Visualizzazione dei post da Aprile, 2015

Ambitious projects

With my stomach full of toast with barely melted processed cheese, I feel like I should cook something cool tonight.
First, I would like to defend processed cheese: I used to like it a lot as a kid and it is my comfort kind of food or go to junk food for a quick snack. Until today, I never bothered reading the ingredient list. Today I tried, but I am still in denial and stopped after learning that there was only 48% cheese in my slice: the rest was the processed part, I guess.
So tonight, ladies and gentleman – unless I change my mind, which occurs quite often – I will prepare my own version of sartu'.
You can find a couple of lovely recipes here:
Giuliaas usual is brilliantly describing how to do it and gives cool links to other authentic recipes 
Letissiagives such a wonderful vegetarian rendition that is mouthwatering 
If you are not familiar with sartu', it is a sort of rice pie with a savory filling of meatballs in tomato sauce, some cheese, boiled eggs and peas. Originally t…

Measuring cups

Sometimes I am assailed by the strangest doubts: how were measuring cups invented?
It is actually not as easy as I thought to find an answer (probably because nobody bothers, but you already know I am that boring as a person).
I found out that Fannie Farmer decided to standardize them into specific measurements. It happened circa 1879 in Boston, USA. The poor lady was left limp as a child and made cooking her reasons of life. She published the Boston cooking school cook book, which has been so popular that is still in print nowadays.  Yet although Ms. Farmer did standardize the measuring units, to give consistency to recipes, I believe she was working with something already in use.

Looking further back in history is though impossible (at least in google). I’ve only found a couple of sources telling that probably cup measurements dated back to the 1700 and probably stemmed by Afro American cooks, that during slavery used chipped bone china left by the owners in order to prepare their rec…

Monkey pancakes

After I tasted the popular ice cream,  I cannot think about a better match for ripe bananas other than walnuts and dark chocolate. It can only improve with some coffee, I guess.
The recipe is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
Sift together: 1 ¼  cup cornflour ½ cup all purpose flour Pinch of salt
Whisk: ½ cup coffee ¾ cup milk 2 eggs beaten 2 tbsp oil
Mix together. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Add: 2 mashed bananas (overripe ones are welcome) 1 ounce dark chocolate, cut into chunks 5 walnuts, shelled and broken into chunks ½ tsp baking powder
Heat a skillet. Melt a little coconut fat. Cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes per side or until done. Repeat about 12 times.
These pancakes are filling and nutritious. I dare you to eat more than two pieces.
Serve with honey or syrup, if you have an extra sweet tooth.
They taste at their best as soon as they’re done.

Disclaimer: all rights belong to their respective owners. I put links to books and stuff I use, like and regularly buy. I hope nobod…

Lentil quesadillas

You can find the true and tested recipe on Pinch of Yumlovely site. 
I saw it yesterday and I instantly decided it was going to be our dinner.
Well, then I glanced at the ingredient list and prepared it in a different way, because that’s the way I am a sloppy cook, I just browse through the first lines, imagine and go. After I have done everything I check again the list and notice all sort of things missing (oh dear, rice was one of those, I’ll try it next time) and start adjusting to get something edible, sort of.
For my records:
½ cup small lentils, cooked under pressure with 1 cup of water (ten whistling minutes)
1 ½ tsp cumin 4 dried chili peppers, crushed (to get some vibrant bite now and then, I love chili peppers) 1 can tomatoes (pelati 450 g)  2 tbsp desiccated coconut 5 sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 tbsp olive oil 1 spring onion, sliced Salt to taste
½ cup grated cheese (I used latteria Agricansiglio)
Start cooking the lentils.
Toast the cumin seeds briefly. Add chili …

Tamale pie

This recipe is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates.
As I had some black beans, dressed up with a sauce made with tons of celery, tomatoes, a pinch of chili pepper, salt to taste and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, I used them as tamale pie bottom in my lovely cast iron skillet.
* I would like to take a moment to praise cast iron skillets. I purchased this after reading infinite odes to these pans and wondering why people loved them, considering that you have to take special care in the seasoning process of the darn things. Well: now I do understand. Sorry my dear skillet for doubting your true worthiness. You do make a tremendous difference in the quality of the food I am cooking especially, in my opinion, regarding prosciutto, bacon and the like and definitely with cornbread. You also improve the taste of spinach and sisters, if I remember to use small amounts. If by accident I use too many greens, then also you, my dear cast iron, do not manage to dispel the excessive wa…

cookbooks on baking

While I always strive to curb my tendency to purchase an excessive amount of cookbooks, I must say that the market is offering many temptations and I am going through a bad phase of compulsive acquisitions.
A message to myself: you are perfectly aware that you own more cookbooks than you will ever manage to use in this lifetime and at least in the next three ones (that is, if you manage to get hold once again of all said cookbooks, which I sincerely hope you won’t), so kindly STOP buying!!!