June 30, 2015

BURRIDA

Ingredients:

Fish fillets - 750 gms
Olive oil - 2 tbs
Onions (medium size) -2 (finely chopped)
Garlic (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Anchovy fillets -2 (finely chopped)
Oregano(dried) - 1 tsp
Parsley(finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Tomatoes - 3 large (peeled and chopped)
White wine - 1 cup(dry)
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp (salt to taste)

Method:

  • Heat wok,add oil and when hot add onions, garlic and finely chopped anchovy fillets. Stir fry on medium heat till onions are soft and lightly browned.
  • Add oregano, parsley and peeled tomatoes and continue stirring till tomatoes are cooked to a pulp.
  • Add wine and black pepper, stir and simmer gently for 1 minute.
  • Place the fish fillets in the wok, spoon tomato mixture over fish, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning, and serve hot with crusty bread

KIDNEYS WITH MUSHROOMS AND CREAM SAUCE

Ingredients:
Lamb kidneys -8 or Veal kidneys - 2
Butter - 60 gms
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cognac or Brandy - 3 tbs
Button mushrooms - 250 gms(sliced)
Spring onions -3 (finely chopped)
Thyme fresh - 1 tsp or Thyme dried - 1/2 tsp
Stock - 1/2 cup
Madeira or dry French vermouth - 1/2 cup
Cream - 1/2 cup
French mustard (prepared) - 2 tsp

Method:

  • Cut the kidneys in halves lengthways. Remove and discard core and cut kidneys in thick slices. Heat half the butter in wok, add the kidneys and saute, for about 8 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat the cognac in a brandy warmer or small saucepan or ladle, pour over the kidneys and ignite.Shake the pan or  baste kidneys with a long handled spoon until flames subside.
  • Transfer contents of wok to a dish, cover and keep warm. Wipe out wok with kitchen paper.
  • Heat remaining butter and on low heat fry the mushrooms and spring onions, stirring for 3-4 min ,
  • Add the thyme, stock, wine and cream and bring to simmering point. Stir in the mustard. Return the kidneys and heat through without boiling.
  • Serve immediately with toast points, sauteed potatoes.

    

STEAMED CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS WITH FISH SAUCE

Ingredients
Chicken breasts - 1 kg
Chinese mushrooms dried - 6 pieces
Ginger - 1 tbsp (finely shredded)
Spring onions - 4 (diagonally sliced)
Black pepper ground -3/4 tsp
Fish sauce - 2 tbs
Soy sauce light - 1 tbs
Garlic finely chopped - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tsp
Cellophane noodles - 2 cups (soaked and drained)
Coriander fresh (chopped) - 4 tbs

Garnish
fresh chopped coriander 

Method
  • Pour hot water over cellophane noodles in a bowl, let stand for 15 minutes, then drain.Pour hot water over Chinese mushrooms and soak for 30 minutes. 
  • Squeeze out excess water, cut off and discard mushroom stems and cut the caps into thick slices.
  • Chop chicken breasts into bite size pieces, place in a bowl and add mushrooms, ginger, spring onions, black pepper, fish sauce, soy, garlic, salt and sesame oil and mix well. 
  • Chop the cellophane noodles into bite size lengths and place in a heatproof dish. Sprinkle half the coriander over the noodles then spread the chicken mixture.
  • Place dish on a rack over boiling water in a wok, cover and steam for 35 minutes,adding more boiling water as necessary.Garnish with remaining coriander and serve hot.


BUTTERED CUCUMBERS

Ingredients:
Large green cucumbers - 2
Butter - 60 gms
Salt and white pepper
Chives - 1 tbsp (chopped)

Method:

  • Peel the cucumbers, cut in halves length ways and scoop out the seeds.
  • Cut the cucumber halves in half again cross ways and each piece into four or five strips.
  • Melt the butter in wok over low heat, add the cucumber and cook, turning the pieces frequently, until they are coated with butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 4 or 5 minutes. 
  • They should be tender but not too soft.
  • Serve at once, sprinkled with chives.

WHIPPED EGG WITH MARSALA (ZABAIONE)

Ingredients:
Egg yolks - 5
Egg - 1
Castor sugar - 50 gms
Marsala - 115 ml

Method:

  • Put the yolks, egg and sugar into the top of a double saucepan over simmering water.
  • Beat with a balloon whisk or rotary beater until pale yellow and fluffy.
  • Gradually add marsala and continue beating until thick enough to hold the shape of a spoon.
  • This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Spoon into warm glasses and serve at once.


June 28, 2015

TORTA DI FRUTTA (FRUIT FLAN)

Ingredients:
Italian Shortcrust pastry - 1 (see the post " Pasta Frolla")
Pastry cream - 1 recipe ( see the post " Crema Pasticciera")
Strega or other liqueur - 1-2 tbsp (optional)
Fruit - 1 large can (sliced)
Dessert dates - 450 gms  (stoned)
Pineapple - 1 slice
Glace cherries - 12
Arrowroot powder - 1 tbsp
Fruit juice - 160 ml

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. 
  • Rather thinly roll out pastry and line a 12" diameter flan ring. prick lightly  and cover with grease proof paper weighted with baking beans. Bake in centre of oven for about 20 minutes, removing paper and beans after 10 minutes.
  • Leave to cool. Then spread evenly with cold pastry cream flavoured with liqueur; arrange fruit decoratively.
  • Blend arrowroot with a third of fruit juice; bring remaining juice to boil, stir in blended arrowroot, bring back to boil stirring continuously.
  • Cool slightly and spoon over fruit.



CREMA PASTICCIERA (PASTRY CREAM)

Ingredients:
Scant milk - 1 1/4 cups
Vanilla castor sugar - 50 gms
Plain flour - 25 gms
Egg yolks - 2
Lemon rind - 1/4 tsp (finely grated)
Butter - 15 gms

Method:

  • Bring 3/4 milk to the boil. Put sugar, flour, egg yolks and lemon rind into the basin, add the remaining milk and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk.
  • Pour on the boiling milk, whisking all the time, return to the rinsed saucepan and whisk until boiling point is again reached,
  • Stir in the butter. Turn into a basin and leave until cold, stirring now and then to prevent a skin forming.
  • When necessary the cream can be thinned by adding more milk or by flavouring with a liqueur or spirit.

June 27, 2015

PASTA FROLLA (ITALIAN SHORTCRUST PASTRY)

Ingredients:
Plain flour - 200 gms
Castor sugar - 75 gms
Butter -100 gms
Lemon rind - 1/2 tsp (finely grated)
Egg yolks - 2

Method:

  • Sift flour and sugar into a heap on a working surface and make a well in the centre. 
  • Drop butter, lemon rind and egg yolks into well and with tips of the fingers gradually draw in flour and mix all the ingredients to a firm, smooth dough. 
  • No water should be necessary. Wrap in foil and chill for an hour before rolling out.
  • This pastry keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week and improves with keeping.
  • Although the Italian method of making pastry is simple and practical, the pastry can be made by the 'rubbing in' method but this will not produce such a smooth dough.

DAL THOI

Ingredients:
Toor dal - 1 cup
Green chillies - 2-3
Asafoetida -  a pinch
Coriander leaves -  a bunch
Salt to taste
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves  - few
Butter/ Ghee - 2 tsp
Lemon - 1

Method:

  • Cook the dal in three times its volume of water in an open pan. When the dal is soft and tender,add the green chillies, salt and turmeric. Cook for about 5-8 minutes more.
  • Add the crushed coriander leaves, stir, remove from the heat and keep covered.
  • Heat the butter/ghee, add mustard, red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves; allow the mustard crackles then pour over dal.
  • Add lemon juice and mix well.
  • Serve with rice.

VEGETABLE DOSA

Ingredients:
Raw Rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Bottle gourd - 1 cup (grated)
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Jaggery -  small piece
Oil

Method:

  • Soak dal and rice overnight; wash and grind dal and rice to make smooth batter.
  • Add bottle gourd and coconut while grinding and grind to make smooth batter.
  • Add salt and jaggery to the batter.
  • Heat the pa, grease little oil and pour ladleful of batter; spread it evenly to make dosa.
  • Cook both sides and serve hot with chutney.




June 26, 2015

LUSCIOUS LEMON BARS

Ingredients:
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Confectioner's sugar-  1/4 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup 
Sugar - 1 cup
Flour - 2 tbsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3 (well beaten)
lemon juice - 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Blend the one cup flour and confectioners sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter until blended. Firmly and evenly press into an ungreased baking pan.
  • Bake at 350 F about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine sugar, 2 tbsp flour, and baking powder; blend into beaten eggs along with the lemon juice.
  • Pour mixture over crust in  pan. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes.
  • Remove to wire rack to cool.
  • Spread with a thin confectioners' sugar icing and top with toasted sliced almonds. Cut into bars.

June 24, 2015

PALLOTTOLE DI RICOTTA (RICOTTA BALLS)

Ingredients:
Ricotta or cottage cheese - 450 gms
Grated Parmesan cheese - 3 tbsp
Flour - 3 tbsp
Salt and pepper
Parsley - 1 tbsp (chopped)
Eggs - 2
Oil and butter for frying
Tomato sauce

Method:

  • Sieve the cheese and add the Parmesan, flour, seasoning, parsley and beaten eggs. 
  • Mix thoroughly then turn on to a floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Although rather soft the mixture should be firm enough to handle.
  • Keeping the table well floured form into 16 balls.
  • Heat sufficient butter and oil to give 1/4" depth in a frying pan and fry the cheese balls slowly until golden on all sides.
  • Drain, and pile on a dish.
  • Serve tomato sauce separately.
  • This is an unusual and pleasant dish for a light lucheon or supper.


LIST OF ITALIAN CHEESES

PARMIGIANO REGGIANO:

Image result for parmigiano reggiano price

A hard cow's milk cheese produced in the Parma, Bologna and Reggio Emilia districts, known through out the world as 'Parmesan". In Italy commonly known as 'Grana" on account of its texture. A good Parmesan should be pale yellow with a rough grainy texture riddled with almost invisible pin sized holes. Portions are broken off rather than cut smoothly with a knife. Flavour is best when freshly grated.

GORGONZOLA:

Image result for gorgonzola

This blue veined cheese has a rich soft texture. A white Gorgonzola is made but not exported.

BEL PAESE:

Image result for bel paese cheese

A mild flavoured cow's milk cheese of smooth texture. Popular eaten raw and excellent for cooking. Often used as a substitute for Mozzarella. Pastorella is a smaller soften version of Bel Paese.

PECORINA ROMANO:

Image result for pecorino romano cheese

This hard sheep's milk cheese is found in many different shapes. Eaten raw when fresh but used for grating and cooking when mature.

PROVOLONE:

Image result for provolone cheese

A sweet flavoured cow's milk cheese made in various shapes and sizes. When fresh eaten raw, but ripens into a semi hard sharp flavoured cheese excellent for cooking. Usually seen hanging up and sometimes smoked.

MOZZARELLA:

Image result for mozzarella cheese

Originally a buffalo milk cheese but now usually made from cow's milk. A white flavourless curd cheese. Should be eaten very fresh, dripping with buttermilk. It melts very readily on cooking.

RICOTTA:

Image result for ricotta cheese

A fresh unsalted cheese made from the whey of cow's milk. It has a soft  'Cream cheese' texture and a bland flavour. Much used for sweet and savoury fillings.

STRACCHINO:

Image result for stracchino cheese

A Cow's milk cheese from Lombardy with a distinctive pungent flavour and a soft slightly glutinous texture. Best eaten fresh accompanied by a rebust red wine.

FONTINA:

Image result for fontina cheese

A very rich cow's milk cheese similar to a creamy Gruyere but with very small holes. ts melting quality and rich flavour is the basis of Fonduta, the fondue of Piedmont. Also suitable for eating raw.

CACIOCAVALLO:

Image result for caciocavallo

A hard cow's milk cheese from the southern provinces. Made in various shapes and sizes. Flavour and use similar to Provolone.

PECORINA SARDO:

Image result for PECORINO SARDO

A hard sharp spicy flaoured sheep's milk cheese with a very tough rind. When fresh eaten raw, later used for grating.

TALEGGIO:

Image result for taleggio cheese

A soft rich cow's milk cheese made in shallow rectangular shapes. A pale coloured mild tasting cheese for eating.

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