Pizza in a pan logbook. When Antonietta proposed her recipe for this month’s MTChallenge I could not believe it…finally my favourite, pizza! Anyone who knows me personally is well aware of the efforts I have undertaken years ago in the search for the perfect traditional pizza. What they probably don’t know is that pizza pan is a true mystery to me. Even though I am a proud owner of Gabriele Bonci’s book “Pizza”, which was given to me as a gift by my sister, all my attempts so far (very few I must admit) have ended in a big failure. Being totally honest with you I am not a huge fan of pizza in a pan. But a challenge is a challenge, and for this occasion I decided to overcome my limitations and my fears and bake Antonietta’s pizza in a pan. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Chicken livers…so much I have eaten, so much I love them! I discovered this delicacy during my studies at the university of Florence, and I still enjoy them after so many years. There’s nothing more winter and cuddly. The ingredients are simple and poor. Bread is always in the pantry. Appetizer anyone?
Do you know what it takes to make me happy? Hand me a pack of proper grissinis and this will keep me good, quiet and happy for a good half an hour…just long enough for me to eat them all! There is nothing I can do, they are simply irresistible to em! It has been a while since I have baked a batch especially for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook so I came up with a new version, which have passed successfully my guinea pigs’ test. To add more crispiness and crunch I added some mixed seeds which Alessandro, production director at Maroggia’s Mill and my faithful miller, handed me over the last time I visited. I added some dried sage too. The result is fragrant, aromatic, crisp and extremely addictive. Try the recipe and let me know what you think about those ones!
I don’t know what’s your policy at home, but at my place nothing gets thrown away. Food is sacred and anything that is left over is eaten the next day, possibly converting the dish into something else or mixing up with other ingredients. This rule goes for bread too. I had already used breadcrumbs to bake pain de beaucaire, discovering how the addition of ground stale bread to give something extra to the flavour of the dough. With this in mind I came up with this tasty focaccia, covered with a crunchy breading, especially for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Suffice to say it has been all the rage at RSI (the tv channel I am working for) and people still ask me with pleading eyes to bring some more!
I’d been wanting to try out this bread for a long time, actually since I have been given Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread” for a gift last Christmas. It’s a nice way to break a little from the routine of baking large loaves, rolls and grissinis. An easy bake yet a stunning decorative bread. A perfect recipe to post for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. The original recipe I took inspiration from which is indeed the one by Jeffrey Hamelman and his book “Bread“ although instead of a mix of white and wholemeal flour I decided to use only white flour (the farina bianca nostrana I get from Maroggia’s Mill mulinomaroggia.ch) to not interfere with the flavours of the ingredients I added to the dough. The bread is crunchy on the outside and has a soft crumb. Dark chocolate, candied ginger (here you can find the recipe to make it at home) and orange zest go wonderfully well together. I did not add sugar to the mixture to enable the flavours to come out in all their aromatic notes and to be able to taste the contrast between them. The intense chocolate flavour, freshness of the orange and the tingling sensation the ginger gives to the palate are quite special. I must admit that the only thought of those ingredients put together make me think of Christmas, what about you?
Bread sticks, bread sticks…an endless love. Grissini have always been my favourite snack (as a child when we went out for a pizza I would steal grissini bags to all diners at our table, then grissini became the staple snack I would nibble during trips on trains when I went at the university), I never get tired of trying new recipes and mix of ingredients. This time I tried to put together one of my favourite flour (the friscello or fine semolina) with some farina bianca nostrana, equivalent of a strong bread flour. From the fridge I removed a tiny jar of shortening which was left from making pies, mainly out of curiosity (shortening is often amongst the ingredients of artisanal bread sticks that can be found in shops and supermarkets) as it seemed the right amount for this recipe and waste not want not, right? I used some refreshed and very active liquid sourdough and voilà the perfect recipe is served, more out of luck than anything else. I’m not sure whether the flour, lard or simply the mix of all these ingredients made the trick, but this recipe is among the best I’ve created so far. These tozzetti (meaning stocky, as I named them for their flat, short and thick shape) are the apotheosis of crunchiness. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
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…
Thanks to my new diet and lifestyle in the past months I have come across many ingredients that I did not really know or had never tasted so far. Among these millet flakes, which have become a staple for a creamy breakfast or even an afternoon snack. This ingredient immediately struck me for its taste and creamy texture. I was so intrigued by it’s qualities I decided to pull together a recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. And here it is. The addition of millet flour provides with a more dense focaccia than the ones made with wheat flour only, with an extremely creamy and fragrant crumb. This focaccia is ideal for a quick and filling lunch, something handy to take with you. My mouth is already watering, what about yours?
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.
Kidney Bruschetta on Rocket and Hazelnut Spread
Gnocchi with nettles, butter and mint
Fried Lamb Chops with Mustard and Apple Compote
Frothy Custard with Saffron, Cardamom and Rose Water