Classic Trattoria Tiramisu

 


I was super lucky to get the opportunity to take my children to Italy in 2017 for my son’s senior year. My son ordered Tiramisu at many of the restaurants we ate at and he discovered all sorts of different versions. Picture above is my children in the Caffe Rivoire in Florence (opened in 1872) and enjoying their famous la cioccolata caldo (hot chocolate). 

This dessert is one of the main reasons I picked the online cooking class I attended yesterday. I tried to make Tiramisu last month and it was an epic fail. Yesterday I discovered that the reason the Tiramisu did not taste right to me the last time I made it is because I did not let it set for an appropriate time. A Tiramisu needs to set in the fridge for 4-12 hours before serving (preferably 12 hours).

One of the participants in the class yesterday asked why there is no alcohol in this version of the recipe and the chef said that alcohol is not traditionally used in a true Italian Tiramisu.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 TBS white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package ladyfinger cookies (24)
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of coffee, cooled and preferably espresso (if the coffee is not cool the cookie will fall apart)

Directions:

Separate the yolks and whites of all eggs and place them in two separate bowls. Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until fluffy.

Then, add the sugar and vanilla to the egg yolks and beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and creamy. Mix in the mascarpone cheese with the egg yolks and beat until smooth.

Fold the fluffy egg white mixture into the egg yolks gently.

Using a 8X8 or 9X9 cake pan, completely submerge each ladyfinger into the cooled coffee for 5 seconds and let the extra drip off then layer the coffee soaked cookies in the pan. If you have to break them to create a single layer on the bottom of the pan that is perfectly acceptable.

Spread half of your egg and mascarpone mixture over the single layer of cookies. Repeat another coffee soaked layer of cookies and spread the rest of the creamy mixture over the second layer.

Dust the cocoa powder on top, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set.

 

 

Panzanella Salad

 

I had my first online cooking class experience yesterday. It was a lot of fun. I went through the cooking school named Cozymeal. They have cooking schools throughout North America and, due to the pandemic, the classes have moved online. I have been wanting to try one for awhile.

I choose an Italian cooking class. The chef, Chris, was very informative and taught the group many great techniques as well as the history of the food.  He even had an Italian opera singer Zoom in from his home whereas he sang a wonderful song.

This is the first of the three recipes we cooked. It is very simple and delicious. It comes from Tuscany.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf of Italian crusty bread
  • 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced and quartered
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (10-15 leaves) rough chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Chop slices of bread into large crouton shape. Toss with olive oil (enough to lightly coat). Lay out the croutons on baking sheet in single layer with appropriate spacing between each piece to vent. Place in oven and toast until they appear toasted on all sides (10-15 minutes).

Place tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, 2 TBS olive oil, 1 TBS red wine vinegar in a bowl, mix and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Once croutons have cooled, mix with marinade.

Other two recipes to follow (Tiramisu and fresh pasta dough with lemon cream sauce.

Buon appetito.

Squash & Gorgonzola Risotto

 

I posted this recipe last week, but while trying to make some modifications on this site yesterday I erased part of the post. Thus, I will post it again because this recipe is that good.

My boyfriend found this gem of a website named:

http://www.pastagrammar.com

Also, check out their You Tube channel, they have many entertaining videos that will teach you a lot of Italian cooking tips:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1tKrA3PQlDzKzmhgq7wPPQ

I reap the benefits from his find and his new found love of cooking Italian. Often, I come home to freshly cooked pasta and other delicious Italian intricacies.

This is one of my favorite dishes from the site so far, it is a northern Italian risotto. It calls for an easy to make homemade vegetable broth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 russet potato, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tomato
  • Sprig of fresh parsley
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, cubed
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for grating
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Directions:

Begin by making the vegetable broth. Place potato, celery, carrot, tomato, parsley, half of the onion, a splash of olive oil, and a pinch of salt into a saucepan with water and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Dice the other half of the onion. Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil into a sauté pan and sauté diced onion until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the cubed squash, stir frequently for 2-3 minutes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a ladle of the vegetable broth and allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add more broth if necessary to prevent burning.

Toast the rice by melting 1 TBS of butter into a saucepan and stir frequently for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook the alcohol off for a couple minutes.

Add the toasted rice into the squash pan and combine. Begin adding simmering vegetable broth in increments to maintain the ability to cook the rice and to achieve a certain consistency. Desired consistency is soft and not crunchy but not overcooked. This will take at least 15-18 minutes and will require your attention.

Once desired consistency has been reached take the pan off the heat and add 1 TBS butter, gorgonzola cheese, a generous grating of Parmigiano and combine. 

Allow to sit for 3 minutes then serve with another grating of Parmigiano to top the master piece off.

Godere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lomo Saltado

This is another recipe from the First Responder cookbook my friend Ruby created called Code 7 Recipes for the Soul (details below if you want to purchase). It is created by one of the firefighters in the fire department I work for, Anthony R. After making it for my family and everyone loving it, I asked Anthony if I could share it on my little recipe blog in internet land. It is unique because of the sweet potato fries. It is a Peruvian dish and he received the recipe from his grandma and adapted it further after talking to relatives in Peru and twisting it to his liking. Super delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 bag frozen sweet potato fries
  • 2 pounds beef tri-tip sliced into 1/4 inch bite size pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 TBS oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Marinade the tri-tip with 2 cloves of minced garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Mix and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, the longer the better.

Once the meat is marinated, preheat oven and cook the sweet potato fries.

In a medium sized pot, add olive oil and remaining garlic, sauté until fragrant, add rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover rice and cook until done. (You need to make this rice in a pot, not a rice cooker, unless you plan to sauce garlic and add to rice cooker).

Slice the onion, mince the jalapeño, cube the tomatoes, and chop the cilantro.

Heat 2 separate pans on high with olive oil. Drain marinade and cook meat in one pan. In other pan, add onion and jalapeño, sauté until onion is translucent, add tomatoes, sauté until tomatoes are just soft.

Once everything is done, add onion and tomatoes to meat mixture, combine with sweet potato fries and serve over rice. Top with fresh cilantro.

To purchase the book:

Joy’s Zucchini Bread

 

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! Do I have a treat for you. My BF has given me his mom’s zucchini bread recipe and I have the green light to get it on my site. So with out any further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups zucchini (unpeeled, grated, and uncooked)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, and zucchini to dry mixture. Pour into a greased bread loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.

 

 

Ruby’s Hot Links and Potato Casserole

 

This recipe is from one of my friends that I have known and worked with on the ambulance for many years. It is inspired from The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Don’t let the “casserole” title put you off, this is not a true casserole other than you cook it in a casserole shaped dish.

This recipe can also be found in the cookbook titled Code 7 Recipes for the Soul: Cooking with First Responders. (Ruby played a huge part of putting this book together). The book is dedicated to all First Responders and their families. Proceeds will provide funding for the San Mateo County Firefighters, IAFF L2400 Behavioral Health Program for firefighters, paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). If you would like to purchase, click the link below:

On to the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 8 hot links
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium onion. quartered
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Ruby uses Lawry’s seasoning salt and so did I)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil 9 X 13 pan.

In large bowl place the first six ingredients and drizzle with oil while mixing well. Put in prepared pan and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn potatoes several times during cooking and test for doneness. They should be golden brown. Ruby serves this with a green salad and French bread. Yes, its that easy. Enjoy!

 

 

Pamela Adlon’s Chili Recipe

 

Does anyone watch the show Better Things on Hulu? I absolutely love it and have always loved everything Pamela Adlon. In the show she is always cooking up yummy meals for her family. I found her recipe on salon.com and it was delicious. I have a vegetarian chili recipe on this site and now I am including this one as my chili recipe with meat. However, she does say in her recipe that she sometimes uses fake meat so you can use that option if you choose.

Photo of Pamela Adlon and cast found on wuwm.com and Pamela Littky from FX is credited.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or you can use fake meat or turkey)
  • 1 big yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with the juice (smash them up when you add them to the pot)
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 3 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained (reserve some bean juice on the side, it’s Pamela’s secret weapon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Toppings:

  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Onion, chopped

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and cook the meat and onion, breaking up the meat as you go. Once the meat is cooked and onions have softened drain and excess fat and add all remaining ingredients, other than the toppings. Simmer for 30 minutes or longer. Continue to taste and adjust seasoning as you cook and add bean juice if needed for consistency. 

Serve with toppings of you choice.

Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine with bacon, onions, and mushrooms)

I first posted this recipe in 2012. I am making it again tonight and thought I would re-post. Also, I have deleted the other beef stew recipes off this site because none of them hold a candle to Julia’s recipe.

Pro-tip: buy a good bottle of wine to cook with and have a glass for yourself while cooking if you like wine. The bottle of wine pictured above is what I used, it is delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz chunk of bacon
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2-3 inch pieces (brisket, chuck, or round-get good quality)
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as Chianti
  • 2-3 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18-24 small white onions, brown braised in stock (recipe follows)
  • 1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter (recipe follows)

Directions:

Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 in long) Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Saute the bacon in the oil for 2-3 minutes, remove to side dish. Saute the beef in bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides, set it aside with bacon.

Saute the carrots and onion in the same fat then pour out the sauteing fat. Add the beef and bacon to the vegetables and toss with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour and toss to coat. Set in oven uncovered, middle rack, for 4 minutes. Toss again and return to oven for 4 more minutes. Remove and turn down oven to 350 degrees.

On the stove top, stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer then cover and set in lower third of oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Assure the meat is covered with liquid at all times.

While the beef is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set aside as needed.

Brown Braised Onions

Ingredients:

  • 18-24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup beef stock, wine, or water. (red or white wine is fine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme.

Directions:

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onion and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in the liquid, season to taste, add the herbs. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Sauteed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms

Directions:

Heat the butter and oil and as soon as it starts to foam add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly remove from heat.

Back to the Bourguignon:

When the meat is tender pour the contents into a sieve over a saucepan. Return the beef to pan and distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat. Skim fat off the sauce and simmer down until a consistency you like. Pour sauce over meat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve

Fried Rice by Hazel

This fried rice was a hit with my family and is super easy to make. The secret to this rice is that when you go to fry the rice, you do so in the bacon grease. Definitely not for the vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • White rice, cooked (amount depends on how many people you are feeding)
  • 4-5 slices bacon, cooked and cut up into small pieces, reserve bacon grease
  • Bunch of green onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

Make white rice, fry bacon and reserve grease, chop onion, scramble eggs and set aside. Place white rice in bacon grease to fry, add bacon and onion, make some space in the pan and add eggs, scramble those eggs and combine. Begin adding soy sauce and pepper to taste. Do not use salt due to soy sauce having a lot of salt in it. Be sure not to burn rice while frying because it will dry out.

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