Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's all about roasting strawberries...

The recipe for scones is straightforward and well known. The note of interest, are the roasted strawberries.  A few minutes in the oven and a fruity concentrated aroma will erupt to invade the air with a tangible flavor.  This can actually be a 2 for 1 recipe because roasted strawberries alone are delicious .  Scones, well... we know how good they are.  Two separate recipes combined to enhance the flavors of each through the integrity of one.  

What I really love about roasted strawberries is how the seeds develop a crunchy pop giving that extra “something” to the tender texture of the strawberries.  If you don’t want to add them to scones, add them to your yogurt for breakfast, use them to top your ice cream, or just have them with a dollop of whipped cream.  I know you will love them any way!

Recipe - Roasted Strawberry Scones

For the strawberries:

400 g strawberries hulled and sliced in 4

Preheat oven at 180°C.  Place the strawberries on a baking tray lined with waxed paper.  Roast in the oven for 15/20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. 

For the scones:

190 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
50 g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
8 g baking powder
a pinch of salt
85 g cold butter, cut in small cubes
60 ml heavy cream or plain white yogurt
2 large eggs, 1 for dough, 1 for glaze

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a large bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  

Place the dried strawberries in the flour mixture.  Add the cream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a soft dough.

Place the dough on a well floured surface and shape it into a ball.  Flatten the dough with your hands 2 cm thick and cut in 6 or 8 wedges (depending how big you want them).

Place the scones on a baking tray lined with waxed paper brush ach wedge with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15/20 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Savory Asparagus Gelato

Asparagus GelatoAsparagus Gelato *Asparagus Gelato **

If you like asparagus and most importantly, if you are adventurous and open to new flavors just like me, this is a “go for” recipe. That sort of thing you surprise your friends with and your taste buds.  Be prepared because this is not the gelato you are expecting.  It’s far from the common concept of gelato and from the sweetness you would flavor from a pistachio or chocolate gelato.  It falls under the savory category but without the salt.  In its way, it is sweet, a different natural sweetness, like that of fresh spring peas, in this case asparagus, with a delicate vegetable taste background.  You won’t serve this as dessert, some do, rather this suits a perfect antipasto and you just need a scoop to enjoy plentiness of flavor.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Just another bagel


I was holding back from posting another bread recipe, then I made these bagels last weekend and I couldn't resist.  Yes, I know, I'm a bread person - crunchy out and soft inside :-)

The two most prominent bagel styles in North America are the Montreal-style bagel and the New York-style bagel.  The Montreal bagel contains malt and sugar with no salt.  It is boiled in honey-sweetened water before baking in a wood-fired oven and it is predominately either of the poppy "black" or sesame "white" seeds variety.  The New York bagel contains salt and malt and is boiled in water prior to baking in a standard oven.  The resulting New York bagel is puffy with a moist crust, while the Montreal bagel is smaller (though with a larger hole), crunchier and sweeter (thank you Wikipedia).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Carciofo alla Giudia

I don’t know why, but I never attempted to make this typical Roman Jewish-style artichoke, until now.  In a way, it has always intimidated me and I keep placing it behind my infinite list of things-to-do.  To be honest, I did make it once and it turned out horrible… I omitted the part where I was supposed to remove the hard leaves, thinking they were needed to get that typical sunflower shape.  Big mistake!  … it took a whole roll of dental floss to pull out the leaves stuck in between my teeth.  I decided I would give it a second chance, only when I was 100% sure I’d get it straight.    

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Sweet Craving for Strawberries

Crêpes cover

If you live in Rome, you’ll notice that as soon as April comes around, you’ll start seeing strawberries in grocery stores and farm markets.  This may lead you to think that they are now in season and “in a way” they are,  but…