Carrot velvet soup with marjoram and goat cheese

carrot velvet soup

I made this recipe yesterday for dinner, and I knew it would have been good, but I didn’t think it was so delicious!!! So, I left my dish in one side to write down the recipe (even if it’s so simple, but I didn’t want to forget anything!).

You will need only a few things (2 people):

3 carrots

2 small potatoes

1 very small onion

1 teaspoon of veg stock

2 tablespoons of dried marjoram (if you use the fresh one, put only 1 tablespoon)

extra virgin olive oil and sea salt

semi matured goat cheese (I love when it gets a bit creamy).

Allow the sliced onion, half of the marjoram and the veg stock to brown in a pot with oil. Add the carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped. Cook for a few minutes, then add some water and the potatoes, peeled and chopped. When the vegetables are cooked, blend it all very carefully (it has to become very thick and creamy).

Serve with the rest of the marjoram and some goat cheese.

Enjoy!!! I’m sure you’ll love this soup as I do! ❤

Beef bouillon

beef bouillon

 

This is the only italian bouillon recipe that my family has ever done. My grandmother taught it to my mother, my mother taught it to me, and I simply love it. And of course I’ll teach to my (future) children.

Just a few actions:

–         Fill a pot with cold water.

–         Put the meat in the pot. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, celery, carrot, peppercorns (I think black pepper has a too decisive taste, I prefer to use pink pepper, or green), cloves and 2 Juniper berries. The quantities you can see in the picture are for a small bouillon. Do not add salt.

–         Switch on the gas and allow it boil over a gently heath for a  minimum of 1 hour.

–         Allow the meat to cool down in the water (it will take back 10% of the water it lost in the cooking process).

That’s it.

You can eat the meat with sauces: the green sauce that I’m going to post, mayo, ketchup, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, tartare sauce, kebab sauce.

But what I really love, what I really want to eat, is the bouillon. Strain it from the vegetables and the spices and use it to make a perfect risotto; or simply cook into it a small pasta variety and serve this soup with a generous quantity of grated Parmesan.

A simple dish for a winter supper that won’t never, never delude me. Enjoy.

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.

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!

Pumpkin risotto

Voilà my last risotto.

I used, for 2 people:

a piece of pumpkin

170 g of rice for risotto (Carnaroli is the best one because the grain is perfectly shaped for risotto and hard, so it’s difficult to overcook it)

1/2 onion

1 garlic clove

1 glass of white wine

a bit of chopped parsley

olive oil

vegetal cube (I use an home-made one, click here to read the recipe)

Parmesan

Peel the pumpkin (if necessary), wash it and chop it in little cubes. Grab a pan and put in it some tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion and the chopped garlic clove. Let brown and add the pumpkin, mix and let cook. When the pumpkin become soft, squash it with a fork. Then add the rice and mix. Wait 1 minute (the fire has to be low) to roast the rice, then add the wine. Wait another minute to roast one more time the rice, then add 1 teaspoon of vegetal cube and some hot water. Mix and let cook. Every so often, mix and add hot water. Try it to adjust in salt and to know when it’s cooked. There is an important thing you have to be careful when making risotto: when risotto is cooked, it hasn’t to be dry and it hasn’t to have too much of the cooking water. You can’t add water when it’s already cooked, because the water won’t amalgamate with the rice. So, be careful and taste the rice often when it’s nearly cooked, to put the right quantity of water in the right moment. When ready, let it to rest for 2 minutes. Then, serve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and taste with grated parmesan.

“Fall suggestions”

This is an elaborate dish for my standards. But in this season there are so many summer vegs to eat for the last time and so many winter vegs you can’t wait to taste again!!

I think this appetizer is perfect in this season. A perfect fall suggestion.

Let’s start with the creams:

1. Hot pumpkin. Cook a piece of pumpkin, chopped into big cubes, in oil with a garlic clove and hot pepper at pleasure. Add salt and a bit of water if needed. Then blend it very well with some tablespoons of olive oil. When cold, add a bit of chopped parsley and a bit of finely chopped garlic.

2. Aubergines and mint. Cut a aubergine in half, cover the inner parts with salt and let it rest for 1 hour. Then wash and put in a baking tray with baking paper, with the inner part downwards. This goes in the oven for about 40 minutes at 220°C. When cooked, throw away the skin and put the pulp in a strainer. Press it to remove the remaining water. Then put in a blender and add salt, olive oil, pepper, some mint leaves, a tablespoon of grated parmesan and blend it all.

3. Spinach, gorgonzola and walnuts. Wash 150 g of spinach. Cook them in a pan with oil, 1/4 chopped onion and 1/2 garlic clove. When cooked, put in the blender with gorgonzola cheese at pleasure and some walnuts (without the peel because it’s bitter), salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Blend it all. If a bit liquid, put 2 gelatine sheets into some cold water; when soft, squeeze it and put it in the blender. Blend and put the cream in the fridge to set.

4. Curry leeks. Wash 2 leeks (or a big one) very careful because they can have mud inside. Chop them and cook in a pan with oil, salt and water if needed. When cooked, put in the blender, add some single cream and some curry powder. Put 2 gelatine sheets into some cold water; when soft, squeeze it and put it in the blender. Blend it all and put the cream in the fridge to set.

Now… ehm… the rice wafer.

My idea was to do “riso al salto”. Pressed rice roasted in a little pan, cooked like a crepe. I prepared the rice (a risotto with onion and stock) and follow the recipe but… it didn’t get pressed. And when I tried to turn it, it broke.

I got into a panic. I didn’t want to waste my organic rice, and I needed a rice support for my creams.

So I cooked again all the rice, in a bit of water, until it became quite overcooked. Then I blended it. With that paste, I made some “rice crepes” in my little pan. But there was too much water and every crepe spent 20 minutes to cook. So long and so a messy work! Don’t do it. I’m sure there are other possibilities in creating a rice support for these creams.

Then, I cut the wafers in four and the creams over them, with a pastry bag. I decorated with pomegranate grain to wish luck to everybody at dinner: to Massimo and Eleonora for their journey and stay in China, to Francesco for his exams, to Francesco my boyfriend and to me for our new jobs.