Archive for September, 2010

We have a new website!

We are excited to announce the all-new www.isernio.com!  We’ve completely re-vamped our website and added some new features – including a searchable recipe database with related videos, company history and a “Where to Buy” section where you can plug in your zip code to find stores carrying our products.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


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Festa Italiana!

It’s time for one of our favorite events all year – Festa Italiana Seattle.  Taking place this weekend – Sept 24, 25, 26 – at the Seattle Center, Festa Italiana is a wonderful celebration of all things Italian:

Food?  Yes!  Tons of delicious options (including Isernio’s sausage sandwiches, of course)
Wine?   As if you had to ask.  (Beer too, if that’s more your style!) 
Music?  Of course.  Dancing too!
Celebrity Chefs?  Yes!  And some really great cooking demonstrations.
Grape stomp?  Yes!  Come watch the teams get down and dirty in huge barrels of grapes.
Bocce?  You bet!
Classic Italian Cars?  Some real beauties!
History?  Wonderful photos of Seattle’s earliest Italian families.
Kids Activities?  Absolutely!

Check out the full lineup of the weekend’s activities here.  We hope to see you there!   

Do the Stomp! The Ruffino Grape Stomp at Festa Italiana Seattle

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Roasted Pig (Porchetta)

Happy and full guests

Recently Frank and Margaret Isernio held their annual pig roast – it’s not just a meal, it’s an event!  Roasting a pig is an ambitious undertaking, but the end result is well worth the effort.  Here is Frank’s recipe and some tips:


Roasted Pig Porchetta

Roasting a small whole pig is an occasion and treat your guests will never forget.  Italians love their porchetta.  Throughout the country, small storefronts, outdoor markets, festivals, fairs, and signature white trucks serve healthy slices of the roasted meat tucked into crusty rolls.  The Porchetta Sandwich is devoured nationwide as Italy’s fast food of ancient origins.  Made from a whole cleaned pig that is liberally seasoned with herbs and spices, it is trussed up onto a spit and slow-roasted until its skin is golden and crackling, and the meat is succulent and aromatic.

30-pound pig or smaller
½ lb. whole rosemary sprigs
12 oz. whole peeled garlic cloves
2 oz. cracked fennel seed
1 oz. fennel pollen (if available)
8 tsp medium coarse sea salt
6 tsp coarse fresh ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine

Trussing needle and kitchen twine

Use a food processor to make a coarse mixture of the chopped garlic, leaves of rosemary from 4 or 5 sprigs, the fennel seed, fennel pollen, salt and pepper.  Add olive oil and pulse until a coarse paste is formed.

Fresh rosemary sprigs add great flavor

Spread the mixture liberally into the pig’s cavity, reserving one third of the rub, and place the remaining rosemary sprigs inside.  Fasten the spit in place and sew the cavity shut using a large trussing needle and kitchen twine.  Refrigerate and let marinate overnight.

The happy roaster

Remove the pig from refrigeration and allow the internal temperature to reach 40˚, monitoring with a digital thermometer probe.  Place the pig on the spit and brush with remaining oil & herb mixture.  Lower grill lid and cook covered.  For best results, roast at and ambient temperature of 275-300˚.  A temperature probe placed in the rump section, not touching bone, should register 175˚ when done, approximately 4 hours.  Continue to base with oil & herb mix every half hour of cooking time.

The serious business of carving some serious pork!

Remove from spit and let meat rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  In sauce pan, add one cup of white wine to the remaining oil & herb mixture and reduce by half.  Pour wine/herb mixture over sliced porchetta and serve.

Plenty to go around!

Note:  A good resource for tips and pig roasting supplies is www.firepitandgrillingguru.com

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It’s that hectic time of year again when the kids are headed back to school, so who has time for a hot breakfast anymore?  Here’s a tip we’ve heard from a few Isernio’s fans who want to feed their families a hot and hearty breakfast in a hurry:  Pre-cook sausage links ahead of time, and have them in the fridge ready to brown in the morning. 

Here’s how:  Just take breakfast sausage links out of the package and place them in a pan of boiling water.  Immediately turn off the heat and cover the pan.  Let the sausage sit in there for about 5 minutes.  Remove the sausage and store in the refrigerator (it will keep for at least 2-3 days).  Then, in the morning just brown however many sausages you need in a pan over medium heat, with about 1 tsp. of oil.  It just takes a few minutes, and you have a protein-packed addition to your daily breakfast.

Do you have any tips to make the breakfast rush a little easier?  We’d love to hear about them!

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