Tag Archives: cheese

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!

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Mozzarella in carrozza – Fried or baked mozzarella

Recipe 45: This is a recipe that remembers me when I was little and I used to go to the beach near Rome with my father. We used to go in a place with a bar serving lunches and snacks and this dish was my favourite ever there! It’s not really a light summery recipe, but it’s sooo good you need to try! And if you make it in little pieces it’s also perfect for an happy hour with friends!

Ingredients: the original recipe is with white sliced bread, but this time I have also tried with Bagels having some leftover at home. But for you let’s stick to the original! You will need 8 slices of bread, 2 mozzarelle of around 125gr each, one glass of milk, salt , pepper, 2 eggs 8, some flour, breadcrumbs and 30gr of butter.Cut the borders of the bread and put some milk in a bowl with salt and pepper. Then prepare the mozzarella cutting it in thick slices and organize 2 plates, 1 with flour, 1 with bread crumbs and one bowl where you will mix 2  eggs with a pinch of  salt.Pass the bread a bit in the milk but don’t make it too dump. Place a slice of mozzarella on a slice of bread and cover it with the other, pressing a bit. Then pass it in the eggs bowl and then in the flour but just on the borders and then in the eggs again. In this way we are trying to create a stronger border to don’t allow the mozzarella to go out!
Then pass everything in the bread crumbs, turning them twice and pressing a bit to make the crumbs stick to the breadPlace them on some alluminium foil and pass on each slice a bit of butter, previously melted. Put them in the oven at 200 degree for around 15 minutes. Check and turn them as soon as they get colored. In the last minutes I suggest you to put some grill to make them even more crispy.If you want you could also fry them but I prefer tha baked version … A bit lighter?? When ready serve in a plate or cut them in little squares, but don’t let pass to much time or they will get cold and the mozzarella won’t be melted anymore! Buon appetito!

PS: Papy questa volta scrivo a te! Ti ricordi quanto impazzivo per le mozzarelle in carrozza di Ostia! Che buone! Le ho provate a rifare, ma il processo non e’ proprio facilissimo. Mi ci dovrei un po’ allenare. Mi sembra che  a mamma venizzero meglio!

Insalata di riso – Rice salad

Recipe 57: I’m in holiday in these days so it’s very difficult to update the blog and not just for the  internet connection, hard to find or very slow, but especially because I was and I’m still with very good chefs. I tried to cook a bit, but amazed by my mum dishes and my friends capabilities, I couldn’t bother to cook some of my recipes.

In Spain the only one I tried was the Insalata di riso or Rice salad, fresh, easy, and perfect to use all the food left in the fridge. The only thing that really matter is the time of cooking of the rice. If you are good with that, the dish will be a success.

Ingredients: rice,  pitted olives (green or black it’s the same), cherry tomatoes, Frankfurt or ham, emmethal, eggs, mais, pies, cappers, or whatever else you like.

For this recipe I have asked to everyone the secret they use to cook the rice and there are 2000 different theories. I tried one, but I wasn’t happy neither with that, so I will give you my mum’s solution:

Put some water to boil with salt and then add around 50 gr of rice per person.  Let the rice cook but try it often, I wouldn’t leave it there for more than 10 minutes. You need to drain it when “al dente”. That’s really important. So if on the bag it says 15 minutes, try it at 10 and remember that it will finish to cook a bit outside too. If instead the rice is already perfect, pass it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In the meantime, boil also some egg, cut some emmenthal cheese, ham or Frankfurt, olives, cappers, peppers or cherry tomatoes if you want, mais and if you can, boil also some pies. I love them in this salad.

When the rice is ready and all these ingredients are cut in pieces, add some oil to the rice and all the ingredients, mixing very well. My mum doesn’t use to add anything else to it, maybe just a bit of salt and pepper, but all the ingredients will give the taste to the rice.

Serve in a plate and Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy con la cottura del riso sono una vera tragedia…mi viene sempre extra cotto! Argh! ho provato anche con un misurino di riso e 3 di acqua e nulla, alla fine era un pappone. La prossima volta mi ci metto proprio con attenzione, e vediamo se al prossimo pic nic saro’ piu’ fortunata! Meglio i risotti del riso semplice! uffa!

Involtini al sugo – Meat rolls in tomato sauce (-36 weeks)

Recipe 76: This is a classic of the sunday lunch when i was in Rome. The dish it’s a bit long because you need some time to cook the meat and create the sauce, but the good stuff is that then you can use the sauce for the pasta too… and I swear it’s really special.

Ingredients for 2 people: 400 gr of meat (if you can find it take always veal, it’s tender and with a nicer taste), 1 egg, 30/40 gr butter, 1 glass of white wine, a tomato sauce can, 1 carrot, 1 celery, some pieces of Emmenthal, 2 garlic cloves, salt, pepper and toothpick.

Put an egg in some boiling water and let it cook. In the meantime cut the meat in 4 slices and press them until they get really thin. Clean the carrot and the celery and cut 4 thin pieces from each of them. Then cut 4 pieces of cheese long like the carrot and the celery.

When the egg is cooked, take it from the water, peal it and cut it in 4 part. Now you can start to fulfill the meat with one piece of each thing and add salt and pepper. Then you will need to close it with some toothpick. The most important thing you need to be careful is to close them in a way the cheese can’t come out too much.

In the meantime put some oil and 20gr butter in a sauce pan and when it boils, place some garlic and wait to be cooked. When the oil will have take all the  taste and the garlic will start to become goldish, take the garlic out and place the meat in the saucepan on a low fire.

Let them became a bit colored and then turn and wait a bit. After around 10 minutes pour the glass of  white wine and wait some more minutes for the wine to evaporate.

At this point i have add some other pieces of carrot and celery just to give more taste and then the tomato sauce can with some more salt and pepper. You can also add a bit of chili if you want.

Now cover the saucepan, set the fire very low and just wait 20 minutes. Then turn the meat and wait for other 20 minutes. Now the meat will be ready and the sauce will have a unique taste! This dish is perfect if served with potatoes, vegetable or just alone. In this case i added some Polenta that is amazing with the meat sauce!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy hai visto che belli i miei involtini? Purtroppo come al solito c’e’ stato il problema con la carne di vitella percio’ ho utilizzato la carne di manzo che e’ un po’ piu’ duretta, ma cucinandola a fuoco basso per un bel po’, e’ venuta buonissima. Ed un sugo cosi’ buono non lo mangiavo da un sacco di tempo. Pensa che ho fatto pure la polenta…ero proprio in vena di un pranzo classico domenicale!

The Italian Aperitif: product testing Dolce vita event

I will open my new “Product testing” category writing about some of the elements to prepare a good italian aperitif… that i miss sooo much.

At the Dolce Vita Event there were really too many things i could have bought, but here i have some selection: cheeses, olives and a drink of course.

Between the big variety of cheeses presented in the event i choose some Gorgonzola made with goat cheese, some Robbiola, some Toma from Piemonte, another very strong and tasty cheese similar to Pecorino and finally some Parmesan. It can never miss.

Here i need to thanks Lemons and Co, for their amazing Nero D’avola Cream that made the meal even richer and tastier. Lemon and Co, provides quality sicilian products like jam and sauces (i tried the olives and almonds one… very very good) and this innovative cream made from this quality of red wine grapes very characteristic in the island. It’s perfect with hard seasoned cheeses.

Then i need to admit it: i love olives and when i saw the Sapori D’Italia stand i couldn’t resist and i bought some marinated green pitted olives called Boscaiola (very big), and some marinated mixed vegetables called Antipasto!  They are a family-run business with shops here in UK and i was really happy to find all these traditional products there.

Unfortunately the only thing that was missing in the event, was a nice stand with Italian bread… i miss the Rosette and the Casareccio bread sooo much!Let’s see if someone will bring it in the next edition. I also hope in some Mortadella… please!

And to close the aperitif i have to mention another traditional protagonist of my italian Aperitivi in the local square: Il Bellini.

When i saw this little nice bottle between all the wines and liquor stands, it was emotion! Ok it’s not fresh made but do you know what it means to look for fresh white peaches with some taste here in London???

Produced by Canella, they have also a really nice blog.

So WELCOME to the Bellini Cocktail and good Aperitivo to everyone!

PS. Mamy questi sono alcuni dei prodotti che ho trovato all’evento di cui ti dicevo. Alcuni li abbiamo comprati ed altri mi sono stati regalati per testarli. Non sai che piattini con tutte queste delizie!

Portafogli deliziosi – Delicious wallets

portafogli 1

Recipe 123: This is a dish that i love but it was quite hard to prepare because here in London is very difficult to find veal’s meat. I was especially looking for a particular cut of the veal, very tender and a bit expensive but absolutely delicious, the one called “top round” i think. However at the end i bought some escalopes, but they cut them very thin and pressed them a bit.

Ingredients for 3-4 people: 4 veal escalopes – 4/6 ham slices – 4 good slices of Emmental cheese – 50gr butter – some black pitted olives – some sage leaves – salt – one vegetable stock – 1 glass of dry white wine and, very important, some toothpicks.

Portafogli 2

This dish is very simple: you just need to place the ham the cheese and the black olive (if you like them) on the veal, as shown in the pictures and then you close each piece of meat with 2 or 3 toothpicks an some sage leaves. The secret is just to close them properly, creating almost a triangle, so nothing can come out while you are cooking them.

portafogli deliziosi 3

Put in a pan the 50gr butter and let it melt. Then place the meat in the pan, put some salt and pepper and cook it a bit. In the meantime prepare some boiling water in a little saucepan and add the vegetable stock to create the “brodo’.

When the meat is a bit colored, add the glass of wine and when it’s all evaporated, start to use the brodo: you will add it bit by bit every few minutes, to let the meat cook and to create a nice sauce in the same time. You can also cover the pan if you want. The fire don’t have to be too strong but just enough to cook the meat without burn it. The meat will cook in 15-20 minutes.

Serve in a plate with the sauce on top and with some vegetables.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy, qui la carne di vitella la vendono solo in posti super specializzati. E poi la fesa o noce di vitello e’ proprio inesistente, non sai quanti macellai ho girato! Alla fine ho preso delle fettine, che erano buone ma non tenerissime come la tua. Comunque il piatto e’ venuto buonissimo e poi con tutto questo tempo senza mangiare carne di vitella… ci siamo leccati i baffi! Ho messo le olive nere nella ricetta invece dei carciofini perche’ come sai non sono un’amante dei sottaceti, e diciamo che il sapore delle olive di qui non e’ fortissimo percio’ non si sentiva tanto la differenza, ma giusto il necessario.

From the Halloween menu’: Risotto alla zucca

Pumpkin risotto 1

Recipe 126: This is a risotto my mum uses to cook often in autumn and not just for Halloween. I really like the taste, because delicate and unique thanks to the rosemary and sage together. And for this Halloween i decided to cook it again but the big deal wasn’t the recipe, but the pumpkin to use!!!!

Here in London you have at least 3 qualities available in Halloween time: the classic for craving, a little little one and the butternut. Last year i tried the little one and it was a big delusion: absolutely not tasty! This year i wanted to try the butternut because it seems to be very tasty instead, but i also wanted my craved pumpkin….so at the end i decided to cook the rice with the big classic pumpkin, hoping in a bit of luck! And at the end i was quite lucky!!

So here are the ingredients for 8 people: 1kg pumpkin (already clean without skin, seeds and all the filaments) – 750/800gr rice – 100gr butter – 2 onions – 2 glass of white wine – 2 vegetable stock cubes – 8 slices of cheese for burgers (the one that melt easily) salt – pepper – 5/6 sage leaves – 2 banches of rosemary – 2 cloves of garlic and big bunch of parsley (I suggest flat leaves ).

Pumpkin risotto 2

I started from the pumpkin. With my friend help we cut it in 2 and we start to clean the first half. After taking of all the good part, i realized it wasn’t enough, so i used also the other part and Nat get busy carving this amazing spooky face. This means that a medium pumpkin is about 1 kg after all the cleaning.

After this, wash, cut in little pieces and mix all together the sage, rosemary, the garlic, the 2 onions and put the “trito” (the mix of cut ingredients) to cook in a big saucepan with the butter. In the meantime add vegetable stock in another little saucepan with boiling water to create the ‘brodo’. Wait for the “trito” to became mild and colored and then start to add the pumpkin in little pieces (otherwise will be quite long to cook). Let it toast a bit and then add some “brodo”.

pampkin risotto 3

The pumpkin will take a bit too cook and it will reduce quite a lot, taking out lots of water. However continue to mix always and to cook it until the pumpkin becomes very soft and add other brodo as soon as the water start to miss in the pan. At this point you can add the rice, make it toast a bit and then add the 2 glasses of wine. As soon as this will be absorbed, you will add, little by little, new “brodo” prepared with another stock as before.

Pumpkin risotto 4

At this point you have just to wait the rice to cook and this will take around 20 minutes, depending by the quantity of the rice used. Have try after a bit and add the salt and pepper you think are missing. Just before to be ready, cut the cheese in little pieces and add them to the rice to give extra taste to the plate, but also without it will be very good.

Pumpkin risotto 5

When everything is ready, serve the rice in a plate with the parsley cut in little pieces and with lots of Parmesan as usual!

Buon appetito!

Ps. Mamy questo e’ il primo piatto in cui tutti hanno fatto il bis! ero contentissima e alcuni di loro non avevano mai provato il riso alla zucca! La Streghetta ha colpito nel segno! Pero’ devo ammettere che la zucca italiana ha piu’ sapore, ma d’altronde questo e’ il problema di tutta la frutta e la verdura qui.