Roasted chicken salad

Last Saturday morning I was helping some very generous and humble women baking cookies. They bake cookies to sell on Christmas market and send the money for a charity organization.It was a pleasant experience. Any way back to my business, on my way back home, knowing that I have not prepared anything for lunch, I picked a roasted chicken and French fries that they sell at the piazza (very testy by the way).

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It turns out the chicken was big for the three of us. So I have enough left over roasted chicken to make a good roasted chicken salad. That will feed us well for dinner.

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Now, we are going to make this spicy with chilly pepper ( to give us a little bit of warmth for the winter cold ), crunchy with apple and cucumber, sweet with honey and raisins, tangly salty with olives and anchovies……… it is gonna be damn delicious.

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yield –  2  servings

Ingredients

  • 7/8 cups / 153g cooked chicken meat with out bones (I used left over roasted chicken)
  • 1/4 of medium yellow apple diced
  • 1/2 of medium cucumber diced
  • 1/2 of medium tomato with out seeds and diced
  • mixed green salad (enough for two portions)

Marinate

  • 2 anchovies chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon chilly pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons olives pitted and minced
  • 2 tablespoons raisins(useful tips: preferably socked in warm water for 10 minutes )
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice

Dressing

  • 5 tablespoon mayonnaise

Garnish

  • a little bit of extra virgin olive oil
  • a little bit of sesame

Procedure

  1. separate the chicken meat with your hands or a fork and put in a bowl.
  2. mix well all the ingredients for the marinating. Test for balanced saltiness and sweetness (useful tip: the anchovies and the olives will give enough saltiness so may be adding salt might not be needed )
  3. add the mixture to the chicken, stir very well to coat all of it then put in fridge and leave to marinate up to 2 hours
  4. put the mayonnaise in another bowl add the diced apple, cucumber and tomatoes coat well
  5. add the marinated chicken in to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix
  6. rearrange the green salad on a plate, put the deliciousness on top sprinkle with some sesame, drizzle good quality olive oil and ENJOY

 

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panna cotta with berry sauce

I remember the different types of panna cotta we used to make,when I was in culinary school. Ummm…..they were exquisite, specially the one with coffee flavor. In the near future I will try to recreate that unforgettable test. Panna cotta is traditional, easy, and delicious Italian custard.

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This is literally a 20 minutes max dessert with excellent results. It tastes just like the panna cotta served in restaurants.This recipe can be made with out the coloring. It will be snow white and beautiful. The sauce can be used cold from the fridge or hot right from the stove. It depends on your desire.

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If you are any thing like me you will adore the silky texture, the sweet test, the sour sauce and the bites of the wild fruits. Before I forget let me tell you that, in case you don’t finish it 10 minutes after it is out of the fridge, it can stay refrigerated for maximum of three days.

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Ingredients

  • 500ml/ 2.1 cups heavy cream
  • 21/2(5g/0,18oz) unflavored gelatin
  • 100g/ 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoon raspberry
  • 2 tablespoon blueberry
  •  1 tablespoon sugar

Procedure

  1. first we will put the gelatin in cold water and leave aside
  2. now we put the cream in a saucepan over a very low heat stirring constantly
  3. then when it is warm we add the sugar and continue stirring (useful tip: don’t let the cream boil) until the sugar is all dissolved
  4. add the coloring and stir well to incorporate it with the cream
  5. all this process, may be takes about 10 minutes
  6.  then squeeze well the gelatin from the cold water and put it in the cream and stir well leave aside to cool
  7. prepare any kind of container like a cup, a water glass or a champagne glass a container that can go in a fridge
  8. pour the cream in the containers and refrigerate at least for 2 hours
  9. while our panna is chilling lets make the simplest berry sauce on the face of the earth on a pan put in all the ingredients together(leave some for decor) and let the sugar dissolve
  10. wait till the berries infuse about 3minutes then take it off the heat and with immersion blender blend well. When the panna cotta is set  there are two options for plating it. you can put the sauce over the panna cotta or you can verse the panna cotta on a plate and decor it and ENJOY.

Bucatini with peeled tomatoes and olives

To day I have been a little busy. Going to places and getting things done. When I arrived home it was already 2:30 in the after noon and I was so hungry, then I decided to make a simple but delicious, and spicy 15 minutes  pasta.

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I have got the idea from one of my favorite blogs www.cookaround.com/ricetta/trofieallaligure . It is an original recipe from LIGURE. The pasta I was suppose to use was TROFIE but instead I have used BUCATINI, which in my opinion works as good.

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The recipe calls for pecorino cheese. By all means go ahead and use that, I preferred not to.

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yield –  4  servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces of anchovies
  • 1 garlic crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 leg leek cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cans peeled tomatoes(only the tomatoes,with out the juice, cut in half)
  • 4 pieces of sun dried tomatoes(cut in small size)
  • 2 tablespoons black olives
  • olive oil
  • salt(if necessary)

Pasta

  • 400g/14oz dry bucatini pasta
  • salted boiling water

Garnish

  • chopped parsley
  • pecorino cheese

Procedure

  1. first boil the water for the pasta with enough salt
  2. heat the oil in a pan over medium heat add the anchovies and let them melt
  3. add the chili pepper , the garlic, the parsley and let cook for 2 minutes max. Take of the garlic before it gets burned
  4. now it is time to cook the pasta (useful tip: almost every time you cook a  dry pasta,depends on the type of the pasta, it is better to reduce the cooking time by 2-3 minutes. Then the cooking will be finished in the sauce)
  5. in the mean time put in the leek in the pan with a little bit of cooking water cover the led and cook till transparent and soft about 5 minutes
  6. add the peeled tomatoes, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes
  7. at last add the olives and some more parsley
  8. I don’t think it needs more salt, cause the anchovies and the olives are salty enough but if you feel like it go ahead and use some . But always after you tasted it.
  9. by now the pasta should be done, drain it and mix it with the sauce immediately
  10. put the pasta on a plate, spread some pecorino cheeses, drizzle olive oil and ENJOY.

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yogurt cake with dark chocolate

You can not control the temptation of licking the batter every time you whisk it.  I have baked it for my daughter’s birth day and it was finished in 10 minutes, even before every guest has arrived. I remember I have made a really simple glaze with icing sugar. A friend gave me this recipe, who I thank so much, of course I have adjusted some things to my desire.

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It can be a quick go to sponge cake for get together, birthday, etc. It will serve at least 8, with leftovers for breakfast. It’s barely sweet and it’s perfectly acceptable as a breakfast. You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature dusted with simply icing sugar or cacao powder. You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature dusted with simply icing sugar or cacao powder.

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yield – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs(separated )
  • 200g(7/8 cups) sugar
  • 125g/ 1 and 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 112 ml/  1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 50g/0,22cups dark chocolate in powder (70%)
  • 100g ( 1 and 1/3cups) all purpose flour
  • 150g (2/3cups) cornstarch
  • 16g (1/8cups) 1 tablespoon backing powder with vanilla (but if it is only backing powder add 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • pinch of salt

procedure

  1. preheat oven at 180C/ 350F
  2. Spray a 20cm/8″ round tin with oil and line with baking/parchment paper and set aside
  3. add the sugar in the yolk and mix well with an electric mixer till creamy white
  4. whisk in the vegetable oil and the yogurt
  5. now it is time to add the dark chocolate and incorporate well
  6. then mix together the flour and baking powder
  7. using sift add the flour a few at a time and mix making sure there is no lumps
  8. mount the egg white, with a pinch of salt, until stiff and add in the mixture using spatula ( useful tip: make sure to mix from the bottom to the top gently)
  9. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes. When a tester/toothpick comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. ENJOY

Oven Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a perfect family friendly meal. It is baked topped with lots of cheese, until hot, bubbly, and melted gooey! I have made half of my Spaghetti and Meatball with out any kind of cheese because my beloved husband prefers his portion with out it. so I made it half white and half red. cool right!

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A simple casserole made with layers of pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, spice and of course meatballs. Yammy.

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The reason I mix the pasta with the sauce is because the starch released from the pasta creates a sauce that is silkier and clings better to the pasta than cooking the sauce and pasta separately.

This is the right way to mix a pasta and its sauce(any kind of sauce). Almost every pasta dish should be finished off by tossing the almost-cooked pasta in the sauce with a splash of pasta water. Doing this thickens the pasta sauce and it clings to every strand of pasta so you don’t end up with a pool of pasta sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

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It can also be a really good leftover for the coming day. you just have to put it in a micro wave and heat it up.

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yield   4 -5 servings

Ingredients

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder/ chilly pepper
  • 700ml/1.4lb tomato sauce
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

Meatballs

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/2 medium celery(with out the string)
  • 400g/ 1lb ground beef
  • 1 egg beaten
  • herbs (a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano )
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • bread crumbs(enough to make the meat a little bit dry )
  • a little bit of oil to sauté the onion and celery
  • a little bit of oil to cook the meatballs

Pasta

  • 300g/ 11oz spaghetti
  • boiling water
  • salt for the water
  • 2 large eggs for latter use

Garnish

  • chopped chives
  • grated mozzarella cheese as needed
  • grated Parmesan as needed

Procedure

  1. heat the oven to 150C/302F
  2. oil your 21/2 quarts or 9 inch square baking dish
  3. lets start from the sauce because it is gonna take 30minutes to cook and it has to reduce by half
  4. so heat the oil in a pot on a medium heat add the garlic and the chilly powder, after 2seconds.Add the tomato sauce put on the cover and turn the heat to low, stir every now and then
  5. boil the water for the pasta. When boiled cook to packet instruction( useful tip: always put away some of the cooking water you never know when it will come in handy)
  6. now the meatballs, sauté the onion and the celery till soft
  7. in a big bowl put in the meat, the egg, all the herbs, the soy sauce, the nutmeg,the sautéed onion and  the bread crumbs mix well
  8. Shape into 8 dozen small meatballs 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  9. cook all in a pan with a little bit of oil till golden brown
  10. it is time to salt and pepper the tomato sauce
  11. at this point I like to add the cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce, with a little bit of cooking water, so that they will flavor each other(5 – 7minutes)
  12. then add the pasta in the pot mix well and verse in to the baking dish that you previously prepared
  13. now pour the two eggs that I have mentioned above on the pasta and pock the pasta with a fork that way the eggs will fall trough
  14. cook for 20 – 30 minutes or till golden brown
  15. sprinkle with some chives and ENJOY.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

To day is rainy here in Trento, so I decided to make a soup. A really good soup that can fill you up and warm you inside. My mother used to make this soup for the family.But I have made some changes cause there are some ingredients that my daughter doesn’t like. so you can add and leave some ingredients if you want to.

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If you want to make it in advance and refrigerate or make a larger portion and consume for coming days (up to three days) it is possible. But I suggest that you don’t mix the pasta with the soup because it will absorb all the liquid and becomes mushy. so cook the pasta for the day that you intend to use the soup. May be the soup tends to get thicker, in this case, heat up a broth and add.

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It is also very important selecting a suitable pasta,  the thinner the soup, the smaller the pasta.  For broths and light soups, select from a large assortment of tiny shapes.

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For the croûtons simply take a day or two old bread cut it in medium squares, on a pan with a little bit of butter/ olive oil toast it till golden brown. It is crunchy. We also eat this as a snack in my home.

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yield  4 -5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 fresh garlic minced (1 teaspoon dried garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated (1 teaspoon dried ginger)
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 250g/ 1/2lb minced ground beef
  • 50ml/0.2cups dry white wine
  • 1 medium carat cleaned and cut in small squares
  • 2 medium potatoes cleaned and cut in small squares
  • 1 litter (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 20g/0.7oz pastina
  • 300g/ 11oz small drayed pasta
  • salt

Garnish

  • chilly (spicy) oil
  • rosemary
  • croûtons
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Procedure

  1. first thing is first boil the vegetable broth
  2. heat the oil in a pot on a medium high and the garlic and ginger and cook till you smell the onion ( useful tip:do not burn the garlic or else it will be bitter)
  3. add the onion and cook till soft about 5 minutes ( useful tip:if it tends to burn add a little bit of broth and cover the pot) then add the chilly pepper and go for another 2 minutes
  4. add the beef and cook till it finishes its liquid, breaking it up as you go, until no longer pink – 3 minutes
  5. add the wine increase heat to high and let the alcohol evaporate, 5 seconds, and remain the sweet test of the wine decrease the heat
  6. add the carat and half of the broth cover the pot and cook till nearly soft about 10 minutes
  7. add potatoes cook another 5 minutes  add the rest of the broth
  8. now add the pastina and the pasta cook for 8-9 minutes the past should be just about cooked. The pasta should  be cooked – tender but firm.
  9. taste and adjust salt. put in a bowl, drizzle chilly oil, grate the cheese, spread some croûtons and ENJOY

Mini Burger

This mini burger is our Saturday lunch. Almost every Saturday. It is succulent, crunchy and gooooood. Noting more to say…………

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If you do not want to add the egg it is okay. But you have to reduce on the quantity of the bread crumbs because we put it to absorb some of the moist from the egg.

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yield- 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 burger bread
  • 400g/1lb red meat
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 celery with out the strings
  • a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 30g/0,066ib bread crumbs
  • melting cheese of your choice
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices of tomatoes
  • 16 slices of fresh cucumber
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

Procedure

  1. cut the red onion and celery in small pieces and put in a blender and blend well
  2. heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil and cook the onion and the celery till transparent and soft
  3. season with salt and set aside
  4. put the meat in a bowl, beat the egg in a separate bowl and add to meat
  5. add the cooked onion, the dried herbs, some salt and mix well
  6. then add the bread crumbs and mix well (if the meat is sticky on your palms add more bread crumb)
  7. take a hand full (about 70g/0.15lb) for each mini burger make a ball and flatten it between the palms of your hands
  8. heat a big non stick pan with a bit of oil on a medium heat
  9. cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side and after you put on the cheese for another 2 minutes
  10. cut the burger bread and assemble first lettuces then tomatoes then cucumber after that the burger fill free to add ketchup or mayonnaise as you please. ENJOY