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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cream, Almond and Pistachio Grissini / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Grissini alla panna, mandorle e pistacchi

grissini panna mandorle pistacchi 2

Sometimes the best recipes for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook are born this way…recovering ingredients that have been languishing in the fridge for too long and next to their expiration date. Full cream, I can’t ever recall for which recipe I had bought it. Was it to make a batch of fleur sel caramel or rather to bake some cookies to nibble on at tea time? No clue at all! Then I came up with this bizarre idea. What about trying to bake sweet full cream infused grissini, would they taste any good? The answer came with the verdict from my faithful guinea pigs, these grissini are simply AMAZING. And highly addictive to…Flavia knows something about it, having said at least three times “This is the last one, I swear” before sealing the bag and leaving the few survivors on her studiomate Micha’s desk. These grissini can be underbaked, maintaining an internal softness which makes them very pleasant and accentuates the creamy quality of its dough. Alternatively, you can bake a little longer and let them dry in the oven to make them crispy. However you decide to bake them they are perfect as a snack for tea time or to munch on in front of a good movie. The sugar and pistachio breading can be replaced with other kinds of chopped nuts. What are you waiting for, roll up your sleeves and knead!
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Semolina Flour Tozzetti / Tozzetti di semola rimacinata fine

tozzetti 1

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…

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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For a special friend: Flavia Ingalls’ Custard Pie / Per un’amica speciale: Torta alla crema di Flavia Ingalls

tortia flavia ingalls 1

This recipe is dedicated to a good friend and amazing photographer, Flavia. I have known her for almost a year now, having had the chance to team up with her for many of our works for Migros’ weekly paper, Azione, and get on very well. When we can we have dinners and movie projections at the studio she shares with some other very talented guys. On the 28th of August she celebrates her birthday and knowing of her unconditional love for “Little house on the prairie” I looked up many website in search of a themed present. Until we stumbled upon a book of Vivian Maier’s works while visiting an exhibition and suddenly changed plans. But something “Little prairie” themed had to be there for her birthday! So I looked on the web for a recipe instead and picked this custard pie. Why I am posting it so late? Well I admit that along the months I had to tweak a little the recipe until coming up with this one, which is simply perfect. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTC Challenge: Of Mice and Men, a muffin dreamed by labourers / MTC Challenge: Uomini e topi, il muffin sognato dai braccianti

Muffin MTC 1

And so we are approaching the end of the month, and as usual I am posting just a few days before the end of this month’s MTC challenge. Last month, Francesca from the Blog Burro e Zucchero won and for this last challenge before the end of the year she decided to set a higher bar. This time not only a basic recipe to take inspiration from, but the obligation to take inspiration from written work, may it be a book, a poem, a story or a song, justifying the use of ingredients in relation to it. After a first enthusiastic reaction I got into panic. What to choose? What writer, poet, singer-songwriter? What inspiration to follow, which ingredients to choose? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Sourdough Surprises: Hot Dog Buns

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I am back on track with Sourdough Surprises, one of my favourite bread events from which I had withdrawn a bit due to other obligations. But I am more than glad to be back on track and with a recipe totally new to me. Hot dog buns. I am not a big meat eater, and very rarely eat hamburgers and hot dogs. But the thought of being able to pull together a good and more or less healthy fast food recipe appeals to me. So much I ate Hot Dogs two days in a row! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

What a Daring Challenge! Sfogliatelle ricce / Che sfida ardita, le Sfogliatelle ricce per Daring Bakers!

sfogliatella

Sandie of the lovely blog, Crumbs of Love, was our November hostess. Sandie challenged us to make a traditional Italian dessert, along with its American version – Sfogliatelle (or better known in the US – lobster tails!) The flakey, 1000 layers of super thin dough, shaped into a horn and filled with a scrumptious filling. Così buono!

Sfogliatelle ricce has always been one of my favourite sweet treats. Anything made out of layers, especially food, fascinates me. Like a surgeon I dissect mozzarella layer by layer, and do the same thing with Msemen, a moroccan bread a friend taught me to bake recently that will be surely included in the blog. Savouring sfogliatelle I’m used to gently pull one end to see at which extent the spiral will unravel before breaking. It’s a childish but irresistible way of savouring food. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…