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

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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.
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Oops I did it again! Almond, Candied Orange Peel and Aniseed Sweet Rice Cakes! / Oops I did it again! Tortine di riso alle mandorle, arancia candita e anice

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Oops I did it again (didn’t I say I would no longer post sweet recipes?)! Well this is an old recipe, part of a menu I made up a few months ago for a project that never came to life. I kept those recipes aside for any emergency, a Plan B to keep the blog post flow constant. It was a smart choice. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Sourdough Bolos de Ferradura / Bolos de Ferradura al lievito madre

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What a lovely discovery the Bolos de Ferradura. When I started my research on Portuguese breads recipes the list of options was quite long, but as soon as I read the ingredients of this traditional breads in the shape of a horseshoe my heart was set on it. Anise and lemon zest how could I possibly resist? Bolo de Ferradura is a traditional festive bread (Nelson told me that he used to eat it as a child during country fairs) usually served as a wedding gift to guests by the bride, to bring good luck and prosperity. Bolo de Ferradura stands out for its compact crumb, almost similar to a biscuit. Dunk it in milk for a breakfast or an indulging snack. Join me and enjoy this sweet break! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Walnuts, Aniseed Caramel and Pear Tarts/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tartellette alle noci, caramello all’anice e pera

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Autumn has set in and I realised it has been a while since I last posted a good sweet recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. What better occasion than a bag full of walnuts coming straight from my dad’s garden? The process of nut cracking is long and boring, but there is absolutely no comparison with store bought nuts and the whole process can be done on a cold night in front of a good movie, as I actually did. My sister suggested trying out a Tuorta da Nusch (a walnut and caramel tart typical of Engadina region in Switzerland) which is one of my – many I admit – favourite dessert tarts, but I wanted to do something different. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

My bread featured on Essen Magazine: “Fashion Food” Editorial + Recipes / Il mio pane su Essen Magazine: Editoriale per la rubrica “Fashion Food” + Ricette

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Life is strange, it’s not much in my style to make certain statements but sometimes it seems to me that wishes can come true without too much effort and this is exactly what happened with this adventure with Essen – A Taste Magazine I’m about to tell you. I well remember that Sunday morning in August. My friend Chiara and I were in my kitchen, hands wrapped around our cups of black tea, fragrant freshly baked ciabatta and assorted jams for breakfast. We talked about possible collaborations, ideas of projects involving food and fashion (she works as a stylist in Milan). Chiara suddenly came up with an idea, why not propose an Autumn/Winter fashion editorial for Essen Magazine’s column Fashion Food, featuring my bread creations too? We started writing down ideas, but then as you well know the notes ended up in the middle of a thousand other paperwork scribbled with ideas, projects and recipes to try out. Until I got a phone call from Chiara, telling me that out of the blue she had been given by her boss a job for a fashion editorial for Essen Magazine! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Sourdough Surprises September: Aniseed flavoured Blue Corn Johnnycakes / Sourdough Surprises Settembre: Johnnycakes al mais blu e semi di anice

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It seems ages from the last Sourdough Surprises I have taken part to, with the Gozleme. Might it be the injury leave, which left me idle for a few unbearable weeks, or just that healthy summer “withdrawal from work” feeling? Almost fully recovered from my injury, feeling my usual self, I am ready to get my sourdoughs working on some proper recipes. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Foolproof family recipes: My Aunt Luciana’s aniseed biscuits / Ricette infallibili: Le ciambelline all’anice della zia Luciana

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There are recipes that never turn out wrong. Fail safe, tested over many years by grandmothers, mothers, aunts and family friends, they never disappoint. These small wonders are the result of years of testing, a sense of balance and innate culinary mathematics learned through repetition of everyday tasks in the kitchen. Gestures coming from a time when there were no Barilla nor McVities (and therefore no concept of boycott) but mothers who would create recipes for everyday meals, holidays and special occasions. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…