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
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
July 3, 2012 by Giulietta
Do you like the hot weather? Do you like summer? Well, I don't mind that, except when the heat is excessive and, for business or pleasure, I find myself in a kitchen, maybe with one (or more) oven turned on in it .. then in this period I ALWAYS crave for something that requires baking, but this indubitably a mental tare of mine (ipse dixit after baking, in the last three days, lasagna, pizza, appetisers, crème brulee, stuffed peaches and more … yes, I agree with what you're thinking but you're not saying: I do have some serious mental tare).
Obviously I really crave for cool or cold things (I am stupid, but only to a certain point), but have you ever thought of this great, inevitable and cruel truth of life: the things that you like to eat cold, you definitely have to cook them, sooner or later. And there you have to suffer a hot temperature, isn't it?
But come on, grit your teeth and cook (maybe in the evening, when the whether is cooler), so you'll have a fridge full of delicacies that can be enjoyed fresh, cool or cold.
And, if you want an idea for a rice salad different from the usual one, this is for you, a real gem of the spring/summer collection, with Venere rice, shrimps, tuna, zucchini, fresh peas and asparagus with a squeeze of lime and tuna mayonnaise.
Do you like it?! So what are you waiting for?!
Category First course, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: asparagus,cold dishes,lime,pasta rice and cereals salads,peas,shrimps,single course,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 2 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
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 29, 2011 by Giulietta
With this recipe, I broke all records for title length … in fact, I could only put a "Viendalmare" (in Eglish, literally, "Comesfromthesea": in Italian, it's a fake aristocratic and pompous surname, famous for the movie "Fantozzi") at the end of it, in loving memory of Fantozzi!
But in this case I couldn't shorten anything, for the sake of completeness. And so, adding syllables and syllables, I came up with the long -but very complete -"Cous cous shapes with Genoese pesto, zucchini and pine nuts on Taleggio cheese sauce". If you have read so far, you've already done half the work: now it's all downhill.
First of all, it must be said that this recipe is not mine (too many combination to be a figment of my simple mind), but it came from Giallo Zafferano (I made just a few changes here and there); my mom discovered it and, even if I don't know what she was looking for, she fell in love with it … and so we got here. The singles procedures to make this cold cous cous are not complex, but you need a little time to prepare everything and assemble the dish: and, let's admit it, it looks -and tastes- great.
The result is a dish of simple and full flavors, that match perfectly with each other: every single part of this dish could be eaten alone and be good, but the forkful that collects everything is the tastier.
Category Cheese, Cold dishes, Dried fruit, Earth first course, First course, Herbs, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: basil,cheese,cold dishes,dried fruit,earth first course,first course,herbs,parmigiano,pasta rice and cereals salads,pesto,pine nuts,single course,taleggio,vegetables,zucchini | 8 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
June 10, 2011 by Giulietta
In spite of the term carpaccio (in Italy carpaccio is a a dish where thin slices of raw meat or fish are seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and, for meat, Parmigiano cheese flakes), this is not a crude preparation, as some of you might already know. The final dish, however, is fresh and light: also, you could dress it as you prefer, and it would always look great on your summer table.
In fact, besides being a healthy light and, in my opinion, very good dish, it practically prepares itself (but it'll need 24 hours) and it's also pleasing to the eye. For all these reasons, therefore, it's a perfect dish.
Before trying, a few years ago, the octopus carpaccio, octopus for me meant octopus and potatoes salad (I don't deny it, 'cause I love it): but then carpaccio conquered me and, after eating it (and appreciating it) on several occasions, I decided I had to try this recipe, and the result was above my expectations.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cold dishes, Fish, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,celery,cold dishes,fish,octopus,olive taggiasche,olives,parsley,second course | 17 Comments