29 January 2012

Apple Cake

I love this cake, my nana made one for me and Luigi, my hubby, last Christmas and I have decided to give it a go! Although this one has less butter and less sugar than the one she made...
You need
Three eggs
a pinch of salt
80 grams of butter
80 grams of sugar
200 grams of self raising flour
Half a glass of milk
3-4 big apples

Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
Cut the apples in small pieces, and set them aside
Separate the eggs and whisk the whites (with a pinch of salt) in a very clean bawl until they form peaks (it will take few minutes)
In another bawl, add the yolks and the sugar and whisk until they  look pale.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a small pan at low heat
Add the butter to the yolks and the sugar, and  keep whisking
Carefully, fold in the whites (by hand) and then the apples.
Slightly butter and flour a round cake mould (the type you can open),  add the batter and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes (Check with a tooth-peek, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready!)
Buon appetito!

12 January 2012

Potato Gateau

This is a very SIMPLE recipe, a very good friend of mine taught this to me, thanks Elisa.
For 2-3 people
2 potatoes
100 grams of ham (Try not to get the water addicted one)
1 mozzarella
Grated parmesan (5 table spoons, around 50 grams)
One table spoon of grated breadcrumbs (This is not strictly necessary, it depends on the pan you are using, if you don’t have them, slightly grease the bottom of the pan with one table spoon of olive oil, it will help so the  potatoes won’t stick to the pan)
A small glass of milk
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees
Peel the potatoes and slice them as thin as possible
Alternate one level of potatoes (slightly overlapped) with mozzarella, ham, 2 tablespoons of parmesan, salt and pepper. Terminate with the potatoes and sprinkle over  the parmesan.
Pour the milk from one side (it will help keeping the potatoes moist)
Put in the oven (middle trail) for 40-45 minutes, but check them after 40 minutes with a fork, they should be tender. If not keep them for more minutes and until the top is golden (if you are afraid of burning them, put them in the lower part of the oven)
You can also make this the night before and warm it the day after for lunch!
Buon appetito!

6 January 2012

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup

For 2 people
Roasted butternut squash and apple soup

1 small butternut squash
2 small apples
half onion
salt pepper
500 ml stock (you can use cube vegetable cube stock)

Peel the butternut squash and cut it (be careful!) in half, take the seeds out and cut each half in small chunks ~2.5 cm
Wash the apples and cut them in chunks about the same size of the butternut squash.
Cut the onion.
Put everything in a large pan, add olive oil, salt, pepper and give everything a good mix.
Put in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the seeds, get yourself a small pan, add some olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the seeds, a pinch of salt and pepper and leave them to roast for few minutes. Be careful because at some point they could start to pop, take them off the heat and lave them to cool.
Bring half liter-700 ml of water to boil and prepare the stock
When the veggies are ready, take them out of the oven, add them to the stock and liquidize everything
Stir in the seeds.
Buon appetito!

4 January 2012

Roast Chicken

 For 2-3 people
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite cook: Jamie Oliver
You need
1 chicken about 1 kg (possibly free range)
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Half lemon (unwaxed)
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic

Get the chicken out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking it (This step is not strictly necessary if you don’t have the time)
Switch on the oven at 200 degrees Celsius
Wash the thyme and separate the little leaves from the stalks, preserving the stalks
Spread the leaves all over the chicken, rub some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper
Put the stalks and the half lemon inside the cavity 
Place it in a pan and put it in the oven for the thirty minutes
In the meantime, bash the garlic and half the tomatoes
After half an hour, get the chicken out of the oven, lift it up (I am obsessed with kitchen gadgets, so I have got myself this big fork, but you will be fine with two smaller forks!), add tomatoes and garlic to the pan, place the chicken on top and put back in the oven for another half hour.
To check if the chicken is cooked, pierce with a fork: lovely clear juices should come out of it.
Leave it to rest for at least 10 minutes covered in foiled
Slice it and buon appetito!
Please: be careful when you handle raw poultry: wash your hands and all the surfaces very well.


Quick mushroom soup

For 4 people

500 grams of mushroom

1 litre of stock (you can use vegetable stock)

half onion

one clove of garlic (if you like it)

2 table spoons of plain flour

salt and pepper

2 table spoons of Olive oil, 20 grams of butter

In a saucepan, add the olive oil and the butter and melt for few minutes, then add the onion (roughly chopped) and the garlic (chopped as well)

Leave on the heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously until the onions soften

Add the chopped mushrooms, stir, add salt and pepper and cover for 5 minutes (stirring from time to time)

In the meantime, boil 1 litre of water to make the stock (you can use the stock cubes)

Add the flour to the mushrooms and stir, so they are completely coated

Cook away the flour for 2 minutes, stirring

Add ¾ of the stock (reserving some for later, in case you want to add some more)

Place the lid and cook for further 20 minutes at low heat.

After 20 minutes, blend the soup (be careful, it can spill and it is very hot), taste it and add salt or pepper at your like

If you think the soup is too thick, you can add some of the stock you left behind