Bacon & Radish Salad

Bacon Radish Salad Yesterday was my weekly lunch with my mother and since we were out doing groceries till later than usual I wanted to make something quick for the two of us, so I prepared this recipe while we sipped some wine and enjoyed a little smoked salmon on the kitchen counter. Continue reading

The glass of wine and salmon has over the last couple of years become a mother daughter ritual, and I love it. Usually I cook very little with bacon but for a quick a tasty dish, it’s always a great addition. While we were grocery shopping, I found locally produced organic radishes and they just went great with this salad as it added colour, texture and a slightly spicy taste to the recipe.

Bacon Radish Salad

 

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 7-9 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

200 g bacon

200 g radishes

100 g salad leaves

1-2 spring onion (white part only)

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on some kitchen paper. Cut the bacon into 2-3 cm pieces.

Finely slice the spring onion(s) and the radishes.

In a bowl make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the radishes and spring onions, mix and add the salad leaves and the pumpkin seeds. Toss all together and if using a serving plate transfer the salad. Top with the bacon and serve with some crusty bread.

Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto

Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto (800 x 587)Okay, I’ll tell the truth: Continue reading

this is my first attempt at risotto (and I felt really quite happy about the result). Although I live less than a two hour drive from Milan, I have never really made risotto, I used to only be an observer of the process. I guess I found it a boring dish for a reason I am still trying to figure out. I guess that leaving for a week to Portugal gave me some new stimulus in trying out new recipes,  I feel so refreshed. By the way, I totally recommend Portugal as a destination, from the food to the people and also the whole city of Lisbon, all is really beautiful. I particularly liked the little streets and the beautiful buildings decorated with tiles that come in just so many colours and designs. It was a great opportunity to practice my photography skill (which are still at a beginner level).


About Risotto:


Between the 1300 and the 1700 rice was attributed one unique way of cooking: and that is in water. It was in 1779 that a cook from Macerate in the Marche region in Italy wrote about gently fried a bit of butter and wetting the rice with broth. Very soon the technique became more elaborated by adding, for example, some chopped onion. Through time risotto became more complex but it was in 1929 that a well known cook in Milan named Felice Luraschi published a recipe book  called “Il Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico” (or “The New Economic Milanese Cook”). The recipe called for rice with butter, beef marrow, saffron, nutmeg, stock and completed with grated cheese (source – Italian: http://www.risottoallamilanese.com/ )

 


Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto


Recipe for 2


Time: 35-40 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 zucchini

8 slices of streaky bacon

20g butter (plus a small teaspoon for a finishing touch)

1 onion

100g risotto rice

30g parmesan cheese

2.5dl stock

4-5 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:


Slice the zucchini at an angle (about 1 cm thick). Pour one teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan (if you don’t have one just use an normal non-stick pan). Once the zucchini slices are coloured on both sides remove from the heat and set them aside.

Bring the broth to a boil and set aside.

Heat another pan and add the bacon to cook until brown and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe the pan and on a low heat add the butter along with the onions . Without letting the onions brown cook them until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook for another 4-5minutes, stir often until the grains are translucent. Add 1/3 of the broth and stir often until all the liquid has been absorbed. Once the rice looks more on the dry side add the second third and stir regularly again. Finally, repeat the operation of adding broth for a last time and stir until rice has basically soaked up the liquid.

Add the grated cheese and incorporate it in the preparation. Cut the bacon and the zucchini into small pieces and chop the basil. Add the three ingredients with to the rice and blend them in. To make your risotto richer here is when  you can add a bit more butter. Eventually correct to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve and drizzle a little bit of olive oil and optionally some parmesan shavings.

Bacon and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini (800 x 600)I can say that today I am really happy because after years of cooking on an electric stove, today I will be able to cook again on gas. Continue reading

Lately I was getting really annoyed with the electric plates; between the time they take to get warm and the little flexibility in changing temperature fast, it will soon be over. I really feel that soon my recipes will get an upgrade in general. I am as happy as a kid getting her dream Barbie.

In this recipe I am using stale bread, I find that this ingredient is a humble but very versatile food (think for example of eggy bread or bruschetta or if it’s just a little stale it’s perfect to dip in a cheese fondue). Bread in general is the people’s food; but at times in history even that was missing. The valley I live in (the Valle Maggia) has been populated by the since the time of the Celts and through the ages there have been tough times where food was scarce and people either starved or emigrated. Now I still remember when I was in primary school that my teacher used to tell us that people, during meager times did not even have flour to make bread so they would make flour out of the cortex they would collect from the trees.  I find that my valley looks like a small paradise and it’s strange to think that, not so long ago people still struggled to survive.

Bacon and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini

Recipe for 2

Time: 45 min.

Ingredients:

  • 40g stale bread (2-3 days old)
  • 150g mozzarella
  • 80g diced bacon
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove

Recipe:

  • Preheat oven at 190°C.
  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthways and remove the softer part with a teaspoon. Oil a baking dish and place in the zucchini halves, face up and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a foil and place in the oven for about 20-25 min.
  • While the zucchini are cooking chop the onions and the garlic; cut the tomatoes into quarters and cut the bread into 1.5 cm cubes and cut 100g of the mozzarella into small bits while the rest should be sliced.
  • Brown the diced bacon bits in a pan. Once ready, remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, on a medium heat,  add the onions and garlic and fry for  3-4 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from fire and add the bread bits to soak a bit of the tomato juice. Finally add the bacon bits and mix all together. Place in a bowl, add the 2/3 of the mozzarella and mix.
  • Remove the zucchini from the oven and evenly add the filling in to each half. Place the rest of the sliced mozzarella on top and put it back in the oven near the top broiler for about 15 minutes and serve hot.