29 June, 2010

Strudel? Always !!!


I've talked so many times about my love for strudel, so I don't want to bother you again with this story.
But I do want to present you my new cherry strudel. Last year I made a simple one, with cherries and apples. This year I wanted to make it a bit different. I had this recipe for sour cream strudel that had raisins in it. But I don't like raisins at all so I never got to make it. Looking through my recipes I thought, why not use some fresh fruit instead of raisins, and since cherries are still in season, the choice was more than obvious.
It was absolutely delicious. And definitely better the following day after. But who could resist it when still warm, just out of the oven? And then, cherries come and go quickly. They won't be back before next year.


My husband doesn't really have a sweet tooth, definitely not my sweet tooth, but strudel is one of his favourite desserts.
When I told him I had prepared a strudel, he jokingly asked if my father was anywhere around. Of course, he wasn't - he's 800 km far.
It's kind of our joke, because with my father around, there's usually little left for anyone else.
Next Friday, however we'll be travelling to Bosnia and Croatia, to visit my father first, and then a few days on Adriatic coast, at the seaside.



Sour Cream Cherry Strudel

For phyllo dough:
250 g flour
100 ml warm water
50 ml milk
a little salt
3 TBspoons oil

**instead of making the phyllo, you can simply use the storebought :))))

Filling
50 g butter
2 eggs
50 g caster sugar
30 g powdered sugar
25 g flour
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 lemon
200 g ricotta cheese
150 ml sour cream
150 g cherries

For brushing:
1,5 dl milk
1 egg yolk
15 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Put the flour, the salt and the oil in a bowl, start stirring and adding water and milk mixed together until you have taken in all the flour.
Soft, sticky dough will start forming.
Turn it on a floured kneading board, and knead, adding a bit more flour if necessary until a soft, elastic ball is formed. The longer you knead it, the more elastic will it become. Divide the dough in two, shape into balls, sprinkle them with flour, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. It's very important to leave the dough rest.
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin a floured tablecloth as thin as you can.
Oil the whole surface.
Start pulling the dough in all directions by placing your hands underneath - gently, it's elastic but will break easily. Try to form a rectangle (more or less regular).
With a knife, or simply pulling away with your hands, remove the thick edge all around. And now, your phyllo is ready to be filled.
Cream the butter, caster sugar and powdered sugar using an electric mixer.
Mix in the egg yolks, the vanilla seeds from ½ a vanilla bean, finely grated zest of ½ lemon and the juice squeezed from the same half, the ricotta, the sour cream and the flour.
Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them gently into the cheese and cream mixture.
Add the cherries, pitted and chopped.
Distribute half of the prepared filling along the longer side of the phyllo rectangle. Drizzle with oil or melted butter.


Lifting one side of the tablecloth, roll the dough up to form the strudel. Place the strudel in a baking dish lined with baking paper and sprayed or drizzled with oil. You can divide the strudel in two if your baking dish isn’t long enough.

Repeat with the second part of the dough.
Mix the milk, the egg yolk, the sugar and the vanilla sugar.
Pour part of this mixture over the strudels, and bake them in an oven preheated to 200°C for about 30 minutes. While the strudels are baking, brush them several times with the remaining egg wash.



Strudel con panna acida e ciliegie

*per pasta phyllo:
250 g farina
100 ml acqua tiepida
50 ml latte
Un pizzico di sale
3 cucchiai di olio

*ripieno:
50 g burro
2 uova
50 g zucchero semolato
30 g zucchero a velo
25 g farina
1/2 baccello di vaniglia
1/2 limone non trattato
200 g ricotta
150 ml panna acida
150 g ciliegie (denocciolate)

*per spennellare:
1,5 dl latte
1 tuorlo
15 g zucchero
1 cucchiaino di zucchero vanigliato

Pasta phyllo:
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. Più a lungo lavorate la sfoglia più 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, preparate il ripieno.
Mescolate il burro ammorbidito con lo zucchero semolato e lo zucchero a velo usando uno sbattitore elettrico. Unite i tuorli, i semi di mezzo baccello di vaniglia, la buccia grattugiata e il succo di mezzo limone , la ricotta e la panna acida. Mescolate bene tutto.
In un’altra ciotola sbattete i due albumi a neve ferma e poi mescolateli delicatamente al composto di ricotta e tuorli. Unite le ciliegie denocciolate e tagliate a metà o in quattro.
Coprite il tavolo con una tovaglia pulita e infarinatela. Mettete una pallina di 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 un rettangolo di sfoglia molto sottile (e trasparente).
Con un coltello tagliate i bordi spessi.
Distribuite metà del ripieno lungo il lato più lungo. Arrotolate lo strudel aiutandovi con la tovaglia. Tagliatelo in due parti e trasferitelo su una teglia ricoperta da carta da forno.
Ripetete tutto con l'altra parte della pasta phyllo e il ripieno rimasto.
Mescolate il latte, il tuorlo e lo zucchero e versate una parte sopra i strudel.
Metteteli a cuocere nel forno già preriscaldato a 200°C per circa 30 minuti.
Spennellateli con il resto del latte più volte durante la cottura.



Savijača s vrhnjem i trešnjama

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

nadjev:
50 g maslaca
2 jaja
50 g kristal šećera
30 g šećera u prahu
25 g brašna
1/2 mahune vanilije
1/2 neprskanog limuna
200 g svježeg kravljeg sira
150 ml kiselog vrhnja
150 g trešanja

za premaz:
1,5 dl mlijeka
1 žumanjak
15 g šećera
1 vanilin šećer


Od navedenih sastojaka zamijesite tijesto, podijelite ga na dva dijela i ostavite da odmara pokriveno pola sata.
Za nadjev umutite mikserom omekšali maslac s obje vrste šećera. Dodajte žumanjke, nastrugane sjemenke 1/2 mahune vanilije, naribanu koricu 1/2 limuna i iscijeđeni sok 1/2 limuna, sir, vrhnje i brašno.
Umutite čvrst snijeg od malo posoljenih bjeljanjaka pa ih umiješajte u smjesu od sira.
Dodajte trešnje koje ste odkoštili i narezali na četvero.
Razvaljajte i razvucite tanko tijesto (ne pretanko) da dobijete pravokutnik. Premažite ga s malo otopljenog maslaca ili pošpricajte uljem. Rasporedite nadjev uz rub duže stranice i savijte, pa stisnite krajeve. Stavljajte na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje i posut s malo ulja. Ponovite i s drugom korom.
Za premaz pomiješajte sve sastojke i prelijte jedan dio preko savijača.
Pecite savijače u pećnici zagrijanoj na 200°C 30-40 minuta. Više puta ih premažite preostalim preljevom tijekom pečenja.


26 June, 2010

Serve me some music on a plate



Living in Italy is a continuous food discovery for me. After ten years in this country, I still try new things, new dishes and different ingredients almost daily or weekly.
It's normal for a country with such a food tradition.

This year I'll be visiting Sicily for the first time and I'm quite excited about it. So many places to visit, so many things to see, beautiful sea to enjoy, and then, of course, gret culinary tradition to explore.

Another part of Italy I've never been to, but hope to visit sometimes, is Sardinia. All I know about it is that the sea is extraordinarily beautiful, the food too. One of my favourite types of cheese is Pecorino Sardo. And if you've never tried Mirto (a liquor from Sardinia), you absolutely should.

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for a salad made with Pane Carasau. And I felt it was about time I gave it a try.
Of course the preparation of this bread is long and laborious so I'm not about to teach you how to make it (watch the video I've linked and you'll realise why), but only show you what you can do with it.

Pane carasau, or carta musica, is a traditional flatbread from Sardinia.
It is thin and crisp, usually in the form of a dish half a meter wide. It is made by taking baked flat bread, then separating it into two sheets which are baked again. The recipe is very ancient and was conceived for shepherds, who used to stay far from home for months at a time. Pane carasau can last up to one year if it is kept dry. The bread can be eaten either dry or wet (with water, wine, or sauces). It is called carta musica in Italian, meaning Sheet music, in reference to its large and paper thin shape, but also the music it produces when eaten due to its extraordinary crispness.

video




This salad is prepared with several sheets of Carasau bread, grilled zucchini - that I love, love, love, express roasted tomatoes - so flavourful, try them definitely as a side dish, some feta cheese, and lovely pine nut cream.



Carasau Bread Millefeuille with tomatoes, zucchini and feta cheese

(2 servings):

Carasau bread – 2 whole pieces or 8 quarters
Cherry tomatoes – 12-15
zucchini – 2
feta cheese – 80-100 g
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt

Pine nuts cream:
35 g pine nuts
3 TBspoons EVOO
5 TBspoons water
Salt

Wash the tomatoes trying to leave them attached on their vines. Drizzle them with little oil and season with salt. Roast them 7-8 minutes in the oven preheated to 210°C. They’re ready when the skin starts breaking.
Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 2-3 mm thick slice. Brush them with little oil and grill on a hot grilling pan a few minutes per side. When they’re ready salt them just a bit.
Dry toast the pine nuts in a skillet. Let them cool and then process them with extra virgin olive oil, water and pinch of salt, in a blender or using a stick blender, to get a smooth cream.
Put a piece of carasau bread on two plates (if you have whole bread just break it into pieces).
Put a few zucchini slices, tomatoes (remove the skin and cut them in half or four), crumbled feta cheese and drizzle with pine nut cream. Continue until you’ve finished all ingredients.
Serve immediately.



L'idea per questa gustosissima insalata viene dalla rivista Cucina naturale, ho aggiunto solo un po' di feta che mi piace tantissimo in combinazione con pomodori e zucchine.
La ricetta prevedeva anche i pomodori confit, ma io come al solito ho deciso di prepararla all’ultimo momento, e quindi ho deciso di preparare invece i pomodorini express al forno. Molto belli da vedere e con tanto sapore concentrato dentro.
Era la prima volta che mangiavo il pane carasau, e lo trovo molto interesante.

Il pane carasau è un tipico pane sardo, conosciuto con il nome italiano di carta musica per la sua caratteristica croccantezza, che ne rende rumorosa la masticazione.
Le sue caratteristiche lo rendono molto funzionale in quanto la sua facile conservazione permetteva ai pastori, che restavano a lungo distanti da casa impegnati nella cura delle greggi, di avere sempre a disposizione del pane.
Il pane carasau è consumato in molti modi. Secco, cioè al naturale, accompagna gusti salati e gusti dolci in grande varietà.
Uno dei modi più diffusi di consumo è di immergerlo rapidamente in acqua, passaggio che restituisce alla sottile sfoglia l'umidità e conseguentemente la morbidezza necessaria perché possa essere avvolta intorno a salumi affettati e formaggi.
(descrizione dalla Wikipedia)


Millefoglie di carasau, pomodorini, zucchine e feta

(Per 2 persone):

pane carasau – 2 pezzi interi o 6-8 quarti
pomodorini – 12-15 con i rametti
zucchine – 2
formaggio feta – 80-100 g
olio extravergine d’oliva
sale

la crema di pinoli:
35 g pinoli
3 cucchiai di olio extravergine d’oliva
5 cucchiai d’acqua
sale

Lavate i pomodorini cercando di lasciarli attaccati ai loro rametti.
Metteteli su una teglia foderata con carta da forno.
Condite i pomodorini con un po’ di olio e sale.
Infornateli a 210°C per 7-8 minuti. Sono pronti quando si formano delle spaccature.
Tagliate le zucchine nel senso di lunghezza, a fettine spesse 2-3 mm. Spennellatele con un po’ di olio e cuocete sulla piastra ben calda qualche minuto per lato e, una volta cotte, salatele appena.
Tostate i pinoli in una padella (senza aggiungere l’olio) in modo che si colorino un po’.
Lasciateli intiepidire e poi frullateli con l’olio e acqua, e un pizzico di sale fino a ottenere una crema liscia.
In due piatti piani mettete prima un pezzo di pane carasau, disponetevi sopra qualche fetta di zucchine, pomodorini (togliete la buccia e tagliateli a metà o in quarti), la feta sbriciolata e condite con la crema di pinoli. Coprite con un altro pezzo di pane e proseguite fino a esaurimento degli ingredienti. Decorate con qualche foglia di basilico e servite subito.




Izvrsna salata za ljeto. Jednostavna za pripremu. Jako ukusna.
Ako niste nikad pripremali rajčice na ovaj način, preporučam vam da probate. Odličan prilog, a u isto vrijeme dekorativan, poslužite li cijelu grančicu.

Carasau (ili na talijanskom carta musica) je kruh tipičan za otok Sardiniju.
Karakterizira ga krokantnost pa odatle i njegovo glazbeni naziv, jer je prilično "zvučan" kad ga jedete.
Ovaj kruh, ako je dobro uspremljen, zaštićen od vlage, ima rok trajanja do godinu dana. To ga čini idealnom hranom za pastire koji moraju izbivati od doma dugo vremena.
Najčešće ga se jede prirodnog tj. nasuho i u slanoom i u slatkom društvu.
Ili ga se može jesti navlaženog (nakratko umočenog u vodu da povrati vlažnost) i omotanog oko hladnih mesnih narezaka ili sira.

Millefeuille od carasau kruha s tikvicama, rajčicama i fetom

(za 2 osobe):

kruh Carasau – 2 cijela komada ili 8 četvrtina
cherry rajčice na grančicama – 12-15 kom.
tikvice – 2
sir feta – 80-100 g
extra djevičansko maslinovo ulje

za kremu od pinjola:
35 g pinjola
3 žlice extra djevičanskog maslinovog ulja
5 žlica vode
prstohvat soli

Operite rajčice nastojeći ih ne odvojiti od grančica. Stavite ih na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje, polijte s malo ulja, posolite i stavite peći u pećnicu zagrijanu na 210°C, 7-8 minuta. Gotovi su kad kožica počne pucati.
Tikvice narežite uzdužno na kriške debljine 2-3 mm. Kistom ih malo nauljite pa ispecite u gril tavi, nekoliko minuta sa svake strane. Kad su pečene lagano ih posolite.
Pinjole popržite nasuho u tavi. Ostavite ih da se ohlade a onda ih izmiksajte štapnim mikserom s uljem, vodom i malo soli da dobijete glatku kremu.
Stavite po komad kruha carasau na plitki tanjur, preko njega stavite par kriški tikvica, narezane rajčice (pažljivo ih odvojite od grančice, skinite kožicu i narežite ih na pola ili na četvero), namrvljenu fetu i polijte s malo kreme od pinjola. Stavito preko drugi komad kruha i nastavite tako dok ne potrošite sve sastojke.
Poslužite odmah.

25 June, 2010

I smell summer, and you?



My daughter's teacher reminded me yesterday, that on Wednesday, the last day of school for kindergartens, we had to pick up kids by 12:30. The words that rang in my head were "the last day of school". It means June is over as well. The summer's here. When did it happen?
My thoughts instantly flew back in time (should I say how many years back? never mind), when I had the same age as my daughter now. She'll be starting elementary school in September and she's excited about it.
I always spent summers at my grandparent's (on my mom's side). It was fun. Since my mom's family is numerous (9 children, so I have 4 uncles and 4 aunts), and my youngest uncles are only 4 and 6 years older than me, so for me it was lots of fun in many ways. Two of my aunts were young girls at the time, not married, so they'd paint my nails, make me clothes, take me for a walk or when they went to visit friends - I was curious to peep into the world of grown ups.
They also taught me letters and numbers.
But most fun was making some mess in the kitchen as soon as my grandma went somewhere. She was the queen in the kitchen, but the one who didn't like the mess, everything had to be perfectly in order and perfectly clean. When she was out, the mice danced. But every trace of cooking adventure was carefully removed before she came back.
All this brings me to the main point. My grandmother always baked bread by herself. And her bread weren't tiny loaves. Nooooooooo! Her bread was size of a wheel. Huge. It would last whole week. Of course, tasted on the day it was baked it was gorgeous. By the end of the week, a bit less but still the best bread I've ever had.
And another thing she always made was apricot jam. There was, and there still is a big apricot tree in their garden. I'm not even able to tell the quantity of this jam she made every year. And, you're guessing, it was THE BEST apricot jam ever.
That was the afternoon snack I often had during the summer at my grandparents'. A HUUUUUUGE slice of homemade bread with a thick layer of homemade apricot jam. And when you bit into such a huge slice your face always got covered with jam.
Now you probably think I made some apricot jam, but NO :))), although the colour is very similar.
The point is that I still like the taste of homemade jam, and whenever I can, I make a jar or two. I also like to try new tastes and new combinations. I like to keep it simple: fruit and sugar, nothing else maybe some natural vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc, but no jellying stuff or anything.
Years back, when I starting making my own jams, I'd put some of that jellying stuff because I thought the jam looked prettier and it cooked quicker and I wanted to be sure it would thicken. I realised after some time I didn't need it at all. Even reducing the quantity of sugar (as I always do compared to the original recipe) I always get a good tasting, thick jam.
The proof is that when I use my jams as a filling for pastries or crostatas, it never leaks out, and it doesn't become a tiny jelly layer once it's baked.

Since I had some homemade whole wheat rhye bread, I couldn't resist but spread my new jam on it and taste, as soon as it was cold enough. So, that's my melon jam you see in the pictures, and soon I'll show you some more that I've made.



Melon jam

1 kg melon (cleaned and chopped)
400 g sugar

Clean the melon removing the skin and the seeds.
Chop it and place the flesh in a bowl, add the sugar, stir well, cover and let it rest over night.
The following morning pureé the melon flesh in a blender or food processor (or use a vegetable mill). Bring to boil, and then cook on medium heat, stiring often with a wooden spoon ( until you reach desired thickness. You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract at the end if you wish.
In the meantime put the clean jar(s) in the oven and turn it on to 70°C.
Pour the jam into warm glass jars, close them carefully.
That's all I do. When they're completely cold, I store them in the pantry. Once I open the jar, I keep it in the fridge.




La ricetta tricolore di ieri non è servita a nulla.
E per spalmare un po' l'amarezza e delusione passo subito a una cosa dolce e di stagione. Si cominciano a vedere le marmellate e confetture in giro, così volevo proporvi una che ho fatto la settimana scorsa. Di melone. L'avete mai assaggiata? V’incuriosisce il suo colore? profumo? sapore? Provetela allora. Io ho fatto solo un vasetto, e, almeno che passate di qui per fare la merenda con una fetta di pane (solo una ^_^), purtroppo non posso mandarvi degli assaggini.


Confettura di melone

1 kg di melone (polpa pulita)
400 g di zucchero


Pulite il melone, tagliatelo a pezzetti e mescolate con lo zucchero in una ciotola. Lasciate riposare coperto tutta la notte. Il giorno dopo passatelo nel mixer o con il passaverdure Trasferite la purea in una pentola e portatela a ebollizione, poi abbassate un po' la temperatura e lasciate cuocere fino a raggiungere la densità desiderata, mescolando spesso (usate un mestolo di legno, meglio se nuovo).
Mettete i vasetti puliti a riscaldare nel forno a 70°C.
Quando la confettura è pronta, versatela nei vasetti caldi, chiudeteli bene e lasciateli raffreddare completamente.



Uzalud sam ja juče svojim trobojnim receptom navijala za Italiju (kad se već Hrvatska i Bosna nisu ni plasirale ^_^), nestadoše sa scene baš kao i moje tortice od ricotte.
Ja se opet mogu samo smijati svemu tome, ali netko je drugi u kući ostao jako, jako razočaran.
Danas ćemo zato malo zasladiti ovim mirisnim pekmezom.
Ako ne volite dinje, onda ćete se sigurno namrštiti i uvrnuti nosom, ali ja je obožavam pa nisam mogla odoljeti i ne isprobati i ovaj pekmez. Nastojala sam smanjiti količinu šećera u odnosu na originalni recept (iz jednog pradavnog broja Mile) sa 750 na 400 g, i nije bilo nikakvih problema, čak naprotiv, moglo bi po meni i manje.
A kasnije sam napravila i još jednu varijantu, ali o tom drugom prilikom.

Pekmez od dinje

1 kg očišćenog mesa dinje
400 g šećera

Očistite dinju od sjemenki i kore i narežite na komadiće.
Dodajte šećer dinji, promiješajte, poklopite i ostavite preko noći.
Sutradan dinju ispasirajte i stavite kuhati dok se pekmez ne zgusne (stavite malo pekmeza na hladan tanjurić, ako se ne razlije pekmez je gotov).
Ulijte ga u zagrijane staklenke i zatvorite, ostavite da se potpuno ohlade.

24 June, 2010

What can I say? Forza Azzuri!!!



My husband says I get angry over anything and too easily. I think it's just my temper, sometimes I overreact over things that are not so important, it's true, but it's not always easy for two completely opposite characters to get together.
I'm usually very active and feel I have million things to do and never half the time I need. He's always sleepy, tired, empty. It takes a big event to shake him and get on move. Painting the horrible living room walls is certainly not a big event for him. Cleaning up the garage even less. There's usually a big gap between "let's do" and doing it for real. But...
There is one BIG event in this period: the Soccer World Cup taking place in South Africa.

So important that he's taking a whole afternoon off to be at home 4 p.m. and see his beloved national team playing an important match at Soccer World Cup. Good for him!!!

If only he hadn't missed so many important things over past years because he could never get home by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m.

But this soccer frenzy or crazyness is a bit contagious, my daughter asked me yesterday to prepare green-white-red pasta (meaning to put on the same plate some green-pesto pasta, simple cheese pasta and tomato pasta). She got her little flag ready.

I'm not proposing green-white-and red pasta today, but a dish that has all three colours of the Italian flag, yes!
These days I seem to have two ingredients always at hand, one is cherries (you'll see more of them in the following posts) and zucchini.
Zucchini are my far too favourite vegatable. So versatile and healthy. You can eat them raw (I made a rice salad yesterday with the first zucchini from my garden, and I added it just sliced - wonderful), grill, boil, steam, stirfry. You can use them for an appetizer, side or main dish.
And these simple, quick ricotta cakes are a perfect example.
You can serve them any time of the day (ok, I don't usually have eggs and vegetables for breakfast, but you're free to do so if you're used to).
You can bake it in one bigger dish, cut into squares and serve as an appetizer (warm or cold).
Or simply prepare a nice, rich salad and serve it as a quick weekday lunch or dinner.
I simply love dishes like this.

Super easy, super moist, super tasty!



Zucchini Ricotta Mini Cakes

500 g ricotta cheese (or similar fresh cow milk cheese)
250 g shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper
2 TBspoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
6 cherry tomatoes
2 TBspoons fresh marjoram leaves
little oil for ramekins

Turn the oven on to 200°C. Lightly oil 6 rectangular or square ramekins (or you can use one bigger dish).
Whisk together the ricotta cheese, the whole eggs and the egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Stir in the shredded zucchini and marjoram leaves (to your taste – I didn’t really measure it, maybe a TBspoon or more). Season with salt and pepper.
Fill the ramekins up to ¾.
Half the cherry tomatoes and place two halves in each ramekin (or only one if your ramekins are too small) pushing them lightly down into ricotta mixture.
Sprinkle the surface with grated Parmigiano and a few marjoram leaves.

Bake them for about 25 minutes, until nicely golden. Let them cool and serve, either warm or cold (a little better while still warm, but will keep well for a few hours).



Ricottine al forno con zucchine e pomodorini

500 g ricotta di mucca
250 g zucchine grattugiate
2 uova
1 tuorlo
sale e pepe
2 cucchiai di parmigiano grattugiato
6 pomodorini ciliegini
2 cucchiai di maggiorana fresca
Un po’ di olio per le cocottine


Riscaldate il forno a 200°C. Oliate leggermente 6 stampini rettangolari, possibilmente cocottine di ceramica oppure uno stampo più grande (rettangolare o quadrato)
Mettete la ricotta, le uova e il tuorlo in una terrina e mescolate bene.
Unite le zucchine grattugiate e le foglie tritate di maggiorana. Salate e pepate.
Distribuite il composto nei stampini riempendoli per 2/3.
Tagliate i pomodorini a metà e guarnite le ricottine. Cospargete la superficie con il parmigiano grattugiato e qualche foglia di maggiorana intera.
Cuocetele per circa 25 minuti o finché sode e dorate.
Servitele tiepide o fredde.



Tortice od ricotte i tikvica

500 g sira ricotte (ili drugog svježeg kravljeg sira)
250 g naribanih tikvica
2 jaja
1 žumanjak
sol i papar
2 žlice naribanog parmezana
6 cherry rajčica
nekoliko grančica mažurana
malo ulja za kalupiće


Zagrijte pećnicu na 200°C. Pripremite 6 četvrtastih keramičkih posudica (možete peći i u jednoj većoj). Malo ih nauljite.
U zdjeli pomiješajte sir, cijela jaja i žumanjak. Dodajte naribane tikvice, usitnjene listiće mažurana (sačuvajte malo cijelih listića) posolite i popaprite po ukusu.
Podijelite smjesu u posudice tako da dopire do 3/4 visine. Prerežite rajčice na pola i utisnite jednu ili dvije polovice u smjesu od sira (ovisno o veličini posudica). Pospite s malo naribanog parmezana i par listića mažurana.
Pecite tortice oko 25 minuta, dok lijepo ne porumene.
Poslužite ih mlake ili hladne.


20 June, 2010

Drop by drop



The weather keeps dancing these days, sun and rain, hot and cold, hop and swirl hand in hand.
Sometimes it’s not so bad. If it wasn’t raining, I wouldn’t be baking (heat from the oven is welcome these days).

If it wasn’t cold outside, I’d be sorry to stay in and even more sorry for my daughter who’s got fever and earache (yeah, last weekend the little one had fever, this weekend the older one, too. Poor thing had to miss her best friend’s birthday party as well).

If it wasn’t raining, I’d have to water my zucchini, eggplants and tomatoes (they’re growing wonderfully, a little jungle on the smallest veggie patch you can imagine). Instead I'm playing in the kitchen.

And here you go, while rain drops are falling heavily outside, the chocolate drops thought they might do the same and jumped into my cake.
Lovely indeed. Simple and so great with a cup of coffee or tea.
Watch out for little thieves…



Chocolate drop loaf cake

200 g butter (at room temperature)
130 g powdered sugar
6 g acacia honey
100 g egg yolks
120 g cake (or AP) flour
60 g potato starch
2 g baking powder (1/4 teaspoon)
7 g rum
80 g egg whites
30 g caster sugar
100 g dark chocolate drops

Turn the oven on to 190°C (375F). Grease and flour a loaf pan or line it with a piece of baking paper (I used a 6-mini-loaves pan).
Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and the honey and beat again until the sugar is well absorbed.
Add the yolks beating only shortly to get them combined with the butter. Cover the bowl with a clean cotton cloth and set aside.
In another bowl mix/sift together the flour, the potato starch and the baking powder.
Beat the egg whites with the caster sugar until stiff peaks form.
Using a whisk and with the gentle scraping up-and-down movements, combine the butter mixture with the flour and the beaten egg whites adding the rum as well.
When the batter is smooth, stir in the chocolate drops as well.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan filling it up to 2/3.
Make a slash through the middle of the cake using a buttered/oiled knife – this will allow the cake to "open up" under the steam preassure.

Bake for about 40 minutes – check with a wooden stick if the cake is done – insert it in the middle and take out quickly, it must be completely dry.

Take the cake out of the pan and let it cool on one side.
This cake will keep up to 1 month at room temperature, carefully wrapped.



(ricetta tratta dal “Manuale pratico di pasticceria” di G. Pina)

Plumcake con gocce di cioccolato

200 g burro ammorbidito
130 g zucchero a velo
6 g miele d’acacia
100 g tuorli
120 g farina “00”
60 g fecola di patate
2 g lievito in polvere (1/4 di cucchiaino)
7 g rum
80 g albumi
30 g zucchero semolato
100 g gocce di cioccolato fondente

Accendete il forno a 190°C (160° se il forno è ventilato). Imburrate e infarinate uno stampo da plumcake oppure rivesti telo con la carta da forno. (io ho usato lo stampo da 6 mini plumcakes).
Lavorate il burro ammorbidito (tagliatelo a pezzettini e lasciatelo a temperatura ambiente per mezz’ora) con uno sbattitore elettrico ad alta velocità finché diventi chiaro e spumoso.
Aggiungete lo zucchero a velo e il miele e continuate a sbattere ad alata velocità finché lo zucchero sarà completamente assorbito.
Unite lentamente i tuorli freddi e smettete di sbattere non appena saranno incorporati (100 g sono circa 5 tuorli di grandezza media).
Coprite l’impasto con un panno e lasciatelo a temperatura ambiente.
Miscelate e setacciate insieme la farina, la fecola di patate e il lievito.
Montate a neve ben ferma gli albumi (80 g sono circa 2,5 albumi medi) con lo zucchero semolato.
Unite delicatamente e gradualmente gli albumi e la miscela di farina al composto di burro e tuorli insieme al rum. Usate una frusta da pasticceria e mescolate dall’alto verso il basso alternando gli albumi e la farina.
Unite alla fine le gocce di cioccolato.
Versate l’impasto nello stampo, fate una piccola incisione al centro del dolce con un coltello imburrato penetrando solo per pochi millimetri. Questo permette al dolce di aprirsi sotto la spinta del vapore durante la cottura.
Infornate il dolce per circa 40 minuti. Controllate la cottura inserendo un bastoncino di legno al centro e togliendolo subito – deve uscire completamente asciutto.
Sformate il dolce e lasciatelo raffreddare su un fianco.
Si conserva fino a 30 giorno a temperatura ambiente ben protetto da un sacchetto di plastica.



Kolač s čokoladnim kapljicama

200 g maslaca (sobne temperature)
130 g šećera u prahu
6 g meda
100 g žumanjaka
120 g mekog brašna
60 g škrobnog brašna
2 g praška za pecivo
7 g ruma
80 g bjeljanjaka
30 g sitnog kristal šećera
100 g čokoladnih kapljica


Zagrijte pećnicu na 190°C. Pripremiti duguljasti, pravokutni kalup za kolač – namastite ga i pobrašnite ili obložite papirom za pečenje.
Maslac (koji ste narezali na kockice i ostavili barem pola sata na sobnoj temperaturi da odmekne) umutite mikserom dok ne postane pjenast i svijetle boje.
Dodajte maslacu šećer u prahu i med i mutite opet na najvećoj brzini dok se ne sjedine.
Dodajte polako hladne žumanjke (100 g su otprilike 5 žumanjaka srednje veličine) i mutite kratko samo da se povežu sa smjesom od maslaca. Pokrijte čistom kuhinjskom krpom i ostavite sa strane.
Pomiješajte i prosijte skupa brašno, škrobno brašno i prašak za pecivo.
Umutite bjeljanjke (80 g su otprilike 2,5 srednje velika bjeljanjka) s kristal šećerom da dobijete čvrst snijeg.
Uz pomoć ručne žice umiješajte rum, bjeljanjke i brašno u smjesu od maslaca, pokretima od gore prema dolje (vukući po dnu i opet gore) dok ne dobijete glatku smjesu. Na kraju dodajte čokoladne kapljice.
Uspite smjesu u pripremljeni kalup (do 2/3 visine), nauljenim nožem napravite rez po sredini dubok par milimetara i pecite u već zagrijanoj pećnici oko 40 minuta. Provjerite drvenim štapićem je li kolač pečen – štapić mora izaći suh.
Izvadite kolač i ostavite da se potpuno ohladi okrenut na stranu.

17 June, 2010

Mon Chéri - cherries are back!

Muffini s trešnjama
Once more I wanted to try out a gluten free recipe (still inspired by our last month's challenge on Bakespace), not because I needed it but simply because it was kind of a challenge and to see how it tasted.
This recipe, that I found in "Cucina Naturale" magazine was very inviting and interesting.
The little dark cherries popping out of a muffin were funny and had "grab me" written all over them. How could I have resisted. Especially because I had all the ingredients. I even sacrificed the first, so expensive cherries and drowned them in this tasty muffin batter.
I loved the taste, the texture, everything was perfect. They had very fine crumb and were really moist and tasty.
I'm sure they'd be lovely with other fruit as well, once the cherries are out of season, and that always happens too quickly, if you ask me. Just like strawberries.
If you happen to have a friend or someone in your family suffering from celiac desease, don't hesitate to prepare these for them.
And if you don't have to or don't want to bother with gluten free ingredients, and still want to try these, sub the flours with the normal wheat flour (though I'd still leave the buckwheat flour).



Gluten Free Cherry Muffins
(for about 18 muffins):
3 eggs
100 g raw cane sugar
150 g rice flour
50 g buckwheat flour
3 TBspoons corn starch
3 TBspoons finely ground almonds
1 lemon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
100 ml soy milk
100 ml oil (sunflower or
other)
250 g fresh cherries


Wash the cherries and set about 18 whole ones apart (one for each muffin).
Remove stones from the remaining cherries and cut them in fours.

I also removed the stones from the whole cherries cutting the bottom crosslike and removing the stone carefully, or you can leave them whole as they are – just remember it when eating the muffins later, you don’t want any broken teeth on your plate do you?
Wrap their stalks with a small piece of aluminium foil so they don’t burn later in the oven.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the rice and the buckwheat flour, the finely ground almonds, the starch, the baking powder and the poppy seeds.
Finely grate the zest of the whole lemon and squeeze the juice.
Put the eggs and the sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Add the milk and then oil in a thin streak whisking continuously, then stir in the lemon zest and the lemon juice.
Add the dry ingredients and combine well with the egg mixture. Stir in the chopped cherries.

Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper liners up to ¾.
Place a whole cherry in the middle of each muffin.

If you wish, sprinkle a little sugar, or cinnamon sugar on top, and bake for about 20 minutes at 180°C.
Let them cool on a cooling rack and serve.



(dalla Cucina naturale, numero di maggio 2010)
Salvare le ciliegie e fare un dolce non è una cosa facile in casa mia. Ma ci sono riuscita. In ocasione di un challenge sul forum Bakespace, ho deciso di provare questa ricetta gluten-free.
Come si fa resistere alle ciliegine o a un muffin invitante? Messi insieme per me sono una tentazione continua. Non chiedetemi chi ha mangiato tutto.


Muffin con ciliegie(senza glutine)

(per circa 18 muffin):
3 uova
100 g zucchero grezzo di canna
150 g farina di riso
50 g farina di grano saraceno
3 cucchiai di amido di mais
3 cucchiai di farina di mandorle
1 limone non trattato
2 cucchiaini di lievito in polvere
1 cucchiaino di semi di papavero
100 ml latte di soia
100 ml olio
250 g ciliegie


Mettete da parte 18 ciliegie intere (una per ogni muffin) con il picciolo. Denocciolate e tagliatele in quattro le altre.
Io ho denocciolato anche quelle intere tagliando una croce sotto ed estraendo il nocciolo senza togliere il picciolo. Potete anche lasciarle intere, ma attenzione quando mangiate i muffin. Avvolgete i piccioli con un pezzettino di alluminio per non bruciarli durante la cottura.
Grattugiate la scorza del limone e spremete il succo.
In una ciotola mescolate la farina di riso, quella di grano saraceno, l’amido, la farina di mandorle, il lievito e i semi di papavero.
In un’altra ciotola mettete le uova e lo zucchero. Mescolateli con una frusta a mano (non uso mai lo sbattitore elettrico per fare i muffin). Aggiungete il latte versandolo a filo e poi anche l’olio. Unite poi la scorza e il succo di limone.
Aggiungete adesso il composto di ingredienti secchi e amalgamate tutto. Unite alla fine anche le ciliegie tagliate.
Versate il composto nello stampo per i muffin foderato con i pirottini di carta fino a ¾ .
Inserite una ciliegia intera al centro di ogni muffin. Cospargeteli con un po’ di zucchero e cuoceteli per circa 20 minuti nel forno riscaldato a 180°C.


Cherry muffins (gluten-free)
(recept iz časopisa "Cucina naturale")
Kad stigne proljeće i počnu se smjenjivati sezone različitog voća, za mene je to neizmjerna radost. Volim vidjeti to šarenilo, neizmjerno volim sve okuse, volim spremati deserte s njime. Naročito obožavam crveno i općenito bobičasto voće kao jagode i trešnje, a tek kad stignu maline, ribizle, borovnice, kupine.
Najteže je uspjeti spasiti ih i upotrijebiti za neki kolač.
Posljednjih godina rijetko pravim one kolače s puno krema, šlaga i sl. i svježim voćem. Vjerojatno iz razloga što osim mene nitko ih drugi u kući ne jede, a onda je uvijek problem, pojesti sve sama ili baciti pola u smeće.
I tako sam se preokrenula više na pite od prhkog tijesta, štrudle, muffine i slična peciva, koja se uvijek radije pojedu i ne moraju stajati u hladnjaku.
Ovaj je recept bez glutena, ja sam ga spremila iz radoznalosti, i jer sam imala sve ove vrste brašna, ali naravno da možete sve pripremiti i s običnim, pšeničnim brašnom i kravljim mlijekom umjesto sojinog.


Muffini s trešnjama(bez glutena)

(za oko 18 muffina)
3 jaja
100 g smeđeg (nerafiniranog) šećera
150 g rižinog brašna
50 g heljdinog brašna
3 žlice škrobnog brašna (kukuruznog)
3 žlice sitno mljevenih badema
1 neprskani limun
2 žličice praška za pecivo
1 žličica maka
100 ml sojinog mlijeka
100 ml ulja
250 g trešanja


Trešnje operite, odvojite otprilike 18 cijelih sa stapkama, a ostalim izvadite koštice i narežite ih na četvero. Ja sam cijele trešnje zarezala u križ odozdo i izvadila koštice bez da se trešnja raspadne (plašila sam se da poslije netko polomi zube jedući kolače). Stapke omotajte komadićem aluminijske folije da ne izgore poslije u pečenju.
Pomiješajte obje vrsta brašna, škrob, mak, prašak za pecivo i bademe (ja sam ih dvaput samljela).
Naribajte sitno koricu limuna i iscijedite sok.
Stavite jaja i šećer u zdjelu i umutite lagano ručnom žicom.
Dodajte mlijeko i ulje u tankom mlazu i dalje miješajući, pa zatim koricu i sok od limuna.
Umiješajte zatim suhe sastojke i na kraju izrezane trešnje.
Rasporedite tijesto u kalupe za muffine do 3/4 visine i na sredinu svakog muffina utisnite malo cijelu trešnju. Pospite malo šećera po površini i stavite ih peći.
Pecite ih oko 20 minuta na 180°C.

14 June, 2010

A delicious mix



The weekend behind us was signed by high temperature, outside and at home. My little one had fever for three days, but she started feeling better yesterday. And a little refreshment arrived yesterday evening, as it rained a bit.

This wonderful and delicious recipe comes from a book The Montignac Diet by M. Montignac that I bought recently in an attempt to learn eating healthier and help my husband lose some weight and bring certain blood values back to normal.
I enjoyed this dish immensely as it combines all of my favorite vegetables.
I suggest serving it with any meat or fish of your choice, especially grilled. My intention was to serve it with fish, but the fish I cooked tasted awful, didn’t seem so fresh, and unfortunately it ended up in the garbage bin, while we thanked the girls for not finishing all the chicken cutlets, and rescued the last piece of this beautiful salami from possibly getting wasted.



Roasted Vegetables alla Mediterranea

1 big eggplant
1 big red or yellow bell pepper
1 big fennel
2 zucchini
2 medium sized onions
2 cloves of garlic
Herbes de Provence
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 250°C.
Cut the eggplant into approx. 1 cm thick slices and then each slice into 6 triangles. Place the pieces on a baking tin lined with baking paper. Salt, just a little bit, and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Roast for about 16 minutes, until nicely golden. Place them into a serving bowl.

Lower the heat to 220°C.
Cut the bell pepper(s) into large pieces removing the stem and the seeds. Place them on a baking tin together with crushed garlic, salt, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with the herbes de Provence mixture.
Roast them for 10-12 minutes and than add to the eggplant.

Slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise. Cut the onions and the fennel into wedges. Mix them and place on a baking tin, season with salt, EVOO and the herbes de Provence.
Roast them for 8-10 minutes – the fennel should become transparent and the onion golden.

Mix all the vegetables and serve at room temperature.




Ho trovato questa ricetta nel libro di Michel Montignac, La Dieta Montignac. Ho ridotto un po’ le quantità perché quelle indicate nella ricetta basterebbero per sfamare un esercito (le quantità originali erano: 3 grosse melanzane, 4 peperoni rossi, 4 peperoni gialli, 2 finocchi) e non 4 persone.
La preparazione può sembrare un po’ lunga, ma in realtà è molto semplice e si può preparare in anticipo.
Credo che questo piatto sarebbe perfetto per accompagnare una grigliata di carne o pesce.


Verdure arrosto alla mediterranea

1 grossa melanzana
1 grosso peperone rosso o giallo (o tutte e due)
1 grosso finocchio
2 zucchine
2 cipolle medie
2 spicchi d’aglio
erbe di Provenza
sale marino
olio extra vergine d’oliva

Preriscaldate il forno a 250°C.
Tagliate le melanzane a fette e poi ogni fetta in 6 triangoli. Disponete i triangoli di melanzana su una teglia, conditeli con un po’ di olio e sale marino. Infornateli per circa 16 minuti finche dorati.
Trasferiteli in un’insalatiera.
Abbassate la temperatura del forno a 220°.
Disponete i peperoni tagliati a pezzi grossi e privati di semi sulla teglia, aggiungete l’aglio schiacciato, un po’ di olio e sale marino e cospargete con le erbe di Provenza. Infornate per 10 minuti.
Aggiungete i peperoni alle melanzane.
Mettete ora a cuocere le zucchine, tagliate a fette sottili nel senso della lunghezza, le cipolle e il finocchio tagliati a spicchi. Condite con un filo d’olio, un po’ di sale e le erbe di Provenza. Cuoceteli sempre a 220°C per 8-10 minuti. Il finocchio deve diventare trasparente e la cipolla dorata.
Riunite tutte le verdure nell’insalatiera, mescolatele e servite a temperatura ambiente.



Ovaj recept je iz knjige M. Montignaca, The Montignac Diet, koju sam nedavno kupila radi muža, budući da njegova niskokalorična dijeta, s malo masnoća + dosta vježbanja, nakon početnih optimističnih rezultata, nije dala najpovoljniji ishod po pitanju nekih drugih vrijednosti kao na primjer visoki kolesterol.
Samo što je njega teško uvjeriti u neke stvari.
U svakom slučaju u knjizi se osim detaljnog opisa načina prehrane prema njegovoj metodi, nalazi i dosta zanimljivih recepata koje sam htjela isprobati. Ovo je prvi od njih i odmah mi je upao u oči jer u sastojcima je bilo sve meni omiljeno povrće, naravno i tikvice, koje su
tema igre Ajme koliko nas je ovaj mjesec. Uz to još začinjeno provansalskim začinskim biljem koje obožavam.
Jedino što sam izmijenila u odnosu na originalni recept bile su količine. Da sam spremila od količina navedenih u receptu, cijeli tjedan bismo jeli samo ovo. Ne da je to loše, ali ja ipak volim promijeniti.
Namjera mi je bila poslužiti ovo povrće uz ribu, ali se ispostavilo da je riba imala odvratan okus, vjerojatno nije bila jako svježa, završila u smeću, a mi smo jedanput djeci zahvalili što nisu pojele sve pohane šnicle. U spas je pritekao i komadić odlične kobasice (i nju smo spasili od propasti).
Sve je dobro što se dobro svrši. Ili, kako za koga.
Ugodan vam novi tjedan.

Pečeno povrće na mediteranski način

1 veliki patlidžan
1 velika crvena paprika
1 veliki komorač
2 tikvice
2 srednje glavice crvenog ili ljubičastog luka
2 češnja češnjaka
mješavina provansalskog začinskog bilja
morska sol
maslinovo

Zagrijte pećnicu na 250°C. Patlidžan narežite na ploške (oko 1 cm) pa onda svaki kolut na šest trokutića. Rasporedite ih na široki pleh obložen papirom za pečenje. Lagano posolite i polijte s malo maslinovog ulja. Pecite oko 16 minuta odnosno dok lijepo ne porumene. Izvadite ih i stavite u zdjelu.
Smanjite temperaturu na 220°C. Na isti pleh stavite papriku (ja sam imala samo crvenu, možete staviti i crvenu i žutu), očišćenu od sjemenki i narezanu na veće komade. Dodajte češnjak, pospite s malo ulja, posolite i pospite mješavinom začinskog bilja. Pecite ih 10-12 minuta, a zatim izvadite i dodajte patlidžanima.
U međuvremenu narežite tikvice na listiće po dužini, luk i komorač na kriške. Posolite, polijte s malo ulja i pospite s mješavinom začinskog bilja. Nakon što ste izvadili paprike, stavite peći i ovo povrće oko 8 minuta (ja sam ih ostavila malo duže – komorač treba postati proziran, a luk porumeniti).
Pomiješajte sve povrće i ostavite da se ohladi prije posluživanja.


And for the end, a picture of the cutest little baker's apprentice ^_^