Rosa carpaccio

The italian title of this recipe, rosa carpaccio, in English is pink carpaccio or rose carpaccio, maybe both. This recipe is from Academia Barilla antipasti recipes book, but I improved the original version with some changes.

It’s a carpaccio with champignon mushrooms (champignons de Paris) and artichokes.

You need (5-6 serves):

15 thin slices of beef meat, for the carpaccio

1 fresh artichoke

250 g champignon mushrooms

2-3 lemons

Parmesan

a good extra virgin olive oil

salt and ground pepper

Remove the mushrooms’ stem and skin, wash and cut them in thin slices. Immediately dress with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper (I love to dress the raw champignons with a teaspoon of white vinegar, in addition to the lemon). Dispose the dressed mushrooms over the platter and cover them with the meat slices.

Clean the artichoke (remove all the exterior leaves, all the sharp points and the hairy portion in the inner part by cutting the artichoke in half), then slice it in very thin slices.While slicing it, put the slices already done in cold water with some lemon juice, for the artichoke not to oxidize.

Make an emulsion by mixing 1 little glass of oil, salt and the juice of a little lemon. Then sprinkle the artichoke slices over the meat and pour the emulsion over it all. Condition with a bit of ground pepper and sprinkle with some Parmesan chips.

Wait 10 minutes then serve. Enjoy!

Artichoke cream, ham and Brie piadina

While walking on the street thinking about how to use three artichokes I had in the fridge, I had the idea for this recipe.

Piadina is a thing made of flour you can stuff, a bit like a crepe. It’s typical of Emilia-Romagna, an Italian region (maybe you heard about Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Rimini, Milano Marittima…), and it’s a street food.

I don’t know if around the world you can buy ready-to-stuff piadina at the supermarket, but in Italy the answer is yes. However, I prefer to make them  at home because I don’t like the preservatives in industrial ones.

Quantities for 2 serves.

Artichoke cream

3 artichokes, a little bit of a sweet onion / shallot, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon

Enjoy artichokes’ coloured and geometrical beauty! 

Clean the 3 artichokes: remove the exterior leaves, all the sharp points and the hairy portion in the inner part. Cut them in fine slices. Put the slices  in a bowl with water and lemon juice, for the artichokes not to oxidize.  Then brown the chopped onion in a pan with oil, and add the artichokes. Add salt and cook with a cover for about 20 minutes, until cooked. Then blend it, with some oil if necessary and ground pepper if you like. To make the cream without fibres, pass it in a strainer.

Piadina

You need a wide pan, like mine (thanks to my best friends for this gift!), from the “Chef à porter” Aeternum Bialetti crepes sets.

The ingredients are simple: for 2 piadinas, 150 g of white flour, a little bit of salt, a little bit of sugar, and a generous teaspoon of lard (I used clarified butter but I think ordinary butter works well too).

Mix these ingredients in a bowl, then add approximately half glass of warm water. Add a little water at a time and knead well the dough until it becomes a non-sticky ball.

Time to divide the dough in two parts and roll them out with a rolling-pin (I suggest to do it over some baking paper with flour, for the piadina not to attach at the  work top). Make two round and thin piadinas and cook them one at a time in the wide pan (do no add anything else in the pan for the cooking) over a low/medium heath, taking care not to burn or dry too much the piadina (when cooked, you should be able to fold it in the half).

Assembling

Spread the cream over half part of the piadinas, cover with some slices of Brie and some slices of ham. Fold the piadinas in the half and put them again in the pan for the Brie to melt.

Eat hot this italian fast/slow food!!!

Speaking of artichokes and italian products.. 

Do you know Libera Terra Products?

Libera is an association fighting against mafia, and Libera Terra is the part of this association that works to confiscate the large lande estates in South Italy owned by the mafia, and to do organic farming and cultural events over them.

Libera Terra artichokes’ pot is simply amazing!!!! (thanks mum)

Here the link to look and buy this healthy, perfect tasting and social helpful italian products (in Italy you can found them also in shops): La Bottega di Libera Terra

Red cabbage with apples

I love this German style recipe. It’s an unusual way to cook and taste the cabbage, and I think the final result it’s fantastic.

I make it to eat as second dish, as I don’t like (and I don’t want) to eat meat or fish every day, but it can be good as side dish, with a roast.

You will need (3-4 serves):

1 red cabbage

1 little garlic cloves

sugar

1 apple (not too big)

apple vinegar

olive oil, salt

Wash and slice the cabbage. Brown the chopped garlic in a pot with some tablespoons of oil, then add the cabbage. Cook for a while over a medium heath to brown the cabbage, then add a bit of water. When the cabbage starts to shrink, add 1 little tablespoon of sugar, 6 tablespoons of apple vinegar, some salt and the apple, chopped into cubes. Sugar and vinegar’s quantities go at pleasure: I suggest you to start with less tablespoons and then to add more of them if you like (I like 1 and 6). Cover and wait for the cabbage to cook (minimum 20 minutes), then serve.

Enjoy!

Ps. The dish in the picture was painted by me, for the method read here.

Home-made meat stock cube

To complete the series “stock cubes”, after the veg stock. 🙂

It can not appear so beautiful, but if only I could make you smell it… Believe me, it is fabulous, try it and you won’t never come back to buy industrial cubes!

You need (to make stock for 1 year):

200 g beef pulp

200 chicken pulp (not necessarily breast, that is too lean; I use thighs)

200 g onions

200 g coarse salt

celery

carrots

garlic

rosemary

sage

The process is really simple.

Clean the meat from nerves, skin, bones and other not regular things, and wash the vegetables and herbs. Chop everything into pieces, put it all in a big pot with the salt and simmer one hour and a half. Do not add any water, and mix frequently.

meat stock cube

Then, blend very well the mixture and froze it. I froze it in little bags, and when I open one of them I arrange it in the fridge.

This stock cube lasts for at least 1 year, and it won’t get damaged because of the salt. You can use it for risotto, soffritto, a quickly tomato sauce, soups and more.

2LC: Porcini mushrooms and pumpkin macaroni

So happy to take part to 2 Little Chefettes challenge this month!! 😀

For this fabulous dish of macaroni, you will need (2 serves):

170 g macaroni

30-40 g dried porcini mushrooms

350 g pumpkin

1 garlic clove

half onion

1 teaspoon of home-made meat stock cube (click here for the recipe)

half glass of white wine

100 g single cream

1 sachet of saffron

1 piece of hot pepper

a bit of parsley

extra virgin olive oil and salt

Make the mushrooms to soften up in a cup of hot water. Wash, peel and cut the pumpkin in little pieces. In a little pan brown the chopped onion, the garlic clove (unpeeled but crushed a bit), the piece of hot pepper and the stock cube. Add the pumpkin, pour the wine, add salt and let cook. Crush the pumpkin with a fork, to make the sauce homogeneous, and if it needs more water for cooking, add the mushrooms water. When the pumpkin is cooked, add the mushrooms, roughly chopped, cook some minutes more and put out the heath. Then add the cream and the saffron, and throw away the garlic clove.

In the meantime, cook the macaroni.

Mix the sauce with the macaroni and serve with some parsley leaves and grated parmesan.

As we say in Italy… buon appetito!

Bagna caôda

Bagna caôda (hot sauce) it’s a Piedmont typical dish every good inhabitant (piemontese) feels like eating in november.

It’s an anchovy sauce in which we dip sticks of vegetables before eating them.

Here’s my recipe (serves 3).

9 salted anchovies

100 g of a good extra virgin olive oil

30 g of butter

3 medium garlic clove

1 glass of milk

1 glass full-bodied red wine + more to drink with

Cut in half the garlic cloves and remove the sprout, then put the cloves in a little pot with hot milk (this is to remove part of the strong flavour).

Wash the anchovies, remove the bone and cover them with the wine glass. (optional)

Wait 1 hour, then: take an earthenware pot, or a pot with thick bottom, and put it over the lightest fire you have (I use my wood stove) because this sauce has to cook long time without frying.

Put the oil and the butter in the pot. When the butter is melted, put the anchovies and the garlic. The anchovies are going to melt in a few minute. I allow to cook for 10 minutes, then I do an interesting heresy in relation to the original method: instead of wait hours and hours for the garlic to melt, I take a blender (this one. By the way, how to say it in english?) and blend very well the sauce. I’m sorry with the tradition, but modern life impose this short cut 😀 . Let the sauce cook for 15 minutes more, then serve immediately.

Fujot is the typical cup for serving bagna caôda, so it remains hot.

I do not have them :(, so I used regular little cups.

Before making the sauce, prepare the vegs. You can use:

potatoes

celery

cabbage

cabbage turnip

celery turnip

peppers

cardoon

Jerusalem artichoke

Celery, cabbage, cabbage turnip, celery turnip, Jerusalem artichoke go raw.

Peppers and cardoon go raw or boiled, it depends on your taste.

Potatoes go boiled. Choose red ones (firmer pulp).

Every veg goes chopped into sticks.

Enjoy (and don’t forget to drink the red wine together)! Or… if you will come to Piedmont, taste it!

Home-made veg stock cube

My mother had never bought industrial cubes. Once a year she makes this veg stock to put in little pots and to use all year round to make soffritto, stock for risotto, and so more.

The advantages? Lots.

1) Natural. No glutamate and other chemical aromas.

2) Perfect to make natural-flavoured dishes. Only veg flavour, not modified. More easy than buying and chopping carrots, celery and herbs almost every day.

3) Cheaper than industrial stock cube and high-quality.

4) Ecologic: no packaging, only second-use glass pots.

So, that’s the recipe.

These are my mother’s doses – with these amounts you can offer some pots to your family or friends; otherwise, it’s better to reduce them.

1 kg carrots

1 kg onions

1 kg parsley

1 kg fine salt

700 g celery

2 head of garlic

a handful of basil

a handful of sage

a handful of rosemary

Clean, wash, and dry off a bit all the vegs. Then chop them together very finely (it’s better to do it in the blender). Mix very well the chopped vegs with the salt, and allow the mixture to rest for 24 hours (in a very large bowl or over some dish towels) for the juices to dry off a bit. After this time, arrange the mixture in pots. While filling the pots, be careful not to leave air bubbles: press well with a fork and sometimes bang the bottom of the pot against the table.

Arrange the pots in the larder; when you open a pot, store it in the fridge.

See also: Home-made meat stock cube.