Fried Caprese Salad

Summer is in full swing and the heat has officially been turned up! Italian food is not all hot soups and heavy pastas. It’s time to bring Italian cuisine to your back yard. With a focus on seasonal vegetables and LOTS of olive oil, it’s time to let Italy do the cooking. We’ve compiled some of our favorites and we hope you’ll incorporate them into your menu!

Fried Caprese Salad

What’s not to like about fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil, sprinkled with kosher salt and drizzled with the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil? We take it to the next level by frying up the Mozzarella using some panko bread crumbs!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 large tomato – sliced into 3 – 1/2″ rounds
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 Ball of Fresh Mozzarella – sliced into 3 – 1/2″ rounds
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • Balsamic cream

What To Do:

  1. Season tomato slices with salt and pepper and place onto a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Place flour, egg, and panko into 3 separate shallow bowls for dredging.
  3. Dip tomato slice into flour. Lightly tap to remove excess. Dip into egg and then into panko. Transfer to plate and continue with remaining tomatoes.
  4. Into a medium sized skillet add oil and heat over medium heat. When hot, add tomato slices and cook for approximately 30 seconds on each side OR until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt.
  5. To assemble: tomato, mozzarella, 3 basil leaves. Continue with two additional layers. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic cream.

Recipe Courtesy of Paula Jones

Summer Italian Pasta

This light yet hearty (is that even possible?) pasta is a summertime favorite. Skip the sauce and incorporate fresh seasonal veggies and you’ll be a rock star at your next summer dinner party.

SUMMER ITALIAN PASTA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound tube pasta
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pasta water
  • Get a large part of boiling water ready and salt it nicely. I like to use about a tablespoon of kosher salt per gallon of water. You can just eyeball, but the water should taste salty.
  • Cut off the thick stems on the rabe and dunk it in the water for 60-90 seconds until it is just wilted, but still has a tiny bit of crunch. Then drain the rabe and let it cool.
  • Save the water in the pot (I just pull the rabe out with tongs) so you can cook the pasta in the same water.
  • Once the rabe is cool enough to handle, roughly chop it up.
  • The second ingredient is tomatoes. I do not use any sort of sauce for this recipe, but I do roast about a pint of cherry tomatoes and add them in. These little guys add an intense tomato flavor without making the dish really heavy with a thick sauce.
  • I just half the tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast them at 400 degrees F., cut side up, for about 20 minutes. They will be lightly charred on the bottom and wilted.
  • Third is the sausage. A spicy Italian sausage obviously brings a lot of flavor to the dish. The key to cooking the sausage right for this dish is to start them on fairly low heat so they slowly cook and render out the fat in the sausage. Brown them for about 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package!
  • Once the sausage has browned on all sides, take it out of the pan and cut it into disks. It’s possible that the sausage won’t be completely cooked through at this point, which is fine. Toss it back into the pan with the garlic and a drizzle of oil if the pan is dry. Keep the heat on medium-low and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes to finish cooking the sausage.
  • It’s important to stir regularly at this point or you’ll burn the garlic.
  • Then you can stir in the broccoli rabe!
  • While there are three ingredients that make up the backbone of this Broccoli Rabe Sausage Pasta, the most important ingredient is none of them. It’s actually the pasta water. This water is starchy and salty and perfect for making a light sauce in the pan.
  • Once the sausage and rabe has cooked for a minute or two, pour in about 2/3 of a cup of the pasta water. It’s best to do this right before you drain the pasta so it’s as starchy as possible.
  • Then add in your tomatoes and all those ingredients will essentially make a very light sauce.
  • Then just toss in your drained pasta! Don’t worry about draining the pasta perfectly. Some liquid with the pasta is good to keep the sauce going.
  • Stir that all together well (tongs are your friend) and season the dish with salt, pepper, fresh oregano, and lots of Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve that up and you’re in for a treat!

Recipe courtesy of Macheesmo Cooking with Confidence

 

Olive Oil Gelato

Read the name again. Tell us you aren’t drooling. We dare you.

Serves 2 to 4

  • 3/4cup sugar
  • 1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4cup whole milk
  • Large pinch salt
  • 4egg yolks
  • 1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a medium-size saucepan stir together the sugar, water, milk, and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks until frothy. Continue beating whilst pouring in the combined liquids in a thin stream, then return the mixture to the pan. Carry on stirring with the pan over a low to moderate heat 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.
  2. 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.

Courtesy of Amanda Hesser

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Pancetta and Chicken Penne with Mascarpone

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Pancetta and Chicken Penne with Mascarpone

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces Pancetta sliced thick and diced
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1.5 cups Roasted Peppers (from jar)
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1.25 lbs roasted Chicken Breast, shredded
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook Pancetta over medium heat until crisp, drain on paper towel and set aside
  2. Pour grease out of skillet but do not clean skillet
  3. Cook Penne to al dente texture and drain
  4. Puree the peppers in a food processor and transfer to skillet with Mascarpone and Chicken
  5. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thoroughly blended and heated.
  6. Add cooked Penne to skillet with Chicken and Sauce. Toss to coat Penne and stir in Pancetta
  7. Serve topped with toasted walnuts and freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano

(To toast walnuts, spread on baking sheet and bake at 350* for 9-11 minutes or until aromatic and lightly browned.)

Serves 4

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Asparagus Tops and Prosciutto

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Pancetta Frittata

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12 Dishes of Christmas

Nothing says, “it’s the holidays!” like your favorite homemade dishes. We’re talking about the honest-to-goodness meals you ate growing up, always looked forward to coming home for and, now, what you pass along with your family traditions. We’re sure you already to know this, but at Roma, two of our favorite things are family and food. Everyday we share our homemade recipes with you, so we want to see yours!

Now through December 23rd we are asking our fans to Private Message us, on Facebook, their favorite Italian recipes. If social media isn’t your forte, no worries, we will have a recipe jar located at our deli counter at our Latham location for your submittal.

The tasty holiday cheer doesn’t end there! Once we’ve collected all the recipes and selected the ones that we will feature online and in-store, we will make a “fan”ily-inspired cookbook available as a gift to our loyal patrons in early January 2015.

Have questions? Message us on Facebook or call. We look forward to seeing all your recipes!

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Meet Frank— The Man Behind The Meat

Roma Foods is like no deli that many have ever encountered. As you walk in, you immediately feel a sense of family; you feel its heartbeat, dedication and see its patron loyalty. In a world where convenience usually outweighs quality, Roma Foods is at the pinnacle, by offering only the best products, service and taste. Frank Bolognino, the proud, eldest brother of four, whom all have a hand in both locations, had something to do with that.

“I took over the location in 1974 after my father died. I was 20 years old and no idea how to run the business, it was a lot of trial and error, but I think we turned out alright.” Although Frank and his brothers grew up in Roma Foods, being the newly appointed owner definitely resulted in a learning curve. “I played on boxes, when I was real young, and worked the counter when I was fifteen, but beyond that, I had no real ownership experience, I was a kid. I dropped out of college to come home and take care of the family business.”

Frank is loyal— he believes in his business, his devoted patrons and his family, who inspired his love of it all before he even realized it. His passion for excellent, authentic Italian cuisine started when he was just a child. “We would go to my grandmother’s house quite often, she lived on a farm and we had fresh meat and handmade pasta.” He smiled as he recalled a lesson he learned soon after he took over his father’s business, when a customer reminded him that quality always prevails no matter the cost. To this day, Frank only sells and serves the best foods at both the Latham and Saratoga locations.

In an industry where competition keeps cropping up, Frank has learned that the hard work and time that he has invested into Roma is well worth it. “It’s extremely rewarding to be my own boss, having the respect of the community, building a reputation— it’s my life, I’ve been doing it for 40 years.” As for his goals for Roma Foods, he just wants to keep going and making people as happy as possible, with no plans for retirement any time soon. His advice for anyone planning on opening a deli— “Be prepared to work tough and long hours, not enjoy your holidays, but know that it’s all worth it in end!”

Roma Foods has two locations both in Latham, NY at 9 Cobbee Road, Latham, NY 12110 and in Saratoga Springs at 222 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. You can order over the phone, check out their menus or learn more at www.romafoods.com.

 

 

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The Best Advice You’ll Ever Get From Your Butcher

Butcher Albany NYWant to know a secret? Not all butchers are the same. Quality, years of expertise and a fundamental love for meat vary by shop or counter you may visit. While you sometimes may opt for the most convenient selection, you will find it pays to go the extra mile and visit a butcher who cares about what you’re taking home for dinner. From industry tips to trade secrets, here’s the best advice you’ll ever get from your butcher.

  1. There’s NO difference in taste between previously frozen and fresh meat! *Gasp* Haven’t you ever heard that a freezer is a busy cook’s best friend? We have too, that’s why we recommend that you purchase meat close (within a couple days) of cooking it, and if that’s not an option, freeze it! Simply remove it from the butcher paper, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and store to your heart’s content— however, it’s best for taste and meat consistency if your cuts are consumed within a month!
  2. You can save money with unconventional cuts. While we can all list off the usual suspects on a steakhouse’s menu, there are plenty of other cuts that are delicious and cost effective. Try skirt steak or tenderloin tips, or next time ask your butcher about the “oyster steak” —an economical option they’ll be sure to recommend.
  3. You can ask for specific meat preparations. We truly aim to please and that’s why we encourage our customers to ask us to prepare their meat the way they’d like. While we won’t go to your house and cook it for you, we are happy to debone, trim, butterfly, break down poultry, tie hams or roast beef— at no charge to you.
  4. Just because it’s discounted doesn’t mean it’s about to go bad. There’s a rumor that’s been going around for some time that discounted meats should be avoided. The truth is that if you see a sale, it’s because we got a deal from our vendor and we simply wanted to pass along the savings!
  5. Yes, we’ll admit it; regular customers do get special treatment. While we treat every customer with respect and with professionalism, if we see you on the regular, we are more apt to do favors for you. Whether it is giving you the heads up on weekly specials, taking call-in orders ahead of time or knowing your meat preferences, we remember you and your orders— so come in frequently!
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Great ready for Memorial Day at Roma Foods!

Roma Foods has everything you need for a great Memorial Day!

If you have questions about our Memorial Day specials, call us at 518-785-7746 (our Latham store) or 518-587-6004 (Saratoga store). Additional information about both stores can be found on our website at www.romafoods.com.

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Roma’s Natural Meat- No Beef Recall Here!

The staff at Roma Foods were shocked when we heard about last month’s beef recall and wanted to use this opportunity to tell our fans more about our natural meat products and the farms that they come from.

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Recently, a food company in northern California recalled more than 8.7 million pounds of beef products because it processed diseased and unhealthy animals. That’s almost a year’s worth of beef! While this statistic is scary, we weren’t worried as we know a lot about the farm that our all-natural meats come from. Before we go into taking about our natural meat, let’s define what the term “natural meat” means. The all-natural meats we carry at Roma Foods are:

  • Free of antibiotics.
  • Free of added hormones.
  • Free of steroids.
  • 100% vegetarian, corn-based diet fed to animals.
  • Midwest-fed cattle.
  • A proud product of the USA.

Our natural meats come from locally owned, US farmers from the Midwest through a farm called Naturewell. The Naturewell facilities that process the meat routinely test their product to ensure the promise of no antibiotics or added hormones. As an additional safety measure, their certified feeding facilities are regularly monitored and audited by third party auditors. When the meat begins to be processed, it happens in state-of the-art processing facilities. Unlike other farms, Naturewell owns and operates their facility, so they’re able to retain complete control, ensuring their quality control requirements are consistently met.

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Naturewell exceeds the USDA’s certification for “natural meat”– absolutely no chemicals, “natural additives” or water is added to the meat during processing. Additionally, their cattle are fed a natural diet without added hormones or antibiotics. The cattle typically receive a high-energy, corn or grain based diet supplemented with roughage, usually ground grass hay.

All these quality checks ensure that Roma customers get the highest quality and healthiest meats in the Capital Region. Stop into Roma Food’s Latham location, located at 9 Cobbee Road, to talk to our butchers about the natural meats we carry!

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The Ultimate Super Bowl Party Starts at Roma Foods!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ROMA FANS!  Where did 2013 go? It’s hard to believe that another year has passed by us in a blur! Despite how the time flies, we want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of our loyal customers. Thank you for continuing to patronize our business and allow us to be a part of your lives. Nothing brings us more joy than helping you prepare a wonderful meal for your family.

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On a more serious note…THE SUPER BOWL! The Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers, Colts? Who are you hoping will make it? The big game will be played not far from our own hometown and we can’t wait to hear the stories about those from the Capital Region who made the trek to the game! For those of you who can’t make it to see the live game, we are here to help you prepare for the PERFECT Super Bowl party!

We have hand-picked specials for the big game that will be sure to please everyone at your party. Starting Monday, January 27th through the Super Bowl on February 2nd, Roma Foods will be running the following specials to help make your Super Bowl easy, delicious and fun!

  • Party Subs: $10.00 Off All Party Subs, 3-6 feet long, $5.00 off 2 foot subs!
  • Chef Paul’s Famous Pulled Pork: $4.99lb
  • Buffalo Wings: Bone-in or Boneless, any style, $3.99lb
  • All Natural Beef Chili: $5.00 Quart
  • Baby Back Ribs: $3.49lb
  • All Natural Philly Steak: $4.99lb
  • Little Neck Clams: $64.95 half bushel or $3.99 per dozen

As always, our suppliers like National Beef, Murray’s All-Natural Chicken and Indiana Kitchen Supplies are committed to raising animals that are treated ethically and humanely, without the use of antibiotics, steroids or chemicals. In fact, we are one of the largest all-natural meats and poultry suppliers in the Capital Region!

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For those of you who don’t want to cook so you can focus all your energy on the game, let us do the cooking! Our catering services provide prepare platters of cold cuts, pasta salads, green salads and all the other fixings you need! We offer a wide selection of prepared hot and cold dishes such as chicken dishes, antipasto and more are available for your convenience. See our catering menu here! However, as we don’t want you to feel limited to what you see on our menu, we have Chef Paul waiting in the wings to prepare whatever your party needs are. This includes specialty dishes like chicken teriyaki, crab cakes, pork chops, and much more. If you need help putting together a menu for your Super Bowl party, stop into Roma and we can assist you.

If you have questions about our Super Bowl specials, call us at 518-785-7480 (our Latham store) or 518-587-6004 (Saratoga store). Additional information about both stores can be found on our website at www.romafoods.com.

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