Cuochi d’artificio: “Messy Spring Frisella” / Cuochi d’artificio: “Frisella primaverile pasticciata”

Frisella primaverile pasticciata

It was a long wait…the first weeks of April showering with rain and confusing us with it’s sudden meteorological moods switching from cold autumnal temperatures to sunny days, but finally Spring is here to delight us with it’s sunny and mild climate. To greet the coming of Spring I thought up this simple recipe which I presented on my last recording at “Cuochi d’artificio”. The theme of the episode was “Mess”.

When speaking of mess, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? My mind wanders to pre-school age and I can see clearly a white paper block in front of me, plenty of maxi felt markers pens all around and a colourful scribble in the making. Mess means to me discovery, experimentation and the desire to try every new experience in a disorganized and frantic way…looking out for new shapes, colours and flavours. Precisely with this pattern in mind I imagined a recipe in which different tastes, textures and colours would coexist.

The crispiness of frisella, softened by the blood orange juice. Burrata, velvety, comforting, generous in its creamy consistency. The crispy baguette bread, cut into cubes and fried, seasoned with olive oil of a slightly spicy note. Pistachios, salty, aromatic. The freshness of mint and fennel, which bring spring to this dish. The anchovy, an irrevocable presence because it is simply a crime to use salt when you can add a touch of sea to your recipe. Pepper, to punctuate the lusty lipids of the burrata with spicy, lively notes. Simple, fast, but effective and delicious, this frisella is ideal as a starter (maybe one to be shared, being one frisella quite satiating) or as mid-day snack to enjoy as you relax lying in the sun with a good aperitif in your hand.

Here you will find the description of the recipe with the exact quantities, while here you can see the whole episode where I explain the recipe step-by-step.

Frisella primaverile pasticciata

Cuochi d’artificio: “Frisella primaverile pasticciata”

L’ho aspettata tanto e per quanto si sia fatta desiderare un po’, con le prime settimane di aprile piovose e altalenanti tra temperature autunnali e giornate da maglietta corta, finalmente è sbocciata in tutto il suo splendore…benvenuta primavera! Per accogliere la mite e bella stagione ho ideato questa ricetta per “Cuochi d’artificio” e l’ultima puntata da me registrata, a tema “Pasticcio”.

Quando si parla di pasticci voi a cosa pensate? La mia mente vaga direttamente all’età prescolastica e vedo chiaramente davanti a me il blocco di fogli bianco, i pennarelli dalla punta grossa aperti e un groviglio di colori in divenire. Pasticcio per me significa scoperta, sperimentazione, il desiderio di provare tutto anche in maniera scomposta e convulsa…alla ricerca di forme, colori e sapori nuovi. Proprio per questo mi sono immaginata una ricetta nella quale potessero coesistere sapori, consistenze e colori diversi.

Il croccante della frisella, ammorbidito dal succo di arancia tarocco. La burrata, vellutata, accogliente, generosa nella sua consistenza cremosa. Il croccante del pane baguette tagliato in cubetti e fritto, insaporito da buon olio con una nota leggermente piccante. I pistacchi, salati, aromatici. La freschezza della menta e del finocchio, che profumano il piatto di primavera. L’acciuga, perché è un delitto usare il sale quando si può aggiungere un tocco di sapore di mare. Il pepe, speziato al punto giusto, per punteggiare di note vivaci la libidine lipidica della burrata. Semplice, velocissima, ma d’effetto e deliziosa, questa frisella è ideale come antipasto (magari da condividere visto il potenziale saziante) o come spuntino di mezza giornata da gustarsi al sole con un buon aperitivo in anticipo.

Qua trovate la descrizione della ricetta con le quantità esatte, mentre qui potete rivedervi la puntata dove illustro le fasi della ricetta passo per passo.

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Polenta dorata, Lemon, Thyme and Polenta biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti al limone, timo e polenta dorata

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We’re back with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and I present you with my the second recipe with polenta flour.

This time around with a sweet recipe for cookies which are perfect to be dunked in tea. I took inspiration from my recipe for sablés and adapted it to the use of corn meal, combined with dried thyme and lemon zest. This blend make these cookies particularly fresh and tasty, but already I am thinking how gorgeous they would be with the addition of dark chocolate chips and toffee cubes. A basic dough with which you can play and have fun inventing new flavours! Polenta flour and raw cane sugar add a nice rough texture to these cookies, which were very much appreciated by my guinea pigs.

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MTChallenge April: Chestnut flour, Toasted Hazelnuts, Orange Peel and Pepper biscuits / MTChallenge Aprile: Frolla montata alla farina di castagne, nocciole tostate, scorza d’arancia e pepe

Frolla montata alla farina di castagne nocciole tostate scorza d'arancia e pepe 1

MTChallenge, mon amour! Unfortunately last month, due to an overload of work, I had to skip the challenge around the theme broth. To have to give up a challenge is never nice. I don’t deny that skipping an MTChallenge often fills me with guilt. With such a compact community, where everyone does its best a lot in terms of effort in developing new recipes as in providing support and help throughout all the challenge feeling guilty at not taking part comes easily. I scroll the Facebook page, look at that wonderful recipes posted daily…and I’m there sitting on the bench with my hands tied. Fortunately some of the work I’ve been doing last month allows me to take part to April’s challenge, set by Dani and Juri of Acqua e Menta blog. The challenge is not an easy one, don’t be fooled by what seems to be an easy peasy topic. Biscuits are far from easy without foolproof recipes, especially the fearsome “frolla montata”, a kind of biscuit that until now I have never, and I mean NEVER EVER, managed to bake with success. I lost track of the amount of frolla montata biscuits I baked in the past exuding butter, which crumbled miserably at the first touch or worse, that were dramatically chewy and greasy on the palate. Thanks to the generous post by Dani and Juri I finally managed to come up with some noteworthy biscuits. In short, MTC strikes again in teaching me something new.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Savoury Semolina Flour Pancakes / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pancakes salati con farina per pasta e pizza

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Breakfast, you already know how much I love this moment of the day and I won’t go on stressing how important it is for me to start the day with a rich meal. I have already experimented with a bread recipe using Maroggia’s Mill pasta and pizza flour (which is a mixture of wheat flour and very finely ground semolina flour) and I was pleasantly surprised. The result was very good, with an aromatic flavour and a good texture regarding the crumb.

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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Alice in Wonderland / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie

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Last year she turned 150, and I can say I was there celebrating her birthday having participated to the gorgeous Dinner in Wonderland organized by my dear friend Antonella. It’s Alice Liddell, the famous protagonist of “Alice in Wonderland”, one of the most famous children book ever written and the theme chosen for this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio”.
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Parmesan and Chive Polenta Muffins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffins alla polenta, parmigiano e erba cipollina

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Polenta. For centuries it has been the staple of our grandparents and great-grandparents diet, accompanied by meat, cheese, or more commonly by milk (even though I’m aware it is a quite childish on it’s my favourite combination). Corn is a tenacious plant with a very good yield, two features which make of this plant the most commonly cultivated and the staple of many peoples diet all around the world. It can also be toasted and reduced to a fine powder to produce farina bona, a special flour which is typical of the Valle Onsernone, a Valley in Ticino. Corn flour can be used in many different ways, as coating meat or bread sticks instead of using breadcrumbs, and can also be used in sweet preparations such as cakes (like amor polenta) and biscuits. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

SIAMO TOURNATI- LE TORTE SALATE & L’MTCHALLENGE IN TOUR

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Un post fuori programma, per un gruppo fuori dall’ordinario. Sì parlo proprio dell’MTChallenge, che l’ha fatto di nuovo…esce infatti nelle librerie di tutta Italia l’ultima fatica del gruppo più affiatato e matto del panorama del foodblogging! Con lo slogan “Siamo tournati!” siamo tutti lieti di presentarvi l’ultima creatura targata MTC: “Torte salate” edito dalla casa editrice Gribaudo (Gruppo Feltrinelli). Come per gli altri libri della collana MTChallenge parte del ricavato andrà a sostegno di Piazza dei Mestieri, un progetto rivolto ai giovani oggetto della dispersione scolastica e che si propone di insegnare loro gli antichi mestieri di un tempo, in uno spazio che ricrea l’atmosfera di una vecchia piazza, con le botteghe di una volta- dal ciabattino, al sarto, al mastro birraio e, ovviamente, anche al cuoco. La Piazza dei Mestieri si ispira dichiaratamente a ricreare il clima delle piazze di una volta, dove persone, arti e mestieri si incontravano e, con un processo di osmosi culturale, si trasferivano vicendevolmente conoscenze e abilità: la centralità del progetto è ovviamente rivolta ai ragazzi che trovano in questa Piazza un punto di aggregazione che fonde i contenuti educativi con uno sguardo positivo e fiducioso nei confronti della  realtà, derivato proprio dall’apprendimento al lavoro, dal modo di usare il proprio tempo libero alla valorizzazione dei propri talenti anche attraverso l’introduzione all’arte, alla musica e al gusto. 

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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Turmeric Bread Casket and it’s jewels / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Scrigno di pane alla curcuma e i suoi gioielli

Scrigno di pane alla curcuma 1

“All that glitters is not gold” has been the theme of the last episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I took part to. My main inspiration came from Iran, a place I’ve never visited but whose cuisine I know enough to declare my love for. I imagined a chests, made of breadand filled with “precious jewels”. What about these precious jewels?
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: La resta, Easter sweet bread from Como / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: La Resta di Como

la resta 1

Easter is around the corner and this year instead of the traditional colomba I decided to venture into new shores and try a recipe of which my friend Rita told me so much about last year. Rita has been a good friend for many years and over the time I also had the chance to meet all of her family. Back in the days they used to run the most famous pastry shop in Chiasso. Her father often told me about the pastries that they sold and also lent me several books (although pastry is not really my field, even though I always promise myself to sooner or later and bake some of the delicacies illustrated in these magnificent volumes). In short, they know their pastries. So, last year speaking of colomba and various Easter cakes and breads Rita asked me whether I knew this sweet bread which is traditionally baked and eaten in Como, la resta. Characteristic of this sweet loaf is the insertion of a branch of olive tree in its centre. I was immediately fascinated by this traditional bread and promised myself to try this recipe sooner or later. Luckily this year Easter falls shortly after my column of recipes for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook.

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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Soft, sweet…Asia! / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Soffice, dolce…Oriente!

baozi dolci : sweet baozi 1

For this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I was given a very specific theme: steam. Not an easy one, especially since I was given the task of developing one or more idea for the long recipe part of the program. My first thought went to Chinese steamed bread, baozi, which I had been thinking of for a long time and planned to develop a sweet recipe soon.

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