Calamari Salad with Cecis and Chilies

Erica De Mane

tumblr_mlc3l1mEMn1qbhp9xo1_1280Still Life with Cat Stealing Squid from a Plate, Giuseppe Recco, seventeenth century.

Italian seafood salads are among my favorite dishes. I always hoped one would show up on my family’s patio table during a summer barbecue, and often it did, the first thing there. As a kid I was especially crazy about the versions that included scungilli, with its odd musky undertones and chewy texture. I realize many people don’t like scungilli, and you don’t see it around much anymore, even in old-school red sauce joints. Phil Karlin, my fish man at Union Square, carries it, caught right off the North Fork. I’m not sure who aside from me buys it. I also like cold mussel salads with lots of celery and fennel. I’m crazy for hot seared shrimp piled onto a bed of cool greens. And I like calamari salad anyway I can get it.

Classic Italian seafood…

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Your Italian Diet: Asparagus and Celery Soup with Celery Gremolata

Erica De Mane

130310-lgeStill life by Julian Merrow-Smith.

Your Italian Diet

Recipe: Asparagus and Celery Soup with Celery Gremolata

Many readers have told me that they really like my monthly diet column for Curves magazine. I like it too. It’s been a stimulating but at times mind-boggling challenge, coming up with 400-calorie main course meals in a bowl. One thing I’ve certainly learned is how easy it is to eat too much. And after almost two years writing the Curves column, I feel I’ve now got the thing down.

So with you in mind, I’m going to extend my Curves forum to my blog, giving you all sorts of seasonal, low-calorie, mostly Italian recipes. They won’t be as strict as the ones for Curves, and I’m not listing numbers for calories, carbs, fats, or salt. That won’t be my style here, but I will assure you that any recipe I post…

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A Brief History of Berks County, part 2

Flight of Five,_New_York

Many of you probably do not know that I am not originally from Berks County.  I was born and raised in Lockport, New York, which is roughly 30 minutes northeast of Niagara Falls and an hour north of Buffalo.  Lockport, while having many claims to fame, is known for having the most locks along the Erie Canal.  In fact they are currently restoring the flight of five (as they were known) to make them operational again.  Growing up, I used to listen to my Great-Grandmother tell us, how she liked to make produce deliveries in Buffalo with her father, because she had to stay overnight at a hotel.  I never could figure out why, until much later when I realized they traveled by horse.  An hour trip today, was a half-day to a day trip at the turn of the century.

The German Immigrants, who traveled to…

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