THE FRIDAY NIGHT “SNACK”: POP CORN PISTACHIOS&PAPRIKA

Hello!I can’t believe how much time I spent away from the blog, but don’t worry, I’m alive! I went throughout a particularly sensitive time, an emotional rollercoaster with big joy and happiness, but also some unpleasant moments. So I choosed to keep some distance from the blog, give me time to be confortable again and now … I’m back with new ideas and travels! However, I’m still a bit in a hurry, so as you can see “The Friday Night Recipe” for this week becomes “The Friday Night Snack”… (hoping a snack’ll be enough to bring to Fiesta Friday)
Checking out sites like this gave me a nice (and yummy) idea: to personalize a pop-corn recipe. Let me say first that in Italy we don’t have such a large choice of flavoured pop-corn, if so I think I’ll try all of those! Personally, pop-corn reminds to my childhood afternoon snacks, or to the winter nights when my father made pop-corn before watching a movie. Here in Italy we do have sweet-flavoured pop-corn, but generally we eat the salted ones. I do love the salted version, so I thinked about a personal salty version.

When I’ve some time, I prefere to make them in a frypan with extra-virgin olive oil, not in the microwave. I just love to “shake” lightly the frypan and hear the familiar popping sound, while inspiring the sweet corn scent.
This time I was lucky because Maryam, a dear friend, brought me fabulous iranian pistachios, so I thought about a “mix” of ingredients!

FLAVORED POP-CORN PISTACHIOS&PAPRIKA

INGREDIENTS: (4 people)

– 3/4 fistful of corn grains;
– extra-virgin olive oil;
– 100 gr pistachios;
– some pinches of sweet paprika
– some pinches of salt

PREPARATION:

Just prepare pop-corn in a frypan: when the oil is warmed-up, put the corn grains in the frypan and cover it with a pot lid; shake the frypan from time to time and wait till the pop-corn are ready; then chop the pistachios in tiny pieces (I often use a meat mallet), and put them on the pop-corn.


Transfer the pop-corn and the chopped pistachios in a freezer bag, and then add some pinches of paprika. Shake several times the bag and then pop-corn are ready to be served!
This is my combo, but I would like to know what kind of pop-corn do you prefer, salted or not, and flavored with?

See You soon!Cris

Advertisements

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

Hello! Finally a bit of time to write about yummy recipes!Rarely I can cook and post the recipe right away, so this is the dish of last Friday : I remake it twice just to participate to Fiesta Friday!This is the first time for me trying this combination of ingredients, and i totally love it, I saved the recipe for other times.

20160602_125023

INGREDIENTS (4 persons):

– 350/400 gr pasta (any kind)
– 18-20 zucchini blossoms
– 1 zucchini
– 1 carrot
– Tropea onion (some slices)
– 6-8 thin slices pancetta (or bacon)
– extra-virgin olive oil
– salt&pepper
– sweet paprika (optional)

PREPARATION:

20160602_123604

Start the preparation washing and cutting the vegetables: once you have washed the zucchini blossom, let them dry on paper towel; in the meanwhile, cut into small pieces the carrot and the zucchini.
At the same time, in a large frypan put some extra virgin-olive oil and the slices of Tropea onion, and let it warm up a bit (without overburning the onions); then put the carrot and the zucchini already chopped into the frypan; add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sweet paprika if you like it, and let them cook for a while on low heat. In another small frypan, put the slices of pancetta and let them go till they become crunchy: then remove them from the stove and put the roasted slices on paper towel.

20160602_122546
20160602_122552
In the meanwhile, you can start cooking the pasta putting it in a capacious pot till boiling; now cut the zucchini blossom, previously drained, in slices and add them to the other vegetables.
When pasta is ready, transfer it in the frypan together with the vegetables, melting very well for a few minutes. As final touch, add the crispy pancetta/bacon (I crumbled it to distribute it better).

20160602_124827
20160602_125027

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: SBRISOLONA WHITE CHOCOLATE&RASPBERRIES

Hello! This is a first attempt for me on making this recipe, and we liked it so much, so I decided to bring it to Fiesta Friday this week. What’s “sbrisolona“? It’s a type of cake widely spreaded in my region, in northern Italy, and it’s made basically by two type of flour, butter, almonds, and eggs: at this base, you can add several ingredients, like white chocolate and berries, but also dried fruit and so on. The texture of this cake is sand-like, not uniform: the name “sbrisolona” means infact that “it crumbles easily”. Here the recipe:

20160218_214404

INGREDIENTS:

– 250 gr. flour 00
– 150 gr cornmeal
– 200 gr granulated sugar
– 200 gr butter (room temperature)
– 2 egg yolks
– 150 gr white chocolate
– 130 gr raspberries
– 130 gr chopped and stripped almond
– 1 vanilla pod
– grated lemon (or orange) rind
– a pinch of salt

PREPARATION: 

20160222_230435

Put the flour 00 and the cornmeal in a big bowl. Add a pinch of salt, the sugar, the butter – previously chopped in cubes – and two egg yolks, then start mixing the ingredients, melting them by hands. I suggest not to use the mixer for this recipe or you’ll obtain the right consistence.

20160218_214420

When the ingredients are well amalgamated, add the chopped almonds, the vanilla pod, the grated lemon rind and finally, the white chocolate and the raspberries. (if you wash the berries, then dry them with paper before adding to the mixture)
Put the mixture in a round baking tray (diameter 26 cm) covered with wax paper and spread out the mixture, pressing on its surface to compact it.

20160219_091418

Cook the cake in pre-heated oven at 180°C for 45-50 minutes. When the cake it’s done, let it cool down on a grill for a while. Then sprinkle it with powdered sugar.

Buon appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: TORTA ZEBRATA

Hello! Do you have ever made a “zebra-striped cake”? I make it for this Fiesta Friday for the first time, and I like it really much: it’s a classic cake, cocoa flavoured, very friable. After all, it’s quite simple to make, but a double-coloured cake is always cool, right? Here my recipe:

20151023_131855
INGREDIENTS:

 3/4 Eggs (to divide in yolk and white)
– 250 gr Granulated Sugar
– 300 gr Flour 00
– 150 gr Butter
– 1 glass Milk  (100-120 ml)
– 30 gr Cocoa powder (3 spoon)
– 1 bag Baking powder for desserts
– the juice of 1/2 lemon
– a pinch of salt
Optional:
– Vanilla extract
– Potato starch (130 gr)

PREPARATION: 

Start the preparation with the butter (room-temperature) and the sugar: put the ingredients in a large bowl, (also the vanilla extract if you use it) and work them with the mixer. Then add the egg yolks (always room-temperature), one by one, and  keep mixing the ingredients. When the mixture will become smooth and creamy, add the flour 00, the baking powder, and the pinch of salt. If you’re using the potato starch, add 100 gr of it at this time. (all the ingredients previously sifted.)

20151022_212430

At this point, add also the milk to make the mixture more “fluid”, then take a ladle and test the consistency: if the dough seems still too compact, add a bit more of milk. Now, the last step of the preparation is to beat the egg whites until foamy. When ready, add the whites to the mixture, little by little, and every time mixing well from the bottom to the top. Finally divide the mixture in two equal parts (uso two small bowls): in one part, add the sifted cocoa powder and amalgamate well the ingredients; in the other bowl, add 30-40 gr potato starch and mix well.

20151022_213515

After the “division”, if one of the parts is more compact than the other, add some teaspoon of milk to reach a better density. Take a baking pan (24 cm diameter) and butter it, then cover it with wax paper. Then start pouring with a spoon the “light” mixture in the middle of the baking pan. On the “light” mixture, always in the center, add the “cocoa” mixture. Follow pouring the two mixtures alternately till you end the dough.

20151022_221000

When you’re done, put the baking pan in the preheated oven at 180-200 °C for 40 minutes. Let the cake cool down when ready, and before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Happy December to you all my dear bloggers! Another year together, isn’t it amazing? Today I opened my blog page and I got all excited founding the snow falling: I’ve missed it!Last Friday I made a classic recipe for FiestaFriday, the chocolate chip cookies, probably one of my favourite type of biscuits. Here my recipe:

20151207_223336

INGREDIENTS: (55-60 cookies)

– Butter 230 gr (room temperature)
– Baking soda 5 gr
– Powdered sugar 200 gr
– Vanilla extract 2 gr
– Eggs 3
– Flour 00, 360 g (sifted)
– Granulated sugar 100 gr
– Dark chocolate chips  300-350 gr
– Cooking salt 10 gr (optional)

PREPARATION:

20151207_212622

To start the preparation, the first thing to do is to mingle the butter and the two type of sugar into the mixer. Cut the butter into pieces, then add the powdered sugar and the granulated sugar, and work them till you’ll obtain a smooth, dense and homogeneous mixture. If you don’t own a mixer, you can use the wisks. Add, always into the mixer, the cooking salt, the vanilla extract and the eggs; at this point it’s essential to keep on mixing at least for 5 minutes.
In the meanwhile, sift the flour in a big bowl, and add the baking soda. At this point, you can incorporate the flour to the mixture little by little, helping yourself with a spatula, and mixing until the flour will be totally absorbed.

20151207_212917

20151207_214830

The final touch is to add the dark chocolate chips, trying to  blend in well. Cover a baking tray with a sheet of wax paper, and put a teaspoon of mixture for each cookie on it. Be careful to maintain separated the small balls of dough. while shaping the cookies. Cook them in pre-heated oven at 180 °C for 15 minutes: the cookies must become soft in the center and golden on the edges. When they’re ready, put them on a grill to cool down.

20151207_222652

Buon Appetito! Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: TORTELLI RICOTTA&SPINACI

Hello! This Friday is “Handmade Pasta Time” so I prepared a classic version of tortelli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. Do you like pasta? To me is one of my favourite dish!Let’s start the preparation…

20151002_202358b

INGREDIENTS: (35-40 tortelli)

FOR THE PASTA:
– Flour 00: 250 g
– 2 big eggs and 1 yolk
– Salt

FOR THE FILLING:
– Spinach: 250 gr
– Ricotta: 125 gr
– Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: 50 gr
– Nutmeg:  1/4 teaspoon
– Salt
– Pepper

PREPARATION:

First start with the preparation of the pasta. Sift the flour and make a fountain with it on a wooden worktop. To make a fountain means make a hole in the center of the flour to add the eggs in the center: now you can start knead, melting the eggs and the flour with a fork initially, then by hands. Add also a pinch of salt. Be careful to amalgamate all the flour. If  you notice that the dough doesn’t collect well all the flour, or if it remains slightly tough, add one or two spoon of lukewarm water, then keep kneading till the dough will became smooth and compact. Roll up the obtained pasta in the plastic wrap and let it rest in a cool and dry place for 50-60 minutes.

DSC00955

In the meanwhile, you can prepare the filling: first of all, cook the spinach in hot water and salt. Pour the ricotta and the parmigiano cheese in the mixer, together with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. When the spinach are boiled, squeeze them to eliminate the excess water, and put them too in the mixer. You’ll obtain a green, homogenized mixture.
After an hour, the pasta will be more soft and elastic: now you can start to spread out the dough. Put some flour on the wooden worktop and use a rolling pin to work the pasta. This operation made only by hands is a bit hard to achieve, especially if it’s your first time. You can help yourself using a pasta-maker (the famous “nonna papera” here, in Italy) to obtain a pastry sheet of 0,5 mm depth.

20151002_202413b

To make the tortelli, you cut the pasta sheet in stripes of 10 cm width, putting small quantities of filling on it – help yourself with a teasppon – well separated one from another. Then put another stripe of pasta on the filled one and press well on the edges to eliminate the air bubbles. Now you cut the filled pasta in squares of 4×4 cm. – I made instead an half moon cut, as you can see. – You can cook them right after the preparation or freeze them on a tray, putting them wide apart. I served them with chopped carrots, zucchini and green celery, cooked in a frypan with onion and extra-virgin olive oil. I added as final touch some roasted chopped bacon.

20151002_202355b

20151002_202418b

Buon Appetito!Cris

EXPO BY NIGHT

Hello! Expo is running to the end, do you had the opportunity to go? I would like to know more about your impressions, sensations, experiences towards this event…We were lucky to visit it already in June, because during these weeks there are just too much people…anyway, these are the photos of our last Friday in Milan…Goodbye Expo, I’m glad that I visited you!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: BROWNIES

Hello! I’ve been absent for a while, I know. So, when I find some free time to cook other things than ordinary, I’m really happy. And this week I’m part of Fiesta Friday me too! This week I felt like eating chocolate… so brownies was an inevitable choice. During years, I read about so many versions of brownies, but this one remains one of my favourite. They’re just perfect for the autumn afternoons, what do you think?

DSC00947b

INGREDIENTS: (12 pieces)

– 170 gr butter
– 150 gr granulated sugar
– 200 gr dark chocolate
– 20 gr unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 eggs (cold)
– 100 gr flour 00
– 50 gr chopped hazelnuts
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 5 gr baking powder for dessert

DSC00948

PREPARATION: 

First of all, cut the chocolate in pieces, then cook the butter in bain-marie. When the butter is almost liquefied, add the pieces of dark chocolate.
Add the cocoa – previously sifted – and blend with a spatula to amalgamate all the ingredients, then turn off the stove and let them cool down. In the meanwhile, with the mixer (or with electric whisks) whisk the eggs together with the sugar, to obtain a soft and light-coloured mixture.

DSC00940
Drizzle in the mix of chocolate and butter into the whisked eggs, and keep mixing. In another bowl, put together the flour with the baking powder and the pinch of salt, and sift together all the ingredients.
The last step is to add the “powders” to the other ingredients – one spoon after another – and frequently amalgamate to incorporate well all the ingredients. Chop the hazelnuts and add them finally to the mixture.

DSC00943

DSC00945

Pour the mix in a rectangular baking tray – mine is 20×28 cm – and equally distribute the dough. You may use also a round tray diameter 24 cm. However, it’s important to cover the tray with wax paper before. Cook in preheated oven at 180º for 30-35 minutes: when ready, let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes and then take it out of the baking tray. When the dough is cool, cut it in squares and …brownies are ready to be enjoyed!Yum!

DSC00951