May 9, 2013 by Giulietta
I don’t know how many times I’ve told you that I adore pistachios , I don’t know whether it’s necessary to repeat this concept again or I have to say it in other languages , but I love pistachios, this is the reality. Sure, it’s difficult having doubts after my pistachio mille-feuille or since I put pistachios even in a meatloaf but, as Latins said, repetita iuvant.
So, having 100 g of precious Bronte pistachios flour I bought last summer in Calabria (the same I used in these ricotta truffles) to get rid of (I didn’t want to get rid of it, let’s be clear, but you can’t store it for too long, or it may go rancid, and it would be a mortal sin), I wanted to find a recipe that would fully enhance the green gold. Moreover, having only a small amount of this, flour I couldn’t make some of those Sicilian pistachio mini-cakes that I love so much.
And so -here it is the stroke of genius- I thought: why don’t make a caprese cake with pistachio flour instead of almond flour? The result is simply delicious: you can taste pistachio just a bit (its taste is a bit stronger than almond taste), and it’s a pleasant aftertaste to the caprese cake, already a real delicacy, that I love and adore. And I love pistachio caprese cake even more (if it’s humanly possible).
Category Cakes and pies, Campania, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Italian cuisine, Nuts, Pantry cakes, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: , cakes and pies, campania, chocolate, dark chocolate, dessert and sweets, dried fruit, italian cuisine, nuts, pantry cakes, pistachio, regional italian cuisine, unsweetened cocoa powder | 6 Comments
April 29, 2013 by Giulietta
Oh, yes, now I’m addicted to mountain memories… and so, aided by the memories, by the desire to go to Alto Adige and by this wintery climate (and it’s almost May, for God’s sake), I propose another mountain dish, and this time it’s a dish typical of the Alto Adige.
Of course, I’m going there also because of a recent and unmissable purchase (a spätzle grater), so here they are, my spinach spätzle, with one of the most classic topping, cream and speck (but they’re delicious also with a simple butter and sage topping).
A very easy, quick and yet delicious recipe!
Category Cold cuts, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Trentino Alto Adige, Vegetables | Tags: , cold cuts, cream, earth first course, first course, fresh pasta, pasta, regional italian cuisine, spatzle, speck, spinach, Trentino Alto Adige, vegetables | 10 Comments
April 22, 2013 by Giulietta
When I think back to winter (and it’s very easy to do, since in these days the weather in Turin is so cold), I think about mountain. And, if I think about the mountain, I think about those great comfort food, those rustic dishes, tasty and rich, in which you usually indulge yourself after a walk, or after a day on the snow.
I’ve never been a big fan of the mountains … until this year. I think that sometimes it’s necessary seeing the love that another person feels in front of the vastness, the majesty and peace of the mountains to re-evaluate places you’ve never considered before. So now I’m slowly learning to appreciate this place so far away from me (I’m very fond of the sea): I’m beginning to enjoy a trip in which I spend hours photographing butterflies, I’m starting to love the cable car rides crushing the hand of my boyfriend ( it’s dizzy heighs’s fault), the long walks with amazing views, a sandwich in your backpack, and I still love (I never hated it) mountain food.
It’s amazing how in just one year my head filled itself with memories of a natural system that I always considered hostile, whose charm never touched me before. It’s amazing how the curiosity for this environment grew up so much in such a short time: and now in my travel wish-list at the top stands Alto Adige, a wonderful mountain paradise in Northern Italy. Well, many things change in a year, but mountains don’t, and maybe in this lies a big part of their charm.
So, to remember the mountains and the amazing mountains food, today I propose you the Pizzoccheri from Valtellina, a very rough kind of pasta, made with buckwheat flour (by the way, do you remember my buckwheat tart with raspberry jam from Trentino Alto Adige?), richly topped with potatoes, cabbage, butter and cheese.
The recipe is the one encoded by the Academy of Pizzocchero in Teglio, a sure hit.
Category Cheese, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Lombardy, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , butter, cheese, earth first course, first course, fontina, fresh pasta, Lombardy, pasta, potatoes, regional italian cuisine, savoy cabbage, vegetables, vegetarian | 6 Comments
April 17, 2013 by Giulietta
There is little to do, sometimes it takes a little to do great things.
This applies to daily life and, therefore, also to cooking activities: sometimes it’s a simple ingredient that makes a great recipe, but even a small addition, a light shade could have the power to entirely change a dish. But even the same ingredient can change depending on how you use it or depending on the combination between different ingredients.
Thus, a simple Sicilian orange could change a lot depending on the procedures, on the parts you’re using and on the added flavors, originating three very different preserves, different in texture, taste and color.
So today I propose you three ways to make the most of the oranges and keep their unmistakable taste even with the changing of seasons.
In order of height (of the jar, from the smallest to the largest one), I propose you an orange jelly (black tea scented), an orange jam (rum flavored) and canned sliced oranges, hoping that at least one (or more than one) could tickle your appetite for fruit preserves.
On this occasion, it’s important to remember that I haven’t had the chance to set foot in Sicily, yet.. then, why my cuisine is so influenced by this wonderful land? And something tells me that I’ll come back to Sicily (at least virtually) in the near future (suspense mod. ON)
Category Citrus, Conserve, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Jam, Preserves | Tags: , black tea, citrus fruits, conserve, dessert and sweets, fresh fruit, jam, jelly, preserves, rum | 4 Comments
April 4, 2013 by Giulietta
I’ll start with a confession: I (cordially) hate layered cakes. You know, the classic birthday cakes: sponge cake with layers of custard or chantilly cream and then covered with whipped cream. Well, I hate those cakes. Let’s be clear: they’re good, but it’s not my kind of cake. I’d never choose one of those for my birthday: I’d prefer a millefeuille (I know it’s a layered cake, but here layers are crunchy and, well, I know I’m a bit contradictory, but don’t judge me) or a cup dessert.
But I learned to make these cakes in my pastry class, I know how to make them from scratch (and I’m also pretty good at it, apparently) and I enjoy it making them, but don’t ask me to enjoy them.
For this reason, in front of the MTC challenge proposed by Stefania of Cardadomo & CO. I was startled: not only it was a layer cake, but typical US layer cake, a Red Velvet Cake, and a gluten free one. I obviously don’t anything against “gluten free” .. I think I should add to my blog more recipes for people allergic to gluten, but in this particular case it didn’t simplify the mission.
So, with my usual aplomb, I thought, “shit!” and, secondly,”who is going to eat an entire layer cake? “
So I opted for a convenient solution: I decided to make single-serving cakes (I knew those mini layer cake molds would be useful, sooner or later … they were still in their box, waiting for the right occasion), I chose to soak them with a blueberries liquor and garnish them with the least cloying topping I could think of, simple whipped cream (barely sweetened) enriched with freshly chopped blueberry. A purple garnishment (and filling), fresh and a bit sour, perfect for my taste.
So after these necessary adjustments, I happily made this cake to celebrate a birthday, my blog’s birthday, which turned two years old on February 22nd.
Happy (latecoming) birthday, Alterkitchen!
And I was glad to be able to celebrate this milestone with all my readers, all the MTC friends and with a cake that could be enjoyed by celiac friends, too.
Category Cakes and pies, Contest, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Fruits of the forest, Gluten Free, USA Cuisine | Tags: , blueberries, cakes and pies, contest, fresh fruit, fruits of the forest, layer cake, whipping cream | 8 Comments
March 20, 2013 by Giulietta
There is nothing you can do: there are some traditional Italian dishes strictly connected to holidays and festive occasions. When you see those dishes on the table, you immediately think about Sunday, you smell home, you recall the whole family sitting around the table. Usually those dishes, at least in my imagination, are (almost) all piping hot… well, maybe because in my imagination they always came out of the oven.
Think about it: lasagna, pasta al forno (pasta -usually with ragù or tomato sauce- baked in the oven with cheese -usually mozzarella and parmigiano- and bèchamel sauce), casseroles, eggplant parmigiana, pot roast (with baked potato, of course), then pizza and focaccia, and so on and so forth. Well, in my humble opinion, the dishes baked in the oven are synonymous with holidays, care for food, conviviality.
Among these dishes we can anso include cannelloni. You can stuff and garnish them in every possible way, but the version that I love the most is the most famous and perhaps the simplest one: ricotta and spinach filling, topped with tomato sauce and béchamel sauce. I admit it, prepare them from scratch requires a certain commitment: Everything in this dish could (and probably should) be done by hand, and this is the challenge that conquers me every single time I make them. Because I love being in front of a dish that I can really define “homemade” (well, maybe I should make my oven dish, too – for philological accuracy), a dish that is able to speak for you and say to the people sitting around your table “I love you” at the first bite. And this is not something that all the dishes are able to do…
Category Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Home-made is better, Italian cuisine, Pasta, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , béchamel, earth first course, egg pasta, first course, fresh pasta, home-made is better, italian cuisine, ricotta cheese, spinach, tomato sauce, vegetables, vegetarian | 6 Comments
March 16, 2013 by Giulietta
I keep talking about short pastry, but this time in a different way, with a recipe dedicated to chocoholics.
I don’t fall into this group (I know, I attended a pastry class, but I do prefer savory food - ironic, uh?!), but I have to admit that it’s really hard to say no to a slice of this tart, a crisp short pastry shell filled with a soft and voluptuous dark chocolate mousse. Its flavors are well balanced and the tart is not at all cloying, so it earned my full approval.
The credit of this recipe goes to Cristina, aka Zucchero & Sale. However, I used my short pastry recipe for tart (slightly different from the cookie one), I increased the dose for the filling (but I kept the proportions) and I topped it my way, with colorful and sour fruits, alkekengi, a perfect combination.
Category Cakes and pies, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Tarts | Tags: , alkekengi, cakes and pies, chocolate, dark chocolate, dessert and sweets, short pastry, tartes, whipping cream | 4 Comments
March 5, 2013 by Giulietta
Since I completed my professional pastry class in December, I made a lot of short pastry, mostly because I love it, but also because I think it’s an incredibly versatile recipe, something that you can easily transform in 1001 different ways, one better than the the one before.
So, having some salted butter I bought some time ago, I decided to make a slightly salted short pastry (using some salted butter, together with unsalted one) orange-scented. I took the cue from Sara, but I used my shortpastry recipe.
One of the great things about short pastry is that you can make a lot of delicacies with the same dough (and a quite simple one, I’d say. So, with a single dough, I propose three different recipes.
But, first thing first, I’ll start with my basic recipe for short pastry cookies,or shortbread.
Category Citrus, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, Fresh fruit | Tags: , butter, citrus fruits, cookies, dessert and sweets, egg yolks, fresh fruit, salted butter, short pastry, tartes | 4 Comments
February 27, 2013 by Giulietta
In Jenuary I decided to join the MTC, a challenge between bloggers: every month everybody make the same recipe, but all dishes are obviously different, ’cause everyone makes some changes, so that his/her recipe becomes unique.
And the crazy thing is that this decision has brought me luck, because January recipe was pici, a type of fresh pasta that awakens in me so many memories of a long gone holiday I spent in Umbria (I checked the pictures: damn it, it was the year 2007). For me pici mean Umbria, Trasimeno lake (where I ate pici with a rich duck ragù), a green and hospitable land, with a great history and culture.
Making pici I was able to remember all these things, and I hope I could return soon to Umbria, but also I hope to discover the Tuscan side of this dish.
For the seasoning of this wonderful dish, I chose a very Piedmontese sauce, instead. I chose a chicken livers ragù, typical of Langhe region, a very poor sauce, with a strong and rustic taste, and yet very velvety on the palate.
Category Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Italian cuisine, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Sauces, Tuscany | Tags: , chicken livers, contest, earth first course, first course, fresh pasta, italian cuisine, livers, pasta, pici, ragù, regional italian cuisine, sauces, Tuscany | 6 Comments
February 7, 2013 by Giulietta
This recipe marks the end of my “once on shore we pray no more” serie, born to remember Christmas holidays, which now are just a distant memory.
Between the recipes I proposed starring Mr. Capon (with capital C), perhaps this one is the most holiday-related … sure, tortellini are no joke, but I think that you could eat tortellini any day of the year, while stuffed capon immediately recalls Christmas holiday. Stuffed capon is a sort of culinary party: how else you can call, in fact, a fat and tasty, when you stuff it with other delicious things?! It’s a party, there is no other definition.
For my stuffed capon I drew inspiration from this Piedmontese recipe, making some changes here and there.
Category Capon, Christmas, Holidays, Meat, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking, Second course | Tags: , capon, chestnut, Christmas, dried prune, eggs, holidays, meat, minced meat, Piedmont, regional italian cuisine, sausages, second course, stuffed capon | 4 Comments