THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: SPAGHETTI BRANZINO&POMODORINI CONFIT

Hello!Easter is finally gone, and I had a couple of days to relax and make some cooking experiment. For Bright Friday, the tradition imposes not to eat meat, so I prepared a beautiful pasta dish with vegetables and seabass. Here the Friday Recipe:

INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)
– 350 gr pasta (spaghetti n°5 or linguine)
– 4 seabass fillet
– salt&pepper
– extra-virgin olive oil
– 500 gr pomodori “ciliegino”

FOR POMODORI “CONFIT”:
– dried origano
– salt&pepper
– white sugar (35 gr)
– extra-virgin olive oil
– chopped thyme, garlic and rosemary

PREPARATION:

You can start first from the preparation of pomodori confit: wash the pomodori and cut them all in half, putting them on a baking tray. Flavour them with olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar, them add the chopped thyme, garlic and rosemary. Set up the oven (static) on a temperature of 140°C and cook the pomodori for about 2 hours. Here the link to the previous time I prepared “pomodori confit”.

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After, put a pot with salted water on the stove, and wait till the water will join the boiling point; in the meanwhile, clean the seabass fillet, and chop them in tiny pieces. Put them in a frypan with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped thyme, garlic and rosemary. Cook them on low fire for 5-7 minutes, then add the “pomodorini confit”, and let them cook together and melt for 2-3 minutes.

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When the pasta is “al dente” (not too hard, not too soft) you can drain the pasta. Finally, put the pasta in the frypan together with fish and pomodorini “confit”, just for 1-2 minutes, to enrich the flavour.

Buon Appetito!Cris

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EASTER CUPCAKES WHITE CHOCOLATE&PISTACHIO NUTS

Hello! Here we’re ready for Easter Sunday, and we’re preparing something sweet to celebrate! As usually, I’m really short in time, so I thought to make some cute cupcakes: this time I’ve taken inspiration from Laura of the beautiful blog Mondo Delizioso and her White Chocolate Cupcakes. Here my “revisited” recipe and the photos!Yum!

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INGREDIENTS:
– 80 gr butter (room-temperature)
– 150 gr sugar
– 2 eggs
– 200 gr flour 00
– 1 teaspoon baking powder for desserts
– 125 ml milk
– 70 gr white chocolate (in bits)
– fine chopped pistachios

FOR THE FROSTING MOUSSE
– 80 ml milk
– 5 gr food grade gelatine (food jelly)
– 120 gr white chocolate
– 250 ml cream to whip

FOR DECORATION
– sugar paste (green or other pastel colours)
– coloured Easter eggs

PREPARATION:

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First of all, let’s prepare the cupcakes: start whipping-up the butter together with the sugar; then, add one egg at a time, and every time you add an egg, you have to whip-up the mixture.
In the meanwhile, sift out the flour together with the baking powder; incorporate – time and time again – the flour together with the milk, little by little, to the mixture of butter and eggs; blend with a spoon till the ingredients are amalgamated. Finally, add the white chocolate in bits and blend again well with the spoon. Fill up the cupcake cases and put them in the oven  (160°/max 180°) for 20/25 minutes. When the cuppies are ready, let them cool down.

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From now on, you can start preparing the mousse: put one sheet of food jelly in the cold water for some minutes; at the same time, warm up the milk in a small pot – bring it just near to a boil, then turn off the cooker.
Chop up the white chocolate, then put it in the hot milk till it’s completely liquefied; add the food jelly – after you’ve squeezed it – to the mixture of milk and chocolate, then blend with a spoon for a while.

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Let the mixture cool down at room temperature, then add the whipped cream: incorporate it bottom up carefully with a spoon. Put the mousse in the fridge for some hours (according to the consistency you want to reach).
When the mousse is ready, you can finally make decorations: garnish the cupcakes with the mousse, using a “sac a poche”. Use the sugar paste to make a nest for the Easter eggs (or, if you find them, for the sugar chicks)

If you love white chocolate, this recipe is just for you, the flavour is really delicate. Sorry for the bad quality of the photos, hoping that they’ll not compromise the recipe… Happy Easter to You All!Cris

BELLEZZE D’ITALIA: VENEZIA

Venice: a great classic to visit. I’ve been in Venice several times, with my parents, with schoolmates, and also by myself. Venice is a charming city. I agree that it’s unique in the world, with its mill runs and bridges. I understand that it’s also reproduced abroad.Venice has been several times also the setting or chosen location of numerous films, novels, poems and other cultural references.

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Venice is a city in NorthEastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals (177) and linked by bridges (409!-sources from Wikipedia). It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

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Venice is the capital of the Veneto region.The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as a very important center of commerce.Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded extensively with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world. By the late 13th century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. During this time, Venice’s leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and support the work of the greatest and most talented artists. The city was governed by the Great Council, which was made up of members of the noble families of Venice. One member of the great council was elected “Doge”, or duke, the ceremonial head of the city, who normally held the title until his death.Venice’s long decline started in the 15th century, when it first made an unsuccessful attempt to hold Thessalonica against the Ottomans (1423–1430). It also sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the Turks (1453). After Constantinople fell to Sultan Mehmet II, he declared war on Venice. The war lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of its eastern Mediterranean possessions. Venice began to lose its position as a center of international trade during the later part of the Renaissance as Portugal became Europe’s principal intermediary in the trade with the East, striking at the very foundation of Venice’s great wealth.

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The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wooden piles. Most of these piles are still intact after centuries of submersion. The foundations rest on the piles, and buildings of brick or stone sit above these footings. The piles penetrate a softer layer of sand and mud until they reach a much harder layer of compressed clay. Submerged by water, in oxygen-poor conditions, wood does not decay as rapidly as on the surface. Most of these piles were made from trunks of alder trees,a wood noted for its water resistance.
Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, thanks to its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world.
If you take a tour in the city center, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics and celebrities.

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However, Venice’s popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a “living museum”.Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay.

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As you surely can imagine, in the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot.The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings,or other ceremonies, or as ‘traghetti’ to cross the Canale Grande in the absence of a nearby bridge. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. For everyday transfers, people use to take the “vaporetto” (steamboat).

MILANO – SALONE DEL MOBILE 2014

Hello!This is a special week, here in Italy: in Milan, a special event is going on: the “Salone del Mobile”, a great show of furniture and complements. I think that images will give you a better idea of “what’s new” for the home starting from next autumn and for the year 2015. I really enjoy myself visiting it, every year I wait for it with impatience.

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You can see great original and creative stands!

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Take relax on a colourfull sofa (decomposable, so you can change it every time you want) …

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Look for the latest news for bathroom, imaging your brand new bathroom like a spa;

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Appreciate great and sumptuous mosaic;

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Search for original ethnic pieces for your home …

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Be inspired by installations about how could you decorate a wall;

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Choose between a bunch of soft, upholstered beds…

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Take note of new fabrics and patterns;

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Take a seat and relax in the glamorous café and restaurants all over the exposition …

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And, finally, every two years, with EuroCucina you’ll be “updated” about the latest news about kitchens: this year, wood and metals are just the main characters: the kitchen opens to industrial style.

POSTCARDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD: SANTORINI

“It’s good that Atlantis remains a mistery. It’s right that the man, looking at the ocean, is troubled thinking of a distant and inscrutable kingdom engulfed in a day and a night by the waters and the fire; thinking of the proud dream of an eternity broken by the awakening of the Nature. The civilizations are born, grow, and eventually die. Get ready for this. Atlantis has never existed! It’s everywhere.”

Pierre Benoît

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If you want to know more about Santorini, here is the link to my previous related post. I already long for summer, sun and sea, and Santorini’s shots always surprise me for the beauty of the place. Happy week-end to you all!Cris