Archive for the 'English Recipes' Category

Gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

These little potato dumplings are a classic in Italian cuisine. You cook them by dropping into a pan of salted, boiling water. Then when they raise to the surface (which means they are ready) you drain them and dress them with any sauce you like. I made a cream and gorgonzola sauce, tossed the gnocchi in it and then blasted them under a hot grill to achieve an au gratin effect. You can buy these ready made in supermarkets (and by the way, English people never know how to pronounce the word right) but they are not a patch on the homemade variety, which are light and fluffy. I used the recipe from the “Cucchiaio d’argento” recipe book. It worked really well. I still remember the first time I made gnocchi many many years ago when I ended up with a mixture that resembled wallpaper paste. It ended up in the bin, of course. But not these little babies which I will make again for sure as they were gorgeous! Continue reading ‘Gnocchi di patate’

Focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

I LOVE focaccia, me! For the people who don’t know what it is: it’s a flat bread made with LOADS of olive oil which originates from the Liguria region in Italy. When I was a child I used to go there for my holidays and basically overdosed on this bread. Oh my word! It was utterly delicious! I have never tasted one as nice ever since. There are different types out there, as it is often the case. You can make it plain, add olives, onions, tomatoes, rosemary…your choice. I have tried and tried to make one, using different recipes, flours, sour dough, you name it. HOWEVER I have never been 100% satisfied with the results. Until yesterday, that is,  when I finally made one I was happy with: nice and soft on the inside, lovely and crunchy on the outside. I know now where I have gone wrong all this time. I was basically trying to use a bread recipe and adapt it. WRONG! The focaccia dough is much wetter then bread’s. Also you are better off using 00 type of flour (I ordered mine on Amazon, in the end). I mainly used the recipe from the website Giallo zafferano, albeit I adapted it slightly. Continue reading ‘Focaccia genovese’

Granola

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I have been meaning to make my own granola for absolutely AGES. In case you don’t know what it granola is a mixture of toasted rolled oats with the addition of seeds, nuts and dried fruit. It’s very healthy and it tastes delicious sprinkled on yoghurt. I knew it would be a straightforward affair but I kept putting it off. No more! I finally made a big batch of it. Yippee! And the home made variety is so much nicer (and cheaper) than the bought one. I put lots of nuts and seeds in mine as that’s how I like it. On the other hand I refrained from adding dried fruit or dessicated coconut, which you find in some recipes. There are many variations out there. I kind of combined several recipes I saw on the net to produce something simple but wholesome. Enjoy!! Continue reading ‘Granola’

Chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

Welcome back to me! Sorry for the silence but I have been gallivanting around the world…well, Italy in truth, AND Berlin. Wonderful city! While I was in Italy visiting my family we had a reunion where each person had to bring something to share for lunch. I decided to bake these brownies at my dad’s house -which is where I was staying (hence no picture of Tomik the cat )- as my contribution. My Italian family wasn’t familiar with brownies so I happily introduced them to these calorie laden treats for the chocoholics, much to their delight. Brownies originally come from  the States and there are many versions of them out there. I chose this one with raspberries as I think the chocolate/raspberry combo is a winning combination. Candi knows that as she had blogged in the past a Swedish cake which is rather similar (click here ). The recipe comes from the BBC online website. My only change was to shed 100 gr of sugar off the original recipe. By the way, the picture doesn’t do it justice. I should have shown you what they look like inside: lovely and gooey. Oh well! Trust me though: you will impress your friends if you make them a batch of these! :-) Continue reading ‘Chocolate and raspberry brownies’

Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

First of all apologies for the long absence from the blog but work interferes with my experimenting in the kitchen big time! I am turning into a sad person: all work and not much play. Anyway, I finally managed to try something new last weekend: this lovely, winter warmer stew, straight from the Mildreds cookbook. Lovely served with rice or cous cous. A must for all the veggies out there. Continue reading ‘Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew’

Banoffee pie

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

This is another classic dessert very much liked by my family, especially my oldest son who always asks me to make it when he visits. I don’t know why I haven’t blogged it yet. It is easy to assemble, it doesn’t require any cooking and can be made in advance. The only problem with it is that it is laden with calories. ARGH! Still, once in a while it won’t kill anyone.   Plus with all the running I am doing now (I’m in the middle of the excellent From couch to 5K programme to ease people into running. Brill!) I deserve some cake, now and again. 😉 I can’t remember who gave me the original recipe but this is the one I’ve been using for many years. Success guaranteed! Continue reading ‘Banoffee pie’

Chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

As promised here’s another delicious recipe from my new Mildreds cookbook. I didn’t hang about, did I? Had some friends over for dinner last night and amongst the other many things I cooked I baked this bread. Really lovely! By the way, my eldest son Mike wasn’t best amused when he read on my blog that I accused him of basically doing b****r all when he returned home for his Christmas holiday. I was of course exaggerating (writer’s licence, see?). He did help tidying up, to be fair. Plus, in truth, I like spoiling him and his brother so I don’t mind cooking non stop when they come for a visit. That’s the honest truth! 😉 So there: I’ve set the record straight. Now do this bread for your lovely girlfriend, Mike! Continue reading ‘Chilli cornbread’

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Time to blog something healthy. I fear we have had too many calory laden things lately. As I was entertaining guests for Christmas I made this gorgeous salad courtesy of the  cookery book which my son’s lovely girlfriend kindly gave me for Christmas to add to my collection. Thank you Lucy!! It is called “Mildreds, the cookbook” and it is basically the recipe book of this vegetarian restaurant in London called…surprise, surprise, Mildreds (which is fab, by the way).  The book is full of really interesting, mouth watering vegetarian recipes. I can see me blogging more recipes from it. The good thing about this super healthy  salad is that you can eat it hot or cold and you can add goat’s cheese or feta cheese  to it, if you wish, thus making it a complete meal. I will definitely make it again. I didn’t follow the recipe religiously as I didn’t have all the vegetables, however I am sure there is room for variation. This is definitely something I shall make again…. Here is the original recipe, straight from the book. Continue reading ‘Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables’

Dundee cake

Dundee cake

Dundee cake

First of all Merry Christmas and a Happy Boxing day to you all! It’s a welcome relief from cooking and eating to write on this blog, if truth be known. Although we didn’t really overdo it in the food department, like some people do, it feels as if I have been stuck in the kitchen for the last couple of days. And I can’t say I have received a lot of help from the men in my life. Both sons when they return home for Christmas revert to the time when they were ten. Incapable of even making a cup of tea for their own mother. The irony is they can cook very well. Ah well! I guess they come home to get spoilt and I must oblige, being an Italian mamma after all. 😉 But enough chit chat. The cake I am about to blog is another classic. It’s basically a fruit cake but much lighter than your traditional Christmas cake (which I find far too heavy and rich). There are many recipes out there but when it comes to classics there is only one master for me: good old Delia. I got the recipe straight out of her web page. I slightly adapted it as I added some cranberries to the dried fruit mixture. The good thing about it is that it keeps well and, in fact, its flavour improves if eaten after a few days. Of course you don’t have to wait for Christmas to make it. In fact I think I will repeat the experiment real soon because even I liked it. Continue reading ‘Dundee cake’

Asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

Months and months ago I purchased in Lakeland a mini quiches perforated silicon baking tray. Guess who never used it until last week? That’s right! Yours truly! I don’t really know why I got out of the swing of baking quiches as I love them, particularly if the pastry is light and crispy. Anyway, I decided the time had come to resurrect the humble quiche and christen the tray so it so I plumped for these smoked salmon and asparagus tarts which I had never made before. You’ll be glad to know the baking tray was a resounding success. The pastry was cooked to perfection with no soggy bottoms. Of course you can make a whole quiche rather than 6 individual ones. But I thought the individual ones looked more professional. I shall definitely make them again, that’s for sure. Continue reading ‘Asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets’