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POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 22, 2014 Page 11 Halfway through their pre-season schedule, the New England Patriots find themselves with a .500 record. The 2014 pre-season started with a disastrous performance in Landover, Maryland as the Washington Redskins rolled to a 23-6 win. "I don't think we really did very many things the way we wanted to do them." said head coach Bill Belichick, who elected to rest many of his core players. In fact only 9 of the 22 projected opening day starters took the field. The New England bench resembled an all-star team as Quarterback Tom Brady, Wide Receiver Julian Edelman, Cornerback Darrelle Revis, and Linebacker derod Mayo sat Out the game. Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who is still recovering from knee surgery, was also expectedly absent. The game started off as a way for the team to showcase Quarterback Ryan Mallett, in the final year of his contract, to the other 31 teams in the league; however that back- fired as Mallett completed only 5 of 12 pass attempts for 55 yards. It wasn't pretty. Many of his incompletions bounced into the ground, completely missing targets. In the second half, Belichick sent out 2nd round draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo, despite man- aging only a late touchdown pass demon- strated poise in the pocket and a sense of leadership that Mallett hasn't shown in his four years vc th the team. However to pin the blame entirely on Mallett would be foolish. The offensive line, in particular lleft tackle Nate Solder, had a brutal night.'"I don't think our protection was good enough," Belichick said of his offensive lines performance. Potential third down conversions that may have jump- started the offensive unit, were negated by ill-advised and sloppy penalties. The defense, which had dominated during train- ing camp looked sluggish as well, allowing key third down pickups during Washington's first half drives. "I don't think our passing game was good enough. I don't think our running game was good enough. I don't think our run defense, pass defense, kicking game were good enough -- they all need to be improved. We just weren't very good in any phase of the game." With the Redskins debacle behind them, the Patriots returned home in preparation for a week of joint practices and a Friday night game versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Many of the starters that missed game one were on the field versus the Eagles at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots topped Philadelphia 42-35. The game started with quarterback Tom Brady, in his pre-season debut, leading a solid opening drive that ended in an inter- ception that loudmouth Eagle cornerback Cary Williams retumed for a touchdown. The pass was intended for newly signed reserve tight end Steve Maneri, who never turned around for the ball. "It was just miscommu- nication." said Brady, "I'm glad it happens in the preseason." However, New England would win the turn- over battle, a 4-1 ratio for the game. "We always try to aggressively attack the bail, those can be game-changing plays so when you get a chance to make them, you need to make them," said Coach Belichick. Rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo con- tinued to impress as he threw two touch- down passes, one to running back James Develin and a second quarter strike to wide receiver Brandon LaFell. Even Ryan Mallett had a decent night, as he threw for one touchdown and ran another in himself. Although Mallett displayed some nice footwork running the ball, he still failed to impress in the areas that Belichick wants his QB's to excel; passing the foot- ball. He played the entire second half and only mustered 92 yards passing. He was also sacked twice. Unless Mallett shows drastic improvement Garoppolo should be the teams backup Quarterback for the regular season. The Patriots next game is this Friday night versus the Carolina Panthers. Regu- lar season starters should play well into the second half, meaning that this third pre- season game will give us the best insight as to what type of team the 2014 Patriots will be. Tight end Rob Gronkowski most likely will continue to be sidelined, even though he participated in light contact drills this week. Friday's game will also offer fringe players the opportunity to carve out a spot on the final 53-man roster. Saint Anthony's Feast (Continued from Page 2) Other participants and events include live appear- ances with Fast Freddy and Gregg Daniels of MIX 104.1 and The Wicked Bites Res- taurant Show. For a com- plete schedule of events, visit our new website: www.stanthonlifeast.com. Saint Anthony's Feast and the North End have it all. Whether you are out for a night on the town with that special someone or out with the family, Saint Anthony's Feast is a delight for all who attend. Close out the Sum- mer and spend Labor Day Weekend in the North End of Boston for four full days of free activities at this, the most Authentic of Italian Street Festivals: The Feast of Saint Anthony and Santa Lucia. News Briefs (Continued from Page I} M/~helle ~m~ Out for What, to Whom? First Lady Michelle Obama headlined a recent gather- ing in New York sponsored by the Liberal United Latin American Citizens and in her speech Obama urged those listening to her to seize the momentum like their parents and grandpar- ents before them because government is moving too slowly on the issue of immi- gration. WHAT? Is she really telling them to break the law? Isn't she a lawyer? Whatever happened to the concept that we are a nation of laws and not of men? Pink Slips and Desk Duty Could you ever imagine pink slips going out to our men and women fighting in the war zone of Afghanistan or Iraq? Well, this idea, as bad as it sounds, has Just happened. Talk about hurt- ing the morale of our fght- ing forces ... Meanwhile, Sgt. Bergdahl is now out of the hospital and was given an administrative job by the Army. The whole world seems turned upside down, doesn't it? Even the NY Times Sees it I was reading a newspaper column written by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times a while back when she wrote of President Obama, "The president travels in Air Force One from photo-op to photo-op, then to coinciding fundraiser to coinciding fundraiser." Later in that same day, I watched Fox News reporting on a com- mercial Boeing 777 airliner shot tl'6v1 / over eastern Ukraine in the hands of pro- Russian separatists. The Ukrainian government says they didn't shoot down the plane. The separatists say they didn't shoot down the plane. The Russians say don't look at us. Well, some- one shot down the plane, right? Getting back to Maureen Dowd. Fox goes live to Dela- ware for a scheduled presi- dential photo-op and the president turns to the plane crash and says, "It looks like there may be a tragedy" with the downed plan. Looks like, maybe? A plane was shot- down and crashed killing all 295 people aboard. That is a tragedy, period. As for the culprits, call them terrorists, whoever they are. Benvenuti! As we are well into the Summer I would like to celebrate one of the most versatile vegetables of the season: il peperone (pepper) and, in particular, il peperone rosso di Calabria (the Calabrian red pepper).This glorious yet simple traditional dish is one of my mother Anna's top ten recipes. Peperoni ripieni (stuffed peppers) is a dish that incorporates the intense roasted pepper's flavor into the seasoned ground meat. Sometimes topped with sugo al basilico (red sauce with basil), peperoni ripieni are often considered tastier the day after their preparation. Our family recipe uses seasoned ground beef to stuff the peppers and doesn't call for sugo al basilico. Meatless versions of this dish can be found in the region: each pepper is stuffed with a vegetable flUing made out of capers, garlic, breadcrurnbs, basiLparsley and topped with some moz- zarella or provol~(a-+Iocal variety of provolone) of course! On August 15th "Ferragosto" (AssumptioII DaI~}'is celebrated all over Italy with fireworks, town festivals and with the tradi- tional lunch at the beach where you can be sure that plenty of peperoni ripeni will be eaten on those stunning Calabrian beaches! A very tasty way to conclude Summer! Peperoni Ripieni (serves four) 1 pound ground beef 2 whole eggs + 1 yolk I/2 cup plain breadcrumbs 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano I/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano 1 clove of garlic finely minced 4 large red peppers Salt Freshly ground black pepper Italian seasoning mix Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mozzarellaj~heese_{diced) Preparation: Put the ground beef, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic and eggs in a bowl or mixer. Season with two pinches of salt, some ground black pepper, the Italian seasoning mix and incorporate until the consistency is smooth and compact, then set aside to rest. Wash the red peppers and cut them in half lengthwise discarding the stems and the seeds. In a large pot, bring some water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and drop in the red pepper halves. Boll for 5 minutes then drain well. Oil an oven dish and place the pepper's halves empty side up. Fill each pepper vessel to the top with the meat mixture and garnish with some diced m0z- zarella. Make sure that the filling is nice and packed into the peppers, try not to leave empty spaces. Drizzle with some olive oil and cook for 45 minutes in a 425 degrees oven. Buon appetito! Peperoni Ripieni (serve quattro) 500 g carne trita 2 uova intere + 1 tuorlo 100 g pane grattuglato 100 g Pecorino Romano grattuglato I O0 g Parmigiano Regglano grattuglato I spicchio d'aglio finemente tritato 4 peperoni rossi grandi Sale Pepe nero macinato + Mix di erbe "Italian seasoning" Oilo extr ergfne dt olIva Mozzarella a cubettl : : Prc,,/mraz# ne: Metti la came trita, il formaggio, ii, pane grattugiato, l'aglio e le uova in una terrina o in unimixer. Aggi 'Igi due prese dl sale, del pepe nero macInato i il mix di erbe e combina il tutto flno a che il compostorisulti amalgamato e abbla assunto una consistenza Orposa quindi mettilo da parte fai riposare. Lava i peperoni e tagliali a meta' per lungo elim/nando 11 picclolo, I semi e la parte interna. In una pentola grande fal bollire deIl'acqua, aggiungl una presa di sale e fai cuocere i peperoni per 5 minuti quindi scolali bene. Cospargi il fondo di una piroflla da forno con dell'olio d'oliva e disponl i peperoni vuoti. Riempi ogni "barchetta" con tl preparato di came e guarnisci con dei cubetti di mozzarella. Assicurati che i peperoni siano ripieni di came flno all'orlo e che non ci siano spazi vuoti. Cospargi con tm filo d'olio ed infoma a 425 gradi per 45 minuti. Buon appetito! If you would like to cook with me 90 to www.speakasyoueat.com. Alessandra Sambiase is an elementary and middle school Italian language teacher in the Catholic school system and in the North End. She is also a cooking instructor and founder of "Par/a come mangLP" (speak as you eat!) cooking classes~ where the passion for the Italian language meets the love for the Italian food. Y