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
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 19, 2012 by Giulietta
Two days ago I came back home late and I started thinking I should comb through all the new recipes posted on my favorite blogs, but then I found myself thinking that maybe I should update my own blog before thinking about the other ones … but, while I was combing through other people's blogs (I think one thing and then I do the exact opposite), I found out from Sigrid that December 17th was the Ossobuco alla Milanese World Day (every year the GVCI chose to dedicate a World Day to a specific dish of Italian Cuisine, and this year it was dedicated to the ossobuco alla Milanese).
Of course, this is not like forgetting your father's birthday, forgetting your car keys into the car or forgetting to take the gloves with you when outside it's freezing (and I forgot the last thing three times in three freezing days), but, since my ossobuco alla Milanese's recipe was waiting to be published for a while (I learned this recipe in the cooking class dedicated to meat dishes I attended a few months ago – but I already talked about it here) this seemed to me a great opportunity to write about this great winter comfort food.
And so, if you excuse me for my delay, I celebrate the marrowbones, too (and the "two days after" gives an apocalyptic twist, too).
Category Beef, Herbs, Lombardy, Meat, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Wine | Tags: beef,garlic,gremolada,herbs,lemon,Lombardy,marrowbone,meat,ossobuco,parsley,regional italian cuisine,second course,white wine,wine | 12 Comments
November 30, 2011 by Giulietta
Just a few days ago I wrote that I would take a break from my blog, that I didn't know when I would come back, but that I hoped it would be soon. You might be surprised to see me again after such a short period, but in these days I understood some things. I understood, thanks to a lot of kind messages and comments from many of you, that in these blogging months I gave to you more than I imagined, and I couldn't be happier about it. I understood that food and cooking are soul (and not only body) nourishment, and that sometimes you have to rediscover those nourishment by abandoning yourself to slowness, calm and patience … so that we can find that lost (or maybe just forgotten) taste.
For my personal quest I chose to rediscover an elaborated dish, a slowly cooked one, enriched by a thousand flavors and smells … I indulged in a pot roast, a dish that you can find in many places, but that I made mine using a Piedmontese wine, a rich and full-bodied Barbera. I learned to prepare this dish in a recent cooking class about meat preparations, so I hope the procedure I followed is very meticulous. This is a slow preparation, so it will allow you to spend some time at home and dedicate yourself to something else, because you won't be sucked into the preparation, but in the end you'll have a great final dish, a dish that gives off the scent of the imminent holidays.
Category Beef, Herbs, Meat, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Spices, Vegetables, Wine | Tags: barbera,beef,braised,carrots,celery,herbs,meat,onions,Piedmont,red wine,regional italian cuisine,second course,spices,vegetables,wine | 20 Comments
October 4, 2011 by Giulietta
As I said some time ago, it's time to rediscover and to share something about my Istrian roots. Yes, for those who missed that, I have Istrian origins: together with the strong Piedmontese component, I have two more roots, the Apulian one (from Santeramo in Colle, in Bari province, to be precise) and the Istrian one, from Galižana, a village near Pula.
Unfortunately I don't know these two smaller roots firsthand, because their "bearers" (my paternal grandfather for Apulia and my maternal grandmother for Istria) died before I was born. But, while for the Apulian root everything is linked to my dad's and my uncles' vague culinary memories, the Istrian one is a bit more informed, because my mom and my aunt have more tangible memories, i.e traditions and recipes.
Many of the memories about my grandmother and Istrian relatives, which for most part died in the last few years, are related to cooking experiences. I have heard legendary stories about the annual killing of a pig, about how good my grandmother Eufemia was in rolling out fresh pasta and how delicious her sarme (rice and meat wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves – you can find similar dishes in Romania and in the Balkans) were; also, some of her recipes got to me, like stuffed paprika and Vicenza-style salt cod ground in a mortar (you'll wonder what Istria has to do with Vicenza … well, many recipes from Veneto and Friuli easily passed the border – another example is apple strudel). And then, finally, the epic tale about pounds and pounds of ground meat (probably the murdered pig, too) turned into ćevapčići by aunt Solidea.
Well, perhaps we don't honor these roots every day, but there's no barbecue worthy of its name that doesn't include large amounts of ćevapčići! If you've ever been to Istria or Croatia, you'll know that grilled meat or fish are easily found in any konoba or restaurant. Well, as for meat, ćevapčići (oblong meatballs), ražnjići (kebabs) and pljeskavica (hamburgers) boss the show.
The dish that I propose to you today, the on that my aunt Solidea made countless times, it's very easy to make and it's perfect for a barbecue with friends.
Category Barbecue, Beef, Family recipes, Istrian cuisine, Meat, Meatballs and meat loaves, Pork, Second course | Tags: barbecue,beef,family recipes,istrian cuisine,meat,meatballs and meat loaves,pork,second course | 40 Comments
August 27, 2011 by Giulietta
Don't worry, the litmus test I'm talking about has nothing to do with the difficulty in making this dish (to tell the truth, it's quite simple), but it's because I finally passed this test with my stomach. In fact, you should know that for years I couldn't eat peppers (and I suffered, 'cause I really love them), since my delicate stomach (buuuuuu) decided that they were too much for it.
And so, goodbye to hot and cold peperonata (sweet peppers sauté in a frying pan with onion and tomato sauce), goodbye to grilled peppers, goodbye to stuffed peppers.
That was until a year ago when, because of an holiday in Croatian soil, I started to get closer again to this gorgeous (even esthetically) vegetable, first with Ajvar, then with stuffed paprika (sooner or later you'll find this recipe here, 'cause I want to rediscover my Croatian roots).
Since then, my path was downhill: at first it was a pickled pepper in a baccalà timbale, then a grilled pepper for lunch, until the TRUE litmus test mentioned above: the challenge of a stuffed pepper for dinner.
Needless to say, but I won, dear pepper, my former enemy (please listen to "The eye of the tiger" by Survivor, while you read this)!
Category Beef, Cold cuts, Herbs, Meat, Second course, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: beef,breadcrumbs,cold cuts,herbs,meat,parmigiano,parsley,pepper,prosciutto cotto,second course,single course,vegetables | 58 Comments
April 8, 2011 by Giulietta
For the first time in my life I decided to approach in a semi-serious way to Chinese cooking, trying to grapple with one of its must, probably the Chinese food that I like the most: steamed meat dumplings.
I like them so much that often, when I go to a Chinese restaurant, I end up eating only those, in excessive quantities, of course! So I thought: why not try to cook them at home?!
I want to play it safe: these are NOT 100% Chinese dumplings, because this is my personal interpretation! I replaced some ingredients with other more available or more to my taste!
The result, however, is very similar to Chinese dumplings we are familiar (at least in Italy)!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Chinese cuisine | Tags: beef,Chinese cuisine,dumplings,leek,meat,savoy cabbage,soy sauce,steamed | 17 Comments
March 21, 2011 by Giulietta
Today is the first day of spring: a bright sun shines upon Turin, birds are singing, the dog goes back and forth between home and garden (bad habit) and some flowers begin popping up here and there on the grass. So, to celebrate the coming of the good weather, and to say goodbye to winter (yes, maybe the news will surprise you, but 9 months from now it will come again) there is no better way than cooking a typical winter dish, that you won't see again for a while.
Category Beef, Cooking for dummies, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Meat, Regional Italian cooking, Second course | Tags: beef,friuli venezia giulia,gulasch,meat,potatoes,regional italian cuisine,second course,trieste,winter | 2 Comments