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Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

The great thing about food blogs is that they let you experiment and try something uncommon and different from usual. In fact, the other day I was searching an original way to do something with zucchini and I came across this interesting recipe by Key Lime Pie Kitchen (thank you blogger friend for this amazing recipe!).
Well, I tried it and it was delicious. I made ​​some minor modifications (because at the moment I had only potato and zucchini, so I couldn’t add any other type of vegetable), so here’s to you my pictures and my own version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini;
  • 3 medium potatoes;
  • ½ cup of durum wheat flour (can be replaced with any type of gluten free flour);
  • 2 tablespoons of  breadcrumbs;
  • Salt and black pepper;
  • a sprinkle of grated nutmeg;
  • 2 eggs;
  • abundant peanut oil for frying.

Instructions:

1- With food processor or by hand with a grater, grate the zucchini and potatoes, previously washed and, in the case of potatoes, peeled.
2- Place potatoes and zucchini in the colander and squeeze out as much as possible in order to remove water in excess (I have also used kitchen paper towels to absorb water).
3- Beat the eggs in a bowl. Make the batter by adding flour, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix everything well and add the potatoes and zucchini and, just in case, add a bit of extra salt. Keep stirring until everything is well combined.

4- Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan at medium-high heat. Make sure it is very hot before putting the pancake mixture, by pouring a small quantity of the mix. If the oil sizzles around this piece, then you can proceed.
5- With a spoon or hands, give to the mix the shape of a pancake, one by one and, then fry them. When the edges turn golden, turn them on the other side. When they are ready, place them on a plate covered with absorbent kitchen paper and remove the oil in excess.

6- Serve hot, if you want to exaggerate with the fat, put on some cheese slices.

Buon Appetito!

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The proceeding behind this side dish could be defined somehow as the foundation of Italian cuisine.
In fact, most of the vegetables can be cooked in this way, as well as many pasta sauces. So you can serve as an accompaniment to a main course or it can be even eaten alone with some fresh bread.
So I decided to post this recipe especially for the benefit of non-Italians who read my little blog!

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1 kg of broccoli (or cabbage or turnip tops or whatever you want, but green :-));
  • 4 cloves of garlic, to which you have carved some small cut with a knife and you have squeezed a bit;
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 or 2 dried chillies;
  • Salt to taste.

Instructions

1- Wash broccoli, remove any loose or damaged part. Boil them in salted water for 7 minutes from the recovery of the boiling or more if you are using cabbages. If you use a pressure cooker, cook for 4 minutes maximum after the hiss (or follow the specific instructions of your pressure cooker!).
2- Sauté in a a large nonstick pan the cloves of garlic and chilli. When the garlic turns golden, add the previously drained vegetables. Add salt to taste.
3- Sauté on high heat for three minutes, then add a glass of water and, covering with the lid, cook until water is absorbed and the vegetables are dried up in the pan. About 8 minutes. Actually you have to see by eye when the broccoli are ready: it depends on how much you like them soft.
4- Serve hot as a side dish. Very delicious with fresh Italian bread.

Tasty option: when sauté, you can use a bit of anchovy paste to give a stronger and savory flavor. In this case, pay attention that the anchovy paste tends to burn easily.

Buon appetito!

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The answer is simple: I can not resist! Although this recipe is meant for 4 people, we hardly manage to get to the day after such a delight (um … we are only two). Maybe it’s because that I like very much the leeks in any recipe…

Enough, less greetings and more recipe!

Ingredients for 4 servings (if you can: P)

  • 1 large or 2 small leeks (usually are huge!);
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste;
  • 1 rolled-out of puff pastry, ready for use (Ladies and gentlemen, it is too difficult for me to do at home by myself: too long the process and the result is not guaranteed. So, better to buy it ready to use.);
  • 2 eggs;
  • 50g (3.5 tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese;
  • 3 tablespoons of milk;
  • 70g (2.5 oz) of Gruyere cheese or Leerdamer (or similar cheese);
  • salt to taste;
  • pepper to taste;
  • 1 pinch with grated nutmeg.

Instructions:

1- Preheat the oven to 190 ° / 200 ° C (390 ° F).
2- Place the pastry on a round baking tray covered with baking paper. Prick with a fork the pastry so to avoid creating air bubbles during the cooking.
3- Sauté the leeks, previously cut in thin slices, in the oil, until they become golden brown. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
4- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, adding milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese.
5- Finally, add the leeks and cheese Leerdamer (or whatever) to the mixture of eggs. Mix lightly and pour it slowly into the pan on the pastry.
6- With the surplus edge of pastry you can decorate the pie the way you want. In this precise case, I have left as it was. But the possibilities are many: you can create strips as those for jam tarts or make a nice thick border. The choice is up to you 🙂
7- Bake for about 15-20 minutes but keep an eye on the oven. The edges of the pastry should be golden and crisp!
And here’s your pie! Enjoy it!

Buon appetito!

For those dear readers who do not know the puff pastry, here to help wikipedia. But I warn you I do not want any responsibility: it is a veeery fat pastry 😉

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A simple and fresh recipe to resume the threads of this blog, far too long abandoned due to job, commitments, and other amenities, but always in my mind!
So, back in action!

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 200 g peeled shrimps
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • a dash of paprika
  • 1 tbsp brandy or Grand Marnier
  • white pepper
  • 150 g lettuce
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 slices of toasted bread
Instructions: 

1- Wash the lettuce, cut into small pieces and dry (or simply open a bag of already cut and washed salad! It’s up to you!;)).
Do the same with the carrots and cut into thin slices.

2- Put the mayonnaise, ketchup, paprika, white pepper and brandy in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Let rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Your sauce is ready!

3- Add the shrimps to the lettuce and carrots. Add the cocktail sauce, mix well and add salt to taste. Last thing, add the previously toasted bread cut in 2 pieces to decorate.
For a more elegant appearance, put aside some shrimp and use it to decorate the salad.

Buon Appetito!

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Ah, sun-dried tomatoes! I’m totally addicted to them.
My kitchen cupboard could be empty but you’ll always find at least one sun-dried tomatoes jar. They are so delicious even plain on a slice of bread or on a cracker. Well, if you have never tried them, it’s time to start now. Maybe in this recipe!

It’s time to a nice, delicious but not so dietetic salad!

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
  • 4 fresh tomatoes
  • about 10 sun-dried tomatoes preserved in olive oil
  • 100 g (3,5 oz) skinless and boneless canned salmon in water or boiled salmon
  • 250 g (8,7 oz) chickpeas boiled or canned in water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra-virgin olive oil to taste

Instructions

1- Wash well the lattuce and the tomatoes. Cut crosswise the leaves in smaller pieces (not too small, you don’t have to mince them!) and slice the tomatoes. Drain the vegetables and put them in 2 single serving-size bowl. Mix the tomatoes and the lattuce.

2 – Drain and rinse the chickpeas, divide in two parts and put them on the top of the 2 salad ‘s bowl.

3- Drain the canned or boiled salmon, dice it a little and divide in two parts. Then add to the salads.

4- Take the sun-dried tomatoes, drain them from the oil in excess and mince them with a knife. The divide and sprinkle them into the 2 salads.

5- Dress the salads with salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil to your taste. If you like it, you can enjoy this salad with some Italian bread like

Lariano or Genzano. Look a this interesting blog I found – Italicious – with 20 breads of Italy.

Have a good salad and Buon Appetito!

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