Monday, 23 March 2015

Chocolate sweet bread


Who has never taken bread and chocolate for a snack? It was funny to me to discover what the French call pain au chocolat, which is not our bread and chocolate, but what we call chocolate Neapolitan or chocolate cane. I always loved the bread with chocolate. Not as much as one of my sisters, who for a while was unable to eat chocolate without bread, eating even bonbons with bread. Anyway, I admit that my addiction to bread and chocolate as a kid was the starting point of my current and confessed adult addiction to chocolate. So, walking around the idea of bread and chocolate, nothing easier than making a bread-bun- brioche, a bread dough enriched with eggs, with chocolate heart, and watch it grow in the oven, and then cut a slice and eventually found the chocolate in the inside, with a not too sweet, but fluffy and tender surrounding.
So this is the result of the last session of baking: a piece that replaces the industrial bakery and comfort you with your coffee providing a real pleasure. A simple pleasure, but really tasty.





Chocolate sweet bread

Ingredients (for a cake mold)

2 eggs, beaten
175 ml of milk
45 grams butter, softened
1 / 2 teaspoon salt
500 grams of bread flour
50 grams of white sugar
25 grams fresh yeast

For the filling
125 grams of black chocolate to melt,
chopped

1 beaten egg to paint the bread.
Oil for greasing the pan.


Preparation

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Place in the bread maker the milk with yeast, and the rest of the ingredients in the order they appear. Use the kneading program. Once finished, degas the dough on a floured surface and form a rectangle with her. Put the chocolate into pieces lengthwise, and roll the dough into a cylinder. Place the roll of dough into an oil greased cake pan, and let the dough ferment again until it stands out from the mold.
Preheat oven to 200  C. degrees, paint the surface with beaten egg and bake for 35-40 minutes. If the surface browns too much, cover with foil.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Vegetable salad


This is hardly a recipe. It is rather an idea to degrease in one of those days when you know you should have a salad and you think you have nothing to preapre it. For those days when you know you need some vegetables, but you do not want or do not know how to prepare them, or do not have time, or you feel like ordering your take away. For one day like that, just think twice.

If you see in the vegetable drawer some carrots, some leeks, a couple of zucchini, maybe even some other vegetable, you will not need anything else. All you need is to peel them with a vegetable peeler into strips, like noodles, so they are so thin that you will not even need  to blanch them. In in a couple of minutes you will have a very light salad.
Add vinaigrette to taste - I have made a vinaigrette with a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds to give it crunch.

Vegetable Salad

Ingredients

• Celery
• White onion
• Leek
• Zucchini
• Carrot
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon vinegar
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preparation

Wash vegetables thoroughly, dry and cut into strips with a vegetable peeler. Put them on a plate or serving bowl. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients to emulsify. Soy sauce is salty, so it is not necessary to add more salt. Dress, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with sauce on the side to taste.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Almond chicken soup


It is my belief that a good bowl of soup can fix almost, almost anything. It does not even need to be a hot soup in the middle of a flu or in a cold night after a horrible day. Even in summer, I love a cold soup, or a liquid custard for dessert.

I guess my love for soup will be an advantage when I become a venerable old lady with no teeth. Until then, I love soups in all their forms and I never get tired of making soups and custards. The secret, in all cases, is a good stock as base, either beef, chicken or vegetables. I usually prepare my own stock in quantity and freeze to go using it as required. But now you can find a full range of quite good quality commercial stock types so you can prepare soup in a moment. Another advantage of  this recipe is that everything is cooked in the same pot, so if you have the stock ready,  in just 15 minutes you'll have your soup on the table, and cleaning the kitchen will not take longer than that.


Almond Chicken Soup

1/2 onion
50 grams of raw almonds, chopped or powdered
1 clove of garlic
Fresh parsley leaves
400 grams chicken breast into cubes
1 liter of chicken broth
A few sprigs of thyme or herbs to taste
Oil

Preparation

In a heavy bottomed pan, put a few drops of oil and sautée the onion over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of water to finish cooking onion, until it is transparent. While onion is cooking (it takes about 5-7 minutes), mash in a mortar the almonds with diced garlic and parsley until you have a paste. If necessary, you can add a tablespoon of the broth to bind it.
Once the onion is cooked,  add the crushed mortar and fry lightly. Add chicken cut in dices of similar size and fry lightly. Do not worry: cook just the outside, the inside will cook later. Add broth and thyme sprig or herbs to taste. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Aubergine bruschetta



This bruschetta is, in fact, a light alternative to bruschetta. A much lighter starter, or a first course, if you take more than one, that is packed with a lot flavor, but  really light and healthy. I would love to say that it is my idea, but I can not. It's a recipe I saw at a wonderful blog, with spectacular photography, and always, always, always full of great inspiring ideas: Smitten Kitchen. I have removed the cheese from the original version, so the dish is even lighter, I've added red pepper and I have changed mint by basil. But basically, it follows the original great recipe.


Aubergine bruschetta

Makes 2 portions

1 to 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium  aubergine in 2 cm  thick slices
1 finely diced onion
2 ripe diced medium tomatoes
1 Red pepper, finely diced
Basil leaves
2 teaspoon vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper.



Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange aubergine rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
Meanwhile, mix your onion, tomatoes, red pepper, basil, vinegar and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning. Add more vinegar, if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
When the aubergine discs are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salad over each round. Eat immediately.