I’ve visited Italy twice in my life, or even three times if you count the occasion that I arrived at Milan after a few months in South East Asia, then immediately booked myself onto the next flight to London without leaving the airport because my ‘friend’ stood me up, hence I decided to simply go home instead. Aside from that minor dalliance with Milan airport which I’ll choose to ignore in the context of this post and life in general, I’ve always been awestruck by Italian towns’ and citys’ overwhelming sense of beautiful, crumbling, architectural romanticism. Of course for a foodie (ugh! That word) like myself, eating is another highlight, because the Italians have a very powerful secret ingredient in their food, passion. They’re also blessed with fruitful and abundant …come and read more!
Today I’m talking about gravlax, or gravalax, or gravadlax, or even Gravad laks depending on where you are, who you are and why you’re here. There might be other spellings that I’m missing out, but so far I’ve covered Norwegian, Swedish and Danish as well as the slightly confused situation in England where it seems to go under a few of those names. However you spell it, this is an absolute peach of a recipe, a personal favourite of mine which gives smoked salmon a run of it’s money without having to go through that messy process of smoking. It’s also another super long-make recipe which is more like a small food side-project rather than a recipe. There’s no way that you can …come and read more!
I often make cakes that are either dairy free, with no refined sugar, or both, then finish them and think, oh, that would really benefit from something on top. What can I use? Whipped cream? No. Buttercream frosting? No. It becomes a whole new juggling act trying to create dairy free and refined sugar free frosting ideas which will sit on top and stay there, without it being utterly contrived. I could, of course, just refer to the internet, with it’s myriad answers to everything, which all vary enormously in quality and credibility. Some are good, some not so good, but you’ll inevitably find an answer that fits for you. I once found a coconut cream frosting recipe on the internet which looked …come and read more!
I’ve made homemade pasta previously, from silky whisps of fine tagliatelle to carefully manipulated, pillowy ravioli. It’s one of those things that’s a domestic indulgence, because shop bought, dried pasta is so good and easy to cook that it’s hard to justify the time and effort required in making your own. But, in the true spirit of indulgence, it is also incredibly satisfying to make this simple ingredient and if we always chose the quickest, easiest, ready-prepared method, we might all turn into mindless zombies. Despite this previous experience of homemade pasta and the fact that pasta contains so few ingredients, it ended up quite a tricky recipe to develop. Balls of pasta, eggs shells and flour very nearly adorned the kitchen window …come and read more!
A few weeks ago I posted a traditional pesto recipe and spent some time ruminating on the bastardisation of recipes. This week, I’m going to continue the pesto theme with a recipe for a delicious sun dried tomato pesto, or pesto rosso. I would love to say this is a traditional Italian recipe adhering to the specific ingredients handed down through generations by all Italian chefs, however I’m not sure that’s not entirely possible. Whilst the traditional, green basil pesto has a fairly consistent set of ingredients that are in attendance in all recipes, pesto rosso seems to be a little bit more vague and open to the whimsical tastes of the creator. There are wild variations in content and ingredients from recipe to recipe, and as they say, beauty …come and read more!
Peanut, or in fact any nut butter is so incredibly simple to make, it’s a joke. It’s one of those things that when you discover how it all works, you feel like letting out a Machiavellian cackle, akin to some kind of heinous villain plotting to take over the world, due to it’s fiendishly simplicity. The main ingredient of any nut butter is nuts, something I’m sure you could have guessed. However, there are no other requisite ingredients, nothing else is required to make this work. And the process? You simply blitz it all up in a food processor and you’re done. It’s also utterly non specific regarding quantity or type of nut. They all work the same and can be whizzed up into a smooth and …come and read more!