Potato and Beetroot Rosti

Potato and Beetroot Rosti I find rosti is a little like pasta or pizza: there’s infinity of combinations you can make. This time I have paired the usual potatoes with fresh beetroot. I like the earthy taste of the beetroot and this works so well with potatoes… I guess I’ve already said it, but I think that rosti is the Swiss comfort food and this time, the plus, is that it’s a dish high in colours. I just feel at home when I eat it. I served this rosti I made a blue cheese sauce by mixing 40g Roquefort, 100 g half-fat sour cream and pepper.

By the way, I’m sorry for the slight delay. We’ve been harvesting the whole day and I ran a little late since it’s almost a tradition to have a drink after work.

Potato and Beetroot Rosti Potato and Beetroot Rosti

Potato and Beetroot Rosti

Recipe for 3-4 as a side dish or for 1-2 as a main meal

Prep time:15 min

Cook time: 35-40 min

 

Ingredients:

 

200 g raw beetroot

600 g boiled potatoes, peeled

1 onion

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

2 tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

Recipe:

In a bowl grate the beetroot with a large holed grater. Either using a tea towel or using

a sieve, remove excess moisture.

In a second bowl grate the potatoes.

Chop the onion and add it to a pan with the rapeseed oil. Cook onion on a low-medium fire until translucent, about 5-7 min. Add the beetroot and the potatoes to the pan and cook them on a medium fire for 8-10 min, occasionally stirring. Season the preparation with salt and pepper to taste.

Shape the rosti into a patty and leave it to colour for 10-15 min. A couple of minutes before turning the rosti add half of the butter around the edges.

Turn the rosti with the help of a lid or a dish and leave to colour for another 10-15 min. Repeat the process by adding the butter the in last few minutes of the cooking process.

Serve warm, eventually with the blue cheese sauce.

Cocoa and Chestnut Muffins

Cocoa and Chestnut Muffins I always like it when a season ends and the next comes up, don’t you? Continue reading

Colours are changing, days are shorter and even if it’s still warm the autumn air and feel is more and more present. The past couple of weeks I have been craving foods like pumpkin soup, fire roasted chestnuts, game meat with spaetzle and on a cold and rainy night I could even go for a fondue… According to this mood I decided to make these cocoa and chestnut muffins. For this recipe I took as a basis Michael Ruhlman’s muffin recipe in his book Ratio. From there I adapted the recipe according to the ingredients I was using. I find that muffins are a friendly food and when I make some I always give at least half of them away. This time, I shared my muffins with my mother and her boyfriend, I brought them when they invited me for dinner last Sunday.

Cocoa and Chestnut MuffinsCocoa and Chestnut Muffins

Cocoa and Chestnut Muffins

 

Cocoa and Chestnut Muffins

 

Recipe for 12 muffins

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

190 g flour (+ more for dusting)

150 g brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2.3 dl milk

100 g soft butter (+ more to grease the muffin tin)

1 tbsp. cocoa

1 vanilla pod

70g chopped cooked chestnuts

Icing sugar

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Grease the muffin tin with some butter and dust it with flour.

In a bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Incise the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. In a second bowl mix the milk, vanilla seeds and the butter. Once the three ingredients are well combined add the eggs and whisk again.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir until just combined. Fold in the chopped chestnuts and pour the mix in the muffin tin. Gently tap the muffin tim on a surface to make any bubbles come to the surface.

Place in the oven for 20-25 min. Check for doneness with a tooth pick. Remove from the oven and leave them for 3-5 min. Take the muffins out of their moulds and dust them with icing sugar.

Aubergine Piccata

Aubergine Piccata So yesterday I left early in the afternoon from home and had little time to prepare my lunch and so I made this aubergine piccata. Continue reading

After lunch I got ready and left for Locarno where my appointment to the doctor for my ankle was. I got there and the nurse at the desk looked at me without saying a word, I introduced myself and was very soon told that my appointment wasn’t for Monday but for Tuesday… It was my fault and I got mad at myself. I don’t like getting appointments wrong, don’t you? Despite throwing away an afternoon to get to the doctor and finding out I got the date wrong; at east I enjoyed my lunch.

Aubergine Piccata Aubergine Piccata

 

Aubergine Piccata

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 3-12 min

 

Ingredients:

1 Aubergine (350-400g)

3-4 tbsp. flour

80 g grated cheese (I used a firm goat cheese)

3 eggs

2 tbsp. chopped chives

salt

Olive oil or frying butter

 

In a bowl place the flour while in another place the eggs with the grated cheese and the chives.

Cut the aubergine into 0.5 cm thick slices and season them with salt on both sides.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil or butter in a pan.

Take an aubergine slice, coat it in the flour on both sides and then dip it into the egg, cheese and chive mix (make sure you get a good amount of the egg mix on the aubergine) and then place it straight into the pan. Repeat with the other slices and cook for 3-4 min on each side on a medium fire. You will probably need to do this in 2-3 batches so once the slices are done keep them warm in the oven at 70°C. Usually I serve this dish with a simple tomato sauce pasta.

 

Cheesy Chicken Skewers with Honeyed Carrot Salad

Cheesy Chicken Skewers with Honeyed Carrot SaladAfter a pretty busy weekend where I had visits, I attended the enogastronomic walk and on Sunday I had the summer party organised by my boyfriend’s political party; it’s nice to be back into a more calm routine. Continue reading

Yesterday I had my weekly lunch with my mother and usually I make something vegetarian since we both like it but this time I wanted to make something a little different and so I came up with these mince chicken skewers and this honeyed carrot salad. With the chicken I paired some Emmentaler cheese that has a relatively sweet taste and its flavour goes well with the chicken meat and the honeyed carrot salad.

Cheesy Chicken Skewers with Honeyed Carrot Salad

 

Cheesy Chicken Skewers with Honeyed Carrot Salad

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients

For the chicken:

600 g chicken minced meat

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 tsp. mustard powder

optional: cayenne pepper

4 tbsp. grated Emmentaler cheese

1 large spring onion – only the bulb

salt and pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

For the carrot salad:

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. runny honey

salt and pepper

1 tbsp chopped parsley

3 grated carrots – not too large ones

1 finely chopped spring onion (white part only)

 

Recipe:

For the carrot salad, in a bowl combine the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the carrots and parsley. Toss and leave to macerate.

Meanwhile in another bowl mix the minced chicken, breadcrumbs, thyme, mustard powder, grated cheese, salt, pepper and optionally the cayenne pepper. Finely chop the spring onion and add it to the rest of the mix. Blend all together and divide the mass into 8 equal parts. Take one part and with your hands form sausage like shapes; repeat with the rest of the meat. Insert a wooden skewer stick into each “sausage”.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and place the skewers to colour on all sides and allow them to cook through for 10-12 minutes.

Serve the salad with the skewers and some crusty bread.

Gusta il Borgo 2014

Gusta il Borgo 2014 Last Saturday with the same small group of three we met up like last year to participate at the 3rd edition of the enogastronomic walk Gusta il Borgo 2014 held in Ascona, by the Amis da la Forcheta. Even if I had a cold and (from what I learned yesterday) a small stress fracture on my ankle, I would not have missed this event for almost anything in the world. I was right to go anyway because like last year we had a great time filled with laughs, great food and drinks. With our tasting glass around our necks, the map and a few supplementary goodies, we began our walk at half past eleven. At a short distance from the starting point was the first stop where we were served coffee, a croissant and muesli with farina bona flakes and raspberries. While we began eating our “breakfast” a group of men arrived and one of them began to wear strange clothes for a man while the others watched and laughed; soon we found out that they were celebrating a bachelor party. This was an entertaining start. Continue reading

Potato Galette

Potato Galette I’m always looking for side dishes I like and this recipe is one I’ll certainly be doing again. Continue reading

Besides liking the taste and its simplicity, I also like the way it looks. I found this recipe in one of my old Betty Bossi books. In the beginning I wasn’t sure about how to place the potatoes in the pan but it ended up being quite simple. I had this dish for lunch with my mother and we ate it with some simple roasted tomatoes, but this is just one of the many alternatives you could chose to serve it with: many kinds of meat, veggies, salad or even some melted cheese…

Potato Galette

Potato Galette

 

Recipe for 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

450g waxy potatoes

1.5 tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. salt

Pepper

2-3 tsp. fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage or parsley…it’s up to you)

 

Recipe:

Thinly pass the potatoes through a slicer (electric or manual), place them in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper.

In a pan melt 1 tbsp. butter and coat the whole bottom with it. Remove from heat. Start adding the potatoes, they should widely overlap and end up making two layers in total. Personally I began from the centre and worked my way outwards making a spiral like shape.

Cover the potatoes and replace on the fire in a low heat to stew for 15 min. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high to colour the potatoes. After about 5 min turn the galette with the help of a lid or a plate and slide back into the pan. Add the rest of the butter around the potatoes, sprinkle the herbs on top and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve.

Vully Cake

Vully CakeA few months ago when I went to Lausanne with my mother we met up with her cousins. While we sipped a delicious wine in a pace overlooking the Leman lake I asked them about recipes that are typical from the French part of Switzerland. Continue reading

The first dish that came to mind to everyone is the “Papet Vaudois avec la Saucisse aux Choux” (slow cooked potatoes and leeks served with a cabbage sausage) which is the staple recipe of the canton. I wanted to learn about other dishes and that’s where this recipe was mentioned. I kept the idea in a corner of my head because I knew I would come back to it and in fact, a couple weeks ago I found this recipe and the following day, armed with the right ingredients I got down to work. Frankly I absolutely loved the result because personally I’m not a fan of oversweet food, when I have the feeling the sugar stays in my mouth, I only feel like taking one bite and leave the rest. I find that this cake can even work well for breakfast besides as a sweet treat, dessert or snack. By the way, this sweet version is the most common (sometimes also called the “Salée Sucrée” which literally means the “Salty Sugary”) but there is also the salty one where you add double cream (1.5 tbsp.), bacon (250g) and cumin (60g).

Vully Cake

Vully Cake

 

Vully Cake

 

Recipe for 2×30 cm diameter cake tins

Prep time: 20 min + resting time

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g flour

½ tsp salt

3.5 dl lukewarm milk

20g fresh yeast

80g melted butter (original recipe calls for 40g butter and 40g lard)

4 tbsp. double cream

4 tbsp. sugar

 

Recipe:

In a bowl sift the flour and add the salt. Mix them and make a well in the centre.

Dilute the yeast in 3 dl lukewarm milk and add it to the centre of the flour well along with the melted butter. Gently knead the dough for about 10 min until the preparation is soft and smooth (if the dough is too hard add the last 0.5 dl of milk).

Cover the dough and leave to rise for 45-50 minutes.

Divide the dough into two equal parts and smooth them out in the cake tins with your hands, cover and leave to rise for another 20 min.

Heat oven at around 270°C.

To make the borders pinch the edges while slightly turning your wrist. Prick the dough with a fork several times. Add 2 tbsp. double cream on each cake and spread it out evenly and as a final touch sprinkle the sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 10-12 min.

 

 

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake Pasta bake is something I can’t resist. Continue reading

I have been making them for over ten years and whether it’s for a simple meal or for a dinner between friends it always has its success. I made this pasta bake thinking about my mother who, up to a couple of months ago, never dared to give it a try. Since I’m writing this blog, as I already wrote it, she has been facing some of her fears in the kitchen such as risotto, croquettes and now the pasta bake. I told her just to give it a try and that it was easy; the following day she phoned me and told me how much her and her boyfriend enjoyed it (when he takes a second refill it means he likes it). For this recipe I didn’t even look up a recipe, I just went with what I had at home and thought it would be nice to have the dish already portioned. Actually I also gladly noticed that it makes the washing up quicker… which is always on the plus side.                             I wish you all a great weekend, I’ll be off to beautiful Crans Montana with my boyfriend for the weekend. For two days I’ll be setting the healthy life style on the side since we’ll surely party and will be eating rosti, Argentinian meat, dried meat and if it’s chilly why not a cheese fondue!

 

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

 

Recipe for 2 as a main meal or for 4 as a first course

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

160 g short pasta such as elbow macaroni, orecchiette, pennette…

2 Aubergines

Olive oil

4-5 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

120 g cherry tomatoes quartered (roughly 8 pieces)

60 g grated cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. dried chillies

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions and once done, add a little olive oil and leave it to cool.

Meanwhile cut the aubergines in half lengthways and incise them deeply (without piercing the skin) making diagonal lines about 2-3 cm between cuts. Brush the cut side with olive oil.

Quarter the garlic cloves and push two pieces in the cut flesh for each aubergine half, do the same with the thyme sprigs. Season the aubergines with salt and cook in the oven for 30 min or until the flesh has softened. Once the aubergines are out of the oven, remove the thyme sprigs and set the garlic aside. With the help of a spoon scoop out the flesh, just be careful not to break the skin, as you will soon need it.

Chop the aubergine flesh and the garlic and let them to cool for 5 min before adding them to the pasta along with the egg, the cherry tomatoes, ¾ of the grated cheese, dried chillies, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and evenly spoon the preparation in the aubergine skins. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Replace them in the oven and cook for 15-18 min.

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

Zucchini and Quinoa SaladI absolutely adore zucchini, don’t you? Continue reading

Besides loving their taste, especially when they’re grilled, health wise they have their good arguments and they are very low on calories. I know my calories because when I was twelve I became anorexic and in that process I learned about all the calories in basically all foods and among my favourites were zucchini, salad, cucumbers, tomatoes… They say that the mind retains what it considers important and these food facts have stuck to me more than the grammar rules that apply to the Italian language. In case anyone has questions about anorexia I would be glad to answer them, of course in the margins of my personal experience and knowledge. But today I’m here to talk about zucchini and this salad which is a healthy meal and my mother will agree with me since we enjoyed it together yesterday over a sunny lunch (an almost rare event this summer). The idea to cut the zucchini this way, I found it as I was going through the Betty Bossi site (in French or German) and, I thought it would look and taste nice in a salad (chunky vegetables have a texture I really like). The recipe I saw on the site served it with tomatoes but as I wanted to make this a main dish I replaced them with quinoa, onions, goat cheese and hazelnuts.

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

 

Recipe for 4 as a main meal or 8 as a starter

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 12-20 min

 

Ingredients:

4 small to medium zucchini

160 g quinoa

4 tbsp. olive oil + more to brush the zucchini

2 tbsp. hazelnut oil

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

salt and pepper

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 small red onion

100 g fresh goat cheese

1-handful hazelnuts (preferably dry roasted)

 

Recipe

After washing and drying the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise and then, always lengthwise, cut each half into three equal parts. Brush the zucchini with olive oil. Heat a griddle pan (if you don’t have one use a normal one instead) and add the zucchini slices to colour on all sides on a medium fire. I did it in more batches and once a few pieces were ready, I seasoned with salt and set them aside.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa in two times its volume in water with a little salt for about 10 min. Should there be any, remove excess water.

For the dressing mix together the 4tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. hazelnut oil, the 2 tbsp. cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add half of the dressing to the cooked quinoa along with the chopped parsley. Finely chop the onion and add it to the quinoa too.

Roughly chop the hazelnuts.

Place six zucchini strips on each plate, on top add the quinoa, now crumble the goat cheese before adding the hazelnuts. To finish, drizzle the remaining dressing on each dish.

Mini Pistachio Pavlovas with Double Cream and Blackberries

Mini Blackberry and Pistachio PavlovaMeringues make me merry. I just love their texture and taste and here in Switzerland, in the Gruyère region it’s custom to eat them with double cream and the pairing is heavenly. Continue reading

Meringues remind me of soft white clouds, not like the grey ones we have been having above our heads during this whole summer. I made these pavlovas the day before yesterday and when I began making them the rain was pouring down and I actually discovered that it’s harder to make consistent meringues when the air contains 100% humidity… besides being a truly annoying weather. I have had to whisk my eggs twice because the fist time the preparation was way too runny and it didn’t hold the shape. The second time I made them the result was better and finally they held in shape. The good thing is that my boyfriend is also a huge fan of meringues so I served them after dinner to soften the confession that I didn’t wait for him to watch the fourth season of Game of Thrones ;)

Mini Blackberry and Pistachio Pavlova 1

 

Mini Pistachio Pavlovas with Double Cream and Blackberries

 

Makes 6 pieces

Prep time : 20 min

Cook time : 1 h

 

Ingredients :

3 egg whites

150 g sugar

150 double cream

30-35 g finely chopped pistachios

250-300 g blackberries

 

Recipe :

Heat oven at 110°C.

Whisk the egg whites to a peak, from here start adding the sugar one tbsp. at the time and mixing for 3-4 seconds between each addition. Once the preparation is glossy but still stiff, add 20 g of the pistachios and fold in gently. Line a baking tray with oven paper and drop six round shaped meringues and shape them so that they are a little raised at the borders. Cook in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the meringues from the oven and leave them to cool.

Take the mini pavlovas and evenly spoon in the double cream, on top place the blackberries and finally sprinkle the rest of the pistachios on top.