An Italian Cooking Abroad

Struggling to preserve the Italian culinary tradition oversea

Author: picchio85 (page 1 of 18)

FOCACCIA

INGREDIENTS

800 g all purpose flour / 600 g room temperature water / 18 g salt/ 15 g honey / 1.6 g (or 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast / 40 g extra virgin olive oil / toppings

In a bowl add honey to water and mix until dissolved, then add yeast and do the same. In a large bowl mix the flour and the salt and make a hole in the middle where you will pour the liquids. Stir with a spatula incorporating the flour with movement from bottom to top until the sides of the bowl are clean. Let it rest for 20 min covered with cling film.

Add the oil and using the same technique continue mixing until it’s fully incorporated in the dough. Now bring the edges of the dough into the center following an imaginary clock and continue going around the clock till the dough allows you to turn it over easily. Cover with cling film and let it rest 20 more minutes. After this time repeat the clock foldings again. Let it now rest until doubled in size. Once doubled in size you can either follow the next instructions straight away, or put it in the chiller over night (just remember to take it out and let it reach again room temperature before you continue with the recipe).

Oil a 30 x 40 cm pan and pour the dough in. Gently stretch the dough putting your hands underneath it until it fills the pan. Don’t force the dough to do so, better let it rest 20 min and then continue stretching it. Let the dough in the pan for 1.5/2 hours, then dimple it with your fingers and put your toppings on it. Let it rest for 30 more minute and in the meantime preheat the oven to 250 degrees celsius. Bake for 20- 25 min ( first 10 minutes in the lowest shelf, then in the middle) until the bottom crust is crisp and brown. Let the focaccia cool on a rack.

Toppings:

You can simply put some salt and rosemary on top of your focaccia. It will be perfect as a bread substitute to go with soups and hams/cheeses.

You can make onion and tomatoes focaccia (cut your cherry tomatoes ahead of time and let them soak in oil for 3 hrs and let some onion soak in 1/3 vinegar 2/3 water for the same time).

Another idea could be tomatoes and anchovies (use some juicy Roma tomatoes, sprinkle the juice on top of the focaccia and then garnish with some anchovies).

NEW POTATOES TATIN

INGREDIENTS

cherry tomatoes 1 1/2 cups / olive oil / salt and pepper / 500 g new potatoes (the small ones) / 1 large onion / 3 tbsp sugar / 2 tsp butter / oregano / goat cheese / 1 puff pastry sheet

Preheat the oven at 200 C, halve the tomatoes and place them skin-down on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to dry for 45 minutes. Meanwhile cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 25 minutes. Drain and let cool. trim off a bit of the top and bottom of each potato, then cut into 3 cm thick discs. Sauté the sliced onion with the olive oil for 10 minutes. Once you have prepared all the vegetables, brush a cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. In a small pan cook the sugar and butter on a high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to get a semi-dark caramel. Pour the caramel in the cake pan and tilt it to spread evenly over the bottom. Scatter the oregano on the caramel. Lay the potato discs close together, cut-side down, on the bottom of the pan. Gently press onions and dry tomatoes into the gaps and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread the slices of goat cheese evenly over the potatoes. Cut a puff pastry disc that is larger in diameter than the pan. Lay the pastry lid over the tart filling and gently touch the edges down around the potatoes inside the pan. Preheat the oven at 250 C, bake the tart for 25 minus, reduce the temperature to 200 C and continue baking for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let settle for 2 minutes. Hold an inverted plate firmly on top of the pan and carefully but briskly turn them over together, then lift off the pan.

MAC’N’CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

250 g maccheroni / 50 g butter / 50 g flour / 300 mL milk / 100 mL fresh cream / 200 g pecorino / 200 g gruyere / nutmeg / paprika / salt / pepper

In a small pan melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. The pour in the pan the warm milk, slowly, keep stirring and let it simmer for 3 minutes so as to have a bĂ©chamel sauce. Remove from the heat then add the cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper, 3/4 of the gruyere and the grated pecorino. In the meantime, cook the maccheroni and drain them “al dente”. Mix the pasta with the cheese sauce in a bowl, then pour everything in a baking dish, cover with grated gruyere and pecorino, a pinch of paprika, and cook in the oven at 180 degree for 20 minutes.

CARROT CAKE OVERNIGHT OATS

INGREDIENTS

150g rolled oats / 2 carrots, peeled and grated / 1 tsp mixed spice / 60g vanilla protein powder / 400 ml almond milk / 40g pecans / 4 tbsp Greek yogurt / drizzle of honey

Tip all the ingredients apart from the pecans, yogurt and honey into a bowl and stir well. pour the mixture into a sealable container and eave to soak in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to eat, toast the pecans in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until smelling nutty, then allow to cool and roughly chop. Remove the lid from your overnight oats, top with the yogurt, sprinkle over the toasted pecans and drizzle with honey.

ORANGE AND COCONUT JELLIES

INGREDIENTS

3 oranges / 2 spoonfuls of brown sugar / 3 spoonfuls of corn starch / 40 g of butter / shredded coconut

Squeeze the oranges to get 300 mL of juice. Pour the orange juice in a small pot, add the brown sugar and corn starch and bring to a boil, mixing it often. Once it starts simmering add the butter and keep stirring quickly till it thickens. Then remove from heat. Wash 2 glasses under current water and pour the thick mixture into them, not filling to the brim. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for 45 minutes. After the time has passed, remove the glasses from the freezer, with the help of a knife let the orange jelly slide out on a flat surface. Cut the jelly into thick discs and coat them with shredded coconut.

SPINACH AND RICOTTA TORTELLINI WITH SALSA VERDE

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

Handful of parsley / 1 clove of garlic / 1 tbsp capers / 1 tsp dijon mustard / 3 tbsp olive oil / salt an pepper / lemon juice / 250 g spinach and ricotta tortellini / grated parmesan cheese

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Chop the parsley, garlic and capers as finely as you can. Scrape into a bowl and, using a fork, whisk in the dijon mustard and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season the boiling water with salt then drop in the tortellini. Cook according to packed instructions then drain into a colander. Shake off any excess of water then put the pasta back into the pan and stir through the salsa verde. Pile into a bowl and sprinkle over the grated cheese.

SATAY SWEET POTATOES AND KALE CURRY

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

2 sweet potatoes / 1 tbsp coconut oil / half a onion / salt and pepper / 2 tsp garlic-ginger paste / dried chili flakes / 2 tsp tomato pure / 1 tsp ground cumin / 3 tbsp peanut butter / handful kale leaves / 1 lime / spoonful coconut yogurt / coriander

Boil the sweet potatoes, peel them and cut them into cubes. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Slide in the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic-ginger paste, chili, tomato puree and cumin and cook for 2 more minutes. Tip the sweet potatoes in the pan, give everything a good stir and add 500 mL of boiling water. Stir in the peanut butter, then use the back of a fork to loosely break up half the sweet potatoes (to thicken the curry). Season with salt and pepper. Let the curry simmer then stir in the kale after removing the stalks. Cook until the kale is just wilted, then take off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice. Spoon into bowls then top with the coconut yogurt, coriander leaves and few more chili flakes.

CAULIFLOWER, CASHEWS AND SPINACH DAL

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

3 tbsp coconut oil / 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste / 1 green chili / 350 g red split lentils / 1 and a half tsp ground turmeric / 1 head of cauliflower, florets only / 1 tsp garam masala / 2 tsp mustard seeds / 2 tsp cumin seeds / salt / 120 g cashew nuts / handful of cherry tomatoes / 200 g baby spinach / lemon juice

Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan, stir in the garlic-ginger paste and the green chili finely chopped. Cook for 1 minute then tip in the lentils and ground turmeric. Stir everything and cover with water (5 cm over the surface). Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. While the dal is simmering, heat the oven at 220 C. Cut the cauliflower into smallish florets. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large bowl, stir in the garam masala, mustard seeds and cumin seeds with some salt. Drop the cauliflower and toss so that each floret gets coated in spices. Tip the cauliflower onto a large baking tray and roast in the oven. After 15 minutes, tip the cashews into the baking tray and return to the oven for 10 minutes to toast them. When the dal is cooked, stir in the cherry tomatoes and spinach, when the spinach is wilted, squeeze the lemon juice and season with salt. Spoon the dal into bowls and top with the spice cauliflower and cashew nuts.

FRIED AUBERGINE, POMEGRANATE AND HUMMUS FLATBREAD

INGREDIENTS (2 persons)

10 cherry tomatoes / 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds / 1 tbsp red wine vinegar / salt and pepper / 2 tbsp coconut oil / 1 tsp ground cumin / half a tsp of chili powder / 1 aubergine / 2 large flatbreads / 6 tbsp of hummus / handful of rocket

Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes then scrape them into a bowl with the juice. Stir in the pomegranate seeds, red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl, stir in the ground cumin and chili powder along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Chuck in the aubergine thinly sliced and use your hands to coat all of the slices with the oil and spices mix. Lay the aubergines in a frying pan and cook them for 5 minutes on each side. Warm the flatbread and spread it with the hummus. Spoon over the tomato-pomegranate salsa, then pile the aubergine slices on top. Mix the rocket with vinegar and scatter in the flat bread. Roll it up.

PBJ COOKIES

INGREDIENTS (10 biscuits)

100 mg peanut butter / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 3 tablespoons maple syrup / 1 egg / 4 tablespoons rolled oats / salt / 50 g raspberry or apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 180 C and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put all the ingredients except the jam in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until you form a smooth dough. Dollop up mounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Using your thumb, press in the middle of each cookie to create a small well, then fill with a teaspoon of jam. Bake for 12 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes.

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