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Watch Party

Italian TV Holiday Menu

Written by Linda SarrisPhotos by Alberta Cuccia

EDITOR'S NOTE: What's better than watching a riveting drama with great friends? Watching a riveting drama with great friends while having some delicious food and drink! Invite some friends over to watch MHz Choice and enjoy these scrumptious recipes crafted by Chef Linda Sarris! ~ J.C.

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Linda Sarris, The Cheeky Chef, in Sicily

A note from the Chef:

When that winter chill sets in, it’s time to get cozy and stay inside. What better way than to invite some friends over for a meal together? The perfect complement of course, is MHz Choice’s Italian programming, as varied as Italian cuisine itself. If you want the latest, check out the comedy-drama The Vertical Line. How about crime stories set in Rome, presented with a little whimsy? Try Bulletproof Heart or Nero Wolfe. Speaking of whimsy, there’s the hilarious memoir, Mafia Only Kills in Summer. The list goes on, but no list of MHz Choice’s Italian programming would be complete without mentioning Detective Montalbano, the ultimate lover of Italian cuisine. Specifically, it’s Sicilian cuisine that is the great temptress for Salvo, and her secret is market-fresh ingredients.

Although it may not be snowing here in Sicily, winter brings a surprising pop of color with all the amazing products that fill the markets. From wild fennel to juicy pomegranates, and a rainbow of citrus fruits from little tangerines, to deep red blood oranges and massive citrons — there’s nothing sleepy about the flavors of winter in Sicily.

With many home-cooked Italian recipes, its important to keep it simple and always use the highest quality ingredients. The secret weapon for any Italian recipe is the new harvest extra virgin olive oil that was just picked and pressed from October through November. The grassy, fresh, peppery “green gold” will brighten up any winter dish. Our viewing party menu includes a seasonal spin on a gin and tonic, small wild fennel meatballs, a baked calzone with pork sausage and bitter greens, and baked half-moon cassatelle pastries for a little sweet treat.

About the Chef
Linda Sarris is a food/wine travel consultant and private chef based in Palermo, Sicily. From her sun-lit kitchen studio above the 1,000 year-old Ballarò food market, Linda works as a freelance writer, social media manager, and culinary communications consultant while still traveling regularly for private chef work with clients in the fashion and music industries. Under her brand, @thecheekychef, she is self-publishing a Sicilian food and wine ‘zine and curates a series of Mediterranean culinary/lifestyle retreats and travel experiences. Her first book will be published in 2022 with Hachette Book Group.