Not sure how I got myself into this….I went to the shop to buy milk and I left with a whole duck! Why? I am asking myself, why?? Anyway regardless on why I felt the urge to buy a whole duck, it was now in my fridge and I had no idea how to cook it.
So I thought the best way was to keep it simple. All I did was to season it with pepper and salt and roast it in the oven at 200 degrees until it was well coloured. It looked great! Then I used it for other receipees as the taste was a little bit too strong to eat on its own!
Something I do well is simple chicken broth. I generally make it to use in risotto, or to make “pastina in brodo” (little pasta with broth). It is healthier, cheaper and tastier than the broth you buy. I was talking to my friend Amanda yesterday and I’ ve realised I’ ve never posted this recipe in the “Learning to make” section. So here it is, chicken broth – brodo di pollo.
- chicken bones and skins. I' ve roasted a chicken ate the meat and reserved the carcasse for the broth.
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1 potato, peeled
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 courgette
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 sage leaves
- a bunch of parsley
- salt and pepper
- a good splash of Olive oil
- 1 1/2 lt cold water
1) wash and peel all the veggies
2) add all the ingredients to a big pot
3) bring to the boil, then let it simmer on a low heat for a full hour, more if you have the time.
4) filter the liquid and use it for your risotto or other need. I like to also use the veggies in the risotto, mashed, for added low fat creaminess. Enjoy
When the days are warm and sunny like today, I dont feel like staying indoors, even less to be cooking (or attempting to, as many of you pointed out my Aubergine Pie looked a bit burned….), so I open the fridge and proceed to empty its content in my version of a rice salad. My sisters laugh at it, but we quite enjoy it, it is very healthy with 6 or 7 different veggies, it can be vegan or vegetarian, just add only veggies and use Olive oil to dress. And let’s face it, very little cooking, minimum washing up, what’s there not to like….anyway try my “all goes in rice salad” , don’ t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it’s really very quick to do.
Continue reading Summer Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso
So after last week’s flop, with my Aubergine pie (yes I know it wasn’t supposed to be burned….but it really didn’t taste that….burned…), I’ ve decided to go back to the beginning, and to try healthy snacks first. With summer almost here it’s good to reduce the calories intake. I am starting with a mackerel salad. Although ….I find it is rather challenging to write about a salad…what do you say: wash the leaves?…. Well it might be a good point actually, I knew somebody in Australia during my student days, who never washed their vegetables…actually everybody I knew wasn’t :-)). I know why not use prewashed salad in a bag….well if you are into healthy organic than bagged salad won’t do it for you. Anyhow this is my low calories budget friendly tinned mackerel salad. It’s delicious, it helps if you are hungry…I leave you to it. Next I’ ll share bruschetta. Enjoy!
- Ingredients serves 2:
– a tin of mackerel or any other fish
– Half a lettuce head ( or a bag of mixed salad)
– a handful of cherry tomatoes halved
– a third of cucumber, peeled
– one carrot sliced
– a few radishes
– Olive oil
– salt and pepper
1) in a bowl add all the ingredients, season and mix well
2) eat with crackers or bread.
I have to admit for someone who is learning to cook, an aubergine pie might sound very ambitious….but that’s the beauty of this dish, it is fairly simple, it uses basic ingredients: sliced aubergines, flour, eggs, tomato sauce, cheese. In the south of Italy they sprinkle salt on the slices of aubergines, which is supposed to help drain the water naturally present in this vegetable…..no need to say that I totally skip this step, I don’t have the time, and at least with the aubergines we find here, I can’t tell the difference.
I have already shared step 1 of this dish: toss the aubergines in flour then dip it in whisked egg and cheese and fry it (Golden fried Aubergines).
Step 2 is to prepare a quick tomato sauce and to then layer the fried slices with sauce and cheese: delicious!! It’s great for guests: you can fry the slices ahead and assemble it just before eating, serving it with a mixed salad or roast potatoes/ chips.
I leave you to this traditional Italian dish, let me know if you like it. I want to try a “diet” version, so I’ll keep you informed if I do (well, if it comes out nice that is)
- 3 sliced and fried aubergines
- tomato sauce
- olive oil
- grated parmesan enough to sprinkle on the layers
- 1 fresh mozzarella sliced or grated mozzarella
- fresh basil
1) make a quick tomato sauce by heating some olive oil and adding a jar of tomato sauce, season and let it cook for approx. 20 mins on low heat.
2) take a large frying pan and start layering: olive oil, tomato sauce, salt, aubergines, sprinkle of parmesan cheese
3) I like to cover the last layer with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil
4) cover with a lid and let it simmer on low heat just until it is piping hot and the mozzarella is melted
5) slice it and serve with a green salad, chips or roast potatoes