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Everything posted by ambra

  1. ambra

    Salad 2016 –

    A very unoriginal but always delicious salad I made Sunday lunch with roasted beets, arugula, feta and walnuts, finished with orange zest. Dressing was shallots, olive oil, orange juice and a touch of honey and mustard.
  2. Yea, my baking abilities leave much to be desired. I have even tried to do the rye at home and it always tastes wrong. This is if and when I can find caraway seeds. I usually stock up at the Mercato Orientale in Genoa. The spice guy there always has them. And actually, I went just before lockdown so I have a bunch now. I promise you your bagels are better than anything I can get in Milan . 😂😂 I'm not great at bagels either, but I do bialys pretty well. I want to try to make onion boards and those onion rolls I used to get at Zabar's. Hamburgers are all the rage in Milan and the rest of Italy. At one point, they were disgusting, wildly overmixed, often with pork added for flavor (no idea why people thought it was needed). Now it is pretty easy to find a really delicious burger! My favorite comes from a place that specializes in lobster rolls! Sorry to be hijacking the sabich thread!
  3. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Whole roasted orata, Ligurian style (with cherry tomato, pine nuts, olives, thyme and lemon). And apple cake with honey-scented whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.
  4. ambra

    Wine temperatures

    Depending on the type of white, I usually look for 8-12 C, the warmer for structured or evolved whites. (N.B. Sparkling wines usually 4-8 C.) For reds, 12-18 C. Here temps go up for structure, evolution and tannins. However, I would also agree with the above posters that you should drink what you like, how you like it. I never tell anyone what to drink unless they ask me. I remember once sitting next to someone eating a gorgeous dish of spaghetti and clam sauce (beachside) with a glass of Sagrantino. I personally would not enjoy that pairing, but it's not my business what this person drank.
  5. Host's note: this discussion was split from the Sabich: the Iraqi-Israeli topic. 😂😂 In reality, I guess that's not totally fair. There is a delicious (albeit very greasy) Greek on the Navigli that I go to that looks nothing like the Greek food I'm used to but admittedly it has decent pita! But it's all the way across town, like 45 minutes away. And not even sure they would sell it to me. I have a bakery nearby that sells "pane arabo," which are puffy rolls. Look like the above pucce. I don't usually like them because they are doughy and raw tasting. Perhaps for something similar, there are also a few Lebanese restaurants, but the last one I went to had wrap-style breads. Someone told me to try one of the Arab butchers but alas, there isn't one of those near me either. Milan has a lot of international offerings in comparison to other Italian cities. We have some good Chinese (though nothing like American Chinese). And the Milanese are obsessed with sushi. Ramen is getting better here too. But the things I really love aren't done well. For example, no Jewish rye (my favorite bread), or Jewish deli for that matter, no good gyros, no good Korean (a fave around here), no good Mexican (though getting better) and no good Vietnamese. My son adores Pho (my next cooking project will be to tackle making it at home!) We've found "OK" Pho, but nothing like the kind I am used to. It's OK, sometimes these places will still satisfy if you have a craving and we have other incredibly delicious things to eat.
  6. Sometimes my husband will make a white pizza to serve with similar meals (the photo is just grilled, marinated eggplant that was served along side other veg and cheese, such as mozzarella, burrata and stracchino), but I've never thought of making it into pita. I know the dough is similar, but I always though for a "proper" pita, you need that puff during cooking, which I have never really been able to master anyway. 😄 But yea next sabich, for sure! Thanks!
  7. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Fabulous looking meal!
  8. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Thank you so much for the notes! I will make sure to follow next round. (And yes, we did thin the sauce out a lot and use lots of lemon. I think my problem was precisely that I was scared to make it too runny, but this was way too thick. Yea, the egg must have been hidden. haha. I will definitely add more next time.) Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
  9. Sadly, I always have to make my own pita because they don't really sell them where I live, except for some weird long-life industrially prepared piece of cardboard in thick plastic packaging. So a seemingly simple sandwich always becomes a big production. And our pitas don't always come out well, but they are better than what I can get. We have thought about using "pucce," a Pugliese roll (see below), but I never find those fresh in Milan either. I thought about making the zhoug too, but decided to save it for the next time. Still one of my favorite sandwiches though! And I will keep making them!
  10. Thank you tons @Shain! I am not sure what it is supposed to taste like, having never had the real thing, but I did make it. From what you describe, my mango was definitely too ripe. It was a bit sweet. I will try it again using your instructions. I did use the spices you mention, plus chili. Having said that, I did like it on the sandwich. Here is my finished product, I am sure it is completely wrong. But I will try again soon!
  11. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Everyone’s meals look amazing this week! @Shelby, thank you tons! It’s just been the same old, same old meals around here. @Franci, love grilled fish! Congrats on the move! @liamsaunt, those potatoes look amazing, did you just coat them in oil and roast? Or boil first? @Captain, that Yorkshire is a thing of beauty! So here you have pasta e ceci. I used fresh trofie, because that’s what I had, it’s not its usual pasta. After you boil the chick peas, you saute garlic in olive oil, add rosemary, add the ceci, add the cooking water. Then you puree half the chick peas, add the pasta to the same pot, add the pureed chick peas back to the pot, let the pasta cook through, adding water as needed. Finish with raw oil. Then you have passata di verdure, which is just minestrone (onions, carrot, celery, zucchini, tomato, cabbage, Borlotti beans, leek, chard, some kind of orange squash/pumpkin) that has been hit with the immersion blender. It might look unappetizing, but we like it. 😉 My son likes more pasta than soup, so this was his portion, but we like more soup that pasta. This was our tester/taste of what was going to become Sabich sandwiches. We used a mini pita to make sure the sauces were right. The tahina was thinned out after this and the amba was left as is (was deciding to leave it on the chunky side or run it through the blender). The picture of the whole sandwich came out too blurry. For dessert mini kiwis, called arguta kiwis here. They were delicious.
  12. I meant to say I've been several times, especially for the burger because it's such a great deal. The place really feels very touristy though. But randomly, he has the best seasoning salt, which I think he calls "Sale di Chianti" or something similar, and I use it on salmon and chicken not beef. 😀
  13. I adore garlic bread. It's always delicious. 😀 But the closest thing you'd find in Italy is toasted or grilled bread that has been rubbed with garlic and topped with fresh oil, especially new oil in the fall, and it's usually served on an appetizer plate with other crostini. Here is an example on the top left.
  14. Reviving this thread because I was searching to see if there were any topics on making your own Amba sauce because I am about to try it myself! (I can't find any where I live so I have to.) This is one of my favorite sandwiches ever, but I've never tried amba sauce. I've found many recipes online that are so different. Some say to cure the mango by salting it and leaving it for one to five days and some say to cook the sauce. Does anyone have any experience? I'm leaning towards the cooked version because I already have my pita dough resting, my hummus made and my eggplant waiting for its final step in the preparation. ( probably won't fry either, like Shain mentions. :)) TIA!
  15. In my old town, I used to go to Alfredo. He would hand-slice mortadella with one hand and hand-cut gigantic steaks (this was Tuscany after all) with the other. If you forgot your wallet, he’d say, “That’s ok, just bring the money next time.” He knew the life stories of all his clients, of course, because they had all been coming for as long as he could remember. I wouldn’t say I learned anything from him, but he learned from me. Not that I know anything about butchering (I don’t!) but because I would go in asking for cuts they don’t (or didn’t) have in Italy. He’d always oblige: short ribs, skirt steak, hanger steak, flat pot roasts. I would buy the skirt steak off every cow he would get and it became such a thing that no matter when I went or for what, he would greet me by saying, “I don’t/do have your cut today.” (Coincidentally, skirt steak -- diaframma, here -- and a few other American cuts are starting to gain in popularity.) Now, in Milan, I have two. I go directly to a farm a half hour or so out of Milan and there I buy in bulk when I have room in my freezer, But for everyday, I go to a guy who has the biggest chickens I’ve ever seen in Italy, but very little variety or flexibility (he has what he has and that’s that). So he never has “my” cuts and won’t do them for me and if I need a whole chicken, I have to order it two days in advance (!!). But the quality is good, the prices are fine and sooner or later, I’ll bring him around.
  16. ambra

    Breakfast 2020!

    Shain, your breakfasts are amazing!!
  17. I've been in a funk too. I usually scour the internet for interesting recipes or dishes but that hasn't really helped lately. We did a lot of cooking projects during our lockdown. But that ship has sort of sailed in that we have less interest in making pretzels, raviolis and knishes, dumplings (fail!). I've been trying to get my young son interested in cooking so he can take over some meals, but that hasn't proven itself very successful. I feel uneasy in supermarkets still, like you @rotuts! So very little inspiration coming from there too. That said, egullet has been a great help, as usual!
  18. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Dinner has been weird this week, because I'm in a cooking funk, need to find some new recipes! Here we have an old fave, fave e cicorie. Then we had fried zucchini flowers, three different kinds of peppers (peperoni amollicati, which has onions, bread crumbs and vinegar, roasted peppers with olive oil and capers and fried friggitelli peppers) and barbecued chicken with an alla diavola marinade. The flowers didn't come out great. I stuffed some with ricotta and anchovy but the ricotta was a little too watery and they were essentially ruined. We are always looking for everyday bubbles because we are bubble-dependent, especially for the aforementioned fried zucchini flowers. This is our latest bottle to try. It costs 15 euros a bottle. I used to get amazing Franciacorta from a little-known grower, but he and his wife both got Covid and passed away and his son decided to rent the vineyards to another larger winery. They only have about 5,000 bottles left. Pasta e fagioli made with fresh Borlotti beans. And finally there was some (sort of) Singapore chicken rice, with sweet soy sauce and chili sauce. It's one of our favorite dishes.
  19. ambra

    Rosh Hashana

    This year I'm really on the fence about what to cook. I'm looking for something new and exciting. It's always just the three of us since I know no others who celebrate around me. Last year I made something I had never made: Chicken with prunes and apricots (everyone loved it). The only thing I've decided for this year so far is roasted beet salad probably with goat cheese and a honey apple cake though haven't decided which recipe yet.
  20. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Thank you, Heidih!
  21. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    My eleven year old and his cousin wanted to make dinner for us this week so this is what we ended up with! Deviled eggs and Carbonara. We did gently try to explain eggs after eggs was perhaps not very balanced so instead of changing the menu they served us an Amaro after dinner!😂😂 They did a great job with the Carbonara. It wasn't very sauced, but still very good. Fresh figs for dessert.
  22. I have a weekly subscription for a CSA-type delivery that saved us during lockdown (Seriously, the day of my first delivery with them, I didn't have food for that night). They sell a lot of extra products besides seasonal fruit and vegetables from local and less local farms, like fabulous dairy and bread (the best of both available to me now), even some wine (all of it pretty crappy), and some “exotic” items, such as ginger or avocados. There’s also pasta and affettati and meat (all pretty excellent). So this is today’s delivery. It’s a bit of an odd selection, because you can switch out up to four items (and I switched out all the squash and a cabbage because I detest all forms of the former and wasn’t in the mood for the latter). This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a plant in my delivery (haha) but I kept it even though I have two-three basil plants on my balcony already and I’m glad I did because it’s the most aromatic basil ever! I love these guys. Aside from the stuff being super high quality, the service is excellent. So I get the veg only box, but added in some "Percocca" peaches and some "Verdello" lemons (that stay green); there are some zucchini flowers, Borlotti beans, yellow peppers, Friggitelli peppers, eggplants, green onions, ginger and avocados. The dairy in the upper left corner is ricotta, mozzarella and burrata. And a couple of bottles of kefir. I forgot the butter, which is the best I've had in my entire life. Next week. Here is the white bread, but we also got a wheat bread. Excuse the hideous table cloth, it is to collect the water from the washed veg.
  23. ambra

    Lunch 2020

    Normally, salsa rosa is ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together in Italy. But I've seen the term used for pasta too. In fact my FIL used to make paccheri with shrimp and brandy in "salsa rosa" (and it was tomato with a splash of cream).
  24. ambra

    Breakfast 2020!

    Believe me, I did! 😂😂
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