Artichokes by my Grandma <3

artichokes

My grandma used to have a huge pot, perfect to cook a lot of artichokes, I don’t own one, so I can unfortunately only make 4 at time! In Sicily we usually have artichokes around Easter time, we grill them in our bbq parties or we stuff them. Still, another option is to simply boil them, and make some “intingolo”: a mix of olive oil, garlic, oregano, balsamic vinegar, and take each single leaf, sink them in your mixture, and eat it.

Time: 30 minuts cooking + 30 min preparation

Ingredients:

  • 4 artichokes
  • olive oil
  • anchovies paste (if you want to make it vegan, skip it)
  • fine bread crumbs (~150 gr.)
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pepper, salt
  • 3 lemons

1. First we need to clean our artichokes:

a) Remove the external leaves, I usually take two layers off. Doing so you are going to eat only the soft leaves, which are easier to digest.

b) Cut the bottom part off, in order to let our artichoke able to sit on his butt and stay vertically in our pot later.

c) Rub half a lemon all around, so the leaves won’t start oxidation process and won’t change their color.

d) There are different kind of artichokes, but most of them have pointy spike ends: use some scissors to remove the external ones. If you’re lucky you can find the variety without them, but this passage doesn’t really take long!

e) with your thumbs try to open the leaves gently.

f) put them inside a bowl with water,parsley and 3-4 half lemons.

2. For the stuffing part we need to warm  a generous amount of olive oil in a pan. Add two tablespoons anchovies paste and press a clove of garlic; with the help of a wood tablespoon, mix them together.

3. Add the fine bread crumbs and pepper. Let them get some color – around 5 minutes. Turn off, add a generous amount of chopped fresh parsley and half glass of water. The crumb mixture should have a moister texture.

4. Go back to your artichokes, gently squeeze them and place them on a plate with head facing down, so the remaining water will fall down. One by one, with a teaspoon, put your stuffing bread between the leaves. Don’t panic, it has to be messy and not perfect!

5. Get a large pot, place the artichokes on their bottom. The pot needs to be the right size to help them stay steady vertically, but not too squeezed.  Add carefully one glass water + 3 teaspoons olive oil to the bottom of your pot, pay attention do not to get your artichoke-heads wet.

6. Cook for 30 minutes, always with the lid on, at slow-medium heat.

Buon appetito to everyone!!!

Advertisements

Carrots Salad

carrotsalad

Oh yes, that’s not even a recipe, I know. But the combination of this citrus dressing and spicy garlic is really good. Again, this another recipe of my daddy.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 350 gr carrots
  • 1 ½ lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • pepper, salt
  • fresh parsley
  • oregano
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Peel, wash and cut very finely your carrots. You can use a grater to make them.

2. Mix everything in a bowl: 1 ½ lemon juice, olive oil,oregano, pepper, salt, fresh parsley and cloves of garlic without skin cut in half, then it will be easier to avoid eating them later. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes, half an hour if you have the time. This will marinate the carrots and pop the flavour out!!

Buon appetito!!!

My version: Tiroler Gröstl

groestlThis is a typical dish of Tyrol, a mountain area of Austria, where I had the pleasure to live for 10 beautiful months. If you ever tried Austrian cuisine, you already know how strong in terms of caloric values can be.  But it’s perfect if you need to go ski through Alps.

I called this my version, because I added some champignon mushrooms and used some bacon instead of normal pork shoulder, as the tradition wants. Buon appetito!

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients [for 26 cm pan]

  • 600 gr potatoes (I used the small variety with thin skin, so I could keep it)
  • 40 gr butter
  • 1 big onion
  • 250 gr bacon already cut in stripes
  • 300 gr mushrooms
  • olive oil, salt , pepper
  • some meat broth ( a small glass)
  • fresh parsley

1. Clean and cut your veggies: potatoes, mushrooms and onion. In the meanwhile, bring some water to boil in a big pot.

2. Add to boiling water your potatoes and some salt. Cook with the lid on for 15 min, so they become tender but not too much.  Drain the water, cut them and put them aside.

4. In a pan, heat 40 gr butter. Cut the onion and let it brown in the pan. Add the meat and mushrooms.

5. When they got some color, add some meat broth, homemade (click here for my recipe) or instant,together with your semi-cooked potatoes. Cook until the the broth it is almost absorbed, using a medium-high heat.

6. Spread with parsley and olive oil your pan.

Meat Salad ~ Recipe

meat_saladAnd finally the second part of bouillon recipe,in other words, how to use the boiled meat that we used for it. This salad is not super healthy, because I put some mayonnaise in it ( 3 tablespoons), but bare in mind that all the taste and good nutrition elements are in the broth, not in the meat anymore. That’s why you need to add a little bit of character to it.  I keep it in the fridges covered with wrapping paper, and it remains quite good for 2 – maximum 3 days. This recipe is very quickly because I buy most of the ingredients already in a jar. It’s also a good idea, together with tortellini in broth for a complete meal for guests, only need to add some dessert at the end.

Time:  10 minutes

Ingredients: 8 portions

  • 500 gr beef bouillon meat ( already cooked)
  • 3 tbs mayonnaise
  • 300 gr carrots  in vinegar
  • 300 gr celery in vinegar
  • 150 gr beetroot preserves ( I use the one with red cranberries)
  • 2 boiled potatoes ( from the previous broth we made)
  • pepper, salt and parsley

meat_salad011. Use your hands to reduce the meat in little pieces.

2. Wash carefully the vinegar from carrots and celery off and add them to the bowl.

3. Add 3 tbs spoon mayonnaise, potatoes cut in chunks, beetroot ( which will hint a wonderful pink color), salt and pepper and parsley. Give it a taste and make sure it won’t need any salt more.

And it’s done, buon appetito!!!

Cauliflower with Sausages ~ Recipe

cauliflowerOne pan, full dinner :) This is another sicilian inspired recipe.  My father used to cook this also with pasta. You can try it or just serve it like this.

Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:  8 portions

  • 1 kg cauliflower ( oh yes.. this one was frozen!)
  • 5 sausages ( around 450 gr)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 gr pine nuts
  • some sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 black olives
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 saffron bag
  • pepper and salt

1. In a big pot, boil salted water. If you use fresh cauliflower, cut the leaves out and clean it. When you want the quick way, buy it frozen :D Cook until is quite tender. Drain it.

2. In a pan with with high edges, toss some olive oil. Let it frizzle.

3. Add the onion finely cut and 2 cloves garlic. With the help of a knife, cut the sausages casings away. Put the inside of sausages in the pan. Mush it with a wooden spoon. Add also pine nuts and let them roast.

4. Let the meat cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower cut in little pieces with 1 saffron bag, salt, and pepper.

5. Add black olives and sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces, cook other 5 minutes.

When it is cooked, and all cauliflowers got a nice yellow color, add fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!

Potatoes Soup

potatoes_soup

Time: 10 min prep + 25 min cooking

Ingredients: (for 4~6 portions, depends if you use it as main dish or side dish)

  • 700 gr potatoes
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs rosemary
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • parsley
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • pepper and salt

This recipe is amazing against cold weather, such as the one that I am experiencing right now in Dresden. Immediately lift you up :) This is another recipe from my Daddy,very simple and with a strong taste.

1. Peel, wash and cut your potatoes in small chunks, but not too tiny.

2. Put in a big pot with garlic cloves without their skin. Fill your pot up with water till your potatoes are fully immersed. Add 1 tbs rosemary,1 tbs oregano and 1 tbs olive oil.

3. Turn a medium heat and put a lid on. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper. Better if you start with small quantities and add more later, when it is almost cooked. Cook for 25 min.When is ready do go, add fresh parsley.

And.. buon appetito :)

Quick Zucchini Soup

zucchini_soupTime: 15 min + 10 for blending and cooling down

Ingredients: ( 4 ppl)

  • 1 kg zucchini ( which are 4 zucchini medium sizes ca.)
  • fresh parsley
  • chili pepper ( 1 teaspoon)
  • salt

NB: For this recipe you’ll need an hand-blender.

Optional for serving:

  • some grated cheese ( mozzarella here, Emmental, Parmesan…your favorite one!) or just some olive oil on top
  • Some fried bread
  • Fresh basil

1. Wash and cut your zucchini roughly, approximately 1 cm thickness. Throw them in a saucepan and add 1 full glass of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and put to a medium heat. Cook for 15-20 min.

2. After 15 min your zucchini are cooked enough, but not much. Add your parsley and leave your pot cool down for 5-10 min.Then hand-blend everything and serve! It’s usually perfect temperature by this time.

Buon appetito!