PBS LearningMedia
PBS LearningMedia
Melinda's Garden Moments

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a recipe for Mediterranean style stuffed dates. Dates are delicious on their own but are even better when pitted and stuffed with cheese and herbs. Try my recipe for Medjool Dates Stuffed with Herbed Chèvre. The combination of sweet and savory are irresistible and these little delights are perfect for a party or gathering with friends and family. 


Medjool Dates Stuffed with Herbed Chèvre


15-20 medjool dates, pitted

4 oz goat cheese (also known as Chèvre)

½ cup chives, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Begin by pitting the dates using a small paring knife. Slice the date lengthwise on one side and pull out the pit with your fingers. Set the dates aside and make the goat cheese mixture by combining the chèvre with the chopped chives, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well until the cheese mixture is loose enough to pipe into the dates, and add more oil if necessary to create a really loose goat 

cheese consistency. Spoon this goat cheese mixture into a piping bag or ziplock bag, then cut a small corner of the bag off to begin piping. Hold each date steady on a plate or in your hand and gently pipe about 1-2 teaspoons of the goat cheese mixture into the center of the pitted date. Assemble these beautiful stuffed dates on a platter and serve room temperature to your guests.


Published in Delicious Discoveries
Friday, 17 August 2012 15:12

Delicious Discoveries: Summertime Kabob

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a summertime kabob recipe that is easy, healthy and delicious. You’ve got to try my recipe for Spicy Shrimp and Summer Squash skewers. They’re a real crowd pleaser and are a perfect excuse to fire up that grill! This was another one of the dishes that I prepared on the July Pledge drive on KIXE Channel 9 to promote our new local program Delicious Discoveries with Daniella Malfitano. The program will premier on Saturday, September 29 at 9AM on Channel 9. Remember to tune in each Saturday as I’ll highlights the local farms, ranches, vineyards, orchards, markets and more throughout your hometown. I’ll lead you from the source to the main course and show you all of the local delights of your neighborhood through its food.  Join me each week as I uncover the delicious discoveries of your culinary community!



Spicy Shrimp and Summer Squash Skewers


6-8 skewers

1 lb large shrimp (16-20’s), deveined and tails off

1 large zucchini, large dice

1 large yellow straightneck squash, large dice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced fine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin


Clean the shrimp by removing the tails and internal vein, then rinse quickly. Dry the shrimp on a paper towel. Weave the zucchini, shrimp and yellow squash onto the skewers keeping a consistent pattern. In a small bowl combine the oil with the melted butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin and whisk to combine. Brush this flavorful and spicy oil over the skewers and grill until the vegetables are tender and the shrimp are cooked through.

Published in Delicious Discoveries
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:13

Delicious Discoveries: Rustic Red Potato Salad

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a rustic red potato salad recipe that is perfect for any summertime meal, picnic, or backyard barbeque! I prepared this simple and delicious potato salad recipe on the July Pledge drive on KIXE Channel 9 to promote our new local program Delicious Discoveries with Daniella Malfitano that is scheduled to premier very soon. This is an easy recipe to prepare and it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes from start to finish. The most difficult part of this recipe is letting it to sit in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to come together and resisting the urge to dive in right away! Remember the longer this salad sits, the better it will taste! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.



Rustic Red Potato Salad


4 cups red potatoes

3 eggs

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup sweet pickle relish

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the red potatoes and hard boil the eggs. Dice the cooked potatoes and eggs once cool then dice the celery and red onion. Combine the diced vegetables with the potatoes and eggs in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Make the dressing in a separate bowl by combining the pickle relish with the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the potatoes, eggs and vegetables and mix well with a large spoon. Let the potato salad sit in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or longer before serving to allow the flavors to come together.

Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a classic Malfitano family recipe for Swiss Chard Patties from my wonderful Step Mom Roselyn Malfitano. Swiss chard is one of those vegetables that is available all year long at most grocery stores and farmers markets. Not only is this delicious leafy green healthy, but it’s also an extremely versatile ingredient in the kitchen. I consider rainbow chard and green chard a staple of my kitchen because I use it in soups, stews, roasted by itself, or used in casseroles and baked dishes. It is such a hearty green that it can withstand high heat temperatures for long periods of time yet it’s also delicious quickly blanched or sautéed with olive oil and garlic. Pick up a bunch of siwss chard tonight and try this mouth-watering recipe for Rosie’s Swiss Chard Patties. They are divine just like Rosie herself!



Rosie’s Swiss chard Patties


½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, stems removed, and chopped

1 tablespoon salt, kosher

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 eggs, beaten

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup breadcrumbs, seasoned


Heat a large sauté pan with about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot toss in the chopped Swiss chard stems and cook for 4-6 minutes until they are tender. Next toss in the chopped chard leaves and cook for 5 minutes more and then season with salt and pepper. Once the chard is all wilted and the stem pieces are very soft remove the chard from the pan and place in a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes. Once the chard has cooled add the beaten egg, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and mix well to create the patty mixture. Heat the same sauté pan with the remaining ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil. While the oil heats up form your Swiss chard patties by taking about a golf size portion of the patty mixture and flattening it to resemble a hamburger. Once the oil is very hot place the patties into the hot oil and shallow fry each patty for about 4-5 minutes per side just until the egg cooks and the patties get nice and golden brown around the edges. Drain the Swiss chard patties on a paper towel then serve them warm with any meal as a wonderful vegetarian side dish. These are delicious! 

Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a delicious recipe for summertime Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce!  This recipe is from my cooking app “Cook Italian with Daniella Malfitano”. You can download my app today on iTunes at the app store. And if you like this recipe you will find over a hundred more delicious recipes when you download the app on your iPad. The app has many great features and functions including hundreds of beautiful color photography, and step by step videos all narrated by me in a special technique section. With this app you also have the ability to add recipes to a favorites list to create menus, e-mail recipes, and even create shopping lists and menus with dinner invitations. Download my app today and whip up this delicious dessert for Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce as well as all of the other recipes with this fun new kitchen companion “Cook Italian with Daniella Malfitano”.

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

Serves 4

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
2-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra
1 vanilla bean
4 sprig fresh mint, for garnish
1-1/2 cup fresh raspberry, divided for garnish
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Place milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes, until gelatin has softened. In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. With a small knife split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds into the saucepan with the cream and sugar. Add the whole vanilla bean for extra flavor. Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, do not boil, stirring gently until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add the softened gelatin mixture and heat, for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and remove vanilla pod. Strain into a large measuring cup with a pouring spout. The straining step is important as it insures a smooth consistency. Pour into custard cups or ramekins and gently swirl the cream to distribute the vanilla seeds evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Gently wash raspberries. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 2/3 of the raspberries, orange juice and sugar to taste. Melt cornstarch into the cold water until smooth. Add to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Puree the sauce. Strain through a fine sieve to remove raspberry seeds. Refrigerate until needed. To serve Dip the molds into a pan of hot water for only 30 seconds then invert the panna cotta onto a serving plate. Drizzle raspberry sauce around the panna cotta. Garnish with whole raspberries and fresh mint. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a sweet Independence Day recipe! It is hot, hot, hot outside, so why not cool off with a delicious sweet for this fourth of July! Try my recipe for a San Francisco Style Ice Cream Sundae with Homemade Hot Fudge and Toffee Sauce! These sundaes are very easy to make and are a hit with children and adults alike. Make a batch of Hot Fudge and Toffee Sauce and serve buffet style with different flavors of ice cream and various toppings. Your guests will have a blast!  


San Francisco Style Ice Cream Sundae with Homemade Hot Fudge and Toffee Sauce


Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce


4 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In a heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate (broken into 1/4-inch pieces), butter, sugar, and water. Stir the mixture continuously over medium heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and the sugar has dissolved. When the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat and continue boiling gently for 10 minutes. Remove the thickened sauce from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve the sauce hot over ice cream.


Toffee Sauce


¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tablespoon butter

¼ tsp baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 tablespoon half and half


Add brown sugar, butter, and baking soda in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil. When it becomes a deep golden brown, remove heat and add vanilla, and half and half (use just enough until desired thickness). Stir well and let mixture cool then serve hot over ice cream.


Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a fresh summertime recipe! The first day of summer began on June 20th so get outside and enjoy the rays! If you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or gathering outdoors, here is a perfect summertime recipe that is refreshing and showcases some of this summer’s star produce. Try my recipe for a refreshingly delicious Shrimp and Corn Ceviche served with Tostadas. Pick up some fresh sweet corn and some ripe tomatoes at your local farmers market or grocery store and bring them home for this delicious summery appetizer or light lunch.  


Shrimp and Corn Ceviche with Yellow Corn Tostadas


14 oz raw shrimp, medium (41/50), peeled, deveined and diced

1 ear yellow corn

2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced small

2 lemons, large

3 limes

1 orange

1 tablespoon salt, kosher

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 bowl of yellow corn tostadas, for serving


Dice the shrimp in bite sized pieced and place in a large bowl. Next cut the corn off of the ear and dice the tomatoes and add these vegetables to the shrimp. Juice the citrus and pour the juice over the shrimp and vegetables mixture. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and chopped cilantro. Mix well then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour until the shrimp is pink. When ready to serve enjoy this delicious ceviche with crunchy yellow corn tostadas.

Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a recipe from my newest app “Great Backyard Grilling with Daniella Malfitano! 


BBQ and grilling enthusiasts out there, this app is for you! “Great Backyard Grilling with Daniella Malfitano” is a fantastic app perfect for this time of year, and is available for download today on iTunes. With close to 80 lip-smacking grilling recipes, this app is sure to bring out the passionate griller in you. The recipes are all illustrated and presented in a step-by-step manner. Included with each recipe is a list of required ingredients, details of the time needed for preparation and cooking, and the level of difficulty. Users have the option of adding their favorite recipes to their favorites list or personal shopping lists. Grilling has never been so exciting. If you are craving grilled beef, pork, lamb, seafood, chicken, vegetables or fruits, your wait ends here. And if you know other people who just can't seem to tear themselves away from the grill, recommend this app to them so that they can download it and add it to their grilling repertoire.

Here is one of many great recipes from the app “Great Backyard Grilling with Daniella Malfitano”:


Vegetable Crostini with Parmesan & Basil 
Prep time: 30 min 
Cooking time: 8 min 
Difficulty: Easy 

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
2 sprig fresh basil, plus extra 
1 zucchini 
2 red bell pepper 
8 scallions 
kosher salt 
freshly ground black pepper 
2 oz Parmesan cheese 
oil, for the grill 
4 slice sourdough bread 
1 tbsp canola oil 
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped 
3 tbsp lemon juice 

Preheat the grill to high for direct grilling. In a small bowl, whisk half the olive oil and all balsamic vinegar together. Finely chop four basil leaves, add to oil mixture and mix well.  Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Cut peppers into 2-inch strips and then trim scallions. Brush vegetables with the oil mixture. Brush the hot grill grate lightly with oil. Grill vegetables for 4 minutes per side, until tender. Remove from grill, season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk canola oil, melted butter, minced garlic, and chopped parsley together. Brush on bread slices and season with salt and pepper. Toast on grill until golden brown. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil and pepper together. Gradually add remaining olive oil, stirring until well blended. Arrange grilled vegetables, fresh basil leaves and shaved Parmesan on top of grilled bread. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette and serve.

Published in Delicious Discoveries

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen for a recipe for Father’s Day! Try this delicious recipe for Grilled Carne Asada Tacos marinated in an orange, garlic, and smoky chili powder rub. This recipe is perfect to prepare for your Dad this Father’s day or any day of the summer and will give you an excuse to get outside and fire up that BBQ or the indoor grill!   

Grilled Carne Asada Tacos


1 lb. hanger steak

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 orange, large

2 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

Corn tortillas

Yellow onion, diced fine for garnish

Cilantro, chopped for garnish

Place the hanger steak in a plastic container with a lid or in a plastic bag and coat with minced garlic, the juice of an orange, chili powder, smoked paprika and black pepper. Mix well to rub all of the ingredients on the steak. Let the meat marinate overnight or at least 1 hour. To cook the carne asada, heat a grill pan or the BBQ on high heat. Season the steak with salt on both sides, then place the steak directly on the grill and leave it undisturbed for 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. Turn the steak 90° and cook it for another 3-5 minutes to create nice grill marks. Flip the steak to the other side and repeat this process until the steak is cooked to your desired doneness. Remove from the grill and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile heat a few tortillas on the grill just to warm through. To serve the tacos place a mound of meat over two stacked warm corn tortillas and top with a generous garnish of onions and chopped cilantro.

Published in Delicious Discoveries
Friday, 08 June 2012 15:06

Delicious Discoveries: Biscotti

Today I’m taking you in the Kitchen to show you how to make the classic cookie Biscotti. In Italian the word biscotti means “twice baked” which is easy to remember after you’ve made this recipe. Biscotti are traditionally biscuit type cookies that originated in Prato, Italy in Tuscany and are traditionally long shaped crispy cookies with many variations using nuts and dried fruit. Try this recipe for Toasted Almond and Rosemary Biscotti and enjoy these sweet and savory cookies as a treat anytime of day.  

Toasted Almond and Rosemary Biscotti

½ stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoons baking powder

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted and finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Next add the egg and beat well. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and slowly add it to the creamed butter-sugar mixture, mixing on low speed or by hand with a spatula just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chopped almonds, rosemary and almond extract. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into one rectangular log almost the length of the cookie sheet. Place the log in center of the cookie sheet and bake until it is slightly golden and puffed, about 30 to 35 minutes. While it is hot, slide the log immediately onto a cutting board and slice into 3⁄4-inch-thick pieces. Place slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet and return to the oven to bake until light brown and crisp, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the biscotti from the cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack before enjoying. Serve the biscotti on a nice dish with a strong cup of Joe!

Published in Delicious Discoveries
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