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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
  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 (th
  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 o
  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 cann
  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 her
  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 Aspar
  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
  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
  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
  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 CA
  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
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