Posts tagged ‘Italian’

March 14, 2011

Recipe: Apple Risotto (pt.2) with Gorgonzola cheese

Once, a few months ago I already posted an apple risotto recipe. Since I cooked it a few times, in many variations, and just can`t belive in how many ways this delicious meal can be served or to be made.

Also nowadays I stopped adding creme to my risotto! I always used creme, that`s what I learned, but since, especially with plenty of italian influence, I realised it`s not so important. If you do it right, you don`t need the creme. I like them better now. The only thing is, now I add some butter at the end, it really brings out the taste, and gives a beautiful silky color!

Lats couple of days, I had a massive kitchen just for myself, and now I`m working on a big big project. It`s so big, everyday after working on it I realise it`s way over me, and can`t even belive I`m doing it. Also trying to improve my photography skills, I think I`m getting better. Also working completely alone gave me the patience to take the shots, and not just rush over them.

Adding the gorgonzola to the risotto, came a couple of days ago, when I noticed the fresh cheese, at one of the local markets. It just looked so delicious. So we had it for dinner with some fruits, strawberries, and crackers and apples. They went fantastic together, the soft runny cheese with the fresh crunchy apple was a match made in heaven. Then I started apple, risotto, wow GORGONZOLA! It must be tried out!  And yes it works just as nice as I thought it will be. The recipe is sooo easy, and fast, and so gourmet, you could impress anyone coming over for dinner!

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

20g butter

2 shallots brunoise

3 cloves of brunoise garlic

100ml rose or white wine (dry)

150 g arborio rise

2 fresh apples, peeled, chopped in small cubes

150 g Gorgonzola cheese

salt, white pepper

fresh thyme

about 1 liter warm vegetable stock

In a medium saucepan melt butter, add shalots, stir and cook. Make sure the shallots don`t burn or turn brown. Add the apples and the garlic, stir, and soften the apples a little bit. Add white wine or rose wine. Add rice, and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes and start adding the stock, not more than 1 cup a time. You need to reduce the heat and stir occasionally, so the rice doesn’t burn. Whet the liquid is reduced, add an other cup of stock, repeating untill the risotto is ready. You`ll know when it`s good, when the middle is still only a little bit crunchy. Don`t overcook! When ready add the salt, white pepper, and thyme for taste!

Meanwhile, your risotto is cooking, melt the cheese over bain marie, stirring occasionally.

Serve the cheese on top of the risotto!


Ps: It`s amazing with some fresh bread, and garlic butter, and some wine on the side!


January 19, 2011

Recipe: Pappardelle in Yellow tomato sauce with grilled cherry tomatoes.

To be perfectly honest, there`s nothing new or interesting in this recipe, only I used yellow tomatoes for the sauce. I really like tomatoes, and when their colourful friends appear in stores and markets I just go crazy, because they just look cool. Of course their price isn`t really friendly most of the time, but I can tell people love them as despite their price they disappear from the shelves pretty fast.

I find that using the orange or the zebra or the yellow tomatoes in salad and sauces can really spice up the look of some old favourites, and make the lunch or dinner a bit more fun. Only the yellow tomatoes are a bit sweeter then their red version, and they are incredibly tasty with some extra garlic and parmesan cheese.  As much for italian traditions, they just go mental when they see people eating pasta with the salad, in their eyes it is just WRONG! But, I found that this version of tomato sauce goes very well, with some dried-fruity salad.

It is an easy and fast meal. If you are not a professional and experienced cook, you can still make f un dinners and surprise your guests.

Recipe (2-3 people)

  • half a package of pappardelle
  • 1 big onion (brunoise)
  • 3 cloves of garlic ( finely chopped)
  • 5 big yellow tomatoes.
  • 2 spoons of butter
  • olive oil
  • a couple offresh rosemary leafs
  • Couple of cherry tomatoes for decoration.
  • salt, white pepper, nutmeg

Boil some water add the pasta, and some salt. If you added oil into the water so far, please don`t do it, it is just the waste of oil, you don`t need it! Stir it occasionally, don`t overcook it!

Put the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or 2 so you can easily get rid of the skin. After that slice them up into small cubes, and mix it with the finely chopped garlic, and the rosemary leafs.

Heat the oil and the butter, in a small saucepan, untill the butter melts. Get a spoonful of this mixture out and put it in a frying pan, this is for frying the cherry tomatoes. Add the onion, and  sweat it,while stirring occasionally, make sure the onion doesn`t get brown! Add the tomato, garlic, and rosemary mix, and cook for 10 or so minutes or untill sauce is ready. If your sauce is a bit thick you can add some water, but make sure, you bring it to boil and reduce the liquid! Before you finish add salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg. Serve it with the fried cherry tomatoes and some fresh parmesan, and maybe a glass of dry rose wine!

January 17, 2011

New York: Chelsea Market in words and pictures

Chelsea Market

75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16th streets), New York

Chelsea Market Website

Chelsea Market building New York

Chelsea Market building New York

This enclosed shopping center and food court was once home of the famous Oreos, and is now one of the No.1 meeting point of the city’s gourmet food lovers. Naturally I had to visit it. If you want a piece of advise, you won`t have breakfast before you go there. The market has plenty to offer! From cupcakes to foccacia, from risotto to sushi, even if you are picky, you`ll want to try them all.

Chelsea Market, New York, Amys Bakery

Chelsea market Amy`s Bakery

Gourmet food tours, should be the best way to visit the area. The tours are available on the markets website. Unfortunately I didn’t know about these, and only discovered them when we arrived to the market, they seemed fun and interesting, and surely You can try, and taste more products this way, also you can learn some insight stories about the establishments. Next time I visit I`ll surely join one of them, but not only the market`s but whole a whole Chelsea tour.

Chelsea Market- Amy`s Bakery, Lobster`s place

Amy`s Bakery, Lobsters place, Chelsea Market New York

2 of my favourite businesses were “Amy`s Bakery” and “Lobster`s Place”- even thou I dont` eat seafood. If you are a sushi lover I would strongly recommend to pick up 1 or 2 plates of freshly made rolls there, or just look at the making process from the window. And of course fresh lobsters and plenty other seafood is available. What I liked the most, is the presentation of different products, from all around the market, everything is so organized, colourful and creative! And most of the time, open, so you can look at the production process of several bakery, or restaurants, or pretty much anything.

Chelsea Market, New York, Buon Italia

Chelsea market, New York, Buon Italia

Chelsea and it`s market should be a foodies dream destination when visiting New York Ci, it`s a nice walk from Times Square for the more adventurous tourists!


Chelsea market, New york- Buon Italia

Buon Italia, Chelsea market, New York


August 31, 2010

The Basil Bomb

I have to admit I do have a minor addiction to Arancini balls. This Italian rice treat is very easy, and tasty, and as reading some other blogs, looks like it’s slowly takeing over the world:) Also, it can be the solution for the left over risotto you might have in your fridge.  With adding some cheese and seasoning, rolling it into bread crumbs, it can be a popular snack on kids parties or for a nice wine tasting night with your friends. Rice has never tasted so nice!:)

I came up with the pesto-arancini idea,, for a recipe contest about a month ago. To be honest I don’t know why I never ended up sending this recipe. I was afraid it will look too simple for the judges. Now I know i was wrong, but anyway, its at least something new in my book. For it you can use fresh pesto, or ones from the supermarket. While cooking, I used home-made basil-olive oil for some extra basil kick.  Instead of mozzarella, you can use any easily melting cheese, for a richer taste even gorgonzola would be a nice try. The arancini is great for experimenting. The only thing you need to be care of is, make sure your rice mix isn’t too runny, otherwise the breadcrumbs wont hold them together. Enjoy!


risotto rice base

Basil oil

Green pesto

egg yolks (depending on the quantity, for about 10-15 balls 2 is usually enough)

mozzarella cheese


Oil for cooking

While still warm mix the pesto, cheese, basil oil with the rice base and set aside to cool. When semi warm add the egg yolks watch out you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs in your arancini. When a bit cook, sticky and easy to form. Form small balls from the mix. Roll them in breadcrumbs, and deep fry in hot oil! Enjoy!

Rosemary on Foodista

August 28, 2010

Recipe: Rosemary addiction

Polenta is fun. It can be used as a side dish or a starter or as a snack. It goes well with almost anything. It`s cheap and easy to make.  If you ran out of food at home and u find a cup of polenta you can easily make a nice dish within no time.  Also it doesn`t need any hardcore cooking knowledge and with a bit of creativity you have the snack for the next wine tasting night.

In this recipe you can learn how to make crunchy olive polenta fingers with garlic aioli. You will see, the rosemary is just as dominating in this dish as the polenta. The herb goes well with it and with the aioli to. I learned this combination from the tapas bar I used to work in Sydney. Since then I always mix the herb in, it gives the aioli a fresher taste.


3 cups of chicken stock

50g unsalted butter

1 cup polenta

a handful of chopped kalamata olives

a bit of extra polenta for brushing

a handful of rosemary leaves

garlic-rosemary aioli

1/2 cups egg mayonnaise

1 clove garlic crushed

1 teaspoon lemon juice

sea salt

a bit of fresh rosemary leaves

To make the aioli, place the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and the sea salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. set aside.

Preheat the oven for 200C.

Place the stock and butter in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and gradually add the polenta. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Spoon the mixture into a well-greased 6-cup capacity ceramic dish and allow to cool completely. Turn the polenta out onto a flat surface lightly dusted with the extra polenta and cut into pieces.Place the polenta fingers and rosemary onto a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until crunchy. Sprinkle with salt and serve it with the aioli.

Rosemary on Foodista

August 11, 2010

Apple risotto Arancini balls aka. Leftover creativity

Arancini balls are yum, easy and fantastic snacks. And if we have some leftover risotto, or rice it can be easily done. The variations or the seasoning it`s up to you of course. In Italy they prefer the melted cheese, and the tomato base. In Sicily they prefer the big balls, with meet filling inside.

This version of mine is from my leftover apple risotto recipe here:

All You need to do is:

In a saucepan heat up the risotto, with some butter

Add mozarella cheese (or any cheese which melts easily)

Mix it well together

Add some more seasoning if you like

Take off from heath and add 2 egg yolks (whatch out you don`t want scrambled eggs in your rise)

Roll small balls out of it

Roll it in breadcrumbs

Fry them in hot oil!


July 26, 2010

London restaurants: Bocca di Lupo, Soho

Bocca Di lupo

12 Archer street, London,  WID7BB, T: +4402077342223

Its strange how England isn`t infamous about its food (or pretty much known how bad it is) its also known about their celebrity chefs, and World known restaurants. But even in London, where are foood shops, cafes, bistros and restaurants on every step, we need to look around where we eat, and how much we are willing to pay for it.

Couple of month ago, while reading Jamie Oliver`s magazine, I discovered a restaurat called Bocca di Lupo. The article went on and on about the regional Italian cusine, and how fantastic that they also offer the famous, supplis, and other well know fried goods from italian panetterias and cafe`s. Then I realised, even tho there are so many italain shops, restaurants, bars around here, i havent seen these kind of offers anywhere in England.  The place is located in the heart of Soho-where I have this habbit to get lost frequently, its nice to wonder around there with a known destination.

So, italian restaurant, mostly italian staff as well. The inner design is posh and fabulous. Its tuesday night and jam packed, we can only take a seat at the bar. The wait staff is friendly and casual, they are all busy, but smiling and having fun. We dont mind the bar, at least we can see the chefs in action at the very much open kitchen. Theres complimentary olives and freshly baked bread, so the dinner starts with a very good kick.

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We pick a selection of starters for share from the fried goods. We pick the suppli (fried cheesy rice), deep fried bocconcini and fried artichoke. They are nice but bough of us had better before. The suppli is a bit dry, but its nicely seasoned. The artichoke looks funky but the tastes more like oil. The coat on the cheese is a bit thick, not letting to melt the bocconcini inside. Comparing to the simplicity of these starters its also a bit overprised for my taste. Meanwhile we ordered a glass of house rose and a bellini. The service is very fast, the rose is nice and dry, the cocktail is perfect as well. Looking at the menu we find some very authentic regional dishes, also what we really liked is, that they noted where in which region these meals are popular, or where they are originated from. An other advantage of sitting at the bar is, that we have a nice view on the dishes, which help us picking the perfect meal.

As main, my boyfriend orders pork and foie gras sausage, with spinach on the side. Im having tomato and pine nut tortelli. Theres nothing better then fresh hand made pasta. The sauce is nicely seasoned as well.  From some of the dishes the guests can order a smaller or bigger portion. Im having a small pasta as i would like to try some dessert as well. To be perfectly honest, i wasnt too impressed by the sausage as i couldnt really taste the foie gras. But the spinach was a big suprise. It was cold! It was fantastic! And the lemony sour taste made it even more perfect.

If You are dining at Bocca di lupo, the Canolli for dessert is a must try. An authentic sicillian sweet, with ricotta and pistachios. Its easy to tell its many costumers favourite, by the amount they sold in an hour.

The restaurant was a nice experience, its a bit pricy, but if you are a foody, its a shame not to try it. Our bill was about 80 Pounds, for 2 main courses, a starter selection a dessert, 2 house roses, 1 cocktail and 2 bottles of mineral water. I would advice for a reservation!