Friday, November 9, 2007

Mustard crusted rack of lamb

It hard for me to believe that I've felt in love with the lamb!!! I don't know if it was because I've tasted it for the first time in a very special occasion or because the chef cooked it so gooooood....!!!!
Anyway, considering that I've grown up in a family (I'm talkin the all clan of 50 people: cousin, aunts, uncles etc) where lamb wasn't really present on our table (except for an uncle who' s from Puglia, an Italian southern region, where is common to consume lamb), for me it's has been harder to even think to cook it!!! Actually everybody raised their own pigs, turkeys, rabbit, hens for the eggs and rooster, while we use to get the beef from our friendly farmer; so we were used to eat whatever we produced. And lamb wasn't included!
Anyway, yesterday, while I was wandering among the aisles of the grocery store, my eyes went on this beautiful rack of lamb, perfect size to handle and really inviting!
So I said to myself "why not, let's give it a try!!!" and remembering a preparation that I saw in tv few days agos (what a coincidence!!!) I've finally cooked my first lamb!!!
This recipe is really easy, no messy at all and elegant, perfect for a formal dinner (of course, the guest should like the lamb!!!)



Ingredients for 2:

1 lb rack of lamb
2 big tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven at 425 F.
Mix the mustarl, garlic and rosemary together (for a less grainy paste, blend the igredients together.
Season the rack with salt and rub with the mustard; put the rach bone down in a pan that can go in the oven and roast the rack for 40 minute (medium rare). Remove from oven, cover with aluminu foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes (to allow the juices to redistribuite inside the meat). Slice it and serve!

I've serve the lamb with 1 purple cauliflower sautee' in few tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon anchovies paste, 1 handful of sliced kalamata olives amnd 1 teaspoon minced garlic.

Enjoy it!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Best Halloween Costumes 2007

Come on, you still have 7 hours to vote the best costumes. If you still didn't do it, go ahead and vote! We are going to start the count down prestty soon! Who will be the winner????
To vote, just go here and follow the instructions!




Nurse and Patient



Rodeo Clowns


Backwood Man



Hugh Hefner and Playmate of the Year



Whitetrash and Little Butterfly





Pirates 1


Baseball Man

Cleveland Fans


Pirates 2

Hippies

Sexy Attendant and Pilot




Iowa Cowboys


Darkman
Braveheart Movie Characters


Surgeon and Nurse

Bikers






Flinstones









Vampires

Big LoserTeams

THE BEST WIN!!!

WORK IN PROGRESS


To make things easier for me and all the friends are reading this blog in English, I've decide to create an English version of my original blog caffeine for two. It will contains the same recipes and the same pictures, but it will have is own space and personality!

At this moment, it will containe only the latest posts, but I'll try to adjorny as fast as I can, bringing over this side the recipe from the other blog. You will still find the recipe in English under the older posts, but not anymore under the newest.

Thank you for you patience and I hope you will like it!

Trout amandine on cedar plank


Few days ago, my husband came back from a fishing trip, bringing with him few nice trout's fillets.
My unconditioned love for the bbq would have like grill the fish the way it was, but my innate passion for experimentation tells me differently. So, I've decided to try a recipe that I've recently tasted in a restaurant, but in the grilled version. I'm talking about the trout amandine, a French dish very famous in Louisiana due to the Creole population. Originally, the recipe includes few ingredients: flour (that in my case I didn’t use), lemon juice, parsley and trout (or sole) of course. The procedure is quite simple, but I’ve decide to give it a twist: cooking it on a cedar plank.

For this recipe I don’t have a precise amount of the ingredients, since is really to personal taste the flavoring. So just follows these simple directories:
  • Wash the fillets and pat them dry. Season them with salt and pepper, brush with butter and drizzled with lemon juice.
  • In the meantime, melt more butter in a pan with few tablespoon of lemon juice; stir in the sliced almond and let them get toasted.

  • Place 2 fillet on a cedar plank (previously soaked in water for at least 1 hour). Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top and top each fillet with some almonds and butter.

  • Cook the fish on the grill – with the lid on – for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • I've served the fish with grilled white asparagus and bok choy and I've accompanied with a French white wine, the Fleur de Bernon.

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    Spooky Halloween


    It's almost Halloween.
    Everybody in my neighbourn is busy decorating the houses for the occasion: pumpkins, ghost, witches, purple and orange lights, every scary thing you can think of, is there hanging from trees or from windows.
    For the children is a feast almost as big as Christmas, since they are going hunting treats all over!
    But also for the adults, if they can take part of a party such the one we - my husband and I - went yesterday evening. It has been organized by the company for which my husband works and they took good care of everything: live music with an awesome band, playing classic rock; the margarita distributor machine; Mexican food a la carte, a table for children with games and activities. It was so much fun. And the costumes? Amazing! But this is a different story!
    So could we miss the dessert? Absolutlely no!.. so cupcakes for everybody!!!!



    Ingredients
    for 43 mini-muffin size cupcakes and 12 regular muffin

    For the cake:

    6 eggs
    325 gr sugar
    300 gr flour
    50 gr unsweetened cocoa
    1 1/2tablespoon baking powder
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup buttermilk

    Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour with cocoa,cinnamon and baking powder. Mix buttermilk and oil.
    Stir in the egg batter 1/3 of the flour and mix well. Stir in half of the liquids. Continue with 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the liquids and the last flour, mixing well between each addition. Pour the batter in the muffin paper cups and bake at 350F for 10 minutes the smalls and 15 minutes the regular. Check after the first 8 minutes for the small ones. Remeber time varies depending on oven's temperature. Let them cool, frost them and decorate.

    Frosting (adapted from Country Living October 2007)
    8 oz cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    2 1/4 teaspoon cocoa
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon orange extract
    ***
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    orange food colorind as needed

    Beat the cream with the sugar and the food coloring to soft peek. Keep refrigerated.Beat the cream chease until fluffy. Add gradually the rest of ingredients until well combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream until well combined. Use to fill o frost cake and cupcakes.


    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Behind a recipe...

    Any recipe is made by words, numbers, maybe pictures. They can taste or smell, but still... they get their own life only when they have a story behind. Nothing special: maybe the recipe was created for a special person or in a particular moment; or it is the one that your grandmother used to make so often...ricetta del marchese

    This recipe- the one featured in the picture - has prestigious and noble roots, though. It was created by the Marquis Antonio Altoviti Avila, of the illustrious Altoviti's family and also son-in-law of the Italian General Pietro Badoglio.

    The Altoviti family goes back to the XIII century; it is well known to protect the most famous artists of the Renaissance, such as Vasari, Cellini, Raffaello. And even when the times became tougher, they kept protecting artists and poets. This until the first World War, when the belle epoque ended.This recipe  is the simbol of that generation of people, with no more luxury, but with so much flair.


    Marquis’ Cold Pasta

     

    300 gr rigatoni pasta

    15-20 black olives

    2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

    1 tablespoon chives, chopped

    100 gr white fish caviar (if you can afford it, use the real deal!!!)

    150 gr marinated tuna in olive oil

    1/2 tablespoon anchiovies paste

     

    Melt the anchiovies paste in a pan; add olives and tuna and cook for few minutes. Cook the pasta al dente, drain it and dress it with the tuna sauce. Let cool. When is cold, stir in the caviar and the chopped herb. Stir well and enjoy it!

     

     pasta del marchese

    A special thanks to Luvi that gave me  the material to work with!

     
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