Archive for the 'Meat' Category

Roast chicken with sumac,za’atar and lemon


roast chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon

And what on earth are sumac and za’atar, I hear you ask? Well…I didn’t know either, until I got my very first Ottolenghi cookery book for Christmas (called simply: Ottolenghi, the Cookbook. Not much imagination in the title, then) . I started leafing through it (while salivating profusely just looking at the pictures as all the dishes looked incredibly appealing) and quickly realized I had to invest some money in buying these two spices as they seemed to pop up time and time again in his recipes. So there you have the answer to my question: sumac and za’atar are spices used a lot in middle eastern dishes. To be precise: sumac is a spice made from the crushed berries of a small Mediterranean tree and za’atar is a blend of dried thyme, toasted sesame seeds and salt. I think I’ve mentioned before that Ottolenghi is an Israeli chef (with an Italian granddad, you will have guessed from his surname). I tried some of his recipes before and found them delicious. But I confess to be unfamiliar with some of the ingredients he uses, including these two spices. Unfortunately they are not commonly found in supermarkets. Certainly not in those in the north East of England where I live. Perhaps in London would be a different story. Anyway, fear not! If you live in the metaphorical culinary desert, like myself, you can simply buy them on line (which is what I did), together with other fancyful middle eastern ingredients (like orange blossom water, rose water, etc.).  Continue reading ‘Roast chicken with sumac,za’atar and lemon’

La cena svizzera di Meret. I puntata: Zuri Gschnätzlets e Rösti

Ecco finalmente ce l’abbiamo fatta a preparare questo post con la cena di Meret. E’ una bella usanza di Intercultura: cena più film preparati da ogni ragazzo per presentare agli amici il proprio paese. Infatti dopo questa abbuffata (i dolci a un prossimo post) ci siamo anche goduti un bel film svizzero, Die Herbstzeitlosen e mi è sembrato strano che questo film sull’invecchiare e su come si possa sempre prendere in mano la propria vita per darle un sapore di sogno fosse stato scelto da una diciottenne per un pubblico di diciotto-ventenni…

Comunque, ciando alle bande ecco il menu:



Zuri Gschnätzlets da servire con la Rösti

Basler Gschnätzlets da servire con i Knöpfli

Per lo Speckzopf, la tipica treccia di pane, siamo già a posto. Lo trovate qui. E ora mettiamoci al lavoro per il resto. Continue reading ‘La cena svizzera di Meret. I puntata: Zuri Gschnätzlets e Rösti’

Pollo ai peperoni

pollo ai peperoni

Once again I’m “cheating” by using the Italian name for the dish I made last night. It sounds much more chic and sophisticated in Italian (despite the photo which doesn’t really do it justice! The peppers look distinctly pink. Yuk! But I guarantee these are not the true colours. Honest! It must have been the artificial light) . Your attention, English people! Peperoni in Italian doesn’t mean “pepperoni” (which is a horrific spicey, hard sausage I haven’t had the courage to try yet!) but peppers! So the boring English translation of the title would be: chicken with peppers. Anyway, this is a simple, no  fuss, mediterranean dish which is ideal to make when you haven’t got the time to be  messing about in the kitchen (read: nearly always in my case. Busy lives, see? COME ON! Who has the time to be making home made pasta and the likes after a hard day in the office? Or teaching Italian to students, in my case?). It was my good friend Carmelita who suggested this recipe to me. Continue reading ‘Pollo ai peperoni’

Thai green chicken curry

Thai green chicken curry

Well, as we have gone East with my last recipe why not stay there awhile?? I must confess that Thai is my favourite of all the oriental cuisines. I much prefer it to Chinese or Indian, for example.  I find it fresher on the palate and generally more delicately flavoured. I LOVE the taste of coconut milk and I am shocked to hear that my friend Carmelita  ( reading her comment to the previous recipe)  has never bought it, never mind cooked with it. ARGH!  This will not do, my dear. I must blog another quick and easy recipe using the very same ingredient, then. :-)  We have to broaden these culinary horizons, right? RIGHT!  This green curry recipe is particularly quick and easy to make. I downloaded it from the Weight Watchers website (yes! Somebody is trying to lose a few pounds, I do confess) and I have already cooked it a few times (with a couple of variations) with very good results. Even Rossella has tried it on one of her chicken days and her whole family gave it the thumbs up. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get cooking! Continue reading ‘Thai green chicken curry’

Roast chicken legs with potatoes and lemon

chicken legs with potatoes and lemon

chicken legs with potatoes and lemon

I have noticed we have blogged quite a few pasta/rice dishes lately but not many meat ones. Ok, I confess I am not a great meat eater. I could easily be vegetarian and in fact most of the time I cook with vegetables, pulses,eggs or cheese not meat. Still it’s nice to eat it, now and again, particularly if you treat yourself to some good quality, organic one. For this recipe I used chicken legs. They tend to be much cheaper than breasts and they are nicer to roast. I downloaded this dish from the Italian Cookery magazine Candi blogged (G2Kitchen). The one with those incredible pictures that puts ours to shame (I still haven’t recovered….he he). On their website they encourage people to try their recipes so I did. What I like about it is that it is dead quick and simple to make, yet it  is really tasty. Definitely something I shall be cooking again. As I was unashamedly bragging about it  my friend Rossella asked me to blog it so that she can have a go at making it on her “chicken day” (don’t ask) so here goes….

Continue reading ‘Roast chicken legs with potatoes and lemon’

Lamb tagine with prunes and apricots

lamb tagine with prunes and apricots

This is in “memory” of the trip to Morocco Candi and myself went on last year. I love Moroccan food  and for Christmas my lovely sons gave me a fabulous proper red tagine pot (see picture). I decided to christen it the other day by making a tagine with lamb. You might be wondering why I keep on using lamb in my recipes. Well…’s because I have done a bulk order of organic  lamb meat via the same vegetables delivery outfit. But you have to spend a minimum of £25, so I have a few pieces in the freezer. Not that I mind as it’s my favourite meat! My sons also gave me a cookery book  (Tagine, spicy stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan) and it’s in there I found this recipe, which I have slightly adapted. The result is a very moorish , rather  sweet dish as it has quite a bit of fruit in it. It is really tasty and it would probably gain by being made in advance and reheated! I served it with some plain cous cous, to which I added flaked toasted almonds. Continue reading ‘Lamb tagine with prunes and apricots’