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Italian Ices

On 21 Jul 2006 at 18:26, Kim wrote:

> Dear P
> I know this may be boring but I am looking for some info on what
> exactly is  "Italian Ice"...Not gelatto, not hawaiian ice, not a
> sno-cone. I visited a place for many years (many years ago) on
> Armitage ave. in  Chicago. Its now something like Tom & Wendys and
> they still sell the stuff  but it isnt quite the same. It used to be
> weekends only and you had to get the  watermelon with the seeds still
> in because it was made by hand... I would like  if possible general
> instructions to make said "ice" or the old recipe for the  watermelon
> "ice". (p.s I am sorry ahead of time if there is Jello associated 
> with this recipe)
> Thank you 
> Kim 

Hello Kim,

An Italian ice, like a sorbet, is just sugar, water, and flavoring. (No Jello) In Italy, there are two kinds: "sorbettini", and "granitas". The difference is that granitas are just a bit more grainy when served than sorbettini. Almost all of the "Italian ices" sold in the U.S. are variations on granitas.

For more, see these books: "Granita Magic" by Nadia Roden, and "Gelato!: Italian Ice Cream, Sorbetti & Granite" (Hardcover) by Pamela Sheldon Johns, Joyce Oudkerk-Pool (Both are available at Amazon)

Also, see these sites:

Granita al Melone

Food Network

Jane Austen

And, recipes below for watermelon granitas.


Watermelon Granita
(From Nadia Roden’s book Granita Magic via Arthur Schwarz, Food Maven at
makes enough for 4 to 6 granitas

1/2 cup water
5 to 7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 large watermelon (about 5 pounds of flesh)
Juice and zest of 2 limes

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a low boil. When the sugar 
has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat.
Cut the rind off the watermelon, then cut the flesh into 2-inch chunks.
Puree the chunks in a food processor. Press the puree through a sieve; discard 
the seeds and fibers. Stir the syrup, lime juice, and zest into the melon liquid.

Here’s some granita-making tips:

Use a small, flat pan with a large surface area. The more shallow the pan is 
filled, the quicker it will freeze (less than 3/4” deep works best).
Cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap.
Freeze the pan and refrigerate the liquid beforehand to accelerate 
the crystallization process.
After an hour or so, the liquid will start to freeze along the sides of the 
pan. Using a fork, scrape the ice away from the edges towards the center of the 
pan. Repeat this process every half hour for a couple of hours and eventually the 
pan will be filled with fluffy-ice flakes. 
If you’re not going to eat it immediately, leave it in the freezer overnight and 
when you’re ready to eat it leave it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes or so. 
Watermelon Granita 
(Tori Ritchie )

4 to 5 packed cups seedless watermelon chunks 
1 cup water 
1 cup sugar 
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 

Place the watermelon chunks in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through 
a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. You should have 2-cups puree. 
In a saucepan over high heat, combine the water and sugar. Heat, stirring, just 
until the sugar dissolves. Add the sugar syrup and lemon juice to the watermelon
 puree and stir well. 
Pour the mixture into a shallow 9-by-13-inch metal or glass-baking dish. 
Place, uncovered, in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
 Using a fork, stir to break up the mixture. Return to the freezer and freeze,
 stirring with the fork every 30 minutes to prevent the mixture from forming a 
 solid mass. It should be evenly crystallized and like slush in another 2 hours. 
To serve, spoon or scoop the granita into chilled serving dishes. Serves 6. 

Smothered Okra

On 23 Jul 2006 at 13:28, gus wrote:

> I am looking for the recipe for smoothered okra, could you please
> help.
>   gus 

Hello Gus,

See below.


Smothered  Okra

 Ingredients :
 16 oz. sliced okra
 2-3 slices bacon or 2 tbsp. oil
 2 oz. tomato sauce
 1 tbsp. water
 Salt & Pepper to taste

 Preparation :
    Use 2 tablespoons oil or fry down 2 to 3 slices bacon in heavy
 black pot.  Get oil very hot and add okra; cover.  Let cook covered
 on medium heat for a while, then turn okra easily with pancake
 turner.  Cover and let other side of okra brown.  When okra is dry
 and brown add 1/2 can tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon water over the
 okra.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let fry and turn
Smothered  Okra  And  Tomatoes

 Ingredients :
 2 lbs. fresh okra, washed and sliced
 2 c. peeled chopped tomatoes
 1 chopped lg. onion
 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 4 tbsp. butter
 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
 1 tbsp. sugar
 1 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. black pepper
 Dash of dried basil
 Dash of dried oregano

 Preparation :
    Place butter in heavy skillet and heat over medium light.  Add
 okra, lower flame and gently saute about 3 minutes.  Using spatula,
 keep okra moving.  Add tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire
 sauce, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, tossing ingredients
 together until liquid has evaporated.
Smothered  Okra

 Ingredients :
 1 lg. onion, chopped
 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
 1/2 c. oil
 2 lbs. fresh okra, sliced 1/2 inch thick
 Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

 Preparation :
    Saute onion and tomato together in oil about 2 minutes.  Add
 okra, stir well and cook on medium heat in a partially covered pot
 about 45 minutes or until it is no longer ropey.  Season with salt,
 black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Italian Style Stuffing

Hello Again,
I've been going through your archives and have come across a lady  
requesting "something made with bread crumbs, eggs, and cheese that 
is made into patties, fried and put in red sauce". Well, I know her 
request was a long time  ago, but I would like to share with you my 
Grandmother's recipe, which is the same recipe everyone (who's interested) 
in my family has. My Grandma was born in Ireland, raised in England. 
Met my Italian Grandfather when he was stationed in  England during WWII, 
she was 20yrs old, he was 29. They married about a year  later. Eventually
 she moved to America in 1946, where she learned to cook much of what 
 I grew up on, from my paternal Great Grandparents, who were farmers. 
This 'Italian Dressing' recipe is used different ways: 
1) To stuff a chicken, turkey, capon, breast of veal, or pork  chops 
   (I've had all)
2) Made into patties and fried (like potato pancakes), and either eaten 
as is or dropped in homemade tomato sauce.
3) Any leftover from stuffing a bird would be put in a buttered casserole 
dish and baked.
The recipe mostly goes by consistency, or when it has golden yellow or 
orangey-yellow color (depending on the color of your egg yolks) and very 
moist but not soupy, if that makes any sense. Also, garlic and cheese can 
be altered to your taste. Before baked, this mixture is not supposed to look 
like it has bread cubes as you would think a stuffing should look. It should 
be 'wet' looking but, as I mentioned, not soupy, and if you are stuffing a 
bird the stuffing will be able to be sliced when done. You can also lightly 
fry (to heat) leftover slices from Sunday dinner.
Here goes...
1 large pan loaves of  bread
3-5 eggs (add 3 at first,  then if it looks like you need more, 
add 1 at a time)
nice handful size bunch of  Italian flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup to 1 full cup  finely grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
about 1/3 cup olive  oil
4 or 5 cloves of garlic,  pressed
salt and pepper to  taste
Hollow out your loaf of bread with your fingers  into small pieces. Put 
bread in large mixing bowl. Add 3 eggs, parsley, garlic,  oil, cheese, 
salt and pepper.Mix with a light hand until combined, mixture should be 
very  moist but still look sturdy. Add extra eggs if you need them. I 
usually take a pinch and  taste it to see if I need more of any ingredient. 
(I know technically you aren't  supposed to consume raw eggs, however, no 
one in my family has become ill, but you do  have to be careful).
It should taste cheesy and garlicky. You can then  use it as a stuffing, 
bake it, or form into patties and fry. If frying, be sure to drain off 
the oil onto paper towels once they are cooked through and lightly golden 
If you are able to post this, I hope any of your devotee's that try this 
recipe love it as much as I do. This dressing is a tradition in my family,
and everyone on this side of the family knows what it is, although no one 
makes it as good as my Grandma (or me). 
Thank you for being accessible, I wish I could do something nice for 
you...perhaps send you cookies or something? Let me know what your 
favorite  is!Anyway, I will be in touch with you again soon.
Your New Friend,

Thanks, Amy!

Van de Kamp's Date Nut Bread

On 26 Jul 2006 at 17:17, Kelly wrote:

> That's OK, thanks anyway. I found a recipe developed by Wayne Schmidt.
> He  liked Van de Kamp's date nut bread also and tried to dulicate it
> himself. So,  I'll try his. :)

Hi Kelly,

Sorry that I was no help with this. I found Wayne Schmidt's recipe, too, (after you told me) so I'll post a link for other readers who might be interested.

Wayne Schmidt's Recipe for Van De Kamp's Date Nut Bread


More Van de Kamp's Bakery Recipes

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