30 January, 2015

Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie

Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie

I'm particularly glad to finally share this recipe with my readers. I prepared it for the first time about a year ago (last spring), with fresh peas and fava beans, slightly adapting the recipe published in Sale&Pepe magazine. We so loved the pie, that I never had the chance to photograph a single piece of a baked pie. I only had a couple photos from the prep phase.
I made it a few more times during the winter with frozen legumes and decided it was about time I shared it with everyone.


Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie

It's such a delicious, open face pie. The crust is a light, strudel like, dough. Once the pie is baked it's really crispy and truly delicious.
The crust hides a rich and very nutrious, healthy filling. Whole grain spelt (precious for its fibres, vitamins and minerals content), combined with vegetables (Swiss chard, scallions) and legumes (peas and fava beans), and enriched with ricotta and parmigiano cheese. It's a bomb of flavours and nutritious elements. A dish that serves as a whole meal, to be completed only with a fresh seasonal salad.

Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie



Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie

Dough:
* 150 g AP flour
* 30 g rye or wholewheat flour
* 3 TBspoons extra virgin olive oil
* a little salt
* 90 ml water

Filling:
* 3 spoonfuls of pearled spelt
* a bunch of Swiss chard
* 2 scallions (green onions) or 1/2 leek
* 100 g cleaned fava/broad beans (fresh or frozen)
* 100 g cleaned peas (fresh or frozen)
* 100 g ricotta
* 30 g grated parmigiano cheese
* ekstra virgin olive oil
* salt and pepper

Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie   Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie   Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie   Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie

For the dough (this is basicly the same dough that is used for strudel), mix the two flours with a generous pinch of salt, in a mixing bowl or on a kneading board. Form a well in the middle, add the oil and then gradually the water, stirring at first with a fork until the flour's been absorbed and then kneading for about 10 mintues to get a soft and elastic dough. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes on the kneading board, covered with a mixing bowl turned upside down.

In the meanwhile prepare the filling.
Cook the pearled spelt in a saucepan with water, for about 30 minutes. Drain it and set aside.
Carefully wash the Swiss chard and cut the leaves into stripes. Stir fry the Swiss chard in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove of garlic until softened a little.
In another skillet cook the chopped scallions with 2 TBspoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add the fava (broad) beans, previously boiled for a minute in hot water and the white skin removed, and the peas. After one minute add 1/2 cup hot water and cook for 10 minutes, making sure all the liquid has evaporated.
Mix together all the ingredients for the pie filling: the cooked vegetables (peas, fava beans, Swiss chard), the spelt, the ricotta and the grated parmigiano cheese.
Lightly oil the bottom of a 20-22 cm round, springform pan.
Roll the dough out into a thin, 28-30 cm in diameter, circle. Line the pan with the dough covering the bottom and the sides.
Fill the shell with the vegetables, spelt and ricotta filling. Flip the dough over the filling.
Mix 1 TBspoon of extravirgin olive oil with 1 TBspoon of water and brush the dough.
Bake the pie in an oven preheated to 200°C (390F) for 1 hour (if necessary protect the surface with a piece of baking paper after the first 1/2 hour.






Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie


Torta salata con farro, ricotta e verdure

Pasta:
* 150 g di farina "0"
* 30 g di farina di segale o di frumento integrale
* 3 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva
* poco sale
* 90 ml di acqua

Ripieno
* 3 cucchiai di farro perlato
* un mazzo di bietole
* 2 cipolotti o 1/2 porro
* 100 g di fave sgranate (fresche o surgelate)
* 100 g di piselli (freschi o surgelati)
* 100 g di ricotta
* 30 g di parmigiano grattugiato
* olio extravergine d'oliva
* sale e pepe

Per l'impasto (che sostanzialmente è la pasta per lo strudel) mescolate le due farine con un pizzico abbondante di sale in una ciotola o sulla spianatoia. Fate la classica fontana con un buco al centro. Versateci dentro l'olio e poi gradualmente l'acqua, mescolando fino ad idratare la farina, e poi impastate per una decina di minuti per ottenere un impasto morbido ed elastico.
Formate una pallina, mettetela sulla spianatoia infarinata e coprite con una ciotola rovesciata. Lasciate riposare l'impasto mentre preparate il ripieno, almeno 1/2 ora.

Per il ripieno, mettete il farro in un pentolino con l'acqua e lasciatelo cuocere per circa 1/2 ora. Scolatelo e lasciatelo raffreddare leggermente.
Lavate bene le bietole e tagliatele a strisce. Saltatele in una padella con poco olio extravergine d'oliva e 1 spicchio d'aglio, finché non sarà leggermente appassita.
In un'altra padella soffriggete i cipollotti sminuzzati con 2 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva. Aggiungete le fave (precedentemente sbollentate e private della pellicina bianca che le ricopre) e i piselli. Fate insaporire per un minuto o due, poi aggiungete 1/2 bicchiere di acqua calda e lasciate cuocere per 10 minuti, lasciando evaporare tutto il liquido.
Mescolate le verdure con il farro, ricotta e parmigiano grattugiato. Aggiustate di sale e pepe.
Stendete la pasta sulla spianatoia infarinata usando il mattarello. Dovreste ottenere un cerchio sottile (circa 2 mm) di diametro circa 28-30 cm. Rivestite con la pasta uno stampo rotondo di 20-22 cm di diametro, leggermente unto con l'olio, coprendo il fondo e i lati.
Riempite il guscio con il ripieno preparato e ripiegate i bordi sopra.
Preparate un emulsione con 1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine d'oliva e 1 cucchiaio di acqua, e spennellate l'impasto.
Fate cuocere la torta per circa 1 ora nel forno riscaldato a 200°C. Se comincia a scurire troppo presto in superficie, coprite la torta con un pezzo di carta da forno.
Lasciate intiepidire la torta prima di servirla.




Spelt, ricotta and vegetable pie


Pita s pirom, ricottom i povrćem

Tijesto
* 150 g pšeničnog brašna
* 30 g raženog brašna ili integralnog pšeničnog
* 3 žlice ekstra djevičanskog maslinovog ulja
* malo soli
* 90 ml vode

Punjenje
* 3 žlice pira
* svežanj blitve
* 2 mlada luka ili 1/2 poriluka
* 100 g očišćenog boba (svježeg ili smrznutog)
* 100 g graška (svježeg ili smrznutog)
* 100 g ricotte
* 30 g naribanog parmezana
* ekstra djevičansko maslinovo ulje
* sol i papar

Za tijesto, pomiješajte obje vrste brašna.
Dodajte malo soli, napravite hrpicu s rupom u sredini. Dodajte u sredinu ulje, a zatim po malo oko 90 ml vode i zamijesite meko, elastično tijesto.
Ostavite tijesto na pobrašnjenog dasci i pokrijte ga preokrenutom zdjelom. Neka odmara 30 minuta.
Očistite i narežite blitvu na trakice. Pirjajte je u tavi s malo maslinovog ulja i malo soli na jačoj vatri dok ne odmekne.
Posebno popržite nasjeckani mladi luk s 2 žlice maslinovog ulja, dodajte bob (kojeg ste prvo ubacili na minutu u ključalu vodu i potom mu uklonili, vanjsku, bijelu kožicu) i grašak. Zalijte s 1/2 čaše vode i ostavite kuhati na srednje jakoj vatri 10 minuta, dok sva tekućina ne ispari.
Pomiješajte u zdjeli kuhani pir s povrćem, ricottom i parmezanom. Posolite i popaprite po ukusu.
Tijesto razvaljajte u krug promjera oko 28-30 cm, prvo valjkom a zatim ga malo dodatno razvucite rukama (radi se u biti o tijestu za savijače, samo ga razvucite malo deblje).
Obložite nauljeni kalup (20-22 cm) tijestom tako da prelazi preko ruba.
Uspite nadjev u kalup, savijte rubove tijesta preko nadjeva.
Pomiješajte žlicu maslinovog ulja i žlicu vode pa kistom premažite tijesto.
Pecite pitu na 200°C oko 1 sat. (ako pita počne prerano tamniti, pokrijte odozgor komadom papira za pečenje).
Poslužite pitu nakon što se malo prohladila.

27 January, 2015

Mini Carrot Almond Cakes

Mini Carrot Almond Cakes

These tiny carrot cakes are so lovely and delicious that you will want to invite the whole neighbourhood over for a cup of tea.
You'll want to share these for sure. Onel, because they look and taste lovely and everyone likes to receive compliments (isn't it true?). And two, because you'll eat them all by yourself, so better share.




Mini Carrot Almond Cakes


Mini Carrot Almond Cakes

* 2 whole small eggs + 1 egg yolk (total: 115 g)
* 125 g sugar
* 100 g almond meal
* 150 g carrots
* 120 g AP flour
* 20 g potato starch
* 8 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
* 1 organic orange (zest and juice)

Mini Carrot Almond Cakes   Mini Carrot Almond Cakes   Mini Carrot Almond Cakes   Mini Carrot Almond Cakes


Clean the carrots and chop them very finely in a food processor.
Mix and sift  together the flour, the potato starch and the baking powder.
Put the sugar in a plate/or a bowl and grate the orange zest directly into the sugar. Mix the two, so that the sugar absorbs the orange aroma well.
Put the whole eggs and the egg yolk into a mixing bowl, add the orange sugar and beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale.
Add the almond meal and the carrots. Stir them in gently.
Add the flour mix and stir until smooth.
Grease and flour mini bundt pans (or tartelette pans or muffin pan, whatever you got) or one standard bund cake pan.
Fill them with the batter and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once they'are baked, take the cakes out of the pans and let them cool on a cooling rack.
Serve them sprinkled with powdered sugar or orange cream cheese glaze and garnished with caramelized carrots.

* for orange cream cheese glaze: Mix well 2-3 TBspoons of softened cream cheese with sugar (add sugar to your taste), when smooth add a little orange juice at a time until you reach the consistency that you like.
* for caramelized carrots: Julienne one carrot, put in a small skillet or saucepan with the juice of 1/2 orange and 1 TBspoon sugar. Cook on low heat until the liquid is caramelized and syrupy.




Mini Carrot Almond Cakes


Tortine (Ciambelline) alle carote e mandorle

* 2 uova intere + 1 tuorlo (insieme 115 g)
* 125 g di zucchero semolato
* 100 g di mandorle pelate (o farina di mandorle)
* 150 g di carote
* 120 g di farina 00
* 20 g di fecola di patate
* 8 g di lievito per dolci (baking powder)
* 1 arancia non trattata (scorza e succo)

Tritate finemente le mandorle.
Pulite le carote, tagliatele a pezzi e poi tritatele finemente nel mixer (tritatutto) oppure grattugiatele usando una grattugia a fori piccoli.
Mescolate insieme e setacciate la farina, la fecola e il lievito.
Grattugiate la scorza d'arancia direttamente in una ciotola dove avete messo lo zucchero e mescolate in modo che lo zucchero assorba l'aroma d'arancia.
Montate le uova intere e il tuorlo con lo zucchero aromatizzato fino a ottenere un composto denso, chiaro e spumoso.
Aggiungete le mandorle e le carote e mescolate delicatamente.
Unite anche la farina con la fecola e il lievito.
Mescolate fino a ottenere un composto senza grumi.
Distribuitelo nei stampini per ciambelline (o quelli per tartellete, o stampi da muffin) imburati e infarinati, oppure un unico stampo per ciambella.
Cuocete le tortine nel forno caldo a 180°C per 18-20 minuti facendo prova con unu stuzzicadenti che deve uscire asciutto.
Sformate le tortine e lasciatele raffreddare.
Servitele spolverate con lo zucchero a velo o con la glassa di zucchero e succo d'arancia, e decorate con le carote caramellate.

* per la glassa: mescolate 2-3 cucchiai di formaggio tipo philadelphia con lo zucchero (a piacere) e diluite poi aggiungendo poco alla volta il succo d'arancia fino a ottenere la consistenza che ci piace.
* per le carote caramellate: tagliate una carota a julienne, mettetela in un padellino con il succo di 1/2 arancia e 1 cucchiaio di zucchero. Cuocete sul fuoco basso finché il liquido inizi a caramellare. Lasciatele raffreddare e poi decorate le tortine.


Mini Carrot Almond Cakes


Tortice s mrkvom i bademima

* 2 cijela jaja + 1 žumanjak
* 125 g šećera
* 100 g oguljenih badema (mljevenih)
* 150 g mrkve
* 120 g brašna
* 20 g škrobnog brašna (gustina)
* 8 g (1 ipol žličica) praška za pecivo
* 1 neprskana naranča

Sameljite sitno bademe.
Mrkvu očistite, narežite na komade i usitnite u električnoj sjeckalici (ako nemate sjeckalicu naribajte je na sitno ribežom).
Brašno pomiješajte sa škrobnim brašnom i praškom za pecivo i prosijte.
Naranču naribajte u posudu u koju ste odmjerili šećer i izmiješajte da šećer upije aromu naranče.
Stavite u zdjelu za mućenje cijela jaja i žumanjak, dodajte šećer aromatiziran narančom, pa mutite mikserom dok smjesa ne postane gusta i pjenasta.
Dodajte mljevene bademe i usitnjenu mrkvu i polako izmiješajte ručno (žlicom).
Umiješajte također mješavinu brašnu i izmiješajte da dobijete ujednačenu smjesu.
Rasporedite smjesu u kalupiće (za mini kuglofiće, tartelete ili napunite do pola kalupe za muffine, što imate) ili u jedan veći kalup za vijenac.
Pecite kolačiće u pećnici zagrijanoj na 180°C, 18-20 minuta (provjerite čačkalicom ubodenom u sredinu, mora izaći suha).
Izvadite kolačiće iz kalupa i ostavite da se ohlade.
Pospite ih šećerom u prahu ili glazurom od soka naranče, šećera u prahu i krem sira, i po želji ukrasite karameliziranom mrkvom.

*za glazuru: pomiješajte 2-3 žlice krem sira sa šećerom u prahu (po ukusu) i razrijedite sokom naranče do željene gustoće.
* za karamelizirane mrkvice: očistite mrkvu, narežite je na julienne (tanke trakice), stavite je u manju tavu sa sokom pola naranče i 1 žlicom šećera. Kuhajte na laganoj vatri dok tekućina ne postane sirupasta. Ostavite da se mrkva prohladi pa ukrasite kolačiće



Mini Carrot Almond Cakes

23 January, 2015

Gluten-free bread rolls


Gluten-free bread rolls


There's more than one gluten-free recipe on this blog. But it's the first time I tried my hand with bread. I use often naturaly gluten-free flours, like rice/ corn/ chickpeas/ buckwheat/ quinoa/ chestnut flour, but I use them mostly to make cakes, muffins or flour gnocchi so far. Never yeast dough.
Now, I don't effectively need to follow a gluten-free diet, noone suffering from celiac (coeliac) desease in my family or having alergy or intolerance towards gluten.
Then why did I make these, you may wonder, just like my husband did.
Simply because I'm very sensible when it comes to a question of food. I'm one of those people who are sorry to have people over at home and hear them say, "It all looks so good, but I have to avoid gluten so I'm really sorry I can't eat any of these." It's happend to me at birthday parties and such.
I see parents of children suffering from celiac desease to be so protective (probably afraid), to the point they don't take their kids to birthday parties (probably thinking, What's the point of exposing my kid to contamination risk, s/he can't eat anything there anyway). That makes me sad. If we all made a little more effort to understand the problem these kids/people are facing we could make them more comfortable and welcome.
Of course, I made these bread rolls without taking particular precautions to avoid gluten contamination, that I would normally do if I were really making them for someone with celiac desease. I was just curious to see if I was able to come up with something edible I could serve to my guests. And I was totally satisfied with the result. They tasted very nice, they were really soft, and had nice texture.
I used a gluten-free flour mix indicated for bread (actually an all purpose mix of gluten free flours),
composed of rice flour and potato starch, with addition of psyllium fibre, xantam gum and tara gum.

I'm sending this recipe over to 100% Gluten Free (Fri)Day




Gluten-free bread rolls


Gluten-free bread rolls
(source: Pane dolci & fantasia by Sara Papa)

* 250 g Gluten-free bread mix
* 200 g milk
* 1 egg
* 25 g butter
* 15 g honey
* 10 g fresh yeast (or 125 gluten-free sourdough starter)
* 10 g extra virgin olive oil
* 5 g salt

for brushing:
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 TBspoon milk
* mixed seeds, for garnish

Gluten-free bread rolls  Gluten-free bread rolls  Gluten-free bread rolls  Gluten-free bread rolls

Put slightly lukewarm milk into a mixing bowl (I prepared these rolls entirely mixing by hand, but you can use stand mixer with paddle attachment as well).
Dissolve the yeast and the honey in milk.
Stir in 1/3 of the flour mix.
Add the egg, the butter (melted and cooled or very soft), and the extra virgin olive oil.
Stir well with a spoon and then add the remaining flour and salt.
Work the dough (spoon or mixer) until homogeneous. NOTE: the texture is totaly different from the dough made with regular gluten flour, so don't expect the dough to come together in the same way. It is quite wet, and you don't knead it in order to develop the gluten in it. It won't be elastic or anything like that.
Cover the bowl (lid or plastic wrap) and let it ferment for about 1 hour (if using gluten-free sourdough starter it will take a bit longer, wait until the dough has doubled in volume).
Transfer the dough on a floured kneading board and divide it in 8 pieces (65-70 g each).
Delicately shape the dough to form rolls.
Place the rolls apart on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Brush the rolls with the egg wash (egg yolk beaten with milk). Cover them with a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap + cotton cloth and let ferment again until doubled in size.
In the meantime, put a small pan to the bottom of your oven, and turn the oven on, to 220°C.
When the buns have doubled in size, brush them one more time with an egg wash and sprinkle with seeds of your choice, put them in the oven, throw a handful of ice cubes into the empty pan on the bottom of the oven (to create steam), lower the heat to 200°C and bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let them cool on a colling rack before serving.
I cut one after just 10-15 minutes because I was in a hurry to take pictures, but it's much better to let the bread cool down completely before cutting or eating it (the rule that applies to all types of bread).





Gluten-free bread rolls

Panini morbidi senza glutine
(fonte: Pane dolci & fantasia di Sara Papa)

(per 8 panini da 70 g circa)
* 250 g di Mix "farina" mille usi senza glutine Molino Rosetto
* 200 g di latte
* 1 uovo
* 25 g di burro
* 15 g di miele
* 10 g di lievito di birra fresco (o 125 g di lievito madre senza glutine)
* 10 g di olio extravergine d'oliva
* 5 g di sale

per spennellare:
* tuorlo
* 1 cucchiaio di latte
* semi vari (lino, girasole, papavero, sesamo), per completare

Mettete il late leggermente intiepidito nella ciotola. Scioglietevi il lievito e il miele.
Unite 1/3 della farina e mescolate con un cucchiaio di legno.
Aggiungete l'uovo, il burro fuso (o molto morbido), e l'olio.
Mescolate e aggiungete la restante farina e il sale.
Lavorate l'impasto finché diventi omogeneo. NOTA: se (come me) non avete mai fatto un impasto lievitato senza glutine, non aspettatevi che abbia lo stesso aspetto o struttura come impasti che contengono il glutine. Essendo, appunto, un impasto senza glutine, non viene lavorato a lungo, e più umido e appiccicoso, non ha l'elasticità del impasto con il glutine.
Copritelo e lasciatelo lievitare in un luogo caldo per circa 1 ora o fino al raddoppio (se usate il lievito madre, regolatevi aspettando che il volume raddoppi).
Trasferite l'impasto sulla spianatoia e dividetelo in pezzi da 65-70 ciascuno. Formate delle palline e sistematele sulla teglia ricoperta con la carta da forno.
Sbattete il tuorlo con il latte e spennellate i panini.
Coprite la teglia con un pezzo di pellicola alimentare unta leggermente con un po' di olio.
Lasciate raddoppiare i panini.
Scaldate il forno a 220°C. Mettete a scaldare sul fondo del forno anche una teglia piccola dove butterete del ghiaccio o acqua per creare il vapore.
Spennellate delicatamente (per non sgonfiarli) i panini lievitati e cospargeteli con i semi a vostra scelta.
Infornate i panini, mettete una manciata di cubetti di ghiaccio nella teglia piccola sul fondo.
Abbassate subito la temperatura a 200°C e cuocete i panini per 20 minuti circa o finché dorati.
Lasciateli raffreddare su una gratella.



Gluten-free bread rolls


Mekana peciva bez glutena
(izvor: Pane dolci & fantasia by Sara Papa)

* 250 g mješavine bezglutenskog brašna za kruh
* 200 g mlijeka
* 1 jaje
* 25 g maslaca
* 15 g meda
* 10 g svježeg kvasca (ili 125 g bezglutenskog prirodnog kvasa)
* 10 g ekstradjevičanskog maslinovog ulja
* 5 g soli

za premazivanje:
* 1 žumanjak
* 1 žlica mlijeka
* razne sjemenke (sezam, lan, mak, suncokret), za posipanje

Stavite lagano umlačeno mlijeko u zdjelu za miješenje (ja sam peciva mijesila u potpunosti ručno, ali možete to napraviti i u stolnom mikseru koristeći lopaticu ili K nastavak).
Otopite namrvljeni kvasac i med u mlijeku.
Dodajte 1/3 brašna i izmiješajte.
Dodajte zatim jaje, maslac (otopljen i ohlađen ili samo jako omekšan) i maslinovo ulje.
Izmiješajte pa dodajte ostatak brašna i sol.
Miješajte tijesto dok ne dobijete ujednačeno tijesto. NAPOMENA: ako se niste dosad susretali s bezglutenskim tijestom, nemojte očekivati da ima istu teksturu (glatko i elastično) kao tijesto s glutenskim brašno. Tijesto se ne mijesi na uobičajeni način, upravo stoga što se u njemu neće razviti gluten. Dakle tijesto će biti čak dosta vlažno. Samo ga dobro izmiješajte da se sastojci povežu i da je homogeno.
Stavite tijesto u čistu, malo nauljenu zdjelu, pokrijte i ostavite da se diže na toplom oko 1 sat (ako koristite bezglutenski kvas pričekajte dok se volumen tijesta ne udvostruči).
Premjestite tijesto na lagano pobrašnjenu dasku i podijelite ga na 8 komada (teških 65-70 g svaki) i nježno, ne pritiskajući previše tijesto (koje kako sam ranije napisala nije elastično) oblikujte pravilne loptice.
Smjestite ih na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje, razmaknute.
Razmutite žumanjak s mlijekom pa premažite peciva uz pomoć kista.
Pokrijte ih malo nauljenim komadom plastične folije i pamučnom krpom i ostavite da se dižu dok se ne poduplaju (oko 1 sat ili malo manje).
U međuvremenu zagrijte pećnicu. Na dno pećnice stavite manju posudu, uključite pećnicu na 220°C.
Kad su peciva spremna, premažite ih još jedanput žumanjkom i pospite sjemenkama po želji, stavite ih u pećnicu. U prazan pleh na dnu pećnice ubacite šaku kockica leda (da dobijete paru). Smanjite odmah temperaturu na 200°C i pecite peciva oko 20 minuta ili dok ne porumene.
Ostavite ih da se ohlade na rešetki prije posluživanja.
Možete ih poslužiti za doručak ili za sendviče.

22 January, 2015

Beans and Chicory Soup

Beans and Chicory Soup

One thing I'd like to learn is to be better organized when it comes to meal planning. I can't help it. I do things impulsively. I see things like nice vegetables or other ingredients at the store, a flash starts blinking in my head, I now what I want to do with it, and then suddenly I wake up and my beautiful ingredient is about to be dumped in the garbage as it's passed to a better life. For various reasons. Sometimes it's my family that doesn't agree with my meal plan. Sometimes it's lack of time. Sometimes, Most often, it's because I forgot about it once I got home.
And this time I had in mind two different things I wanted to make. One with beans. One with chicory. They ended up in the same pot. With a surprisingly good result.
This soup may not become everyone's favourite, but I liked it a lot.
I'm leaving some space for doubt simply because I know many people hate bitter veggies, and chicory can indeed be quite bitter. That's why I combined it with beans, creamy and sweet.
My husband's reaction went from frown to delight. After tasting the first spoon he was a bit worried. His face was clearly saying, "Do I really have to eat this?" But then, having no choice, went on and spoon after spoon, began to "understand" the flavours. And in the end admitted it was particular but very good.
Before I leave you to the recipe, I'd like to spend a few words on legumes. I know that many of you keep canned beans as a staple in your pantry. I used to do the same thing.
But then I decided to change the habit for various reasons. And now what I do is cook the beans, chickpeas etc. at home, portion and freeze them. The great thing about legumes is that you can whip up a great, nutrious and cheap meal in no time if you have some precooked ones on hand. This recipe is one of those.
A few important things about legumes, though, if cooking them on your own. First, always soak them first. Depending on type of legume, but almost all of them can be left soaking overnight.  Soaking is important for several reasons. Soaking the legumes you eliminate some substances  that are not so good for us. At the same time, they become softer, so will be easier to cook later (some books and recipes suggest to add baking soda to soaking water, but it's better  not to, as baking soda will eliminate some good stuff, too). One thing you don't see is the inside of the beans that will start germinating when soaked in water, and this will result in nutritional value of the beans being even higher.
Carefully drain and rinse the legumes after soaking. The water they soaked in, is not good,  throw it away.
 Then pour some clean, cold  water in a pot, add the legumes and cook them until tender. Add some herbs, too, but remember to add salt only at the end or the skin will get too hard.
 Remember, legumes need to be cooked well, not al dente. The longer you cook them, the more toxic substances will be eliminated, and you will have less problems digesting them.
The water they were cooked in is nutricious and very good for you, so don't throw it away, use it in some way, for soups for example.
(The info about cooking legumes is from the book "Cucinare i legumi", by Giuliana Lomazzi)




Beans and Chicory Soup


Beans and Chicory Soup

* 250 g dried cannellini beans
* a bunch of chicory
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 rosemary twig
* 1 small onion
* 12 cherry tomatoes
* 4 slices of rustic wholewheat bread
* extra virgin olive oil
* salt and pepper

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. The next day, rinse them and put in a pot with water, 1 clove of garlig and a rosemary twig. Cook the beans until tender, about 1 hour.
Let them cool in the pot in the water they were cooked in.
Wash the chicory leaves and cut them into stripes. Heat 2 TBspoons of olive oil in a skillet and add the chicory. Season with salt, cover and cook on medium heat until softened.
Heat 4 TBspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a casserole with finely chopped garlic, onion and rosemary leaves. Add the tomatoes cut in half or quarters, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the chicory and the beans, with several ladles of the water they were cooked in. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.
Toast the bread and place one slice in every soup bowl. Pour the beans soup over bread and serve.

Beans and Chicory Soup


Zuppa di cannellini e cicoria

* 250 g di cannellini secchi
* 1 mazzetto di cicoria
* 3 spicchi d'aglio
* 1 rametto di rosmarino
* 1 piccola cipolla
* 12 pomodorini ciliegia o datterini
* 4 fette di pane integrale
* olio extravergine d'oliva
* sale e pepe

Mettete a bagno i fagioli in acqua fredda per una notte.
Scolateli, sciacquateli e cuoceteli in acqua con il rosmarino e 1 spicchio d'aglio intero per circa 1 ora o finché teneri. Salateli e lasciateli raffreddare nella loro acqua di cottura.
Lavate e tagliate a strisce la cicoria. Saltatela in padella con 2 cucchiai di olio e uno spicchio d'aglio intero. Salatela, coprite e lasciate cuocere per qualche minuto.
In una pentola scaldate 4 cucchiai di olio con il trito di cipolla, uno spicchio d'aglio e qualche foglia di rosmarino. Unite i pomodorini tagliati a metà o in quarti, salate e fate cuocere per 5 minuti sul fuoco basso.
Unite la cicoria, i fagioli e qualche mestolo della loro acqua di cottura.
Fate insaporire per 10 minuti sul fuoco vivace, regolate di sale e pepate.
Tostate le fette di pane e sistematele nei piatti. Versate sopra la zuppa di fagioli e servite.

Beans and Chicory Soup


Varivo od graha i cikorije

* 250 g sitnog bijelog graha (cannellini)
* 1 svežanj cikorije
* 3 češnja bijelog luka
* 1 grančica ružmarina
* 1 mala glavica crvenog luka
* 12 cherry ili šljiva rajčica
* 4 kriške integralnog kruha
* ekstra djevičansko maslinovo ulje
* sol i papar

Namočite grah u hladnoj vodi preko noći. Ujutro ga ocijedite i isperite pa stavite kuhati u novoj vodi u koju dodajte jedan češanj bijelog luka i grančicu ružmarina.
Kuhajte grah oko 1 sat ili dok nije kuhan.
Ostavite ga da se ohladi u vodi u kojoj se kuhao.
Cikoriju operite, i narežite listove na trake. Zagrijte u tavi 2 žlice maslinovog ulja i 1 češanj bijelog luka. Dodajte cikoriju, propirjajte je, posolite i kuhajte par minuta pokrivenu da odmekne.
Zagrijte 4 žlice maslinovog ulja u loncu, sa sitno nasjeckanim češnjem bijelog luka, crvenim lukom i par listića ružmarina. Dodajte rajčice, prepolovljene ili narezane na četvero. Kuhajte oko 5 minuta na srednje jakoj vatri. Dodajte cikoriju i grah, i nekoliko grabilica vode u kojoj se kuhao grah. Kuhajte sve skupa oko 10 minuta da se okusi prožmu.
Prepecite kriške kruha i stavite po jednu u svaki tanjur. Rasporedite varivo od graha u tanjure i poslužite.



Chicory
Chicory

19 January, 2015

Petit Beurre with chocolate filling

Petit Beurre cookies with chocolate caramel filling

Pettit Beurre, those simple buttery cookies, were the cookies of my childhood. I think my mother always kept a box in the pantry just in case. And they were probably one of those rare cookies she didn't bake at home. But useful not only as a snack for kids, but also an ingredient that could resolve dessert question in no time when combined with a simple custard cream and a delicious no-bake cake would be ready in less than an hour (cooling time included).
About a year ago I had this idea to make the petit beurre cookies at home and decided to try this recipe (by the way, every time I open that blog I spend a lot of time browsing through her lovely recipes and gorgeous photographs).
My kids particularly like them when topped with chocolate, but I was intrigued to try the version with chocolate filling inside instead.
So combining the basic recipe for homemade petit beurre cookies and my favourite chocolate cream (I pretty much put it everywhere, because it's so simple to prepare and so delicious) I came out with my own Chocolate filled petit beurre.
They are perfectly crunchy, and are excellent with a cup of coffee (or just milk).


Petit Beurre cookies with chocolate caramel filling


Petit Beurre with chocolate filling

* 200 g sugar
* 200 g salted butter
* 125 ml water
* 500 g AP flour
* 4 g baking powder


Combine the sugar, the butter and the water in a saucepan. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until all the ingredients are melted and combined. Remove from heat and set aside for 20 minutes to cool down.
Mix and sift together the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the cooled liquid mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine everything. The dough will be smooth but very, very soft.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces (weigh them to be sure they are all the same size). Wrap each piece of the dough and refrigerate for 3 hours. Cooling down in the fridge the dough will gain consistency and will be easy to roll out.
Work with one piece of the dough at a time.
Roll it out with a rolling pin to form a 14x35 cm rectangle. Tip: prepare an envelope witha piece of baing paper, put the dough inside and roll it out until it reaches every corner. This way the dough will be even in all parts and you won't have to discard anything. Once it's rolled out, the dough should be about 2 mm thick.
Cut the rectangle into 7 strips (5x14 cm). Spread about 1 teaspoon of chocolate cream on the lower side of each strip (leaving the eadges clean). Fold the strips in half and press the edges around the filling. Very gently push the rolling pin over the cookies again, a few times, to make sure the filling is distributed evenly. Prick the suface with a fork. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Repeat the preparation with the remaining pieces of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (use fan function if possible for crunchier cookies).
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes - the bottom and the edges should get golden brown.
Flip the cookies and bake for 5 more minutes or until the other side is just slightly golden, too.
Let the cookies cool down on a colling rack before storing them in an airtight container.

Chocolate cream:

* 75 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
* 75 g sweetened condensed milk
* 35 g butter

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk over low heat until just melted and well combined. The cream should result really smooth and shiney.
Remove from heat, transfer into a clean bowl, and let it cool down at room temperature whisking it every now and then.




Petit Beurre cookies with chocolate caramel filling



Petit Beurre ripieni

* 200g di zucchero
* 200g di burro salato
* 125 ml di acqua
* 500g di farina 00
* 4 g di lievito chimico per dolci

In una pentola versate l'acqua, lo zucchero, il sale e il burro; portate a ebollizione su fiamma bassa e attendete che il burro sia completamente sciolto. Lasciate riposare 20 minuti, mescolando di tanto in tanto.
In una ciotola setacciate la farina e il lievito; trascorsi i 20 minuti, versate il composto liquido sulla farina e mescolate con un cucchiaio fino a ottenere un composto liscio, omogeneo e morbido. Lavoratelo velocemente a mano e formate una palla. Dividete l'impasto in 4 parti perfettamente uguali (pesateli).
Avvolgete l'impasto nella pellicola e riponetelo in frigo per 3 ore.
L'impasto appena preparato risulterà molto morbido, ma dopo il riposo in frigo acquisterà la consistenza giusta, e sarà perfetto.
Lavorate con un panetto di pasta alla volta tenendo gli altri in frigo.
Stendete l'impasto molto sottile con un mattarello, formando un rettangolo da 14x35 cm  e di 2 mm di spessore. Consiglio: Stendete un po' l'impasto sulla spianatoia. Sistematelo poi in una busta delle dimensioni indicate che preparerete piegando e chiudendo un pezzo di carta da forno. In questo modo otterrete un rettangolo perfetto e la pasta avrà lo spessore uniforme.
Tagliate il rettangolo in strisce larghe 5 cm (e lunghe 14cm).
Spalmate un cucchiaino circa di crema al cioccolato sulla parte inferiore delle strisce, lasciando i bordi puliti. Ripiegate le strisce su se stesse e premete i bordi intorno al ripieno. Passate il mattarello sopra i biscotti un paio di volte per distribuire bene il ripieno, senza però usare forza altrimenti uscirà fuori.
Disponete i biscotti mano a mano sulla placca da forno coperta di carta forno, dopodiché riponete in frigo per 20 minuti e poi infornate a 180° (consiglio di usare funzione ventilata se il vostro forno è provvisto, perché i biscotti risulteranno più croccanti) per 10-15 minuti circa o finché sul fondo e i bordi saranno di un bel colore dorato. Girate i biscotti con una paletta e cuoceteli per altri 5 minuti finché non saranno dorati anche sul altro lato. Sfornateli e sistemateli su una griglia a raffreddare.
Conservateli in una sacchetto per alimenti ben chiuso o in una scatola chiusa ermeticamente.

Crema al cioccolato per il ripieno:

* 75 g di cioccolato fondente (al 60% di cacao)
* 75 g di latte condensato zuccherato
* 35 g di burro

Mettete tutti gli ingredienti in un pentolino e scaldateli sul fuoco basso mescolando con una frusta a mano finché la crema risulti liscia, morbida e lucida.
Trasferite la crema in una ciotola pulita e lasciatela raffreddare a temperatura ambiente prima di usarla.


Petit Beurre cookies with chocolate caramel filling


Petit beurre s čokoladnim punjenjem

* 200 g šećera
* 200 g slanog maslaca (ili običnog maslaca + malo soli)
* 125 ml vode
* 500 g glatkog brašna
* 4 g praška za pecivo

Pomiješajte šećer, maslac i vodu i stavite na vatru. Zagrijavajte dok se maslac potpuno ne otopi. Maknite s vatre i ostavite da odmori 20 minuta.
Stavite brašno prosijano s praškom za pecivo u zdjelu. Ulijte prohlađenu tekućinu i miješajte drvenom žlicom da dobijete glatko, mekano tijesto. Kratko izradite tijesto rukama.
Podijelite ga na 4 jednaka dijela, omotajte svaki prozirnom folijom i stavite u hladnjak da se hladi 3 sata. Tijesto će prije hlađenja biti jako mekano, ali hlađenjem će povratiti čvrstoću, a ostati svilenkasto glatko.
Nakon što se tijesto ohladilo, razvaljajte svaki komad posebno na pravokutnik 14x35 cm, debljine oko 2 mm (savjet: napravite "koverat" ovih dimenzija od papira za pečenje i u njemu razvaljajte tijesto, tijesto će biti svugdje iste debljine i nećete morati obrezivati "višak" da bi dobili pravilne stranice).
Izrežite pravokutnik na trake široke 5 cm.
Stavite otprilike žličicu kreme po sredini svake trake, do polovice - drugu polovicu ostavite praznu. Preklopite praznu polovicu tijesta preko punjenja. Stisnite rubove pa još dodatno prijeđite valjkom, iz dva razloga: da se punjenje ravnomjerno rasporedi i da se keksi još dodatno rastanje, bolje će se i ravnomjernije ispeći i biti prhkiji. Izbockajte kekse vilicom.
Smjestite kekse na pleh i na isti način pripremite preostale kekse od ostatka tijesta.
Stavite pleh s keksima u hladnjak dok zagrijavate pećnicu.
Zagrijte pećnicu na 180°C. Pecite kekse 10-15 minuta (dok ne porumene odozdo i po rubovima) a zatim ih paletom preokrenite i pecite još 5 minuta i ako imate ventiliranu pećnicu uključite na funkciju ventilirano (keksi će biti puno prhkiji i krckaviji).

Čokoladna krema:

*75 g tamne čokolade (60% kakaa)
* 75 g zaslađenog kondenziranog mlijeka
* 35 g maslaca

Stavite sve skupa u posudu i zagrijavajte miješajući na najnižoj temperaturi dok se svi sastojci ne otope i povežu u glatku i sjajnu kremu. Maknite s vatre, istresite u čistu zdjelu i ostavite da se ohladi na sobnoj temperaturi.


Petit Beurre with Chocolate filling

14 January, 2015

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini patties

There are things you have to make the moment you see them. And you don't care about season or anything else. Blame Sale&Pepe Veg if you want to for publishing this recipe in their December issue...but I certainly couldn't wait for summer to make these.
I really liked these patties. Simple and easy to make. Taste fantastic. You can even prepare them ahead, refrigerate and fry the following day, just before serving. I think they even tasted better after the rest. What I will try, though, next time is prepare them in the oven, as I try to avoid frying whenever I can.
Serve them either on their own or as a side dish. They paired perfectly with cream cheese dip.



Zucchini Patties

* 450 g zucchini, shredded
* 1 small onion
* 60 g breadcrumbs
* 60 g di grated parmigiano cheese
* 2 TBspoons finely chopped parsley
* 1 medium sized egg
* salt and pepper, to taste
* peanut oil, for frying

Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends. Grate them using a grater with big holes or a food processor attachment.
Place them in a bowl, season with salt and let rest for 30 minutes, in order to lose the liquid.
Squeeze them well with your hands and place in another bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg, the bread crumbs, the parmigiano, the finely chopped onion, the parsley and freshly ground pepper, to taste (a little salt if necessary). Mix well with your hands.
The mixture shouldn't be too soft, in case it is, add a bit more bread crumbs.
Divide the mixture into 16 small balls, and press them a bit to form patties.
Fry a few patties at a time in hot oil, on both sides until golden brown.
Place them on a few layers of kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
I served these patties with a simple cream cheese dip (cream cheese can be substitued with Greek yogurt for a lighter version) - place 3 Tbspoons cream cheese, 2 TBspoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 clove of garlic, 1/2 TBspoon white vinegar, 1 TBspoon grated parmigiano cheese and 2 teaspoons chopped basil in a food processor (or mini pimer) and process until smooth.



Zucchini patties



Polpette di zucchine

* 450 g di zucchine, grattugiate
* 1 piccola cipolla
* 60 g di pangrattato
* 60 g di parmigiano grattugiato
* 2 cucchiai di prezzemolo tritato
* 1 uovo
* sale e pepe
* olio di semi di arachidi, per friggere

Lavate e mondate le zucchine. Grattugiatele con una grattugia a fori grossi. Mettetele in una ciotola, salatele e lasciatale riposare 30 minute in modo che perdano l'acqua di vegetazione.
Strizzate bene le zucchine e mescolatele in una ciotola con la cipolla finemente tritata, l'uovo leggermente sbattuto, il parmigiano, il pangrattato, il prezzemolo e il pepe. Amalgamate bene il composto con le mani. Deve essere piuttosto consistente.
Dividete impasto e formate circa 16 polpette schiacciate.
Friggete le polpette nel olio ben caldo. Trasferitele sulla carta assorbente per asciugare l'olio in eccesso.
Ho servito queste polpette con un semplice dip al formaggio philadelphia - frullate insieme 3 cucchiai di formaggio philadelphia con 2 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva, 1 cucchiaio di parmigiano grattugiato, 2 cucchiaini di basilico tritato, 1/2 spicchio d'aglio, 1/2 cucchiaio di aceto di vino. Per una variante più leggera, sostituite il formaggio con lo yogurt greco.




Zucchini patties


Popečci od tikvica

* 450 g zelenih tikvica, naribanih
* 1 mala glavica crvenog luka
* 60 g krušnih mrvica
* 60 g naribanog parmezana
* 2 žlice sitno nasjeckanog lista peršina
* 1 jaje
* sol i papar
* ulje, za prženje (preporučuje se od kikirikija)

Operite tikvice i odrežite im krajeve. Naribajte ih na krupni ribež i stavite u zdjelu.
Posolite tikvice i ostavite ih da stoje 30 minuta da bi ispustile vodu.
Nakon toga ih dobro ocijedite stišćući rukama, da odstranite što više vode.
Pomiješajte tikvice s malo razmućenim jajetom, sitno nasjeckanim lukom, krušnim mrvicama, naribanim parmezanom, peršinom i paprom po ukusu.
Izmijesite dobro rukama da se sastojci povežu i dobijete prilično čvrstu smjesu.
Oblikujte otprilike 16 manjih loptica i spljoštite ih.
Pecite po nekoliko komada u dobro zagrijanom ulju.
Vadite popečke na nekoliko slojeva kuhinjskog papira da se ocijedi višak masnoće.
Ja sam ih poslužila uz jednostavni dip od krem sira (koji možete zamijeniti gustim jogurtom ako želite malo lakšu varijantu) - jednostavno sam u električnu sjeckalicu stavila 3 žlice krem sira, 2 žlice maslinovog ulja, 1 žlicu naribanog parmezana, 1/2 žlice vinskog octa, 1/2 češnja bijelog luka i 2 žličice nasjeckanog bosiljka i sve smiksala u jednoličnu smjesu.

12 January, 2015

Pangoccioli - Chocolate Chip Sweet Yeast Rolls

Pangoccioli

Can you imagine a more genuine, simple snack, healthier than all that industrial stuff kids love to eat on regular basis... more genuine and simple than a slice of freshly baked homemade bread and a piece of chocolate?
And if instead of a slice of bread in hand and a piece of chocolate in the other, you gave your kid a nice little bun full of chocolate pearls? I bet every kid will run to get a few of these.
Easy to take to school, to snack at home while playing or watching TV.
And no doubt at all, parents will try to hide a few just for themselves. At least this is the script that gets into act every time at my home. Curious to see how your family will react? Then you have to give them a go and see for yourself.
Apart from the fact they are sweet and full of chocolate chips, these buns are the softest thing I have ever baked. Using a very small quantity of yeast and letting the dough rise longer results in lighter, more flavourful dough.




Pangoccioli


Pangoccioli - Chocolate Chip Sweet Yeast Rolls

* 125 g water, room temp. to lukewarm
* 5 g fresh yeast
* 1 TBspoon sweetened condensed milk
* 3 TBspoons sugar
* 1 egg
* 50 g milk kefir (or buttermilk)
* 25 g vegetable oil
* 450 g all purpose flour
* 100-125 g chocolate chips

Put the water into a mixing bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk and the yeast in.
Dissolve the yeast, then add 150 g flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
Add the egg, the sugar, the oil, and the milk kefir, stir again until smooth.
Add the remaining flour and the chocolate chips. Bring together to form the dough. The dough will be a bit rough and sticky in this phase. Place it on a floured kneading board and cover with a mixing bowl turned upside down.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then knead it shortly (just 10-15 seconds). Place on the kneading board and cover again with a bowl. Repeat 3 more times. You'll notice how dough is getting smoother and softer every time, becoming more consistent and elastic at the same time.
Finally, place the dough in the clean bowl, and let it proof in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Drop the dough on a slightly floured kneading board and divide into 45-50 g pieces.
Work each piece of the dough into a smooth little ball - start by pulling the edges towards the center, then turn it with the seam down and circle with your hands, turning it between your hands until the surface is smooth and tense.
Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, a few centimeters apart, cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and let them rest until doubled in size - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Prepare an egg wash whisking together an egg yolk with 3 TBspoons milk and 1 TBspoon sugar. Brush the rolls just before putting them into the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 200°C and bake the rolls for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Let them cool on a cooling rack.
Once they cool down, store them in a plastic bag or you can freeze them, as well.





Pangoccioli


Pangoccioli

* 125 g di acqua, temp. ambiente o leggermente tiepida
* 5 g di lievito di birra fresco
* 1 cucchiaio di latte condensato zuccherato
* 3 cucchiai di zucchero
* 1 uovo
* 50 g di kefira di latte (o latticello)
* 25 g di olio di semi
* 450 g di farina 00
* 100-125 g di gocce di cioccolato fondente

Mettete l'acqua in una ciotola. Scioglietevi il latte condensato e il lievito sbriciolato.
Unite 150 g della farina prevista e mescolate con un cucchiaio di legno.
Aggiungete successivamente l'uovo, lo zucchero, l'olio e il kefir di latte, mescolando fino a ottenere una pastella senza grumi.
Aggiungete gradualmente il resto della farina e le gocce di cioccolato.
Impastate brevemente - l'impasto risulterà un po' grumoso e appiccicoso. Mettetelo su una spianatoia leggermente infarinata e coprite con una ciotola a campana.
Dopo 15 minuti riprendete l'impasto e lavoratelo per 10-15 secondi. Mettetelo a riposare di nuovo coperto e ripetete altre 3 volte.
Noterete che ogni volta l'impasto sta diventando sempre più liscio e morbido, e stia guadagnando la consistenza ed elasticità.
Alla fine (dopo aver lavorato l'impasto per 4 volta ad intervalli di 15 minuti) mettete l'impasto a lievitare in una ciotola, coperto, in un luogo caldo, fino al raddoppio - circa 2 ore.
Rovesciate l'impasto lievitato sulla spianatoia leggermente infarinata e dividetelo in pezzi da 45-50 g ciascuno.
Formate delle palline e pirlatele per ottenere dei panini belli tondi e tesi in superficie.
Sistemate i panini sulla placca rivestita con la carta da forno, distanziati tra di loro. Coprite la teglia con un pezzo di pellicola leggermente unta di olio perché non si attacchi e rovini i panini.
Lasciateli raddoppiare - circa 1 ora (1 ora e mezzo).
Prima di infornarli, sbattete leggermente 1 tuorlo con 3 cucchiai di latte e 1 cucchiaio di zucchero e spennellate i panini.
Scaldate il forno a 220°C. Infornate i pangoccioli e abbassate subito la temperatura a 200°C.
Lasciateli cuocere per 10 minuti circa o finché dorati in superficie.
Lasciateli raffreddare su una gratella.
Una volta freddi, conservateli in un saccetto di plastica. Si possono anche congelare.





Pangoccioli


Pangoccioli - Slatka peciva s čokoladnim kapljicama

* 125 g vode
* 5 g svježeg kvasca
* 1 žlica zaslađenog kondenziranog mlijeka
* 3 žlice šećera
* 1 jaje
* 50 g kefira
* 25 g ulja
* 450 g brašna
* 100-125 g čokoladnih kapljica

Stavite u zdjelu vodu, namrvljeni kvasac i kondenzirano mlijeko.
Izmiješajte da se kvasac istopi.
Dodajte 150 g brašna i izmiješajte drvenom žlicom.
Dodajte jaje, šećer, ulje i kefir, i opet izmiješajte dok ne dobijete glatko, ali rijetko tijesto bez grumenčića.
Dodajte postepeno ostatak brašna i čokoladne kapljice.
Zamijesite grubo tijesto (bit će i pomalo ljepljivo).
Stavite ga na pobrašnjenu radnu površinu i pokrijte preokrenutom zdjelom.
Nakon 15 minuta tijesto kratko i lagano premijesite, pa opet pokrijte zdjelom.
Ponovite još 3 puta u razmaku od 15 minuta. Tijesto će svaki put postajati mekše i glatkije, a primijetit ćete i da se lagano počinje dizati između dva miješenja.
Kad ste ga zadnji put premijesili, stavite ga u čistu zdjelu, pokrijte i ostavite da se diže oko 2 sata, odnosno dok se ne udvostruči.
Istresite tijesto iz zdjele, podijelite ga na komade od 45-50 g.
Svaki komadić tijesta oblikujte u lopticu - prvo povlačite krajeve prema sredini, a zatim kuglicu zaokružite rukama dok ne bude glatka i površina zategnuta.
Smjestite sve kuglice na pleh pokriven papirom za pečenje, razmaknute jer će dosta narasti. Pokrijte pleh prozirnom folijom, lagano je premažite uljem da se ne zalijepi za tijesto.
Ostavite na toplom da se dižu oko 1 do 1,5 sat.
Zagrijte pećnicu na 220°C.
Razmutite 1 žumanjak s 3 žlice mlijeka i 1 žlicom šećera, pa uz pomoć kista premažite peciva.
Stavite ih peći i odmah smanjite temperaturu na 200°C.
U trenutku kad ih stavite peći možete ubaciti na dno pećnice dvije, tri kockice leda (para pomaže da peciva ljepše narastu).
Čim peciva dobiju lijepu, zlatno-smeđu boju (10-ak minuta) izvadite ih i ostavite da se ohlade.


09 January, 2015

Quinoa with peas and potatoes

Quinoa with peas and potatoes


Most people think of post-festivity diet as a sacrifice. Probably most people do eat too much during Christmas period. And while I do indulge in few things I particularly like, and eat mostly in this period of the year, I try, however, to be moderate when it comes to quantities of food I eat. I probably close my eyes in front of a real Neapolitan pizza (on the other hand I don't get to eat it all year round) or a sfogliatella or two, a babà... you can't say no to everything after all, and it's a price to pay when you spend holidays where food is great :)))
But in the same way I look forward to going back home, getting back to my ordinary routine and preparing something deliciously healthy, simple but nutricious.
And since me and my little boy are always alone at lunch time on weekdays, it is the best occasion to eat something we both love: quinoa and peas. The rest of the family would just freak in front of a plate like this, but that cute little boy will steal the little green balls from my plate once he finishes his.
If you are thinking of a meatless meal, this dish will certainly satisfy your needs. But it will work fine as a side dish as well.


Quinoa with peas and potatoes

* 200 g quinoa
* 450 g peas (fresh or frozen)
* 2 medium sized potatoes
* 2 scallions/green onions
* 3 bay leaves
* oregano
* vegetable stock
* extra virgin olive oil
* salt
* a small piece of fresh ginger root

Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Put them into a pot with 1 liter cold water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the cubes, don't let them overcook, however).
Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Put the quinoa in 400 ml of the water that the potatoes were cooked in. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside for 10 minutes, then transfer the quinoa on a large plate and fluff it with a fork.
Chop the scallions (both the white part and the green leaves), and cook them in a skillet with 3-4 TBspoons of olive oil over low heat, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the peas to the skillet, season with a little salt and cook them covered for 10 minutes, adding a little hot water or vegetable stock.
Add the quinoa and the potatoes, cook for 5 more minutes.
Towards the end, add the dried oregano and a little finely grated ginger root.

* Quinoa can substituted with millet, amaranth or buckweat (all three are gluten-free like quinoa)



Quinoa with peas and potatoes


Quinoa con piselli e patate

* 200 g quinoa
* 450 g di piselli (freschi o surgelati)
* 2 patate medie
* 2 cipollotti
* 3 foglie di alloro 
* origano secco
* brodo vegetale
* olio extra vergine d'oliva
* sale
* un pezzettino di radice di zenzero

Pelate le patate e tagliatele a dadini. Mettetele a cuocere con 1 litro di acqua fredda e le foglie di alloro, 5-10 minuti dal momento che l'acqua inizia a bollire.
Scolate le patate conservando circa 400 ml di acqua di cottura.
Aggiungete la quinoa nell'acqua di cottura di patate che avete conservato a mettete a cuocere sul fuoco basso finché tutto il liquido non sarà assorbito. Spegnete il fuoco e lasciate riposare la quinoa nell pentolino coperto per una decina di minuti. Trasferitela poi su un piatto e sgranatela con una forchetta.
Sminuzzate i cipollotti (sia la parte bianca che le foglie verdi) e soffriggeteli sul fuoco basso con 3-4 cucchiai di olio EVO, per circa 5 minuti.
Unite i piselli, salate e lasciate cuocere coperto per 10 minuti, aggiungendo un po' di acqua calda o brodo vegetale. Aggiungete anche le patate precedentemente lessate e la quinoa, mescolate e lasciate insaporire il tutto per altri 5 minuti.
Verso la fine aggiungete l'origano e un po' di radice di zenzero grattugiata.

*per variare, la quinoa si può sostituire con il miglio, amaranto o grano saraceno.



Quinoa with peas and potatoes


Quinoa s graškom i krumpirom


* 200 g quinoe
* 450 g graška (svježeg ili smrznutog)
* 2 krumpira
* 2 mlada luka
* 3 lista lovora
* origano
* povrtni temeljac
* maslinovo ulje
* sol
* korijen đumbira

Ogulite krumpir, narežite ga na kockice i stavite kuhati u 1 litri vode s listovima lovora, 5-10 minuta od trenutka kad voda provrije (ovisno o veličini kockica).
Šupljikavom žlicom izvadite krumpir.
Sačuvajte 400 ml vode u kojoj se kuhao.
Dodajte u vodu koju ste sačuvali quinou i kuhajte je 20-ak minuta na tihoj do srednje jakoj vatri, pokriveno, dok ne upije svu tekućinu.
Maknite s vatre i ostavite da odmara pokriveno 10 minuta, a zatim istresite quinou na široki tanjur i rastresite vilicom.
Narežite mladi luk (i bijeli i zeleni dio) pa ga popržite na laganoj vatri s 3-4 žlice ulja na tihoj do srednje jakoj vatri, oko 5 minuta.
Dodajte grašak, posolite, pokrijte i kuhajte 10 minuta, dodajući po potrebi malo vode ili povrtnog temeljca.
Dodajte grašku krumpir i quinou pa kuhajte još 5 minuta sve skupa.
Na samom kraju dodajte suhi origano i malo naribanog korijena đumbira.

* umjesto quinoe/ ili za promjenu/ možete upotrijebit amarant, proso ili heljdu

07 January, 2015

Chocolate, Caramel and Candied Orange Cream/Spread

Chocolate Orange Cream/Spread

Chocolate caramel mix was not new to me. Remember the cookies with chocolate dulce de leche?
But the idea to add orange flavour to this combo, and especially in the form of that wonderful candied orange, honey and vanilla cream, was intriguing. It was certainly a special touch that took the chocolate caramel combo to another level.
At first the idea was to use it for a cake. And I tried the dark chocolate version first. Ended up eating it with a spoon. And if was finished long before I managed to bake a cake.
Then I tried the white chocolate one, and it almost had the same destiniy. Except that I managed to fill a few French macarons with it. Sweeter than the dark chocolate one, but equally good, and particular, indeed.

You can use it as a filling for a simple chocolate cake, to sandwich cookies or macarons, as a spred (on bread or in crepes). Once you make it, I'm sure you'll get your own ideas. Unless you end up eating it straight from a jar.

It's also the perfect moment to get your hands on a few organic oranges and prepare some Candied orange, honey and vanilla cream, that you will not only need for this spread, but will be able to use for the rest of the year when oranges are no longer in season or easily available.



Chocolate Orange Cream/Spread


Chocolate, Caramel and Candied Orange Cream/Spread

* 250 g chocolate (either dark chocolate with min.   50% cocoa, or white chocolate)
* 200 g sugar
* 250 g heavy cream
* 50 g candied orage, honey and vanilla cream
* 10 g orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau or similar)

Finely chop the chocolate and melt it (partially or completely) in a microwave oven.
Put the sugar in a deep skillet or a saucepan and heat to melt (without stirring) until it reaches amber colour. Add the warm heavy cream and cook for a few minutes over medium heat until you get smooth caramel sauce (not too thick).
Pour the hot caramel sauce in the bowl containing the melted chocolate. Stir or whisk until well combined and smooth.
Add the Candied orange cream and the liqueur.
Let the cream cool down at room temperature.
Use immediately or store in the fridge in a glass jar. If stored in the fridge this cream get a bit stiff. Heat it in a microwave oven for a few seconds  and it will get soft and spreadable again.



Chocolate Orange Cream/Spread

Questa crema al cioccolato e caramello, aromatizzata alle arance candite è fantastica. Si può usare in svariati modi - per farcire le torte, unire i biscotti o macarons, come ripieno per le crepes e qualsiasi cosa vi venga in mente. Non nascondo che io ho mangiato quasi tutto con il cucchiaio o spalmato sul pane. Buonissima sia con il cioccolato fondente (specialmente se non amate le cose troppo dolci) ma speciale anche con il cioccolato bianco (un tantino più dolce).
Chi non avesse mai fatto o abbia finito le scorte di crema alle arance candite... dico solo... Cosa aspettate?

Crema al cioccolato, caramello e arance candite

* 250 g di cioccolato (fondente con 50% di cacao o bianco)
* 200 g di zucchero semolato
* 250 g di panna fresca
* 50 g di crema alle arance candite, miele e vaniglia
* 10 g di liquore all'arancia (per esempio, Cointreau)

Tagliate il cioccolato a pezzettini e fatelo sciogliere, completamente o parzialmente nel forno a microonde.
In una padella o casseruola fate sciogliere lo zucchero, senza mescolarlo. Quando lo zucchero inizia a caramellare e raggiunge il colore ambrato, unite la panna precedentemente scaldata. Continuate a cuocere sul fuoco moderato, mescolando fino a ottenere la salsa al caramello, non troppo densa, ma liscia e morbida.
Versate la salsa al caramello subito nella ciotola con il cioccolato e mescolate bene finché la crema diventi omogenea.
Unite adesso la crema di arance candite e il liquore scelto.
Lasciatela raffreddare a temperatura ambiente.
Potete usarla subito oppure trasferire in un vasetto di vetro e conservare in frigo per circa una settimana.
Se tenuta in frigo la crema si indurisce un po' (specialmente se fatta con il cioccolato fondente) - è sufficiente scaldarla per pochi secondi nel forno a microonde per renderla morbida e spalmabile.



Chocolate Orange Cream/Spread

Ova krema od čokolade i karamela aromatizirana kandiranim narančama, prava je mala delicija.
Napravite je s namjerom da je upotrijebite u kakvoj torti, i onda se nađete kako je tamanite žlicom, tako je dobra. Isprobala sam je u dvije varijante, s tamnom i s bijelom čokoladom, i svaka je posebna na svoj način.
Možete je koristiti za palačinke, kao fil za tortu, za kekse,  macarons i sl.
Ako još niste probali ili ste potrošili prošlogodišnje zalihe kreme od kandirane naranče, reći ću samo: ne čekajte da vam promakne sezona naranči i pokušajte se po svaku cijenu domoći nekoliko neprskanih naranči. Meni je trajala cijelo ljeto i jesen u hladnjaku, izvstan dodatak kolačima, keksima i kremama kad je sezona naranči daleko iza nas.

Krema od čokolade, karamela i kandirane naranče

* 250 g čokolade (tamne s 50% kakaa ili bijele)
* 200 g šećera
* 250 g svježeg slatkog vrhnja
* 50 g kreme od kandirane naranče
* 10 g likera od naranče (npr. Cointreau)

Čokoladu sitno nasjeckajte i stavite u zdjelu. Možete je i djelomično zagrijati i otopiti u mikrovalnoj.
Stavite šećer u dublju tavu i otopite ga dok ne dobije lijepu boju karamela (nemojte ga prepržiti jer će postati gorak).
Ulijte malo zagrijano slatko vrhnje i ostavite kuhati na srednje jakoj vatri dok se karamelizirani šećer ne otopi i počne zgušnjavati u srednje gustu kremu.
Sipajte vruć karamel (kroz mrežasto cjedilo da odstranite eventualno grumenčiće koji se nisu otopili) u zdjelu s čokoladom.
Miješajte žlicom ili pjenjačom dok se čokolada ne otopi i krema postane glatka.
Dodajte kremu od kandirane naranče i na kraju liker po izboru (ja sam stavila Cointreau, možete bilo koji liker od naranče dodati).
Kremu ohladite na sobnoj temperaturi.
Možete je čuvati u hladnjaku u staklenki s poklopcem. U hladnjaku će se krema stvrdnuti, dovoljno je zagrijati je par sekundi u mikrovalnoj da ponovno postane meka i maziva.



Chocolate Orange Cream/Spread