Food & Wine

Meat

Herb crusted rack of lamb

Extremely inviting , flavorful & delicious rack of lamb. Green crust outside, juicy pink inside. A colorful idea for Easter. Incredibly easy recipe in 4 simply steps. Enjoy!1-CARNE58-002

 

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Ingredients: 2 large racks of lamb cut in half with their bones per serving

salt – ground pepper – olive oil – 2 tablespoons Dijon or other mustard of your choice

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • sprig of parsley
  • sprig of mint
  • sprig of thyme
  • sprig of rosemary
  • sprig of basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • CRUST: Place all ingredients for the crust  into a blender and pulse several times until is homogeneous green. Set aside.

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°.

  1.  Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat.

    Add 1 lamb rack to pan and “seal it “. Cook few minutes (about 4min) on each side enough to develop color. Remove lamb from pan. Repeat with remaining lamb rack.

    2. Brush Dijon mustard over every side of each rack ,

    3. Then press green breadcrumb mixture all over.

    4.Transfer the pan with the lamb into the oven and bake for 7-8 min.

    Let stand 10 min, then cut into chops. Serve with herb  roasted baby potatoes, stuffed mushrooms and a fresh glass of Leone Rosso wine, doc Orcia 2010 (By Donatella’s Cinelli Colombini factory). Enjoy a happy Easter!

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Marinated Greek lamb souvlaki

Delicious , succulent , crispy outside – juicy pink inside – lamb souvlaki previously marinated in olive oil , oregano , thyme, onion, lemon or lime  juice, coriander , garlic , salt and pepper

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Ingredients for 3 souvlaki 

250 gr lamb leg or shoulder cut into 2cm cubes

1 red onion

1 red pepper

Marinade: Olive oil,  1 lemon, mediterranean herbs such oregano,  thyme, mint, coriander. Onion,  garlic, salt & ground pepper

Method:

  1. Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes
  2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients for marinade.
  3.  Put the lamb pieces into the bowl with the marinade, cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  4. After 4 hours (or after one night) peel and cut the onions, chop the peppers into 2cm pieces and assemble the lamb souvlaki alternating lamb, wedges of onion and pieces of pepper.
  5. Brush the lamb with olive oil and cook over hot grill for about 8-10 minutes,  until cooked to your liking.
  6. Serve with hot Greek pita bread,  tzatziki sauce and fresh Retsina of Attica “Kourtaki” (Greek resinated – with pine resin – wine)

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MEATBALLS WITH APRICOT DIPPING SAUCE

Great for an appetizer or served with cheese , rice, toasted bread, fry or oven roasted potatoes, these  meatballs are served with a sweet apricot, mustard & chilli dipping sauce. 1-carne38

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

1/2 kg ground beef, 300 gr white bread previously soaked in milk and squeezed dry, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 egg , salt , pepper

1. Heat oven to 200°C /400°F. Line a pan with parchment paper

2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture with your hands into meatballs. Place in pan.

3. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE APRICOT  SAUCE

1 can (350gr) apricot jam

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  1. In a large skillet mix  all ingredients together
  2. Cook the mixture for about 1 min on low heat
  3. Add (previously cooked) meatballs in a single layer and cook 2 minutes.

Serve immediately. This mixture is suitable for dipping kebabs, meat or veggie balls and it also makes a great sauce for burgers. Enjoy!

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BLUEBERRY BARBECUE MEATBALLS

Simply to make. Glazed , sticky, oven roasted meatballs with a super easy sweet bbq sauce. They require only 2 ingredients. Jam & a barbecue sauce of your choice. I have used blueberry  jam because i had it from last summer but really work great with whatever preserve you have. If you desire you can add chilli  or tabasco , you can add more than 100 gr bbq sauce. Depends on your personal taste. I use more jam because i like  sweet flavors but if you desire more bbq sauce you can add it. No limits for your fantasy. Serve hot with cheese, fry potatoes , rice or simply as an appetizer.1-carne361-carne43-001

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

1/2 kg ground beef, 300 gr white bread previously soaked in milk and squeezed dry, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 egg , salt , pepper

1. Heat oven to 200°C /400°F. Line a pan with parchment paper

2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture with your hands into meatballs. Place in pan.

3. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BBQ SAUCE

1 can (350gr) blueberry jam

100 gr barbecue sauce of your choice

  1. In a large skillet mix well blueberry jam & barbecue sauce
  2. Cook the mixture on low heat until bubbly and looks like dark caramel
  3. Add (previously cooked) meatballs in a single layer. Stir to coat completely
  4. Let cook -always on low heat – for about 4-5 minutes

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Roast leg of lamb with mint sauce / Ψητο αρνισιο μπουτακι γαλακτος με γλυκοξινη σαλτσα δυοσμου

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Ingredients for the sauce :                                  

  • 1 bunch mint (chopped)                               2 kg quality leg of lamb,  salt
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbs brown sugar

Method:  In a large bowl mix together all ingredients for the sauce ( chopped mint, vinegar, olive oil . brown sugar) Stir to combine.

Score the leg with a knife. With a pastry brush, rub part of the mint mixture all over the leg. Sprinkle all over with salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F . Roast for 1 hour – 1 h &15 min for a mediun rare.

Serve with the mint sauce and a fresh Merlot wine.

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Wild boar ragù with pappardelle/Ραγου αγριογουρουνο με παπαρδελες

A traditional recipe of Tuscany (a region in central Italy) is wild boar ragù with pappardelle (Ragù di cinghiale con pappardelle).

Boars are highly widespread throughout the region, especially in the Maremma, where it has became a local symbol. In Tuscany, wild boar hunting is both a tradition and a passion.

With pasta or in a stew, there are countless Tuscan specialties made with wild boar and you can taste them all at many food festivals (sagre del cinghiale), maybe accompanied by some other local delicacies, such as “tortelli” or “pappardelle” . Here  a 4 steps recipe from “Jamie’s Italy” cook book by Jamie Oliver. Enjoy with a fresh red “Chianti lo Sterpo”

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Sugo di Cinghiale di Mercatello (Jamie Oliver recipe)

2 1/4 lb wild boar cubed, trimmed of fat and sinew
2 large carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled
6 stalks of celery
a handful of sage leaves
1 tsp juniper berries
1 bottle red wine
4 pieces of pancetta, black olives
2 – 3 small dried chilies, to taste
1 1 1/2 lb tomato puree
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

2.Remove the meat from the marinade, discarding the liquid and vegetables. Decide how you wish to serve your sauce and cut the meat accordingly

3.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

4.Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper,  turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook pappardelle in boiling salted water, drain it, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Divide it amongst the plates and sprinkle with Parmesan.   Enjoy with a fresh “Chianti lo Sterpo” red wine from Tuscany.

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A.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. ( I use a large Pyrex glass bowl). Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

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B.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes.

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C.Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

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D. Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper, turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

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Great food in a typical Florence taverna

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Bacon wrapped beef muscle

1-CARNE74-CARNE121-CARNE3Ingredients:  2 beef muscle fillets 2 inches thick –  butter  1 tbs  – 4 slices thick-cut bacon -salt – pepper – asparagus – peas – edible  flowers of your choice

Method: Preheat the oven to 400 ° F

  1. Generously salt & pepper both sides of muscle
  2. Wrap it with a strip of bacon , secure it with a lenght of kitchen string
  3. Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium – high heat. Add butter. When melted, add the fillets , now sear for about 2 min per side until you get a nice crust. Then turn fillet on the bacon side and roll it  for a minute more.
  4. Place the skillet directly into the oven. Roast 5-6 minutes each side for medium rare.  Adjust cooking time for desired doneness.
  5. When fillets are done , remove from the oven , cover with  alluminium foil and let them  rest for 5-10 minutes. This tip give to juices time to  redistribute evenly throughout the meat.
  6. Serve with  grilled asparagus , grilled peas , edible flowers of your choice and a fresh glass of  Brunello di Montalcino (red) wine.

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Pistachio crusted rack of lamb /Καρε’ αρνακι με κρουστα φυστικι/ Carrè di agnello in crosta di pistacchi

1-christmas 2015151-christmas 201513-0011-1-Collage191-christmas 201514-0021-christmas 201516Ingredients: 1 rack of lamb , thyme , lavander ,rosemary, salt , black pepper , 1 cup chopped pistachio , 50 gr melted butter , mustard, oil 1 cup

Method: Preheat oven to 400° F (200°C)

1.Mix all herbs (fine chopped) , salt , pepper and melted butter -all together. Season lamb with the mix

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook lamb on all sides until is brown.Take meat off the heat

3.Spread mustard on a rack and put pistachio on top of mustard

4. Bake it until crusty (about 20- 25 min)

Serve with blue potato mash , grated tangerine peel and fresh “Villa Antinori Rosso” wine 1-christmas 201510-001

Blue potato mash

Ingredients: 4 blue potatoes “Vitelotte” , 200 gr Philadelphia cheese,

  100 ml hot milk , herbs , salt 

Method: Place potatoes in a saucepot. Cover with water and bring to boil.

Cook until tender.

Slice the potatoes in half  and remove the peel

Stir in the hot milk , Philadelphia , chopped herbs  and mash everything together well, until you have  a smooth and homogeneous violet mash.  Season to taste

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Chicken à la Facebook :)

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Ingredients

1.Chicken

2. Wifi connection

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F
  2. Rub the pan with olive oil.(This prevents the chicken from sticking)
  3. Put the chicken in the pan
  4. Trasfer the chicken to the oven
  5. Log in to Facebook
  6. That’s all! Enjoy! 🙂


Chefs tips and tricks: Remember :You can try the same simply recipe with beef, ragù sauce, muffins, strawberry marmalade, vegetables. There are no limits to your fantasy! Take some great ideas down here. E bon appétit ! 🙂pollo bruciato 4pollo bruciato 2


Greek Moussaka’

1-CUCINA 242-002
1-CUCINA 246 1-CUCINA 245-001 1-20150711_134925Moussaka is an eggplant– (aubergine) or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variations.Most versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine (eggplant) and tomato, usually with minced meat. The Greek version includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a Béchamel (“white”) sauce, and baked.

Ingredients

Meat sauce

  • 2 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp or more of lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Bechamel sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The moussaka

  • 3 large globe eggplants
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup grated greek feta cheese
  • Olive oil

Method

Prepare the meat sauce

1 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown the ground meat. By the way, the meat will brown best if you don’t stir it. Add the onions about halfway into the browning process. Sprinkle salt over the meat and onions.

2 Once the meat is browned and the onions have softened, add the garlic, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3 Add the red wine and mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat and continue to simmer gently, uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Mix well and taste. If the sauce needs more acidity, add more lemon juice.

Set the sauce aside.

Prepare the eggplants

4 Mix the 1/2 cup salt with the 8 cups of water in a large pot or container. This will be the brine for the eggplants.

5 Slice the top and bottom off the eggplants. Cut thick strips of the skin off the eggplants to give them a striped appearance. A little skin on the eggplant is good for texture, but leaving it all on makes the moussaka hard to cut later, and can add bitterness, which you don’t want. (Some moussaka recipes leave the skin on and have you slice the eggplants lengthwise, which is an option if you prefer.) Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and drop them into the brine.

6 Let the eggplants sit in the brine 15-20 minutes, then remove them to a series of paper towels to dry. Place a paper towel down on the counter, layer some eggplant on it, then cover with another sheet of paper towel and repeat.

7 To cook the eggplant, broil or grill the rounds. You could also fry the eggplant rounds but they tend to absorb a lot of oil that way. To grill the eggplant rounds, get a grill very hot and close the lid. Paint one side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and grill 2-3 minutes. When they are done on one side, paint the other side with oil and flip. When the eggplants are nicely grilled, set aside. To broil, line a broiling pan or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Paint with olive oil. Place the eggplant rounds on the foil and brush with olive oil. Broil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned on one side, then flip them over and broil for a few minutes more. Set aside.

Prepare the béchamel

8 Heat milk in a pot on medium heat until steamy (about 160 degrees). Do not let simmer.

9 Heat the butter in a small pot over medium heat. When the butter has completely melted, slowly whisk in the flour. Let this roux simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Do not let it get too dark.

10 Little by little, pour in the steamy milk, stirring constantly. It will set up and thicken dramatically at first, but keep adding milk and stirring, the sauce will loosen. Return the heat to medium. Add about a teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg. Stir well.

11 Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when you put them into the sauce. Using two hands, one with a whisk, the other with a ladle, slowly pour in a couple ladle’s worth of the hot béchamel into the eggs, whisking all the time. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the béchamel while whisking the mixture. Keep the sauce on very low heat, do not let simmer or boil.

Finish the moussaka

12 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Layer a casserole with the eggplant slices (use just half of the slices).

13 Cover the eggplant slices with the meat sauce. Then layer remaining eggplant slices on top of the meat.

14 Sprinkle half the cheese on top. Ladle the béchamel over everything in an even layer. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

15 Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.

Let the moussaka cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Enjoy with fresh Retsina  (Traditional Greek pine-resinated wine)



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