Food Fight

Judge Rizzi: Gavel v. Fork

Going before a judge usually means something went wrong, terribly wrong.

Thumbnail image for judge_rizzi_drawing.JPG
Like, for example, if my landlord wanted more money or my wife wanted to be my ex-wife. Typically, going before a judge is not a happy occasion.

That is, until my brother and I sat down with Judge Rizzi for lunch.

In the name of full disclosure, I must confess we all had the Judge Rizzi Iceberg Wedge. Which is a salad consisting of iceberg lettuce, not a wedge issue consisting of birth certificates.

I don't think we did it to win the favor of Judge Rizzi. But you never know how the facts are perceived. So we're putting everything on the table and leaving the decision to a jury of our knuckleheaded peers.

Judge Rizzi spent 18 years on the appellate court of Cook County. He's had a career spanning more than 40 years, in the service of justice, and equal protection under the law. His decisions have brought him fame, infamy and most important of all, his own damn booth at Petterino's,

I can only imagine the hourly-rate for Judge Rizzi's time. In a word: OY!

I have to say, it's a shame time like this is expensive, and rare. The experience only reaffirmed my belief the supreme court should televise their hearings.

It's clarifying to have access to the world-view of the court, and the scholars who, for the most part, reside there.

Truly, a life on the court is monastic: listening, thinking, writing, ruling. To be able to sit with a monk over iceberg lettuce and hash out the issues of the day is fun. 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for judge_glances.JPG
A heck of a lot of fun!

I realize, of course, The Peter Principle kicked in almost immediately. I was out of my league, waaaay out of my league. I felt like Rod Blagojevich, hoping cuteness alone would save my tucas.

My brother is still pondering what he learned from our lunch with The Honorable Judge Rizzi. Me...I'm not into pondering. I'd say more, but discussing The Hyde Amendment, and why it's just another way to pick on poor women, is beyond my pay-grade. Instead, allow me to offer a recipe for the Italian Judge, who, like my father, made a key decision, and married a Jewish Girl.

Mangia Mangia. L'Chaim. Enjoy!

Spicy Seafood Pasta with Homemade Noodles, White Wine Stewed Tomatoes, Calamari, Clams, Scallops and Florida Gulf Shrimp


To make the sauce...

Caramelize onions and garlic in olive oil, de-glaze with white wine, add diced tomatoes, season with salt & pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, chili flakes, a sprinkle of sugar, add chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes

Put aside

In a smoking hot sauté pan with olive oil...

Thumbnail image for rod_drawing.JPG

Sear scallops, shrimp, add jalapeno

Add calamari and clams

De-glaze with white wine

Add finished tomato sauce

Simmer 10 minutes

Blanch homemade noodles in water salty like the sea, add noodles to spicy seafood


Sprinkle with chives and parmesan cheese

Matza Crusted Kosher Chicken with a Potato Latke

Marinate a half chicken on the bone in beer, smashed garlic, cracked pepper, lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic

Sprinkle with Matza Meal, pan roast until brown, bake until cooked

To make the Potato Latke...

Thumbnail image for light_on_chicago_star.JPG

Shred a potato (with the skin on)

Shred a white onion

Combine the two with salt & white pepper

Form into a pancake

Panfry until crisp

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for petterinos_window.JPG

Petterino's please rise. We The Jury find you: guilty of being the best of the best. Thanks for your hospitality!

The Jury's Out: let me know what you think.



Recent Posts


Leave a comment


Babs said:


Great recipes!
But I want to know what the Judge had to say!!

Joey Morelli said:


wait for it...

Babs said:


Still waiting!!!
BTW (isn't that blog talk for by the way?), loved the chicken!!!

Greg Morelli said:



N E 1 4 10 S?

scott said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

I represent a restaurant on several law suits. Do you think I can have the cases transfered to Judge Rizzi?

Joey Morelli said:


Take it from me, stay away from restaurants.

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:


what will you say?

Most Active Pages Right Now on Facebook