Summer Italian Brunch

Jacquline McClelland, mother of Brandon McClelland, wipes away tears during an interview in Paris, Texas, on June 5, 2009. McClelland believes that dropping the murder charges against the two men accused of killing her son lets those guilty of the killing go free. AP Photo/LM Otero

Nick Stellino gave up his Wall Street job to follow his dream of becoming a chef. And through his cookbooks and cooking shows, he's been teaching Americans that Italian cooking is fun and easy.

His latest series, "Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen" is airing now on your local PBS station. And his latest cookbook, "Mangiamo! Let's Eat," features the recipes he grew up with in Sicily.

So The Saturday Early Show asked him to prepare a brunch Italian-style with a $30 budget.

The following is his menu:
Parma-style Scrambled Eggs
Potato Pancakes
Grilled Sausages
Grilled Mushrooms with Parmesan Cheese
Caramel Apples with Whipped Cream

Chef Stellino points out all of these dishes can easily be done on the grill. Simply place your griddle, saucepans, or sauté pans on your grill. If you're using a griddle over your barbecue grill, he suggests treating your griddle with a non-stick oil spray before you begin cooking.

Here are the recipes:

Uova Parmigiane
Parma-style Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
4 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
1/2 white onion, chopped medium
8 eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method: In a non-stick sauté pan, cook the butter (or olive oil), garlic, and onion over medium heat. Cook until the onion is soft and the garlic is starting to brown, which will take about three to four minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a large bowl. Add to this bowl the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Mix well. Then add the egg mixture to the pan, stirring well, until the eggs are scrambled soft, which will take about three minutes using medium-high heat.

Salsa Parmigiana
Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream
1/2cup grated parmesan cheese

Method: In a small non-stick saucepan, cook the cream over medium heat until the cream is reduced by a third. This will require about five minutes. Add the grated parmesan cheese and stir well until the cheese is completely melted. The sauce is now ready to be used. Keep warm over low heat.

Chef's Note: This is a great sauce to serve with a plate of spaghetti, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or pork roast.

Salsicce alla Griglia
Grilled sausages

Ingredients:

1 lb. Italian Sweet sausages

Method: Take the sausages out of the casing and shape each sausage into a small patty similar to the shape of a hamburger patty. Place the patties on a grill pan or a griddle, and cook over high heat until well-done - about three to four minutes on each side.

Piedine di patate
Potato pancakes

Ingredients:

4 large Russet potatoes, peeled
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped medium
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
2 Tablespoons, chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs.

Method: Heat oven to 425ºF. Peel potatoes, place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Pierce potatoes with a fork in several places to allow steam to escape. Bake 40 to 55 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven. Let potatoes cool to room temperature before shredding. Shred the potatoes using a hand-held grater and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a non-stick saute pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil, the red bell pepper, and onion. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about four minutes. Avoid browning the onions. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring well to avoid browning. Add this mixture to the shredded potatoes. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix well.

Using your hands, shape the mixture in round pancakes about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to a non-stick saute pan. Using high heat, cook the pancakes for about 2 minutes per side, or until brown. Then serve.

Mele Caramellate
Caramel apples

Ingredients:

5 apples peeled cored and cut into quarters
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream

Method: In a small non-stick pan, melt the butter and sugar over medium heat, until the mixture starts to caramelize, which will take about 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another five minutes or until soft. Stir well. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks start to form. Serve the apple mixture warm in individual serving dishes with a dollop of cream on top.

Grigliata di Funghi
Grilled Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1 pound of cremini or white button mushrooms, washed and cut in half
1/2teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of onion powder
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons, grated parmesan cheese.
2 Tablespoon, chopped Italian parsley

Method: In a stainless steel bowl mix together the mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder and olive oil. Cook on the grill (or grill pan) on high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Place the grilled mushrooms back in the bowl and mix well, while still hot with the cheese and parsley.

How to serve:
In a large breakfast dish serve the eggs, some mushrooms, sausage and potato pancakes. Dress the plate with plenty of parmesan sauce. In a dessert dish, serve the apples and whipping cream.

Other books by Chef Stellino are: "Cucina Amore," "Nick Stellino's Mediterranean Flavors," "Nick Stellino's Passione," "Nick Stellino's Glorious Italian Cooking," and "Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen."
  • Tatiana Morales

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