Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Tom Papoutsis: Hi I Tom Papoutsis and this is Tess Molaso. Today we are going to be making? Tess Molaso: Pizzelles. Tom Papoutsis: Pizzelles are a thin Italian cookie. It was originated in Italy in the Abruzzo region of Italy, which is actually the central-southern region of Italy and these cookies they go back a long, long way traditionally they are a Christmas and Easter cookie, but they can be enjoyed any time in the year.
What we are going to be going is, we are going to be mixing the batter. We are going to talk about how we want our batter, the consistency, the ingredients that go with it and we are going to be talking about the differences in pizzelles and also we are going to show you a couple of different things that you can do with the actual pizzelle when the cookie is made. To make our pizzelles, what we are going to need is eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and flour.
We are going to make two types of pizzelles and we are going to make in amaretto flavored pizzelles. So, the spices are going to vary with the regular pizzelles we are going to use anise oil and anise seed and vanilla extract. For the amaretto flavor we are going to use a little bit of amaretto liquor. We are going to use some orange zest, some orange extracts and almonds extract. Those ingredients will be the basis for our batter.
Tools that we are going to use today, we are going to use a whisk for mixing all of this. Of course we have measuring spoons, an orange zester and we also have a spatchler to scrap the ball out with and then we are going to use this large serving spoon for spooning the batter into the pizzelle iron and then we are going to do a little bit of a twist on how to make this things a little fancier.
We have a lemon rammer there when used to make a cone and we also have a tumbler glass that we are going to use to make a ball shape out of our pizzelle cookies. Let us talk a little bit of about safety. We are working with hot pizzelle irons and what we have to be careful about is, when we handle these things especially when we are making the cones and we are making some of these other things. You actually physically have to touch the cookies when it comes out the iron; they are very, very hot. So, we have to be cautious when we handle those. Tess, she is my friend my guest expert here today, a housewife by trade correct?
Tess Molaso: Right.
Tom Papoutsis: An expert in making our pizzelles.
Tess Molaso: I have been doing this since I was a child. So, I should have some expertise by this time.
Tom Papoutsis: I would certainly think and trust me hers are the very best. I have had some from commercial Italian bakeries, I have had them from other people that made them, I have had my mothers and my grandmothers and Tess s is the absolute best. So, let us get ready and let us go make our pizzelles.