediately pour the custard into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice water bath. Stir until the mixture is cool. Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream — the mixture should thicken and turn smooth. Taste the mixture and decide if you want to add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil — the oil flavor will become more prominent as the ice cream ages, so keep this in mind.
  • Churn in an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. Eat right away, or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.

 

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5 Tips for Labor Day Entertaining (Outside Your Own Home)

5 Tips for labor day entertaining

 

If there’s one thing that Roma’s is good at, it’s entertaining. As Italians, we love to welcome our homes (and our hearts) to family and friends and give them the gift of a home cooked meal. However, as you know with Labor Day weekend approaching, not all gatherings are on your “turf”, but knowing us, and probably you, that’s never a reason to not meet taste expectations! Here’s are our top 5 tips to help “nail” your next get-together— regardless of the venue!

  1. Understand the landscape. What’s one of the most important features of a property? “Location, location, location!” By knowing the limitations of venue, you can set your expectations with what you can realistically do in that in that space (and you can assume what will happen to the food you’re brining as well). Things to know-before-you-go:
    1. Temperature of location (inside, outside?)
    2. Will you have access to an oven or microwave, if needed?
    3. Will you have access to an outlet, if you need to plug something in?
    4. Will you have access to a refrigerator, if needed?
  2. The delivery. One of the most stressful aspects of bringing an item— is bringing it there. Our pro tip: boxes. Regardless the size of the serving dish, a sturdy cardboard box will help ensure a safe delivery. In a pinch for a box? Stop at your local wine store!
  3. Delivery Part 2. Now that you’ve got there, how’s your food getting to their plate? One of the most forgotten items is the serving utensil. Unless you’ve coordinated with the host beforehand, don’t assume that they have one for you!
  4. Clean-Up. Another thing not to assume? That you’ll be able to clean your dish prior to leaving. The best solution is bringing something that is disposable (or that you can part with). However, if you’re using one of your favorite dishes, think about the easiest exit strategy = come with a sturdy plastic bag that you can tie up your dirty dish in.
  5. Save yourself the stress all together. Yes, you read that right. You can avoid steps 1-4 by simply placing an order ahead a time at Roma’s! We are open all weekend to ensure your last minute holiday needs are met! Check out our catering menus here!

We hope you have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend!

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Summer Garden Pizza

If you’re a pizza lover like us, than you’re going to love this home-grown recipe for Summer Garden Pizza. We went into our gardens and rolled up our sleeves for this one, we hope you enjoy it!

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P.S. in case you were wondering, you can get all your ingredients here at Roma’s!

 

Ingredients:

Pizza dough

Pizza Sauce:

Pint fresh-picked cherry tomatoes

Medium sweet onion

4 gloves of garlic

Good EVOO (we have a big selection!)

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Herbes de Provence

Toppings:

Pepperoni

Shredded Mozzarella

Chopped Basil

 

How to Make:

  • Halve cherry tomatoes
  • Chop garlic and onion
  • Coat medium-large sized pan with EVOO, heat medium-high
  • Set oven temperature to 425 degrees
  • Add cherry tomatoes and onion to heated skillet and cook on medium for 10 minutes
  • While your sauce is cooking, stretch out your dough and prep for oven. At this time, you’re going to season your dough with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (dusting), drizzle EVOO. Pre-bake dough for 10 minutes or when your dough starts to brown
  • Add garlic, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Herbes de Provence, drizzle EVOO and stir thoroughly
  • Cover and cook for 8 minutes, check, stir and taste. Your tomatoes should be broken down at this point, if your sauce tastes sour or tinny, add salt and pepper and touch more Herbes de Provence to cut some of that acidity
  • Add tomato mixture to pre-baked pizza dough and spread evenly
  • Sprinkle desired amount of cheese and add your desired toppings
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Turn Broiler On to 550 degrees
  • Finish pizza under broiler (2-5 minutes) or until desired doneness
  • Slice & Serve!

 

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Roma’s Homemade Italian Dressing

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Whether you’re marinating meats or dressing up a salad, you need a great dressing— and homemade is often the more delicious, healthier, option. We think one of the greatest things about scratch dressing is how quick it is to make— so it’s easy to whip up on a moment’s notice, and the fresher it is, the better the flavor! And of course, if you’re in a pinch, Roma’s always sells delicious dressing options for you to choose from. Buon appetito!

 

Roma’s Homemade Italian Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Dash of dijon mustard
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ c. olive oil (extra-virgin, of course)
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How to Make:

  • Add all ingredients into a mason jar or your dressing bottle, seal, and shake vigorously.
  • Let the flavors marry for a bit before you use the dressing— we recommend making it a day ahead of time to bring out the flavors!
  • Store in the fridge up to 2 weeks (but we doubt it’ll last that long, because you’ll want to use it on everything!).

 

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