A volte non ci vuole tanto tempo per un delizioso pasto saporito e attraente per l’occhio.
L’ispirazione mi è venuta semplicemente dagli ingredienti disponiboli in casa e come al solito suggerisco di adattare la ricetta a ciò di che avete e alla stagione.
Il salmone naturalment ce l’avevo, ma la ricotta no, in compenso una bella porzione di formaggio fresco in un imballaggio già aperto faceva proprio a mio caso. La scorza di limone l’avevo già pronta in congelatore dal momento che prima di usare il succo di limone, sempre salvo la scorza grattugiandola in anticipo e ponendola nel freezer. Ah si, i cannelloni! Quelli li avevo in cantina, mezza confezione (equivale a circa otto pezzi ovvero 120 grammi) sono bastati ed avanzati per due porzioni. Vedure semplicemente zucchine e carote, ma spinaci, funghetti (an
che se di scatola) o altre verdure come fagiolini mangiatutto potroebbero andare benissimo.
A tasty and an attractive meal does not necessary require a lot of time! As usually my recipes are based on the ingredients available and an improvisation according to vegetables of the season.
In the fridge I had the smoked salmon, the veggies an open packages of cream cheese (no ricotta, sorry), in the freezer the grated lemon zest and in the pantry a package of cannelloni (I used only half of the package, corresponding to 120 g or 8 cannelloni). This was more than enough for 2 portions.
Other veggies as spinach, mushrooms (as well from the tin), bean, peas or what you like would be great alternative as well.
120 cannelloni from the package (8 pieces) or 8 lasagna sheets
100-120 g smoked salmon, chopped
150-200 g ricotta or cream cheese
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 beaten egg
Red chili flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Veggies (about 2 cups, choice to taste). My choice:
1 cup carrots, peeled diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
2 tablespoon margarine or butter
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2-4 tablespoons white wine, to taste
Red chili flakes to taste
1 dash nutmeg or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to boil in a pot, add salt and boil the pasta until it begins to soften but it keeps the shape. Take out of the water and place them on an oiled working surface.
While water is heating combine with the ingredients of the filling in bowl.
Fill the cannelloni (one by one) using the spoon holding them vertically with the hand. Place them in the mold. If you have leftovers of the filling, don’t worry, you can add this to the finished béchamel.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Arrange vegetables around the cannelloni. If necessary (depend on the kind of veggies) cook the veggies a few minutes in the hot water of the pasta.
Prepare the béchamel melting the margarine in the pot and adding the flour. Stir constantly until the flour begins to take color. Remove from the heat and add liquids at once; stir immediately until combined. Bring to boil and season to taste.
Pour the sauce over the cannelloni and the veggies (take care to cover all the cannelloni as they require the liquid to finish cooking).
Bake at 200°C/400°F for about 20-30 minutes until the cannelloni begins to brown.
The hospitality of Cretan people is unbelievable and we love to share with all our friends our “food experiences” as simple gift when we visit them.
Greek (especially the Creatan ones) ingredients are excellent and this improves the taste of what is prepared with them.
For this recipe I used fresh “anthotiro”. a traditional Greek whey cheese prepared from unpasteurized sheep’s and goat’s milk or mixtures. The smell is very mild and really does not smell like goat or sheep.
I made the preserved sour cherries jam two years ago (I still had some jars) and I used the fruits to top the cheese filling and the juice (jam) to brush on the fresh baked crust. If you don’t have this I suggest to used simple preserved sour cherries (or cherries) and for brushing the jam.
As mold we used the clay molds used to produce and sell the traditional Cretan yogurt covering the bottom with a disk of baking paper. This worked perfectly and we did not have problems to remove the cakes from the molds.
The cakes were delicious and had been very much appreciated!
Makes two 18 cm cakes or one 25 cm wide one.
250 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sieved!
125 g butter or margarine or 100 ml mild olive oil
125 g sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
300 g ricotta (I used the Greek anthotiro)
100 g sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
100 g sour cherries jam (I used the liquid part of the jam)
100 g preserved sour cherries (I used the still whole fruits in my jam)
Powdered sugar for dusting (about 1-2 tablespoons)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
Cut the butter in the flour mixed with baking powder and mix in the sugar add the egg and mix quickly until combined, if necessary add 1-2 tablespoon water.
Roll out the dough to a disk big enough to cover the bottom and a border of 2 cm of your mold (makes two 18 cm cakes or one 25 cm wide one).
Line in the mold prepared with baking paper, if you have a non-stick mold you don’t need the paper! Pinch with the fork a few times.
It was really a lot of work to prepare this Danish braid, but the effort was really worth.
I began this challenge the day in advance folding and chilling this wonderful dough following the recipe “Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s in The Secrets of Baking.
Finally the folded dough was in the refrigerator and I still had to take the decision what kind of filling I will take. Too late for such a decision, we went sleep.
In the morning as I was checking the fridge for some inspiration, I saw ricotta and a half pot of our sour cherries jam. This is the solution. The big problem was the jam because it was really thin. For this reason I used the ricotta as a wall to prevent floating away this precious juice. I decided to prepare only one big braid instead of two.
For the glaze I used powdered sugar with the addition of a small quantity of thick plain yogurt.
Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough or one 1 pound dough
For the dough (Detrempe):
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
For the butter block (Beurrage):
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well.
Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
The Butter Block:
Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Filling, Proofing, Baking
1 cup ricotta
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cherries jam
Combine ricotta, cornstarch sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 20 to 18 inches (50 to 40 cm) on a baking paper sheet.
Using a pizza cutter make cuts as shown in the photo. I used the leftovers to prepare two cute rolls (see photo).
Place the ricotta filling in order to make walls and fill the jam in the center
Braid as shown in the photos.
Let rise until doubled for about two hours
Bake in the preheated oven at 350°F/180°C for about 25-30 minutes (rotate once after the first 10 minutes) or until light brown. I used a fan forced oven.
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water, hot
While the braid is in the oven melt sugar with water.
When the braid is done, take out of the oven and brush immediately the glaze.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
Stir powdered sugar and plain yogurt together until smooth but still thick (add more powdered sugar if necessary).
When the braid is still warm but not hot, place glaze in a small bag, close it tight (knot) and cut off an edge. Drip glaze over the braid.
This composition was created with fresh mizithra from Crete and fresh rhubarb from our garden.
Trying to make this tart more rustic and lighter I decided to try a new crust using bran instead of flour.
It’s a small tart of a diameter of just 16 cm and serves about 2 – 4 persons depending on the portions.
The flours form the garden I used for the decorations are Japanese cherries tree, apple tree, annual honesty (Lunaria annua) and elephant-eared saxifrage (Bergenia sp.).
50 g wheat bran (1.8 ounces)
15 g oat bran (0.5 ounces)
1 egg white
50 g fresh cheese, well drained (as ricotta or mizythra) (1.8 ounces)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch to roll out
80 g fresh cheese, well drained (as ricotta or mizythra) (2.8 ounces)
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
250 g rhubarb, cut in pieces of 1 cm (1/3 inch)
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Process both kind of bran until almost flour like.
Add egg white, cheese and brown sugar, work with a fork until well combined and assembled.
Roll out the dough dusting it with cornstarch using baking paper or press the dough into a greased mold of about 16-17 cm diameter dusting the surface with cornflower. Don’t forget to form a border of about 2 cm (3/4 inch)
Bake the base for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F.
In the meantime combine in a bowl with a fork the ingredients for the filling (except rhubarb and powdered sugar).
Fill the bottom of the crust with the cream and arrange nicely rhubarb on in. Dust with powdered sugar.
Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 30-35 minutes and serve warm or chilled.