This is a traditional Roman (Italian) dish which can be severved as appetizer or as a side dish.
Now, that we are approaching the spring and in southern Countries the spring is already there, artichokes appear in the shops and I really don’t want to miss them!
The kind used for this preparation is called “Mammole”, they are quite big sized artichokes and the leaves are rounded shaped.
The mint used for this dish is usually the “mentuccia romana”, in my case I used Turkish mint in my garden, from which I can find some leaves even in winter. I think that the Greek mint (diosmos) would fit also perfectly; for this preparation I would avoid pepper mint, chocolate mint or mint kinds intended for drinks or cocktails. Spearmint would be good as well.
I prepared 3 artichokes, but give you the recipe for 4 of them.
In a small bowl combine the herbs and the garlic, add ½-teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
To clean the artichokes prepare some lemony water (using the juice of half lemon) and rub your and with some lemon as well in order to prevent blackening.
Remove the outside leaves which appear woody and without pulp. Peal the stem and cut it but leave a small piece. If the remaining stems appears soft, do not discard them, but add it to the preparation.
Cut the top of the artichokes (depending on the size, about 4 cm). Open the center of the artichokes and remove the filaments with spoon, a knife or better with the vegetable carving instrument. Place the artichokes in the lemony water; this will prevent them from darkening.
Open the artichokes with your fingers and stuff them with the prepared herbs mixture.
Place the artichokes head side down in pot where they can fit tightly. Add the stems.
Pour the remaining olive oil and the water.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, open the lid and let reduce the liquid.
On Crete there is a very special cooking method used for lamb or goat meat. This cooking method is called antikristo which literally means “across the fire”.
In the fields this cooking method is made across large fires with huge grids where the meat ist hanged after salting (only salt is needed) and cooked with the indirect heat of the flames.
The big advantage of this cooking method ist that the meat does not need constant attention and shepherds could continue with their works.
In our case with tried to use a Spanish tool intended for roasting bread. We tool was big enough for one shoulder of lamb! The result was excellent and we could smell and taste Crete even thousands of kilometers away from our beloved island.
The result is awesome: juicy, tender, fresh and melting in the mouth!
This recipe could be regarded as basic recipe (my recipe is already a variation on the Eryn’s one); you may add cinnamon, cardamom, grated lemon peel, nutmeg, brandy, amaretto or what you wish! Have fun and enjoy this delicious healthy cake.
In the original recipe it was suggested to add 100 mL water, but I omitted this as I wanted to be sure that the cake would set enough.
The Leckerli (or Läckerli are Gingered bread form Basel) was invented more than 500 years go at the time of the Basel Council (1431 to 1449) to be served at the assembled church dignitaries. These turned out famous and soon they turned became a world famous pastry: a rectangular piece of ginger bread, glazed with sugar, made from honey, sugar, flour, candied fruit, nuts and kirsch.
This variation is quite easy and the result is amazing.
Impress your friend serving these delish served with a cup of tea or coffee.
Prepare these savory small breads in advance and freeze them. You will need only 2 minutes in a preheated oven and you have something special to serve as appetizer, as side for a meal or simply for a snack. They will be very much appreciated!
Variation: Add some oregano to the dough or top the swirls with sesame seeds
100 g sourdough starter (or 50 g water + 50 g flour + 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast)
1 cups water
2 cups white flour
1 cups black flour or any whole kind of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
Olive oil (optional)
The evening before combine well the starter, water, flours and salt. Knead about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place overnight.
The next morning the dough should have risen, stretch it to a rectangle of about 50 to 30 cm on a well-floured surface.
Distribute the olives on the dough leaving 5 cm of the long border free. Roll it so that you get a long (50 cm) roll and slice it into 2 cm think swirls. Place the pieces on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil if you like.
Let rise again in a warm place (this took me about 1 hour, but it depends on the temperature and the kind of yeast).
Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Ossobuco is one of the most appreciated dishes of Milanese cuisine. Veal shanks are cut crosswise to reveal the bone (osso) with its hole (buco) where you will find the delicious marrow. This inexpensive cut of meat is finished with a gremolata, which is a mix of chopped parsley and lemon zest. This combination turns this dish into a very delicious meal. In Italy, the ossobuco is served typically with saffron risotto.
2 veal shanks of about 350-400 g each (you may also use beef shanks)
2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 small golden onions, sliced
100 ml white wine
1 small rosemary spring
2 cups chicken or beef broth, more if necessary
For the gremolata
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
1 big or 2 small garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Lemon zest of half lemon
Slit the skin around the veal shanks in 2 or 3 places so that slices do not curl when cooked.
Dust the meat with flour.
Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, fry gently, and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain the onions and set them aside.
Add veal shanks; cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add the reversed onions. Pour in white wine and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes.
Add the rosemary and pour in 1 cup the stock. Simmer and add gradually the second cup of broth, stirring between gently. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, turning the shanks occasionally, until tender, about 55 minutes. If necessary, add more stock or water. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, as you like. If you used beef, you will have to cook it longer until you see the meat is soft enough. When the meat is almost done place the meat aside on a plate and sieve (press the sauce well through) the sauce; return the meat to the skillet as well as the drained sauce; all some water only if it is really nessary.
If you do not like raw garlic, fry it gently in a small skillet.
Sprinkle garlic, parsley and lemon zest over the meat, some should be added to the sauce. Cover and cook until flavors combine, about 5 minutes.
Note: during the cooking time, take you time for the risotto.