THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: INSALATA DI RISO

Hello! So hot here in these summer days, we need something refreshing also to eat. I’ve been very busy in these last two weeks, so no Fiesta Friday at all. Then, few days ago, i read about Selma’s Table. I couldn’t believe it. Even now I can’t believe that I will not see ever again her kind comments to my recipes. Learn about her recipes. She was always encouraging, especially when i start my blog. I really don’t have an episode related to her, i wasn’t so familiar with her – I didn’t have the time -. But she impressed me, and today I want to commemorate her bringing to you a simple and tasty dish: a rice salad. You can add and remove ingredients as you wish – a great classic – isn’t it? But somewhat it reminds me of her, with her authenticity. Goodbye Selma, this Fiesta Friday is for you.

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INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)

– 350 gr Carnaroli rice (or similar)
– 1 big zucchini
– 140 gr peas
– 70-80 gr prosciutto cotto (slices or cubes)
– 70-80 gr salame strolghino (or salami)
– 1 can tuna fish (70-100 gr)
– black taggiasche olives (or other types)
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt&pepper

PREPARATION:

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To start, put some water on the stove till the boil, then add all the rice and wait until it’s done. Let the rice cool down for a bit. In the meanwhile, cut in slices the zucchini, and put them in a pan together with the peas, flavour with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them for a while.

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When they’re done, put them in the rice and melt them a bit. After that, cut the salami and the prosciutto cotto in cubes/slices and add them to the salad. At the end, you can add the tuna (previously drained) and the black olives. – only now i can see that i took the photos without adding olives …ouch – But like Selma said “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful”, so … it’s okay.

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Now you can serve the rice salad. You could also prepare it previously, and then put it in the fridge for 1-2 days maximum.

Buon Appetito. Cris

EXPO MILANO 2015

Hello!Finally Friday we were in Milano for EXPO 2015: i was really looking forward to go ’cause I heard a lot about this universal exposition about food and nutrition, so i had no clear idea of what I would’ve seen. What’s Expo 2015? A universal exhibition about food. Good. That is, what is it?
With Milan selected as the host-city for the Universal Exposition, Italy then chose “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” as its central theme. Expo Milano 2015 will talk about the problems of nutrition and the resources of our planet. The idea is to open up a dialogue between international players, and to exchange views on these major challenges which impact everyone. Expo Milano 2015 will provide an opportunity to reflect upon, and seek solutions to, the contradictions of our world. Nowadays, there are still the hungry and, on the one hand, there are those who die for poor nutrition or too much food. In addition, tons of foods are wasted every year. For these reasons, we need to make conscious political choices, develop sustainable lifestyles, and use the best technology to create a balance between the availability and the consumption of resources.

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This is only the “introduction”: something that you could easily find everywhere using internet: but for me, Expo 2015 is also:
– Architecture: at first glance, you could see, standing in the middle of the Decumano – the principal street of Expo – thousand of outstanding pavilions: designed by internationally-renowned architects, the site comprises an area of 1.1 million square meters, easily accessible from Milan and the surrounding area. Reflecting the signature urban-planning style of the ancient Romans, the site is based on two wide avenues, the Cardo and the Decumano, which intersect at Piazza Italia. On these avenues stand the pavilions of the participating countries, the public squares and the areas dedicated to events and catering. Constructed to be energy-efficient and sustainable, the buildings are designed to be removed and reused after the event concludes.

– Digital technology: each country provides visitors with digital media and apps to download: all major pavilions have a dedicated mobile app. And also, technology is all over during the visit of the pavilions: multimedia presentations, light play, interactive screens: visitors are invited to participate in many ways.

– Sensory experience: every country will fascinate you with its colours, shapes, traditions, scents. Food is a powerful way to stimulate senses.DSC00528

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And these are some practical information to move in the big area of the Expo, especially if you have only one day like the two of us:

– Get yourself a map of the area before starting the visit: you could find it on the site of Expo 2015 or you could download the mobile application.

– In only one day it’s impossible to see everything: decide previously which pavilions you wish to visit (maximum 15-16 pavillon a day); with so many exhibitors, you must prepare your visit in advance, because for the main pavillons there are often queues and this will delay your itinerary, especially during week-ends.

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And now, let’s explore a bit some of the most remarkable pavilions: – not too much, I leave to you the opportunity to discover them better alone –

– Morocco: a warm atmosphere with a light scent of orange and almond. The theme of Morocco is the water, source of life: the idea is the preservation of this precious element, that allows the fruits of the earth – olives, oranges, almonds, – to grow lush.

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– Japan: prepare yourself for a quite long wait before enter the pavilion, about 40 minutes/1 hour, but Japanese are really well organized, so the waiting will not seem so long. Japan has made a reflection between the past and the future: in the first part of the visit, you’ll find yourself in feudal rural Japan, with the importance of field work, that must be protected, especially nowadays.

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Regarding the future, I found the experience of the “virtual restaurant” really amazing: it’s a short show in which the visitors will learn about some typical dishes of the Japanese Cuisine, but using the chopsticks …on a screen!Really original.

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– Cile: “El amor de Chile” will fascinate you, with its beautiful landscapes and the strong link between population and the Earth. They will give you their feeling thanks to musics and poetry. We felt really welcome by the staff: if you visit it, don’t miss the chance to taste their great empanadas.

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– China:at first sight an imponent pavilion. Wooden curved rooftops, and thousand of yellow flowers will welcome you at the entrance. The theme choosen by China is the respect and cooperation between the people: as farmers take care of the earth, so people should treat about our planet.

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Hoping that you liked my first glimpse of Expo, I must say that it’s a worthy experience, and I hope to be back soon at least one other time. Stay tuned for other shots from the pavilions! Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: BISCOTTI AL LIMONE

Hello folks!Happy Fiesta Friday to you all!This Friday i thought to bring some Lemon Cookies, was I wrong? I totally love lemon taste, and in the summer I often use it for cookies and cakes: I thing it has a refreshing taste. I found the recipe in Marisa’s blog: her recipe are just fabulous. Here the recipe:

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INGREDIENTS: for 25/30 cookies

– 120 gr granulated sugar
– 120 gr soft butter
– 1 egg
– 1 lemon
– 250 gr flour 00
– 1 teaspoon full of baking powder for desserts
– powdered sugar (as needed)

PREPARATION:

In a bowl work with a mixer – or with whisks – the soft butter with the sugar, till you’ll obtain a creamy mixture. After that, sift the flour together with the teaspoon of baking powder for desserts.

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Continue to work the mixture with the mixer; in the meanwhile, add the whole egg, the juice of half lemon, the grated peel of a whole lemon, and finally the sifted flour with the baking powder. The final mix obtained will be soft: let it rest in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm for 1 hour.

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When the hour has gone, make small ball with the mixture, and put them first in the granulated sugar, and then in the powdered sugar. Set the small balls in a baking tray covered in wax paper. Cook them in the preheated oven at  180°C for 10/15 minutes.

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Check often while cooking, the cookies must be taken out when you see that they have “cracks” on the surface. At this moment the lemon cookies will be really soft. You have to let them cool down for a bit before serving.

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: PACCHERI GAMBERONI&ZUCCHINE

Hello!Am I in time for FiestaFriday also this week?!Unbelivable!This Friday I cooked a simple pasta dish – classic Italian style –  with prawns and courgette. I used a big type of pasta named “pacchero”, they’re like maccheroni but bigger, and they’re made by durum wheat flour.

INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)
– 350 gr paccheri
– 200 gr shrimps (to clean)
– 1 zucchino
– salt&pepper
– extra-virgin olive oil
– chopped parsley
– tomato passata (1 spoon)

PREPARATION:

We start first from cleaning the shrimps: separate the heads from the bodies, and remove the shells. In a frypan, warm up two spoon of extra-virgine olive oil with red onion and a butter curl. Let the onion lightly fry and the butter liquefy. After that, you could add the zucchini previously chopped, to pieces or slices. Flavour them with salt, pepper and add the chopped parsley, and the spoon of tomato passata.

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At this point you can add the shrimps heads, and let all the ingredients cook for a while on low fire, then switch off the stove. In the meanwhile, put another pot with salted water on the stove, and wait till the water will join the boiling point to add the paccheri.

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The coooking time for paccheri is about 12-13 minutes. When the pasta is “al dente” (not too hard, not too soft) you can drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta in the frypan together with the courgette and the shrimps and cook them together for 2-3 minutes.

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Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: LEMON CAKE

Hello! I’m glad this Friday to be able finally to participate again to FiestaFriday. Lately, I tried some new dishes, but I give up to post them on the blog because of the lack of time to write. Today I would like to show you a simple classic Lemon Cake, ideal for breakfast or a tea break.

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INGREDIENTS:

– 120 gr flour 00
– 250 gr butter
– 250 gr sugar
– 4 eggs
– 8-10 gr yeast
– 2 small lemon
– 120 gr maizena (it could be replaced with the same quantity of potato flour)

PREPARATION:

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To start preparing the cake cut the butter in cubes and let it became soft at room temperature, then put it in a bowl and add half of the sugar quantity previewed for this recipe. Start mixing (with the mixer or with the whisks) till you’ll obtain a soft and spumy mixture, then add the egg yolks (one by one). When the eggs will be fully blended, add the lemon peel.

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At this point you add the flour, the maizena and the yeast, previously sifted all together. Mix well all the ingredients then transfer the mixture in a clean big bowl. Use another time the mixer (or the whisks) to beat until stiff the albumen and the remaining quantity of sugar.

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When you have approximately finish to beat the egg whites, add slowly the lemon juice, then continue till you’ll obtain a rich and dense mixture. Add at last delicately the edd yolks you previously prepared, mixing from bottom to the top, not to disassemble the albumen. Mix until all the ingredients all fully combined.
Transfer the mixture in a round baking tray – diameter 22-24 cm – covered in wax paper, and put the cake in the preheated oven for 1 hour time at 180°C. When the cake it’s ready, let it cool down and then sprinkle powdered sugar on the top.

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Advice: If you notice that, while cooking, the cake became darker on the top, after 40 minutes open the oven and cover the cake with an aluminiun foil, then continue the cooking for the time suggested.

Buon Appetito!

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: SEDANINI TONNO, POMODORINI E OLIVE

Hello!Spring is here, and this week I thought to present you for FiestaFriday one of my common and simple pasta dish: i love this version of sedanini (they’re tiny maccheroni) with tuna, pachino tomatoes and olives (this time I used the taggiasche type). A perfect fresh pasta dish for the hot mounths!

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INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)

– 360/380 gr sedanini pasta;
– 1 can of tuna (extra virgin oil, or natural)
– 50/70 gr taggiasche olives (pitted);
– 150 gr pachino tomatoes;
– extra virgin olive oil;
– onion, or (garlic, if you like it);
– salt&pepper;
– oregano

PREPARATION:

First of all, cut the tomatoes in half, eliminating all the seeds and the water in the inside. (squeezing them lightly) In a small saucepan, put a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and let it warm up for 2 minutes. In the meanwhile, cut a tiny piece of onion (and/or garlic) and put it in the pan together with the oil, to flavour it. When the oil start to sizzle, throw away the onion. Add the cutted tomatoes to the oil, and let it “rest” for a bit out of the stove.

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In another pot, put 750 ml of water on the stove, add two teaspoon salt, and let the water reach the boil. When it’s ready, add the sedanini and let them boil for 8-9 minutes.

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In the meanwhile, add the taggiasche olives and the tuna to the tomatoes in the small saucepan. When the pasta is ready – al dente -, drain the pasta and put it in the saucepan, and finally cook all until creamy – 2 minutes -.

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM CUPCAKES

Hello to you all! This week I receive a special request from Mons to translate one of the firsts recipe that I published on the blog. I was really honoured by this, so I decided to share with everybody the translation of my previous post. After all, yesterday started a brand new FiestaFriday party, isn’t it?

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INGREDIENTS: (10-12 cupcakes)

– 125 gr. butter (room temperature)
– 1 vanillin bag
– 165 gr. granulated sugar
– 150 gr. flour 00
– 3 eggs
– 1 teaspoon baking powder for desserts
– 60 ml milk
– grated lemon peel (optional)

FOR THE BUTTER CREAM

– 200 gr. powdered sugar
– 100 gr. butter
– 100-125 gr. milk chocolate

PREPARATION:

Preheat the oven at 180°C. Amalgamate well all the ingredients with the mixer: you start mixing the sugar and the butter together. After that, you add the flour, the vanillin and the baking powder. In the end, you add the eggs and two-three spoon of milk. Continue mixing the ingredients at maximum speed until the dough will turn into a soft and yellow cream.
Pour the mixture in a  muffin pan (every mould must be half-filled) or use directly the cupcake wrappers. Cook the cupcakes in the oven for 15-20 minutes till they become lightly golden on the surface: now let the sweets cool down before decorate them.

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For the chocolate butter cream: use the whisks to amalgamate well 200 gr. of powdered sugar – previously sifted – with 100 gr of butter at room temperature. Now you can flavour the cream: I added the liquefied milk chocolate. (molten at bain-marie) Amalgamate again with the whisks till the mixture will be uniform. Use a pastry piping bag to decorate the cupcakes with the chocolate butter cream. Add some coloured sugar flowers on the top.