12.28.2014

Pork chops with pumpkin sauce and Taleggio cheese

For the meat:

6 pork chops
1/2 cup apple vinager
6 bay-leafs
1 tea spoon coriander
1 clove
Salt & pepper
Olive oil 

Marinate overnight the pork with the vinegar and the herbs.  Next day in a heavy bottom frying pan, cook the meat until is done. When the meat is done add the Zucca sauce and reduce. Serve with Taleggio cheese on top and broil if necessary.

For the sauce:
2 cups butternut squash in cubes
1 cup leeks chopped
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp Mascarpone or cream
1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped or thyme
A pinch of cinnamon powder
Butter
Salt & Pepper

In a sauce pan, cook the leeks and squash until soft. Using a for, make a pure. Add the wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the mascarpone and the condiments. Let reduce until the consistency is like a rich cream. 

12.27.2014

Maiale al Prosecco

1,5kg of Pork
Pancetta or bacon enough
1 carrot
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
3 leafs of sage chopped
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp parsley
2 sticks rosemary one chopped
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 bottle of Prosecco
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup heavy cream

 Rub the meat with the herbs, salt & pepper.  With a kitchen twine, wrap the pancetta around the meat and add as well a rosemary. Marinate the meat with all the ingredients overnight.
On a frying pan sear the meat and bake on 180C (350F) for about one hour.  After baked, take the meat out and blend the vegetables, flour and prosecco.  In a sauce pan, add the sauce and the cream and let get thick.  Serve the meat with the sauce.

12.17.2014

Quail filled with ham and Asiago, served with Gorgonzola and pear sauce.

Serves 6

For the quails:
6 quails
250g Asiago cheese in cubes
250g Ham in cubes
100g bread crumbs
Parsley
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

For the sauce:
2 pears in cubes
1 shot of brandy/cognac or whiskey
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp flour
1 chopped shallot
150g Gorgonzola
2 tbsp butter
Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper


Clean and wash the quails, season them with salt & Pepper. Fill them with the ham, cheese and parsley. Tie the quail legs, rub the quails with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes in 180C/350F.

For the sauce:
Sauce the shallot with the butter, add the pears and flambé with the brandy. Add the milk mixed with the flour, the gorgonzola and the nutmeg. Cook until is thick. Add salt and pepper just if necessary.





12.12.2014

Hungarian Goulash

A Classical Hungarian Goulash Recipe


Authentic gulyás is a beef dish cooked with onions, Paprika, tomatoes and some green pepper.
Potato and noodles (csipetke in Hungarian) are also added according to some recipes.
Hungarian goulash is neither a soup nor a stew, it’s somewhere in between. Though in Hungary it’s considered rather to be a soup than a stew, so look for it among Soups on restaurant menus.
If cooked in the proper way goulash has a nice and evenly thick consistency, almost like a sauce. In Hungary gulyás is eaten as a main dish; noodle or pastry dishes, especially the ones made with cottage cheese (túrós csúsza, túrógombóc, strudel) go down well after the heavy soup.

Ingredients (for 4 persons)


  • 600 g beef shin or shoulder, or any tender part of the beef cut into 2x2 cm cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons oil or lard 
  • 2 medium onions, chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1-2 celery leaves 
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 tbs. tomato paste 
  • 2 fresh green peppers
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • ground black pepper and salt according to taste
  • water 

For csipetke (Pinched noodles added to goulash or bean soup in Hungary. Csipetke comes from the word csípni, meaning pinch in English, referring to the way of making this noodle):
  • 1 small egg,
  • flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • cc. 1 teaspoon water
Goulash is hearty enough without csipetke, especially if you eat it with bread, so you can leave csipetke out. 


Instructions


  1. Heat up the oil or lard in a pot and braise the chopped onions in it until they get a nice golden brown colour.
  2. Sprinkle the braised onions with paprika powder while stirring them to prevent the paprika from burning.
  3. Add the beef cubes and and sauté them till they turn white and get a bit of brownish colour as well.
  4. The meat will probably let out its own juice, let the beef-cubes simmer in it while adding the grated or crushed and chopped garlic (grated garlic has stronger flavour), the ground caraway seeds, some salt and ground black pepper, the bay leaf, pour water enough to cover the content of the pan and let it simmer on low heat for a while.
  5. When the meat is half-cooked (approx. in 1,5 hour, but it can take longer depending on the type and quality of the beef) add the diced carrots, parsnip and the potatoes, the celery leaf and some more salt if necessary (vegetables tend to call for more salt). You'll probably have to add some more (2-3 cups) water too.
  6. When the vegetables and the meat are almost done add the tomato cubes and the sliced green peppers. Let it cook on low heat for another few minutes. You can remove the lid of the pan if you want the soup to thicken.
  7. Bring the soup to the boil and add the csipetke dough, it needs about 5 minutes to get cooked. 

How to make the csipetke:


  • Beat up a small egg, add a pinch of salt and as much flour as you need to knead a stiff dough (you can add some water if necessary).
  • Flatten the dough between your palms (to about 1 cm thick) and pinch small, bean-sized pieces from it and add them to the boiling soup. They need about 5 minutes to get cooked.

Recipe taken from the Budapest by locals.

Challah bread



1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast or one cube of fresh yeast
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F/40 degrees C)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
3 1/2 cups bread, plus more for kneading
1 beaten egg yolk, or more if needed
1 tablespoon melted butter(optional)


In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the water, and let the mixture stand until a creamy layer forms on top, about 10 minutes. Stir in honey and salt until dissolved, and add the beaten eggs. Mix in the flour, a cupful at a time, until the dough is sticky. Sprinkle the dough with flour, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Form the dough into a compact round shape, and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over several times in the bowl to oil the surface of the dough, cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Punch down the dough, and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left, and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is braided, and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look.
Place the braided loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush the top with beaten egg yolk. (For a softer crust, brush with melted butter instead.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake the challah in the preheated oven until the top browns to a rich golden color and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it with a spoon, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

12.04.2014

Blintz - Jewish pancake

BLINTZ INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Clarified butter

FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Blend all of the blintz ingredients together using a food processor, blender, immersion blender or electric hand mixer. Consistency of the batter should be smooth (no lumps). Alternatively, you can use a fork to mix all ingredients together until the batter is smooth. Make sure you get rid of all the lumps.
  • Warm up a nonstick skillet on medium heat until hot. The skillet is ready when a drop of water sizzles on the surface of the pan. If the water pops or jumps out of the pan, the skillet it too hot—let it cool slightly before starting. If the water sizzles, it’s at the perfect temperature. Grease the entire surface of the hot pan generously with oil.
  • Pour the blintz batter by 1/3 cupfuls into the pan, then tilt the pan in a circular motion till the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan in a large, thin circular shape.
  • Let each blintz cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blintz brown and the bottom of the blintz is lightly golden. You can tell it's ready by touching the center of the pancake's surface-- it should be dry and slightly tacky to the touch. Do not flip the blintz to cook the other side. Use a spatula to take the blintz out of the pan and place it on a plate.
  • Keep the blintzes separated by pieces of parchment paper, wax paper, or paper towels. This will help keep them from sticking together.
  • When all of the blintzes are cooked, create your filling. Put all of the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl, then use a fork to mix them well. Filling should be well blended but slightly lumpy.
  • Now you’re going to stuff and wrap up your blintzes! Put 3 tbsp of filling on the lower part of the blintz, about an inch from the edge.
  • Fold the lower edge of the blintz up over the filling.
  • Fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope.
  • Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.
  • When the blintzes are stuffed and rolled, you are ready to fry them. Pour ¼ cup of clarified butter into the skillet and heat over medium until hot. Do not let the butter turn brown or start smoking—if this happens, discard and try again. Cook the blintzes in batches of 3--this will give you space to turn them easily in the pan. Carefully place the stuffed blintzes flap-side down into the hot oil. The blintzes should fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes until they’re brown and crispy.
  • Turn the blintzes carefully using a spatula and/or tongs, then fry for an additional 1 ½ - 2 minutes. Blintzes should be evenly browned on both sides.
  • Serve blintzes warm. They can be served as-is or topped with fruit topping, sour cream, applesauce, whipped cream or maple syrup.

Meat pierogies, served with sour cream, kapusta and onion relish.

Olga Łozińska and me! 
During a big cycling trip I did in East Europe, I got a lot of inspiration for Eastern European food. I met so many nice people that also cooked for me and tough me how to cook some really good food! In Poland I met Olga, I arrived at her place so dirty, cold and wet. And I will never forget how nice she was with me. I had the opportunity to eat a delicious Pierogi made by her mom!  Now all the time I eat or made Pierogi I remember of Olga. Good memories!! :)















Ingredients for the filling:


1kg of pork shoulder
1 large white onion
1 large potato
Few dried porcini mushrooms
1 bayleaf
10 whole pepper corns
Few drops of Przyprawa (Polish) or Wurze (German)... Maggi seasoning in English...
Salt & Pepper

In a big pan, cook all the ingredients together until the meat is tender and cooked. It will be about one hour.
Take the meat out of the pan and using a food processor make a paste with all the ingredients, but not the potato. The potato needs to be squished with a fork. Mix all the ingredients and add the Przyprawa and a little bit of the stock if the filling is to dry.


For the dough:

4 cups of flour
Salt
Warm water

Mix all the ingredients until smooth and not sticky. With a rolling pin open the dough and cut in circles (you can use a beer glass to cut).  Make the pierogis and place them on a parchment paper so they will not stick on the table.
Cook the pierogis for about 10 minutes or until they float. Fry in butter or pork lard.


For the Kapusta:

2 cups sour kraut
1 tbsp pork lard
1 clove garlic
2 drops of Przyprawa
1/2 white onion chopped
Bacon thin sliced

Fry the bacon, onions and garlic on the lard. Add the sour kraut and the drops of Przyprawa. Add salt and pepper.

11.20.2014

Classic tomato sauce

Spaghetti al cartoccio with sea food

Paccheri alla Napoletana

Bucatini All'Amatriciana



Bigoli with duck sauce

Tagliatelle al Radicchio e pancetta

Lemon sauce

Pappardelle alla Siciliana

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

 Putanesca sauce


Horse sauce

Ragu di Salsiccia

Pasta al forno

Bigoli alla Montanara


Ragu alla Bolognese

Peposo


This recipe dates from the Renaissance. The kiln workers who made the tiles for Santa
Maria del Fiore, the cathedral in Florence (the Duomo), allegedly made it.

The rest of the story is that Filippo Brunelleschi, in order to get more work done, had the dish sent up to the workers instead of allowing them to come down for lunch. It wasn't long before the workers realized that they were losing their lunch break and a chance to meet friends, play cards, and relax. The first strike in Florence resulted!

The pepper in the stew requires lots of wine to be drunk. Here's to happy workers...and cooks!


Ingredients
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) beef for stew
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 20g (3/4 oz) whole peppercorns
  • Salt, preferably roughly sea salt, to taste
  • 1 bottle red wine, preferably Chianti
Directions
  1. Cut the beef into large chunks, along the natural muscle separations where possible.
  2. Lay the beef chunks into the bottom of a terracotta pot and insert the garlic cloves interspersed among the beef chunks here and there. Sprinkle the whole peppercorns and salt over everything.
  3. Pour over enough red wine to cover the beef.
  4. Cover the pot and place in a slow oven (160C/324F) for 4 hours or more, until the beef is falling apart tender and the red wine has reduced into a rich sauce. If the dish is still too liquid and you're ready to eat, remove the cover, which will allow it to reduce more quickly. Although unconventional, just before serving you can also add a spoonful or two of potato starch mixed with an equal amount of water to give the sauce some liaison.



Ragù alla Bolognese

I got his recipe from a fantastic restaurant in Bologna, the birth place of the Bolognese sauce.

250 grams pork minced meat
250 grams veal minced meat
100 grams pancetta
1 garlic clove sliced
1 chopped onion (smal pieces)
1 chopped carrot (smal pieces)
1 chopped celery stick (smal pieces)
1 cup red wine
1 cup milk (In Italy we just use whole milk!)
1 cup beef stock
5 tbsp tomato paste
1 bayleaf
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Start melting the butter with the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the carrots first and let them brown, then the onions, celery, garlic and pancetta. Let all of them get brown and add the meats. When the meats are brown, add the bayleaf, wine, stock, tomato paste and let cook in medium heat until reduces 1/3. Add the milk and parsley and let cook for another 10 minutes in low heat. Add the salt and pepper.
Serve with fresh tagliatelle and Ramiggiano cheese on the top.

Bigoli alla Montanara

1lb Italian sausages (in Italy, Salsiccia sfusa that means 'Regular Sausage')
1 chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup  Swiss chard chopped on big pieces or Radicchio di Treviso.
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup red wine
1 cup tomato pure
1 tbsp oregano
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
500 grams Bigoli, Tagliatelli, Pappardelle or any long pasta that is not Spaghetti! 
Smoked ricotta

Start with a good pouring of olive oil on the pan, fry the onions and garlic. Add the sausages, when the sausages are brown add the wine and let reduce in half. Add the tomato sauce and oregano and let cook for 10 minutes. Turn of the fire and add the greens. 
Sauté the pasta with the sauce and add walnuts and smoked ricotta to serve.

Garganelli with peas and ham

Olive Oil
1 cup ham cut in cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup white wine or cognac
1 chopped onion
Parsley or oregano to taste
Salt & Pepper

500 grams of Garganelli, Penne, Fusilli or other short pasta.

In a pan, brown the onion with the olive oil. Add the ham and peas until brown. Add the white wine or the cognac. Let reduce a bit and add the cream, salt, pepper and parsley.
Sauce the pasta with the sauce and serve with Parmiggiano cheese on the top.