For past few weeks, my schedule has not left much time for book browsing so with a little time on my hands this evening i decided to pick up Popes, Peasants and Shepherds 'Recipes and Lore from Rome and Lazio' (University of California Press, March 2013) by Oretta Zanini de Vita for a quick browse.
It reminded me that in many regions of Italy as is case in France, most things can be turned into meals whether it's tripe, veal stomach or eel in Eel with Raisins and Pine Nuts and Tongue with Sweet and Sour Beef Tongue.
Some might be more comfortable with Gnocchi dolci alla romana ('Sweet Gnocchi') or'Maccheroni con le noci' (Sweet Pasta).
If a picnic or backyard party is your Mother's Day choice, Annie Bell's Dip Recipes are a good place to start.
We love damning
convenience foods, but where would most of us be without those plastic tubs of
hummus, guacamole and the like. A lot of it isn’t bad at all, but that small
homemade touch injects an essential element of nurture. In pretty much every
case there are invariably one or two finishes that will bring out the best in
the dip. Or, you could go further, as it takes little longer to whizz up a
creamy dip using soured cream or Greek yogurt. Rustle up some crudités and
olives and you are well on your way to a respectable feast of a picnic.
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin into a 300g tub of
hummus. Transfer this to a portable container
bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and a
squeeze of lemon juice and dust with a little
2 teaspoons of finely chopped coriander leaves into
a 200g tub of guacamole. Transfer this to a
container or bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin
olive oil, dust with cayenne pepper and
over a little more coriander.
1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest and a tablespoon
of finely chopped parsley into a 200g
of taramasalata. Transfer to a portable container
or bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive
and a squeeze of lemon juice and scatter over
some more parsley.
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 2
teaspoons of finely chopped mint into a 200g tub of
tzatziki. Transfer to a portable container or a bowl, drizzle
over some more oil and scatter over a few
short cut to making an aioli uses soured cream
instead of mayonnaise. It makes for an elegant
as well as a sauce that can be slathered
over food from the grill or cold roast beef
300g soured cream, 2 peeled and crushed garlic
cloves, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and a
sea salt in a bowl and spoon into a clean bowl
or container. Chill until required. Before you leave
the house, dust the top with Piment d’Espelette
or cayenne pepper.For
Creamed Goat’s Cheese
creamy dip can be tinkered with endlessly, using
different ingredients and flavourings depending
what you want to serve it with, but roasted
vegetables are always a good starting point,
as is a bowl of
feisty green leaves with a walnut
250g fresh young goat’s cheese with 100g Greek
yogurt or fromage blanc and 100g crème
in a food-processor until creamy. It will probably
be slightly grainy, but that’s fine. Transfer
a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of finely snipped
chives. Chill until required. Before you leave
picnic, dust with paprika.
(* Recipe excerpted from 'The Picnic Cookbook' by Annie Bell-Kyle Book, US Edition, June 2013, all rights reserved, photography by Jonathan Bell)
Roasted red pepper and anchovy salad on roasted
red peppers in Spain are outstanding and there is almost nothing better than
peppers roasted in a proper wood-fired oven, a service that during my childhood
was provided by the village baker. I’ll always remember the aroma that filled
the house when my mother returned from the baker’s bearing a large tray of
these wonderful vegetables. The combination of sweet roasted red peppers and
salty anchovies is always a winner. This can be served as a tapas, as the
larger Basquestyle pintxos or even as a light lunch with a dressed green salad
and a poached egg. If you’re in a hurry, instead of roasting the red
peppers, use a jar/can of Piquillo peppers, which are already roasted and
skinned, and have a great smoky flavor.
large heads of garlic, unpeeled, plus
fat clove, finely chopped
large thyme sprigs
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
large red bell peppers
tablespoons sherry vinegar
small slices of rustic white bread,
good-quality anchovy fillets in olive oil,
salt and freshly ground black pepper
the oven to 400°F. Remove the outer papery skin from each head of garlic and
take a thin slice off the top of each one to expose the cloves.
off a large square of foil, place the heads of garlic in the center, add 2 of
the thyme sprigs, drizzle each head with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and
sprinkle with a little salt. Wrap securely in the foil, place in a small
roasting pan along with the peppers, and roast on the top shelf of the oven for
20–30 minutes, turning the peppers once or twice until the skins have blackened
in places. Remove the peppers from the pan, drop them into a plastic bag and
leave until cool enough to handle. Return the garlic parcels to the oven and
roast for another 35 minutes, or until the cloves feel very soft when pressed.
slit open the peppers, working over a bowl so that you catch all the juices,
and remove and discard the stalks, seeds and skin. Tear the flesh into
1/2-inch-wide strips, and add to the bowl of juices with the chopped garlic
clove, vinegar, the remaining thyme leaves, and the rest of the olive oil. Stir
the garlic from the oven and set the parcel aside. Toast the slices of bread.
(I like to put mine on the bars of a preheated cast-iron ridged griddle long
enough to give the bread a slightly smoky taste, then finish it off in the
toaster.) Unwrap the roasted garlic, squeeze some of the purée from each clove
and spread it onto the toast while both are still hot.
with a few sea salt flakes and some black pepper. Season the pepper strips with
a little salt to taste and spoon onto the garlic toast. Garnish each slice with
the anchovy fillets, drizzle over some of the pepper juices, and serve while
the toast is still crisp.
(* Recipe from Jose Pizarro's Spanish Flavors-Published in US by Kyle Books, January 2013- Photos by Emma Lee)
Planning a trip can be time consuming even in our internet age if you need to look at each point of interest via their individual website.
Heading for Paris and hungry for a cultural fill, you will find all 14 City of Paris museums under one roof, Paris Musees....
History buffs will want to check The Catacombs while literary minded can delve into Balzac's House, and classical music fans could check cast of Chopin's hand at Museum of Romantics which is currently under renovation and offers free access to permanent collection (only partly accessible because of renovations).
Few large cities around the world count vineyards within their vicinity.
Vienna is one of them.
Most famous of their offerings is Wiener Gemischter Satz included in Slow Food 'Ark of Taste', slightly skunky according to Alice Feiring.
Austrian National Tourist Office notes:
"Many are surprised to learn that urban Vienna is also a wine region. But within the city limits, 320 winemakers tend 1,680 acres of grapes – mostly in the river-flanking areas of Nussberg, Kahlenberg, Bisamberg and Mauer."
5 wineries from Vienna banded together and formed WienWein to share their offerings with the world.
Amongst them Weingut Cobenzl whose wines illustrate this piece.