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

Advertisements

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!

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.

Stuffed courgettes

A recipe I love making from June to October, when there are courgettes in the garden and you can pick them fresh just for your recipe, choosing the right size for.

For 16 half-courgettes you need:

8 medium size courgettes

300 g minced beef

1 egg

onion, celery, carrot

parmesan

parsley

nutmeg

butter, salt and pepper

 

Cut the courgettes into half and empty them with a spoon. Now, I prefer to boil them for 1 minute in water – so I’m sure they won’t be raw when they came out from the oven, but this is not necessary.

Grab a pan, put some butter (40 g) and brown into it a mix of 1 medium onion, a carrot and some celery finely chopped. Then add the minced beef and let it to cook for 15 minutes. When cooked, let it to cool down. If you prefer, you can use olive oil instead of butter.

When warm, mix into it the egg, some grated parmesan, some chopped parsley, a bit of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Now put the courgettes over a baking tray covered with some olive oil and some tablespoons of water. Fill them with the mixture and put into the oven (180° C) for 40 minutes.
Serve quite hot and… bon appétit!

Buns and hamburgers

 

Hello everybody!

I’d like to come back here after days of absence with a recipe of another blog, and a recipe an american friend gave me. Yes, because I’ve found an interesting contest called “Recipes move.. from blog to blog!” that looks like an encouragement to try something new and different from my culture.

I choose a traditional American recipe: Home made hamburger buns from Heritage and trail cooking , a very interesting blog about traditional and heritage American recipes. From the same author, the blog Camp Fire Shadows about Old West stories. Have a look!

I never did hamburger buns, so I followed the recipe to the letter and I’m very satisfied about my result.

Ingredients:

DRY (mix together before combining with Wet)

455 g of flour

60 g of sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons of salt

1 Tablespoon of yeast  (most any variety works well, one rises a bit faster than the other, that’s all )

WET (mix together before combining with Dry)

235 ml of warm water

2 Tablespoons of melted butter (not hot)

1 large egg (beaten)

Extra ingredients

2  Tablespoons of melted butter ( to brush tops with before and after baking)

or 1 egg white and sesame seeds

Place DRY ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix DRY ingredients before slowly adding WET ingredients into the mixing bowl. Mix and knead until a smooth soft dough ball forms. ( 5 minutes minimum.)

Remove dough ball and place in a greased bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel until almost double in size. 1-2 hours.

Once doubled, remove dough ball and press down lightly until it is about 0,6 cm to 1,3 cm in thickness.

Preheat oven to 190°C at this time.

Using a knife, cut the round dough into 8 pie shaped triangles.

Shape triangles into balls by pulling the three corners into the center, then continue pulling the sides into the center and pushing them deep into the rounded ball until a nice round ball without top or side wrinkles are seen.

Let small rounded dough rest for 5 more minutes.

With the palm of your hand, slowly flatten and spread out the dough balls until disc is about 1,3 cm thick and a minimum of 10-11 cm in diameter.

Place flattened disc on a parchment lined bakers tray, cover with kitchen towel and let rise until very puffy.

Brush melted butter onto top of buns before placing in oven. If desired, sesame  seeds can be sprinkled on tops but use egg white wash (egg white and a tablespoon of water) instead of butter and do not butter again after removing from oven.

Place in oven on center rack.

Bake until light brown 12 to 15 minutes ( lightly browned, not super pale but not dark either)

Remove from oven and brush tops again with melted butter.

To make 6 hamburgers (thanks Brenna for the recipe!) I used:

minced beef, 400-500 g

chopped onions, 50 g

finely chopped garlic, 1 clove

Worcester sauce, 2 tablespoons

salt and ground pepper

my new hamburger press 🙂

In a large bowl mix the ingredients, press to make the hamburgers and cook in a frying pan with olive oil.

I filled the buns with the hamburgers, salad (of our balcony!!), tomato slices and mayonnaise.

To eat with, I prepared onion rings.

For that, you will need 3 big onions, a glass of milk, 1 egg, flour, a bit of baking powder, breadcrumbs and oilseed.

In a bowl, whisk and egg with salt and 1 glass of milk. In a plate, put 1,25 glass of flour, salt and a bit of baking powder. Put the onion rings through the flour, then mix the egg&milk with the flour. Put the onions in the new mix, and in the breadcrumbs. Fry in oilseed.

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

Ricompaio dopo giorni con una ricetta di un’altro blog e con una ricetta che mi ha dato una ragazza americana conosciuta in Francia! Si, perché girovagando tra i blog ho trovato un contest molto interessante, che propone di riprodurre la ricetta di un altro blog. Partecipo perché fare le ricette degli altri vuol dire dare uno scopo al mondo dei food blog, vuol dire lasciarsi ispirare e provare qualcosa che esula dalle nostre solite abitudini culinarie (almeno per me). Colgo allora la sfida che ho voluto leggere tra le righe e partecipo riproducendo un panino hamburger fatto completamente in casa, con ricette che arrivano direttamente dal nuovo mondo.

Per i panini degli hamburger (buns) ho usato questa ricetta: Home made hamburger buns del blog Heritage and trail cooking , un blog molto interessante che raccoglie ricette della tradizione americana. Lo stesso autore tiene anche un altro blog, Camp Fire Shadows, nel quale narra storie e leggende sull’ Old West. Fateci un salto!!

Era la prima volta che provavo a fare i buns, così mi sono completamente affidata alla ricetta (anche se la procedura è strana per la tradizione alla quale sono stata formata!) e devo dire che il mio risultato mi ha soddisfatta. Le indicazioni numeriche erano in cups e pollici, le ho convertite ma non ho voluto arrotondarle: ecco perché troverete misure strane.

Ecco gli ingredienti:

Ingredienti asciutti, da mescolare tutti insieme prima di combinarli con gli ingredienti liquidi:

455 g di farina

60 g di zucchero

1,25 cucchiaini di sale

1 bustina di lievito per pane (o parte del cubetto fresco)

Ingredienti liquidi, da mescolare insieme prima di combinarli con gli ingredienti asciutti:

235 ml di acqua tiepida

2 cucchiai di burro fuso, non caldo

1 grande uovo (sbattuto)

Ingredienti extra

2  cucchiai di burro fuso, per spennellare i panini

o 1 bianco d’uovo e semi di sesamo, se come me scegliete di mettere i semini.

Procedimento:

Mettere gli ingredienti asciutti in una ciotola, mescolarli per bene e poi aggiungere, poco alla volta, il mix degli ingredienti liquidi. Mescolare e lavorare l’impasto  per almeno 5 minuti, fino a che non diventa una soffice palla.

Coprire la ciotola con un asciugapiatti e lasciar riposare l’impasto almeno un’ora, affinché raddoppi di volume.

Quando è raddoppiato, mettere l’impasto sul piano di lavoro infarinato e appiattirlo (in forma circolare) fino a che raggiunge lo spessore di 0,6-1,3 cm.

In questo momento, potete accendere il forno (190°C).

Con un coltello, tagliate il tondo che avete ottenuto in 8 triangoli.

Trasformate i triangoli in palline piegando gli angoli verso l’interno, e aggiustateli in modo che siano abbastanza regolari di forma. Lasciateli riposare per circa 5 minuti. Poi, con il palmo della mano, schiacciateli lentamente fino a che diventano dischetti di circa 1,3 cm  di spessore con un minimo di  10-11 cm di diametro.

Mettete i dischetti in una teglia con carta da forno, copriteli con l’asciugapiatti e lasciateli lievitare ancora, fino a quando non vengono gonfi.

Ora spennellate la superficie con il burro fuso. Se volete mettere i semi di sesamo spennellate la superficie con un bianco sbattuto insieme ad un cucchiaio di acqua e poi spargete i semini. In quest’ultimo caso, non dovete rispennellarli quando escono dal forno.

Infornare nel ripiano centrale e cuocere per 12-15 minuti, fino a che non cominciano a dorare (io ho fatto la prova stecchino).

Toglierli dal forno e spennellarli ancora con il burro fuso.

Ecco invece la ricetta degli hamburger (ne ho fatti 6 così):

400-500 g di carne di manzo macinata

50 g di cipolle tritate

1 spicchio d’aglio tritato fine

2 cucchiai di salsa Worcester

sale e pepe macinato

pressina per hamburger

Mescolate bene gli ingredienti in una ciotola, pressate gli hambuger e cuoceteli in olio d’oliva.

Ho riempito i panini con gli hamburger, insalata (del nostro balcone!), fettine di pomodoro e maionese.

Ho poi accompagnato con qualche anello di cipolla, che ho fatto con 3 grandi cipolle, 1 bicchiere di latte, 1 uovo, farina, un po’ di lievito per dolci (meglio se non vanigliato!), pangrattato ed olio di semi. Ho sbattuto l’uovo in una ciotola con il latte. Ho messo 1,25 bicchieri di farina in un piatto con un pizzico di sale e un po’ di lievito, e ci ho passato dentro gli anelli di cipolla. Poi ho unito i due composti, e ho passato gli anelli in quest’ultimo mix e infine nel pangrattato. Ho fritto in olio di semi.

With this recipe I enter the contest… / Con questa ricetta partecipo al contest…

Courgettes and mint frittata

Simple and perfect recipe for a hot day lunch. Or fabulous to make sandwiches, with some tomato slices.

Ingredients:

1 quite big courgette

1/4 chopped onion

1 crushed garlic clove

5-6 mint leaves

3 eggs

80 ml single cream

extra virgin olive oil

nutmeg

salt and pepper

In a pan, put some tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion, the garlic clove, and the mint leaves. Cook some minutes to brown the onion, and add the courgette (finely sliced). Cook over a medium heath for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a little bowl whisk the eggs with some salt. Add the cream, pepper and a bit of grated nutmeg. Pour the eggs mixture into the pan, put a cover and let the frittata to cook for some minutes, over a low flame.

Have a good day!