28 March, 2010

Stuff it, roll it and enjoy!



If you've been following my blog long enough, than you certainly know how much I love making strudel, savoury or sweet, I love it all.
But it's been a while since I last posted one.
I set out one day to make just a plain apple strudel. And then along the way changed my mind. I was preparing the ricotta filling for fillo triangles and then in a flash decided I wanted to do a different kind of apple strudel. Cranberries happened to be there, and I thought little red speckles would be a nice touch.
I was surprised how good it tasted. And it was even better the next morning with a glass of cold
milk. I didn't have any ice cream, but that would have been a gorgeous combo, too.
A short news about my doggy, the surgery went well, the vet took care of his hernia and his other part... let's say he won't be having kids in the future, to reduce the risk of hernia coming back. It's a bit like taking care of a(nother) child now.
Hope everyone's had/having a beautiful Sunday.



Apples, Cranberries and Ricotta strudel

For the fillo dough (if making your own, otherwise ignore and use the storebought):
250 g flour
3 TBspoons oil (I use either corn or EVO oil) + more for brushing
100 ml water (lukewarm or room temp.)
50 ml milk
a pinch of salt

the Filling:
3 apples
5-6 TBspoons dried cranberries
juice from 1 orange
200 g ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 TBspoons cornstarch
sugar (to your taste, depending on apples as well)


Put the dried cranberries into a small bowl with the orange juice and let them soak until you’re ready to prepare the filling.
Start making the dough:
Sift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the middle and add the oil, and then gradually the water mixed with the milk, mixing with a wooden spoon all the time until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough is homogeneous.
Drop the dough on a lightly floured kneading board and start kneading, adding just a sprinkle of flour every time it starts sticking to your hands or the kneading board, the longer the better. This will help gluten to develop and it will result in soft and elastic dough later, that won’t tear while trying to pull it really thin.
Divide the dough in half and form two balls, flour them and leave covered with a cotton cloth on the kneading board for 30 minutes. The resting time is also very important.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
Wash, peel and core the apples, cut them into very small cubes.
Put the egg into a mixing bowl, whisk it a little and then mix in the ricotta cheese, sugar (I usually add it by TBspoons until I’m satisfied with taste) and the cornstarch.
Add the apples and the drained cranberries. Mix well and set aside.
Turn your over to 200°C.
Cover your table with a clean (possibly old) tablecloth and flour it lightly. Take one ball of dough, flatten it with your hands first, sprinkle with flour and start rolling out with a rolling pin, lifting it and rotating (not flipping) after every few strokes.

Drizzle the whole surface with oil and spread it evenly with your hand.
What follows is the most delicate phase: forget the rolling pin and start pulling the dough gently with your hands and alternately putting your hands underneath and pulling gently. Want to have some fun? Watch the video my daughter made – not a professional quality production, but if you’ve never seen how this is done, it will sure give you some idea.


video

When the dough is thin enough (you should be able to see through it, that’s how thin it will get), cut the thick edge of the dough (it doesn’t really taste well once the strudel’s baked).
Spread half of the filling along a longer side of the dough.


Roll the dough up lifting the tablecloth.

Cut the thus obtained strudel in two or three parts (depending on the size of your baking tin), and transfer them onto the baking tin lined with baking paper brushed or sprayed with oil. Brush the surface of the strudel with oil or melted butter.
Repeat the process with the other part of the dough and the remaining filling. Bake for about 25 minutes, until nicely golden. You can take the strudel out 5 minutes before it’s done and brush it with some sour cream or heavy cream, and then put back into the oven for 5 more minutes.




Strudel con ricotta, mele e mirtilli rossi

pasta fillo:
250 g di farina
3 cucchiai di olio (+ ancora per spennelare la pasta)
un pizzico di sale
100 ml di acqua tiepida + 50 ml di latte

Ripieno:
3 mele
5-6 cucchiai di mirtilli rossi (cranberries)
succo di un’arancia
200 g di ricotta
1 uovo
2 cucchiai di amido di mais
Zucchero (a piacere, circa 2-3 cucchiai, dipende anche dalle mele)


Mettete i mirtilli rossi in una ciotola con il succo d'arancia. Lasciateli in ammollo mentre preparate il resto.
In una ciotola, mettete la farina setacciata, aggiungete l'olio, sale e l'acqua mescolata al latte, mescolate fino a incorporare tutta la farina, formando un impasto omogeneo. Trasferite tutto su una spianatoia infarinata, e lavorate a lungo aggiungendo altra farina ogni volta che la sfoglia inizia ad appiccicarsi alle mani. Piu a lungo lavorate la sfoglia piu sarà elastica dopo.
Dividete l'impasto in due parti uguali e formate due palline, cospargetele di farina e lasciatele riposare coperte per 30 minuti.
Nel frattempo, lavate, sbucciate e tagliate a dadini le mele.
In una ciotola mescolate la ricotta con l'uovo leggermente sbattuto e l'amido.
Aggiungete le mele, i mirtilli scolati dal succo e lo zucchero (regolatevi assaggiando). Mescolate bene tutto.
Coprite il tavolo con una tovaglia pulita e infarinatela. Mettete la sfoglia al centro e stendetela con il mattarello. Ungete tutta la superficie della sfoglia con l'olio. Poi, infilando le mani sotto la pasta, tiratela delicatamente in tutte le direzioni e senza fretta, fino ad ottenere una sfoglia molto sottile (e trasparente).
Con un coltello tagliate i bordi spessi.
Distribuite metà del composto lungo il lato più lungo. Arotolate lo strudel aiutandovi con la tovaglia. Tagliate lo strudel in due o tre parti e trasferitelo su una teglia ricoperta da carta da forno.
Ripetete tutto con l'altra parta della pasta fillo e il ripieno rimasto. Spennellate lo strudel con l'olio o burro fuso oppure l'uovo sbattuto con un cucchiaio di latte e mettete a cuocere nel forno già preriscaldato a 200°C per circa 30 minuti.


Savijača s jabukama, brusnicama i sirom

za vučeno tijesto:
250 g mekog brašna
3 žlice ulja
100 ml vode
50 ml mlijeka
malo soli

nadjev:
3 jabuke
5-6 žlica suhih brusnica
1 naranča (iscijeđeni sok)
200 g svježeg kravljeg sira (ja sam koristila ricottu)
1 jaje
2 žlice gustina
šećer (po ukusu)


Iscijedite sok naranče i u njemu namočite brusnice.
Stavite u zdjelu brašno i sol. Napravite jamicu pa u nju dodajte ulje i počnite miješati drvenom žlicom dodajući postepeno tekućinu (pomiješajte vodu i mlijeko). Nastavite mijesiti tijesto rukama na pobrašnjenoj dasci. Mijesite dugo i čvrsto, dodajite sasvim malo brašna ako vam se počne lijepiti za ruke i za radnu površinu. Što dulje mijesite tijesto to će se bolje razviti gluten u njemu i tijesto će poslije biti elastičnije i bolje se razvlačiti. Podijelite na dva dijela, pospite oba brašnom, pokrijte čistom krpom i ostavite da odmara 30 minuta.
Za nadjev pomiješajte sir, jaje, šećer i škrobno brašno.
Jabuke ogulite, očistite i narežite na kockice pa dodajte u smjesu od sira zajedno s ocijeđenim brusnicama. Lijepo sve izmiješajte. Malo pobrašnite stolnjak na kojem ćete razvlačiti tijesto.
Tijesto malo rastanjite rukom, pobrašnite pa valjkom dalje razvaljajte što tanje. Nauljite cijelu površinu (razmažite ulje rukom) i dalje razvlačite tako da nježno vučete krajeve i naizmjenično podvučete dlan ispod i vučete tijesto, i tako u krug dok ne dobijete željenu debljinu. Za ovu savijaču ne treba biti pretanko.
Odrežite nožem deblji rub tijesta.
Rasporedite nadjev s jedne strane uz duži rub. Smotajte u rolnicu uz pomoć stolnjaka. Premjestite na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje. Ponovite i s drugim dijelom tijesta. Namažite površinu uljem ili rastopljenim maslacem i pecite oko 25 minuta na 200°C, ili dok lijepo ne porumeni.


25 March, 2010

Vitamin buster needed?



Hi, everyone! How are you all feeling? Starting to suffer from "spring tiredness sindrome" or whatever it's called?
I think some heavy winter eats are still having their effect, not only the part visible to everyone's eyes, but that mental heaviness, being lazy because "the weather's bad so I can't go for a walk", "it rained/snowed for three days in a row, so we can't go play at the park", "geez, all those clothes I have to put on (and the kids) makes me forget I actually want to go out and take some fresh air (fresh?!?, yeah, right, the air in this town is so polluted I'm wondering when are we going to have birds dropping dead like it happend a while ago in Mexico City)".
I'm exaggareting a bit, because I do go out for a walk every day, twice a day, because I must. I have a dog, a sweet little, biting, nervous Pechingese (wish the luck to the poor thing, he'll be undergoing a surgery tomorrow morning), so a morning walk is inevitable, in the burning sun, pouring rain or blinding snow. And Sara (my almost 3-year-old daughter) is learning to take some responsibility - she wants to hold his leash, even while she's sitting in her stroller (yeah, she, too, "feels tired some days").
And then, in the afternoon I walk to my older daughter's kindergarten to pick her up after school. And that's when the kids just won't go home. I'm trying to understand them: my daughter spends 7 hours with her friends during her stay at kindergarten, about 1-1,5 hours after that at the school park, with the same friends, and then there's some general whining when at 5 pm we (mothers) want to finally go home and start preparing dinner, because "(Francesca): I want to go to Sara's house!, (Sara): I wanto to go to Matteo's house! (Matteo): I want to go to Francesca's house!" "Ok, can't you at least make a unanimous decision? Why don't we just all hit the road towards our own homes?"
And then you finally reach your home, hoping to throw them into their beds early and get some well deserved rest, but while the dinner's in the oven they both fall asleep on the couch. Shake them, make noise, turn the music on, nothing works, they only wake up two hours later, and all your plans for quiet peaceful evening are gone, "puff!".
One, but not only consolation, are the wonderful green, spring vegetables starting to show in abundance now.
I like to prepare this kind of salads for lunch. They're flavourful, rich and go perfectly with a sandwich, or just some cheese and bread. But nothing prevents you from serving it with meat, lamb for example, or whatever you like.



Fava Beans Salad with Walnut Pesto

(4 servings)
250 g of fresh or frozen fava beans (cleaned)
120 g corn salad
50 g walnuts
1/2 clove of garlic
a small piece of peperoncino
2 TBspoons EVOO
Juice from 1/2 orange
Salt

Put the walnuts, the garlic, a pinch of salt, the peperoncino and the extra virgin olive oil into a tall glass and blend with an immersion blender to get a grainy salsa. Add the freshly squeezed orange juice and mix well.
Cook the fava beans in boiling, salty water for 10-15 minutes, drain them and then remove the hard skin.
Place the corn salad in a salad bowl (I had a mix corn salad and red radicchio), put the warm fava beans on top and season with the walnut pesto.

I'm sharing this dish with Reeni, so check her blog if you want to participate in her Side Dish Showdown

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event




(con una piccola modifica, ricetta presa dalla Cucina Moderna, numero di aprile 2010)

Insalata di fave con pesto di noci

(per 4 persone)
250 g di fave fresche o surgelate (già sgusciate)
120 g di songino
50 g gherigli di noce
1/2 spicchio d’aglio
Un pezzettino di peperoncino
2 cucchiai di olio EVO
Succo di 1/2 arancia
sale

Mettete i gherigli di noce con l’aglio, un pizzico di sale, il peperoncino e l’olio extravergine d’oliva nel contenitore del frullatore a immersione e frullate fino a ottenere una salsina di consistenza granulosa. Diluitela con il succo d’arancia.
Lessate le fave in una pentola d’acqua bollente salata per 10-15 minuti. Scolatele e privatele della pellicina.
Disponete il songino in una ciottola (io avevo un misto di songino e radicchio rosso), sistemate sopra le fave tiepide. Condite con la salsina di noci e servite.




Salata od boba s pestom od oraha

250 g očišćenog svježeg ili smrznutog boba
120 g matovilca
50 g oraha
1/2 češnja češnjaka
komadić peperoncina
2 žlice maslinovog ulja
sok 1/2 naranče
sol

Stavite orahe, češnjak, peperoncino i ulje u posudicu i izmiksajte sve skupa štapnim mikserom da dobijete zrnastu smjesu. Razrijedite smjesu sokom od naranče (regulirajte gustoću po vlastitom ukusu) i sve dobro izmiješajte.
Skuhajte bob u ključaloj, malo posoljenoj vodi 10-15 minuta i odstranite mu tvrdu opnu.
Stavite matovilac u zdjelu za salatu (ja sam imala pomiješano matovilac i crveni radič), preko njega stavite bob i začinite pestom od oraha.

23 March, 2010

Sablés nantais



The word “sablé” means “sand” in French. Obviously, these cookies aren’t made of sand (as my daughter thought), but they have such a delicate and crumbly structure that they melt in your mouth as if they were really made of sand.
This particular recipe (according to my book) comes from the French region of Nantes.
Since I needed some coffee extract for these cookies and couldn’t find any to buy, I was really happy to find the recipe here, and I made it myself. Just as I made my own vanilla extract. Together with plenty of butter in the dough, it all contributed to create some wonderfully flavorful cookies.
They are absolutely delicious. I’ve been having them in the morning with coffee, and in the afternoon with cappuccino or tea, or just snacking every time I remember they are there, in that lovely orange box.



Sablés nantais

200 g softened butter
200 g powdered sugar
1 (lightly beaten) egg
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400 g flour
A pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of cinnamon
2 drops of coffee extract

Sift together the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the cinnamon, and set aside.
Put the softened butter and the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon (or electric mixer if you prefer) until creamy.
Mix the egg yolks and ½ of the lightly beaten egg, and add them little at a time to the butter, adding the vanilla extract as well.
Gradually add the flour to form a rather soft dough.
Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten it a little. Wrap well and keep in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to about 3-4 mm thin. Roll out only small amount of dough at a time, because the dough, containing lots of butter, gets very soft as soon as it starts warming up, and always keep the rest of the dough in the fridge.
Using a round 5 cm cookie cutter, cut out the cookies, lift them with a spatula and transfer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Place the whole baking sheet with the cookies on it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Add the coffee extract to the other half of the egg and brush the cookies. Make a cross like lines with a fork and then bake them in the oven preheated to 190°C for 12 minutes.

Move the cookies to a cooling rack and keep them in an airtight container once they’re cold.
*After cutting out the cookies, collect the scraps, wrap them and cool in the fridge before rolling the dough out again.



Coffee extract

250 g freshly ground coffee
500 ml cold water


First of all choose some good quality coffee beans, as the quality of your extract will, naturally depend on the quality of coffee you choose. Use freshly ground coffee in order not to lose that precious aroma. What a wonderful smell will spread all over your house!!!!!!!!!!!
Place the ground coffee in a glass jar and pour the cold water over it. Close the jar and keep it in a dark place for 3 days.
After 3 days strain that mud like mixture through several layers of cheesecloth and pour the liquid you’ll obtain (at this point it’s your coffee extract) into a bottle. Done. You’re ready to add some natural coffee flavor to whatever you like, cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc.




Questi biscotti friabili e dorati che si sciolgono in bocca provengono dalla regione di Nantes. Devono il loro nome alla consistenza delicata, dal francese “sablè” che significa appunto sabbia.
E, siccome per questi biscotti avevo bisogno anche dell’estratto di caffè, ho usato la ricetta trovata qui.

Sablés nantais

200 g di burro a temperatura ambiente
200 g di zucchero a velo
1 uovo leggermente sbattuto
4 tuorli
2 cucchiaini di estratto di vaniglia
400 g di farina
Un pizzico di sale
½ cucchiaino di lievito in polvere
Un pizzico di cannella in polvere
2 gocce di estratto di caffè


Setacciate insieme la farina, il lievito, il sale e la cannella.
Con un cucchiaio di legno lavorate il burro con lo zucchero a velo.
Mescolate i tuorli e metà dell’uovo sbattuto e aggiungeteli poco alla volta al burro insieme alla vaniglia.
Incorporate la farina al composto, raccoglietelo con una spatola su un foglio grande di pellicola trasparente e appiatti telo leggermente. Avvolgetelo bene e lasciatelo in frigo almeno 1 ora.
Aggiungete 2 gocce di estratto di caffè al mezzo uovo rimasto.
Stendete la pasta tra due fogli di carta da forno fino a uno spessore di 3-4 mm.
Con uno stampino rotondo dentellato di 5 cm ricavate dei biscotti e trasferiteli su una piastra da forno rivestita con la carta da forno. Mettete la piastra in frigo per 20 minuti.
Spennellate i biscotti con l’uovo profumato al caffè, poi con una forchetta disegnatevi delle linee incrociate.
Infornateli per circa 12 minuti a 190°C finché saranno dorati.
Toglieteli dalle piastre e lasciateli raffreddare su una gratella.
Raccogliete i ritagli della pasta e raffreddatela prima di stenderla di nuovo.
L’impasto contiene tanto burro e con il calore diventa subito molle. Per questo si consiglia di non stenderlo tutto in una volta.



Estratto di caffè

250 g di caffè macinato
500 ml di acqua fredda


Macinate il caffè e mettetelo in un barattolo di vetro. Versateci l’acqua fredda, mescolate, chiudete il barattolo e tenetelo in un luogo fresco per 3 giorni.
Filtrate l’estratto attraverso una garza pulita e imbotigliatelo.
Usatelo a piacere, nei dolci, biscotti, gelati ecc. Non ha scadenza.




Naziv pješčani keksi odnosi se na njihovu doista nježnu i prhku strukturu. Doslovce se rasipaju i tope u ustima kao da su doista napravljeni od pijeska.
Jednostavni, a tako ukusni i mirisni.
Budući da mi je za kekse trebao i ekstrakt kave, a nisam mogla pronaći za kupiti, napravila sam ga sama po ovom receptu. Jako jednostavno.
Evo dakle i još dvije ulaznice za igru Ajme koliko nas je, čija je domaćica ovaj mjesec, Ljilja s bloga Chocolate Dust, odabrala kavu kao temu.

Sablés nantais

200 g maslaca
200 g šećera u prahu
1 jaje
4 žumanjka
2 žličice ekstrakta vanilje
400 g brašna
prstohvat soli
prstohvat cimeta
1/2 žličice praška za pecivo
2 kapi ekstrakta kave

Pomiješajte i prosijte skupa brašno, prašak za pecivo, sol i cimet.
Mikserom ili drvenom kuhačom izradite omekšali maslac (sobne temp.) sa šećerom u prahu. Malo razmutite cijelo jaje, pa ga podijelite na pola. Jednu polovicu jajeta pomiješajte sa žumanjcima i dodajte maslacu zajedno s vanilijom neprestano miješajući. Umiješajte brašno. Dobit ćete jako mekano tijesto koje istresite na veći komad prozirne folije, malo ga rastanjite, omotajte i držite u hladnjaku najmanje 1 sat.
Tijesto rastanjite na 3-4 mm debljine između dva komada papira za pečenje. Puno je lakše ako razvaljate manji dio tijesta, a ne sve odjedanput. Izrežite kekse okruglim kalupom izrezbarenog ruba promjera 5 cm i paletom ih premjestite na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje. Stavite cijeli pleh u hladnjak na 20 minuta.
U preostalu polovicu razmućenog jajeta dodajte 2 kapi ekstrakta kave pa time kistom namažite kekse, napravite vilicom ukrižene crte, a zatim ispecite na 190°C (oko 10-12 minuta). Ostavite ih da se ohlade na rešetki.
Ostatke tijesta sakupite i uvijek ohladite prije nego tijesto opet razvaljate. Tijesto sadrži dosta maslaca tako da se brzo zagrije i postane premekano za raditi.



Ekstrakt kave

250 g mljevene kave
500 ml hladne vode


Odaberite kvalitetnu kavu u zrnu, sameljite je i stavite u staklenku.
Ulijte hladnu vodu, dobro zatvorite staklenku i ostavite na tamnom mjestu 3 dana.
Procijedite kroz nekoliko slojeva gaze i ekstrakt je gotov. Spremite ga u bočicu i koristite po volji kao dodatak kolačima, sladoledu, kremama itd.

21 March, 2010

Spring's here!


Finally, I must say. It's been a really long and cold winter, the coldest since we moved to Modena, 5 years ago.
The first day of my favourite season. How did I spend it? Working, stuck at home, in front of my computer. Not that I complain, I got to translate (and see at the same time) Shutter Island. It's just that I wonder how come I always receive these assignments on Friday afternoon and they have to be delivered on Monday.
Whatever.
I always look forward to the change of seasons in particular, because you not only get to change and refresh your wardrobe, but you start introducing food to your menu that you've been waiting for a long time. Isn't it just exciting?
I really love, love asparagus. I bought a big bunch last weekend and used half for stuffing cannelloni, and then during the week made this quick pasta dish for myself. So this is not from today's menu but I liked it and it seemed like a perfect dish to share today.




Spring pasta

(4 servings)
400 g pasta
10-12 asparagus
about 10 cherry tomatoes
a bunch of arugula
2 cloves of garlic
200 ml low fat cooking cream
Salt, pepper
4 TBspoons EVOO

Wash and dry the asparagus, cut the tips off. Peel the rest of the stalks if they have hard skin and slice into just a few millimeters thick slices.
Sauté the asparagus (everything, the tips and the sliced part) in a skillet with the EVOO and the whole peeled garlic cloves, on medium high heat. Add the diced tomatoes and cook on slightly lower heat for 5 more minutes.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large pot of salty water, drain it and add to the skillet with the asparagus and tomatoes.

Add the cooking cream and the arugula, toss everything together and serve immediately.



Pasta ai sapori dell'orto

400 g pasta (tipo mezze maniche)
10-12 asparagi
circa 10 pomodorini
un mazzetto di rucola
2 spicchi d’aglio
200 ml panna
Sale, pepe
4 cucchiai di olio EVO


Lavate e asciugate gli asparagi, tagliate le punte, pelate i gambi e tagliateli a rondelle.
Saltate gli asparagi in una padella con l’olio e 2 spicchi d’aglio interi. Aggiungete i pomodorini tagliati a dadini e cuocete per altri 5 minuti. Salate e papate a piacere.
Cuocete la pasta al dente, scolatela e saltatela in padella con le verdure, panna e rucola.



Proljetna tjestenina

(za 4 osobe)
400 g tjestenine
10-12 šparoga
10-ak cherry rajčica
svežnjić rikule
2 češnja češnjaka
200 ml manje masnog vrhnja za kuhanje
sol, papar
4 žlice maslinovog ulja

Odrežite vrhove šparogama, a mekši dio stapke ogulite nožićem i narežite na kolutiće. Očistite češnjak. Rajčice prerežite na pola, izvadite sjemenke pa ih narežite na kockice.
Izdinstajte šparoge (vrhove i kolutiće) u tavi s maslinovim uljem i češnjakom. Dodajte rajčice, posolite i popaprite po ukusu pa nastavite dinstati još 5 minuta.
Skuhajte tjesteninu u slanoj vodi, ocijedite je i dodajte povrću. Dodajte vrhnje i rikulu i kratko još sve miješajte na vatri da se sastojci povežu. Poslužite odmah dok je toplo.

18 March, 2010

Dessert... Coffee... Dessert with coffee



What’s blogging done to me? Oh, my, oh my.
I never, I really mean NEVER, liked desserts with coffee flavour: cakes, creams, ice creams etc. I always wondered how people could find them tasty and enjoy. But, on the other hand, I love coffee, can’t live, can’t start my day without a cup of “black poison” as I call it.
And yet here I am, thanks to this blog, I guess, every day I get more courageous, ready to step out of box, out of my comfort zone, and not only, most of the time I’m enjoying it.
So was the case with this dessert.
The preparation time is a bit long because it has to rest between adding layers, but it is essentially very simple and doesn’t require great skills.
I was happy to find out that the coffee taste did not prevail over chocolate, it’s really mild. And the two creams work so wonderfully together.
The white part is very creamy and smooth, and the dark one is thick and rich and yet kind of fluffy, like mouse should be.
And, you’ll notice, there’s no sugar added.
Really perfect finish for your dinner, dessert and coffee all in one.
Make yourself comfortable, get yourself a spoon, take a look at your glass, just to admire it visually, and then start… close your eyes and switch off…
Ok, switch on… here’s the recipe, you have to prepare it first…




Black and white chocolate and coffee mousse

(2 servings):
100 g white chocolate
80 g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
1 dl heavy cream (divided)
1/2 small cup strong coffee (espresso or moka)
2 egg yolks

For the white mousse:
Chop or grate the white chocolate and put it in a small mixing bowl. Warm up half of the heavy cream (50 ml) and pour it over the chocolate. Stir or whisk until the chocolate’s melted and becomes smooth. Let it cool at room temperature and then pour about 2/3 into 2 small glasses forming a 2 cm layer in each. Put the covered glasses into fridge for 2 hours.

For the dark mousse:
Chop the dark chocolate and melt it in the microwave oven or in a double boiler, add the coffee and the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
Whip the remaining 50 ml of cream until firm and stir it delicately into chocolate mixture.
Pour the dark mixture into glasses over the white mouse and let cool again. It should take less then the first part.


Complete the glasses with the remaining white mousse, and keep in the fridge until about 30 minutes before serving it.




Cosa dirvi? Sono troppo golosi questi bicchierini con due mousse cremose e gustose, e un leggero gusto di caffè nascosto nella mousse fondente. E devo anche aggiungere che io non amo per niente i dessert al caffè di qualsiasi tipo. Per me sono due categorie separate, ma questa volta ho fatto un'eccezione senza pentirmi.

Mousse bicolore al cioccolato e caffè

(per 2 persone)
100 g cioccolato bianco
80 g cioccolato fondente (minimo 60% cacao)
1 dl panna fresca
1/2 tazzina di caffè ristretto
2 tuorli


Per la mousse bianca, tritate il cioccolato bianco con un coltello e mettetelo in una ciotola. Versateci sopra 50 ml di panna calda e mescolate fino a ottenere un composto liscio e lucido. Lasciatelo raffreddare a temperatura ambiente e poi versate circa 2/3 del composto in 2 bicchieri formando uno strato di 2 cm. Mettete in frigo per due ore.
Per la mousse fondente, fate sciogliere il cioccolato a bagnomaria o nel forno a microonde. Aggiungete il caffè e i tuorli, uno alla volta mescolando con una frusta. Alla fine incorporate delicatamente 50 ml di panna montata a neve ferma.
Versate la mouse fondente nei bicchieri sopra la mousse bianca e metteteli di nuovo nel frigo.
Completate i bicchierini con la mousse bianca rimasta e tenete in frigo fino a 30 minuti prima di servire.




Kad sam vidjela da je Ljilja ovaj mjesec odabrala kavu kao temu ovomjesečne igre Ajme koliko nas je, mislila sam na trenutak da ću preskočiti, jer osim što volim piti kavu nisam ni najmanje ljubitelj kave u desertima. Onda sam pomislila, pa dobro pripremit ću neku kavu, Bečku, s karamelom ili ovako ili onako, ali sam odustala.
Razgledala sam dosta recepata, i na kraju odlučila da mi se ovaj mousse sviđa, i to jako.
Prvo onako vizualno, dvobojni efekt u čaši me odmah privukao, a onda sam rekla, pa ne može biti tako loše kad se kava pomiješa s čokoladom.
Isprobala i ostala oduševljena.
Bijela je krema tako divna i kremasta čak i nakon što se stisne u hladnjaku. Kad je još zagrabite zajedno s onom tamnom u sredini, čokolada i kava spojeni u krasnu pjenastu smjesu, užitak je kompletan. Svidjelo mi se to što se kava osjeti zbilja blago, ne nadjača čokoladu, nego je osjetite sasvim lagano u pozadini.

Dvobojni čokoladni mousse s kavom

(za 2 osobe)
100 g bijele čokolade
80 g tamne čokolade (najmanje 60% kakaa)
1 dl slatkog vrhnja
1/2 šalice jake kave (espresso ili moka)
2 žumanjka


Bijeli mousse: Sitno narežite bijelu čokoladu i stavite u zdjelicu. Zagrijte 50 ml vrhnja, prelijte preko čokolade i miješajte dok se čokolada ne otopi i smjesa postane glatka i sjajna.
Ulijte otprilike 2/3 smjese u 2 manje staklene čaše da bude u sloju od oko 2 cm. Pokrijte čaše i držite 2 sata u hladnjaku da se krema stvrdne.
Tamni mousse: Nasjeckajte tamnu čokoladu i otopite je na pari ili u mikrovalnoj. U toplu čokoladu umiješajte kavu i jedan po jedan žumanjak, miješajte ručnom žicom dok ne dobijete ujednačenu smjesu. Umutite čvrst šlag od preostalih 50 ml vrhnja i nježno miješajući dodajte smjesi od čokolade, kave i žumanjaka.
Ulijte tamnu smjesu preko svijetle, opet pokrijte i hladite dok se mousse ne ščvrsne.
Ulijte ostatak svijetlog moussea preko tamnog i držite u hladnjaku do posluživanja.

12 March, 2010

What cereal are you having today?



When I talked about Kamut, a while ago, I told you I'd be talking about and trying out recipes with more different cereals (in form of grain or flour). In the meantime I've bought different stuff, some of them I've used several times, like bulgur and Kamut (also made bread with Kamut flour), and some are still waiting to be used (like quinoa and amaranth, that I actually used once but wasn't happy with the recipe so I'll be trying it again).
Bulgur (also bulghur or burghul) is a cereal food made from several different wheat species, but most often from durum wheat. Bulgur is a common ingredient in Turkish, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean dishes. It has a light, nutty flavor. It can be used in pilafs, soups, bakery goods, or as stuffing. In breads it adds a whole grain component. It is also a main ingredient in tabbouleh salad and kibbeh. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous.
Bulgur is more nutritious than rice and couscous, because it contains more fiber and more vitamins and minerals and has a lower glycemic index than white rice or couscous. Bulgur has a glycemic index of 46.

Bulgur with zucchini, chicken and saffron

(4 servings):
300 g bulgur
4 zucchini
1 onion
1 lemon
300 g chicken breasts
1 package of saffron (1 g)
EVOO
Fresh parsley and mint leaves, curry, salt


Cook bulgur in salty water for 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, wash and slice the zucchini, slice the onion finely, and cut the chicken breasts into cubes.
Sauté the onion, the zucchini and the chicken in a skillet with a little oil, and salt to your taste. When they’re done, add the curry, the finely chopped parsley and saffron.

Add the cooked and drained bulgur, season with the freshly squeezed lemon juice and toss everything together.

Serve decorated with fresh mint leaves.



Il Bulgur (o Burghul) è costituito da frumento integrale che subisce un particolare processo di lavorazione. I chicchi di frumento vengono cotti al vapore e fatti seccare, poi vengono macinati e ridotti in piccoli pezzetti.
Il bulgur ha le stesse caratteristiche nutrizionali del frumento integrale: è quindi una buona fonte di fibre, vitamine del gruppo B, fosforo e potassio. Ha un indice di sazietà piuttosto elevato, caratteristica comune a tutti i cereali integrali in chicchi.


Bulgur con pollo, zucchine e zafferano

(per 4)
300 g bulgur
4 grosse zucchine
1 cipolla
1 limone
300 g petto pollo
1 bustina di zafferano
Olio EVO
Prezzemolo, menta, curry, sale

Fate bollire bulgur in acqua salata per circa 15-20 minuti.
Nel frattempo pulite le zucchine e tagliatele a rondelle. Pulite la cipolla e tagliatela a spicchi sottili. Tagliate il pollo a dadini.
Fate cuocere il tutto in padella con poco olio e salate a piacere.
A fine cottura aggiungete un ciuffo di prezzemolo tritato, curry e lo zafferano. Unite il bulgur cotto e ben scolato, il succo di limone e fate saltare con le verdure.
Guarnite con alcune foglie di menta e servite.



Bulgur ima iste karakteristike kao integralna pšenica, stoga je odličan izvor vlakana, proteina, vitamina grupe B, fosfora i kalija.
Odlična je zamjena za rižu i couscous, zapravo je hranjiviji i ima niži glikemijski indeks.
Karakterističan je za tursku, indijsku, bliskoistočnu i mediteransku kuhinju.
Koristi se najčešće za topla jela kao pilaf i kibbeh ili hladne salate kao tabbouleh.


Bulgur s piletinom, tikvicama i šafranom

(sastojci za 4 osobe)
300 g bulgura
4 tikvice
1 glavica luka
300 g pilećih prsa
1 limun
1 vrećica šafrana (1 g)
Maslinovo ulje
Peršun, menta, curry, sol

Skuhajte bulgur u slanoj vodi, 15-20 minuta.
U međuvremenu očistite i narežite tikvice na ploškice, nasjeckajte luk i narežite piletinu na kockice.
Izdinstajte sve skupa i posolite po ukusu. Kad su tikvice i meso kuhani, dodajte curry, sitno narezan list peršuna i šafran.
Dodajte kuhan i dobro ocijeđen bulgur, začinite svježe iscijeđenim sokom limuna, kratko sve kuhajte skupa da se okusi povežu. Poslužite uz svježe listiće mente.

08 March, 2010

Warm, sweet and crunchy, that's my dessert



Today's 8th March, International Women's Day, and I wish all women all around the world a happy holiday. It should be every day, I know, not only once a year.

In Italy, the custom is to bring mimosa flowers to all women (and I already got mine). When I was growing up, in Bosnia, the custom was to give carnations, especially the red ones.

And this evening I'm going out with a group of girls (this is girls-only night everywhere :)))), I don't know precisely where, they said something about man-strippers °o°, I'll let you know.

Although I'm not really in top shape, have been fighting the cold (hopefully the last one this winter).

So I thought preparing a little healthy treat for myself today would help. There's still one serving left, anyone want to join me?



Apple and Oats Crumble

(2 servings):
1 big apple (or 2 small)
½ lemon (only juice)
1 TBspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you like)
40 g oats (I used quick cooking)
25 g walnuts
30 g butter (+ for ramekins)
25 g powdered sugar
Red currants or strawberries or other red fruit for serving

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease 2 individual ramekins with butter and set aside.
Peel the apple and cut in four parts, remove the seeds and the core, and slice each quarter.
Place the sliced apple in a bowl and mix with a tablespoon of granulated sugar and the juice from ½ a lemon.

Chop the walnuts and mix them with the oats, the cinnamon and the powdered sugar. Add the chopped butter and rub everything together with your fingertips to get coarse crumbs.
Place the apples in the ramekins and distribute the crumble mixture on top.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the apples are soft and the crumble on top golden and crunchy.
Remove from the oven, let the crumble rest for 1 minute, distribute the fresh fruit on top, and serve warm.
You can sprinkle the top with a little powdered sugar or red currants jam warmed up with little lemon juice.


Crumble di mele con fiocchi d’avena

(per 2 persone)
1 mela grande
½ limone (solo succo)
1 cucchiaio di zucchero semolato
¼ cucchiaino di cannella in polvere
40 g fiocchi d’avena
25 g noci
30 g burro (+ per imburrare le pirofile)
25 g zucchero a velo
Ribes o fragole o altra frutta rossa per servire

Riscaldate il forno a 180°C.
Imburrate 2 piccole pirofile individuali.
Sbucciate le mele, tagliatele in quarti e togliete i semi e il torsolo. Tagliate i quarti di mela a fettine.
Mescolate le mele con 1 cucchiaio di zucchero semolato e il succo di ½ limone.
Tritate le noci grossolanamente e mescolatele insieme ai fiocchi d’avena, la cannella e lo zucchero a velo.
Aggiungete il burro a fiocchetti e lavorate con le punte delle dita per amalgamare tutto e ottenere un composto granuloso. Lavorate velocemente per non scaldare troppo il burro.
Sgocciolate bene le mele e sistematele nelle pirofile. Distribuite il composto granuloso sulla superficie di mele.
Infornate e fate cuocere finché le mele diventino morbide e l’impasto croccante e dorato (circa 30 minuti).
Togliete le pirofile dal forno, lasciate riposare un minuto, distribuite la frutta sopra e servite il dolce ancora caldo.
Volendo potete cospargerli con lo zucchero a velo o un po’ di marmellata di ribes riscaldata con succo di limone.



Crumble od jabuka sa zobenim pahuljicama

(za 2 porcije)
1 velika jabuka (ili dvije manje)
½ limuna (sok)
1 žlica kristal šećera
¼ žličice cimeta u prahu
40 g zobenih pahuljica
25 g oraha
30 g maslaca (+ za posudice)
25 g šećera u prahu
Crvene ribizle ili jagode ili drugo crveno bobičasto voće za posluživanje


Uključite pećnicu na 180°C.
Namažite maslacem dvije manje vatrostalne posudice.
Jabuku ogulite, naražite je na četiri dijela i odstranite koštice. Narežite svaku četvrtinu na kriškice.
Pomiješajte narezane kriške jabuke s jednom žlicom šećera i sokom od limuna.
Orahe krupno sameljite ili nasjeckajte. Pomiješajte ih sa zobenim pahuljicama, šećerom u prahu i cimetom.
Dodajte maslac narezan na listiće, pa izradite vršcima prstiju da se sastojci povežu i da dobijete krupnije mrvice.
Ocijedite jabuke i rasporedite ih u posudice. Preko jabuke rasporedite mrvičastu smjesu i stavite peći dok jabuke ne odmeknu i mrvičasta smjesta postane hrskava i zlatno smeđa (oko 30 minuta).
Ostavite da odmori 1 minutu izvan pećnice, rasporedite odozgor voće i poslužite još toplo.
Po želji pospite šećerom u prahu, ili pekmezom od ribizli zagrijanim s limunovim sokom.


07 March, 2010

Basta! It's time for some pasta!



My husband always critisizes me for not posting enough pasta dishes on my blog. I don't know why I don't, honestly, I just don't. I guess it's because I prefer talking about desserts.
So, when he saw that I took pictures of Linguine ai Scampi that I cooked today he was soooooooooo happy. "Finally she'll be writing about pasta :))))"

But I have another pasta dish to tell you about, something I cooked for myself only.
So this is a kind of surprise for him. I a-t-e it alone :))))

And trust me, it was excellent, flavourful, and yet healthy and light.
I've been trying to eat more wholewheat stuff. In fact, I've been baking only whole wheat bread lately, but I somewhow kept away from whole wheat pasta. I tried it couple of times and I didn't really like it. Until I tried this recipe.
I think all the credit goes to this method of cooking it, wrapped in a piece of baking paper. All the flavours remain imprisoned inside and mix together with the pasta, and you don't really need to overseason it with heavy stuff to get that perfect flavour you're looking for.

Enough talking from the director, here are the stars of this dish:



Wrapped whole wheat pasta with veggies

250 g whole wheat pennette
200 g broccoli
100 g cauliflower
1 leek
1 head of red radicchio
1 clove of garlic
1 TBspoon soya sauce
2 TBspoons EVOO
dill (I substituted it with basil leaves)
1 mozzarella (125 g)

Clean and wash the broccoli and the cauliflower , and divide into florets.
Wash and cut the red radicchio into stripes.
Clean and slice the white part of the leek .
Sauté the leek and the radicchio in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil and the clove of garlic for 2 minutes on high heat. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it and add the broccoli and the cauliflower florets.
After 5 minutes add the pasta, as well, and cook until the pasta is very al dente (at least 2 minutes less then the indicated cooking time.
Drain the pasta and the vegetables and put them into a large bowl.
Season with the soya sauce, add the sautéed leek and radicchio and the chopped dill (I put basil).

Mix everything together and divide between 4 sheets of baking paper. Add the chopped mozzarella and sprinkle with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Close the packages and tie them (if you don’t have these fancy silicone loops, use some cooking twine).

Bake in the oven preheated to 200°C for 10 minutes.
Open the packages directly on plates and enjoy all the fragrances and flavours that will burst out.



Oggi vi propongo un primo piatto (la categoria che, secondo mio marito, resta poco rappresentata sul mio blog). È un piatto che resta nella categoria “light”, intorno a 300 cal per porzione, ma è pieno di sapori invernali.
La cottura in forno della pasta in un cartoccio ha lo scopo di concentrarne i profumi e di ottenere un piatto appetitoso nonostante l’uso moderato di condimenti.

Pennette integrali al cartoccio

250 g pennette integrali
200 g broccoli
100 g cavolfiore
1 porro
1 piccolo cespo di radicchio Trevigiano
1 spicchio d ‘aglio
1 cucchiaio di salsa di soia
Un paio di cucciai di olio EVO
1 ciuffo di aneto (io ho messo basilico)
1 mozzarella


Pulite i broccoli e i cavolfiori e divideteli a cimette.
Mondate il radicchio e tagliatelo a striscioline.
Eliminate le radici e la parte verde al porro, lavatelo e tagliate a rondelle.
Fate soffriggere in una padella l’aglio con l’olio, unite il porro e il radicchio e fate saltare tutto a fuoco vivo per 2 minuti.
Portate a ebollizione in una pentola abbondante acqua, salatela e tuffateci le cimette di broccoli e cavolfiore, cuoceteli per 5 minuti e aggiungete anche le pennette.
Scolate tutto insieme quando la pasta è molto al dente e mettete in una terrina.
Condite la pasta con la salsa di soia, aggiungete il porro e il radicchio saltati e l’aneto (nel mio caso basilico) tritato.
Distribuite la pasta preparata su 4 pezzi di carta da forno (che avete bagnato e strizzato bene), aggiungete la mozzarella tagliata a pezzetti e un po’ di Parmigiano grattugiato. Chiudete i pacchettini e mettete in forno già caldo a 200°C per 10 minuti.
Aprite i pacchettini direttamente sul piatto.



Inače nisam (bila) veliki ljubitelj integralne tjestenine, dok nisam iskušala ovaj recept.
Obično integralna tjestenina ima sama po sebi snažan okus, koji se ne sviđa svima, iako pretpostavljam da je na koncu sve stvar navike.
Ono što mi se ovdje najviše svidjelo je način "dovršavanja", odnosno tjestenina se zapeče u pećnici, ali zatvorena u papiru (u škartocu, kako su me naučile Dalmatinke na Coolinariki). Na taj način mirisi i okusi ostanu zarobljeni unutra i prožmu se međusobno i s tjesteninom. I stoga nije potrebno začiniti je i opterititi dodatno.

Integralne pennette s povrćem u "škartocu"

250 g intergalnih pennetta
200 g brokule
100 g karfiola
1 poriluk
1 manja glavica crvenog radiča
1 češanj češnjaka
1 žlica umaka od soje
par žlica maslinovog ulja
kopar (ili neko drugo aromatično bilje po želji)
1 mozzarella
par žlica ribanog parmezana


Stavite kuhati veći lonac s vodom.
Kad voda provrije, posolite je i ubacite brokulu i karfiol, koje ste prethodno oprali i podijelili na cvjetiće.
Nakon 5 minuta dodajte tjesteninu i nastavite kuhati skupa dok tjestenina nije jako al dente. Nemojte je skuhati do kraja, jer će se nastaviti kuhati u pećnici.
U međuvremenu, popržite u tavi na maslinovom ulju češnjak (tko voli ljuto, može dodati malo svježih ljutih papričica), dodajte nasjeckane poriluk i radič i miješajući popržite 2 minute. Izvadite češnjak.
Ocijedite tjesteninu s brokulom i karfiolom. Pomiješajte s izdinstanim porilukom i radičem, dodajte umak od soje, i sve dobro izmiješajte. Ako vam nije dovoljno slano, dodajte još malo soli.
Komad papira za pečenje navlažite, a zatim dobro iscijedite i stavite u posudu za pečenje (vatrostalnu, keramičku, po volji). Stavite tjesteninu na papir.
Dodajte mozzarellu narezanu na komadiće i malo naribanog parmezana. Pospite koprom (ja sam stavila bosiljak).
Zatvorite papir i zavežite.
Zapecite 10 minuta u pećnici zagrijanoj na 200°C i poslužite toplo. Možete zapeći sve zajedno ili napraviti 4 individualna svežnjića, pa jednostavno svaku porciju poslužiti i otvoriti na tanjuru.