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
December 13, 2012 by Giulietta
Have you already resigned to my pumpkin-oriented posts?! Good, because I don’t think this will be the last of the season.
For sure, though, this is the first post about Christmas presents (let’s face it, Christmas is coming). For some years now, my Christmas gifts have been mostly home-made and food-related (but not only .. maybe I’ve never said to you that I also create my own jewelry! I revealed another mystery). Panettone, truffles, chocolates, cotognata (quince paste), cognà, gingerbread men (just some ideas, uh?), but mostly jams, the my favourite Christmas’ saviors.
In fact, you can prepare them in advance, if you wrap them in the right way they are very choreographic (by themselves or in gift baskets) and so adaptable, because they range from the simple to original, from the classic “tart” jam to those that merry “with cheese and boiled meat”.
The nice thing about the jam I propose you today (the inspiration comes from La ciliegina sulla torta) is that everybody can agree on it: the more adventurous palates would appreciate a layer of this jam spread on toast in the morning (not to mention the bold ones, who would make a tart with it), but the fearful palates would serve this jam with a cheese (fearful, but trendy, since the combination between cheese and jam -or honey- is really à la page in these days).
Long story short, a gift for brave, for bold or for fearful ones, but definitely an appreciated gift.
Category Christmas is near - home-made gifts, Home-made is better, Jam, Spices, Vegetables | Tags: cardamom,Christmas,home-made gifts,home-made is better,jam,pumpkin,spices,vegetables | 5 Comments
November 7, 2012 by Giulietta
This is the way I am, at least for blog-related things (and not only for those): I burst in a flash, I enrol in a contest by instinct, moved by some sacred fire and usually having already 500 different ideas in my head. Then, a day or two go by and all those ideas seem useless or stupid (or both), so a period of reflection, begins, the “maturity”. I think, I reflect, and then suddenly it comes the IDEA, the brilliant one (I’m not so humble, in those moments), and that’s when I start working.
The problem is that sometimes, between the reflection and the born of the idea that will be carry out, it could be a matter of (a rather long) time .. That’s why I signed up months ago to a contest by the Fiandino Farms and that only now I publish my first recipe. But, in my defence, is a recipe that I loved at the first thought and now I love it even more, because its taste and its look completely conquered me.
So I propose you a finger-food that tastes like autumn, perfect for an aperitif or as a starter for an important dinner: little savoury panna cotta flavoured with Ottavio Pichin (a cheese flavoured with dark beer) served on mini savoury cookies (made with salted butter) and topped with a beer jelly (I chose a stout beer).
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Beer, Cheese, Contest, Jam | Tags: appetizer and finger food,beer,beer jelly,cheese,contest,panna cotta,salted butter,short pastry,stout beer,whipping cream | 4 Comments
November 20, 2011 by Giulietta
After different themed-posts, I'll go back to breakfast .. not that in the meantime I stopped making sweet treats for breakfast (never), but simply because I dusted the great breakfast classics, and maybe you'll see those, too, sooner or later.
Sometimes, however, I must (it's a real need) try something new, possibly to use all the delicacies that I have at home, some of those hand-made, some won in contests and some courtesy of some companies, from my region or not.
For this plum cake I put together a basic recipe (taken from the blog La farfalla di cioccolato) and an incredible delicacy, a cherry jam that I'll never use again for a cake … don't get me wrong, the cake was delicious, but this jam is so delicious that it required to be eaten by spoonfuls or to be used to garnish a panna cotta… and I usually hate cherry jam. I took these two elements and I adapted them so I could use a cake mix I won in a contest (actually, I won a giant pack of flours that now fills up a great part of my wardrobe .. no comment) … I usually don't use cake mix, but I don't like wasting food, so I used it (but I'll leave the necessary replacements in the recipe) and I like it a lot!
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Jam, Pantry cakes | Tags: breakfast,cakes and pies,cherry,dessert and sweets,jam,pantry cakes,plum cake | 22 Comments
November 13, 2011 by Giulietta
With this recipe I officially start (perhaps I should include some old recipes, though) a new "section", and I'm calling it Home-made is better, a section dedicated to all those delicacies that perhaps you might find in stores that sell quality products… but those same delicacies, if home-made, reach a new level of deliciousness, almost beyond the Nirvana of taste.
In addition, I'll use this section to give you some gift ideas for the upcoming (argh!) Christmas, gifts that can be used for other occasions, too (birthdays, graduations, confirmations, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, weddings – gifts or favors- and so on) .. In short, do whatever you want with them.
To get off on the right foot, I chose a regional product. Some of you might know it, but I believe that most of you never heard about cugnà. Cugnà (or cognà), a word which I don't know the meaning of, but that materializes in a dense marvel that you can store in jars. I don't define it, 'cause there is a quarrel about its ontological essence: is it mustard? Not really, but it looks like it. Is it jam? No, but it can be used as jam, and a few decades ago it was used like that, simply spread on bread, as a snack. Well, maybe it's better not to define it, but simply be enchanted by it.
One thing it's sure: it's an ancient dish, which comes from the need to reuse the waste from the harvest (the main ingredient is, in fact, grape must) and the excess production of autumn fruits. This is enriched with dried fruits (needless to say, the special guests are Piedmontese hazelnuts) and some spices. In the past people didn't keep in jars, but simply in an earthenware container (called the Tupina. Piedmontese small note: a very similar word, tupin, is still used in Piedmont, more than every day, to call a generic container, from a jar to an airtight container and so on. So if a Piedmontese says "put it in a tupin", he/she is not saying that you have to stuff a rodent. PS. in Italian "topo" means "mouse", so there's a little word pun, here) covered by a plate.
You'll wonder how you use this delicacy … traditionally, since it was born a poor dish, cugnà was especially eaten with polenta (I'll have to try this use), while the wealthier used it to accompany boiled meat (which is very typical here in Piedmont) and cheeses; however,as I already said, it was also used like an usual jam, so spread on bread. The choice is yours!
Category Conserve, Dried fruit, Fresh fruit, Home-made is better, Jam, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: almond,apple,cinnamon,clove,cognà,conserve,cugnà,dried apricots,dried figs,dried fruit,fresh fruit,hazelnut,home-made is better,madernassa pears,most,pears,quince,renette apples,walnut | 31 Comments
May 23, 2011 by Giulietta
Some time ago I received a pack of buckwheat flour, and I was waiting for the right inspiration for a special dessert, which would enhance its strong taste, a little bitter, and its authenticity. I was thinking about making cookies (I don't exclude to propose them in the future, since I have some buckwheat flour left), but then I thought of a really wholesome dessert, simple and hyper-adaptable, so I decided to make a tart.
And, to go well with the strong scent of buckwheat and the sweetness of the short pastry, I chose a jam that was sweet, but not too much, with some sour aftertaste, which created a perfect combination (IMHO): I chose, in fact, a raspberry jam (raspberries were from Trentino Alto Adige), sweet to the right point with the sharp accent that I was looking for.
The result is a simple, tasty, not at all cloying dessert, perfect for breakfast, dessert or tea time.
Category Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Jam, Tarts | Tags: buckwheat,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,jam,raspberry,tartes,Trentino Alto Adige | 22 Comments