All posts tagged: home cooking

Two peas in a pod

In the region Veneto, we have a large number of recipes with the base ingredient of rice. One of these favourite  well-known recipes is Rice with Peas * i risi e bisi . Taking the opportunity at the fresh growers market I purchased two kilo’s of fresh peas. Having a few recipes in mind, my choice is this one.   I know what you’re thinking, it’s just easier to buy a can of peas, or go to the freezer, but believe me there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh peas. Let the senses glee with the sound of the crunch of the pea pod, the wonderful rich green colour, the perfume of fresh pearl peas, the taste and the silky glossy feel. I know I always think of my grandmothers shelling peas in the kitchen, but believe me they had it right, the  fresh taste makes all the difference.   This traditional plate is known to have been served to the Duke of Venice on the patron saints day of Saint Marks. The difference with this recipe apart from other risotto recipes is that the broth is added …

Eggplant Flowers

In a mad lunchtime rush I was able to visit the fresh fruit and vegetable market yesterday. With the start of Summer upon us the range of seasonal produce at the moment is at a high, from green leafy salads, green beans, broad beans, peas, zucchini, the plump reds of tomatoes , peppers and cherries and the “Black Beauty” of the bunch the dark shiny, glossy purple  of Eggplant (melanzane).  Eggplant is one of those vegetables used a lot in Italian cuisine. The best known recipe I think you would know is ratatouille. But there are many recipes I’ve learnt since experimenting with many Italian dishes. Italian food is simple, each recipe using two or three main seasonal products. That ‘s the key, quality produce and what’s in season.  Italian food is also regional, what you may find as the main dish of Veneto – Treviso isn’t the same as you would find in Rome, Sicily or Naples.  Recipe:Eggplant Flowers * i “fiori” di melanzane, is one of my favourite eggplant dishes.  Ingredients for 4 persons  2 eggplants ( long type)  …

Cottage Pie

I was brought up a Vegemite kid. What’s Vegemite?  you ask. For all of you  non Australians, it’s a black, creamy, salty, slightly bitter spread and it’s a required taste. From the lyrics of Men At Works 1981 hit song “Down Under”…I said “Do you speak -a  my language?” He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich. It’s all Australian.  Vegemite’s launching year was 1922, so it’s been around for a while.  It’s main ingredient is yeast extract, high in Vitamin B. And as the slogan song once played…put’s a rose in every cheek.   It’s usually spread on your morning toast but I’ve discovered a few recipes for this tasty ingredient..I like it so much that I have it sent over to me by anyone who’s coming my way, friends and family know that they can send me some in the post anytime,  and it’s always the first thing on my Christmas list. Here’s a recipe I make by adding a bit of Vegemite… Cottage Pie Recipe   Ingredients: Serves 4 for Dinner   800 grams lean minced (ground) …

Spiral Puffed Apples

Usually there’s two or three apples left in the bottom of the fridge, well I know in my house there usually is, why not jazz them up a little and enjoy these Spiral Puffed Apples, this recipe hasn’t been adapted from anywhere..it’s original, the mixture for the centres can be made from any dried fruits or nuts…a combination of dates and hazelnut’s..apricots and macadamia….the list is endless…look inside your pantry cupboard and get creative!  Spiral Puffed Apple Recipe:Ingredients: for 2 serves  Golden Delicious Apples  4  Walnut kernels  6 Dried Cranberries  6 sultanas  1 tablespoon Cream Cheese  Brown Sugar  Puffed Pastry ( Ready made, rectangle 30cm x 30cm)  1 sheet of Puff Pastry this size covers 3 apples.  Preparation:  Pre – heat oven to 200°c  Wash, paper towel dry and core apples.  Chop finely walnuts, cranberries and sultana’s together. Combine with the cream cheese. Press firmly into the centre of the apple.   Cut a circle (glass size) of puff pastry for the bottom of the apple, then cut 1cm strips of puff pastry.  These strips of pastry …

Warm salad of grilled beef ,vegetables and basil pesto

Sunday nights are usually a easy tea time treat  for me…the last thing I want to do is spend my last minutes of my weekend in the kitchen, easiest thing… heat up the grill….   Jazzing up plain beef steaks and making a delicious warm grill vegetable salad is my choice..and you’ll impress all who have the chance to try it!         Ingredients: Serving for 4   800 g  lean beef steaks : ( 2 thin steaks for each person)   Marinade    2 tablespoons dried oregano    1 tablespoon olive oil    1 clove garlic, crushed    Vegetables    1 bunch white or green asparagus    6 small artichokes    3 vines of cherry tomatoes    basil pesto    Preparation:  Mix marinade ingredients together in a bowl, add beef steaks, turning to coat thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinade in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes.   Preheat bbq grill to medium/ high    I used white asparagus, grilling that  first, slicing each one in half..turning continously on grill,  followed by the artichokes,( I pre-steam mine for about 8 mins).    Next grill the beef, around 2 minutes each side – or until …