Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Asparagus season is drawing to an end, but before saying, “See you next year” I wanted to make a last recipe for this spring with these green spears. Continue reading

This simple recipe is something versatile since you can serve it on its own as an appetiser or you can serve it as a side dish or on a nice salad, maybe with some cheese or salmon. I wasn’t too sure about the how much to heat the oven so here, I found a recipe for oven roasted asparagus that worked perfectly. For the breading, along with the flour and egg I made a mix of dry roasted ground asparagus and polenta flour, which gave an extra crisp to the texture.

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

320-340 g asparagus washed woody part removed.

50 g ground almonds

1 large egg beaten

3 generous tbsp. fine grain polenta

2 tbsp. flour

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Pre-heat oven at 220°C.

In a non-stick pan place the ground almonds and dry toast them on a medium fire, stir regularly. Once the almonds will have browned, place them in a dish and set them aside to cool.

Take three shallow dishes and in the first place the flour, in the second place the egg and in the last combine the polenta with the ground almonds and some salt and pepper.

Take an asparagus, dust it with the flour, and then dip it in the egg, making sure there are no dry spots left. Finally evenly coat it with the polenta and almond mix and place the asparagus on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat the process up to the last asparagus.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Serve as a side dish, as an appetizer, on a salad….

 

A Thought for My Dad & Peanut Crusted Chicken with Salsa

Peanut Crusted Chicken with SalsaAfter some time I have posted a recipe with some meat. As time goes by, I find myself eating less and less meat. The only things I really still enjoy are chicken and spare ribs. I guess it’s eating with my fingers what I truly enjoy. In this recipe I have tried to combine flavours that all go well together according to The Flavour Thesaurus (from Niki Segnit) book: chicken, peanuts, tomato, coriander leaves, chilli and lime. This is the cookbook I have been using the most, I find it inspiring and even when I’m not looking for a recipe I browse through the ingredients for the fun of it. Continue reading

 

After hesitating I decided to write something more personal than usual. Today is a sad anniversary for me and I’m finding it difficult to concentrate. Exactly seventeen years ago my father died and with my wedding coming up, I am finding this anniversary more difficult than usual. On this occasion I wanted to share a picture of the two of us back in 1997:

My Dad and II so wish that on my wedding I could turn around and see him sitting next to my mother, looking at me the way he used to. Tomorrow I will certainly feel better and anyway this is life. I felt like sharing this event because I wish everyone could have known what a great person he was. I really miss him but I am also really thankful to have had him in my life, no matter how long it lasted. Thank you Dad.

 

 

Peanut Crusted Chicken with Salsa

 

Recipe for 4 as an appetiser or 2 as a meal

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 12-15 min

 

 

Ingredients

Chicken:

240g chicken breast

70 g peanuts

2 generous tbsp. breadcrumbs

1 egg (beaten)

Salt and pepper

Zest of 1 lime

1 lime

 

Salsa:

200 g meaty tomatoes

1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

1 large tbsp. chopped spring onion

½-1 tsp. sugar

1 finely chopped red chilli

Salt

 

 

Recipe:

 

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the tomato(es) into small pieces and then finely chop them. Place them in a small holed strainer and season them with salt. Place the strainer in a bowl and leave aside.

Coarsely process the peanuts and place them in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and lime zest.

In another bowl place the beaten egg.

Cut the chicken into about 4 cm pieces and season it generously with salt and pepper. Dip the each piece in the beaten egg first and then evenly coat with the peanut and breadcrumb mix. Place the pieces on a parchment lined baking tray and cook for 12-15 min in the oven.

Meanwhile prepare the salsa by mixing the tomatoes in a bowl along with the coriander leaves, spring onion, sugar, red chilli and salt.

Once the chicken is ready place it in a serving plate with the salsa on the side.

Cut the lime into wedges and place them on top of the chicken for each to drizzle according to their taste.

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese & a Night Out in The Village

Walnut Crusted Tomme CheeseA part from the different decorations I’ve seen around, I really feel Christmas is just around the corner. Since a few years, in my village there is a contest about who makes the best nativity scene. Continue reading

The day the contest officially starts there is a small celebration in the village; besides looking at the nice work the inhabitants have made, there are also a few food and drink stands where we can enjoy a nice moment together. Friends of mine produce an amazing cheese and I knew they would hold a Raclette stand so I told them I would come by. When I arrived it was still early but soon people began arriving and not long after I found myself helping them preparing the melted cheese. I had a really nice time and despite my initial idea was go to there, have a bite and a drink, I ended up being among the last people to leave the celebration. Here are a few pictures of the “Via dei Presepi” (“The Path of The Nativity Scenes”).

In the mood for some more delicious melted cheese, I made this recipe, which is very easy but so tasty. For the breading I used walnuts which, with a cheese that has the consistence of a brie works very well. Together I made a radicchio and apple salad with a honey dressing and I found the combination to be just heavenly.

 

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook Time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients:

For the cheese

4 tomme cheeses (100 g each – not too soft)

45-50 g chopped walnuts

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. flour

Pepper

1 egg

1.5-2 tbsp. grape seed oil

 

For the salad:

2 tbsp. grape seed oil

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1.5 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

200 chopped radicchio

1 small apple (I used Braeburn)

 

Recipe:

Start preparing the salad by mixing the first four ingredients in a bowl. Quarter the apple and slice each quarter. Add the radicchio and apples to the salad, toss and set aside.

Take a dish and add the flour with a little pepper, break the egg in a bowl and mix and in a third dish mix the breadcrumbs with the walnuts.

Start by dipping one tome in the flour, shake of any excess, then pass it in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumb-walnut mix. Repeat for each piece.

Heat the grape seed oil in a pan and add the breaded tommes to cook for 3-4 min per side.

Remove from pan and serve without waiting accompanied by the salad.

 

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

Goat Cheese Butternut In winter it’s always nice to put some colour in you life, that’s what I’ve done with this post. Continue reading

The superb colour of the butternut squash was enough to lift my day, especially because after a week of sun we’re back under the clouds and the rain (which should be snow by now) and our bones are once again on the waiting list to produce vitamin D. Tuesday, I was working on some notes and I didn’t feel like spending too long in the kitchen so I made this recipe, which is quick to prepare and while it’s cooking in the oven, you don’t really have to keep a close eye on it.

 

 

 

Goat Cheese Butternut Slices

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash

150 g goat cheese log (alternatively use hard grated goat cheese)

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

Zest of 1 lemon

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the butternut in half and slice it crosswise into 1 cm thick slices. Place the pumpkin slices in a sealable bag with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Shake the bag in order to make the oil coat each slice. Place the butternut on a baking tray lined with wax paper and season the slices with salt.

In a bowl finely crumble the goat cheese and add the chopped rosemary leaves, the breadcrumbs, the chopped walnuts, the lemon zest, cayenne pepper, a little salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the goat cheese mix on top of the butternut slices and cook in the oven for about 30 min, or until the squash is soft when pierced with a knife. Serve.

 

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad I really didn’t feel like going to the dentist this morning and I almost felt like calling in sick… I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I would just be postponing the unpleasant moment. Continue reading

So I got ready and took the ten-minute walk to the bus stop (under the rain). For once the hourly bus was on time and I had just taken my seat when my phone rang: it was the dentist’s assistant telling me that he was ill and that my appointment was to be postponed. I continued my journey into town for some groceries anyway and a nice coffee break with a childhood friend of mine. I came back it was past noon and since I wasn’t in a hurry, I walked at slower pace, taking the time to look at the surroundings and their changing red autumn colours. The way home is partly on a dirt path among the fields and as beautiful as it may be; I couldn’t help but notice that some people still haven’t learned not to littler in the nature. I found wrappers and cigarette butts. Personally it saddens me to see how little people care and how little they realize the harm they are doing. Well, I ended up staying there and picked up what I could find and placed it in the bin which was just a couple of meters away (I admit I cursed a little at whoever did this). Once I got home I wrote this blog post and searched for an appropriate quote:

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4 as a starter

Prep time: 12 min

Cook time: 4-5 min

 

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 cooked beetroots

2 apples

100 g soft green salad or arugula

1 onion

200 g goat cheese log

1 egg

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

4 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. walnut oil

1 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cut the beetroot into 2-3 cm chunks.

Peel and core the apples and roughly cut into the same size as the beetroots.

Thinly slice the onion.

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, walnut oil, honey and salt and pepper to taste.

On each plate, place the salad leaves and on top add the beetroots, apples and sliced onions.

Cut or break with your hands the goat cheese into pieces of about 3-4 cm. In a bowl break the egg and beat it with a fork. In a second bowl place the walnuts and the breadcrumbs. First pass the cheese pieces into the egg wash and then roll them in the walnut breadcrumb mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the breaded goat cheese to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start getting soft but are not too runny.

Finally add the dressing just before serving the breaded goat cheese and serve.

 

Crusted Pumpkin Slices

34. Crusted Pumpkin Slices (800 x 635)On Saturday I met up with my friend Lisi and we went for a an aperitif before we wound go and have dinner at her place. With our glass of white wine and some freshly made focaccia, we were on the square of a nearing village. As we talked she told me what she had planned for make for dinner. The menu involved a pumpkin soup as a starter and a veal recipe she wanted to try out; the perspective looked good. Continue reading

I love the fact that there is a real sense of community in the valley and the people just know each other; the problem is that you always end up getting home later than expected (sometimes much later). To make a long story short, we gained one more guest and Lisi ended up making a Bolognese at ten o’clock. The pasta was delicious but now I had pumpkin on my mind. So the following day I went through my Kindle library and found this recipe from Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cuisine book “Plenty”. I made my own version of this easy recipe which is delicious and healthy.

About the pumpkin:

Native from Central America and Mexico, pumpkins have been cultivated for as far as five thousand years ago. Since that time they have now spread to six continents. A thing which surprised me is that the etymology of the word “pumpkin” comes from a French explorer (Jacque Cartier) who was in the St. Lawrence region of North America, he qualified them as “gros melons.” Translated into English they became “pompions,” and later evolved into the modern “pumpkin” (source: www.history.com).  It’s interesting to see how words evolve in time. Sometimes I wonder how the change happened as it is not always evident to find an immediate logic to it.

 

Crusted Pumpkin Slices

Recipe for 2

Prep time:15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

450 g pumkin (skin on)

30 g grated cheese (I used Appezeller cheese but any other cheeses work well too: gruyere, emmentaler…)

1 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 tbsp ground almonds

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp chopped thyme leaves

1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves

Salt (not too much) and pepper

Grated zest of one lemon

1 crushed garlic clove

Olive oil

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the pumpkin into wedges about 1 cm thick and set aside.

In a bowl mix the parsley, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, ground almonds, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, crushed garlic, salt and pepper.

Brush both sides of the pumpkin slices with olive oil and place them on a baking tray covered with oven paper.

Evenly distribute the content of the bowl on the pumpkin slices; lightly pat the preparation and place in the oven for 30 min. I find its taste to be great this way but you can always serve this dish with some sour cream with chopped chopped chives.