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

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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.

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Fagioli all’uccelletto / Fagioli all’uccelletto

fagioli all'uccelletto

Today I present you with a Tuscan recipe which I revisited, Fagioli all’uccelletto. A meat dish just for a change, a once in a while diversion from the usual bread baking routine. A nourishing and warming dish. Fagioli all’uccelletto is a traditional Tuscan dish, typical of the Florentine area. According to Pellegrino Artusi the name derives from the herbs and aroma used to cook this dish (especially sage) which where once used to flavour dishes made which had wild birds (uccelletti) as the main ingredient. This dish employs ingredients which are more readily available and serves as a mock version of those recipes. A rustic and rich meal, with plenty of animal and vegetable proteins, which is perfect to warm up the body and lift the spirit during those cold and gloomy winter evenings. I don’t know about you, but the perfume of meaty dishes, the sound of tomato and legumes splattering, mumbling and rumbling in a saucepan always get me in a good mood. It just smells like home…

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Pumpkin, Pears and Walnut Ravioli in Vegetable Broth / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tortelli di zucca, pere e noci in brodo vegetale

Pumpkin Pears and Walnut Ravioli in Vegetable Broth Tortelli di zucca pere e noci in brodo vegetale 1

I haven’t posted a fresh pasta recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook in a while http://www.mulinomaroggia.ch and the opportunity now comes along with the new packaging for pasta and pizza flour which has been available in stores since November. Alessandro gave me some samples and I decided to try out a tortelli recipe, since I’ve never had the chance to make them myself. I highly recommend you to try making them on a Sunday afternoon, preferably with some family members who can help you out and with whom you can spend some good times with. Making the dough is a long process and requires some patience but the result repays with a fresh product which is also easily customizable. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

A Spring Menu nr 4 / Un menù primavera nr 4

gnocchi ortiche primavera

This is the last appointment with my spring menus (you can check the first, the second and the third menu by clicking directly on them). Here are the four courses of my forth spring menu:

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

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MTC Challenge: Celeriac, Turmeric, Apple and Onion mini pies with dill brisée pastry/ MTC Challenge: Tortine al sedano rapa, curcuma, mela e cipolla con brisée all’aneto

mtc marzo 1

For this month’s MTC Challenge Elisa challenges us with a basic cooking preparation, brisée pastry. At first I thought I could not participate because the guideline called for the use of Michel Roux’s recipe. Fortunately, after writing to MTC’s staff I was reassured that in cases of allergies and health problems we were allowed to use other ingredients to substitute the ones indicated in the given recipe, so I decided to try out my first vegan brisée. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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

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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: Savoury Muffins with Salami and Cheese / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffin salati con salame e formaggio nostrani

muffin nostrani

It’s Maroggia’s Mill Friday again! This recipe wasn’t meant to be published, well…not really. In fact I made it up for Azione, a quick job that was commisioned to me in a short time and I was able to pull together in just one hour prior to leaving home and going to the shop where I work part time. Needless to say there are just few pics I shot for my own database. But then my friend Michela, whom is always up to date and informed of my experiments, tried the recipe out and asked me to please please please post it so she could then make her own blogpost. That’s how much she loved the muffins, and trusting her as I trust my own judgment well…I could not decline!

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Sourdough Surprises: Monkey Bread drove us bananas! / Sourdough Suprises: Monkey bread, il pane delle scimmie che ci ha fatto perdere la testa

monkey bread 1

It’s the 20th and Sourdough Surprises is back. As always I am delighted to discover a new bread kind, and what bread! I must admit this has been a great hit among my new official recipe testers: Flavia (go and take a look at her work here, she’s an amazing photographer and graphic designer) and her studio buddies Daniela, Micha and Alessandro not to mention Antonio, Flavia’s boyfriend, who devoured 3 and a half out of 4 monkey bread balls she had taken home. I must admit I was quite skeptic, not being a huge fan of overly sweet things, and was a bit scared only looking at the shape and fierce fatness of this very special bread. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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

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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…