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Everything posted by ambra

  1. ambra

    Breakfast 2020!

    A "Bombolone" from a coffee bar/bakery in Siena. It's basically just a donut, filled with pastry cream.
  2. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    I’ve been back and forth to Tuscany (to see family and house hunt) this last month and am finally back to stay (as my son has to go back to school soon) -- with 67 bottles of wine (I am part of a couple of buying groups down there and am a regular at a particular store that offers me bulk discounts), one loaf of Tuscan bread (yep, I do like saltless bread!) and a half kilo of Ricciarelli (the almond cookie from Siena). Not much food in the house though. So I sent my husband to grab something to cook while I dealt with suitcases and the rest. He came back with chicken breast, a bag of salad and tomatoes. So there you have it. Just a regular salad with pan-fried chicken. While we waited for our grocery delivery, we defrosted some meat sauce and had it over mezzi paccheri, which my MIL calls “vergogna cuoco” meaning they make the chef look bad because even if a portion might weigh the same as other more voluminous pasta, the portion always looks small. 😊 Then there was pan-fried salmon with roasted potatoes and homemade old-school dill sauce with raw carrots for dipping in the extra sauce. Dill is not popular in Italy but I can find it dry at one supermarket chain in the north. But I also try to grow it on my balcony. This one has the last of my fresh dill (it all seemed to die while I was away. ) And finally, there is no good pizza in my neighborhood (The shame!). It is very, very thick and always has too many toppings where we are (think Chicago style) unless we seek out Neapolitan style but I don’t like the ones by us. So we make our own. Actually my husband makes it for us. 😊 He just makes it the way his mother taught him, so no match for all of yours, but perfectly satisfying. And here are some ricciarelli. My favorite bakery closed down, so this is from one of my two second favorites. Extremely delicious cookies.
  3. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    @Franci, I didn't get to say thank you for the recipe, because I went away, sorry about that and of course thank you! We are down in Tuscany, staying with friends, who just got this cute little guy, called "Truffle" because he is in fact a truffle hunter. The breed is a Lagotto Romagnolo. He's only 6 months old but acts like a disobedient teenager! But he does find the prize. We've been watching our friends train him all week by hiding truffles all over their property for him to find, which he does! We did then get to eat summer truffles! (Sorry for the bad pic, I forgot to take it before I started eating...) Followed by Tagliata with rosemary (which I also forgot to photograph before eating....) I also made some octopus and potato salad one night. Another night we made Pici all'Aglione (fat spaghetti in a very garlicky tomato sauce), which I didn't photograph, but here's the garlic at the shop. (The garlic in the red bag is regular garlic.) I guess it's Elephant garlic? From the Val di Chiana (which is where Chianina beef comes from), located between Siena and Arezzo. The cloves are huge and the taste is so much more delicate than regular garlic. In fact, in the pici dish, they put many, many cloves (though I don't). When you add it to hot oil, it foams a little bit.
  4. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    Thank you tons for the comments, @Smithy(I hope it was delicious!), @Kim Shook, @TdeV and @Shelby! More pasta over here too. This one is Pancetta, onion and canned date tomatoes (and a little chili pepper). Then there was homemade Schiacciata stuffed with prosciutto di San Daniele, mozzarella (oddly shaped because it's from a treccia) and fried friggitelli peppers. @Franci, can you say how you did the pork? It looks amazing and is something I miss!
  5. ambra

    Dinner 2020

    I’m coming out of “hiding” (I visit often but am shy about posting) to combat some anxiety, in hopes of “obsessing” over things other than the impending doom anxiety convinces you of. 😊 I love this thread, it gives me tons of ideas for dinner when I have none – everything always looks amazing! I also love seeing your bottles (I write or translate about wine every day) especially because most of your bottles are hard to come by where I live. I get all the Italian wine I want, living in the suburbs of Milan. But the rest? Not so much. Thank you so much everyone for keeping me company during the long Italian quarantine and slow bounce-back. Here are some latest, perhaps not greatest, meals and sorry about the bad photography and plating. 😊 So there's potatoes and green beans in homemade pesto (with basil grown on my balcony and vegetables from my weekly delivery from local farms)... A big bone-in steak on the barbecue. It weighed a kilo. Rare inside, but no pic... Lamb sugo over tagliatelle. Sorry about the smears on the plate. Broiled Salmon with mustard, capers and dill. Dill is finally available in (parts of) Italy! But this one is from my balcony. Risotto with Calamari Edited to say: P.S. I hope I did this right!
  6. Just curious: I absolutely love the mejadra, but I did find it somewhat overseasoned. I think half the seasoning would have been better. Does anyone agree or have I just become too delicate in my old age? I also toned down the seasoning for the lamb kawarma.
  7. ambra

    Wild Boar Meatloaf

    If I were you, I'd make sauce out of it and serve over pappardelle or something similar.
  8. ambra

    Baked Potatoes

    I adore baked potatoes. I especially love them with bacon and cheddar and sour cream. I really love twice-baked. I'm going to give this recipe a try tomorrow: http://food52.com/recipes/20367-twice-baked-potatoes-with-kale (Odd, this is the second time I have posted a food52 page it's not even one of my go-to sites!)
  9. I made this recipe : http://food52.com/recipes/12352-okonomiyaki And I liked it. But it was a bit eggy. Maybe it's supposed to be. It was the first time I had ever had it.
  10. I'm with everyone else. You should try. Especially with the pineapple juice, only bottled water (just for the beginning), and a good not overly processed flour. I did it. My first try was a total disaster because I wasn't patient enough. You need to wait for the right effect at every stage. My second, a winner. I followed instructions from Peter Reinhart's book: Artisan Breads Everyday The sourdough rye recipe I used I think is from Bread. Having said that, someone gave me some starter as a Christmas gift last year. They bought it from a local bakery and while it's very good, my bread has never gotten as sour as with my own starter. (I don't know why, maybe I did something wrong.) But it's a strong, old starter that I have no intention of getting rid of. I give starter to my friends all the time too. They usually kill it within a day though.
  11. I've been thinking about trying my hand at homemade gyro meat. Do you have a recipe you like? Thanks!
  12. ambra

    Christmas cooking 2013

    Franci, I am making cartellate too! Are you using vincotto or honey?
  13. ambra

    Dinner! 2013 (Part 5)

    Getting caught up here and I must tell you, that is about the most delicious fish dish I have seen. Actually much more tempting than the Turbot dish I had at Le Cirque two weeks ago. Sadly I rarely can get Turbot here in Spokane. Your turbot looks so thick compared to what I get. I am wondering if I am incorrectly translating the name of the fish and eating something else entirely. May I ask how much the whole fish weighed, if you know? It's my all time favorite fish.
  14. I really like Buca Manzoni for lasagne. I say lasagne because it's so good, I've never tried anything else there. They serve the tortellini in a huge terrine, but I'm not really a fan of tortellini. Very old school place, fantastic staff. Next time I go, I'm going to this new meatball shop. Unless I find out it sucks. Everything there is round. No idea if it's any good. But sounds fun. http://www.bolpetta.com/ Every time I go to Bologna, I get my husband a bottle of grappa that's been aged in Jack Daniel barrels at the Enoteca Italiana there. I can never remember the brand to order it online. If you'll have a car, I can recommend this totally off-the-beaten-track place in the mountains (Sasso Marconi) that is really delicious. But you need a car for sure.
  15. I bought four lbs. of short ribs from the butcher a few weeks ago and when I did, he instructed me to age them at least 10 days in the fridge before using them or freezing them. This was because he hadn't completely finished aging them and if they were eaten right away, they would be too tough. I forgot that he said that and I put them directly in the freezer. I'm just wondering what I should do now. If I braise them will they still be too tough? Will the braising take care of that? I really don't know much about aging or cooking with short ribs for that matter. I was just so happy to see the cut (which is not popular where I live) that I bought all that he had. Thanks in advance.
  16. The power went out at my house while I was on vacation and, setting aside the hundreds of dollars in frozen meats, sauces etc that I had to throw out, what about my starter? It was sitting in a lukewarm fridge for about 5 days....is it even worth trying to revive? Or should I just toss the whole thing in favor of a new one? Thanks!
  17. I make my own too (since I can't get them either) and I usually make them too thick. So my advice would be to make them as thin as you possibly can.
  18. rlibkind, I will try the raw onions then, thank you. Scamhi, I don't prick the dough. I can try that. Boudin, because the filling falls out and burns even more in the toaster. heehee. Thanks all for the suggestions. I think the problem is, the recipe makes for an ENORMOUS oven spring. So you guys are saying that I could fill them with the onions to weight the dough down BEFORE the second proofing? I do make the depression before the second proof but they still bolt up in the oven. Anyway, thank you for the compliments. It's really a good recipe, maybe I should just put up with it. But only after I try your suggestions.
  19. These are my bialys, aren’t they beautiful? But you can see the obvious problems. They’ve popped. The indent bounces back. My question is, how do I get the hole I make when forming them, to actually stay a hole, and not pop? Is the problem that my dough is too wet? If I add more flour, will I still have that beautiful crumb I get? Also, the onions burn every time. Has anyone ever tried to make bialys with raw onions? The recipe I follow says to sauté first, which is what I have been doing. This is the recipe I have been using. The only real change I make is that I add a couple of spoonfuls of malt. I also can’t get bread flour where I live so I use all all-purpose flour. (The equivalent to it, anyway.) Thank you in advance.
  20. they do it in Italy. It's called homefood or something like that. I didn't enjoy the dinner I went to.
  21. Those look horrible. I can't even get over it.
  22. Oh, my god, that babka looks incredible.
  23. Pamela Sheldon Johns wrote a cookbook on Tuscan peasant food called, "Cucina Povera" that might interest you. You might find a lot of recipe compilations online too. I know my father's town in Italy lists many classic recipes on their city website. And I can't think of any off the top of my head, but there are many blogs that are based around "Nonna's" cooking. (nonna means grandmother in Italian.) I'm sure that could help if Nonna was cooking on tight budget!
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