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!

Roma 8_16 Blog

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

Roma 07.28

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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Roma’s Tips for Grilling Fruit

Roma 07.12

 

Grills make for a wonderful cooking experience. We’ve already covered numerous tips on grilling— whether it be fish, meat, or vegetables— but this time, we thought we’d take a sweeter approach. If you’ve never tried grilled fruit, we highly recommend it— and we’re dishing up some tips for you to make it a reality the next time you fire up the grill.

 

Some things to consider when grilling fruit:

  • Choose firm fruits on the verge of being just-ripe. Pineapple is a favorite of many, but pears, peaches, apples, watermelon, mango, bananas, and cherries are just a few others that taste great when they hit the heat— but don’t be afraid to experiment!
  • When cooking fruits, the charcoals should be medium-hot so that the outside of the fruit doesn’t cook too quickly. You may need to rotate the fruits regularly to prevent this from happening as well.
  • Peel the fruit and remove the seeds before grilling, and soak the fruit in liquor or brush over with a sweetener such as honey or maple syrup to create a pop of flavor. Be sure to brush with coconut or canola oil before placing on the grill to prevent sticking.

 

Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone

What you’ll need:

  • 4 peaches, halved and pitted
  • Honey bourbon for soaking
  • Coconut oil to brush on
  • ¾ cup mascarpone mixture (we sell it here at Roma’s!)
  • Mint leaves for garnishing

 

How to make (serves 6-8):

  • Soak the peach halves in bourbon in a covered container for an hour.
  • Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high.
  • Remove from container and brush each side lightly with oil
  • Place peaches on grill cut-side down for about 3 minutes, then flip and move to indirect heat for a few minutes.
  • Remove peaches from heat, dollop with mascarpone, garnish with a mint leaf, and serve!

Roma Recipes: Patriotic Pasta Salad

Roma 06.23

 

The Fourth of July is a holiday beloved by so many. Fireworks, family and friends, and, like many other holidays, an excuse to make (and more importantly, eat) extra-delicious foods. We love getting together to celebrate our love for this Nation and share dishes and memories. If you’re looking for a recipe that can accomplish all of the above, you’re in luck— read on for our recipe for Patriotic Pasta Salad (we promise everyone will love it!).

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Pasta of choice (rotini or wheels work very well!)
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 16 oz. fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 8 oz. fresh pepperoni, sliced or cubed
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz. artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 5 oz. sliced black olives
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ of a bottle of Italian dressing
  • Optional: One can of garbanzo beans

 

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Allow to cool, then split into two batches and place in separate gallon-sized zip-lock bags.
  • Add 40 drops of red food coloring to one bag and 40 drops of blue to the other. Seal bags and squeeze/shake both well to distribute the coloring. Rinse contents of one bag at a time under cold water until water runs clear, then dry pasta with paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta with all other ingredients. Mix well (but gently) and refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve.

 

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Ease Back into Grilling Season

Roma 06.2017

 

It seems that as the temperatures begin to rise, our cravings for grilled— everything— are a bit harder to ignore. If you’re new to grilling or looking to incorporate some new “tricks” into your grilling repertoire— we’ve got some quick and easy tips below (and will have a few more coming your way throughout the summer as part of our Summer Grilling blog series!).

 

For starters: We recommend using a charcoal grill over a gas grill if you’re looking to add some serious flavor to your meats. While a gas grill is, by far, easier to use, mastering the charcoal grill will allow you to truly enjoy the foods you cook— not just for the fact that you mastered the charcoal grill, but also because it just tastes so darn good.

 

Marinade is your best friend: Marinade is to meat like frosting is to cake—  depending on the flavor, you’re going to enjoy a different flavor and texture experience. For tough cuts of meat, soak in the marinade overnight (in the refrigerator); more tender cuts of meat will only need about two hours (but should also be kept in the fridge during this process). If you need a little bit of help creating your own marinade, check out our “Make Your Own Marinade” post here!

 

Find some good wood chips: Another way to make the flavor of your meat really unique is to smoke it with some wood chips. Find your wood chunks and soak them for about 15 minutes in some water so that they won’t burn when you add them to the coals. Preheat the grill, add the wood on top of the charcoal, and then start cooking your meat. Make sure to keep the grill lid on as much as possible during this process to encapsulate as much of the flavor as possible (if there is too much airflow, the taste will not be as good).

 

Note: Eventually the wood chips will dry up and burn, so make sure you have enough to last the duration of your grilling session— especially if that session happens to be a long one!

 

Using wood chips on a gas grill: You’ll need a wood chip smoker box— this will maximize airflow and sit right on top of the grill grate right along with your meat.

 

Some of our favorite pairings:

  • Cedar with fish
  • Applewood with pork
  • Mesquite with chicken
  • Cherry with beef

 

Send-off: Note that you can use wood chunks in lieu of marinade, OR you can use both. Pairing a delicious wood-smoked flavor with the perfect marinade is just another way to become a master of the grill. We hope your grilling season is off to a great start and that you have many more adventures coming your way this summer— we know your grilled masterpieces will be the stars of the show in the months to come! Enjoy!

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Brunch

Roma 05.12

You know how much Italians love their mothers. They are sources of inspiration— as they are strong, generous, caring, and compassionate, just to name a few traits. They’ve cooked for you, cleaned up after you, raised you, comforted you. To all of the mothers out there, thank you; and we hope that this Mother’s Day, you feel truly loved and appreciated.

No matter who you are, making this Mother’s Day extra-special is easy with the right supplies. All amazing days begin with a great meal— so make sure this Sunday is the same! Read on for the ultimate Mother’s Day brunch dish, plus a few additional tips to spruce up the morning.

  1. Give the house (especially the kitchen) a brief cleaning— nothing too serious; just enough to make sure that no mother thinks it’s something she needs to take care of today.
  2. Prepare the perfect brunch, with favorites of the mother(s) you’re celebrating today: Coffee, orange juice, perhaps some champagne, potatoes, fruit, meat, and our extra-special French toast (see recipe below!).
  3. Assemble a crew to clean up after brunch. Don’t let the any mom in your life lay a finger on the dishes!
  4. Whatever your celebration may be, be sure to end it with a thank you to all the special mothers in your life; and remember: Mother’s Day lasts the whole day, not just those few brunch hours.

 

Ultimate Cannoli French Toast:

What You’ll Need (Serves 4):

  • 2 c. ricotta cheese
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ c heavy cream/milk
  • 8 slices of French bread
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Powdered sugar and sliced strawberries for serving

Directions:

  • Combine ricotta, powdered sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
    (Tip: To save even more time, grab some of our premade mascarpone filling!)
  • Whisk eggs and cream/milk in a pie dish.
  • Spread about ½ cup mascarpone mix onto four slices of bread. Top each with the other slice of bread and squish together a little.
  • Dip each side of the sandwich into the egg/cream mixture (they should be well-coated).
  • Melt butter in a large skillet and fry each sandwich until golden-brown on both sides.
  • Slice each sandwich into two triangles, transfer to a serving plate, and dust with powdered sugar before serving— serve with a bowl of sliced strawberries.

BREAKING NEWS! New Sammich of the Week Menu!

Our new Sammich of the Week menu features delicious, unique, carefully curated choices that you’ll fall in love with all over again. Stay tuned— the new rotation begins May 8th!

Roma's Specials Graphics (Sammich, Dinners)

 

Chef Dave’s Famous Philly Steak or Chicken Sandwich: Choice shaved eye round or sliced natural chicken breast, peppers, onions, and Land O’ Lakes American on a torpedo roll. $7.95

Turkey Club: Roasted in-store turkey breast, Finlandia Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and Russian dressing on wheat or rye bread. $7.75

Good Old Italian Mix: Genoa salami, lean cap, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, and choice of roasted red, hot chopped, or banana peppers. $7.50

Italian Bologna: Mortadella with pistachio, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, choice of roasted red, hot chopped, or banana peppers, and Italian dressing. $7.25

American Mix: Baked ham, roast beef, roasted turkey breast, Land O’Lakes American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard on a hard roll. $6.50

Black Pepper Ham: Boar’s Head black pepper ham, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, choice of roasted red, hot chopped, or banana peppers, and Italian dressing. $7.75

Molinari Special: Fennel salami, dry salami, Tuscan salami, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Italian dressing. $7.25

Chef Dave’s Roma Panini: Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil on a toasted focaccia roll. $7.95

Roma’s Tips for Outdoor Dining

Roma 04.28

 

With spring finally in full swing and plenty of reasons to celebrate on the horizon, the itch to get outside and enjoy the nice weather is stronger than ever. For many of us, maximizing our time outdoors can mean taking the things we would normally do inside out into the backyard or the local park— and of course, this means bringing our meals outdoors as well. Whether you’re setting up for a small picnic or a barbeque bash, read on for a few of our tips to make your outdoor dining experience a little easier!

  • Stay hydrated by bringing plenty of water with you. This isn’t just for your health; it will help to keep you and your guests happy and enjoying each other’s company longer! There’s nothing worse than enduring a dehydration headache while trying to enjoy a gathering of friends and family.
  • Sunscreen is a lifesaver— especially on those sunny days. Be sure to slather it on regularly to avoid that awful skin-prickling burn!
  • If you’re in the backyard, set up an umbrella over your table for shade and put cushions on the seats to keep your guests comfortable (and to keep legs from sticking to chairs in these ever-rising temperatures!)
  • If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keep in mind the duration of your excursion and the temperature that day. Perishable foods shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour or so, especially in hot weather, so if you’re planning on being out for a while, be sure to bring plenty of ice and insulated coolers!
  • Be sure to have covers for the food to keep bees, other insects, and any wind-blown debris out of it! This can also lock in coolness depending on the material used in the container. Try not to bring anything that will shatter to avoid an accident ruining the day!
  • Keep the food simple. We’ve mentioned this as a picnic tip before, but it holds true no matter what your outdoor excursion is. Foods that are easily contained and easy to serve are the best options in outdoor scenarios, but don’t look at this as a limitation— your outdoor dining experience can still be scrumptious and include variations of your favorites!
  • Blankets and cushions are necessities if your intentions are to have a picnic on the ground. If you have a picnic table available to you, set the food here to keep ground-dwelling critters and insects from bothering you.
  • To avoid bees and other insects, first tip: find a spot that isn’t near a trash can. You can also set out mothballs near your setup area to keep them away— mothballs act as a stinky natural repellent to insects. To double up on your security measures (because there is nothing worse than having your picnic ruined by pests), you can create a concoction out of sugar, vinegar, water, and a chopped up banana peel inside of a 2-liter soda bottle, and hang it from a tree a little ways away from your site. This will get their attention and keep them from bothering you and your company! Mint is also a natural bee repellent, so by sprinkling mint leaves around the food and your picnic area, you can ward them off.

We hope you’re as thrilled about the return of the warm weather as we are. There is nothing sweeter than an outdoor gathering with all of your favorite people. Wishing you a beautiful spring— we’ll see you the next time you stop in for your picnicking needs!

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Roma Recipes: Easter Bread!

Roma 04.2017

Every holiday that comes around brings with it a recipe or two that we just can’t wait to dig into— and we suppose that’s what makes food so special. It has the power to remind us of a certain time or place; evoking cherished memories of family, friends, and the best of times gathered around a table sharing life’s greatest gift— togetherness. Times change, but these memories (and the treasured recipes!) are something we hold dear always. One such recipe for us is Easter bread— and we’re leaking it to our beloved Roma’s fanatics because we just couldn’t wait to share. What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Send them to latham@romafoods.com for a chance to have them featured in our Customer Cookbook before we publish it!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast
  • 1.25 cups scalded milk (cooled to room temperature)
  • A dash of salt
  • ⅓ c softened butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ c sugar
  • 3.5 c flour
  • 1 beaten egg for wash (mixed with 1 tsp water)
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs (unboiled)
  • Sprinkles

 

Directions:

  • In mixing bowl, combine yeast, milk, salt, butter, eggs, sugar, and half the flour. Mix thoroughly— use a dough hook if you have one!
  • Add remaining flour a little at a time and mix until a stiff dough forms (just keep adding flour until dough is no longer sticky)
  • Knead until smooth, place in greased bowl on countertop and cover to allow to rise for about an hour— dough should double in size.
  • Punch dough down and divide into 12 equal sections, pulling until they form ropes that are about an inch thick and 14 inches in length.
  • Using two ropes, twist into a braided dough rope, then pinch the ends together to form a circle.
  • Place on greased baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Top with sprinkles and add an egg into the center of each.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, keeping watch not to burn, then allow to cool on rack. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Marinade

Roma 03.2017

Grilling season is upon us. You can literally smell it in the air as you peruse the neighborhoods of the Capital Region. While these warm days may be fleeting now, we know that higher temperatures are on the way— and so, here we are. To help you prepare for all of your grilling pleasures, we’ve created a guide to creating your own marinade, plus tips on maximizing the flavor— because often times, the marinade makes the meat. You might have a go-to marinade that you prefer to use, whether it be a simple Italian dressing or a mixture you throw together on the fly; but this guide will help you realize just how creative you can get with your marinades and maximize your grilling enjoyment. Have fun!

 

What You’ll Need:

 

Some type of acidic liquid, such as vinegar, wine, lemon, lime, or orange juice.
Why? The acidic pH helps to tenderize the meat; and using an acidic component in your marinade can help to reduce the amount of carcinogens that could otherwise be created in the food when cooking over an open flame.

 

Oil such as olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, or safflower oil.
Why? Oils help to lock moisture into the meat to prevent it from drying out while it grills, and the healthy fats from EVOO can replace some of the less-healthy animal fat that will leak out during the cooking process.

 

Spices and herbs such as oregano, black pepper, onion and garlic powder— or whatever your heart desires.

Why? Well, all of the oil and acid is getting into your meat, helping it to cook better and enhance the flavor— the spices will do the same thing, seeping into the cut and giving it a delicious taste. The seasoning aspect of the marinade allows for you to get really creative. You can incorporate whatever spices you’d like, taking care to pair the flavors the way you might in any other dish.

 

A pinch of salt

Why? A pinch of salt will help to enhance the flavor and bring out more juices in the meat. You don’t need to use a lot of salt— a little will go a long way.

 

Additional Tips for Marinating:

  • Taste your marinade before you pour it over your meat to make sure you like the flavor.
  • Pierce the meat with a fork to allow the marinade to soak into the meat.
  • Use glass or plastic as your marinating vessel— aluminum may react to the acid in the marinade.
  • Cover and let marinate in the fridge, where the meat will not get too warm and form illness-causing bacteria.
  • You can use marinades on vegetables and tofu as well, so there’s really no limit to what you can do with your new creations!
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