After

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After

In Italy, we ate a soup at ZaZa’s,  pork chop with white beans and for desert we had tiramisu. Cooked at Giglio’s cooking school a similar soup, beef and Tiramisu. Also cooked, homemade pasta, with tomato sauce, ground beef and pork, and made stuffed ravioli with spinach and cheese. Tried new foods; veal brains, liver and spleen, pig cheek, wild boar, fresh lobster, gnocchi, homemade non dried pasta, desert wines, many different red and white wines, and olive oil.

All of these foods tasted so much better than foods I have eaten anywhere else, and much fresher, especially the tomatoes. All the foods had much more flavor.

I now love homemade pasta, fresh tomatoes (was not a fan of tomatoes before), and wine. I liked all of the new foods I tried. Veal brains had a good taste, but the texture was not for me, was like cream cheese. Liver and spleen was good on bread, reminded me of black bean hummus. Pig cheek was also good, was like bacon but leaner. Wild boar was good, tasted a lot like pot roast. I love lobster, but the lobster in Italy from the ocean tasted much better, fresher with a hint of sea salt. Gnocchi was good,
I had it with a cheese sauce and rose petals- very good but so different. The desert wine was good at the olive farm, but not so good at the restaurant we went to the last night. All of the wines I liked but I preferred the white wine from Cinque terre.

 

IMG_1610[1] First night a ZaZa’s, we ate a white bean soup-IMG_1611[1] in a very large bowl- IMG_1612[1] then we had pork stuffed with garlic and rosemary and for a side more white beans in a delicious sauce –IMG_1613[1]  for desert we had tiramisu (not pictured here). This is the market down the street from out hotel that we visited our second day in Italy with MarcelloIMG_1615[1] IMG_1616[1]  IMG_1619[1] IMG_1624[1] IMG_1625[1] IMG_1627[1] I found the food market to be an amazing experience because we in America it is not something I have ever seen. I would like to have a market like this with fresh foods close by. This was our first day at the Giglio school of cooking, we made this soup-IMG_1634[1] then we made beef in red whine, which tasted wonderful because of all the flavors and juices left in it. We also learned how to make tiramisu, which was similar to the one I had made at home, but seemed to taste much better. I noticed the proportions of everything in Italy are a bit larger than I am used to in the U.S. For example this is a large beer,IMG_1666[1] and there was a restaurant that served beer in a larger glass than this.  We went to an olive farm where they served us the best meal I have ever had, we started with a  plate each of appetizers. I would have to say the pastry was my favorite then the fried sage leaf. For an entree we had crepes with cheese sauce, which were so delicious.   IMG_1735[1] After that we had this ice cream with fruit and a wafer stick- even better than an gelato I had tried and better than tiramisu which is my favorite desert.IMG_1736[1] The meal did not end there, we then had desert wine, which was very good, then espresso. This was the first time I had ever tried espresso, I found it to be very strong and burnt tasting, however with a little sugar the espresso tasted much better.  These are the grapes from Montepulciano, the first vineyard we went to IMG_1753[1] and these were the barrels that wine ferments in IMG_1762[1] Next, an olive oil tasting IMG_1779[1] then a second wine tastng IMG_1784[1] then lunch where I had bruschetta, which was different than others and the one I made because this one was more like purred, then there was pesto, similar to the one I made and just as good, and lastly was mushrooms with cheese on top and I hate mushrooms however I liked them prepared this way IMG_1805[1] Here is the last wine tasting, which in my opinion was the best, not by the taste of wine but because of the personality of the owner, he seemed to me like what I expected an Italian to be like. He was very nice, passionate and pushy in trying his wine.IMG_1809[1] Here is another meal I had at ZaZa’s, it is beef with roasted potatoes, and it tasted like the best beef and potatoes I have ever had, unfortunately I was full when I got my meal so I could hardly eat much of it. In the left hand corner is a new drink called an orange spritzer- very good. In the middle is water, at most restaurants water is given in a bottle, then on the right hand side is a white wine. IMG_1816[1] Leaving Italy 😦 IMG_1844

Authentic Italian Food!

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Before I will be blogging about Authentic Italian foods, because I love food and especially Italian foods. I am taking an Italian foods class which will be traveling to Italy in May 2014. This class discusses the meaning of foods and what it represents in film and literature. I chose to blog about Italian meals and how they are made, because I like to do hands on work. I also, am doing a blog instead of a cookbook, because I felt this would be the best way to show it since the internet is more popular than books now and it is how I get my recipes today. I also chose to do a blog because my family doesn’t have a cookbook or recipes because they do not enjoy cooking. I do but have not learned enough about cooking so in doing this project I hope I learn a lot about cooking. I will be making 6 different recipes; 2 anti-pasta, 2 entrees, and 2 deserts. All of my recipes come from internet sources, not cookbooks. Recipes include- 1. Anti-pasta– Bruschetta with bread

  • 6 garlic cloves (or 1 clove per 2 pieces of bread)
  • 12 slices good, thick crusted bread, ½ to ¾ inch thick, 3-4” wide (I used wider bread)
  • 8 fresh, ripe tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, and chopped into ½” cubes
  • 8-12 basil leaves , torn into small pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil, fruity and young
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, ground fresh

(http://spinachtiger.com/cooking-italy-bruschetta-with-tomatoes-from-rome/) I chose to make Bruschetta because for one I do not usually make  appetizers and two because I had heard of it but never actually tried it before because I am not a big fan of tomatoes. The ingredients were really easy to find at my local grocery store- Hannafords, and the ingredients were all simple and easy to find. I am always nervous about everything not coming out right when I cook but it came out great, everyone who tried it really liked it. Making Bruschetta reminded me of making salsa. It was a very simple recipe and process, did not require any techniques that I was not familiar with. I presented the bruschetta on a hard bread to my family. Everyone liked it the only negative comment I received was there was too much tomato in it, but that is how bruschetta is. I will now make bruschetta more often because it not only tastes good but is healthy. I feel like bruschetta is like salsa and tortilla chips but less salty and less vegetables. Italian foods like bruschetta have enough of everything we need to digest our food properly. IMG_1411IMG_1420IMG_1423IMG_1425 2. Anti-pasta– Pesto with bread For the Pesto
3 cups fresh basil leaves, (firmly packed to measure)
3 plump garlic cloves, peeled
½ tablespoons kosher salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, (preferably Ligurian), plus more for covering
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons Grana Padano, or Parmigianno-Reggiano, grated
2 tablespoons pecorino, grated http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/994#sthash.XwYK8QlY.dpuf (http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/994) I made pesto because I have always really liked pesto, and put it on everything but have never made it myself even though I have heard it is very easy and simple to make. I found out it was quick, easy and simple. I already had most of the ingredients but the ingredients I did not have were at Hannafords and reasonably priced. I did find pine nuts a bit strange. I again was nervous about it not coming out right, but it tasted just as good as any other pesto I have ever eaten. I also served this pesto on bread, but I have previously had it on pasta, a heated up turkey wrap, many sandwiches because it is good with almost anything. I served this to my family who really liked it. I was not nervous about making pesto because I did not have to cook it so it was not as hard to make. By making this recipe it has encouraged me to make pesto from scratch all of the time and maybe more foods.   IMG_1410IMG_1422IMG_1417 IMG_1420IMG_1425 3. Entree- Spaggetti and meatballs

Ingredients:

For The Sauce: 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion 2 or 3 Small Pieces of Meat (Pork, Beef, or Chicken) Salt & Pepper 1/4 Cup Chopped Basil 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional) 1 (6oz) Can Tomato Paste 1 Large Can Pureed Tomatoes ( I use 1 (26oz) box Pomi Tomatoes) About 2 1/2 Cups water 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 Pound Of Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice Meatballs: 1 lb. Ground Beef 1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Veal Salt & Pepper 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 Egg 1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs (best made from soft bread) 1/2 Cup Milk

(http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2008/07/nonnas-spaghetti-and-meatballs/) I love spaghetti and make it quite often but I always make it a different way and with different ingredients, so I decided to make a traditional Italian spaghetti. All of the ingredients were at Hannafords and had most of them at home already. The recipe was similar to spaghetti I have made before with the exception of using bread crumbs in the meatballs and I use more garlic in the sauce and other herbs. I was a bit nervous about everyone liking the new spaghetti but everyone liked it and had seconds. I served this to my family on a plate with pasta first then the sauce on top. The taste was good, slightly more bland than I prefer but others liked it, I would have definitely added more garlic because I love it! I would like to continue experimenting with making my own pasta sauces. I really enjoyed making food from scratch, and would like to do it more often, unfortunately I do not always have enjoy time to do so.   IMG_1464 IMG_1465IMG_1423IMG_1420 4. Entree– Pizza Pizza Marinara: the garlic-lover’s delight
You’ll want two cloves (or more or less to taste) finely sliced garlic, and 1/2 cup tomato sauce or chopped canned tomatoes. Spread the sauce over the pizza, sprinkle the garlic, drizzle with a few drops olive oil and bake. – Added pepperoni (http://italianfood.about.com/od/breadspizza/a/aa042205_3.htm) I do not typically like pizza because it is so greasy and I have heard that Italian pizza is a lot different than American pizza, so that is why I chose to make pizza. The pizza came out very good, it was not too greasy or too much of anything. I was nervous that it was not going to come out right but it did. The only thing I would have done differently is to have cooked it longer until the sides were golden, but we were hungry. I should have also made more than one pizza because there was not enough for everyone and people would have liked more than one slice. All ingredients were easy to find at Hannafords, and nothing was confusing about them. Since I do not like American pizza I would make my own from now on so it is the way I like it. This pizza was very similar to a slice of pizza I had in Italy. In Italy I had pizza had a little bit of tomato sauce, mozzarella shredded on top and a large slice on top with a slice of tomato. The way pizza was served in Italy was a lot different than in the U.S. but I liked it a lot better.   IMG_1424IMG_1420 IMG_1413IMG_1418 5. Desert- Tiramisu

Ingredients:

* 6 egg yolks

* 1 1/4 cups white sugar

* 1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese

* 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

* 2 (3 ounce) packages lady fingers (approx 24 lady fingers total)

* 1/3 cup Kahlua

Topping extras

* 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (dust)

* 1 (1 ounce) square semi sweet chocolate (shaved)

(http://www.italian-dessert-recipes.com/best_tiramisu_recipe.html) I decided to make Tiramisu because it is my favorite desert. I thought that it would be very difficult recipe, it was harder than I was used to but easier than expected. Beating the egg whites quickly and mixing it with the boiling sugar was the only thing I was unfamiliar with. I was able to find everything at Hannafords, but it was the first time I have bought lady fingers. I served this to my family in large squares on a plate. I did not have any major challenges, I almost burnt the sugar but was able to recover from it. The tiramisu came out great, and now I will most likely make it too often.   6. Desert– Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Ingredients
Cake:
  • 1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1¾ cup extra-fine granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
Ganache:
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup whipping cream

(http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/chocolate-ganache-cupcakes-with-italian-meringue-buttercream-frosting/) I was going to make cannolis, which required wine but I drank it before making cannolis then forgot what I was going to make so I decided to make something else. I love cupcakes and desert, I am the type of person who prefers desert before the entree. I was able to find all of the ingredients at Hannafords. I usually make cupcakes from a box and never from scratch, so I thought it would be nice to learn how to make cupcakes from scratch especially Italian cupcakes. I was a little nervous as usual about the cupcakes coming out right. However, the recipe was very simple and came out great. This was a lot like making cupcakes or muffins with a few more steps. I decorated each cupcake carefully and served them individually to everyone in my family. If  I were to make this again I would try to make more to save for later, I would also try different flavors. When I think of Italian foods I do not think of cupcakes typically but from going to Italy I see that these were very Italian.   IMG_1463Unfortunately I do not have pictures of the finished cupcakes because I did not get the chance to take one because they were eaten immediately.   Conclusion I really liked this project because I learned a lot about food, cooking, my family and a lot more. I will now take more time in cooking and getting better ingredients instead of the quick and easy way out. The project was a lot like the concepts in our readings of food bringing people together and love.

 

 

“All you need i…

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
“I love you like a fat kid loves cake!”
― Scott Adams
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
― Erma Bombeck
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman