Maureen’s Steamed Mussels with Fennel, Tomato, Grappa & Cream


1 tblsp EVOO 1/4 cup grappa

2 shallots minced 4 cloves garlic finely minced

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 bulb fennel trimmed and sliced thin

1 large tomato cubed 2 Kg mussels cleaned

1/2 cup white wine

1/3 cup basil leaves

salt & pepper to taste

Heat EVOO in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel and cubed tomato and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Mix the white wine, grappa and heavy cream together. Add to the pot and bring to a hard simmer. Add the mussels and the 1/2 the basil leaves. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until all mussels have opened. Serve immediately garnished with remaining basil leaves and crusty bread.

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Dwight’s “Save your life” Fennel and Ginger Soup


This soup cures cancer, prevents cancer, works on all kinds of menstrual and bowel symptoms and gives you fresh breath 🙂
medium fresh ginger peeled and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves

3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 quarts of water
1 large fennel, cored and diced
Parmigiano reggiano cheese grated
Salt and pepper
sourdough croutons

Saute’ the 1st three ingredients until soft and bring to a boil with the fennel and carrots in the salted water, decrease heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. (If the ginger is too strong for you, add water or think of the soup as chemotherapy hehe)
Serve hot with the sourdough croutons and grated P-R and enjoy a long and healthy life.

Anita’s Fennel SoufflĂ©

500gr Fennel
½ glass white wine
200ml Bechamel sauce

70 gr Ginger
3 eggs
pinch nutmeg
salt & Peppe
4 tbsp Grated Pecorino cheese
4 tbsp olive oil

clean the fennel and slice finely saute in the olive oil add the wihite wine and cover with a lid simmer til cooked.
Make the bechamel sauce add the green of the fennel and grated ginger season with S&P. Put all ingriedients in a mixer and mix till thick and creamy.
Prepare ramekins ( use the small ones made of Alu ) and pour in the mixture put in baking tray with hot water and bake in a pre heated oven for 40 minutes at 180° c make 8 to 9
Sauce

200ml cream
Knob of butter
6 tbsp grated Pecorino
2 pkt Saffron
Melt the butter and add the cream with the saffron and grated Pecorino .
To serve using knife ease out carefully from the ramekins onto a plate and decorate with the sauce and some chopped green from the fennel.

Amber’s Fennel Salad with Apple, Orange, Arugula and Pinoli


1 fennel bulb
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cored
2 large Oranges, Squeeze one, segment the other
70 grams of Arugula

3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry pan, but do not burn)
2 small or 1 medium Shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup Olive Oil
S and P to taste

Combine chopped shallots, vinegar, oil, juice of one orange salt and pepper in a jar, close tightly and shake vigorously.
Using a mandolin set to quite a thin setting, slice fennel and apple.
Combine everything, mix, let sit for a few minutes, (but not so long that it wilts!!) and eat.

Sally’s ERBAZZONE O SCARPAZZONE REGGIANO

ERBAZZONE O SCARPAZZONE REGGIANO – dough: flour O, mineral sparkling water, oilve oil and milk in about the same quantities, salt. The filling: bietoline da taglio (chards), parmigiano reggiano, garlic, parsley, rice or ricotta, salt. – Make the dough and let in rest in a bowl while you cook the cards, then squeeze all the water out of them. Slightly fry the garlic ( at least three cloves for this quantity) and the parsley, add the chopped up cards, rice (or ricotta) and the parmigiano and mix them all together. Stretch the dough, put thevcompound on it – cook in pre-heated oven for about 20 min. It could be covered with dough or not. If you don’t cover it with dough sprinkle some parmigiano reggiano on top.

Giselle’s Chilli Recipe

I use minced beef – good quality from the butchers. about 400g
1 onion chopped
several cloves of garlic crushed
1 tin chopped toms
1 big dollop tomato paste out the tube
Big glug of whatever red wine you have to hand
1 tin red kidney beans (Lidl) drained
Hot chilli powder about a teaspoon
Ground cumin about 2 teaspoons
Fresh coriander if you have it – I grow my own. Handful
If you have some unsweetened coco powder, a teaspoon of this is amazing!

Fry up the garlic and onion in olive oil until softened, but not browned.
Whack up the heat a bit and add the minced beef and break up, fry until meat is browned. 
Add all the other ingredients except the coriander if you have it.
Mix it up, bring it to the boil, turn it down to a bare simmer, cover and cook for at the very least 45 mins. Stir from time to time to stop it sticking.

Marina’s Best Fig Chutney in the World……ever! Via “A Mother in France”

Fig Chutney

1.5kg Black figs quartered ( or any figs can be used)
1 kg sugar
3 onions chopped roughly
500g mixed raisins and sultanas
1 lt good quality red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
2 teaspoons all spice
2 tablespoons chilli sauce (sweet or not up to you!)
6 garlic cloves crushed
salt and pepper
Place all ingredients together and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours till good chutney consistency (whatever that is).
Jar…. This chutney gets better with age (although we have never had it long enough to find out!).

Rossi’s Bulgarian Chicken Soup

You just have to boil the chicken (i buy pieces like tighs and remove the skins and fat for obvious reasons) with the bay leaves, 2-3 whole pepper corns and 2-3 allspice corns to make the stock – when ready you strain the liquid and de-bone the chicken and cut it into small pieces. In your soup pot you saute 1 finely chopped onion, 1-2 carrots, 1 medium courgette for a few minutes, add the stock and the chicken pieces, boil for 10 mins, add half cup of finely cut spaghetti or other small pasta shapes and boil until that’s done, approx another 15 minutes. Season with parsley and/or origano, leave to cool 10 mins . Now, in Bulgaria we never have clear soups, they are all finished off with an egg – you beat 1 egg with a sprinkling of citric acid (guess a drop or two of vinegar can also be used), you then add some of the soup liquid little by little into the bowl with the beaten egg, whisking constantly and then pour the eggy liquid into the big pot. It sounds fiddly, but it isn’t, it’s quite nice. Must ask mum why we do this….no doubt there is a reason hahahaha

Jill’s Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake

I just added a recipe for chocolate cake. I am not a baker at all but this cake comes out perfect every time! It’s a recipe from the US that has been circulating between friends in Venice for years. I have no idea where it originally came from and don’t take credit for it, but if you are looking for an easy and delicious cake, this is a good recipe to try.

1 3/4 c. unsifted all-purpose flour

1 3/4 c. white sugar

3/4 to 1 c. dark cocoa

1 1/2 tsps. baking soda

1 1/2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. milk (2% or whole)

2 tsps. vanilla

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 c. boiling water

(These last 2 ingredients are the secret to its moistness and denseness — they make it virtually impossible to overbake it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed (or you can mix it well by hand too).  Stir in the boiling water (the batter will thin significantly).

Pour into a greased and floured 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted into middle comes out clean.  Cool