2.24.2019

Pork stuffed with apples, wrapped with black forest ham with creamy balsamic sauce

1kg pork loin sliced very thin
2 apples
200g black forest ham
400g mascarpone
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cups chopped mushrooms
Olive oil

1.Wrap the thin slices of pork with the black forest ham and apples;
2. Bake it for about 25 minutes on 200C, using the convection mode;
3. Remove all the pork from the baking dish and put the baking dish on the stove top on high;
4. Add some olive oil and fry the mushrooms until they are brown, then add the balsamic and let cook for 5 minutes, then add the mascarpone and stir it;
5. Put the pork back on the baking dish and serve it.

I recommend to serve with creamy polenta or with mash potatoes.

Recipe for the creamy Polenta:
2 litters of stock
2 cups of polenta
4 tbsp mascarpone
1 tbsp salt

Let the stock and salt to a boil, then add the polenta slowly and stir for about ten minutes. When it's ready add the mascarpone. Let it cool down for ten minutes before serve.

1.29.2019

Romenian Goulash

Ingredients for the Romanian goulash:
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion

3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2-2 pounds beef stewing meat (cut into 1-inch pieces) 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika 
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds 
1 cups beef stock

1 cup dark beer
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup sauerkraut
1 large green bell pepper, stem end and membranes removed, sliced (2 cups)

3 large carrots, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream, optional 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra sprigs for garnish 
1. Melt butter and heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, Dutch oven or pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, 6 minutes or until onions are beginning to become limp. 
2. Season beef with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss with flour to coat on all sides. Stir paprika and caraway seeds into onions and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds. Then add the beef to the onion mixture, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. 
3. Add 1/2 cup of the stock, beer and tomato paste, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot as the broth thickens with the floured beef. Gradually stir in the remaining broth. Stir in peppers and carrots and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook, occasionally stirring, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until beef is very tender, or 30 minutes in pressure cooker. Add the sauerkraut after the meat is cooked and tenter. (Note: If stew if watery after 1 1/2 hours, remove cover and let reduce until desired thickness; if it is too thick, add additional stock in 1/4 cup increments). Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper; stir in dill. 4. Serve in individual bowls over polenta.

11.27.2018

Pumpkin and porcini risotto



  • 6 cups (vegetable or chicken)
    1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
    1 chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, sliced
    4 table spoons olive oil
    2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice (risotto rice)
    1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped
    1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks
    2 cups dry white wine
    1 cup Parmigiano, plus extra, to serve
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Finely grate the Parmigiano and set to one side;
2. Put the dried mushrooms into a cup. Mix with the wine or the stock, let absorb for 30 minutes;
3. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or large saucepan. Add the garlic, onions and cook for two minutes then combine the rice and sauté it gently over a medium heat for about another one minute, until it looks translucent, though not browned. Add the pumpkin or butternut squash and cook gently, stirring often, for another two or three minutes;
4. Pour in the wine and let it bubble up for a few moments, and then add the soaked mushrooms and about two ladles of stock. Cook gently for about 18 minutes, adding more stock as needed, until the rice is tender and creamy;
5. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and season to taste. Add shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, or freshly grate some more onto each portion, then serve.

10.16.2018

Panna cotta al pistacchio


























250ml heavy cream
250ml milk
4 tbsp pistacchio cream
2 gelatine leafs
1 tbsp sugar

Put the pistacchio cream, heavy cream, milk and sugar in a pan over medium heat. As soon as the bubbles appear, turn the heat down to very low and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile soak the gelatine leafs in a bowl with cold water for two minutes.
Lift the gelatine from the cold water and stir into the hot mixture to dissolve. Remove from heat.
Divide the mixture into 4 ramekins and let to cool for two hours. After cooled put in the fridge for about 5 hours.
To turn down, dip the bases of the ramekin very briefly in hot water. Serve with chocolate if you desire.

10.10.2018

Tiramisu al Limoncello

1 cup condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 squeezed lemons
Lady finger
Limoncello

First step is to mix the condensed milk, heavy cream and lemon juice. It will get thicker, taste and see if needs more lemon juice if you prefer a more tart taste.
Soak the lady fingers very quick with the limoncello.
Make the tiramisu with two layers and zest lemon or white chocolate on the top.

Lucas Ragu

Lucas Ragu

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
500g veal, ground
500g pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1 tube tomato paste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup dry white wine
1 table spoon chopped rosemary
3 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating



1. In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
2. Add the carrots, almonds and a tablespoon of salt and wait for the carrots to be brown. Add the pancetta and cook for another five minutes.
3. Add the onions, celery, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned (about 10 to 15 minutes).
4. Add the veal and pork and stir into the vegetables.
5. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.
6. Add the wine and mix very well, the wine will deglaze the pan, cook for half hour in medium heat.
7. Add the tomato paste and the stock, cook for another 5 minutes then and milk; simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1½ hours.
8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat. 

9.29.2018

Some of the best cheeses of Italy


                                             

Mozzarella:
Mozzarella is developed from the cultured and fermented solids that result from the first step in the cheese making process: the separation of the curd (clumps of solidified milk protein also known as farmer’s cheese) from warm liquid whey using an acidifier such as rennet, citric acid or yogurt.






Mozzarella di Bufala: Made with rich Italian buffalo milk from Campania instead of domestic cow’s milk, mozzarella di bufala has twice the fat content as its conventional counterpart and packs in twice the flavor. About twice as expensive as regular mozzarella, bufala’s sweeter, milkier nuances and fluffy, buttery texture are widely prized and famously used alongside important Italian San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil for authentic pizza Napoletana and heirloom caprese salads, and serve as a natural pairing for ripe fruit. Mozzarella made in this style but from the freshest, highest-quality cow’s milk is known as fior di latte. Both should be consumed as soon as possible after making.





Burrata:
This succulent treat is essentially a mozzarella shell encasing “cream of mozzarella,” or a mixture of the soft scraps from mozzarella-making process soaked in
cream and boasting a butterfat percentage that will at once thrill and intimidate you. With a name like burrata — literally translated as “buttered” — you’ll need at least one partner to finish a standard eight- to ten-ounce portion. Break the outer shell and watch the creamy center creep out, then scoop up with a piece of crusty Italian bread and drizzle with olive oil (just forget the fat content at this point) or let the goodness cascade over ripe tomatoes, roasted beets, stone fruit or grilled squash. Serving sweet potatoes during the holidays? Turn your back on marshmallows forever and usher in a glorious era of burrata. Once broken open, burrata doesn’t stay fresh, so make sure you finish it all. Good news: You won’t have any trouble there.

Caciotta:
Describes a wide range of simple, rural cheeses from central Italy that can be made with either ewe's, cow's, goat's, or buffalo's milk. The cheese is aged for a brief period.Beneath the soft, yellow rind is a white or yellowish body which has a soft texture and mild flavour. Both artisanal and industrial produces of Caciotta are available.







Asiago: Is a cow's milk cheese, produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills in Italy. The cheese-making tradition in the provinces of  Vicenza and Trento dates back to more than thousand years. Traditionally, it was made from sheep's milk but today it is produced from unpasteurised cow's milk.

Texture wise, Asiago goes through many changes, assuming different textures, according to its aging. There are two types of Asiago - fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture while the aged Asiago (Asiago d'allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d’allevo is matured for different time periods; Mezzano for 4-6 months, Vecchio for more than ten months and Stravecchio for two years. On the other hand, Asiago Pressato made with whole milk is matured for a month and sold fresh as a softer, milder cheese.
Depending on age, the rinds of Asiago can be straw coloured and elastic to brownish gray and hard. The paste can be white to dark yellow, with small to medium irregular holes. Based on the aging, Asiago can be used for grating, melting, slicing on a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, and sauces.

Gorgonzola: Is one of the world's oldest blue-veined cheeses. The Cheese is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, Gorgonzola. Unskimmed cow's milk is used while preparing the cheese. Generally it takes three to four months to attain full
ripeness.
This cheese has crumbly and soft texture with nutty aroma. It can have a mild to sharp taste depending on its age. Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola) are its two varieties, which vary in their age.
Gorgonzola can be consumed in many ways. It is served with wines like Bordeaux Blend (Red), Zinfandel and Sauternes.



                                   8 Differences between Parmiggiano and Grana Padano


1.    Grana Padano is made over a much larger area – partly because of this the price tends to be lower. About 4,800,000 wheels of Grana Padano are produced each year (compared to about  3,400,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano), making this Italy’s most  produced cheese.

2.    The cows are grazing on different pastures, different soil. This translates into the cheeses to produce slightly different tastes. The flavor also changes according to the age of the cheese and the time of year in which the cheese is made.

3.    Parmigiano-Reggiano cows must only feed off grass and cereals grown in the area – they are not given silage (a fermented, high-moisture fodder).

4.    The cows providing the milk for Parmigiano Reggiano must be milked twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – and the milk is not allowed to reach a temperature less than 18°C. The milk for Parmigiano-Reggiano must be delivered to the dairy within two hours of the completion of milking. Ensuring that the temperature of the milk does not fall below 18°C is important for the mesophilic lactic bacteria which is responsible for the ripening of the cheese. The cows providing milk for Grana Padano production are also milked twice a day, but the milk only needs to arrive at the cheesery 24 hours after milking and therefore it has to be cooled (although not below 8°C).

5.    Preservatives are not allowed in the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano, whereas in the production of Grana Padano they are allowed – the preservative usually used is lysozyme.

6.    Grana Padano (made entirely from partially skimmed milk) has a lower fat content than Parmigiano-Reggiano (made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk).

7.    Grana Padano, therefore, matures more quickly. It’s made to three stages of maturity:
a)    9-16 months – when it has a delicate, milky taste and a soft texture, it hasn’t yet developed the graininess for which it’s knownb) 1
b)    6-20 months – at this stage the cheese tastes of ‘an aroma of hay and dried fruit’. It has developed the grainy texture but the crystals are still not much in evidencec)
c)    20-24 months – the cheese now has a rich buttery flavour and crystals are also there. Parmigiano Reggiano on the other hand takes a minimum of 12 months to mature, and the older varieties take up to 36 months. Any cheese older than two years is known as ‘Stravecchio’. This is another reason why Parmigiano Reggiano is more expensive than Grana Padano. It also results in cash flow problems for the 350 or so Parmigiano Reggiano producers, so sometimes they leave their cheese with their bankers as collateral – the banks have special vaults for storing the cheese.


8.        Obviously there are flavor variations within the individual types of cheese so comparing them directly is not straightforward. The fresh and rainy climate of the high-altitude pastures produces a softer, cleaner flavored cheese than that produced in the valleys.  But overall the consensus seems to be that Parmigiano Reggiano has a stronger, more complex, perhaps nuttier and saltier taste –  while Grana Padano has a softer, subtler taste. For this reason Grana Padano is more usually used in cooking, while Parmesan is more often grated on top of a dish…. and eaten in chunks with prosecco.



9.23.2018

Zuccamisu - Tiramisu with pumpkin

2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
230g (1/2 pound) mascarpone
1/2 cup puree pumpkin or butternut squash
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin spice
Lady finger cookies
Coffee mixed with Amaretto liqueur
Amaretti cookies
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the white eggs until peaks. In another bowl mix the heavy cream until is firm, when is firm fool gently the Pumpkin and the pumpkin spice. Then fold all the creams. In a small shallow dish, add espresso and Amaretto. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. 

Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a dish. Spread the cream mixture over ladyfingers, the break apart the amaretti cookies and mix with the cinnamon and sprinkle on the top!





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