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Rigatoni Pasta Pie

Trasform an Italian classic pasta dish into an attractive cheesy pasta pie. Just stuff rigatoni with sauce, layer with mozzarella and bake it for few minutes. Nothing simpler, nothing more delicious & succulent. Bon appétit!3-2018-05-1431-2018-05-14

Ingredients:

500 gr rigatoni pasta

500 gr ground beef meat

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bottle (500ml) tomato sauce
  • Butter, for pan
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 250gr grated mozzarella cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta; cook until slightly underdone.
    Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain. Toss pasta with 1 tbs oil to coat.
    Set aside.
  2.  Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
    Add tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan. Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.
  4.  Spread meat sauce on top of pasta, pushing it into holes. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella on top.
    Bake until cheese is pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.
    Remove from oven, and let stand 15 minutes.
    Run a knife around edge to loosen; unmold.
    Cut into wedges & serve with fresh Rosso di Aprilia DOC red wine

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    (Recipe by Martha Stewart)4-2018-05-145

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Beer roasted pork knuckles / Hasselback potatoes

Pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.  This cut of meat can be cooked with potatoes, greens or in sauces. Beer roasted knuckle is easy, super tasty and juicy/ fork tender dish with a very crispy and flavory skin. Serve it hot with some delicious golden Hasselback potatoes. 1-Snapseed8

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Ingredients: 1 knuckle/person (about 1 kg) – 2bottles dark beer

salt -pepper (optional) – thym (optional) – grated garlic (2 cloves/knuckle) – 2 onions/knuckle,  salt, black pepper (optional)

Method: 1. Peel and slice into rounds 2 onions, lay them in a roasting pan

2. Season knuckles with salt , black pepper, grated garlic, thym. Sit the knuckles on top of the onions. Add a cup of beer (300 ml). Cook in the oven for 30 min (220°C)

[Meanwhile prepare the hasselback potatoes as you desire (empty or with bacon/cheese)]

4. After 30 min pour another cup of beer (300ml).  Place the potatoes around pork knuckle. Roast an additional 1h and lower the temperature to 180°C. After the skin has started to crisp, baste with beer about every 30 minutes or so

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Hasselback potatoes

Ingredients:

 For the empty version: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/ potato) , 2 tbs/potato grated pecorino or parmesan, 2 tbsp/potato dry bread crumbs (optional)

In a bowl mix together grated pecorino romano or parmesan or another grated cheese of your choice,  seasoned dry bread crumbs (optional),  salt , black pepper (optional) , thym (optional)

With cheesy bacon filling: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/potato), bacon,

cheese, grated pecorino or parmesan, salt, pepper (optional), thym (optional)

Method: see below the gallery step by step

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Saragli’

Saragli’ is a traditional Christmas Greek sweet with plenty of grated walnuts and crispy phyllo drizzled  with sweet and spicy syrup.

It is basically  “baklava”  that is rolled instead of layered. Phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, covered in a seasoned walnut mixture, and rolled up. 

If you like crispy pastries, dried fruits, an intense scent of cinnamon and cloves in your home, this is the right recipe for you! Merry Christmas!

This recipe has been adapted by Akis Petretzikis saragli recipe

 

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Ingredients:

For syrup

  • 500 g granulated sugar – 300 ml water – 4 cloves – 1 cinnamon stick – Rind from 1 orange – juice of half orange

For saragli

  • 400 g butter
  • 100 g walnuts
  • 100 g almonds
  • 100 g pistachio nuts
  • 2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 packages phyllo dough (900 g)
  • pistachio nuts, ground, for serving

Syrup:

  • In a pot, add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange rind.
  • Place pot over medium heat.
  • In about 2-3 minutes, as soon as the sugar melts, remove pot from heat.
  • Add the orange juice, stir and set aside to cool.

Saragli’:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  • In a food processor  grind the walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and cloves together. You don’t want to finely grind them but you don’t want to have large pieces because they will rip through the phyllo dough.
  • Transfer the filling to a bowl and transfer the melted butter to a separate bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to 160° C (320° F)
  • Spread out the phyllo dough on a clean working surface.
  • Lay one sheet of phyllo dough separately on your working surface. Drizzle with melted butter, making sure not to let the brush directly touch the phyllo.
  • Cover with another sheet of phyllo and drizzle with butter.
  • Spread the filling over the entire surface.
  • Place two wooden sticks in the middle of the phyllo and roll the smaller side towards the middle, leaving an empty space at the edge.
  • Do not roll too tight and gently press the ends together towards the middle with your hands, creating folds in the phyllo and remove the sticks.
  • Brush a 30×40 cm baking pan with butter and add the sargli.
  • Drizzle with butter immediately and repeat the same process until the baking pan is full of saragli rolls.
  • When the pan is full, drizzle any leftover butter over the sargli rolls.
  • Bake for 70 minutes.
  • When ready, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the scorching hot saragli rolls.The temperature of the pastry must be always opposite than the syrup. This is the key for a successful baklava /saragli’
  • Allow them to soak up the syrup for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with ground pistachio nuts and serve

Two simply ways to cook Brussels sprouts

 

Brussels sprouts contains significant amount of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and dietary fiber. Here are some of the major nutrients in a cup (150 gr) of cooked Brussels sprouts Calories: 56 , Protein: 4 gr , Carbs: 12 gr, Fiber: 4 gr,Vitamin K: 274% of the RDI, Vitamin C: 162% of the RDI, Vitamin A: 24% of the RDI, Folate: 24% of the RDI, Manganese: 18% of the RDI. But the most impressive is their antioxidant content (especially high in kaempferol).  Kaempferol may reduce cancer cell growth, ease inflammation and improve heart health.

Enjoy them “au gratin” with crunchy bacon and creamy cheesy bechamel or simply oven roasted with bacon and olive oil.  A healthy side dish for the Christmas table.

 

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Brussel sprouts au gratin

Ingredients: 200 gr bacon, chopped – 400gr  brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese – 1 teaspoon salt – 500 ml bechamel

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 180°C (256°F)

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until fork tender (10 minutes). Drain.

3. In a skillet fry the chopped bacon over medium heat until is golden & crispy

4. Tranfer the Brussels sprouts in a large baking dish and add the half of chopped bacon. Season with salt.

5. Pour bechamel over sprouts, sprinkle with cheddar and the remaining bacon

6. Bake the sprouts  in a preheated oven at 256°F (180°C) for 20min or until the top is golden. Serve warm.

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Oven roasted brussels sprouts with bacon & balsamic

Ingredients: 400 gr Brussels sprouts – 300 gr chopped bacon – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar – 3 tbsp olive oil – salt

Method: 1. Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F)

2. Wash and slice sprouts in half

3. Put them on a sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients (except balsamic vinegar) and toss to coat with your hands

4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes,  until crispy , and bacon is golden brown. (Stirring halfway through)

5. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and salt

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Fruits & white wine slushie

A slushie is a frozen treat perfect  for hot summer days. Fruits & wine slushie  is made with only two ingredients: Frozen fruits of your choice and your favorite white wine. The quickest way to make a slushy is by using a blender, but if you have an ice cream maker your slushies will have a smoother texture.

In this recipe i use peach & bluebberies but feel free to use any fruit combo you desire. Just put all the ingredients in a blender and you ‘ve got a delicious, perfumed and colorfull glass of slushie

 

Peach & bluebbery

Ingredients for 1 person: Peach & bluebbery

  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches (Cut 1  peach into slices and put in the freezer until frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh white wine 
  • 1tsp sugar (optional)

 

Method: Put all ingredients together in a blender. Pulse until homogeneous. If slushie appears too thick, add more wine. Serve immediately

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Blueberry mojito

Nothing makes a hot summer night better like a cold mojito. Shake up your own refreshing cocktail but this time try to add some sweet blueberries. Extra flavor, extra scent is guaranteed. Enjoy!1-1-DRINKS31-DRINKS41-2017-06-24


Paella de Marisco

Spanish polycromatic symphony that your eyes enjoy before your stomach.

Paella is a Spanish rice dish. It originated in the fields of a region called Valencia in eastern Spain but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces.A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice, various meats , vegetables or seafood. Paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked.

There is a wide variety of paella, such:  1.Paella Valenciana – The original paella was born in Valencia. Besides rice, this includes chicken and pork.   2. Paella de Marisco (Seafood paella) – This paella does not contain meat. It usually contains prawns, mussels, calamares, clams, and other seafood.  3. Paella Mixta – This paella is a mixture of the paella Valenciana and the paella de marisco. It contains both meat and seafood. Sometimes this paella is called Paella Andaluz. 4. Paella Vegetariana – This paella contains a variety of vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers, and rice and does not include any meat or seafood.  5. Paella Negra – This paella is cooked with squid ink and looks black. It may have very small squid.

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  • Ingredients for 4 serves:
  • 10-14 raw shell-on king prawns
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g cuttlefish, cut into chunks
  • 8 shrimp tails
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper (optional)
  • 250g paella rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • pinch of saffron
  •  1/4 x 200g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
  • 300g mussels cleaned
  • 100g frozen peas
  • handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped

For the stock

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • ½ x 200g can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Shrimp heads
  • Prawn shells

Method:

  1. Peel and de-vein the prawns (remove the dark dorsal vein), reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
  2. To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and shrimp heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour 2 litres of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
  3. Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Add chopped cuttlefish . shrimp tails and sautè for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
  4. Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the cuttelfish & shrimp tails to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas (and if you desire the red pepper cut in stripes)
  5. Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving. 

    Enjoy with white wine made from  the Alvarinho ( a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia ),   Verdejo ( a variety of wine grape that has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain)  or sauvignon blanc grapes. These wines should also be served well chilled, between 5 and 8ºC

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Instant cherry ice cream

This 2 ingredients instant ice cream will be ready quicker than it takes to eat it. It comes out of the food processor like soft-serve ice cream. You only need a very ripe banana and cherries. Experiment by adding other frozen fruits such frozen strawberries, peaches, apricots, berries but you can add also nutella, peanut or pistachio butter. All you need is a freezer and a blender. Enjoy!

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1-DRINKS Ice creams2Ingredients for 1 person :

  • 1 ripe or overripe banana, sliced and frozen (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
  • 10 pitted and frozen cherries (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
  • Maple or agave syrup 1 tbs (optional)

Method:

  1. Add bananas and cherries to the food processor and blend.
  2. At first the banana pieces will look crumbled or smashed. Scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times to make sure everything gets blitzed and continue to blend until smooth, approximately 4 -5 minutes.
  3. Scoop ice-cream into bowls or cones and serve immediately with chocolate chips or chopped cherries

If the fruits are frozen rock-hard,  leave it to thaw for about 10 minutes before blitzing, this will make it easier on the food processor

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The authentic Italian “Crema di caffe’ freddo”

Discover  the tastiest italian  iced “crema di caffe’ freddo as it is prepared in Italians bars  and your coffee willl never be the same again.

A creamy and fluffy alternative to traditional coffee.  Crema di caffe’ is an icy mixture of espresso  and whipping cream served in small transparent glasses. Enjoy!

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Spread the inside surface of the glass with Nutella before pouring the cream.  

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Ingredients:

  • 150 ml espresso coffee
  •  300 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp Nutella (optional)

Method:

1. Prepare an espresso.

Dissolve the sugar in the espresso . At this point if you desire you can add 1 tbs of Nutella. Mix  to dissolve

2. In a deep mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream  (300ml) until soft peaks form.

3. Add the espresso coffee

4. Whip again 1 min until homogeneous

4. Pour the mixture into a plastic container and leave in the freezer  for 2-3 hours.

Leave larger quantities in the freezer for longer

5. Once cooled, take the desire amount , whip it or blend it with a handblend until smooth and creamy

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on the top. You can decorate the inside of the glass with some Nutella to give color & chocolate flavor. Enjoy!1-2017-05-263

 

 

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