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Everything posted by SWISS_CHEF

  1. Yeah, it sort of ruins you for anything else. This preparation is something I was first exposed to at Café della Fontana in Murisengo. Every Monday Murisengo has a street market and one of the vendors always brings his lardo which is pretty well known in the village..... local hazelnuts are rather smallish and very sweet... and the chestnut honey, well it is very hard to describe, you just have to taste that for yourself when you come to Zanco.... we have a beekeeper in the village that always has a supply. PS: Murisengo is also noteworthy because it is the birth-place of Luigi Lavazza
  2. Swiss Züpfe This bread is traditionally baked on Friday and is supposed to last over the weekend but rarely lasts that long because everyone devours it. Ingredients 500 gr. of bread flour 1 package of dry yeast 1.5 teaspoons of salt .5 teaspoon of sugar 75 gr. melted butter 1 egg yolk 1 cup of milk 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk and a pinch of salt for the glaze Preparation: Mix flour and salt in a bowl, add yeast sugar, butter, egg yolk and milk, knead until soft (15 minutes by hand or 8 minutes in a machine) Cover and let rise one hour until size has doubled. Cut dough into two equal size pieces. Braid as shown below. Step 1: Roll out 2 strings of dough... Cross them... Cross one over the other... then again... ...and again... Keep crossing and building it higher... ...and higher... until you run out of dough then roll it over on it's side, strech it out a bit and tuck under the ends. Put on a cookie sheet and brush with water and let rise one hour. Before baking brush it with a beaten egg yolk mixed with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of milk. Bake for 40 minutes in the lower part of a preheated oven (200° C) Allow to completely cook before slicing.
  3. We had a blind Ruché tasting the other day, there were 18 people, we each brought one bottle and here are the results: 1. Pro Novis Saint Agata 2006 €13.50 2. Massimo Marengo 2007 €7.95 3. Luca Ferraris 2007 €6.59 4. Montalbera 2007 € 6.99 5. Crivelli 2007 €9.00 6. Cantina Sociale Castagnole 2005 7. Saint Agata 9.99 2007 €7.99 8. Cascina Terra Felice 2007 €7.00 9. Bava Casa Brina 2005 €7.99 10. Scarpa Bricco Rosa 2005 €21.00 11. Bava Casa Brina 2005 €7.99 12. Tenuta dei Re 2006 €7.00 13. Cascina Tavijn 2005 €8.00 14. Cantina Sociale de Portocomaro 2007 €7.00 15. Terra de Roggeri 2007 €7.00 (this wine won 1st place in the Douja d’Or) 16. Tennuta Ca di Corte 2007 €7.50 17. Cantina Sociale Castagnole 2007 €6.00 18. Cantina Sociale Castagnole (vintage unknown, bought bulk for 4 euros a liter and bottled at home) Some more pictures from the tasting: Fellow eGulleter Tim (Sampaguita) giving us a taste in his celler... Some of the guests... Yours truly...
  4. Is this a preparation you've seen before, SWISS_CHEF? I feel like I've had veal with a hazelnut sauce before. But the veal was raw and there were also anchovies in the sauce. It was, I should also say, delicious. But I imagine far from traditional. ← I have not run across this exact preparation before but hazelnuts are often added to dishes here because they grow prolifically in this region. One presentation I particularly like is roasted hazelnuts sprinkled on a plate of thinly sliced lardo then drizzled with chestnut honey and served with a foccia made of pizza dough fried in olive oil and dusted with salt and fresh rosemary.
  5. Not during the week. I think they require reservations on Sunday. Cocconato is a rather vogue little town which tends to fill up with rich Turinese on the weekends. It is nick-named the "Monferrato Riviera".
  6. Cascina Rosengana is a lovingly restored farm that has been converted into a restaurant and B&B. The food is locally grown and organic and all of a very high quality. Our waiter was Massimo and I suspect one of the owners. He spoke English well and was warm and welcoming. The dishes were presented without fuss or pretention and the whole experience was a delight. The full menu with all the dishes listed below, grappa and coffee was €24 per person. Our wine was Massimo's own: Barbera d’Asti Maciot “465” € 6.90/bottle. Antipasti: Salami crudo & cotto. (No picture) Crispy parmesan cannolli filled with a goat’s cheese mousse. Spinach quiche with cheese. Carpaccio with a creamy gorgonzola sauce. FYI: Carne Cruda Monferrina means ground or chopped raw meat (like tartar) And Carne Cruda “Albese” means slices raw meat (like carpaccio) Primi: Agnolotti plin with sage and butter. Tajarin with ground veal sauce. Secondi: Vitello con salsa nocciola. Roasted Guinea hen with its sauce. Fried potatoes and spinach was served with the meats. Dolce: Bavarian cream with moscato raisins. Hazelnut torte with a thick cream sauce. Chocolate torte with a thick cream sauce. Our grappas and coffee were included in the price of the meal. Cascina Rosengana Via Liprandi 50 14023 Cocconato Italy Tel.: +39 0141907857 Fax: +39 0141907914 Webpage Google map GPS: 45.0830724, 8.0573741
  7. Funny you mention this... we have living in and exploring North Western Italy for nearly 5 years now and we have made the 40 minute drive to Alba only a hand-full of times (at best) and in the last two years, only once. Alba is ok but certainly not head and shoulders ahead of scores of other beautiful villages that have their own charm. In fact, when you consider the tourist crowds, I think Alba becomes a bit annoying, especially during festivals. But tourists will always tend to be like sheep...
  8. We have been continuing our string of fine dining and the latest restaurant on our hit-list was Cascina Martini in Coteranzo where Gianluigi Giachino bends the traditional Piemontese ingredients into stylish and fresh new creations. Amazingly there were only six covers (including us) the Thursday night we were there. The restaurant decor is what I would call sophisticated Italian country and a great deal of attention is paid on all levels without becoming fussy or pretentious. Amuse bouche: a frito misto of assorted fried things: cod balls, aubergine cubes and asparagus, accompanied by an herb frittata and thick sliced of salami. There was a 40 Euro tasting menu but we had all been spending too much time at the dinner tables over this Easter weekend so we decided to just have a starter and a main course. In retrospect I think this was a mistake and we should have ordered the tasting menu but that is how it goes, sometimes you just can't go that extra mile. We all ordered the delicious duck breast salad and we all very happy we did. Melanie ordered a orozotto made with whole wheat orzo, fresh peas and cream. It was superb. Our friends ordered the rabbit with tajarin pasta. I didn't try theirs but it smelled fantastic and sent their eyes rolling back. I ordered boccatini of veal which turned out to be large chunks of veal in two sauces and was delicious and delicate. Dessert was a grappa for me and Melanie had a 67% dark chocolate souffle with a soft gooey center. It was perfect. I only had one criticism, the frito appetizer should have been fried in fresh oil. It wasn't off-putting but it prevented the meal from being perfect. We certainly will return to try the tasting menu. Ristorante CASCINA MARTINI Via Gianoli, 15 15030 Murisengo Fraz.Corteranzo (AL) Tel:0141.693015 Fax:0141.693015 cascinamartini@cascinamartini.com http://www.cascinamartini.com Closed on Monday - dinner only - lunch by appointment Their home page is a bit difficult to navigate but there is a really nice blog entry with lots of good pictures here: http://www.altissimoceto.it/2008/08/21/ris...luigi-giachino/
  9. Pasquetta is the day after Easter when most Italians in our area head for the country side and have a picnic and barbecue but we were short on time and decided to visit Lanterna Blu in Gaminella. Since we had stuffed at the Canon d'Oro the day before we decided to give the frito misto a miss but we ate everything else. The place was packed with jovial locals, the food was just as good as the Canon d'Oro and the service was very friendly. Antipasti: A soft cheese spiral rolled in prosciutto cotto A puff choux filled with Montemagno mousse Cotechino Insalata de carne cruda Parmigiano flan Asparagus terrine Pastry nests with fonduta and a fried quail egg Branzino in a puff pastry shell Primi: Veal lasagna Mushroom risotto Secondo: Big platters of Frito misto were offered but we gave it a miss. Dolce: Pistachio cake Bunet Pineapple cake 2 bottles of Barbera Monferrato (vivace) 1 bottle of Malvasia 1 bottle of sparkling brut 30 Euros per person all inclusive (it would have been 5 euros higher if we had eaten the frito misto). http://www.ristorantelanternablu.it/default_eng.htm Lanterna Blu Frazione Gaminella 15020 Mombello AL info@ristorantelanternablu.it Tel: 0142 944120 Fax: 0142 944120
  10. We had Easter lunch at Canon d'Oro in Cocconato yesterday. It was my first time at this restaurant and we had a great time. Food quality was very high and service was very friendly and presented table-side. The courses were as follows: Antipasti: - Liver paté with toast points and a tiny salad - Castelmagno cheese mousse sandwiched between dried apples - Insalata de carne cruda with parmigiano and celery slivers - A tiny salad with a sliver goat cheese wrapped in Bresaola - Artichoke flan - Asparagus with fonduta Primi: - Agnolotti in broth - Risotto Parmigiano - Tajarin with vegetable sauce Secondi: - Guinea hen with Carrots - Bolito (cotechino, testa, lingua, reale) - Roast leg of lamb - Veal roast Dolce: - Vanilla gelato - Bunet - Fresh fruit - Lemon torte Wines: 1 bottle of Bava Cortese. 3 bottles of very nice 13.5 % house Barbera 1 bottle of Malvasia 1 bottle of a spumante brut Bosso grappa (open bottle on the table) Note you can eat every course there is no "or" in this list The total was 48 Euros per person, all inclusive. http://www.cannondoro.it/ "Cannon d'Oro" Hotel - Restaurant Piazza Cavour, 21 14023 Cocconato (Asti) Italy e-mail: cannondoro@cannondoro.it Tel. +390141.907794 Fax +390141.907024 Closed on Monday and Tuesday
  11. Yes lots of pictures and it looks like they had a really good time! It is particularly exciting that he shot pictures of the raw veal sausage. In my area it is made of pork and I have been serving this to unsuspecting visitors for several years now. It is fantastic stuff!
  12. We had lunch today at Piola & Crota and I am very sorry to say I have to revise my evaluation. We have eaten there three times and all three times we have ordered the lunch special. The first time we received 2 glasses each of a very nice barolo and coffee, all were included. The second time we got charged 2 euros a glass for the second glasses of wine but the coffee and water were still included. Today we were charged 4 euros each for the second glass of a rather less interesting wine and because my wife ordered a cappuccino (as she did all of the other times) she was charged €2.50 for it. Food quality has also dropped (I didn't see the lady chef in the kitchen) and there was only one other diner in the restaurant on what should have been a busy Friday afternoon lunch. The restaurant around the corner was buzzing. Piola & Crota feels like a restaurant that will probably be closed in the next few months.
  13. LOL! Fewer crumbs. Less tearing? Cleaner looking pieces? OMG! In that case use an electric slicer the will be even more perfect!
  14. I collect antique copper pots and vintage knives. I would stay with them and burn.
  15. I have been living in Piemonte for three years and I know Alba well and I would rather take you north of Asti to Basso Monferrato which is less crowded and less expensive than the Langhe, and because there has been less growth and fewer modern buildings, our villages are better preserved. The countryside is a series of rolling hills planted with a mixture of crops, for example, from our 16th century church here in Zanco, we can see vineyards, lavender fields, sunflower fields, hazelnut groves, corn and wheat fields and various orchards. As a back-drop you have a fantastic 180° view of the Alps. Most of the local villages are perched on the hilltops and are virtually untouched by the last century. The food is (of course) fantastic here and the white truffles are famous and (by many) more coveted than those from Alba. Moncalvo, Montechiaro and Murisengo have lovely truffle fairs in the Fall and they are far less touristic than the one in Alba. Here are some my tips: B&B: Castello Razzano in Alfiano Natta: http://www.castellodirazzano.it/ A beautifully restored castle surrounded by vineyards. Heavenly and an ideal spot for a wedding. Restaurants: Oh where do I begin... here are a few to get you started: Cascina Martini in Corteranzo: http://www.cascinamartini.com/ Ristorante LA BRAJA http://www.labraja.it Le Corte in Odalengo Grande: http://www.osterialecorte.it/ I am happy to answer more specific questions, just PM me.
  16. That's sad, I remember when he opened, must have been about '87. Heck I remember going there when it was the Monastery!
  17. What a drag. I really miss the glory days at Venue. Here is a picture of me when I was cooking there in 1992..
  18. I don't think they are sold in the USA, check with: Limmat Handelshaus AG Rietstrasse 18 Postfach 48 8108 Dällikon/ZH Switzerland Phone +41 44 847 33 66 Fax +41 44 847 33 90 http://www.limmathandel.ch/
  19. I lived on the road for several years. Cooks don't thrive in hotel rooms eating delivered pizza so I bought a hotplate, a pan, a wooden spoon, a good quality 8 inch chefs knife and a plastic cutting board. It is amazing what you can do with these 5 things and a little imagination.
  20. I made the most delicate crepes today in the larger pan. It worked perfectly even after 3 years of constant daily use, including regular scrubbings with a stainless steel scouring pad.
  21. Sorry I missed this post until today. Here is a list of notable restaurants in our area. In my village of Zanco: Ristorante DA MARIA Via Roma 131, Zanco di Villadeati Cap. 15020 Villadeati Tel. 0141/902035 e-mail fanselmo@libero.it I really recommend: Cascina Martini: http://www.cascinamartini.com/ Le Corte: http://www.osterialecorte.it/ Other notable restaurants near Zanco: Per Bacco: http://osteriaperbacco.it/ Tuais: http://www.tuais.com/index.htm Aibinari: http://www.barbera.it/pages/osteriaaibinari.htm Locanda Martelletti: http://www.locandamartelletti.it/ ASTI Ristorante ALDO DI CASTIGLIONE (Thursday closed) – Via Giobert 8 - Asti Tel. 0141/354905 – Fax 0141/324586 da € 25,00 vini esclusi coperti 70 Ristorante BAROLO & CO – PIUMA D’ORO (recommended) (Monday closed) – Via Cesare Battisti 14 - Asti Tel/Fax 0141/592059 € 20,00/30,00 vini esclusi coperti 40 Ristorante FALCON VECCHIO (Sunday evening closed and Monday for lunch closed) Via Mameli, 11 – Asti Tel. 0141/593106 - Fax 0141/34373 hotelpalio@inwind.it € 25,00/40,00 Coperti 60 (+ 20 dehors) Ristorante GENER NEUV (recommended) (Sunday evening closed and Monday) Lungotanaro Pescatori 4 – Asti Tel. 0141/557270 - Fax 0141/436723 www.generneuv.it generneuv@atlink.it € 30,00/60,00 vini esclusi Coperti 63 (+ 40 dehors) Ristorante IL CONVIVIO – VINI E CUCINA (chiuso domenica escluso manifestazioni) Via Giuliani 4 – Asti Tel./Fax 0141/594188 www.turismodoc.it danilmachetti@virgilio.it € 20,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 55 Ristorante IL FLAUTO MAGICO (sempre aperto) Piazza Alfieri 5 – Asti Tel. 0141/532279 - Fax 0141/356470 www.ristoranteilflautomagico.com realeasti@virgilio.it € 14,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 400 Ristorante L’ANGOLO DEL BEATO (Sunday closed) Via Guttuari, 12 – Asti Tel/Fax 0141/531668 www.angolodelbeato.it info@angolodelbeato.it € 30,00/50,00 vini esclusi Coperti 35 Ristorante L’ARMANGIA (Sunday closed) Via Lamarmora 14 - Asti Tel. 0141/31744 € 12,00/30,00 vini esclusi Coperti 45 Ristorante LA GROTTA (Monday evening closed and Tuesday) Corso Torino 366 - Asti Tel. 0141/214168 - Fax 0141/410688 € 21,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 80 Ristorante LOCANDA ASTESANA (Sunday closed,Saturday for lunc closedh) Corso Alfieri 36 – Asti www.locandaastesana.it info@locandaastesana.it Tel./Fax 0141/556740 € 20,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 40 Ristorante MORO (Monday closed) Lungotanaro Pescatori 12 - Asti Tel. 0141/592513 - Fax 0141/532686 € 15,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 150 (+150 dehors) Ristorante Brasserie POMPA MAGNA (recommended) (Monday closed) Via Aliberti 65 – Asti Tel. 0141/324402 Fax 0141/323252 pompamagna.at@libero.it € 8,00/30,00 vini esclusi Coperti 70 Ristoranta OSTERIA DEL DIAVOLO (Monday and Tuesday closed– opening only for evening) P.zza S.Martino, 6 – Asti Tel. 0141/30221 - Fax 0141/667592 Cell. 3394286857 € 18,00/22,00 vini esclusi Coperti 40 (+ 20 dehors) Ristorante Vineria TACABANDA (recommended) (Monday closed) Via Al Teatro, 5 – Asti Tel/Fax 0141/539399 La compagniadelgusto@libero.it € 10,00/30,00 vini esclusi Coperti 35 (+ 25 dehors) CASTELL’ALFERO Ristorante IL CAMPANARO (Wednesday closed) Reg. Perno 76 Tel. 0141/204009 - Fax 0141/204114 www.campanaro.it info@campanaro.it € 25,00/35,00 vini inclusi Coperti 30 (+ 55 dehors) Ristorante DEL CASOT (Monday evening closed and tuesday closed) S.S.83 –Tel/Fax 0141/204118 Ivan303@interfree.it € 15,00/40,00 vini inclusi Ristorante OSTERIA DEL CASTELLO (Monday and Tuesday closed) P.zza Castello 1 Tel. 0141/204115 - Fax 0141/405233 € 33,00/38,00 vini esclusi Coperti 65 (+ 60 dehors) Osteria L’ERMITE (recommended) (Sunday evening closed, Monday closed) Piazza Mazzini 8 Tel/Fax 0141/204276 € 25,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 20 CASTELLO D’ANNONE Ristorante LA FIORAIA (Monday closed) Via Mondo 26 Tel. 0141/401106 - Fax 0141/401597 fioraia@libero.it € 35,00/60,00 vini esclusi Coperti 50 CUNICO Trattoria IL CUNICOLO (chiuso dal lunedì al giovedì) Piazza Mazzini 8 Tel/Fax 0141/204276 € 20,00/25,00 MONCALVO Ristorante AMETISTA (Wednesday closed) Piazza Antico Castello 15 Tel. 0141/917423 € 20,00/35,00 vini esclusi Coperti 40-45 Ristorante CASCINA SPINEROLA (Monday closed) Strada Casale 15 Tel. 0141/921421 - Fax 0141/921463 www.cascinaspinerola.com info@cascinaspinerola.com € 45,00/50,00 Coperti 80 Ristorante CENTRALE (Sunday evening closed, Monday closed) Piazza Romita 10 Tel./Fax 0141/917126 € 25,00/30,00 vini esclusi Coperti 100 Ristorante OSTERIA ALERAMO (Monday closed and lunch Tuesday ) Piazza Carlo Alberto 19 Tel./fax 0141/921344 € 25,00/40,00 vini esclusi Coperti 45 (+ 20 dehors) Ristorante TRE RE (Monday evening closed, Tuesday closed) P.zza Romita 3 Tel. 0141/917125 € 27,00/40,00 Coperti 60 MONTECHIARO D’ASTI Trattoria TRE COLLI (OK but not great) (Wednesday closed) Piazza del Mercato 5 Tel.0141/901027 - Fax 0141/999987 www.trecolli.com info@trecolli.com € 15,00/35,00 vini inclusi Coperti 100 (+ 40 dehors) MONTEMAGNO Ristorante LA BRAJA (great fish) (Monday and Tuesday closed) Via S. Giovanni Bosco 11 Tel. 0141/653925 - Fax 0141/63605 www.labraja.it labraja@tin.it € 38,00/65,00 vini esclusi Coperti 60 (+ 35 dehors) REFRANCORE L'Agriturismo Cascina Madonna (recommended) via Alessandria 55 Refrancore d'Asti - 0141 67456 Tel: 0141 67456 € 20,00/30,00 vini esclusi http://www.agriturismocascinamadonna.it/pi...agriturismo.htm PORTACOMARO Ristorante DELLA BOTTEGA DEL GRIGNOLINO (Monday closed) Piazza Marconi 16 Tel. 0141/202666 € 20,00/30,00 vini esclusi Coperti 40 MOMBELLO MONFERRATO (AL) Ristorante CA' DUBINI Via Roma, 34 15020 Mombello Monferrato (AL) Tel. +39.0142944116 - Fax +39.0142944928
  22. Did they shave the fresh truffle over the dish or did it come out with the bits already cooked in the rice? White truffles aren't actually white, they are brown. Either way, if they shaved fresh white truffles over your risotto everyone in the restaurant would know it. It is almost like someone dropped bottle of perfume. I left a white truffle the size of your thumb nail in my car for an hour with the windows up and we had to wait a few minutes before getting in, the smell was so over powering.
  23. I have been on a sformato binge lately. I have done all the usual, like artichoke, asparagus, fennel, carrot, cardoon, red pepper, spinach etc. but on Christmas Eve we are invited to go to some friend's house and I must bring something vegetarian along for a pot-luck dinner so I am looking around for some unusual combinations. If you come up with something really interesting and I will make it, photograph it and post it here... (If you don't already know: a sformato is basically just a savory flan)

    Truffle myths

    I doubt letting the truffle sit an extra 25 minutes would make much difference to the cooked version but who knows, experiment and give us your results.
  25. Hmm, this is what all my Italian friends are telling me over and over again about our area of the Piemonte. (we have only been in the region for 3 years) In the last year alone we have seen some big jumps of 10-20% in prices. Perhaps we are unique. One thing is for sure, the locals can't afford the more expensive restaurants and except for Sundays it can get pretty quiet in any place charging more than 20 euros a plate. Pizza and Chinese restaurants are doing well because the offer the best value for money. On a positive note, we ate a great 5 euro lunch at the restaurant over the Bar Ligure in Asti (one large plate of tortellini with prosciutto and cream). This was not possible two years ago, so perhaps the current economic situation is beginning to soak in.
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