Cedar plum cake, leaving and loving Maratea

Cedar plum cake

Cedar plum cake

I had never used cedars in the kitchen. Actually I had never eaten cedars so far. But in Maratea cedars were everywhere, and beautiful. Maratea is a beautiful place in the South of Italy, in the region of Basilicata, with a wonderful sea and breath-taking landscapes and there I spent two fabulous weeks, with beautiful people, chatting, singing and dancing all the time. What a wonderful holiday, I have to thank my best friend Giuliano!

giuli and me

I brought from Maratea two big cedars, very green and perfumed and I prepared a plum cake for our breakfast, tomorrow; tonight I will share a piece of plum cake, as a piece of love, with and all the people that will be there and enjoy with me a special summer. The recipe is easy, and of course if you don’t have a cedar you can also use oranges or lemons. But I suggest to have one once in life!

Cedar plum cake

Cedar plum cake

 

Caprese salad…in a different way!

Caprese salad with mozzarella foam

Caprese salad is one more dish I love to make in Summer. When I was little in my family I was in charge of preparing it! This salad is probably the most famous salad in the world, and it is both easy and tasty as long as you have the right ingredients. I wouldn’t suggest to make “Caprese salad” if you can’t find a good quality of buffalo mozzarella and very sweet tomatoes. Just don’t do it! As it is very easy to prepare and almost everyone can make it, today I wanted to show you a different way to make this, an original and alternative way to prepare it, nice to serve as a finger food in small glasses, to eat with a spoon. The difference is that we are going to make a mozzarella foam instead of cutting it into slices. If you have chosen the right ingredients you will have a very pleasant result, the delicate taste of mozzarella foam will meet the sweetness of tomatoes. Fabulous! You will definitely ask for another portion!

Caprese salad with mozzarella foam

Caprese salad with mozzarella foam

Mozzarella foam

Mozzarella foam

To make the foam it is important that you dry the mozzarella before using it; otherwise you will have too much water to make a proper foam. Enjoy it!

Caprese salad with mozzarella foam

Caprese salad is one more dish I love to make in Summer. When I was little in my family I was in charge of preparing it! This salad is probably the most famous salad in the world, and it is both easy and tasty as long as you have the right ingredients. I wouldn’t suggest to make “Caprese salad” if you can’t find a good quality of buffalo mozzarella and very sweet tomatoes. Just don’t do it! As it is very easy to prepare and almost everyone can make it, today I wanted to show you a different way to make this, an original and alternative way to prepare it, nice to serve as a finger food in small glasses, to eat with a spoon. The difference is that we are going to make a mozzarella foam instead of cutting it into slices. If you have chosen the right ingredients you will have a very pleasant result, the delicate taste of mozzarella foam will meet the sweetness of tomatoes. Fabulous! You will definitely ask for another portion!

Caprese salad with mozzarella foam

Mozzarella foam

To make the foam it is important that you dry the mozzarella before using it; otherwise you will have too much water to make a proper foam. Enjoy it!

Courgettes polpette on Parmesan fondue

Courgettes polpette

I love courgettes, deeply. I can say that they are my favorite vegetables, so when their season comes I start cooking them as much as possible.  I saw this recipe in a cooking book for finger food, but I have added a couple of changes: mint leaves that are a perfect combination with courgettes and the parmesan fondue. As you can see form the recipe I have used “salted ricotta” which is a special kind of southern Italian dry ricotta because I had it in the fridge, but alternately you can use pecorino, Italian provolone (grated) or little parmesan, but not to much parmesan as we have made a parmesan fondue to accompany the courgettes balls. They are perfect as starter, you can serve three as I did or just one if you prefer. Enjoy!

courgettes polpette

Courgettes polpette

I love courgettes, deeply. I can say that they are my favorite vegetables, so when their season comes I start cooking them as much as possible.  I saw this recipe in a cooking book for finger food, but I have added a couple of changes: mint leaves that are a perfect combination with courgettes and the parmesan fondue. As you can see form the recipe I have used “salted ricotta” which is a special kind of southern Italian dry ricotta because I had it in the fridge, but alternately you can use pecorino, Italian provolone (grated) or little parmesan, but not to much parmesan as we have made a parmesan fondue to accompany the courgettes balls. They are perfect as starter, you can serve three as I did or just one if you prefer. Enjoy!

courgettes polpette

Chocolate salami

I think this is the first recipe I ever made and I was ten, I guess. When I was little and summer came, everything changed, the habits, the food and all started being more relaxing and we were allowed to have delicious snacks in the afternoon.

Chocolate salami

“Salame di cioccolato” was the perfect compromise, quick and easy to prepare and with chocolate despite the summer. It was so simple that my mother let my brother and I to make it and that was a fabulous mess! I have been given this recipe from my lovely aunt Ilde last year when I started off with my blog. She is eighty and she personally wrote several recipes on a computer for me, I was very much touched by it, also because it was her way to support me in my new adventure; she is the one who gave me my first bath so this is very important to me!

As you will see the recipe is really easy; it is important to choose the Marie biscuits, a type of dry biscuits and not butter biscuits since there is already a good quantity of butter in the recipe and it would be better not to add more in terms of taste. Also, if you don’t like alcohol or you cannot have it you can substitute it to milk in order to get the mixture a little bit softer. Enjoy the recipe and have it with a good mint ice tea!

Chocolate salami

Melanzane a barchetta, the stuffed aubergines that my Grandma used to make

A soon as I took the aubergines out of the oven I smelt my grandma’s flavor. The perfume of the fresh tomatoes with breadcrumbs and aubergines baked in the oven reminds me of the summers with my brother at my granny flat at the see side; I remember she prepared it warm or cold as a side vegetable to accompany a fresh mozzarella or a smoked provola, after a long day on the beach.

Stuffed aubergines

Stuffed aubergines

I remember my grandmother made two kinds of “melenzane a barchetta”, I will give you both recipes: one is mainly filled by breadcrumbs, olives and capers and the other one is stuffed by tomatoes, provolone cheese and garlic. The dish is very easy to make, but I suggest not to use very big aubergines, the dish is nicer if they are quite small. Also when you scoop out the flesh, don’t remove it completely but leave a little in order to taste the aubergines as well while eating. Let me know which one you love more!

Stuffed aubergines

Stuffed aubergines

Aubergines, courgettes and peppers in a filo pastry basket

I felt like eating vegetables, the Mediterranean ones. I had started from the idea of a Sicilian “Caponata” a dish based on vegetables, above all aubergines. Then I decided to add peppers and courgettes that are very good in this period. I gave the dish an oriental twist by seasoning it with grated ginger. I really loved the result. I couldn’t have forgotten capers and peanuts, which go very well with vegetables. Serve the baskets very hot so you will appreciate better the fragrance of the filo pastry baskets. Buon appetito!

Vegetables in a filo pastry basket

Vegetables in a filo pastry basket

 

Vegetables in a filo pastry basket

 

Penne rigate capers, olives, oregano and breadcrumb

This is a recipe to welcome summer; capers and oregano mean for me “summer flavors”, they remind me of the pines, the smell of see and bring to mind the lunches on the beach. Now I wouldn’t need anything else! How about you?

I have seen this recipe in the book of my favorite restaurant (“Don Alfonso 1890” of course) and I loved it.

To make this recipe you necessarily need the right ingredients. I use Salina capers, the best ones for me; every year my father brings me a lot of scented capers from Sicily, he can’t leave the Sicilian islands without bringing them.

The oregano comes from Cilento, a beautiful area near Amalfi coast where I am used to spending my holidays; last summer I bought a couple of bunches of dry oregano and I have stored them. The tomatoes have to be very ripe and the best ones to use are the little cherry tomato, but if you are in the South of Italy or find yourself there you can buy “Pomodorini pachino”.

Don’t forget Gaeta olives and Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!

Potato Croquets (Crocchè di patate), when you are on the go!

crocche

“Potato croquets” (Crocchè di patate) are an extremely soft and tasty street food. All the fried food street vendors in Napoli sell potato croquets along with rice balls, mozzarella in carrozza, paste cresciute (Italian fritters) and fried vegetables. They are used to wrapping them all together in an absorbent paper, making a cone, which the Neapolitan call “Cuppetiello” (which means little cone in Neapolitan dialect). Little by little I will show you the recipes of all these street foods so that you will be able to prepare your own “Cuppetiello”.

I remember when I was at the college there was a fantastic “fritters vendor” just on my way home and sometimes just before going back home, I stopped and bought a “Cuppetiello” plenty of little fritters and “Poteto croquets” never missed!

To have a proper “potato croquet” you can’t forget generous pepper and minced parsley and mozzarella in the middle. Otherwise you can’t call it “Neapolitan Potato croquet”! You can also use smoked provola to give it a strong flavor.

Making them it is not difficult at all, the very imortant thing is the frying, as usual when we fry something. The result has to be crunchy and golden and not oil-soaked. Therefore fry them with peanut oil and not olive oil at 190°C as I suggest in the recipe, so that we won’t have a strong oil flavor and the Croquets will be crunchy.

Enjoy!

Potato croquets

Potato croquets

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