Last week with a couple of friends we inaugurated the coming of autumn with the first cheese fondue of the season. That would be the first of a long weekend of fun celebratory events. Continue reading →
Came Sunday, all I wanted was to hang around the home: no sports, wide pants and top, film and lit fireplace. I also wanted some easy to make food and found this flan recipe (in French), which I found would suit the mood. I made a few small changes and additions to the original version, the main one being the addition of lentils and some extra cheese.
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 35 min
130 cooked lentils (if you still have to cook them, the equivalent is 50 g raw lentils)
2 small zucchini
2 tbsp. of thyme leaves
20 cl of fresh cream
4 tbsp. flour
100 g grated hard goat cheese (or any other cheese you like)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven th.6 (180°C).
Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds, then cut them into small cubes of about 1 cm. Now take the zucchini and make zucchini spaghetti using a spiralizer. Alternatively, if you’re using a knife, cut the zucchini by its length into thin slices and then cut each slice into spaghetti like strings. A third alternative is to cut them into cubes of 1 cm. Chop the onion.
Mix all the vegetables, the thyme, the lentils and the grated cheese and place everything in a greased baking dish.
Add the flour to a bowl; add the cream and mix; then add the eggs, salt and pepper, blend all the ingredients together. Pour on the vegetables and gently move them to make sure the egg mix fills any gaps.
Bake in the oven for 35 min. Once done, use a knife to detach the flan from the edges. This dish can be made ahead. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Last Sunday, while mister was still in bed recuperating from an evening campaigning through the region, I got into the kitchen and prepared this quinoa, tomato baked eggs. Continue reading →
Usually I try to stick to seasonal products but I have to say that I was really in for a change. I made this quick and healthy dish for the two of us and even if my fiancé just had a bite because he had to leave to another of his political events, I still managed to make him eat something, something healthier that he usually does when we are not together. By the way, how do you get a man to care more about what passes through his stomach? After almost eight years I still haven’t figured that out… when you care about someone it’s hard not to nag him about taking better care of himself. My hopes are still up and in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe 🙂
Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 5 min
Coo time: 20-25 min
220 g quinoa
250 g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 chilli pepper(s)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Cook the quinoa in 1 ½ times its volume in water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.
Chop the onion and the chilli pepper and divide the cherry tomatoes into 4.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and chilli, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with the oregano, salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium fire for 10 min. Once the tomatoes start breaking apart add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the quinoa. Correct flavour to taste with salt and pepper.
Make four little concavities with the back of a tbsp. and in each add an egg. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 7-9 min, until the egg has reached the desired consistency.
If you were to walk around Canton Ticino recently you would see a large amount of people wearing around with rain boots. Continue reading →
The Lake Maggiore has been out of its usual borders since last week and last Saturday was also my first time moving around the town walking on those temporary boardwalks. I admit I found it exciting to see it for the first time because although this is something that happens every few years, I never had a chance to see it since I was either too small and was in school or later, I was away for my studies. It’s humbling to see what little man can do in such circumstances. Fortunately the situation has already been worse than this. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share regarding the past and present floods the region went through. Fortunately from today on, THE SUN IS BACK!
Here are a few pictures I found (the last two are mine, the rest I found on the Internet) of the town of Locarno flooded by water in past and more recent times.
This was the bridge leading to my village which was taken away by the flood in August 1978
Fourteen years ago and the situation was worse than now… al least for most of the people.
40-50 g Swiss cheese thinly sliced (I used Gruyere)
Salt and pepper
1 ½ tbsp. butter
Finely chop the spinach and the onion and slice the mushrooms.
In a pan melt ½ a tbsp. butter and add the onion to soften for 4-5 min, then add the sliced mushrooms to brown on both sides for another 7-8 min. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.
Separate the eggs and place the yolks and the whites in two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites to a peak. Beat the egg yolks until they become frothy, then add the chopped spinach, a little nutmeg and salt and pepper. Take the whisked egg whites and gently fold the into the seasoned yolks.
On a low-medium fire, melt 1 tbsp. butter in the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the egg mix. Cook for 6-7 min then add the mushrooms on top along with the cheese. Cover and cook for another 4-5 min. Serve.
On Saturday we had a barbecue with a few friends, pity that in the end there was just one thing missing: the grill. We agreed with my boyfriend that I would take care of the groceries and he’d buy the grill since my old one was not up to the task anymore. He arrived and began to build the thing while I was in the kitchen preparing the salads and so. Soon I would start hearing him cursing at the metal structure; to make a long story short; there were about seven pieces missing (including the ‘on’ button) and there was no way to make it work in a safe manner. With the grill gone we ended up using my griddled pan, there was less charm to it but at least we could eat. I was happy about one thing: all I prepared looked and tasted the way I wanted it to be, especially my frittata which I served during the aperitif. Where I live, and probably in many other places, you always get it right with italian food. Continue reading →
About the frittata:
This week, while I looked for information about the frittata, I got reacquainted with an expression I had forgotten about. In Italian there is the expression ‘non girare la frittata’ which litterally means ‘do not flip the frittata’. When making a frittata historical sources write about not to flipping it (or to do so only on the plate it will be served in); there are more examples in cooking books of the time about the subject and one example is the “Libro de arte coquinaria”, the recipes come from Maestro Martino (Martino de Bubeis) a chef who worked in the kitchens of the castello sforzesco at the time where Leaonardo Da Vinci was alive. The fact is that the expression of ‘not to flip the frittata’ this practice also became an expression meaning not to flip or change an ongoing discussion (source, in Italian: http://www.sceltedigusto.it/public/index.php/di-piatto-in-piatto/tipicita/444-la-curiosita-storica-ecco-perche-la-frittata-non-va-rivoltata )
Pesto Inspired Frittata
For 2 as a meal or 4-6 for an aperitif
Time: 15 min
-40g grated Parmesan
-4-5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
-3tsp pine nuts
-1 chopped garlic clove
-Salt and pepper
Preheat oven at 180C, top burner.
Break the eggs in a bowl and lightly whisk. Add salt, pepper, grated cheese and the basil and shortly whisk again.
Heat a non-stick pan (oven proof) on medium heat and add the pine nuts. Toss them regularly and when they start releasing the oils they will brown quickly so keep an eye on them. Once they are coloured all over remove them from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan heat (always on medium heat) one tbsp. of olive oil, add the chopped garlic and fry for a minute keeping an eyes on it. Add the egg mixture and stir a bit and then leave. After 2-3 min, once the eggs start to set, add the pine nuts and remove the pan from the oven and move to the oven near the top burner. Leave for about 5 minutes until it the eggs are brown.
Remove from the pan and serve (hot or tepid) either in small pieces for an aperitif or portioned for an easy lunch menu.