lunedì 31 agosto 2009


"Cake" with fish and potatoes
Second course - vegetarian

3 medium potatoes
4 white fish fillets (cod, sole, tilapia...)
2 tbsp white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of parsley (only the leaves)
1 1/2 tbsp capers (packed in salt)
2 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp Grated parmesan
Olive oil

Prepare a green sauce: rinse the capers and roughly chop the garlic.
Arrange them together with anchovy fillets and parsely in a bowl and start blending them (with an immersion blender) with a couple of tbsp of wine. Add the olive oil in a slow stream, blending until you obtain a smooth "pesto".
Pre-cook whole potatoes boiling them for about 3/4 of the time; drain, peel and slice into 1/4"-thick slices.
Pre-heat oven at 370°.
Grease an oven-proof pan (about 9-10") with oil and breadcrumbs and line the bottom with potatoes, spread with green sauce ans a little salt, fish, sauce and salt, continue until you finish the ingredients topping with potatoes (usually I make 2 lines of fish and 3 of potatoes).
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan mixed together.
Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes, uncover and cook for 10 more minutes or until a golden crust forms.
Serve immediately, accompanied with the remaining sauce and a green salad.
Serves 2 to 4 people, depending on what else is in the menu.

lunedì 24 agosto 2009



Cake with fresh fruit and cream

4 eggs
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp flour
1 qt milk
fresh fruit (your favorite)
unflavored jelly powder

First of all, prepare the cream (or custard). Warm the milk without letting it boil.
In a saucepan, with heavy bottom, combine the sugar, the flour and the eggs, whisking to prevent knots. On low-medium heat add the warm milk in a slow stream, always whisking and bring to boil, whisking continuously; it will take about 5-8 minutes (the warmer the milk, the quicker the cooking).
Set aside and let it cool, mixing it occasionally to prevent the film on top.
Line the bottom of a square or rectangular cake pan with ladyfingers dipped in milk or fruit syrup diluited with water or coffee witha few teaspoons of liqueur (depepnding on who will eat this cake).
Cover with cream and decorate with your favorite fresh fruit.
Prepare the jelly follwiong the instruction on the box and spread a thin layer to avoid the fruit to become dark.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
I also make this with leftovers of Panettone or other sponge cakes and pound cakes.

lunedì 17 agosto 2009


First course - vegetarian

1/2 lb porcini mushrooms fettuccine
4 tbsp bread crumbs (coarse)
4 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
2 sage leaves, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
hot red pepper flakes

These fettuccine, as all the flavored pastas, need a sauce that enhances their flavor, not that covers it, so forget tomato sauces or creamy ones.

Put a tall pot with water to a boil, when boiling, add salt and pasta, stir well to prevent sticking.
During the 7-8 minutes of coking time, put a skillet on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil with garlic and sage, stirring and sauteing it for about 1-2 minutes.
Then add bread, walnut crumbs and a pinch of pepper flakes and salt mixing quickly and cook until bread crumbs are golden and crisp. Remove from heat.
When pasta is "al dente", drain it carefully to remove all water (that would wet the bread) and toss it in the skillet with the sauce, over high heat.
Stir well, if you think that the pasta is too dry, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and remove from heat.
Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley (I would avoid parmesan because it would cover the pasta flavor).
Serves 2-3 people.

lunedì 10 agosto 2009


Entree - second course

2 lbs Veal shoulder roast
2 medium onions, sliced
5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp capers, packed in salt and rinsed
2 sage leaves
2 rosemary sprigs
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stocks
1/2 red bell pepper, roasted
1/2 zucchini, sliced and roasted
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken broth)
2 tomatoes, diced

In a deep skillet with lid, over medium heat, warm 2 tbsp oil, add onions and capers and cook until onions are translucent.
Season meat with salt and pepper; in a skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining oil; add sage, rosemary and veal and sautee until meat is golden brown on all sides.
Transfer it to the skillet with onions and cook for 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and let it roast for 10 minutes, turning it often.
Add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then add the stock, lower the heat and stew it, covered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
When the meat is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside to cool; reduce the cooking juice if necessary and transfer it to a food processor together with pepper and zuchini. Puree until you obtain a smooth sauce.
Adjust with salt, if necessary, and set aside.
Slice the roast and serve it with the sauce, garnished with the tomatoes.
Serves 4 to 6 people.

lunedì 3 agosto 2009


Side dish - Vegetarian

1 small onion, chopped
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in wedges
10 1/2 oz artichoke hearts, sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

In a deep skillet or a saucepan on medium heat, warm oil and sautee the onion for about 4-5 minutes, until it becomes lightly brown and tender.
Add potatoes and artichokes, stir well to combine, adjust with salt and pepper and add 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the vegetables are ready, add parsley (and salt and pepper if necessary) and stir; arrange on a platter, sprinkle with more parsley and serve immediately.

It saves time if you use frozen artichoke hearts or fresh pre-cleaned ones.
It pairs with red and white meats, fish eggs but it's great alone, too.