MTChallenge: Terrine!

Another month, another challenge. Welcome back to the monthly appointment with the MTChallenge. The last challenge was won by Giuliana, our vintage hen which is quite passionate with terrines.I must confess. Terrines scare me, they always did. I don’t like them. Blame it on the gelatin, which remind me of culinary horrors of the 70s which can be found on many pages of my mum’s culinary scrap books. I always considered terrines a too playful and poor of substance dish (forgive me Giuliana!). But MTC is MTC, one simply can’t escape from it. As a matter of fact, the more a subject is far from what I like the most, the more stress it generates and the more excited I feel. More or less. The roughest British sides of me started saying “No cold jellies… can’t you see you finally have the chance to try and bake your own pork pie? You don’t want to lose this opportunity do you?”. HI must come out of the pie closet and my beloved Van Pelt will be shocked, she will… I’ve never ever baked a pork pie in my whole life. I needed MTC to finally bake one! I have to be honest. I had many ideas mainly involving apples, oranges, beetroot and liquorice. Then I had a fennel, lying on its own in my fridge, and decided to flavour the broth with spices and the pig with herbs. No overthinking and simply following my gut.
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Annunci

“Cuochi d’artificio”, creativity and a piadina that believed itself to be ravioli / “Cuochi d’artificio”, la creatività e delle piadine che si credevano ravioli

piadina that believed itself to be ravioli - piadine che si credevano ravioli 1

What is creativity? An impulsive motion triggered by sudden illumination which moves the pen, the brush, the fingers on the keys of a computer or a piano? Or rather is it an education to see, to hear, to reinterpret things that surround us? As Bruno Munari well says in his book “Fantasia” it is both. A reading I much enjoyed during my university study and which I’ve picked up lately to help me coming out with new ideas for the theme of the second episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I have been cooking for. Obstacles are often an instrument for the development of new projects so I started from the assumption that the recipe should be prepared in a limited time and shouldn’t pose too many practical problems as long proofing times or handling a messy dough. The simplicity of a flat bread, modest, versatile, provides with a thousand possibilities of interpretation. And what if this piadina wanted to be something else? Maybe it would like to be turned into cannoli…or ravioli! To be able to come up with new ideas we need to subvert all preconceptions we have. Piadina is a staple of Rimini’s street food, stuffed with sweet or savoury filling. Is this recipe untouchable or can play with it to transform it to our liking? I decided to play with it, transforming it in a bite sized treat. One bite and the hand is already reaching out to the next “ravioli piadina”. Soft ricotta whipped with just the right amount of grana padano hits the tastebuds. Enough to salt and not cover the flavour of pistachios, which now creak under the teeth, and the one of chives, refreshed by a touch of lemon zest, an ingredient which is always able to bring back the dead. Blessed zest, blessed citrus flavours that make our palate sing! The hand is reaches out, but the plate is now empty.

This is the recipe told in words. Here you can find the video where it is explained step by step, and here you will find all the ingredients and quantities needed to make your taste buds dance. If you not so much into some of ingredients just be creative, customize the recipe, play with it, have fun. Use your imagination!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Black Sesame Seeds, Lemon and Black Pepper Madeleines / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines al sesamo nero, limone e pepe nero

madeleines sesamo nero limone e pepe, black sesame seeds lemon and pepper madeleines 1

From the beginning of the year, ie since I started following more or less religiously a macrobiotic diet, I was forced to cut out on all that is sweet or contains sugars and most of the sweeteners on the market. I had to adapt, and started juggling myself between bread sticks, buns, loaves and pizzas recipes to add to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook trying to keep up both quality and variety. Detox, health, balance of body and mind. All of this is fair, but sometimes a little indulgence is necessary, isn’t it? So I looked back to a recipe for madeleines which I posted long time ago for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As I child I remember my mother buying those sweet treats from time to time, a very much appreciated concession for our mid day snack. She would buy the classic lemon scented ones which I ate usually in a series of three (I’ve always had a soft spot for odd numbers), religiously dunking them in a large cup of cold milk until they were next to falling apart. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper Crackers / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Crackers alla curcuma, zenzero e pepe nero

Cracker curcuma e zenzero 1

Sometimes they come back again. I can’t stay away from crunchy baked goods, they definitely have a hold on me! After having delighted you with my rye, toasted flour and thyme crackers, emmer knacker brot with mixed seeds, dried wild fennel leaves, lemon and pepper crackers, sourdough crackers and sourdough bread thins I think it’s about time to present you a new recipe Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook, this time using a part of pastry flour and shortening to favour crunchiness. They are simply irresistible! Turmeric gives them an intense and pleasant flavour while ginger adds a little freshness. Black pepper fits well anywhere adding a bit of a kick that is felt just at the end, giving these crackers a little extra. Enjoy these snacks along with an aperitif or during a study break (can’t think of the amount of crackers I did eat during my university days!). They are very easy to make and do not require much time so you have no excuse not to try them out for the next dinner or party you’ll be throwing at home!

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Sourdough Surprises: Sourdough, Saffron and Black Pepper Apple Fritters, diet can wait! / Sourdough Surprises: Frittelle di mele allo zafferano e pepe nero…e la dieta può aspettare!

frittelle 1

I admit it, when I read this month’s Sourdough Surprises theme I was very pleased, and not pleased at all at the same time! It no secret to those who know me well and see me on a weekly basis that I have gained weight. Not a lot, but still those 2 almost 3 kilos one starts to gain without noticing and then it’s almost too late. For a long time my weight has been more or less stable but probably at 33 I should take a little more care about what I eat. Well luckily summer has hit Switzerland with a terrible heatwave and I’ll probably be able to shed off the extra weight I put on. Frying was not really in my book, oh well it surely was in one book…the black one! But these fritters, oh these fritters! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Dried wild fennel leaves, Lemon and Pepper crackers / Sfogliate di pane al finocchietto, limone e pepe

sfogliateintro

Lately baking disasters have been the norm, the uneasy feeling of not doing it right, of not being focused. Yet another batch of grissinis gets burnt, the ciabatte do not rise as expected and every single recipe and experiments turns into drama. Not good. To get back on the track and to push myself I turn to the easiest solution to soothe the wounds to my confidence: online challenges and contests. When improvising too much I often lose concentration, having to participate to contests is another thing…there are deadlines and a recipe can turn out bad once, maybe twice. I started with a quick and easy recipe, because as always I put myself in the position of squeezing my urge of baking between chores and appointments. Renouncing is not an option. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…