Carciofi alla Romana – Roman Style Artichockes

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.

Carciofi alla Romana - Roman Style Artichockes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Artischockes (Mammole kind)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 200 ml water (more or less)
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. In a small bowl combine the herbs and the garlic, add ½-teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Open the artichokes with your fingers and stuff them with the prepared herbs mixture.
  6. Place the artichokes head side down in pot where they can fit tightly. Add the stems.
  7. Pour the remaining olive oil and the water.
  8. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, open the lid and let reduce the liquid.
  9. Serve them hot n on a serving plate.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Quick Leckerli – Quick Gingered Bread from Basel

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.

Well wrapped they make a cute and special gift.

See also the other Leckerli recipe.

Quick Leckerli – Quick Gingered Bread from Basel

  • Servings: about 100 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Spice mixture

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Dough

  • 400 g honey, liquid and lukewarm
  • 1 orange, grated zest only
  • 10 g baking soda
  • 200 g almonds, chopped
  • 200 g candied orange zest chopped
  • 100 candied ginger chopped (optional, my choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch
  • 500 g whole wheat flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • 4 teaspoons spice mixture
  • 2 tablespoon cacao flour

Glaze:

  • 12 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the spice mixture:  For the best flavor, toast the spices in it until very fragrant in a skillet and grind them just before use. The quality of each of them may differ a lot!
  2. In a big bowl or better a food processor with hocks, combine all the ingredients form honey until Kirsch.
  3. Add flour and cacao and knead until combined and a dough is formed. It will be quite stiff.
  4. Turn this on a parchment foil, roll it out until 8 mm thick, and place this on your baking sheet. I used simply the biggest baking tray.t
  5. Bake in the preheat oven at 180°C for 17-20 Minutes, stop before the borders turns dark.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the glaze combining the ingredients.
  7. Remove the oven and immediately brush with the glaze.
  8. When almost cold cut them in rectangles of about 3 to 4 cm

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Bread Swirls with Olives

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

Bread Swirls with Olives

  • Servings: about 24 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 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)

Procedure

  1. 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.
  2. The next morning the dough should have risen, stretch it to a rectangle of about 50 to 30 cm on a well-floured surface.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Nachos de Pollo – Chicken Nachos

In my life I have prepared nachos only once  ( Nachos de Camarones) and my family asked me to make some more.

This special wish came perfect with the given list of ingredients I for the game “ready set cook” as tortilla and chicken were among the options.

The combination were done quite quickly and the result delicious.

I did not add cheese (as not in the list J ), and exactly had been appreciated as the dish resulted lighter; I think I would have added some cumin, but all spice was a great alternative and finally the addition of the thick yogurt made the dish fresher!

I recommend not adding too much salt, as the chips are usually salted; adapt the quantity to the chips!

Nachos de Pollo – Chicken Nachos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 g chicken breast, skinless, boneless diced in 2 cm pieces
  • 1 cup diluted chicken broth (don’t add to much salt)
  • ½-1 cup tomato sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • hot Sauce, to tast
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to
  • 8 cups tortillas chips (not too salted)
  • 8 heaped tablespoons thick yogurt to served
  • Additional cilantro or parsley, chopped

Procedure

  1. Fry gently the garlic with the butter in a medium saucepot until fragrant add chicken and gently roast stirring from time to time for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and tomato sauce. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken turns tender.
  3. In the meantime, arrange the chips on four oven save dishes and place them at 80°C/180°C to preheat them in the oven.
  4. When the chicken is done and sauce thicker add cream, hot sauce, spices, cilantro and adjust with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the plate from the oven; pour the chicken sauce over the tortilla chips, dot with yogurt and top with fresh herbs.
  6. Serve immediately with extra yogurt if desired.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

 

Black Forest Mocha

A great surprise for your family or friends: a warm dessert with a caffeine kick and more!

Black Forest Mocha

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 30 g black chocolate ( or milk chocolate if preferred)
  • 1 small cup of freshly brewed coffee, best if espresso
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry brandy), quantity to taste
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream (sweetened if preferred)
  • Cherry syrup
  • Additional whipped cream, for topping
  • Shaved chocolate, for topping

Procedure

  1. Cut chocolate into pieces and place it in a microwave proof bowl or in a saucepot.
  2. Top with hot coffee and heat (microwave or stovetop) and stir to dissolve completely. Add Kirsch and stir once.
  3. Combine whipped cream with cherry syrup and stir only shortly.
  4. Poor the coffee into the cup, spoon the prepared cherry-whipped cream on top.
  5. Dot with little more white whipped cream and top with the shaved chocolate.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

 

Italian Flat Bread with Sourdough Starter – Piadina al Licoli

This kind of flatbread is a very popular street food from the Italian region called “Emilia-Romagna” but now you can find it not only in Italy but in many other countries.

The original piadina is non-fermented bread prepared with lard, but in this version we will use the sourdough starter (perfect if you need to refresh it) and I will use olive oil instead of animal fat.

I can remember the piadine as streed food, filled with thin slices of prosciutto crudo or with cheese.

Today you may find all kind of piadinas, filled with many different ingredients but the most important thing is to enjoy it still warm, soft inside and crunchy outside.

My filling this time? Smoked salmon with a fresh guacamole sauce with chopped tomatoes. So good!

Italian Flat Bread with Sourdough Starter – Piadina al Licoli

  • Servings: 8 flatbreads
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 100 g sourdough starter (100%) hydration
  • 120 g water
  • 300 g bread flour
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Procedure:

  1. Dissolve the sourdough with the water, add flour add the other ingredients and knead well until combined and it comes together (use a kneading machine if you have it!). If necessary add a few more tablespoons water.
  2. Wrap with foil or cover with a bowl and lest rest at least 60 minutes.
  3. Cut into 6-8 slices and shape them into balls, place them on floured surface, cover with an inverted big bowl and let rise until when almost doubled.
  4. Roll out each ball to rounds of about 25 cm (10 inches). You will not need flour on the table.
  5. Put the rolled out piadine on a tray using parchment foil to separate them. Or prepare them one by one cooking them just after rolling each one out. Pinch each one with the fork all over the surface before cooking them.
  6. Now heat up your non-stick skillet to medium high. Don’t add any kind of oil or fat!
  7. Bake dry on the first side, when well roasted, flip it and bake the other side. The piadina should be pale, but with dark brown spots. Be careful not to burn it. During baking if necessary pinch them and turn them with the fork. In about 3-4 minutes they should be ready.

Tip: I have two old nonstick pans that I reserved for this recipe or to roast nuts. I use both at the same time!

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

 

Lotus Onions

Cooking is fun form e and trying to get special results and good looking, makes me feel happy and finding the way to serve stunning food let me feel enthusiastic.

WOW! Such cute flowers, so good and so easy to prepare! This is one great technique which I was looking for!

We enjoyed these impressive onions as side dish to grilled meat, but as an addition to a salad, they would be perfect as well.

Note: baking time may be different according to size of the onions. For big onions you should increase the baking time  or the temperature of the step “6”. Mine were medium sized (about 7 cm wide).

These “Lotus Onions” may be served hot or cold, I think they would be great also to cheese-raclette!

Lotus Onions

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 2- 4 onions, red, yellow or white, if possible a sweet kind
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fine salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons Sesame seeds

Procedure:

  1. Cut the bottom root off the onion off but just enough to keep it from rolling around and peel the onion.
  2. Carefully make four vertical cuts making 8 wedges but keep the bottom intact. Be very careful not to cut through.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Place the onion in the bowl and turn from time to time letting the liquid get into the core of the onion.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (this would work to 180°C/350°F in a fan forced oven as well) .
  5. Arrange onions root end down in to you baking dish and spoon remaining marinade into the onions.
  6. Bake covered for 20 minutes, remove the cover reduce heat to 180°C/350°C and bake for other 20 minutes or done.
  7. In the meantime, roast dry (without oil) the sesame seeds in a non-stick skillet.
  8. Rearrange onions on a serving dish so that their petals open, and drizzle with the juices from the pan.
  9. Sprinkle the centre of the onion with the roasted sesame seed.

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com