Archive | February, 2012

Focaccia Faccia! Stuff Your Face with This Tasty Bread!

23 Feb

Focaccia Bread Recipe – Great for All Occasions…In the Face!
Recipe by

A great recipe my mother made quite frequently growing up was Focaccia, a white pizza like bread that had a little seasoning and always left you coming back for more. Whether it was a nice complimentary side dish to dinner or something we enjoyed as a snack, Focaccia is one item I rarely passed up when it presented itself (not that it just came around unannounced and snuck up on me or something…). Today I’m sharing my Roman style Focaccia bread recipe that my mother has shared with me and I think you will find it sooooo good, you’ll wanna shove that focaccia in your (the) face! Or simply just eat it…

Preparing focaccia with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil from Paggi Pazzo!

Putting together some focaccia with finely chopped fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil and a sprinkle of Reggiano Parmigiano from Paggi Pazzo!

To start, I buy my dough from a specialty market that makes their dough fresh everyday without any unhealthy oils and ingredients. Now if you have the time, feel free to make your own dough (show off!) but those of you like myself who don’t, here’s how we begin our focaccia recipe. I take a handful of flour and cover both sides of the dough, kneading and prodding to stretch it out. Unlike pizza, I don’t use a dough-roller for the focaccia and instead, poke at the dough all around with both index fingers to create an indented mountainous appearance (how picturesque!). Continue to poke and stretch it out until you have a decent size round shape and then place on a pizza stone or cooking sheet. I then add olive oil all around the focaccia and add a little bit of finely chopped garlic and fresh rosemary, pinch of salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of grated Reggiano Parmigiano. That’s all there is to it my friends! That simple! Set the oven to 425 degrees and it let it bake for about 20 minutes or until the focaccia turns a golden brown and then POW! Focaccia heaven.Focaccia Recipe with Fresh Rosemary and Reggiano Parmigiano from Paggi Pazzo

Recipes and types of focaccia vary from region to region in Italy. The one my mother has taught me is more of a Roman take on focaccia but also common in places like Liguria, while in areas of the south it is not uncommon to find focaccia topped with tomatoes and olives. I sometimes like to make panini with the focaccia by slicing it in half and stuffing with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella and/or soppressata with fresh mozzarella. It’s a reeeeeeeeally good panino, trust me! I use to make them all the time during my college days when I worked at Tutto Italiano, a little Italian specialty store. Try one and you’ll be so busy attacking that focaccia panino that you won’t have any time for TV, even if shark week is on! Now I know some may ask, what’s the difference between focaccia and pizza bianca? And the answer? I have no clue…. Just kidding… The pizza bianca in Rome is very similar to the focaccia with the difference being that the pizza bianca includes toppings while the focaccia is as is but can also be stuffed with deliciousness. Whatever you decide to do with your Focaccia, I bet it will be destined for face stuffing – Buon Appetito!Focaccia style panini recipes from Paggi Pazzo

Focaccia Bread Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 slices


  • 16 ounce fresh dough
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Reggiano Parmigiano
  • handful flour

Cooking Directions

  1. Add flour to both sides of dough and poke in circular motion, slightly stretching dough and creating round shape with finger indents throughout
  2. Chop and crush garlic cloves and fresh rosemary finely then grate Reggiano Parmigiano
  3. Lightly dress focaccia with olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, then add focaccia and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and stuffing your face!

Focaccia Bread Recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings.

Click here for full Homemade Focaccia Recipe and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Homemade Spanish Style Crab Croquettes – Fuel Up for a Run Through Pamplona!

9 Feb

Spanish Crab Croquettes Recipe; Run with the Bulls Amigos!
Recipe by

Tapas from Spain is one of my all time favorites and the Iberian nation is a hotbed for all things tasty! Without a doubt, I can’t have a tapas dinner without ordering some kind of croquettes that feature jamón Serrano, or chorizo, or chicken or beef or fish, etc… It doesn’t really matter because usually whatever is added in the filling is a mouth full of deliciousness! Today I’m sharing my recipe for Spanish Style Crab Croquettes, filled with fresh crab meat, chorizo, Manchego cheese, and fresh parsley that accentuate some of Spain’s most classic ingredients. It will inspire you to sing Red Ships of Spain or visit Pamplona and go running with the bulls! Then again, maybe hold off on that idea and stick to the singing.Spanish style crab filled croquettes with Manchego, chorizo, and fresh parsley recipe from Paggi Pazzo

What I love about Spanish crab croquettes, or croquettes in general, is that they’re fantastic for appetizers or even a whole meal if you make them as large as I do! My father-in-law was gracious enough to offer fresh crab meat that he brought home from the ocean waters of New Brunswick, so I knew what I had to do – like Spain world-class midfielder Xavi Hernandez’s exquisite footwork, I had to perform a clinical croquette recipe (or something like that…). One ingredient however I discovered hard to find was Spanish breadcrumbs as there aren’t many specialty stores featuring Spain ingredients close by to where I live so I made a bit of a bread crumb concoction. I mixed Italian and Japanese panko breadcrumbs with Goya Adobo seasoning and together, it gave a crispy and crunchy flavor to this enjoyable recipe.

To begin my Spanish crab croquettes, I start by sautéing the crab meat in a pan with garlic, chopped chorizo and a lot of fresh parsley in Spanish olive oil. Next step is preparing a béchamel sauce with butter, olive oil, flour and milk to create a creamy texture. Start by creating a paste with olive oil and butter melted at low heat, followed by flour and heated milk whisked together. Once the béchamel is ready, I chop Manchego cheese and add all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring well and then placing in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Now that the filling is chilled, I place my breadcrumb mixture on a large plate and beat an egg in a bowl for dipping. Take your crab croquettes filling and make an oval shape with your hands, then dip in the egg and roll onto the breadcrumbs. That’s all you need to do and keep repeating until all of the filling has vanished. Now I know the traditional way then is to fry or deep fry the crab croquettes and I did just that for 4 of them because my wife and I were very hungry and couldn’t wait to taste! However, for healthy eating best practices, I baked the rest in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes a side and they came out delightful, not to mention not overly saturated in oil. As a beverage you can’t go wrong with a great glass of Spanish sangria (or jug) but Spain has excellent wines and beers, including the Conde de Valdemar Rioja or the Estrella Damm Beer from Barcelona, or the Mahou-San Miguel from Madrid. All will go excellently with your fresh crab croquettes! You’ll be feeling good and ready after a few of these to take on anything, maybe even a run with the bulls? Just be sure to carry a few extra croquettes in case the bulls get a little too close so you don’t get the horns! Spanish Crab Croquettes recipe from Paggi Pazzo, Viva España!

Homemade Spanish crab croquettes with chorizo, Manchego cheese and fresh parsley from Paggi Pazzo

Spanish Style Crab Croquettes Recipe

Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 1 hour 5 min

Yield: 16 large croquettes


  • 2 pounds fresh crab meat
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo
  • 4 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 ounces Spanish Manchego cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Goya adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg

Cooking Directions

  1. To create filling chop crab meat, chopped chorizo, fresh parsley, chopped garlic, and add to a pan with olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes at low heat stirring ingredients
  2. In another pan, add butter and olive oil at low heat. Once butter melts, add flour and whisk then add milk and continue to stir until soft and slightly thick for croquette filling
  3. Chop Manchego cheese into small chunks and then combine with flour/milk mixture and crab meat/chorizo, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool
  4. In a bowl, add Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs, and Goya Adobo seasoning and mix
  5. Crack egg into a bowl and beat, then add breadcrumb mixture to a large plate. Take crab croquette filling and create small oval shapes then dip into egg and roll into breadcrumb mix, then place on baking sheet (repeat until all filling is used)
  6. Set oven at 425 degrees and cook crab croquettes for 20 minutes until golden brown
  7. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving and shout Viva España!!!

Spanish Style Crab Croquettes Recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 6 ratings.

Click here for full Spanish Crab Croquettes Recipe or Spanish Chorizo and Manchego Croquettes Recipe and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

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