For the love of food

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens*Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens*Brown paper packages tied up with strings*These are a few of my favorite things*Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels*Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles*Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*These are a few of my favorite things*Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes*Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes*Silver white winters that melt into springs*These are a few of my favorite things

Rocotta, almond and raisin pancakes November 8, 2009

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 11:17 pm

ricotta almond and raisin pancakesJust something I whipped up tonight to go with a cup of tea, the idea is based on a traditional Russian food called sirniki or tvorojniki which are made with farmers cheese instead or ricotta and are coarser and a bit less refined (i.e. no lemon zest nor vanilla sugar) but nevertheless delicious and a childhood favorite.

You need (for 15 small pancakes):

1 cup ricotta (drained in a colander if watery)

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used pastry flour)

1 egg yolk

2 Tbsp vanilla sugar

1 tsp baking powder

zest of one lemon

1/4 cup raisins soaked in hot water for a couple of minutes

Mix all ingredients, wait for about 10 minutes for the mixture to thicken. Form small discs (about 1 inch/2-3 cm in diameter)  and saute in a preheated pan over medium heat. The pan and the oil in it must be really hot so the cooking time is only a minute or two per side, otherwise the pancakes will lose their fluffiness.

They do expand due to the baking powder so don’t overcrowd the pan. I hope you enjoy the homey smell and taste :)

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Artisanal bistro at the Bravern review November 3, 2009

It is a nice place, nice atmosphere and interior, nice idea, average service, nothing special really. The concept is an Americanized French bistro, the so hyped cured meats (not made in house or anything like that, just imported) and cheeses are beautiful but do not require any preparation or imagination – just cut and arrange on a plate; I am not going to a restaurant to get that, I am perfectly capable  of cutting my own cheese and buying my own salami. We came recently for a very late lunch on a Saturday and ended up in the restaurant during happy hour – we ordered some cheese bites which to my surprise materialized to be a cheese toast cut into four bite size pieces, the duck rillettes that had a nice flavor (my husband said he thought it was way too salty) but the portion was so big it was very difficult for the two of us to finish, the frites came in after a long long time and they were actually cold and we had to send those back and wait for new ones after we were almost done with everything else. As a compensation we got some the Gougeres (little cheese puffs) which were actually nice. Overall a very hyped and anticipated restaurant that does not deliver. The main word that comes to mind is boring.

 

Orecchiette with Delicata squash and prosciutto

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 10:05 pm

San Daniele prosciuttoThe plan was different. I was going to make Orecchiette with squash and a garlic-herb sauce but my husband was lobbying for utilizing our hunk of prosciutto. Why hunk? Because we bought a whole leg of italian San Daniele prosciutto and split it between three families so we have a really nice large piece laying in our fridge and we savour it nice and slow. So except for the obvious choice of Bufala mozzarella, tomatoes and prosciutto seasoned with olive oil I also try to incorporate it into cooking; if you want to do the same be careful, do not use salt before you add the prosciutto to your dish, you may come to regret it because when you heat up the prosciutto the flavor becomes more concentrated as the fat melts and it becomes saltier. So back to  the pasta…

 

You will need (for 4 people):

1 small squash – I used a Delicata

1/3 cup cubed (1/2 cm or 1/4 inch) prosciutto

300 gr (approx. 10 oz) Orecchiette or other small pasta

Handful chopped flat leaf parsley

2 cloves of garlic – minced

Parsley oil or plain olive oil and parmigiano reggiano for serving

What to do, what to do…

1) Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)

2) Peel the squash, remove the seeds and strings and cut it into small (1 cm or 1/2 inch) cubes

3) In an oven proof dish mix the squash with 1 garlic clove, a little olive oil, a small pinch of salt (remember the warning from the beginning of the post) and freshly ground black pepper.

4) Bake the squash for about 10 minutes (maybe 15), until soft and cooked through.

5) Meanwhile boil your pasta water (make sure to time it right so the pasta and squash are ready at the same time) and cook your pasta.

6) While those two are on, put the prosciutto in a pan and saute over medium-high heat (no oil needed) until lightly browned.

7) Drain pasta, mix in squash, prosciutto including the fat from the pan, parsley & the second clove of garlic.

8) Divide between plates, drizzle with parsley oil (or plain olive oil), grate some cheese and fresh black pepper.

*** To make parsley oil (or any other herb oil for that matter):

Chop a bunch of parsley very very fine or pulse it in your food processor, mix in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let stand for a little while (30 minutes perhaps); strain into a clean dish (squeeze bottle for example) extracting as much pulp and flavor from the parsley and there you have it! For a bunch of parsley I would use approximately 1/2 cup of oil (more or less depending on the intensity of flavor you want to obtain). Keeps well in the fridge.

pasta with squash and prosciutto

 Enjoy!!!