What do you get when you cross a ghost book author of mixed Polish/Irish/Italian heritage with an Italian immigrant who happens to be an amazing self-taught chef and successful bootstrap entrepreneur? No paranormal dining with ghosts stories, but an amazing cookbook Delectable Italian Dishes for Family and Friends and a great Friday night. Last night our favorite local newscaster with a heart of gold and a spirit for fun, Danielle Campbell, hosted Sal Baldanza of Mr. Sausage and Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, author of Ghosts of Long Island: Stories of the Paranormal l and ll at her Harbor Lights Yoga Studio for a cooking, wine drinking and book signing evening.
Kerriann brought her family including her two young boys who just couldn’t keep their hands off the raw gnocchi dough. With both Sal and Kerriann cooking for their own children at home they are cognizant of assembling recipes that will satisfy an entire family as well as more finicky foodies.
Both Kerriann and Sal formed their love of food and cooking at an early age when spending time with their mothers in the kitchen. They each tell their respective stories in the cookbook. Kerriann grew up on Long Island and Sal with not a word of English in his vocabulary, came over to America at the age of 22 and settled in Huntington. His first job was as a dishwasher for Nina’s Restaurant, which was where Sal D’s on Wall Street is currently located. His story of hard work and solid faith that makes you want to burst out with a round of God Bless America. Believe me, if Danielle had provided a microphone I don’t think that I could have held myself back.
Kerriann and Sal fed us crostini with fig spread, caramelized onions and Gorgonzola that hit just the right sweet and salty notes. A perfect garlicky, artichoke spread came next. Everyone took a turn trying to master the art of rolling gnocchi on Sal’s own invention, a gnocchi board. Some did better then others, depending on how much local Long Island vino had been enjoyed. We should mention that Sal will be selling these boards at his Mr. Sausage store soon for all of you at-home gnocchi rollers. The gnocchis were served with a melt in your mouth brown butter sage sauce. Pizza margharita with fresh-from-Kerriann’s-garden basil and mozzarella was delicious. To finish off they served tiramisu and Limoncello truffles. The truffles were chocolaty with a hint of almond and a large dose of Limoncello that made our mouths smile and our vision blurry. The tiramisu was pleasingly light and creamy.
The recipes in the cookbook are for the everyday cook who wants to expand horizons and have fun with ingredients while creating great meals for families and guests. We made the crostini with fig spread at home and it came out great, just like Kerriann’s. The books are available locally at Book Revue at 313 New York Avenue ,Huntington 11743. If you were hoping for more info on Long Island ghosts, we wrote about Brosky’s Ghost book signing here.