Sunday, 21 December 2014

Chicory with pancetta - radicchio coi bruciatini

I am not sure if you can find this kind of chicory, which grows wild by the Italian rivers. Anyway, you can also use the red variety, no change in taste, but different look! Just cut the red chicory into thin stripes after washing it carefully!
My grandmother used to prepare this side dish in winter, after pig slaughtering, when she had fresh pancetta available and I dare say that it was all the supper they had, lots of fresh vegetables and a little bit of pork meat....

Fast and very simple to prepare, it will feel your kitchen with the pungent smell of vinegar! Can you smell it!?

Ingredients for 4

250 grs/ 1/2 lb. chicory
8-10 tablespoons cubed salted pancetta (unsmoked bacon)
3 tablespoons Modena balsamic vinegar 

How to:

1) Wash the chicory and drain it well. Arrange it into your dishes.

2) In a large, non stick pan saute the pancetta cubes. No grease is necessary as they will produce a lot of fat.

3) When the pancetta cubes  get crunchy, add the balsamic vinegar. Stir well and take away  from fire.

4) Dress the chicory with the pancetta cubes and its juice/grease and serve immediately. Add salt if needed, but usually pancetta is already salted.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

3 chocolate mousse

Dedicated to all chocolate lovers, this smooth, rich dessert will be great for your holiday parties! It is quite fast to make, but you need a little bit of experience in mixing the ingredients.
Choose  glass containers to show the different coloured layers of chocolate!
This recipe is taken from an old cook book where a young Enrst Knam (now a very famous chocolate and cake designer), explained, without many details, some of his recipes.
I tried to stick to the original as much as I could, which I did for the ingredients, but I had to made few changes when putting all the ingredients together.
Always use good quality/fresh ingredients if you want to have a great result.

Ingredients for 4
(I made 6 small portions my Ikea candle holders...)

For the dark chocolate mousse
100 grs/ 3.52 oz dark chocolate 65% and over
20 grs/ yolk
100grs3.52 oz  heavy cream (to be whipped)

For the milk chocolate mousse
100 grs/3.52 oz milk chocolate
20grs/0.7oz   yolk
100 grs/3.52 oz heavy cream (to be whipped)
1/2 a leaf  gelatin
1 table spoon milk

For the white chocolate mousse
100 grs/3.52 oz white chocolate
20grs/0.7 oz  yolk
100 grs/3.52 oz heavy cream (to be whipped)
1/2 a leaf  gelatin
1 table spoon milk

How to:

1) In 3 different bowls/pans (bain marie or microwave) melt the 3 different chocolates.
2) Put the gelatin  in a cup full of water and let it soak for 5 minutes until soft.
3) In the meanwhile beat the yolks (about 4 to reach the quantity) and divide them into 3 parts
4) In an other bowl whip the cream.

Now all your ingredients are ready!

Careful! Chocolate must be cold or slightly warm, if not when you add the whipped cream it will melt!

5) Put the beated yolk in the dark chocolate and beat with an electric beater. Add the whipped cream as well and go on beating.This is the trickiest part of the job, because the chocolate tend to stick and make little knobs. 

6) Pour the dark mousse in the bottom of  your bowls.   Try  not to spot the glass with the dark chocolate, or wipe it away  with some paper. Put them in the freezer. Wait until it has hardened a bit.

7) Now make the milk chocolate mousse, warm up the gelatin with a spoon of milk, let it melt and add it immediately with the yolk and the milk chocolate bowl. Whisk well with the electric beater.

8) Pour the milk mousse as a second layer in your  bowls.  Put them back in the freezer just for few minutes until the previous layer have hardened.

9) For the white chocolate mousse, warm up the gelatin with a spoon of milk, let it melt and add it immediately with the yolk and the white chocolate bowl. Whisk well with the electric beater.

10) Pour the white mousse as the last layer in your  bowls.
Put some cling film on top of your bowls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, better if overnight.


TIPCover your bowls with cling film while in the fridge. And if you want to freeze them to do exceed 1 month time to keep the good taste.