Monday, January 16, 2012

Italian Sushi with Mrs. A's Balsamic Dijon Dipping Sauce!

This is a great idea I decided that I wanted to make, using some of my recipes and the art of Sushi rolling. Mixing both style that I enjoy Japanese Sushi as the format to my dish & Italian Cuisine as the Flavor! After some good conversation with my Fratelli's, Mr. A, Mrs. A & Krista, I decided to make a few basic rolls to start with! They came out great and with no hiccups, pretty simple (with 2 Sou Chefs Mrs. A and Krista & a hour or so of prep work!) & delicious! As I am always saying make these your own, take something you like and turn it into something you and your family will LOVE! Here it is ITALIAN SUSHI! SUO TUTTO MANGIARE! ITS ALL TO EAT!!!

Italian Sushi

Recipe Ingredients:

Roll Filling's

- 1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (Skim for all the New Year Resolutions!)
- 2-3 Sun dried Tomato's
- 6-8 Diced Plum Tomato's
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Arugula
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Roasted Red Pepper
- 1 lb of Lasagna Pasta 

Eggplant Roll

- 1 Eggplant sliced thin
- 2 Eggs
- Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- Fresh Parmigiana Cheese

Mrs. A's Balsamic Dijon Dipping Sauce

- Salt & Pep
- 3 tsp of Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tsp of Olive Oil
- 4 tsp of Honey Dijon Mustard

Unlike most of my previous posts, this one does take about an hour or so of prep time preparing everything before you start to build your first rolls. Grab some of the family and GET IN THE KITCHEN!!! This is a fun and delicious recipe for you too enjoy making with your family! ITS ALL TO EAT! I would recommend starting and following the way that I will explain it to you, that way everything is done before you need it! Most important ENJOY & MANGA!

Roasted Red Peppers & Eggplant Rolls Prep

Step 1 : Cut & Press flat onto baking sheet with aluminum foil & non-stick spray

Step 2 : Place oven on broil on second shelf, watch closely

Step 3 : Remove once the rep pepper has turned black & crisp

Step 4 : Let cool & place in plastic bag

Step 5 : Remove black layer and place in dish for later
Start by cutting and pressing your red peppers into flat 2-3 inch squares. Place onto baking sheet with an aluminum foil underneath, spray with non-stick spray to help when removing from pan. Place oven on broil, and place on 2nd to top rack, keep a close eye on these you want to take them when they all have turned black completely on top. Remove from oven and  let cool after blackened, then place in plastic bag for around 10-15 minutes to allow the steam to help further cook the red pepper. Once you remove from steam bag, remove burnt outer layer and place roasted red pepper in a dish for use later on.

Step 1 : Slice the Eggplant into thin long strips
Moving on to the Eggplant Rolls, take your eggplant and cut as thinly as possible long horizontal pieces that run the whole length of the eggplant. Once entire eggplant is cut thinly, you can prepare your breading station. The Breading station consists of a bowl with 2 eggs beaten, & another bowl of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs and Freshly graded Parmigiano Cheese Mixed together. Take the thin sliced eggplant, bath it into the egg mixture, then place into Bread Crumb & Cheese mixture. Place on cooking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat until there is no eggplant left. If you need to use more eggs, first try adding water to the mixture ( again trying to watch the weight after New Years! haha). Once you have finished, place eggplant into the oven at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes, again keep an eye on theses and flip when needed. You will know the eggplant is done when they have turned a nice golden brown color on both sides. Place on a dish and let cool.

Step 1 : Thin long slices of eggpant

Step 2 : Prepare your Breading Station

Step 3 : Place in Egg Mix Bath

Step 4 : Place on both sides Bread crumb & Parm Mix

Step 5 : Place in the oven at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes
Step 6 : Place in plate to cool

Ricotta, Tomato & Basil Filling

In another large bowl, place your Ricotta Cheese (Skim), Freshly chopped basil & Freshly diced plum tomato's. Then mix. This is great for these rolls, it adds great flavor and is a key component in keeping the rolls together.

Ricotta, Basil & Tomato
Sun dried Tomato's & Mozzarella Filling

Take your Sun dried tomatoes and cut them into small thin slices, easy to use when rolling your Sushi, do the same for your fresh Mozzarella, cut into long thin slice's. I found that the thinner and longer the slices, the easier they are to roll.

Arugula & Fresh Basil Filling

Take your Fresh Arugula & Basil and place on a plate, these are best when you just use them directly into the roll, adding great flavor and great texture to the rolls. Plus adding a very eye pleasing look as well!

Lasagna Noodles

You now can cook your Lasagna noodles, Remember to add your salt to the boiling water! Once Noodles have been in and stirred for around 10 minutes they should be ready to go. Drain noodles, and run under cold water to help cool and make it easier to handle. Once cooled, place on a cutting board and cut noodles in half,k directly in the center of each noodle, you can do this all at once to allow for the same sized noodles. Once this is finished you are ready to start putting your first Italian Sushi Rolls TOGETHER!!!


This was my favorite part of making this meal, again I challenge you all to make your own, with your own fillings! We made mixtures from Basil, Mozzarella & Sun Dried Tomato to Eggplant, Ricotta & Arugula! (and every mixture in between!!!) The key with rolling is to place all of the toppings you want at one end of the Noodle or Eggplant and roll into the noodle! See below step by step! Take your time and Mix things up!!! Everything tasted great! Once Noodles are rolled place on baking sheet on top of parchment paper.
Step 1 : Place toppings on one end

Step 2 : Begin to roll noodle

Step 3 : Continue to roll down noodle

Step 4 : Completely finish the roll

Mrs. A's Balsamic Dijon Dipping Sauce
Balsamic Dijon Dipping Sauce

I knew that I wanted something to replicate the soy sauce used in classic Sushi, so when talking to Mrs. A, she had told me of a recipe that she had for a Balsamic Dijon sauce she had made before. This is simple and really elevated the Sushi to the next level!

Start out with adding about 2 tsp of Salt & Pep into a mixing bowl, then add 3-4 tsp of Honey Dijon Mustard, add in 4 tsp of Olive Oil & 3 tsp of Balsamic Vinegar. Then Mix! Its that simple and believe me it is a great complement to these rolls!!! BELLA!!!

Finishing Touch's

After all Rolls are complete, you can add fresh parmigiano cheese sprinkled on top, this adds another dimension of flavor as well as a nice crisp to each roll. Then place oven on 300 degrees and place completed rolls into oven for 5 minutes. This finishes cooking the noodles and crisping the cheese sprinkled on top. Once in the oven for 5 minutes take out and serve!!! I would recommend either serving whole rolls for a dinner plate, or cutting to serve as appetizers! These came out great and what a wonderful day we had making them! My two Sou Chefs really helped me out (Krista & Mrs. A) !!!





These Rolls were everything that I had imagined them to be! Great tasting, filling & wonderful to share! Taking my Italian Recipes & incorporating them in this traditional Japanese style of cooking was something that I really enjoyed doing & hope to continue in other foods that I continue to cook and enjoy! There is nothing like creating something step by step in your mind and completing it in real life, seeing your idea come to fruition is something that I love! Be creative out there! DO NOT settle for mac n cheese every night or grilled cheese! Take something you like & turn it into something you LOVE, bring your family together!!! For that is what truly matters!!! I hope you all enjoyed this recipe, because I know that I did! Until next time, remember ITS ALL TO EAT!!! SUO TUTTO MANGIARE!!!

-freddy g


Here are some more pics!!! Enjoy!!! BELLA!!!

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