Grilling

And we get to the third round of world on a plate. For those of you that missed the first two rounds, World on a Plate is a monthly blogging event at which bloggers from around the world get together and share a typical recipe from their home country. Today, in honor of Memorial day we are doing grilling.

I am so curious to see what will happen for grilling! What do people grill in other countries? Are they grilling meat or fish or vegetables? Are they smothering everything in sauces or are they keeping it simple? Well Anna is going to tell us about Australia, Biren about Malaysia, Ewa about Sweden, Katerina about Greece, Katherine about the US, Hyosun about Korea, Raymund about the Philippines, Suchi about Northerm India and Vijitha about Southern India and I am telling you about Italy.

In Italy we keep it simple. No sauces. In the north part of Italy, we grill mostly meat. With a preference for cotechini (sausages), costine (ribs) and spiedini (kebabs).  Cotechini are small sausages very similar to bratwurst that are usually cut in half and roasted so that the fats drips away and the sausage becomes super flavorful. Costine are single ribs cut into 3 or 4 pieces and then simply put on the grill to roast until the meat pulls away from the bone. And spiedini are just skewers with vegetables and meat.

Now all of this is grilled with just a touch of salt and sometimes it is brushed with olive oil. My dad used to use a rosemary branch as a brush to spread garlic infused olive oil on the meat so that the the oil would have some extra flavor. But that is about as complicated as it gets!

Of course the secret is then to have great, fresh ingredients and to grill on charcoal to maximize the smoky flavor.

Oh and then there are the sides. Roasted peppers, eggplants and zucchini marinated in oil and garlic in the summer, polenta in the fall when it starts being chilly (at least in my city).

Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thights
  • 1 new york strip loin steak
  • 5 bratwurst
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the fat from the BY strip.
  2. Cut the meat into cubes, slice the zucchini and the sausages, cut the peppers in squares.
  3. Skewer the ingredients alternating meat and vegetables. I usually do 2 slices of sausage, 1 beef cube and 1 chicken cube alternated with 3-4 squares of pepper and 2-3 zucchini for each skewer.
  4. Grill on medium/high heat to desired doneness.

Insalata di riso

Hi! It’s again time for world on a plate! And this month we are doing grain salads.

I am late with the posting because of the Italy-England game and I have 3000 things to do before going to theater in 1 hour… So I’ll be brief and get straight business.

As grain salad, I am proposing an Italian classic: Insalata di riso (rice salad). The dish is typically eaten in summer and is a salad made with boiled rice and whatever you have in the fridge. Typical ingredients include: pickles, pickled onions, cubed ham, cubed cheese, boiled eggs, olives, tuna, pickled pepper, tomatoes, giardiniera, boiled peas…. Basically whatever you have in the fridge and like.

It is a dish that keeps well and can be enjoyed for days. It also works great for open air picnics or lunches. And obviously is a great way of using up leftovers.

Remember to check out what kind of salads people make around the globe!

#WorldOnAPlate: Insalata di riso

#WorldOnAPlate: Insalata di riso

Ingredients

  • 7. oz rice
  • 1 cup pickled vegetables (whatever you have and like)
  • 1 can tuna or 1/3 cup cubed ham
  • 1/3 cup cubed cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Boil rice and let it cool down
  2. In a bowl add all the ingredients cut to more or less equal size.
  3. Add the cold rice and mix well
  4. If needed add olive oil and seasoning (salt and pepper)

Fruit Tart Recipe

And we get to another month of world on a plate. For those of you that missed the first two rounds, World on a Plate is a monthly blogging event at which bloggers from around the world get together and share a typical recipe from their home country. Today, we are sharing fruit dessert to celebrate summer.

I am so curious to see what delicious concoctions my fellow bloggers will propose! What fruit will they use? Is it going to be cake? Sppon desserts? Fruit salad? Well Anna is going to tell us about Australia, Biren about Malaysia, Ewa about Sweden, Katerina about Greece, Katherine about the US, Hyosun about Korea, Raymund about the Philippines, Suchi about Northerm India and Vijitha about Southern India and as usual I am telling you about Italy.

When I started thinking about what to make, two things popped in my head: fruit salad and fruit tart. Turns out fruit tart is BF’s favorite dessert, so I went with tart.

Fruit tart makes its appearance at birthday parties and other festivities especially in spring and summer and it is a favorite among kids and adults. It looks great and it tastes even better!

Fruit tart is a great dessert that manages to be rich, refreshing and simple at the same time. The pastry cream makes it rich, the fruit makes it refreshing and the simplicity of ingredients and preparation make it easy to make. Plus it looks great! Bring one of this dessert to the table and you will be hailed as a great chef!

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else did at the bottom of the post!

#WorldOnAPlate: Fruit Tart

Ingredients

    • Crust
    • 10 oz. flour
    • 4 oz. butter
    • 3.5 oz. sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • pinch salt
    • vanilla extract and/or lemon peel (optional)

Pastry cream

    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tbsp corn starch
    • vanilla extract
    • 2 oz. sugar

Topping

  • seasonal fruit
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

    1. Crust
    1. Using a food processor cut the butter into the flout. It takes about 30 seconds and you should get a mixture of rather fine flour crumbs.
    2. Pour the mixture on a table or in a big bowl and make a well. In the well add the sugar, the yolks, the salt and the flavorings.
    3. Mix well and start kneading until the dough comes together in a smooth mass.
    4. If the dough is to dry, add a bit of the egg whites. If it is too sticky add a bit of flour.
    5. Make a disk, wrap it in saran wrap and place in the fridge to cool down for about 20 minutes.
    6. Roll out the dough and place in a buttered oven dish.
    7. Using a fork puncture the crust so that it does not rise while cooking.
    8. Cook for about 20 minutes in a 375F oven covering the borders with aluminum foil if they become too dark.
    9. Let it cool down.

Pastry cream

    1. Warm up the milk with the vanilla extract until simmering. Turn off the heat and let cool down slightly.
    2. Whip the yolks with the sugar until they become pale yellow and double in size.
    3. Slowly add about 1/3 of the milk straining it so that the skin that forms on top of the milk does not get in the egg mixture.
    4. Mix well and add the corn starch and mix again.
    5. Pour the mixture in a pot with the rest of the milk and put on a low fire. Stir the mixture until it thickens up (should become a lemon curd like consistency).
    6. Immediately transfer to a cool container and cover with plastic wrap so that it does not form a skin.

Topping

    1. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/5 of the water, mix and let rest for about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the rest of the water and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well. If the gelatine is not completely dissolved microwave for some extra time in 5 sec increments.
    3. Let the gelatin come to room temperature.

Assemble

  1. Pour the cool pastry cream over the cool crust and smooth it out.
  2. Layer some fruit on top of the cake making it as artistic as you can.
  3. Brush the gelatin over the fruit.
  4. Put the cake in the fridge and let the gelatin solidify.
  5. If needed after 10 minutes add a second layer of gelatin.

Stuffed tomatoes recipe

I have been absent. I was first in Chicago doing interviews (hope they went well I am still waiting to hear back on most) and now am in puerto rico enjoying a bit of R&R. But today is time for world on a plate and I am happy to post stuffed tomatoes.

The theme for this month was stuffed vegetables and I decided to go with a super easy recipe that used to be one of my sister’s favorite recipe as a child.

I love this recipe because it comes with a lot of memories and because it combines the sweetness of tomatoes with the saltiness of the capers. The result is delicious!

As I said the recipe is simple. So simple that I don’t even have doses. Just go by taste adding a bit of this and a pinch of that until you get the “right” flavor. Here right is what taste good to you so be brave and experiment. The only thing you should be careful about is not to add too much garlic so that you don’t overpower the other ingredients.

Oh remember to check out the other stuffed vegetables from around the world at the bottom of this post!

#WorldOnAPlate: stuffed tomatoes

#WorldOnAPlate: stuffed tomatoes

Ingredients

  • tomatoes
  • bread crumbs
  • capers
  • parsley
  • olive oil
  • garlic

Directions

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and de-seed them.
  2. Salt the tomatoes and place them upside down on a board so they can loose part of the water.
  3. Chop the capers, garlic and parsley and mix with the breadcrumbs and olive oil.
  4. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture.
  5. Drizzle with oil and bake in a 400F oven until the stuffing is golden brown and the tomatoes are cooked (about 15 minutes).

Lunch box Italian style

And we get to another month of World on a Plate. For those of you who still don’t know, World on a Plate is a monthly blogging event at which bloggers from around the world get together and share a typical recipe from their home country. Today, we are sharing lunchboxes for the beginning of the school year.

In Italy lunch boxes are not as popular as they are over here, so it was quite challenging for me to come up with a recipe that would exemplify Italian lunch boxes. But then I thought I could give you an idea of what would go in a lunch box with a mix of stories and a roundup of recipes.

In Italy microwaves and refrigerators in offices are not nearly as common as on this side of the pond, hence lunch boxes have to pack food that is good cold and is not going to spoil easily. And of course it should be easy and fast to throw together in the morning. An easy choice for a complete meal that respects this characteristics is salad. All sorts of salads: regular salads, pasta salads, rice salads, grain salads. You name it.

Another easy thing to bring along is quiche. It can be prepared ahead, you can wrap it in aluminum foil and bring it with you, and you can make it with anything you have in the fridge.

Here an idea of what I actually packed for lunch in the last year or so:

Bento ideas

Freekeh salad

Pasta with carrots and their tops

Pumpkin salad

Quiches

Rice salad

Rye berry salad

Simple spicy pasta

Tabouleh

 As you can see, the tell tell sign of it being a lunch box is that it is in a plastic Tupperware like container.

And now check out what lunch boxes look like around the world.