Giselle’s Parmigiano, Tomino & Guanciale Sformato with a Tomino white sauce.

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Makes 2 in individual ‘soufflé’ dishes.

Drop of EVO
1 medium potato, peeled & cubed
1 very small onion, finely chopped
2 thin slices of guanciale, very finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
drop of milk
Lump – about 75g grated Parmigiano
½ tomino, cubed (small) 
Bit of salt and fresh ground white pepper
Little melted butter.

For sauce – a little béchamel sauce and ½ tomino. Seasoning.

What to do …
Heat oven to 200°C

Boil, drain and mash potato.
In meantime, coat a couple of individual ‘soufflé’ dishes with melted butter and put in fridge to cool.
Heat a drop of EVO in a saucepan or frying pan and gently fry the onion and guanciale until the onion is soft and the guanciale translucent. 
Stir to stop browning.
Add this mix to the mashed potato. Mix.
Add beaten egg. Mix.
Add little drop of milk. Mix.
Add nearly all Parmigiano saving some for topping. Mix.
When the oven is up to heat, add ½ dish of mix and add ½ the tomino cubes.
Add next ½ sformato mix and top with the rest of the tomino cubes and sprinkle with the last of the Parmigiano.

Put in the centre of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

When the sformato has risen above the level of the dish and you can see the cheese has gone golden brown, it’s done. Try not to overdo it, otherwise it’ll be dry.

While the sformato is in the oven, make a quick and thick white sauce (béchamel) and add the other half of the tomino – also cubed and stir over a medium heat until melted. Add some white freshly ground pepper.

Kate’s Roasted Aubergine Soufflé

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Ingredients:
300g aubergines
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
Dried rosemary and thyme

20g flour
20g butter
200 ml milk
small onion
cloves
cinnamon
nutmeg

65g tuma cheese plus 10g
20g parmesan plus 10g

2 egg yolks
2/3 egg whites

Breadcrumbs and butter for greasing the dish

Method:
Chop up the aubergines and put into a roasting tin with the garlic, olive oil and herbs. Roast at 200 C for about 50 mins until browned and soft. Whizz into a paste in the liquidiser. Set aside. (The quantities given will make too much – there’s enough paste here to make 3 two-person soufflés, or 2 soufflés and a lush vegetable pate for spreading on crostini …)

Make a beurre manié by mashing the flour and butter together. Put back into the fridge to chill. Heat the milk, onion and spices to boiling point, then simmer for 5 mins. Strain. Put back on the heat and add the beurre manié a tsp at a time, whisking constantly, until you get a thick sauce. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Grate the 65g tuma / 20g parmesan. Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg yolks and the cheese into the white sauce, along with two-thirds of the aubergine paste. Taste for seasoning, then set aside.

Butter the soufflé dish with upward strokes (I forgot to do this. Apparently it has a bearing on the rise, so will try it next time), then coat with breadcrumbs. Put in the fridge to chill.

Heat the oven to 200 C.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. (I used two in this recipe, but I think 3 would have been better.)

Split the aubergine base into two equal portions. Set one aside for the next soufflé. Fold the egg whites into the other, a third at a time.

Spoon half the soufflé mix into the dish. Sprinkle over the 10g tuma. Add the rest of the soufflé mix. Sprinkle over the parmesan. (I put both cheeses on top of the soufflé on this attempt, but think the tuma would be better in the middle.) Put straight into the oven and drop the temperature immediately to 190 C. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Temple’s Sformatini di zucchine e ricotta con coulis di pomodori

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Ingredients:
1-2 medium zucchine chiare
300g ricotta
50g diced cooked ham
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 egg
1tbsp flour
Olive oil
S&P
For the coulis:
canned tomatoes
Olive oil
S&P
Using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, slice the raw zucchini very thinly—they should be pretty pliable. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients evenly.
Lightly oil 4 ramekins and carefully drape the zucchini slices so there is a bit of overhang. Use about 3-4 slices per ramekin to almost cover the bottom and sides. Fill with the ricotta mixture up to the top and gently fold the “tails” over the top.
Bake in a 200° oven for about 30 minutes, until the sformati have puffed up and any ricotta showing is golden.
Meanwhile make the coulis: press the canned tomatoes through a sieve using the back of a spoon, so you have just thin tomato puree (do not substitute paste). Cook over a low heat with a little oil and S&P until slightly thickened, enough to coat a spoon generously.
Unmold the sformatini onto plates and pour a little coulis over them. Serve hot.

Mary’s Sformato di carciofi e proscuitto

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150g/1 cup of slightly cooked artichoke hearts
50g/ 1/c minced prosciutto
120g/2 cups grated gruyere
20g/ 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1 med. yellow onion, diced
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
besciamella
1 cup toasted fresh bread crumbs
olive oil
salt
pepper

Besciamella
75g unsalted butter
35g flour
700g whole milk
salt
pepper
nutmeg

Butter 6 6oz ramekins. Coat with the toasted bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

To make the besciamella, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the mixture turns a light golden brown. In the meantime, gently heat the milk in another pot until just below a boil. When the flour mixture is ready, add the milk a third at a time whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. Add salt and pepper to taste plus a couple of gratings of nutmeg. Set aside to cool until ready to use.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil then the chopped onions. Cook until transparent, then add the partially cooked minced artichokes. Continue cooking until the onions are golden and the artichokes are completely cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the gruyere, half of the P.R., the cooled artichoke mixture, the eggs and yolks which have been lightly mixed together, and all of the cooled besciamella. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and place into a large roasting pan. Place in the preheated oven then pour water into the roasting pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and from the roasting pan and rest for 15 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges to loosen the sformato, invert onto a plate, top with the remaining P.R. and the toasted bread crumbs and serve.

MARINA’S STUFFED FENNEL WITH PROSCIUTTO

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4 bulbs fennel. Young outer leaves.
Remove leaves and boil for about 10 minutes till tender.

Chop up the fennel hearts and small onion and fry in 10 gm butter for a few minutes till tender.

20 gm butter
150 gm Prosciutto
200 gm Ricotta Cheese
2 egg yolks
30 gm parmigiano cheese

Chop up prosciutto and mix with cheese and egg yolks. Mix in the fennel and onion and add salt and pepper as per taste. Spoon into fennel leaves, sprinkle with more cheese and dot with remaining 10gm butter flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake in 180 degree oven till slightly brown roasted.

Amy’s Fennel with Pecorino, Speck and Fried Molicca di Pane

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4 bulbs of fennel, chop them up fine. Sautee with butter and a drop of oil about 5 minutes then add milk about 150 ml, cover and cook at low heat about 6 minutes, add speck and let cook at low heat about another 5 minutes and then add another 100ml of milk and grate pecorino 75 grammi, cook on low for 8 minutes add another dash of milk and a pinch of parmigiano for 3 minutes, add salt and pepper q.b. and serve

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.

Tina’s Finocchio Gratinato

 

 

I had no idea what I’d do with Parmigiano Reggiano for this challenge, so I took to searching on the internet like anyone would do. I wound up straight at the source – http://www.parmigiano-reggiano.it/ and found a very simple recipe using fennel. I altered it a bit to my liking; for example, I didn’t feel the recipe called for enough cheese.

1 medium fennel bulb
salt
a knob of butter
a good handful or so of grated Parmigiano

Peel the fennel at the hardest parts, cut it and cook it briefly in salted water. (The original recipe calls to cut it in half, but I sliced mine several times as I preferred smaller pieces.)
Drain the fennel, melt the butter in a frying pan and lightly brown it.
Place the fennel baking dish, sprinkle it with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and bake it until the cheese is completely melted.* Serve hot.

* I baked at about 150C and did not time it; I just kept my eye on the cheese.

GISELLE’S VERSION OF MELANZANE PARMIGIANA…

Here’s my trial and error (and what I have in the fridge) recipe for Melanzane Parmigiana (Parmesan Aubergine/Eggplant) –

 

My own version – I KNOW it’s not a traditional version, before the purists slate me!!

You’ll need – A large plump fresh aubergine sliced into 1cm rounds

Grated parmigiano – a nice little mountain of it!

Chopped or coarsely grated ball of mozzarella.

Tomato sauce

EVO

Finely chopped onion

Couple cloves finely chopped (or crushed) garlic

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Tablespoon tomato concentrate

Big handful of basil leaves, ripped up.

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

(Glug of red wine, if you want to make it richer)

About 200-250ml of beschamel sauce – if no time, the little tetra packs are a reasonable substitute for making it yourself!

What you need to do …

Heat the oven to a med-hot heat. I use about 180°c (I’m doubting myself now – is it °C or °F? You’ll know!)

Get a griddle pan nice and hot – no oil.

Cook the aubergine slices until tender and very slightly charred along the lines of the griddle. Put them to one side as you cook them, you’ll need to do the slices in batches, I doubt if you have a griddle pan big enough to do them all in one go!

While they are cooking, get your tomato sauce sorted …. In a saucepan, add a good glug of EVO and warm up – add the onion and stir a little to coat in the oil.

After the onion has softened slightly, add the garlic and stir that around too, coating it in the oil. Cook gently for about 5 minutes stirring frequently to stop the onion and garlic browning.

When they are nice and soft add the tin of tomatoes and about a tablespoon of tomato concentrate. (You can add your glug of wine at this stage if you want!)

Stir everything well and bring back to a simmer.

Add the ripped basil leaves & seasoning.

Stir, simmer for 15/ 20 minutes or so until the onions are really soft and the sauce has thickened.

When the sauce is done to your liking and the aubergines are cooked, start layering!

Start with a bottom layer of a bit of the tomato sauce.

Then aubergine

Then some blobs of beschamel dotted over

Then a hefty sprinkling of parmigiano

Then tomato sauce…

Then start again.

Finish with a layer of aubergine.

Absolutely finish with a mix of parmigiano and mozzarella.

Into the oven for about 30 minutes.

You want it to be browned a little on top and bubbling away – and of course for the tomato sauce to have soaked into the aubergines!

Leave it to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

It is a fairly ‘saucy’ dish, but REALLY tasty!

Now, silly me, I was so taken with eating this, I forgot to get a picture of it when it was on my plate! Rest assured, it was pretty damned good!

Sarah & Mark’s Chicken Caesar Baskets

 

This perfect summers day lunch is so easy to make and so delicious to eat. The parmesan baskets are a fantastically simple idea and are light and chewy but crisp. Wonderful!

Chicken Caesar Baskets (Makes 4)

For the Baskets:
2 cups grated parmesan
1 empty jam jar or glass

For the Filling:
1 large chicken breast
2 strips of bacon or speck
Romaine lettuce
chives

For the Caesar Dressing:
2 cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

First make your baskets:
1. Take a handful of parmesan and a hot flat griddle
2. Spread the parmesan in the centre of the griddle in a circle, thicker towards the centre and thinner towards the edges (this will make the edges more lacy)
3. Heat, then once bubbling and slightly starting to turn golden, remove from the heat
4. Loosen parmesan disk from the griddle with a spatular and as soon as you can, pick it up and drape over the up-side-down jam jar.
5. Make creases to form the bowl shape.
6. Remove from the jam jar and set aside to cool.

For the dressing:
1. Mash the garlic and anchovies together – if you have a mini blender then this is perfect.
2. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, egg yolk and then whisk in the olive oil. Blitz or whisk together until thick and creamy.

Now for the filling:
1. Slice chicken breast into small pieces and cook on a hot griddle (with any seasoning you may like)
2. Cook bacon in a similar way and cut into strips
3. Wash lettuce, tear into small pieces and toss in the Caesar dressing
4. Place a handful of the lettuce in the bottom of each basket, top with the chicken, bacon strips and chopped chives and you are done.
5. Yummy!