Risotto with asparagus, mint and yoghurt

Well, let’s now celebrate this lovely day with a fresh receipe (finally spring looks to be in Dublin). I actually invented this receipe and at the beginning I was a bit scared of the result! With my big surprise (and also my boyfriend’s one) the risotto was fantastic. I hope you will enjoy it too!

What you need:

  • 1 cup of rice for each person
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • half chopped onion
  • 100 grams green asparagus
  • 125 ml natural yoghurt
  • 2 or 3 mint leaves
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1tsp salt

How to make it:

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a pan fry and when it’s hot add the onion and the chopped asparagus (rember to remove the woody ends of the asparagus before cooking them). Cook the vegetables for few minutes and then add the rice. Before the risotto starts sticking, add 2 cups of water and cook it for 7/8 minutes or until the water is all evaporated – remember to stirr constantly and gently!

When all the water has evaporated  you will need to add the yoghurt and cook the risotto with it. This will make your recipe more creamy and will provide it a really nice, fresh taste. Just note that while cooking the yoghurt will become very liquid (as in the picture); don’t worry, this is normal but don’t forget to stir it: ALWAYS!

Keep stirring the rice until all the liquid has gone: this will take around 10 minutes and after this time the dish should be ready (if you are not sure you can always taste your rice and see if you need to cook it more or not!). When no more yogurt is left and your “mantecatura” has been performed the last step is to add the mint leaves, the salt and if you like a pinch of parseley. Serve the risotto immediately and if you like add some Parmesan cheese on the top . In the picture below you can see the dish finished. I know it’s not a great picture but believe me, you will love it!

 

Strawberries Tiramisu

It’s  spring time(well in Dublin not really but let’s consider the calendar, not the weather)! This is the perfect recipe to prepare for your Sunday’s afternoons or maybe just because you need to make a dessert for your friends! So here we go with one of the best Italian dessert in a very fresh version: TIRAMISU WITH STRAWBERRIES.

What you need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 40 grams sugar
  • Savoiardi biscuits (2 packages)
  • 400 grams of fresh, red strawberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon

How to make it:

Let’s start by cleaning the strawberries, remember to keep some of them for the decoration. Wash tand cut them in small pieces, then put them in an bowl with the orange and lemon juice and leave them in the fridge for 15 minutes.

 

Meanwhile you can start preparing the cream. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks togheter with the sugar. Gently add the mascarpone and stir with a wooden spoon. Beat your egg whites until  stiff peaks form in your bowl. Add them to the cream.

In a different bowl squize the other orange, add 2 tbs of water and the liquid of the strawberries.

Let’s start now to create our tiramisu: put some cream on the base of your cake tray, take the savoiardi biscuits and dip then into the strawberry juice. They have to be moist enough but be careful not to break them..we all know how are biscuits with liquids ;0)!

Gently dispose them in the tray and when it is all covered, add some of the cream on the top. You can now add the strawbeerries. If you prefer you can blend them with a food processor so you will have a nice sauce..Personally I prefer to eat the strawberries. You can now add another “floor” of biscuits and then again the cream. When all your cream is finished add the strawberries for the decoration on the top and put the tiramisu in the fridge.

 

 

TIP: If you want to have a better result you can prepare your dessert the night before serving it!

Pancakes!!!!!

I couldn’t resist, I had to write about pancakes! Last Tuesday was Pancake’s Tuesday and I decided to make some for a good reason!We were collecting some money by selling our delicious pancakes in the company I work for. It was my first time and I have to say they were really good!

Well here we go then, enjoy :o)

What you need:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 250ml of milk
  • 1  egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • some butter or margarine for frying

How to make it:

Let’s start by sifting togheter the flour with the salt in a bowl;then make a hall in the middle. Add the egg in the centre. Gradually add the milk and stirr with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated. With a mixer beat again the ingredients until you don’t have a smooth batter. Add the rest of the milk and beat for another 1 minute. You should have a nice and smooth cream like the one on the pic below!

 

Let’s now fry the pancakes!Get a non sticky pan and heat it well, then quickly coat the pan with the margarine or the butter. Put part of the mixture in the pan and fry it until golden brown on the side. Once is well cooked, you need to turn your pancake – actually it’s not that easy so if you don’t manage to flip the pancake (as I do,LOL) just turn it with a spoon or a palette.

 

Keep doing this operation until all the pancakes are ready. You need to serve them really warm before adding your favourite topping. Some tips? Nutella, Jam, Golden Syrup,….mmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! :0)

 

Carrot and orange cupcakes

Hi all, today is cupcake’s day!YAY!So here we go with these delicious mini cakes!

What you need for the cakes:

  • 115 g softenend butter
  • 115 g brown sugar
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g of carrots
  • 20 g of chopped walnuts
  • 125 g flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

 

What you need for the frosting:

  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • zest of an orange

We will start by preheating the oven to 180°C. Place the softeoned butter in a bowl, with the sugar and the zest and beat unitl you don’t have a fluffy mixture – gradually add the eggs and keep beating.

Grate the carrots, squeeze the water in excess and add them to the mixture along with the walnuts and orange juice. Stir well. Sift the flour and the baking powder and set aside. Line your muffin case with 12 paper cases and spoon the mixture on them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden.

While your cupcakes are baking prepare the topping. Place the mascarpone in a bowl with the icing sugar and the orange zest. Beat togheter until they are completly mixed.

Spread your frosting on the cupcakes using a spatula only when they are completely cold !Et voilà..that,s the result!

 

 

 

 

Chicken with veggies and greek yoghurt

I decided to share with you one of my favourite recipe: it’s perfect for the lunchbox! We are gonna prepare chicken with vegetables and greek yoghurt cream. It will take  you not more than 20 mins to prepare it. The best thing of this dish? It tastes good, it makes you full and it’s really really light (no salt and low on calories and  fat).

What you need:

  • 200 g of chicken (breast!)
  • 2 carrots
  • half onion
  • 2 courgettes
  • 250 g of greek yoghurt
  • curry
  • parsley

How to make it:

Cut your vegetables in small pieces and put them in  a warm non sticky pan fry . Add 1 cup of hot water and cook your veggies on a medium heating for around 10 minutes or until they are tender and all the water is absorbed.  You can now add the chopped chicken.


Keep cooking for additional 10 mins and if required add another cup (or 2) of hot water. Do not add oil or butter. Just keep stirring and add water if needed.When the chicken is completly cooked, remove the pan from the hoven and let it cool down.

Now you need to prepare the sauce: take the yoghurt, put it in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of curry and blend them togheter.
Add the sauce to your chicken and top everything with some parseley.

Quick tip: do not cook the sauce otherwise the yoghurt will become too liquid and you will lose that lovely creamy side of the dish!

It’s pizza time!!!!!

Back to the Kitchen!!!Sorry folks but this Xmas Holidays got me really busy!Anyway….I’m back with one of the best things ever: PIZZA!I love it and I am sure you too!

What you need for the dough:

  • 400 g of plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons  dry yeast
  • 2 tbs of extravirgin olive oil
  • 40 g of sugar
  • 1 tbs of salt
  • 250 ml of warm water

What you need for the sauce:

  •  tomato sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgini oil
  • mozzarella
  • anchovies, ham, mushrooms, olives and other ingredients you may like in the pizza

Sift the flour with the yeast  in a large bowl and add the salt and the sugar. Mix well, make a holel in the centre, add the olive oil and the warm water.  Work all the ingredients quickly until you’ll  have a smooth and slightly sticky ball. Cover your ball with a cloth and leave your pizza dough for few hours until it has doubled in size.

Dust your hands with some flour to avoid the dough from sticking. Start working the dough and stretch it using the back of your hands. You can help yourself by using a rolling pin to roll the dough out. There are few “rules” about how to do it but in my opinion you don’t really need to follow them. We don’t want  a perfect pizza, just our pizza. So work the dough as you like and as you can: it’s gonna be ok. If not you can always try again :o)

Once the base is ready coat your baking tray with oil and sift with some flour (alternatively you can use a baking stone) and place the dough on it.

 

Pre heat the ove to 200° and in the meanwhile prepare the top by mixing the tomato sauce with the salt, the oregano and the extravirgin olive oil. Cover your pizza with the sauce and add some mozzarella slices. Cook for about 20 minutes and then remove your pizza. You can now add the topping you like (basil, cherry tomato, ham, anchovies, vegetables..) and cook for additional 10 mins. Complete with some oregano and your pizza is ready.

 

Easy lemon cake

Today I made this nice lemon cake for R.! It took me only 15 minutes plus 30 in the oven. Happy sunday everyone :0)

 

What you need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 1 cup lemon yoghurt
  • 20 g baking powder
  • lemon essence
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • some slices of lemon

 

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and meanwhile grease and flour a cake pan.

Put the eggs in a bowl and mix them well with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and whisk it together with the eggs.

In another bowl sift together the flour and the baking powder and then slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the salt and make sure it’s fully incorporated in the mixture. Add the yoghurt and the lemon essence (1 teaspoon should be enough) and gently whisk with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the pan, add the slices of fresh lemon on the top and bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C. Below your cake:

 

Tip:  1: if you are not sure about the cake after 30 mins in the oven you can check with a toothpick. If it comes out dry the cake is ready.

Tip 2: you can add some icing sugar or serv your cake with some ice cream on the side.

 

Ragù alla Bolognese

Today’s recipe is about one of the most famous pasta sauce: the Ragù (or Bolognese sauce!). This is probably the most known recipe among all the Italian food so I decided to share with you the most original version, the one with milk and stock! This is how they cook it in Bologna, the city where the sauce takes its name from.

What you need:

  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped celery
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 400 g of minced beef
  • 150 g Italian pancetta
  • 200 g (or 2 cans) of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass of milk
  • 1/2 glass of stock (vegetable stock)

How to make it:

The first step is to cook the Italian pancetta in a low heat with no or little oil . While the cubes are cooking finely chop the carrots, the onion and the celery. Add them to the pan and cook until brown. Add the meat and stir well: when the meat starts sizzling add the wine. You can now add the tomato purée, stir well and then incorporate the chopped tomato.

Stir all the ingredients well, decrease the heat to the minimum and cook the ragù for around 1h30 . If you notice the sauce it’s too dry you need to add the stock.

Add the milk and incorporate it well to the sauce: this is a trick that will help reduce the acidity of the tomatoes sauce and it is what the original recipe for the ragù says.

Cook the sauce for another 30 minutes, adjust in salt and pepper and your bolognese is ready!

DSC_3449

Tips:

  • you can use bacon instead of Italian pancetta;
  • no need to add oil while you are cooking the pancetta as it will release its own fat;
  • for more flavour you can add sage and rosemary leaves with the vegetable;
  • do not add Parmesan cheese while preparing the sauce: this can be added to the final dish (i.e. with pasta) but the original recipe does not include cheese;
  • the best pasta shape to enjoy this sauce is tagliatelle but it can fit any type of pasta. Bolognese it is also perfect to fill tacos or simply with ciabatta bread.

 

 

lazy lunch

As usual on Sunday I woke up late in a very lazy mood. Well didn’t know what to eat so I decided to prepare crumbled eggs with carrots and mozzarella: 10 minutes to cook  and 2 mins to eat them! It’s the perfect for hangovers!:o)