Roast Pork loin in a pot ~ Recipe

This is another family’s recipe, aimed for Holidays. My daddy makes it one or twice in a year, as a gorgeous Sunday’s lunch. I still remember waking up smelling it, when I was a kid. It takes time, that’s why my father was already cooking at 8 a.m. Our tradition does not involve the oven, we only cook it in the pot, for two hours, very slowly. The best taste is with pork meat, but the one that I am using here in the picture above is turkey, and I can swear, it is as good as the pork. I buy it already inside the net also here in Germany.

This dish is usually served with plain steamed peas, potatoes puree and baby onions ( the little spheric one) steamed or baked.

ps: Please, have pity, I won’t post any of the end-products, I am too ashamed to show how bad I cut it

Time: approximately 2 hours

Ingredients:  for 6 portions

  • 1 ┬Ż kg pork meat ( or calf, or turkey)
  • 3 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • bay leef
  • fresh rosemary
  • juniper berry
  • 1 glass of white kitchen wine
  • 200 ml stock soup ( or fresh)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

roastbeef1.First of all, we need to put rosemary, bay leaves and juniper berries embedded inside the net, to give flavors.

2.Heat up plenty olive oil in a deep pot, so that doesn’t spatter out. Get brown each side of your big meat’s net, which takes 10 minutes for side.

3. In another small pot, prepare some stock water or, if you want it, use fresh vegetable to make your own.

4.Add one glass of wine and let it evaporate. In the meanwhile, peel and wash both carrots and onions. I usually use the electric chopper for a very fine, almost cream consistency. It is important that they are very fine, because we need to make a nice thick sauce out of it.

5.Once the wine is gone, add both stock water (just half of it, 100 ml) and onion and carrots mix. Turn the heat to the minimum and put the lid on. Reminder to check it every 20-30 minutes and to flip it over. If you see that is becoming too dry, add more stock water.

After is cooked,take it out of the pot. You need to wait until it is completely cool down to cut in fine slices. Serve it lukewarm or temperature room.

and.. Buon appetito!!!

Salva

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Stuffed Peppers with Rice

stuffed_pepperI cook often stuffed pepper because it is a good solution to have a main dish and side dish all together. For this reason, I tried out many different ways to make them special every time. This is the easiest and quickest version recipe. Serve them room temperature or a littler warmer. This is one of those dish which is tastier the next day, if you know what I mean.

Time: 20 min + 45 min cooking in the oven

Ingredients:  for 6 portions

  • 5 red and yellow peppers
  • 100 gr Parmesan
  • 50 gr breadcrumbs
  • 150 gr white rice ( short grain)
  • 250 gr peas (frozen or in a can)
  • dry parsley
  • pepper,olive oil, salt

Option 2:

When I want to make this dish super complete, 3 in 1 effects (as my dishwasher tabs are supposed to be…) I prepare what in Italy is called ” rag├╣ in bianco“, or white rag├╣. Basically just follow my rag├╣ recipe (click here) skipping step 3 and 4 . Simply mix it with the rice and follow the rest of the recipe I am posting below.

1.Bring water to boil in a pot and cook your rice, but not completely. Drain it 3-4 minutes before the total amount of minutes suggested in the package. It will continue to cook in the oven.

2.While your rice is cooking, cut the top of peppers, get rid of seeds, cut them in half when they are small, or more for bigger peppers.Wash them, salt them inside and let them drain a little water out.

3. Mix in a bowl rice, Parmesan, pepper, parsley,peas or rag├╣ in bianco. Put peppers with the concave part facing up in a baking tray. Fill all shells with a spoon. Spread breadcrumbs on them and olive oil to make the top part crispy and gold.

Cook for 45 minutes at 180┬░c

Let them cool down and.. Buon appetito!

Russian Salad ~ Recipe

russian_saladIn Italy we call this recipe ‘Russian salad’, but now that I live in Germany I found out that here it is called just ‘potatoes salad’. However, the taste is quite different.┬á We use to make this dish as starter during holidays, for example for Christmas or New Years Eve, because it is easy to bring to someone’s else home and because it is usually presented scenic decorated with tons of pickles and more mayo on the top. I saw many time this salad adorned as porcupine, with carrots stick as spines.

This is my version of this recipe: the common recipe among Italians include also tuna and more mayonnaise. I like to put also a lot of fresh basil and one green apple inside, to give a more “summer” touch and freshness to the dish. Just adapt the recipe to your own taste :))

Little advice: this recipe is good and convenient to be prepared one day before being served.

Time: prep 1 hour + at least 2 hours resting

Ingredients:  for  15 portions

  • 1 ┬Ż boiled potatoes
  • 1 fresh cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 250 gr frozen peas
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled carrots
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled celery
  • fresh basil
  • pepper, salt
  • 1 tube light mayonnaise

1. Let’s start peeling and washing the potatoes. Bring them to boil til they’re fully cooked. Boil also your frozen peas. You can always use a can of peas, but I find the taste not the same.

2. In the meanwhile, wash your pickles to get rid of extra vinegar in it. Peel, wash and cut in tiny cubes the fresh cucumber and the green apple. Mix everything together in a big bowl with mayonnaise and little pepper.

3. When your potatoes and peas cooled down for a while, add also them together with a lots of fresh basil leaves. Be carefully while stiring not to smash too much your potatoes.

Keep in fridge for at least two hours. It always better to take it out at least one hour before your guests come in.

Buon appetito!

Friend’s wedding in Sicily

Before Christmas, one of my best friend got married. It was an amazing ceremony, as well an amazing dinner. She celebrated in Acireale, a town close to Catania. Even if was December, it was a sunny day and quite warm. I really wanted to share some pictures, since it has been an important and intense day for me.Etna

This picture above I took on the bus approaching Catania. That big volcano is called ‘Etna’ and it is the most active one in Italy. It is not dangerous as more silent ones, and it’s really full of paths and ski chalat.

cathedreal_acirealeThe cathedral in Acireale is astonishing, so opulent and elegant. My friend’s flower decoration were little roses white and red. She had a classical romantic dress and her husband was so fascinating as an English lord!..and yes also their cute-pie dog was there, whose name is ‘Sally’.

acireale_weddingAnd let’s focus on food. After wedding, all young people went to cheers in a pub with a lot of beer,and, after the photo section, we had party at Parco dei Principi, in Zafferana Etnea, which is a little village on Etna’s side.

As soon as the bride and the groom arrived, we had a huge cocktail section with different finger food option, of which I completely forgot to take picture because I was starving so much that I assaulted the buffet table. We had a wide range of regional cheese, Italian Prosciutto Cotto┬á freshly cut in front of us, together with some Focaccia-bread, cheese rapped by Speck grilled at the time. Then we moved inside the proper accommodation room, it was very modern and minimal adorned. We have two main starters, as you can see below. Bresaola with a fine crunchy bread made with hulled wheat, with and orange sauce and some salad. After that, a mix of three other appetizers: fried ricotta meatball, mini souffl├ę with porcini mushrooms and a┬á little roll of bacon and puff pastry.

sicilian_wedding01And yes, I was already full because I really went too crazy during the happy hour….but I didn’t give up. I wanted to try everything out. My favorite appetizer was the mini souffl├ę, delicate taste.

sicilian_wedding02 As first meal we had Risotto with porcini mushrooms and pistachio; and ravioli fulled with green fresh herbs, with handamade squash and double cream salsa.Second main course was a Tris with roasted potatoes as side, a calf meat roll with almonds and pistachio inside( my favorite), along with local pork roast-beef with fresh tomatoes. sicilian_wedding03And no, it’s not my fault: the mariage cake was huge and I couldn’t fit it in one picture. Before the cake, we had a typical Sicilian dessert with fruits called “semifreddo alle mandorle“. I would describe it as a sorta of ice cream, with a different consistency, made with almonds and almond milk. The cake, which is usually very disappointing ina marriage was fresh and super soft. And to close, I add a picture of my husband and I, happy and full. But none stopped us to dance like crazy!

wedding_sicily

Lentil Soup ~ Recipe

lentils_soupI cook lentils every week; they are a good resource for many nutrition components and it’s a good way to reduce the quantity of meat in our diet. When I don’t have enough time, I just put 1 carrots┬á and one onion inside the pot without chopping them, they release anyway all the flavor.

In Italy, it is tradition to eat them for New Year’s Eve, right before the midnight. We say that lentils bring good luck and money. We also wear red underwear for good luck, but that’s another story!

Time: prep: 8 hour soaking in cold water (better the night before for the next morning) + 1 hour cooking

Ingredients:  for  6 portions

  • 500 gr lentil (good quality one: I prefer red lentils or small ones)
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbs concentrate tomatoes sauce
  • 2 laurel oak leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stick fresh celery
  • olive oil, pepper, salt
  • rosemary

1.Peel and wash onions and carrots and mix them in the electric chopper or cut finely with a knife.

2. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a big pot and, when it starts frizzling, add carrots and onions. Let them fry, until they are golden.

3. Add your lentils, laurel oak leaves, rosemary, 1 tbs concentrated tomatoes, 1 stick fresh celery ( so it is easier to remove) and two big glasses of water, until the water cover all lentils. I cook them with low heat, with a lid on, for 45 minutes. Then I check them to see if they are ready. I add pepper and salt, when they are near to the end of being fully cooked.

and… Buon appetito!