25 January 2012

Tagliatelle al cacao con ragù d'agnello speziato

            Tagliatelle al cacao con ragù d’agnello alle spezie
Ecco  una ricetta che feci il mese scorso : sto lavorando a delle ricette con
l'agnello per un allevatore d'agnelli (guardate qui) nel Luberon e pensavo a un ragù bianco profumato di spezie , per accompagnarlo decisi di fare  delle tagliatelle al cacao e l'abbinata é risultata felice : un matrimonio perfetto tra la dolcezza della carne d'agnello profumata di   spezie e il leggero amertume della pasta con il cacao   . Il contest di MT di questo mese aveva per tema ...Le
Perfetto per partecipare ( e cosi ho " dovuto" scrivermi" la ricetta )

Dosi per 6 persone:

per la pasta:

380 gr di farina O
20 gr di cacao amaro in polvere di ottima qualità

4 uova medie

Per il sugo

500 gr dI carne d’agnello macinata grossa o tagliata a coltello (  io ho usato parti del collo e della pancia , le più saporite)
3 cucchiai d’olio evo

1 cucchiaino di fior d sale

1 bacca di pepe lungo

6/7 grani di pepe selvatico del Madagascar ( voatsyperifery)

1 pizzico di cannella grattugiata di fresco

1 scalogno

1 spicchio d’aglio

5/6 bacche di ginepro

½ gambo di sedano

½ bicchiere di vino bianco passito ( un moscato sarebbe perfetto)

Setacciare assieme la farina e il cacao , fare una cavità nel mezzo , rompervi le uova , mescolare le uova con la punta delle dita o una forchetta incorporando la farina a poco a poco , aggiungere un po d’acqua se l’impasto fosse troppo asciutto . Una volta amalgamato bene il tutto lavorare con entusiasmo per 5/6 minuti , fino a che sentirete la pasta divenire più “ malleabile” . A questo punto copritela con una ciotola e lasciate riposare un’ora  Nel frattempo dedicatevi al ragù .
Ho la fortuna di disporre di un Kenwood  e percio posso tritare la carne da me e siccome dispongo di un cerchio con dei grossi fori ,che mi danno un risultato molto simile al taglio a coltello , utilizzo questo . Devo dire che lo spessore della carne é importante ,se é troppo fine abbiamo una perdita di consistenza e di gusto .

My loved kenwood

Tagliate lo scalogno , l’aglio e il sedano in mirepoix , mettete un cucchiaio d’olio nella pentola dove cuocerete il ragù , aggiungete la mirepoix e ponete a fuoco medio , mescolando spesso . Come le verdure cominciano ad appassire aggiungere un po di fior di sale , le spezie (la noce moscata e la cannella grattuggiate, le bacche di ginepro intere). In una padella larga versate ½ cucchiaio d’olio , fate scaldare e buttate la carne . Lasciate rosolare a fuoco non troppo forte fino a che sarà asciugata , quindi sfumate con il vino passito  e unite al soffritto . Lasciate cuocere coperto per un paio d’ore aggiungendo un po d’acqua se necessario.Controllate il sale . A fine cottura aggiungete il resto dell’olio e i due pepi pestati al mortaio , mescolate bene il tutto.

Mentre il sugo cuoce preparate le tagliatelle : tirate la pasta con il mattarello ( personalmente non vado d’accordo con la macchinetta per la pasta e poi il mattarello funziona sempre )  per il procedimento vi rimando pure io al blog di Ale anche perché  non potrei farlo meglio e sono pure in ritardo con la ricetta !

Cuocete le tagliatelle in abbondante acqua salata , spadellate con il ragù , aggiungendo eventualmente un po d'acqua di cottura della pasta e ...buon appetito !

                                  Con questa ricetta partecipo al contest di gennaio di MT
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24 January 2012

Tarte Tatin at the Castle

Tarte Tatin is a big classic of French desserts . I was not a fan of it really ( I prefered the 'Tarte fine aux pommes' ) it seemed to me too "heavy" but I had many people asking me for it so I had to . And I was surprised : it's so good ! Naturally ....you have to do yourself the dough , otherwise with the industrials ones you can buy it won't be the same, but it's a very easy recipe and it really does take only few minutes to make it ! Just few weeks ago I tought some young "ladies" how to make it ( and others provençal recipes I 'll post ) it's a pity I don't have any photo of the lesson ,as they were staying the Castle of Goult for their holidays , and the place is very charming ! If you click on the link you can even see the kitchen where we had the cooking-class. It's a wonderful place and I live just a few meters from there .

For  6 servings
Short crust pastry
250 gr of plain flour
125 gr of cold unsalted butter diced
1 teaspoon of salt
4/6 tbsp of  cold sparkling water
Place the flour, the salt and the butter in a bowl , mix with your fingertips until the mixture is like breadcrumbs, add 4tbsp of water and stir until the dough comes together, if it seems too dry add some water .Knead the dough lightly into a bal , wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight .
6/8 apples ( depends on the size)
100 gr of raw cane sugar
A pinch of cinnamon
50 gr of butter
Peel the apples (if you find organic ones you don’t need to peel )and cut them in four pieces , in a saucepan (large enough to contains the apples ) put the butter and the sugar and let cook until it begins to caramelize , then add the apples and continue cooking about 4/5 minutes
Preheat the oven at 80° , fill the bottom of a non-stick cake of 24/26 cm round tin with the apples ,then roll out the dough on a floured surface at about 4mm ,make it a bit larger than the cake-tin  cover the apples with the dough ,reenter the sizes of the dough into the tin to form a border , cook in the oven about 35mn or till the dough is golden . take the tarte off , cover with a bigger plate and turn it upside-down as soon otherwise the caramel will stick .Serve “ nature” or with some whipped cream flavored with cinnamon .

19 January 2012

Winter's vegetables jelly

Winter’s vegetables jelly as if it were summertime

Last week a friend asked me to prepare a side dish for a T-Bone steak , something very light &fresh, even if we are in the middle of winter here in the South of France …sunny days but cold ! I wanted something summerlike but with seasonal products ,this vegetables jelly surprised me ( it’s really a recipe of mine ) I cooked every vegetable apart but in the same water and at the end I had a gorgeous stock , with which  made the jelly .The result is a colored , savory  and healthy side dish .I think that even children would love it !

Ingredients for 10 servings:

300 gr of pumpkin

200 gr of mushrooms( champignons de Paris)

300 gr of leeks

400 gr of broccoli

200 gr of parsnips

400 gr of spinach

1 liter of stock

30 gr of gelatin leaves  ( or 8 gr of agar-agar )

10 gr of fresh ginger

A little bunch or coriander

Half a lemon

3 teaspoon of salt

Freshly grounded white pepper ( I used a Sarawak)

Wash very well all the vegetables then cut the pumpkin, the leeks, the mushrooms and parsnips into thin slices .In a large stock-pan pour 3 liters of water, the salt and the ginger and bring to boil  You can begin by cooking parsnips and mushrooms : put them in a basket as you see in the photo below and plunge them into the boiling water for 3 / 4 minutes , till they are soft but still crunchy. Then you can go with the pumpkin and leeks , the same way , after retiring the second basket you can pour in the spinach , wait for the stock comes up to the boil , let cook one minute and then draw out from the stock with a holey ladle; soak into cold water and drain ,to stop cooking and keep the color, make the same way  the broccoli :plunge the whole broccoli and let it cook  about 8 minutes , then soak it into cold water as the spinach and drain .

Now that you have all your vegetables ready take one liter of stock and put it in a smaller pan, taste the salt ( it must be savory ) Keep the stock warm and pour in some leaves of coriander ,the juice of half a lemon and the pepper. In the meantime dip the gelatin leaves in cold water till they’ll be smooth , then drain them , mix in the stock( if using agar-agar you’ll have to mix the powder in the stock, bring to boil for 1minute)

Now you are ready to make the last step: take a silicon mould ( a big one of about 2 liters or two smaller  , otherwise you can even do individual portion , pretty nice )

Pour a layer of stock on the bottom and let in the freezer till solid then begin to make layers of vegetables, pouring some stock on each. Play with colors!!When your mould filled pour the last layer of stock .Refrigerate at least 4 hours (agar-agar will thicken earlier about 2 hours)Before serving unmold on a serving plate. You can serve with some sauce that you like, but it must be a cold one .

18 January 2012

Broderick's family in Provence & the tian

I live in a charming village in the very heart of Provence , a beatiful place called Parc Naturel regional du Luberon , a valley betwteen the " Mont Ventoux " and the Luberon mountain. If you read Peter Mayle's novels or you have seen the movie " A good year" with Russel Crowe well.... is there where I live !
  1. I work as a personal chef mostly for people coming here on holidays and last summer I 've been cooking for some families coming from all over the world , in some case these were " reunions"  just to stay together  one or  two weeks , for me it was important to do my best for them so that they can have good memories ' at least...about food ) Everyone dreams to come to Provence and taste his sunny , Mediterranean cooking under a " pergola" with an earth breaking view ....so : I feel responsible for their dreams come true . Broderick Family is one of these , mostly very young , very nice and real "gourmets" , happy people with"good energy" . I asked them the right to post some photos of the last night I cooked for them and the recipes also , bien sûre ....

The menu of the dinner was " deep fried  zucchini flowers ( no photos , I hadn't time ....they where eaten in an instant )  a "Marinated roasted beef " with a tian provençal as side dish  and a gorgeous pavlova .with red summer fruits

The Tian  of  Provence  and  the marinated  beef  

Recipe for 8 people
The tian
Ingredients : 4 eggplants , 4 round zucchini, 4 tomatoes , 4 onions , 4
 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
 1 csp of fleur de sel , black pepper freshly grounded ,  thyme , a clove of  garlic

Me ....at the market ( the one on the left)

Vegetables at Petit Palais  Market

Wash the vegetables , peel the onions (choose vegetables with the same caliber  , it will be
 easier to fill the pan ) then cut all vegetables  into very thin slices . The best way to cook tian
is in a earthenware baking  pan  about 8 cm sizes height . Range the slices  in rows , you can
begin with eggplants , then zucchini , tomatoes and onions  at last , as you can  see in the
photo . This is a work of patience , the purpose is to have very thick rows of vegetables ,
don’t be afraid to compress them as they will restrain while cooking . When all slices put
together  spread onto them the oil , the salt , the thyme , put the clove of garlic into the
middle  , let cook in the oven at 180°  /350 f   for about 1 hour  or till well baked ( it depends
on your oven )  While tian is cooking  have a look on it , if it is drying  sprinkle it with the
sauce  that’s at the bottom of the pan  , taste also for salt  , you may need some more . When
 it’s ready spread the pepper on it and some more olive oil . Wait  at least 15 minutes before serving . It’s an amazing
 side for lamb or beef  , though quite delicious as  main course  with a  green salad  on hot
summer’s days .
Broderick Family ... so lovely people !
The marinated beef
Ingredients  : 1 ½ kg of beef to roast  , salt , extra-virgin olive oil , fresh herbs 
like Basil , parsley , coriander , estragon etc … freshly ground black pepper
Even if the quantity of meat could seems  big  don’t be afraid  : this is a way to prepare  a
roasted beef you can enjoy even  the days after  ( on summer days it’s great to have
something fresh into the Frigidaire  for an easy dinner )

Preheat the oven at 200° , seal the meat in a large saucepan , each sides  ; spread some salt
on it ( just  one pinch )  , put  in  a baking pan and let cook in the oven for  30 mn for rare ,
45 mn   if  you want it well done . Switch off  the oven and let the roast  to rest  inside  for  15
mn  . Then  , take it off  , let cool  till you can  cover it with a film and  store in the
refrigerator  at least 2 hours  , it will be much easier to cut it into slices  . So …now that your
roasted beef is  very cold , cut it into slices that you’ll  range in a  serving platter  . Sprinkle
every  layer  with  herbs  (choose the ones  you prefer )  a little bit of salt , if needed , some
oil and pepper .  Cover with a film and let marinate for  at least 2 hours  , but you can keep
  the roast 2/3 days  .  Enjoy it !

15 January 2012

Mini pavlova al Mango selvatico del Camerun

English version underneath

 150 gr di albumi a temperatura ambiente
300 gr di zucchero extrafine
½ cucchiaino di aceto di mele
½ cucchiaino di amido di mais
½ cucchiaino di zenzero in polvere
Un pizzico di sale
Esecuzione :
Mischiare lo zucchero , il sale e lo zenzero , montare gli albumi nella planetaria aggiungendo gradualmente lo zucchero fino a che la massa sarà piuttosto solida Accendete il forno temperaura 100° ventilato.Su una placca da forno rivestita di carta disegnate 6 cerchi di 9/10 cm di diametro , spalmate la meringa su ogni cerchio , formate dei ‘picchi’ sul perimetro esterno ( come da foto ) infornate per 1,30 mn circa ( é pronta quando la sentirete " secca " al tatto .

Coulis di mango
200 gr di polpa di mango
50 gr di sciroppo di zenzero
Per lo sciroppo : mettete a bollire 200 ml d’acqua e 100 gr di zucchero , a ebollizione aggiungete qualche fettina di zenzero (circa 20 gr ) fate bollire fino a che comincierà a fare delle bolle uniformi . Lasciate raffreddare .Pesate 50 gr di sciroppo e passate nel mixer con il mango.Conservate in frigorifero. Potete usare il resto dello sciroppo per le insalate di frutta .

300 gr di pannafresca
1 bacca di vaniglia
20 gr di zucchero a velo
Per la buona riuscita di una Chantilly la temperatura é essenziale : raffeddare bene la ciotola e le fruste (in estate metto tutto in congelatore , anche la panna per 15 mn )
Versare nella ciotola gli ingredienti , montare fino a che la panna formerà dei picchi , serve una certa consistenza per la finizione del dolce .

Riempire la base della pavlova con la panna , fare uno strato di coulis di mango , terminare con la chantilly e ancora un po di coulis .Servire immediatamente .

English version