lunedì 30 novembre 2015

time to say goodbye....

... because a brand new domain is hosting my blog ;)

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giovedì 19 novembre 2015

Ugly pictures, good stuff - 4 recipes

I have been cooking a lot of good stuff lately but my camera is travelling to Portugal to be fixed (or re-sold to the back market), so here we go, iPhone camera again 😅

I am attending a cooking school to learn classic Spanish cousine and I am really enthusiastic about it. The teacher is a really cool guy who is not afraid of being direct with us when we are doing bullshits, which happens more frequently than I expected. The rate of burned pans in my team makes us not really popular in the kitchen... but it is a lot of fun. And a lot of eat, which I compensate by promising to myself that I will retake swimming as soon as the course is over (it is called "mental training").

My roommate's family was visiting us and these are all things I made for them. "You always cook thinking about someone; otherwise, it's just making food": I couldn't agree more!


1 big sea bream
1 lemon
~10 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves

This is something I like to cook when I am in a hurry but next to a decent fishmonger (another pro of moving to Spain). Clean the sea bream, open it in half (head off), place it into a pan with a lid and add: two spoons of oil EVO, two spoons of white wine and two spoons of water; tomatoes cut in half, garlic cloves cut in half and cover with few lemon slices. Let it cook for ~12 minutes and serve with parsley. In the picture, I also added black olives, but just because I ran into them ;)


white wine
250 gr champignons 
Provola affumicata cheese

Oh, empanadillas! The one and only moment in which the teacher told me I was doing a good job (thousands of ravioli taught me something, after all). Mix the flour with oil, white wine and water and make a ball. Let it rest covered by a tea towel.  Meanwhile, pan fry the garlic with one spoon of oil EVO and the chilli, add the champignons sliced and cook for ~10 minutes. Blend. Roll the dough quite thin and make big circles, which will be filled with the champignons and cubes of cheese. Close like ravioli and fry them until golden.


4 green peppers
minced pork meat
1 spring onion
5 champignones

Cut the champignons and the spring onion in brunoise (it's clear that I am taking cooking classes!) and add them to the minced meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill the green peppers and bake them in the oven for ~20 minutes or until golden.


Porcini mushrooms
1 garlic clove
chilli peppers
white wine
carnaroli rice
parmigiano cheese

A super classic! Make vegetable stock with celery, carrot and onion. Gently clean the porcini, slice them and pan-fry them with two spoons of oil, one garlic clove and chilli to taste. Add the rice, let it toast a few minutes, add white wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then lower the flame and start adding vegetable stock until the rice is cooked. Off the stove, add grated parmigiano. I served it in cups made of melted parmigiano and a good sprinkle of chopped parsley. Super!

lunedì 9 novembre 2015

Cebiche AKA Anisakis I do not fear you

Finally, after 2 months and a half of literally living inside a suitcase, the God of expats has decided to reimburse me for all my suffering and has donated me the biggest wardrobe my clothes ever touched (and they still don't fit, damn it!). As if it were not enough, my new Alicante flat also has the prettiest kitchen ever, that I decorated with the forest green stuff I had in Cardiff. After all, I am glad I didn't burn everything from that period, as I was tempted to do in more than one occasion ;)

Time to re-take my favorite hobby ever: cooking with slowness. Problem is that in the middle of Angkor temples in Cambodia, my stupid and insensitive camera broke and now I am left with my hello kitty iphone :( 

I hope it will suffice for making my readers salivating, and if not believe my words: it was unbelievably tasty. My stomach is ready to pay the price and welcome all the nasty parasites that can attack it after eating raw fish, but if you do not like taking the risk and, unlike me, your mind contemplates the option "I want it now, but I can wait", then just freeze it before ;)

(serves 2)

half red onion
one medium-sized sea bass
3 limes
2 chilli peppers
salt and pepper
coriander as if there was no tomorrow

extract the fillets from the sea bass and cut them in small pieces (1-2 cm maximum). Add lime juice and the rest of the ingredients sliced. Serve with an obscene amount of freshly chopped coriander. And now I am hungry again!

martedì 28 luglio 2015

Bacalao for all the building

We move to Spain. WE MOVE TO SPAIIIIIIIIN!!!!!!

Side-product of this wonderful update is that we need to empty the fridge, which contains bacalao sufficient to try once all the 365 recipes for bacalao that Portugal has, plus repeat a few of the best ones. So I tried this two recipes:


500 gr of bacalao, kept 2 days in water (change the water from time to time)
a handful of pine nuts
1 garlic clove
few slices of old bread
cherry tomatoes (10)
10 dark olives
3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey

In a mixer, place bacalao, garlic, bread (after keeping it 10 minutes in milk and rinsing well) and pine nuts. Mix. Make small balls and roll them in flour. In a pan, place 2 tablespoons of oil EVO and pan-fry the balls. When ready, remove the balls from the pan and add the cherry tomatoes and the olives. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar, the honey and 3-5 spoons of warm water. Place the rolls back in the pan for 1 minute. Add toasted pine nuts and serve warm.


500 gr bacalao
milk to cover
laurel leaves
olive oil
black pepper

Bring to boil the bacalao in the milk (with laurel leaves and black pepper grains) and then cook for about 20 minutes. Dry the bacalao and place in the mixer, add olive oil slowly while mixing until its consistency resemble a spread. Enjoy over toasted bread with chopped parsley.

sabato 27 giugno 2015

Caipiriñha noodles

My flirt with the Thai counter of the supermarket is not over yet ;) 

For dinner, I coupled these Thai-style noodles with the Vietnamese rolls: I am not sure how this sounds to someone from South East Asia, pbly like a meal composed by pizza and Sunday roast would sound to a European. But anyway:

Serves 2

160 gr noodles 
400 gr prawns
200 gr champignons 
1 shallot
2 spring onions
2 spoons fish sauce 
1 tbspoon red curry paste
4-5 peanuts
Sesame oil 

Start by peeling the prawns and using the heads/shells to make some fish stock. Chop the onions and the shallots, place them in the wok with 2 spoons of sesame oil and pan-fry them 2 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms and chopped prawns (leaving a few for decorating). Boil the noodles in the fish stock and when tender add to the wok. Add the fish sauce and the curry paste melted in a coffee cup with some fish stock. Serve with peanuts crumbs, a sprinkle of lime and coriander.

Caipirinha is the aperitif I had before dinner and was fundamental to the cheerful mood I had during the preparation of the plate ;)

lunedì 22 giugno 2015

FYEO: crumble cake (sbriciolata)

Out of 55 posts so far, not a single one is about dessert, and the reason is: desserts are boring. You need to follow the recipe step by step, for many recipes you need to know the oven and know the yeast, if you do not have isinglass in your cupboard you can't just replace it by adding more something else (as I generally do when I am missing some ingredients). 
Bottomline: in a football match, desserts are the goalkeeper and savoury stuff are the goleador. Buffon vs Totti. And I worship Totti. 


But if your family takes a plane to come and visit you, bringing your nephew along which is the single thing in the world that you love the most, you bake a cake for their breakfast. And when it comes to the task of baking, there is only one option for me that cannot go wrong: the crumble cake. Now, click this link here, replace the word "lasagna" for "crumble cake" and you will see that there is a high emotional content in this post too :)

This is THE cake my babysitter was baking for me over the years. I think my body is made up 50% of lasagna and 50% of this amazing sbriciolata ;)

Before getting to the recipe, let me add that I had the time of my life with my family in the past few days. Adolescence ends when you stop seeing the family as something unavoidable, and it becomes something that makes you richer. For me it was somehow a complicated process, but it is paying off now :) 
All the credits go to two persons. One that is not with us anymore, but his love still is and glues us together. The other one, well, is the guy that is in my bed when I wake up in the morning. For him, and for him only, sometimes I even think that the world is an amazing place to be ;)


4 egg yolks
500 gr flour
200 gr sugar
250 gr butter
lemon zest

for the filling:
one apple
rhubarb and strawberry jam

I mixed all the ingredients for the shortcrust pastry and leave it to rest in the fridge for one hour. I placed half of it in a circular tray, placed the two jams, the apple slices. I added more flour to the remaining pastry and mixed to make crumbles, that I placed on top of the cake. I baked at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes. Eat with someone you love.

giovedì 28 maggio 2015

Courgette and leek crumble, champagne and a new toy

I was so eager to try out my new (fake) Le Creuset mini cocotte that I brought courgettes from Rome (zucchine romanesche). I am used to security and airplane staff laughing at my shoulders for the food I bring in the cabin (some flights ago, I had melba toast supply for like six months that wouldn't fit in the upper compartment), plus I wanted to cook a very special dinner to celebrate an equally special night here in Frankfurt. Champagne was already waiting for me :) 

I have to say this crumble was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but still less amazing than the golden rose champagne!

serves 2
3 courgettes roma
1 leek
50 gr butter
50 gr flour
50 gr parmigiano
2 anchovies 
fresh mint leaves

In a pan, I cooked the leek sliced in thin slices with 1 spoon of oil EVO until tender, then I placed the leek in a bowl. In the same pan, I cooked the sliced courgettes with 1 spoon of oil EVO and chilli until tender. I mixed the leek and the courgettes, than placed the mix in the cocotte one spoon at time, placing leaves of mint and chopped anchovies.
I mixed the butter, flour, grated parmigiano and pepper in a bowl until sand-like. I cover the cocotte with a layer of this sandy mix. I baked in the oven at 200 degrees until the top layer is golden (~15 minutes)

I have to admit that we eat it with a lasagna made of pane carasau (thin bread from Sardegna), foie gras and mango chutney. You can sort of see it in the third picture. I know, I deeply apologise with all the birds in the planet, foie gras is bad, but if you got it as a present from France, waisting it is even worst..... ;)