Monday, May 31, 2010

Meringhe Veneziane


Quando ho visto la foto del Mio libro favorito sul post di Sabrine ho avuto un tuffo al cuore, questo manuale mi era stato regalato al mare da bambina e da allora è stato il fedele compagno di tanti anni di pasticci e disastri culinari.
Da piccoli passavamo interminabili vacanze in una casa in campagna lontana da tutto e fare le ricette di Nonna Papera era un grande evento.


Sono rimasta a lungo indecisa su quale ricetta scegliere, una delle preferite era la crostata Settecolli (soprattutto dopo che mio fratello e la mia cara amica Flavia ne avevano fatta cadere una per terra e avevano sistemato le striscioline di pastafrolla in una N, ribattezzandola crostata Natalia) ma era già stata scelta, così ho fatto i biscotti di Brigitta senza accorgermi che erano anche loro già stati scelti proprio da Sabrine !


Dovevo capitolare e fare le Meringhe Veneziane causa di un trauma/meringhe che è durato fino a poco fa.


Quando le avevamo provate mio padre le aveva montate con un frullino a manovella (eravamo quasi nella Preistoria) però dopo, non so perchè (ho sempre pensato fosse colpa mia) si erano totalmente smontate restando un orribile liquido marroncino (avevamo optato per la versione al cacao) che...siamo stati obbligati a mangiare per due giorni !!!
Ecco. Mio padre era uno che aveva sofferto la fame e non solo... , ma io le meringhe non le ho più provate per anni e anni !

Ora eccole nella versione base, mi piacerebbe che mio papà fosse ancora qui per riderci su!


Un grazie enorme a Sabrine per aver riportato alla memoria tanti ricordi , in casa mia nessuno faceva dolci ed è grazie a nonna Papera se sono diventata una aspirante pasticcera.


RICETTA

gr 300 zucchero al velo;
6 chiare d'uovo;
gr 10 burro;
poca farina bianca.

Sbattete a lungo le chiare con 250 gr dello zucchero, fino ad ottenere una neve molto soda. Mettere la neve in una tasca da pasticcere col becco liscio e deponete sulla piastra da forno tanti mucchietti abbastanza distanti tra loro. Spolverate le meringhe col resto dello zucchero e cuocete un'ora in forno a 140°.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Piece Montée


The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

FINALLY !!!!

I've always seen croquembouche as something impossible to make, I wanted to make the 'real' thing using zabaione and caramel but I obviously had to surrender to not having enough time in this moment.
I loved Cat's recipe for the puffs. I've used Cat's pastry cream and bittersweet chocolate to assemble my piece montée ( we call this version Prifiterol) and brought it to a kid's party...nothing left.
Thank you Cat for the daring project






RECIPE


Preparation time: You will want to use your puff pastry batter and chocolate glaze or caramel as soon as it has been prepared and as close to serving time as possible. This is not a dessert that stores well and it may be a bit temperamental in humid areas as the glaze needs to harden to hold the choux together. The crème patissiere can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

You will need approximately 10 minutes to prepare the puff pastry, 10 minutes to pipe and about 30 minutes to bake each batch. The crème patissiere should take about 10 minutes to cook and then will need to be cooled for at least 6 hours or overnight. The glazes take about 10 minutes to prepare.

Equipment required:
• several baking sheets
• parchment paper
• a whisk
• a pastry brush (for the egg wash)
• a pastry bag and tip (a plain tip or no tip is best for piping the puff pastry; you can use a plain or star tip to fill the puff pastry with the cream)
• a flat surface such as a baking sheet or cake board/stand on which to assemble your piece montée
• some of the items you may want to use to decorate your piece montée include ribbons, Jordan almonds, fresh flowers, sugar cookie cut-outs, chocolates, etc.

Ingredients:

For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)
1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

For Chocolate Pastry Cream (Half Batch Recipe):
Bring ¼ cup (about 50 cl.) milk to a boil in a small pan; remove from heat and add in 3 ounces (about 80 g.) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, and mix until smooth. Whisk into pastry cream when you add the butter and vanilla.

For Coffee Pastry Cream (Half Batch recipe)
Dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder in 1 ½ teaspoons boiling water. Whisk into pastry cream with butter and vanilla.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.

Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

Piping:
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).

Baking:
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

Can be stored in a airtight box overnight.

Filling:
When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.

Use one of these to top your choux and assemble your piece montée.

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

Hard Caramel Glaze:
1 cup (225 g.) sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Combine sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with a metal kitchen spoon stirring until the sugar resembles wet sand. Place on medium heat; heat without stirring until sugar starts to melt around the sides of the pan and the center begins to smoke. Begin to stir sugar. Continue heating, stirring occasionally until the sugar is a clear, amber color. Remove from heat immediately; place bottom of pan in ice water to stop the cooking. Use immediately.

Assembly of your Piece Montée:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.

Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up. (You may want to use toothpicks to hold them in place – see video #4 below).

When you have finished the design of your piece montée, you may drizzle with remaining glaze or use ribbons, sugar cookie cut-outs, almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate. Have fun and enjoy! Bon appétit!

Additional Information: Here are some videos you may want to take a look at before you get started on your piece montée.

1) Martha Stewart Assembles a Croquembouche:
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/marthas-famous-croquembouche

2) Assembling croquembouche using the interior of a cylinder:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq-UgMxe0Y4
3) Asembling Free-standing Croquembouche with Chocolate Glaze:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrIanD5pi9E&feature=related

4) Assembling a Croquembouche with Toothpicks and Cone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIGaidsM-NI&feature=related

See this google images search of Croquembouche for inspiration:
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&source=hp&q=croquembouche&btnG=Sea...

Here’s a link to a dairy-free pate a choux and crème patisserie recipe:
http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/dessertsbeverages/r/creampuffs.htm

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bread Baking Buddies Tunisian Spicy Breads


It's the Bread Baking Babes time again and our super host Natashya chose these wonderful filled little breads from Tunisia. The filling is spicy and the dough is made out of durum wheat flour, we loved them so much that I already made them twice !

Sorry Natashya looking for the links I've just found out I'm late.. but this recipe is so great I'll post it anyway !
Please visit Natashya here


Tunisian Spicy Breads
Touarits
from Savory Baking from the Mediterranean by Anissa Helou

These are a Tunisian spin on r'ghayefs. Here the dough is made entirely with semolina flour and enriched with oil and egg, and the filling is enclosed between two circles of dough. The breads are usually pan-fried, but I prefer to bake them. Although the amount of harissa and cayenne pepper in the filling may seem excessive, the heat of the spices is tempered by the bread casing. The filling, which is called chakchouka, may also be served on its own as a salad or a dip. Harissa*, made by grinding chili peppers, garlic, and caraway seeds, is widely available in Middle Eastern markets and in some supermarkets.

*or feel free to make your own harissa! There are plenty of recipes online.

Makes 20-22 small breads

Ingredients:

For the dough
3 1/3 tsp (1 1/2 pkg) (16.5 ml) active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups (828 ml) fine semolina or semolina flour
1 1/2 (7.5 ml) tsp fine kosher salt or sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the breads
1 whole egg
All purpose flour for kneading and shaping

For the filling
3 Tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 heaping cup) (250+ ml)
1 medium bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (178 ml approx) (red is nice)
2 small chili peppers, such as serranos, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) harissa
1/2 (2.5 ml) teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fine kosher salt or sea salt

Directions:

1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water and stir until creamy.

2. Combine the semolina and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the 1 1/2 Tbsps (22 ml) olive oil and the egg to the well. Gradually add the yeast and 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsps (188 ml total) warm water, bringing in the semolina as you go along. Knead until you have a rough ball of dough.

3. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead for about 2 to 3 minutes more. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest while the filling is prepared.

4. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes, chopped peppers, harissa, and cayenne. Season with salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is soft and the sauce is very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place on a lightly floured work surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Roll out one ball of dough until it is 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thick. Using a 3 1/2 inch (8.9 cm approx) pastry cutter, cut out as many circles of dough as possible and set aside. Briefly knead the extra dough together, and place under the plastic wrap, next to the other ball of dough. Turn the circles over and place 1 tsp (5 ml) of filling in the middle of half of the circles. Cover with the remaining plain circles and press on the edges to seal. Flatten the breads slightly by hand and pinch the edges to flatten further and seal well. Brush with olive oil on both sides and transfer to a non-stick baking sheet, or to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone pastry mat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. continue making the breads until the dough, including the scraps, is used up.

7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly crisp and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
*Mine baked longer, just keep an eye out for the colour and texture you want.

Note: To pan-fry the breads, heat a little oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place as many breads as will fit in the pan, brush the tops with olive oil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden on the bottom, pressing on the breads if they puff up. Turn the breads over, brush the cooked bottoms with oil, and cook for 3 minutes more, or until golden all over. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TWD : Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie


Spike of
spikebakes chose this wonderful no bake recipe this week and even if I have a wonderful ice cream place just around the corner I decided to make Dorie's Chocolate Ganache ice cream (wonderful !!).


I used an unsweetened coconut for the crust letting the cookies be the only sweetener and actually made half the crust dose.
I had problems figuring out how much is a pint of chocolate ice cream and in the end eyeballed it when adding it to the bananas.
I loved my slice: we'll see tonight what the rest of the family thinks.
Please visit Spike for the recipe and the other bakers for more Ice cream pie.

BBA Slow and Steady :Light Wheat Bread


I had baked this bread sometime ago and posting about it I'm thinking about baking it again. It is a simple and straight forward recipe good for sandwiches and toasted for breakfast. Lately I've been making lots of jams and marmalades to enjoy with all these breads !
Please visit the rest of the group ( Kayte, Nancy, Cathy,Audrey,Jessica, Melissa, Wendy, Di, Karen, Natalia,Sarah,Margaret, Tracey, and Leslie ) and the original BBA site for more bread.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Cake Slice : Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes



This Month the Cake slice group voted for this triple lemony cake... except I didn't want to eat it all and made cupcakes that are easier to carry around in my apartment building.
The cake is made with egg whites only and is quite pale but very moist and lovely in txture due to the tiny poppy seeds.
After baking the cake is soaked with a lemon syrup that gives it most of the lemon flavour.
I loved it but ate it without frosting just not to feel too guilty !
Please visit The cake Slice to see more real triple cakes .


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Frosting
(Recipe from Sky High Irresistible Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne)
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
360g plain flour
300g caster sugar (I only used 200g)
4½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp poppy seeds
200g unsalted butter
1 large lemon, zest only
275ml buttermilk
5 egg whites
Poppy seeds or flaked almonds to decorate

Lemon Syrup
100g caster sugar
75ml water
1 lemon, juice only

Almond Frosting (I only used two-thirds of this)
225g cream cheese
200g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1 tbsp almond extract

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Heat the oven to 180C. Grease three 8 inch cake pans and line the bases with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix gently to combine.
Add the butter, lemon zest and 200ml of buttermilk to the flour. Beat on low until completely mixed. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until lighter in colour.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining 75ml buttermilk, whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the egg white mixture to the batter in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only enough to incorporate the mix. Divide the batter between the three pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the centre, and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out. While the cake layers are cooling, make the lemon syrup.

Lemon Syrup
In a small pan combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Generously brush the cakes with the lemon syrup while they are still warm. Then allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, about a quarter at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the almond extract and then continue to beat well for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
To complete the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a cake plate and spread about a fifth of the frosting over the cake to cover evenly. Repeat with the second layer and place the third layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with your choice of flaked almonds or poppy seeds.
Makes 1 x 8inch triple layer cake. Serves 12-16

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWD : Apple - Apple Bread Pudding


Elizabeth of Cake or Death? decided on Apple-Apple Bread Pudding this week, I made it as soon as the recipe were revelaled because I loved the way Dorie introduces this pudding.
The pudding is indeed very very nice, I wanted it to be a bit brown but unfortunately the most delicious upper part got burned....but we enjoied it anyway !


In Italy there is no such thing as apple sauce or butter, I had some I had made previously in my friend the Freezer and will look around if any of the Twd bakers have alternatives for it in this wonderful bread pudding.
Please visit Elizabeth for the recipe.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

BBD # 30 Twisted Breads : Torcetti al Cioccolato



This event is hosted by Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies I'm sure you all know her: she is such a wonderful baker, cook, reviewer, mother, wife, cheese maker and everything else I'm sure you came across her creativity at least once.


She decided for twisted breads and few days before I had seen this recipe in Genny's blog and we fell in love with them.
This torcetti are not exactly sweet nor salted ..they are both. I remade Genny exact recipe (I always do the first time) but I'm sure they can be varied in many ways.
If you are a wild yeast owner it's a great recipe: you can make it with the leftovers, it doesn't need any raising time and they are just a wonderful snack !




RECIPE :

400 gr sourdough (not refreshed) (I use a 50% sourdough :100gr sourdough,100gr flour,50 gr water)
4 TBS flour
60 gr olive oil
80 gr bittersweet chocolate cut in small pieces
salt
Fleur de sel

Start kneading the oil in the sourdough, add the flour, the chocolate and the salt. Form in any desired shape sprinkle with Fleur de Sel. Bake until nice and crunchy about 20 minutes in a 400° preheated oven.

Please visit Genny for more beautiful photos !!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring Cook's Challenge : Enchiladas


Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Foodhave chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.
I must thank very much Barbara and Bunnee for this month's challenge but my dear husband even more, you should have seen his smile when I left my second enchilada to him !!
This wasn't a green chile stacked enchilada because the corn tortillas we found are very big and Andrea found the maze flour only tonight (I know I'll become very good in making tortillas !) and, as Barbara knows I've never even imagined a tomatillo before she asked me if they could be found in Italy (nor a Anaheim chile) !
I've made a sauce with chicken broth, flour, chile, cumin, cinnamon and tomato sauce. Filled my warmed corn tortillas with grilled chicken, sauce and cheese (lots of cheeses in Italy but no Monterey Jack !) and rolled and cheesed and sauced and ovened them : YUMMY !



This is the original recipe for you tomatillo owners :

Ingredients

1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams - peel, remove stems
4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional

Directions:

Roasting Fresh Chiles

1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
5. DO NOT RINSE!

Green Chile Sauce

1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

Additional Information:

Roasting chiles: Whether you roast the chiles on a grill, under the broiler, or use the gas burner element on your stove will affect the time it takes. If you do all the chiles at once on a grill or using the broiler, it will take 15- 30 minutes, plus time to steam (10 minutes) and time to peel and remove seeds (20 minutes).
http://www.ehow.com/how_5106125_roast-anaheim-peppers.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_4437304_roast-anaheim-green-chiles-grill.html

Cooking tomatillos: If you boil the tomatillos, it will take 5 -10 minutes. If you grill them, it will take 2-5 minutes. If you broil them, it will take 8-12 minutes. This can be done the same time the chiles are roasting. After they are cooked, they need to be pureed, which takes a few seconds in a blender.
http://culinarycory.com/2009/08/08/roasted-tomatillo-salsa/
http://jerseygirlcooks.blogspot.com/2009/02/roasted-tomatillo-salsa.html

Cooking chicken: If you grill your chicken, it takes about 5 or 6 minutes per side for boneless chicken breasts- depending on thickness of breasts. Other pieces (thighs, for example) or bone-in chicken will take longer. If you roast your chicken, a bone-in breast takes about 30 minutes (depending on size). Be sure chicken is done but not overcooked, since it will be in the oven in the last stage of the recipe.http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-make-juicy-grilled-chicken.html

Corn Tortillas (from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)
Makes about 15

1 3/4 cups masa harina
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water

Pour hot water over masa harina, cover and let sit 30 minutes. Add (additional) cool water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky. Divide the dough into 15 balls and cover with plastic wrap.

Heat a large (two burner) ungreased griddle or two large skillets, one on medium-low and one on medium-high.

Put a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic. If you don’t have a tortilla press, press to a 5-6” circle using a heavy frying pan or bread board or other heavy, flat object. Put the tortilla into the cooler pan or cooler end of the griddle. The tortilla will probably stick, but within 15 seconds, if the temperature is correct, it will release. Flip it at that point onto the hotter skillet/griddle section. In 30-45 seconds, it should be dotted with brown underneath. Flip it over, still on the hot surface and brown another 30 seconds or so. A good tortilla will balloon up at this point. Remove from heat and let them rest while cooking the remaining tortillas. Use quickly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD : Quick Classic Berry Tart



Here is my quick tart even if it took little time ove a few days to prepare !
I finally saw a tart pan few weeks ago in the market near my house and got even if it is 8 rather than the most useful 9 inches but this way we had strawberry tartlets for dinner yesterday too !!
In Rome we find these wonderful strawberries called Favetta di Terracina it is the most delicious kind of strawberry I know : quite small and so sweet my kids never put any sugar on it. When you'll come visit (in this season) I'll buy some for you !! By the way if you come to Rome I'll be so glad to take you around !!
Anyway we loved the tart very much, it is a common kind of tart in Italy with all kinds of fruits and very appreciated.
I made the crust with hazelnuts and the cream with the vanilla pod.
Cristine of Cooking with Cristine is our gracious host this week and how not to be grateful for such a welcomed recipe ?
Please visit Cristine for the recipe and my colleagues TWD bakers for more tarts !

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD : Burnt Sugar Ice Cream


This was Becky's turn to choose the recipe and she really hit the right spot with this wonderful ice cream !! Our pictures are not good and probably we should have been more patient with our gelatiera but it's late and as Anita said : 'It's very difficult to be patient waiting for ice cream !!'


I loved this recipe except next time I'l try to use one more cup of milk to reduce the sugar and fat (and increase the amount of ice cream !) I used a vanilla pod (bean?) instead of extract but for the rest was faithful to the recipe !!
Please visit Becky at Project Domestication for the recipe and the Bakers for more ice cream !


Monday, May 3, 2010

BBA Slow and Steady :Lavash


I must apoligize with my Slow and Steady bba friends for being very very slow with Lavash.
I had already baked them for The Daring Baker's and I loved them then as I loved (crunch crunch) them now but somehow I was slow : Sorry !
The fact is now I want to make them again but evenly thin because their crunch is delicious !!!
Please visit the rest of the group( Kayte, Nancy, Cathy, Audrey,Jessica, Melissa, Wendy, Di, Karen, Natalia, Sarah,Margaret, Tracey, and Leslie ) and the original BBA site for more bread.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

BBD # 29 Bread in Pots: Jamie Oliver's way



This month our host is The Bread Experience and she chose this very nice and appropriate theme.


Few days later I found this great recipe in The Return of the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver
and it was already baked in a pot !



This is the original recipe I halved it and used only 1 sachet of yeast, didn't use the sugar and salt and used only feta (today is Labor Day and every store is closed )

Ingredients

30g/1oz fresh yeast or 3x 7g sachets dried yeast

30g honey

625ml (just over a pint) tepid water

1kg (just over 2lb) strong bread flour

30g/1oz salt

400g mixed cheeses , grated or torn up

4 large egg yolks

10 slices prosciutto

1 handful of basil, torn up.

Firstly, prepare all your ingredients so they are ready to add to the flour: grate and crumble all your cheese and tear up your prosciutto and basil.

Then, dissolve the yeast and honey in half the tepid water.

In a very large bowl (or on a clean surface) make a pile of the flour, salt, cheese, prosciutto, and basil. Make a well in the centre and pour in all the dissolved yeast mixture. With four fingers of one hand, make circular movements from the centre outwards, slowing bringing in more and more of the flour until all the yeast mixture is soaked up. Then pour in the other half of the tepid water and the egg yolks into the centre and gradually incorporate all the flour to make a moist dough. (Certain flours may need a little more flour, so adjust until you have the right consistency).

Then comes the kneading! This is fun, but it don’t half get tiring. However you mustn’t stop! Roll, push and fold the dough over and over for at least 5 minutes. This develops the gluten and structure of the dough. If the dough sticks to your hands (which it will), just rub them together with a little extra flour.

Flour your hands well, and lightly flour the top of the dough. Make it into a roundish shape and place on a baking tray. Deeply score a cross into the dough with a knife – this will allow it to relax and prove with ease. Leave it to prove in a warm, moist, draught-free place until it’s doubled in size. If you want to speed things up then cover it with cling-film. This will take around 40 minutes or so.

When the dough has doubled in size you need to knock the air out of it by bashing it around for a minute. Now you can shape it into whatever shape is required. I divided my dogh in 12 rolls and put six of them in the pots (9 cm diameter) I rolled the rest in buns. Proof until doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated oven (220°C, 425° F) for about 30 minutes.


Daring Baker's Challenge: Traditional British Pudding


The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.


I'm sorry I'm posting so extra late but it took me more than a while to dare to use SUET !!!
Then I wondered where to get it . Finally I went to a big butcher's store and when I asked for it he looked puzzled and then got it out of the garbage... !
I finally had it !


As for the recipes I remembered that Nigel Slater in Appetite had a few recipes I liked and one of them used mincemeat that I had prepared long ago and stored in my freezer. The mincemeat was a vegetarian one but suet would be in the crust.


Once I decided to make them I wanted to try both puddings: the crust one and the sponge one I must say I loved both the sponge one was made with butter though . The crust made with suet is very very good so next thing is to try it savoury ! (I posted Nigel Slater's recipes at the end of the post)


Here I post the original recipes :

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.

Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):

Ingredients

(250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
(175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
(210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)

1. Mix the flour and suet together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.

4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!
7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

This one is a steak and onion one cooked for 1.5 hours.

This sort of pastry can also be used as a topping for a baked meat pie and becomes quite a light crusty pastry when baked.

Savoury Pudding Filling options: steak and kidney pudding.

1 full amount of suet crust (see recipe above)
(450 grams/about 1 pound) Chuck steak
(225 grams/about 1/2 a pound) Ox kidney
1 medium-sized onion
2 teaspoons well-seasoned flour
splash of Worcestershire sauce

1. Chop the steak and kidney into fairly small cubes, toss them in seasoned flour, then add them to the pastry lined basin.
2. Pop the onion slices in here and there.
3. Add enough cold water to reach almost to the top of the meat and sprinkle in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the crust recipe to finish pudding.
5. Cook for at least 2.5 hours (Mrs Beeton) up to 5 hours (Delia Smith).

Sweet Pudding Options: Sussex Pond Pudding

1 amount of suet pastry (see recipe above)
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) Demerara Sugar
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 large lemon

1. Cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar.
2. Prick the whole lemon (preferably one with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer.
3. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin.
4. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar.
5. Finish building the pudding as per the pastry recipe.
6. Steam for 3 ½ hours, or longer (for a really tender lemon), adding more water if needed.
7. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich lemon sauce will gush out.
8. Make sure each person is served some of the suet crust, lemon and tangy luscious sauce.

Type 2 puddings – Steamed Suet Pudding, sponge type.

(100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

Variants:
Spotted Dick - Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.
Syrup or Treacle or Marmalade Pudding – put 2 Tablespoons of golden syrup, treacle or marmalade at the bottom of the bowl before adding pudding mix.
My Fair Lady Pudding – Add finely grated rind of 1 medium orange or lemon with the sugar.
Ginger Pudding – replace the sugar with 100g/4oz of treacle, and add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.


Here are Nigel Slater's:

Crust Pudding :

200 gr self raising flour
100 gr suet
water about 6 TBS (I used less)

apples 1 kg peeled, cored and cut in thick slices
juice of one lemon
mincemeat about 8 TBS

Pastry

work the flour with the suet and add just enough water so that it comes together.
rool the dough in a thick sausage and cut it in thin slices and press the in the buttered pudding basin s that it is covered leaving enough doug to roll for a lid.

Filling

cut the apples and mix with the lemon juice, add the mincemeat anf fill the prepared basin.

top it with the pastry lid.
Cover the pudding basin with greaseproof paper with a pleat cover it with foil and place it in a pan of boiling water filled so that the water comes to about a third of the basin . Steam for a good two hours (for me they were more and in the end I broiled the top that lookes too ugly!).

A sponge Pudding and his own Sauce.

100 gr butter
175 gr sugar
1 lemon
2 oranges
4 eggs
40 gr flour
400 ml milk

Grate all the rinds and flavour the sugar with them cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Separete the eggs and add the yolks to the butter mixture. Add the fluor and the milk followed by the juices of lemon and oranges.
Beat the egg whites until firm and add to the rest .
Fill a soufflè dish half way and put it in a rosting tin filled with hot water so that it reaches half of the soufflè dish. Bake for an hour or so until the top of the cake is springy.
As for the crust cake I used the broiler (too much !!).