lunedì 26 gennaio 2015

JAM STUFFED CROSTOLI (carnival fritters)

Dessert - Lactose free - Vegetarian

This is my mom's recipe. In order to have enough "wet" ingredients, use extra large eggs and 2 tbsp of grappa. Also, keep some cold water by your side, in case you need some more liquid.

200 gr. 00 Italian flour (approx. 1 1/3 cups)
1 extra large egg
1 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Italian white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp grappa
No sugar added dense fig spread (like Rigoni di Asiago)
Oil to fry

Mix sifted flour and sugar in a bowl, then create a well and add egg, oil, vinegar and grappa; mix all ingredients then transfer onto a surface and knead until you obtain a smooth dough.

You may need 1 tbsp of cold water, if your dough is too dry. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out with a pasta machine until the notch before the last. Cut in big squares, put 1 tsp of jam in the middle and fol like a triangle or a rectangle, make sure to seal prefectly the edges, to avoid jam to escape while cooking.

Warm up the oil on medium-high heat, oil should not be too hot.

Fry your crostoli until golden on both sides. Being very thin, it won't take long. Lay them on paper towel, to absorb excess oil (and it will not be much ;-) )

- Vinegar will NOT be tasted, it will only give more crispness. Don't worry about grappa, alcohol evaporates when cooking.
- The thinner you roll crogetti out, the faster the frying will be (absorbing even less oil).
- They are lactose free.
- Use a very dense jam, like Rigoni di Asiago, so that it won't wet the dough and won't escape. The crostoli will "puff" in the oil, so make sure you'll have sealed the edges well.
- I made a video with the other 2 carnival fritters (that you can find here and you can check to figure out the dough); follow the steps for the thinner ones (crostoli) just remembering to keep them a little thicker, in order to avoid the jam from "wetting" the dough.

lunedì 19 gennaio 2015

How to prepare stuffed sweet mini focaccia

And we're back with the video recipe!!!! We hope you'll try it. Pay attention to the cooking suggestion!


Dessert - Lactose free & vegetarian/vegan (read notes at bottom)

I found this online on website Ricette in Armonia! It intrigued me so I decided to try it and made it 2-3 times in different ways. The savory version will be used for another recipe!

250 gr Italian 00 flour (approx 2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
50 gr sugar (approx 1/5 cup)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (neutral flavor)
130 ml lukewarm water (approx 1/2 cup)

Nocciolata or Fruit jam

In a bowl mix flour, baking powder and sugar, the add oil and water. Mix to combine, then transfer on a working surface and knead until smooth. It won't take long.

Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30-40 minutes.

Roll out with a rolling pin not more 1/4" thick and cut in discs with a cookie cutter.

Drop a dollop of nocciolata or fruit jam in the center of half of the discs, leaving a decent sized border to seal. Lightly wet the border and cover with another disc, press tightly to seal.

Warm a non-stick skillet on medium heat (with lid) and cook the mini focaccia 4 minutes per side, cover with lid. (read notes at bottom for a different cooking suggestion)

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder.

This recipe makes about 8 mini focaccia (16 discs). In our case, 4 because discs were quite large ;-)

- On a better thought, given some attempts, I think it's way better to turn the mini-focaccia several times so it won't get burned, thing that I noticed when making the video. (you are right, Claudia)
- In the original recipe, the author rolled out the dough immediately after the kneading, in my opinion it works better if you let it rest. Also there were only 10 grams of sugar.
- The dough is really, almost, un-sweet; you may want to use more sugar, if you like it sweeter.
- If you use jams, instead of nocciolata, it's vegan and lactose free.
- You can find the video here.
- Next time I'll try a savory version, stay tuned!

lunedì 12 gennaio 2015

RENATA'S SURPRISE SCALOPPINE (or Scaloppini, if you prefer)


We have many friends ready to help us and today, since I didn't have time to prepare any recipes, Renata gave us one of hers: we know she's a great cook, so go ahead and try it!!

10 slices pork tenderloin, thin cut
2 bunches arugula
1/4 cup pinenuts
1 container white mushrooms
2 oz Italian dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Italian extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Italian Marsala wine
Italian 00 flour, salt and pepper

Pound meat and prepare the stuffing.

Blend arugula with pinenuts and olive oil, not too much, just enough to help blending, since you need the consistency of a spread.

Slice white mushrooms and soak porcini in little lukewarm water for 20 minutes.

Spread the arugula mixture on the meat slices, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella, fold like a pocket and secure with a toothpick. Dredge both sides in flour, shaking off the excess.

In a large non-stick saucepan with lid, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat and sautee the pockets until golden on both sides, then deglaze pan with Marsala.

Remove porcini from water, squeeze and cut bigger pieces; carefully filter soaking water to remove all impurities.

Add sliced fresh mushrooms and porcini to the pan, along with some soaking water (all of it, if it's not too much). Lower heat to low, cover with lid and cook until meat is tender, when poked with a fork, turning pockets a few times.

Considering 2 pockets per person, this recipe serves 5

This is Renata's photo!

- You can use any kind of shredded melting cheese you prefer: Provolone, Asiago, Swiss...
- Don't cook too long or you may end up with tough meat!
- You can find the original recipe (in italian) in Renata's blog here

lunedì 5 gennaio 2015

MY FAMILY'S PINZINI (or gnocco fritto)

Appetizer - Vegetarian/vegan and lactose free

250 gr. Italian 00 flour (tailored for pizza is the best)
125 ml. beer
1 tbsp Italian sea salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil to fry

In a bowl mix flour and salt.

Add beer, mixing with a fork, then knead on a floured surface until you obtain a smooth dough.

Wrap with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Knead a couple more minutes, then roll out with a rolling pin about 1/4" thick.

Warm up the olive oil in a non-stick skillet.

Poke dough pieces with a fork, then fry them a few at a time.

Remove from oil and line on paper towel, to absorb excess oil.

The serving number depends on the size of the pieces.

not too gassy beer

really gassy beer

- Make sure oil is warm, by throwing in a small piece of bread which should fry rapidly.
- If the beer is too gassy, the dough will result puffier, if not too gassy, it will only have some "bubbles".
- It's lactose free and vegetarian/vegan.
- It's perfect in a mixed appetizer, even replacing bread.
- Gnocco fritto is NOT the kind of gnocchi you make with potatoes!!!