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
January 10, 2013 by Giulietta
I published this recipe on my Italian blog on New Year’s Eve: in fact, this was my contribution to a New Year’s Eve dinner with friend.
A few days before the 31st I decided that I wanted to end 2012 with a bang, astonishing my dining companions, and so I made my attempt with a gastronomic panettone (a semi-savoury panettone, stuffed with anything you can think of).
Of course, my panettone wasn’t perfect (it resembled an alien -at least an alien in the ’80 filmography’s stereotype), but for me it was simply beautiful.
The recipe came from Adriano of Profumo di Lievito, a real expert on leavened preparations. As for the filling, you can find my choices in the recipe’s notes, but you can use everything you like.
This panettone is my little gift for you, and with it I wish you all a GREAT 2013!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Holidays, Leavened, New Year's Eve, Party, Senza categoria | Tags: appetizer and finger food,holidays,leavened,New Year's Eve,party | 6 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
September 22, 2012 by Giulietta
Summer is ending (these are the words of a famous Italian “trash” song… it’s amazing how many trash songs I know), but my idea is to enjoy this summer as long as it lasts: today, according to the calendar, is the first day of autumn, the air is fresher already, but I still crave nice outdoor walks and bike rides, picnics (oh mine, I really love picnics) and fresh and colourful dishes (but, don’t worry, I already have a pumpkin in the fridge ready for soups, and it won’t be my first soup of the season).
Today is the first day of autumn, but I want to celebrate summer with a dish that constantly (and pleasantly) marks my summers: the eggplant caponata. This is my grandfather’s recipe (blood ties never meant much to me, so he’s not my grandfather, but this grandfather not grandfather is more of a grandfather than my real grandfather .. it looks like a tongue twister, but I understood myself – I’ll make a test to see who understood this strange phrase) and now for me it’s THE recipe, the only one I have ever tasted that make me wanna steal the bowl and hide it under my covers, so I can eat caponata until winter arrives.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Bittersweet, Cold dishes, Family recipes, Fried food, Herbs, Regional Italian cooking, Sicily, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,bittersweet,cold dishes,eggplant,family recipes,fried food,herbs,regional italian cuisine,sicily,vegetables | 6 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
May 8, 2012 by Giulietta
In the last post I told you about spring, about sensations that this season full of life gives me and about cravings that arise in me during springtime. Well, meanwhile I satisfied the desire for a road trip .. 5 wonderful days on the roads of Provence and Camargue, many stages, so many beautiful places that still fill my eyes, so many colours and scents, so many steps I took and so many yet to be taken.
After all this, I admit it, the coming back to reality was very hard for me, and the desire to cook went to take a ride. But I definitely wanted something fresh and fragrant, something that could go with the season that just started and possibly give a boost to summer, so that it will come soon (inevitably making us feel nostalgic for autumn and winter… it's a spinning wheel, uh?). So, I had the idea of a swordfish carpaccio with a "pink" dressing, a tribute to the beautiful "La vie en rose" by Edith Piaf, a song that accompanied (along with a thousands other songs) my French trip. And the result, a recipe-non recipe with fresh intense and citrus scents.
But before leaving you the recipe (if you can call it that), I want you to realise the terrible post-holiday effect through an image, a set of photos that contains some of the fascinations of those fantastic days I spent in France.
How could I not be nostalgic? And I'm ready to leave again, next week, flying to Brussels (so if you have any advice/ suggestion/ idea, don't be shy, my ears are always wide open). There's nothing to do, my wanderer gene grows and grows every day.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Citrus, Cold dishes, Fish, Fresh fruit, Marinade, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,citrus fruits,cold dishes,fish,marinade,pepper,pink pepper,pink-grapefruit,second course,swordfish | 3 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
February 13, 2012 by Giulietta
Tomorrow it will be Valentine's Day, Lovers' day, stationers' day, caterers' day, florists who sell hackneyed roses (you don't know that, but roses are the flowers that I hate the most) day . The web goes crazy for cake pops, chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries, hearts, sugar paste and sentimentality of every kind, but I will be immune from this sort of things.
You see, I'm a romantic with a capital R, I deeply believe in love (and feelings, in general) and I appreciate every single act that could come from the heart, but I don't believe in the social convention that dedicates a day to mawkishness (which for me are very different from romantic gestures), a day where you have to write notes, dedicate all kinds of bad and trite love songs or buy flowers and chocolates, without really feel any need or desire for it.
Here, this is this spirit that I don't like, that pale sense of obligation that lies behind this day. I swear, this is not the speech of a cynic, or the speech of a confirmed single and disenchanted woman (maybe a cat lady, with all due respect for cats and their fans), but this speech comes from someone who has great faith in feelings and in everything that comes from them and who, therefore, is suspicious of all that is "due", when it comes to feelings.
So to "celebrate" this day, I chose a dish that has nothing romantic, the spring roll … if you want to make this preparation with your loved one, you'll stink of fried food, it's not an aphrodisiac food (unless you find aphrodisiac foods that have a vague phallic shape) and it doesn't even remotely recalls the conventional idea of a romantic dinner, but it's very good and digestible (in spite of certain indigestible rolls that you may find in some Chinese restaurants, at least in Italy), and this is not a trivial matter.
I am truly democratic: you can choose to celebrate a "heart and kisses" St. Valentine's day (and this is not the place for you … but you could use this recipe – and I would try the chocolate and chili combination), you can choose not to celebrate it at all or to do so something anti-conventional (and in this case some spring rolls and/or some home-made Chinese dumplings will be fine) or you can decide to celebrate St. Faustino (in Italy it's the day dedicated to single men and women) … and, well, at this point why do you care about the stink of fried food?!
But, in any case, I'm not denying a roll to anyone … Have a great St. Valentine's day, you all, lovers or not (and if you fall into the latter category, I wish you to fall in love, 'cause I think it's always a good thing).
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Chinese cuisine, Fried food, Home-made is better | Tags: appetizer and finger food,bamboo,Chinese cuisine,chinese mushrooms,fried food,ginger,home-made is better,soy sauce,soy sprouts,spring rolls | 22 Comments
January 8, 2012 by Giulietta
As I already told you some time ago, I have the "ear" mania (aka when I read a cook book or a magazine, I dog ear every interesting page), or I write down memos on loose sheets of paper (which inevitably accumulate and mix with other memos scattered around the desk) an endless list of dishes that sooner or later I will definitely have to try in my life. Since I added in Google Reader the feeds of my favorite blogs, I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel … there are more stars (bookmark simbols) in my reader than in the Milky Way.
Among the recipes in my culinary wish list from time out of mind there's the Danubio (Danube), which is everything, except a dish of northern origins (as the name would suggest): in fact, it seems that this name was given in honor of Mario Scaturchio's (a Neapolitan pastry chef) Austrian aunt, inventor of this recipe. There are also two other stories related to this name: the first says that this name came from its shape, similar to a watery surface rippled by the waves (romantic version); the other one sees in this name a reference to the arrival of Viennese cooks in Naples as Bourbons' retinue in the second half of the XVIII century (historic version, a little less charming, but perhaps more accurate). Name aside, this is a great Southern recipe, from Campania, one of those rich, magnificent (do you remember the babà rustico, right?) recipe, completely customizable to your every taste and preference (there's also a sweet Danubio).
But, that's for sure, this dish is perfect for a dinner with friends, where each guest can take his/her roll from the Danubio and eat it with his/her hands (the kind of finger food that everyone loves), drinking some Prosecco, a good beer or what he/she prefers with it. I made the Danubio (indeed, two Danubi) on New Year's Eve, and I must say that he didn't disappoint anyone.. maybe it's because I followed Tery's infallible recipe?!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Campania, Cheese, Cold cuts, Holidays, Leavened, New Year's Eve, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: appetizer and finger food,campania,cheese,cold cuts,fontina,holidays,leavened,New Year's Eve,prosciutto cotto,provola,regional italian cuisine,salame | 30 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