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!!!

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Risotto alla Milanese

risotto_milanese‘Risotto alla milanese’ is a classic, you cannot get wrong with it. I like to personalize it with sun-dried tomatoes, honestly I am obsessed with them. My sweet nonna used to make them in her terrace for all summer long, every morning she waked up and turn them upside down and made sure no bugs were disturbing them, then she liked to put them in sterilized jar with olive oil for the winter.

Time: 30 min

Ingredients:  [4 person]

  • 350 gr rice for risotto
  • 1 onion
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 spoon of Parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 saffron bag (powder)

1. Put a little bit of butter in a pot, when it starts frying add a fine chopped onion. At the same time, fill another pot with water and brings it to boil. You can decide to use plain water (lighter and healthier choice) or to put a bullion stock.

2. After the onion sweats, put the rice, toast it and add a glass of white wine.

3. Once the wine is all dried off, start adding a scoop of boiling water.  Wait for the liquid to evaporate an keep adding water spoon by spoon till the rice becomes softer.

4.  When you see the rice is almost done, season it with pepper, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces and a spoon of water in which the saffron powder will be dissolved . This will give this wonderful bright yellow color and make the color distribution uniform. Adjust with salt and cook for other 5 minutes.

I decorated with some parsley and served hot. Buon appetito!

 

Salva

Beef Bouillon ~ Recipe

meat_broth01‘Tortellini in broth’ is the perfect ending dish for this winter. I can’t wait to take my heavy jackets off. I am fed up with this onion style, with gloves and scarf, and hat…This recipe is perfect to warm you up, but it’s also good to keep in your refrigerator and use the bouillon for many other recipes. Homemade bouillon makes the difference, unfortunately.  Unfortunately because it is not quick to make and it is required for so many meals preparations that I tend to use premade stock-cube, that contains a lot of additional fat. It can stay up to 2 weeks in your freezer.

Time:  1½ -2 hours

Ingredients: [around 3 liters]

  • 500 gr beef soup meat
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions (or a big one)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • pepper, salt, rosemary

meat_broth1.Peel and wash all the vegetables. Cut them roughly in half. Put them in a big and deep pot.

2. Add the meat (keep the little fat that it could have), together with around 3,5 liter of water. Everything needs to be covered by 4 inches of water. I know it can sound too much, but part of it will evaporate during the slow cooking process. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper, in a generous amount.

3. Keep the lid semi-opened and cook with medium-slow heat for about 1 hour and half, till the meat is completely tender, as well as the carrots.

4. Take the meet off and let it cool down aside. Soon I will post a recipe specific about how to use the bouillon meat.

5. Now you have two options: the former- you can filter the liquid, in order to obtain a delicate taste and smooth liquid consistence, the latter- you can strain the veggy, blend them,and add them again in the pot. This second option is thicker but also tastier, in my opinion.

Buon appetito!

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 ½ 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

Spezzatino Recipe

spezzatinoThis is my father’s stewed beef recipe, it reminds me a lot my childhood and it’s really tasty. I hope you’ll like it !

Time: 1 hour + 20 prep min

Ingredients:

  • 500 gr beef ( already cut in chunks)
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 glass white kitchen wine
  • salt + pepper
  • white flour
  • a spoon olive oil

1. First of all, I usually cut my beef pieces in more little one. Then, I salt+pepper them  and roll the chunks into some white flour.2. Pre-heat a spoon of olive oil in a quite large pot.After, add the meat and brown it for a little while.Then, add a glass of white wine and let it evaporate with a slow-temp and put the lid on for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel and cut both potatoes and carrots.

3. Now you should have a creamy-delicious consistency.

4. Add potatoes and carrots and adjust with more salt+pepper.

5. Add the entire tomatoes can and cook for 40 minutes with the lid on (always with a low-heat temprature). Once in a while remember to stir it carefully,otherwise the bottom is going to burn easily ( trust me, this is an experienced advice ….). 6. In the end. rinse the peas and add them too. Cook for about other 10 minutes with the lid on. And now should be ready and yummy! Buon appetito!