Oh these fun to pronounce ingredients! Is it giardiniera, giardano’s, or giada?? I chose Alex Guarnaschelli’s (gwar-nah-shelly) cookbook Cook With Me for Cookbook Club. We love Alex! In my opinion she is the princess to the queen Ina Garten 🙂 The recipes in this book are all easy to follow, with simple ingredients. So let’s go!
Alex has quite a few cocktail recipes, as well as non-alcoholic sodas, in her cookbook. We chose the Spiced Negroni, even though we had featured a Negroni in a previous club meeting (See No Reservations About Rao’s Restaurant). This drink was not a winner for any of us, with the Campari overwhelming the rest of the ingredients. A little addition of club soda did help though, and luckily there was plenty of Italian wine to drink.
Nancy brought the appetizer, a Salami and Cheese Platter – and yes, this is in the cookbook! You can see why we love Alex – easy peasy! Actually the hardest part for Nancy was trying to find some good Italian cheeses, which led to the conversation “Why doesn’t Springfield have a good Italian deli??” Ughhhh!! Anyway it was delicious as always!
Dee made the salad, which was Iceberg Giardiniera – iceberg lettuce cut into wedges, with the dressing being as simple as giardiniera (store bought is fine, but she does have a recipe for homemade in the cookbook) and its brine, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise. We all thought the giardiniera was a little spicy, but delicious! This is a salad that I will definitely be making again.
So, how do you say giardiniera? I wish I had a video of all of us trying to say it LOL … Nancy found a t-shirt that Jeff Mauro was wearing with the correct pronunciation – jar-din-air-ah. So there you have it!
Since I was the host, I chose to make both the Godfather and Goodfellas Spaghetti and Meatballs. The meatballs are the same in both recipes, the difference is in how they are cooked. The Godfather sauce has spicy Italian sausage in it, and is more “saucy” to me. The meatballs are cooked in the sauce. The Goodfellas sauce is more basic, includes onions, and the meatballs are added to it once they are browned in a skillet. The Godfather Spaghetti and Meatballs was the winner, mainly due to the addition of the spicy Italian sausage. But both were yummy and very easy!
And last but not least, dessert, and the reason I picked this cookbook in the first place. On the back cover of the cookbook Alex has a picture of her Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. I have been obsessing about these, and asked Laura to make them. So delicious! Definitely going to make these myself!
So, to recap – giardiniera is not scary, Springfield needs an Italian Deli, and Alex is great!