Monthly Archives: April 2014

lasagne

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Teresa invited the family for Easter lunch, and as there were 20 mouths to feed, I made three dishes of lasagne, one with asparagus, one with artichokes and one mixed.

I prepared the vegetables first: 25 artichokes, sliced finely and sautèed in olive oil with a splash or two of water and 3 bunches of asparagus, chopped and sautèed in butter. (I used two bunches of white asparagus and one of green). Then I briefly cooked 20 sheets of lasagne (shop bought!) in boiling salted water. Then I made 3 litres of bechamel sauce with 240g of butter, 150 g of flour and 3 litres of whole milk. I flavoured the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and parmesan.

I then assembled the dishes. A layer of pasta, a layer of vegetable, a few ladles of bechamel and a sprinkling of parmesan, finishing with a final layer of pasta and bechamel. A few flecks of butter and parmesan on top. They cooked 20-30 minutes in the oven.

Could lasagne be the ultimate comfort food?

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wooden plates

Augusta had to wait forty years to buy a set of wooden plates, typical of the Tirol area of Italy and Austria; better late than never.
So for lunch I grilled some polenta and arranged cheese, pickled onion, gherkins and peppers and speck on the platters. Nice with rye bread and a glass of beer. 001

crumble

Every now and then I use my Mother’s ramekins… she was very fond of them!… like when I feel like something sweet.

I butter three ramekins, peel and core an apple and cut it into small pieces. I fill the ramekins with the apple add a teaspoon of brown sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. I make the crumble with 50 gm flour and 25g of butter and 15g brown sugar and pile on top. I add a few flecks of butter and bake in the oven at 180°C for 40 minutes.

T004he plan was to have one for dessert and keep the other two for another day, but I ate the lot!

chicken and peas

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I use curry powder here, but if you grind cumin, coriander, chilli, cardamom and turmeric you’ll get brownie points! It’s also good to just use paprika.
I cube the chicken breast and mix the pieces in a bowl with flour, curry and salt. I finely slice two shallots and sautè briefly in a frying pan with a little olive oil. I add the meat and stir-fry. When no longer pink, I add a handful of frozen peas and cook briefly. I add two tablespoons of yoghurt mixed with a splash of water. I continue to stir-fry until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Good with rice or breads.

scallops

Scallops on the shell are a bit sixties, but here goes anyway!
I remove the scallops from their shells, wash them and pat dry. I also clean the shell and fill it with baby spinach, a little salt and a dribble of olive oil. I make parsley butter with a little grated lemon rind. I place two scallops and a pat of parsley butter on top of the spinach. I put a little mound of sea salt on the baking tray so that the shells sit straight and bake for 12-15 minutes at 190°C.
We like the orange bit, but remove it if you don’t!002

cauliflower pasta

The only thing with this is that you will need to wash up three pans!

While the pasta is cooking, I dissolve an anchovy in olive oil with a clove of garlic and chilli flakes. When nicely flavoured, I remove the clove of garlic and add some (leftover) cooked green cauliflower. in another pan, I toast a good handful of breadcrumbs in a little olive oil and add a fresh chopped herb (rosemary, in this case). I drain the pasta and add to the vegetable pan to soak up the falvours. I serve with the toasted breadcrumbs/herb001 on top.

For all my fans out there (!) I haven’t been very active in the kitchen lately as WORK and the real world take up too much of my time!