Visualizzazione dei post da Febbraio, 2014

Millet and Fat Thursday

Today is giovedì grasso: in my dreams I wanted to go to Venice and show my little man some fancy masks finely posing for potraits.
Deadlines though interrupted abruptly my plans and now it is the middle of the afternoon and I kind of miss my tiny project going astray.
So millet comes in handy: it is indeed my favorite seed. 
In Italy it is normally sold in supermarkets in the pet aisle. The first time I purchased it in a organic store my mom found it quite entertaining that we were going to eat birdseeds for dinner.
The funny thing is that millet is a crowd pleaser. Despite the puzzled looks, every time I cook it my guests enjoy it. Exception made for my small boss of course. He just gazed at it and asked for latte (milk).
Now in here you can find the basic cooking method and some link for interesting recipes.
While browsing, I also found this cheddar and broccoli casserole that looks charming.
My basic millet recipes are two:
Fluffy millet seasoned with coarsely ground toasted cashews: I go…


Yesterday I found this recipe and I just realized that in my fridge I had both ricotta and peas so I wanted to try it.
I have probably mentioned already that I consume most of my lunches alone (how sad) in my office (how boring) munching on ready meals or chocolate at my very best. 
Lately I’ve been trying to decrease the processed part of my diet and cooking more from scratch. I started at home first (the little man still rumbles wordless about the lack of cookies, as mine are not up to the industrial ones yet, and the big man just tries to find anything interesting in our cupboards while reminiscing about the golden times when I was pregnant and I used to buy crisps at all times).
Now back to my desk, before starting again to work, let me tell you that for the above recipe one essential ingredient was missing today: bacon! 
Although I am very picky about bacon in my pasta (I just like the Roman way to have it thinly sliced and fried until very crisp and ladled on top of pasta so that i…


Sunday I stumbled upon an ancient vase of raspberry jam. Oh dear, it was long forgotten in my omnivorous cabinet. 
I instantly thought about crostata, a traditional Italian sweet bake. The dough is something between a shortcut pastry and a pound cake. Normally we top it with jam or apples.
Yet I wanted to try a sort of vegan version, without eggs, butter and refined sugar (I guess that the fact that I ran out of all these ingredients had nothing to do with it).
My significant other watched speechless and forlorn as I gathered the ingredients. After tasting the cake, he said his standard remark “I know this will surprise you, but I was kind of skeptical about this thing here, and I don’t know how it is possible, but it tastes delicious”. He even commanded me to save the recipe.
The cake is very nutritious and dense. I still wonder how we managed to eat the whole thing in twelve hours. Maybe that’s why my crisp white shirt felt kind of tight yesterday.
What you need if you dare to try it:


As any Italian typical meal, there are a thousand different ways to prepare it and every single recipe is just fine.
Growing up in beautiful Friuli Venezia Giulia, a culinary cross border peasant cuisine area, there was just one recipe, which was more a minestra di fagioli, occasionally hosting some overcooked pasta, or some other times a little rice or just nothing other than beans. 
Our beans are borlotti, which are grown in the gardens during summertime, shelled lazily sitting around the table with the family and savored in the soup first, and afterwards the leftovers are used as a sauce to tame our very bitter radicchio (not that sweet kind of stuff you find in the shop).
My mom would prepare a broth with carrots, onion, celery, a potato, beans, plenty of water and a clove. It would simmer for ages until it reached a creamy consistency. Then you taste it for salt and prepare a soffritto (olive oil, onion and salt) to give it a bit of a flare. 
Sometimes people would just put a piece …


Strange meetings happened over the weekend: mango was sitting bored in the fridge mumbling disgruntled about her long stay in the cold drawer. Chicken up there just wanted to have some fun and was happy to go out with anyone, even with that green reddish grumpy folk down there.
In search of a meaningful date, they were considering this recipe here, but alas chicken was still kind of raw, and this other recipe here. So they finally set their mind to get acquainted some place in between.
Chicken decided to take a marinade before entering into the pan: he so wanted to make the best impression. Mango was kind of squirmy about plain company especially after such a long wait. The story had a nice happy ending, with both sizzling happy in the pan and landing peacefully in our tummies.
What you need for two people: 3 slices of chicken breast (that what was left in my box) cut into cubes Juice of one lemon and one Clementine 1 shallot, finely sliced 1 fresh chili pepper, minced 1 tsp fennel and cayen…


Cauliflower has a beautiful name in my opinion, it looks stunning in its immaculate white blossoms, but well, it is kind of plain and it smells a bit funny. So I usually buy it only when it is on a special sale and still forget it in the deep meanders of my fridge.
Yesterday, browsing in one of the many unused cookbooks that sit idly in my bookshelves, I found an Indian style recipe here (phulgobi matar tamatar sabji a.k.a. cauliflower pea tomato curry) and we enjoyed it enough to make it a new family standard.
This is my barely adapted version:
We were three and I believe it is enough for four people (which means I have smelly leftovers waiting for me in my fridge).
What you need:
1 tsp cumin 1 tbsp olive oil 1 fresh chili pepper, washed and chopped 2 tomatoes, washed and cubed 1 cauliflower, thoroughly washed and cut into florets ½ cup water 1 tsp salt or to taste 1 tsp turmeric 1 cup frozen peas Sprinkle of parsley
How to do it:
Put a non stick pot on medium heat and stir-fry briefly oil, cumin …


I had a nice meal from this book.
This is not something fancy, but I normally like to eat simple meals and the favorable asset is that it took me about 15 minutes (besides the time to cook the beans) to have a piping hot bowl waiting for me at the table.
I believe the recipes are called something like Carribean Beans and Spanish Rice. This is my barely adapted version:
This stuff is enough to feed three hungry people.
For the beans:
I presoaked ½ cup of beans the day before and cooked it under pressure for 15 minutes. Other option is a can. One minced onion Salt to taste 1 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp thyme A few drops of Worcestershire sauce Juice of one orange Juice of one lemon
Cook the onion in a frying pan on medium with the oil, salt, thyme. When it begins to wilt, add the Worcestershire sauce and let it evaporate. Add the beans, juices and taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.
For the rice:
1 tbsp olive oil A sprinkle of annatto ½ cup rice (I used Arborio) 1 cup hot…