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
January 25, 2013 by Giulietta
As promised, here I am with the second recipe to remember the Christmas holidays. The protagonist is Mr. Capon (again), this time in flesh and blood, not as a stock.
This recipe, in fact, is born to reuse the capon’s boiled meat once you made the stock for your tortellini.
I immediately thought of a salad, light and perfect as an appetizer or a delicious second course, and also immediately I decided to make it Sicily-scented, by adding oranges (slices and juice) and almonds.
Recipe doesn’t have doses: it goes to the taste.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Capon, Christmas, Citrus, Dried fruit, Fresh fruit, Holidays, Meat, Nuts, Second course | Tags: almond,appetizer and finger food,capon,Christmas,citrus fruits,dried fruit,fresh fruit,holidays,meat,nuts,orange,second course | 2 Comments
December 24, 2012 by Giulietta
For this Christmas Eve, a day usually spent getting ready for Christmas dinner or making/wrapping the last Christmas gifts, I propose you a quick and easy recipe that can be a beautiful dessert to be served with the Christmas coffee or a small last-minute gift: you’ll need just a box and red paper to create something very Christmassy and very appreciated.
It’s my way to give you all a little gift and to wish you a sweet and peaceful Christmas, surrounded by your loved ones.
Have a nice Christmas Eve and, of course, a great Christmas Eve’s dinner.
Category Christmas is near - home-made gifts, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Egg whites only, Nuts | Tags: almond,amaretti,bitter almond,Christmas,cookies,dessert and sweets,egg whites,home-made gifts,italian cuisine,nuts | 4 Comments
December 3, 2012 by Giulietta
Did I ever tell you that I have a passion for pistachios? No?! Well, now you know it: I am a pistachio-addicted! I can’t say no to a couple (a couple?! Who believes that?) pistachio nuts, at any time and situation, I believe that “if a dessert has pistachio in it must be good” (and not just desserts… I’m not a racist!), I strongly believe that “Sicily is the promise land”.
So when last summer I went to Calabria, even without setting foot in my promise land (I admit it, I haven’t been in Sicily, yet), I found out that pistachio flour was very easy to find. Could I ever come back home empty-handed? I definitely couldn’t, so, while a part of that treasure still lies in my wardrobe/pantry (yes, sometimes I keep food and clothing together), a part has already gone away, but it was for a good cause.
Our heroine, in fact, sacrificed itself on a special occasion, the birthday of two people who are very important to me and who, like me, love pistachios. So I chose to prepare as a birthday cake a mille-feuille with hand-made puff pastry, pistachio custard and then garnished with a sprinkling of pistachios and a chocolaty writing (as I said, there were two party boys: no one turned 2728).
To accompany the dessert I could choose to stay in Sicily, with a Pantelleria passito (did I ever mention my passion for passito wines?! Well, I still have many secrets), but then I decided to serve it with a Piedmontese passito, the Sulé Caluso Passito doc produced by Orsolani. This wine, sweet and fruity, would marry even better with pastries, but I think that pistachios created the right conditions for a perfect wedding, even if this dessert is made with custard and whipped cream. And, maybe it’s my love for the Sicilian land, but I’m always in favour of a marriage between Sicilian food and a Piedmontese wine, as I already shown in the past.
Category Birthday, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, French cuisine, Holidays, Home-made is better | Tags: birthday,butter,custard cream,dessert and sweets,french cuisine,holidays,home-made is better,mille-feuille,nuts,pistachio,puff pastry,whipped cream | 5 Comments
November 15, 2012 by Giulietta
If the gestation of the first recipe I sent to the Fiandino Farms’ Contest was long and painful, I had no doubt about the second recipe (I could send how many recipe I want, but I opted for two recipes, a savoury one and a dessert) since the first moment I saw, made and tasted it during the professional pastry class that I am attending.
Ta dà! Surprise! I didn’t tell you, yet, but I’m attending a professional pastry class at the Chefs’ Association in Turin, and I’m finally learning the basics of pastry, which I wanted to learn for a long, long time, and now I’m finally learning them.
During the lesson about short pastry for tarts and tartellette we made a great Piedmontese classic, the Langarola (which means “from Langhe“, wonderful Piedmontese lands) cake, a triumph of butter and hazelnuts, a delicious cake in which a sort of frangipane cream (made with hazelnuts instead of almonds, though) is enclosed in a shell of short pastry, a real bomb of flavor (and calories, but I didn’t tell you this). A cake perfect for a special occasion, rustic but elegant and refined at the same time .
Maybe it’s my Piedmontese DNA, but I love it … and you?
Category Cakes and pies, Contest, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pantry cakes, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: butter,cakes and pies,contest,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,italian cooking,pantry cakes,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine,short pastry | 6 Comments
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 18, 2012 by Giulietta
Yes, I admit it, I want to dry out in the sun (not in my garden, anymore), I want beach and seaside. But I don't want these things so much that I started to feel the smell or the sound of the sea in a bunch of zucchini .. I need a vacation, but not so badly! The scent of the sea (the Ligurian sea, to be accurate. But, given my revisions, it's the Ligurian side nearest to Piedmont) is in the stuffing of these zucchini.
In a few days I'll leave for my holidays (it's likely that the next post will be written from another place), in a few days I'll see the sea again: every year I feel nostalgic about the sea, and every year I look forward to seeing it again, excited like a child with his favourite toy. And passing the time while waiting, I comfort myself with these delicious stuffed zucchini that scent like summer and sea, and with Baudelaire's beautiful words about this blue mirror that
I love (and miss) so much.
Man And The Sea
Free man! the sea is to thee ever dear!
The sea is thy mirror, thou regardest thy soul
In its mighteous waves that unendingly roll,
And thy spirit is yet not a chasm less drear.
Thou delight'st to plunge deep in thine image down;
Thou tak'st it with eyes and with arms in embrace,
And at times thine own inward voice would'st efface
With the sound of its savage ungovernable moan.
You are both of you, sombre, secretive and deep:
Oh mortal, thy depths are foraye unexplored,
Oh sea–no one knoweth thy dazzling hoard,
You both are so jealous your secrets to keep!
And endless ages have wandered by,
Yet still without pity or mercy you fight,
So mighty in plunder and death your delight:
Oh wrestlers! so constant in enmity!
Charles Baudelaire, "Les fleurs du mal"
Category Dried fruit, Herbs, Liguria, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Vegetables | Tags: anchovy,capers,dried fruit,Liguria,mackerel,marjoram,pine nuts,regional italian cuisine,round zucchini,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 5 Comments
May 13, 2012 by Giulietta
For some time now, more or less since I started to cook with greater commitment and dedication, I get some bookings: a gianduja mille-feuille for a birthday, brownies for a dinner with friends, meliga pastries for an afternoon tea and a Grandma's cake for Mother's Day.
Well, Grandma's cake for Mother's Day makes its sense: after all, grandma is someone's mother, isn't she?
While I was looking here and there for a grandma's cake that inspired me, I suddenly remembered a similar cake I saw some time ago, with a very soft short pastry, that inspired me far more than those with a classic shortbread. Also, the recipe I remembered so clearly was Juls' recipe, a guarantee, and so I focused on her Tuscan pine nuts cake recipe, making just one change. The result is a delicate, very soft and not at all cloying cake, that charms with its soft short pastry and its silky custard.
A cake that tastes like home, like tradition, like Mum, and therefore perfect for this occasion. Best wishes to all Mums, including of course the "instigator" of this cake; those yellow gerberas you see in the pictures, her favourite, are for her.
Category Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Regional Italian cooking, Tuscany | Tags: custard cream,dried fruit,pine nuts,regional italian cuisine,short pastry,Tuscany | 24 Comments
April 17, 2012 by Giulietta
Here it is, my traditional buttery recipe… it's not a family tradition, but about a regional one, aka little treats made with hazelnut (a classic in Piedmontese cuisine). There's also an almond version, but in this case I vote for hazelnut.
And, in line with the spirit of Burro Occelli's contest on the Burro Occelli and in line with Piedmontese spirit, I chose a very buttery traditional recipe (I live in a Northern region, and this means butter).
I'm talking about (but maybe you've already recognised them in the picture) baci di dama (lady's kisses in Italian), a traditional and very easy recipe, since the ingredients are in a 1:1 proportion and since you can prepare the dough using a food processor.
The hardest part is to resist these stuffed cookies, in which the buttery aroma goes perfectly with the toasted flavour of hazelnuts and dark chocolate.
Category Chocolate, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pastries, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: butter,chocolate,contest,cookies,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,pastries,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine | 14 Comments
April 15, 2012 by Giulietta
Prepare yourselves, 'cause this will be the first of 3 posts with a common ingredient, butter. I chose to title this series "not only butter", 'cause we certainly don't live only for butter (and I'm a real Italian, 'cause I definitely use more extra-virgin olive oil than butter), but in my opinion butter is a great discriminant in certain preparation, 'cause it's an added value, that accompanies flavors and enhances them.
These buttery thoughts arose from a contest dedicated to butter (binder butter): the challenge is to create and/or implement three recipes (an original one, a quick one and a traditional one) that have butter as a key ingredient.
I started from this key element and I tried to create (or re-create) dishes in which the butter is the binder, the ingredient that holds the flavors together and, at the same time, doesn't tower above them.
I hope you'll be pleased with these creations as I was of the results.
As for the original recipe, I made some beef turnovers filled with fresh spinach, walnuts and Parmigiano, cooked in butter and served with a walnut sauce. To create this recipe, I started from the assumption that beef cutlet cooked in butter is absolutely delicious, and I decided to add two more buttery notes: I sauteed spinach in butter and there's butter in the walnuts sauce (which is a quick recipe to keep in mind to dress a pasta dish).
Category Beef, Contest, Dried fruit, Meat, Sauces, Second course, Vegetables | Tags: beef,butter,contest,dried fruit,meat,sauce,second course,spinach,turnovers,vegetables,walnut | 11 Comments