VIRTUAL ITALIAN EXPERIENCE

Chicago & Positano Italy
Featuring Chef Kira Novak & Chef Raffaelle Mandara
Saturday March 28th
3:00 pm CST via ZOOM Meeting
Join here – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/377359740

Saturday March 28th
3:00 pm CST via ZOOM Meeting
Join here – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/377359740

We know it’s tough not being able to go out to eat, travel and explore the world through food right now, so we decided to bring the experience to you. Welcome to out first virtual LDC dining event where the Crew will still meet the chefs, taste and rate dishes, and learn about food. And since Italy has been hit hard by this pandemic, we thought we would pay homage to a country that is rich in food and culture.

We are excited to feature personal Chef Kira Novak, owner of Cooking by Design in Chicago and Chef Raffaelle Mandara owner of Casa Mele Ristorante in Positano Italy.

Chef Kira was a contestant on season 5 of MasterChef and obtained her knowledge and passion for cooking from her large Italian family. At a very young age her draw toward cooking became apparent when she would help her grandmother craft and prepare large meals for the family. Her grandmother would tell her, “A great cook never cooks the same way twice.” That lesson has carried with her as she creates each unique dish.

Chef Raffaelle brings together friends, family, and food in is his Positano restaurant. His popular cooking classes features regional recipes handed down by his mother and the generations that came before her. His hope when opening Casa Mele was for the locals to send their kids to his cooking classes.

Below is the menu for this virtual experience. We hope your Crew can either prepare the dishes using the recipes or pick up from your local restaurant prior to the start of this experience. This is not a cooking class, so all dishes should be near ready to go when we go live. We will eat and rate each dish in the order that they are listed on the menu. Both Chef Kira and Chef Raffaelle will talk with our Crew about the dishes and provide some fun information about the food and culture of Italy.

Please download and print the LDC menu here.

LEMON & GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZER

MOCKTAIL

LEMON & GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZER

INGREDIENTS

  • Lemons or Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (depending on your taste also lemon size)
  • Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • Club Soda or Sparkling Water
  • Ice Cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place water into a pitcher or covered shaker and squeeze in lemons until completely juiced (you may want to cut the lemon into quarters as they are easier to handle)
  2. Pour grapefruit juice into the pitcher or shaker and add just a few ice cubes but do not overfill.
  3. Stir the contents into your pitcher or affix the lid or cap on your shaker and shake mixture for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Pour into a large serving glass and add more ice to fill the glass as needed.
  5. Drink up and be prepared to make more!

CAPRESE SALAD

CAPRESE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 To 4 Medium Ripe Tomatoes (About 1 1/2 Pounds), Sliced 1/4-Inch Thick
  • 1-Pound Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Into 1/4-Inch-Thick Rounds
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Flaky Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the tomatoes and mozzarella on a platter. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on a platter in an alternating pattern.
  2. Top with the basil leaves. Scatter the basil leaves over the tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. Season with flaky salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of flaky salt and several grinds of black pepper, to taste.
  4. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic glaze over the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Serve immediately.

CHICKEN PICCATA

CHICKEN PICCATA

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 small shallot chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
  3. Chop the shallot and garlic and put with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil for about 30 seconds until you can see it sweat.
  4. Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

CHEFS NOTE: Capers are very salty by nature. Make sure not to add too much salt to the dish at first and see where you are after you put in the capers. You can always add more but you can’t take away.

SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO

SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Box of Spaghetti
  • 12 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil Plus More for Drizzling
  • Breadcrumbs (feel free to substitute panko)
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

  • Parmesan Cheese for Topping
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Lemon Zest for Topping
  • Salt Pepper to Taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt the butter and toss breadcrumbs with the melted butter, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on your baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente. 
  3. Brown the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes along with the breadcrumbs and let heat together until the flavors meld.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Toss the pasta in the skillet with the breadcrumb mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and add additional pasta water if moisture is needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and lemon zest, if desired.

TIRAMISU

TIRAMISU

Pick up at your local bakery, pastry shop, or grocery store. Or if you really want to make it here is a simple 10 min recipe that we found. https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/easy-10-minute-tiramisu/

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