Category Archives: vegetables

The witch’s Halloween souffle’ (-12 weeks)

Recipe 28:This Halloween i really didn’t have the time to organize a fancy dress party and not even a real Halloween menu, but i have still invited some friends at home. So i simply decided to stick to the orange as an Halloween theme and i made pasta with pumpkin and mushroom, and this double color souffle that i always loved.

Very delicate in the taste, it’s made by vegetables and besciamella sauce mixed together. Here are the ingredients: 500 gr. of frozen chopped spinach, 250 gr of carrots, 50 gr of butter, 3eggs, 30 gr Parmesan, 50 gr flour, 300ml of milk, salt, nutmeg.

Wash, peal and boil the carrots. When ready cut them finely and place it in a pan with 25gr of butter. In the meantime, boil also the chopped spinach and when ready, drain them and leave it in one side to cool down.

Add to the carrots 25gr of flour and 125ml of milk and mix it all for around 10 minutes, or until it gets thick. You will create in this way a light besciamella that you will need to let cool down after adding the 15gr Parmesan, the salt and nutmeg.

When the spinach are cold, add a yolk egg  and mix. In another pan you will prepare some more besciamella also for the spinach: 25gr butter with 25gr flour and around 150-200ml of milk. Stir all until it get thick and when a bit cold, add it to the spinach with 15gr Parmesan and some salt.

Add to egg yolk to the carrots too and put all the white parts of the egg to whip up in the mixer. 2 parts of this will need to go in the carrots and one part in the spinach.

Now let’s prepare the backing pan putting some butter on the inside, covered in flour to don’t make the souffle’ stick. Place the spinach mix first and then the carrots one.

At this point my mum use to cook this in teh oven but a “bagno maria” so in another conteiner with boiling water. In this way the souffle is not in direct contact with the hot. I didn’t have any other big container so i place it in the oven at 200 degree for one our with a bit of pieces of butter on the top. It was really good anyway…maybe a bit harder than a souffle’, but still easy and nice.


When the souffle’ is cooking, don’t open the oven or it will collapse. When you think is ready, try a tooth pick in the inside and if it’s dry, you can directly turn it on a plate and serve it. If you will wait it will collapse again.

So serve it hot straight away. I added some Parmesan but also without it’s very good. Enjoy!

PS. Beh  mamy non m’e’ venuto male anche se non l’ho cotto a bagno maria no? Il problema e’ che per farlo staccare dal recipiente ho aspettato e come volevasi dimostrare mi s’e’ ammosciato e la parte arancione quasi non si vede. Ma che buono!

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Homemade mayonnaise and russian salad – Insalata russa

Recipe 29: In the office they decide to organize a little Halloween party and i wanted to help out with some food. But what i could cook considering we don’t have any oven? It also has to be something easy to bring. So because someone else was thinking about the desserts, and we were going to have cheese and wine all night, i decided to prepare some Insalata russa, that you can easily eat with bread and crackers.

Ingredients for a starter for 8 people: 3 big potatoes, 5 carrots, 150gr peas, 5 eggs, some anchovies in olive oil, some capers, half of a little spoon of mustard, a lemon, a glass of olive oil, a bit of vinegar, salt and pepper.

For the mayo i suggest you to use a mixer because otherwise it will be very hard to maintain always the same speed and strength. However add 2 egg yolks with a pinch of salt and start to mix, better if with a wooden spoon and always in the same sense. At this point you will add the olive oil little by little and with some lemon juice drops too.

After a bit the mayonnaise will start to become thicker, so you can add the remaining lemon juice always mixing a bit.

Wash, peel, cut and  cook all the vegetables in different pans and when boiled, cut them in little pieces. mix this with the peas, the mayo the capers and the anchovies finely chopped, salt, pepper, a bit of vinegar and mustard.

Boil the other three eggs and place it on the salad as a decoration. Place everything in the fridge and enjoy after some hour. Cold it’s better!

Otherwise another good mix is Mascarpone with capers, anchovies and parsley! That’s really great.

PS. Mamy la tua insalata russa con la maionese fatta a casa e’ stata un successo! Diciamo che dopo avre provato una volta a farla  a mano sono subito andata sul robot da cucina perche non riuscivo piu’ a mescolare, ma il risultato comunque non ha nulla a che vedere con quella che compri! Se la sono finita tutta in ufficio!

Patate Duchesse – from France but always in my mum favourites!

Recipe 30: and not only in my mum favorites…in mine and in the majority of our guests too! This is a classic dish for party because everyone like potatoes and this can be made in big quantity and the frozen to have it always ready. It’s  a long time i wanted to do them but i was missing the main tool: the Piping Bag and now i finally have one!

Ingredients for 4-5 people: 1 kilo of potatoes, 100gr butter, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, some milk, 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks.

Let’s start from the potatoes. Clean them from the skin and place them in a big sauce pan with water and salt. Let the water boil and leave them there for around 20 minutes. They need to cook but without become to soft. In the meantime in a big container place the egg, the salt, the Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper. Mix a bit and add the butter.

This time i had some Gorgonzola cheese left too and i decided to add it to the mix. I though the taste could go well together.

Drain the potatoes and mash them, then add them to the mix and create a smooth mix. If too hard, add some milk enough to make the mash potatoes quite creamy, but not too liquid.

Taste it and add salt pepper or nutmeg if needed. When ready, place all the content in one or more piping bag and start to create your potatoes.

Place some baking paper on the baking tray and push the bag to make the first potato duchesse. Push in the center to make it more consistent, but don’t made them too big or little.If you have a pastry brush you can paint them with an egg, otherwise just place them in the oven at 180 degree for  around 15 minutes. Check in the meantime. It will be very easy to see them take color and get ready. When they look like the picture, simply take them out and serve it!

Enjoy!

PS: mamy hai visto il tuo cavallo di battaglia come m’e’ venuto bene? Il puree era fantastico perche’ c’ho aggiunto un po’ di latte e pure di gorgonzola, percio’ quandop le addenti fuori sono croccanti e dentro belle morbide! Buonissime!

Pears and cheese salad – Insalata di pere e formaggio (-17 weeks)

Recipe 38: It’s definitely autumn… at least in London and i started to see lots of new products in the supermarkets: the ones i prefer the most for this season are the juicy and super sweet pears and the walnuts. I couldn’t resist to buy them right now and i thought about this recipe that i really like. Sweet and salty mix are just the best!

Ingredients for 2 people: You will need some rocket…a little bag is enough, 1 pear quite big, some pecorino, some walnuts, oil, balsamic vinegar and i like also a bit of honey on it!

So it’s very easy: just wash the rucola and place it on a plate, take off the skin of one pear, cut it in little pieces or slices, add some crushed walnuts and some salty cheese like the pecorino. I prefer it in pieces or slices but not grated for the salad.

Then mix in a bawl some oil (2-3 spoons) and some balsamic vinegar (this depends by the taste). If you like the honey you can try to add a bit now in the mix or just at the end on top. I didn’t add any salt… i prefer to taste the salt of the cheese.

And to end this quick post, i leave you here a famous said we use in italy: “Al contadino non far sapere quant’e’ buono il cacio con le pere” that means literally “Don’t say to the farmer how much is good the cacio with the pears”… don’t ask me why! However because the cacio here is something very hard to find i thought the pecorino was a good substitute as well!

ENJOY!

PS. So che tu in verita’ non sei proprio un’amante di questi sapori cosi differenti, ma mi sembra piacesse anche a te il formaggio con il miele. Questa e’ la mia scusa per avere un piatto in cui poter accostare questi sapori… senza danneggiare troppo i kili persi!

Fagioloni al sugo – Runner beans with tomatoes sauce

Recipe 39: Today i have cooked a very old and healthy recipe from my grandmother. It’s very easy as usual but these vegetables are a perfect solution to change the routine in your meals.

I just found these beans at the supermarket, and i thought to cook this dish that is a long time i don’t eat, so here are the ingredients: around 300 gr big beans or runner beans as they call them here, 200gr passata of tomatoes (i suggest you Cirio one), half an onion, some salt and chili. That’s all!

Wash the beans, take off the ends and the filament from side to side. Then boil them for 10-15 minutes in salty hot water while in the meantime you will prepare the sauce.

Put some oil in a pan with the chopped half onion and wait for the onion to get a bit colorful. Then add the passata of tomatoes with a bit of chili. Let it cook and when the beans are ready, drain them and pass them in the pan.

Let them in the pan a bit, just the time to absorb a bit of the sauce and serve them hot! Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy chissa’ se mi sono venuti come te li faceva nonna! Secondo i miei in Italia pure i fagioloni hanno piu’ sapore, comunque buonissimi…me li sono proprio goduti!

Italian chicken salad!

Recipe 43: Here in UK the chicken salad is prepared in a different way and it’s also a very typical dish. It’s called Chicken Ceasar salad and it’s made with salad, chicken, Parmesan and croutons. I have to admit that i really like this version too, but everyone needs to know that in Italy it doesn’t exist!

The chicken salad we do it’s made of : chicken (i use normally one breast for 2 people), any type of salad, 3 spoons of mayonnaise, and some cheese and 1 carrot if you like it.

Boil a chicken breast in hot water until well cooked. In the meantime wash cut place some salad in a big bowl. Then pass the chicken in cold water and start to cut it in little pieces. I suggest you to do it directly with your hands, so will be easier to have long vertical pieces.Add the chicken to the salad and then add also some little cheese cubes. I used Emmenthal but you can choose the one you prefer. Finally you can also add some carrots cut in “Julienne”style, also called “matchstick”.

At this point I’m normally very generous and i add 3 spoons of mayonnaise, salt and a bit of balsamic vinegar because i like it a lot, but you can also add just some olive oil and even a bit of lemon if you like… there are so many different versions.

For tomorrow in the office, this will be perfect! Buon appetito!

PS. Ciao mamy, dopo tutte queste mangiate estive, tento di tornare sulla giusta rottae percio’ ho pensato all’insalata di pollo. Ok, non e’ proprio il massimo della dieta, visto che c’e’ la maionese, ma io usato quella light e poi se si mangia solo questo….

Sformato verde – Green pie

Recipe 51: This is something my mum did during our holiday just to change a bit from the normal vegetable side order. It’s nothing really amazing or particular, but it’s just something healthy and different to eat and that can maybe suits children too.

Ingredients: you will just need some broccoli and cauliflower, olive oil, some garlic (cloves or powder), pepper, a bit of chili and nothing else.

Wash and cut the vegetable in little pieces, then boil them in some water with salt. Leave them for around 10 minutes. In the meantime put some oil in a pan with some garlic cloves. Let them get goldish and then take them out.

When the vegetable are still a bit hard place them in the pan and start to mash them with a wooden spoon or spatula. In the meantime the vegetable will cook in the oil and will take a nice taste. Add the pepper and chili and keep on  mixing and turning the vegetables. If they are getting to dry you can always add some more oil. I think the mix could be really good also with something like pancetta, if you like or pieces of sausages.

When you think the mix has reach a good consistency, creating a nice pie, you can try to cover the pan with a plate and turn the pie to let it cook on the other side.

Keep on turning until it become a little bit colored and when you think is ready you can serve it on a plate or already divided in slices with some meat or fish.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy alla fine ho messo anche questa ricetta, perche’ non avevo mai proposto nulla con i broccoli ed il cavolfiore e questo sformato ripassato con aglio ed olio e’ perfetto per non mangiarsi sempre verdure lesse.