I first became aware of Maria Elia culinary talent thanks to her participation in Sani Gourmet festival in 2010 so i was delighted when Full of Flavor: 18 Ingredients...Endless Possibilities (Kyle Books USA, April 2013) landed in my mailbox.
Maria Elia turns these 18 ingredients into 100 plus recipes.
Each chapter opens up with a map of sort of options and attributes so you can create like a chef.
For example 'Oily Fish' she serves following facts and suggestions:
"Could be Mackerel that you can 'bring to life with tangy ginger, rice vinegar, rich sesame and salty soy sauce'. It is rich in Omega 3 and contains vitamins A, D and B12..."
First recipe I chose to share from Full of Flavor is an invitation to slice that steak.
Tagliata with Green Tomatoes, Oregano and Mustard
This dish brings back fond memories of my time spent working in Tuscany. Tagliata literally means "to slice." In Tuscany, they usually make this with sirloin or tenderloin; personally, I think rib eye works just as well.
14oz green tomatoes (about 2 large), cores removed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tsp chopped oregano leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper
2–4 tbsp demerara sugar, to taste
3 tbsp Savora mustard (if unavailable, use 11/2 tsp Dijon mustard)
1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
For the steaks
2 rib-eye steaks, about 10oz each and 3/4in thick
dash of olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
2 handfuls of arugula
shaved Parmesan (optional)
To prepare the tomatoes, slice them 1/2in thick. Gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, remove from heat, add the garlic, and allow to warm through. Return the pan to the heat and add the tomatoes. Season with sea salt and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 10–15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened but still hold their shape. They should be sweet, but slightly sour. You may need to do this in batches depending on how large your frying pan is.
To prepare the steaks, drizzle them with olive oil and mix together some salt, pepper, and the rosemary and rub over the meat.
Preheat a ridged grill pan and briskly sear the steaks on either side for 2–3 minutes for a medium-rare result. Set aside to rest before slicing.
To serve, place the tomatoes on either individual plates or a large serving dish. Toss the arugula with the olive oil and place on top of the tomatoes.
Slice the steak diagonally into 3/4in pieces and loosely arrange over the arugula. Serve immediately, with shaved Parmesan, if desired.
(* Recipe from 'Full of Flavor' by Maria Elia- published by Kyle Books USA, April 2013- reproduced with permission- Photography by Jonathan Gregson)