August 10, 2012 by Giulietta
The queen of false promises came back.. each time, in fact, more and more time passes between a post and the following one. I am a genius of evil, no doubt about it!
But what can I do, summer took me, and so did the miles travelling up and down Italy, dinners with friends, days by the pool and out in the mountains … and it's not that I cook less than usual (on the contrary, I'd say), but certainly I document less and, as you can see by these pictures, with a minor (could we say nonexistent?! Let's say nonexistent) aesthetic eye. Maybe it's the hot weather or the vacation atmosphere (despite my holidays are long gone), but I'm lazier, and I admit it without any problems.. quite the opposite, almost with a sense of pride!
The recipe I am presenting you today, a summer family classic, it's easy to make, very quick and cold: it doesn't require an oven or stove (just the fridge, my friends) and you'd need only very basic kitchen equipment (bowl, fork, dishes), but you'll have a fresh and delicious dessert, low fat and suitable for all palates. Well, I post less and less, but I hope to make it up to you with some ideas to facilitate you in these hot days.
Category Cheese, Chocolate, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pralines | Tags: cold dishes,cooking for dummies,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,nuts,pistachio,pralines,ricotta cheese,truffles,unsweetened cocoa powder | 4 Comments
July 28, 2012 by Giulietta
Live from Calabria (haven’t I said that I’d write from somewhere else, this time?), in a seaside-holiday mode, I leave you a sciué sciué (it means “quick quick” in Naples) post, sciué sciué as the dish that I made, with a few (but good) ingredients, without cooking, without special equipment (just a dish, a bowl and a knife), but with a great taste.
Furthermore, this simple dish reminds me of distant echoes of that bread and tomatoes that my grandmother made for me and my cousin as a snack, that we ate in the hammock in the shade of a thorn bush; but, even more, it reminds me of the hundreds of summer lunches that my father and I had with friselle, when the weather was so hot to get close to the stove. Maybe it’s because bread (or frisella), tomatoes, salt, oil and oregano (now I added something a little more sophisticated) it’s a mix both simple and perfect, maybe it’s because of this tender and fuzzy childhood memories or maybe it’s because the memories that from now on I’ll tie to this dish, but frisella for me is and will stay a summer must I’ll hardly give up … and why should I?!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Breads and pizzas, Cheese, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Extra-virgin olive oil, Herbs, Holidays, Regional Italian cooking, Southern Italy, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,breads and pizzas,buffalo mozzarella,cherry tomatoes,cold dishes,cooking for dummies,extra-virgin olive oil,friselle,herbs,holidays,oregano,regional italian cuisine,southern italy,vegetables | 6 Comments
April 18, 2012 by Giulietta
Third (and fourth) and last buttery recipe (always for the Occelli butter contest), and this time the key word is not just "butter", but also "quick".
Thinking about quick and buttery recipes, the first thing that jumped to mind is the combination between butter and eggs, so I decided to propose two minor changes to this "theme".
I replaced chicken eggs with quail eggs and I paired them with brown butter; I also made an hard-boiled version (to serve as a finger food) and a sunny side up version (in Italy we call this "uovo all'occhio di bue" aka "beef's eye egg").
Two super-easy recipes, that can sort out a last minute dinner with elegance and easiness.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Contest, Cooking for dummies, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,brown butter,butter,eggs,quail eggs,second course | 10 Comments
January 31, 2012 by Giulietta
I am not a voracious meat eater, I don't stuff myself with steaks, stews, burgers, chickens and patties, and it's not because I don't like them (on the contrary), but simply because I eat many more vegetables than proteins or carbs. What can I do if I go crazy for every single vegetable?!
But (and I've already told you, there's always a but) I can't say no to a great piece of meat cooked like it deserves, aka not overcooked. I believe that, under the right conditions, I could kill for a Fiorentina, or a nice Frisona (a Piedmontese cow) T-Bone steak.
But I'd settle even for "less", for example a nice piece of sirloin, briefly and simply cooked. Here, if you're searching for a dish that has these two traits, the beef medallions hugged by lardo are just perfect.
Category Beef, Cold cuts, Cooking for dummies, Meat, Second course | Tags: beef,cold cuts,cooking for dummies,lard,meat,medallions,second course,sirloin | 20 Comments
January 26, 2012 by Giulietta
The amazing things in life are the unforeseen, unexpected ones, those small or insignificant details that deviate from the usual order of events and that, therefore, affect us. And, in my humble opinion, the things that amaze me are often the object of an instantaneous (and lasting) sympathy or attraction.
In fact, I often feel an immediate sympathy for a person who seems to have a sterling character, but who is unleashed, for a "grave" person who hides an unexpected sarcasm or for a "tough but soft-hearted" man. Well, I can't help it, I feel the same thing about food: I am always impressed (and I instantly adore it) by a food that seems something and that ends up being completely different.
Believe me, when you'll have in front of you this small flan (that from the outside looks like an ordinary chocolate cake) and, sinking in your teaspoon, you'll trigger a chocolaty lava flow, you'll agree with me … the things that astound your senses are the ones that attract and conquer you (and, if chocolate is involved, how can you resist?!).
Category Chocolate, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets | Tags: butter,chocolate,dark chocolate,flan | 27 Comments
December 20, 2011 by Giulietta
Last weekend could be renamed "Fear and Loathing in the Kitchen" … an entire Saturday (and I mean the whole day) spent between the four walls of a kitchen, dealing with five different Christmas sweets, with an exaggerated multi-tasking and, of course, with the inevitable mistakes made because of the performance anxiety (I still can't tell you my mistake, but it includes aluminum foil and a long series of curses). But, when you share everything with a good friend, and you season it with a large dose of irony (and I assure you that it was absolutely necessary), even mistakes turn into a laugh and everything goes by, even a 12 hours cooking frenzy.
And then, on Sunday, an epic "polentata" (a meal in which you eat only polenta, with different dressing) in the mountains, taking turns to stir the polenta on the wood stove, with a stew made as nature intended, mushrooms, cheeses and a good red wine.
And so, in a kitchen or around a table, with new or old friends, I believe that everything finds the right balance, everything comes back to the right place.
The next weekend it will be Christmas, many of us will spend this week to cook elaborate, long, full-bodied, meals, and some of us will fast (except for the inevitable dinner/afternoon teas/after-dinner to exchange Christmas wishes and gifts .. ok, so basically none will fast) to prepare ourselves for the upcoming holidays. Today I don't propose you a traditional recipe (although in some places in the Asti province this starter is more or less typical) or a complex recipe, but just a stupid, quick and effective one.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cold cuts, Cooking for dummies, Spices | Tags: appetizer and finger food,black pepper,bread,cold cuts,cooking for dummies,lard,pepper,spices | 14 Comments
December 6, 2011 by Giulietta
I return to the charge with my lazy posts .. and this is lazy squared!
Why lazy squared? First of all because this is a quick preparation: it won't waste much of your time or attention. And, secondly, because once you've got your cube, you can afford to be lazy for four to five months (it will last this long), you can get a vegetable broth in a second (for risotto, to add to meat preparations, for a broth if you're ill) and you can have always at your fingertips a great seasonings (I often use it instead of salt) made with fresh and healthy ingredients (ok, I sound like a baby food advertising).
Believe me, if you already use stock-cubes, this will change your mind about what a stock-cube really is. If you don't use stock-cubes, you'll begin to use this one.
I learned this recipe at a recent cooking class about meat preparations, and I won't leave it!
Category Concentrated, Conserve, Cooking for dummies, Herbs, Vegetables | Tags: bay leaves,carrots,celery,concentrated,conserve,cooking for dummies,herbs,onions,rosemary,stock-cube,tomatoes,vegetables,zucchini | 18 Comments
September 19, 2011 by Giulietta
Now that the weather starts to be cooler and consequently turning on the oven is more appealing (I don't know about you, but here in Turin Friday I was wearing shorts and sandals, while yesterday I wore jeans, sweatshirt and shoes… sudden changes, uh. Let me say it: there are no more middle seasons!), I can finally start the endless series of breakfast sweets.
Oh, yeah, I'm a strenuous supporter of the do-it-yourself breakfast, which doesn't include silicone and wooden planks, but a series of delicacies, from cookies to muffins, from tarts to mini pies, passing through plum cakes and pantry cakes. Well, cold and dark times have some advantages, too!
So, to start a series of breakfast-friendly recipes, here it is: a simple apple and yogurt cake, an almost banal recipe (as in "recipes you could find on the back of flour packages"), but its result is rustic to the right point and everyone would agree with it, at breakfast or not.
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Pantry cakes | Tags: apple,breakfast,cakes and pies,cooking for dummies,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,lemon,pantry cakes,yogurt | 113 Comments
September 1, 2011 by Giulietta
It's summer time (even if there are only a few days left) and I want simplicity, basic but first-rate ingredients, I want to eat something fresh, natural and something I don't have to cook or bake before eating it… "Do you realize that only on the 1st of September?" you might ask, especially after I've annoyed you with sfogliatelle, stuffed peppers and other baked dishes??
Well, yes, actually I realize it just now… better, this awareness was already in me, but it needed to be freshen up by the right ingredients!
So, when I found myself with a nice pack of bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala campana D.O.P (Campanian hoax mozzarella, PDO) coming directly from Salerno (a very appreciated holiday souvenir… mozzarella is the summer gift, not knicks-knacks -even though I love them, too), sun-riped tomatoes from my kitchen garden (they finally made it), fresh basil from my garden and extra-virgin olive oil from Apulia (Salento), how could I reach a conclusion different from an easy but great caprese salad?! It was impossible to reach a different conclusion, my dear Watson!
I couldn't, 'cause, even if caprese salad is one of the most for dummies recipes, since it could be prepared even by someone who hasn't the opposable thumb (maybe he/she could have some hard times slicing the ingredients, but eventually he/she would make it), the difference lies in the ingredients themselves and their quality.
So, if you want to enjoy a great caprese salad, don't economize on the ingredients, and your palate will thank you.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cheese, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Herbs, Second course, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,campanian hoax mozzarella,cheese,cold dishes,herbs,mozzarella,second course,single course,tomatoes,vegetables | 44 Comments
July 18, 2011 by Giulietta
It's a fact that there are no more middle seasons, we know that young people are no longer as they used to be, it's a harsh reality that strawberries don't taste like strawberries anymore (these are all Italian clichés) … but you need to shake if we have no certainty about meat loaves!
Who doesn't know a recipe for meatloaf (which it's usually the same recipe for meatball, but it's a larger one), a comfy wintry food, cooked in a frying pan and then in the oven?!
I hear your voices, already: "Who wants a warm meatloaf NOW?". In fact, the meatloaf I'll talk to you about is a cold one … you have to cook it (I think that eating raw chicken and raw eggs is not so good), but in boiling water, like rice, for example. And, since everyone prepares a nice rice salad in the summer, even if he/she has to stay near the stove for 20-30 minutes, you have no excuses! I'll tell you more, unlike rice, meatloaf doesn't need any attention: you could just forget about the meatloaf and go get it after half an hour, so you'll see the stove just for a few seconds.
Aren't you persuaded?! Then perhaps the ingredients will persuade you: chicken breast, mortadella, egg and pistachio, nothing more and nothing less.
If you still aren't persuaded, I'll draw the last card, its easiness! Not only this meatloaf is easy to prepare, but it has a for dummies recipe: in fact, the proportion between the ingredients is stable (1:1) and easy to remember, so you can multiply and divide as you want without being wrong (and you won't have to face an unformed monster unformed)! Years ago I "stole" this recipe from my aunt, after I tasted this meatloaf, and every year I make it for dinners, lunches, picnics and days at the beach, and everyone agrees on it!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Chicken, Cold cuts, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Dried fruit, Meat, Meatballs and meat loaves, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,chicken,cold cuts,cold dishes,dried fruit,eggs,mayonnaise,meat,meatballs and meat loaves,mortadella,pistachio,second course,single course | 28 Comments