MTChallenge: Chestnut Honey and Feta Pizza / MTChallenge: Pizza al miele di castagno e feta

pizza feta e miele di castagno, chestnut honey and feta pizza 1

Here comes another month, here another MTChallenge. This time Eleonora and Michael, the two minds behind the blog Burro e Miele, threw their gauntlet not with a recipe but with an ingredient instead, and honey it is. Panic. This exact month is filled with work and new ideas, meetings, recipe testing and I won’t deny that such a great freedom within the challenge scares me a bit. In order not to exhaust myself I decided to keep a low profile, a very low one…but always with the desire to test new recipes and enjoy something different. Feta and honey have been a staple of Sunday brunches for a long time now and I’ve been crumbling feta on almost all of my white pizzas in the past years. It seemed to me like a perfect combination. A sweet and salty pizza, bring it on! The idea of putting honey directly into the dough is a winning one. Chestnut honey has a very distinctive taste and the result is pretty good…I already have been thinking of other recipes and I think I will be experimenting next Autumn. For the umpteenth time I want to thank MTC for being such a source of inspiration.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge n°50: And the recipe is… / MTC n°50: La ricetta della sfida di Settembre è…

croissant 1 copia

This month I will be throwing the gauntlet for September’s MTChallenge having won the previous challenge with my Horse Meat Hamburger with Eggplant, Beetroot crisps, Pepper Ketchup in a Liquorice Bun. It has been a hard task, picking the recipe and working on it to achieve a sort of kind of perfect version. Not to mention I have been working through July and August’s heat wave, handling butter and laminating dough. What is waiting for me is a lot of work, reading recipes, commenting, trying to to pick the best one of the bunch. I have the feeling I’ll get a proper headache… If you feel brave enough, if the temperatures are lowering and don’t exceed 20° C you might as well give it a shot. Check out my previous post on croissants to read more about techniques, tips and tricks.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge June: Horse Meat Hamburger with Eggplant, Beetroot crisps, pepper ketchup in a liquorice bun / MTChallenge Giugno: Hamburger di cavallo con melanzana, barbabietola e ketchup di peperoni in panino alla liquirizia

hamburger mtc 1

Here I am a little sleepy and with half closed eyes as I sit here, typing at my computer. What an adventure for this month’s MTChallenge! Diabolical Arianna saparunda.blogspot.ch, who won the contest last month, launched a pretty complex challenge inviting us to cook our own version of the world famous American Hamburger. I can’t deny it, as all the staff of the challenge is very understanding when allergies and special diets ar involved I first contemplated the option of participating with a macrobiotic hamburger. That thought lasted about thirty seconds, then I realized that it had no sense at all, at least from my personl point of view on this dish. Let’s face it hamburgers must be rich, fat and rewarding. It didn’t feel quite right to stick a vegetable burger into a wholemeal bun with a tahini and umeboshi sauce. Hey, hold on a second…now that I came up with this I must admit it does sound quite appealing. Maybe I’ll give it a try soon. But anyway back to my burger. Blame it on the diet restrictions or just my own view on burgers (burger = meat), but I decided to focus on a juicy and tasty version of the American fast food par excellence. And I don’t regret it. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge May: Giant Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Licorice and Orange Toast Crumbles / MTChallenge Maggio: Penne giganti al sugo di pomodorini, liquirizia e pane tostato all’arancia

Pasta pomodoro mtc 1

Another month, another challenge. This month’s MTChallenge Paola Sabino from the blog Fairies’ Kitchen challenged us with a “simple” tomato sauce pasta. Nothing more difficult than an “easy” dish. The challenge lies in being able to enhance the dish in all its components, first of all of course the tomato that should not be overwhelmed by other flavours and blend well with the pasta with its creamy texture. Another considerable detail is the degree of doneness of the pasta (it is known that overcooked pasta in addition to being sticky and unpleasant to taste is difficult to digest) for which Paola specifically requested a photograph that proves the perfect “al dente” cooking. Paola also called for a brief cooking of the sauce, even though not of its individual ingredients, and forbid us the use of onion. She tied our hands a little, something I particularly like when confronted with a challenge. More limitations and more the challenge gets interesting! For my dish I chose to stick to simplicity, but with the eccentric touch which distinguishes my cooking. To enhance the natural sweetness of tomatoes I used licorice powder and orange as pairings and added a bit of crunchiness with toasted bread. The result is very fresh, with notes of orange paving the way first to the tomato, blending with the licorice at the end of the bite. To make my life easier for the photograph of the doneness of the pasta I chose giant penne, although I personally recommend to pair this sauce with linguine.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge February: Bread, Anise and Lemon Zest Baci / MTChallenge di Febbraio: Baci al pane, anice e scorza di limone

baci 1

What is love? This month Mtchallenge challenges us with baci, Perugina’s world famous chocolate confection and with the daunting task of opening our hearts. Difficult task, tempering chocolate as exploring the darkest recesses of our hearts. Looking back I can see how my view on love has changed, through relationships and heartbreaks. Different shades of the same colour, or so it seems. Have I yet understood what love really is or will my perspective change once again? One thing is clear, however, falling in love is to love as bran to wheat and only in trust, freedom, respect and above all sharing one can find true love. I consider myself lucky having had such a love in my love, even though it’s over now.
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge: Licorice Lasagna with Chicken Liver and Leeks / MTChallenge: Lasagna alla liquirizia, fegatini di pollo e porri

Lasanga MTC 1

Another month and yet another MTChallenge. A tough one. Yes, because this month Sabrina, from Les Madeleines Proust blog, challenged us with a traditional Italian recipe. One of those one might think would be fairly easy to make, after all what’s so difficult about rolling some dough? I bet you already guessed what I am talking about: Lasagna! And we’re talking about the real deal. The sheet of pasta, as instructed by Sabrina, had to be rolled by hand. Yeah, rrrright! May it be my proverbial insecurity, my total inexperience, my well known impatience, or the fact that after 30′ resting the dough was slightly sticky but my lasagna certainly will make history. For its thickness. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Gin Bisbino Babà / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Babà al Gin Bisbino

1212baba-al-gin-1

Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I propose you my own interpretation of a great classic of Neapolitan pastry. The babà! Three years ago I baked babà for the first time thanks to the MTChallenge and I then promised to myself to try out other combinations sooner or later. I just had to wait until Alessandro wrote to me one day asking me if I had some original ideas to promote a new brand of gin, 100% local, produced by friends of his. I had already heard about Gin Bisbino and already had the opportunity to taste it but in fact I had never thought of using it in a recipe. Gin Bisbino really impressed me for its delicate flavour. A real pleasure to taste Gin Bisbino goes perfectly well with the fresh flavours of rosemary and grapefruit I chose to flavour the pastries with. To balance the bitter note of the grapefruit I added a little rose water that comes very delicately as an aftertaste, especially when the cream is eaten on its own. I decided to brush the babàs with rhubarb jelly which is slightly sweeter albeit maintaining the sourness of the other ingredients. And if you do not want to get your hands dirty, you can always try the recipe of Gin Bisbino to make an excellent Gin Tonic!
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTC Challenge: Indian Style Fried Chicken / MTC Challenge: Pollo fritto all’indiana

pollo-fritto-allindiana

Another month, another MTChallenge. Last challenge, the macaron, literally brought me to my knees and made me regret having a willpower which is close zero. Friendships, relationships…working hard on myself I learned the salutary principle of “Letting go” and understand that everything, EVERYTHING, in this brief life simply comes to an end. Not with the MTChallenge, I simply can’t let go. Like in the most cliché relationships which are ruled by a strong, and constant, imbalance between love and hate it’s impossible for me to desist. Kathy Bates in “Misery” you name her…MTChallenge is far worse than her smashing Paul Sheldon’s legs, I simply can’t get out of it! Last challenge’s winner was Silvia, not a surprise if you go taking a look at the recipe with which she won. It was virtually impossible for her to lose. I immediately said to myself: “She will bash us, she will”. Indeed, a massive bash arrived. Silvia’s fried chicken! So you think that frying is easy don’t you? You couldn’t be more wrong. Being quite experienced with frying (I think my closest friends have heard me billion times instructing them on double frying) I took courage and decided to use an ingredient I’ve never used for frying before. Almonds. Scared about its humidity content and surely quite fearful of burning them I never, EVER, used nuts to coat anything that needed a good old frying session. Of course it took an MTChallenge to throw myself into the boiling cauldron and overcome anxiety. The inspiration for the recipe came from India, as soon as I read Valentina’s original recipe. Blame it on the marinade (spices and spicy!), or the idea of accompanying the chicken with a sauce (firstly my mind went to a yogurt based dip and then moved on to an inevitable chutney, which I decided to mix with yogurt :D), but for certain if chicken is involved, at least where I come from, you have to venture into indian cuisine.

banner_sfidadelmese_n63-768x367

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

La ricetta che ha vinto è…

Sarò breve, ma spero intensa. In primo luogo vorrei ringraziare tutti, in primis la fratella Arianna (te possino te l’ho già detto?) che porgendomi lo scettro dell’MTC mi ha fatto passare un due mesetti belli tosti ma ricchi di soddisfazioni ed emozioni. Ad Alessandra, che mi ha rassicurata da subito dandomi tutto il supporto possibile per affrontare questa impresa per me titanica. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

50 E NON SENTIRLE! IL GIUBILEO DELL’MTC!

dodle_giubileoMTC

La 50esima sfida ad un tiro di schioppo (la prima risale al giugno del 2010, con la tortilla di patate) l’MTChallenge non da’ segni di perdere un minimo di smalto…anzi! Un gioco, una sfida e tanto studio contraddistinguono questa community (per vostra informazione la più longeva del web) che si è rinnovata negli anni arrivando a guadagnare un posto importante sul web, specie per quanto riguarda la credibilità dei contenuti e l’affidabilità delle ricette. Festeggiamo queste 50 sfide con il nostro stile, irriverente e scanzonato perché diciamocelo, nonostante tutto siamo ancora capaci di ridere e prenderci poco sul serio. Come ci promette la nostra inossidabile ed instancabile Mrs Van Pelt ci saranno sorprese, ricchi premi e cotillons, tutti in stile MTC (pure io fremo all’idea, non sapendo assolutamente nulla). Stay tuned!