dinsdag 29 november 2011

Salsicce e fagioli (Sausages and beans)

This weeks theme is " bean there done that" at the I Heart Cooking Club. To get my bean on i made this rustic dish from Tessa Kiros's first book twelve. After eating it i understood why the tuscans love this dish so much. It's on my list of comfort foods now!

Tessa Kiros says, "Tuscans are well known for their love of beans, and this rustic recipe is one of their favorites".

Salsicce e fagioli

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(p.56)

Serves 6

500G(1 lb 2 oz) dried cannellini, soaked overnight in cold water
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 sprigs of sage
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 large Italian pork sausages, about 100g(3½ oz) each
400G(14oz) tin peeled tomatoes, with their juice, chopped

Rinse the beans and put them into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim the surface of the scum with a slotted spoon. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and one of the sage Sprigs. Cook for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper in the last half hour of the cooking time.
In a separate large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Prick the sausages in couple of places with a fork and add them to the pan. Fry on a medium-high heat to brown on all sides. Add the remaining garlic clove and the sage, and as soon as it begins to sizzle ad the tomatoes. The sausages should provide enough Seasoning; if not add a little salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have melted into a sauce.
Drain the cooked beans, reserving a little of the cooking liquid and add the beans to THE sausage pot. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessery. Simmer for 10 minutes more, adding about 125-250 ml(1/2-1cup)of the reserved water to thin it out a little. Serve warm.

Notes: could not get any fresh sage at the moment so i used dried Sage.

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zondag 27 november 2011

Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

This weeks cooking theme at I Heart Cooking Club is Attitude of gratitude. Wich foods are you most grateful for? Since we don't celebrate thanksgiving in Europe(Those who do celebrate, I hope you all had a wonderful time). I cooked something up with chocolate! Because i'm so grateful for every piece of chocolate that i can put in my mouth. I really have to have my "shot" of chocolate well.... almost every day. With christmas coming up i thought this would be a good choice and i'm going to give them away this year as Tessa suggested.

Tessa says, "These I learned from my American friend Sue. When I first made them my children said they were the best ever and I must definitely put the recipe in this book - so here it is. I also love them with dried strawberries instead of cranberries, and sometimes my girls prefer them without the cranberries, just chocolate. I like these small so I make them no bigger than a good teaspoon of dough, but you might like to make them larger. I also like to take them as a gift, packed in a lovely box and tied with a ribbon. Unless you have a huge oven, you will need to bake these in batches so have the two cookie sheets ready."

Chocolate & cranberry cookies
Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam(pg.58)

Makes 30 cookies

5-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries would also be nice)

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mash up the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until well mixed, then whisk with an electric beater until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and add a small pinch of salt. Beat with the wooden spoon to make a soft sandy mixture. Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
Lightly moisten your hands and roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Arrange them on the sheets, leaving a fair space between for flattening and spreading. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden and darkening around the edges. Remove from the oven, but leave them on the sheet to cool and firm up. These will keep in a cookie jar for a couple of days.

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maandag 14 november 2011

Chicken drumsticks & Wings with Orange tomato glaze

Orange skies...♪♫ is this weeks theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
Orange skies bring me back to our vacation on the island of Java, Indonesia. We went there two and a half year ago when my brother in-law moved to Bali. Whe took this oppurtunity to see them again with getting to know the country. So whe aranged a ful trip from Jakarta(Java) to Bali by car with a guide and a driver. One of the last days on Java whe went to see the sunrise at Bromo vulcan. It was so breath taking beautiful when that sky turned orange from the rising sun. I Will never forget that morning.

One of our favorite foods during that travel was sweet and sour chicken, and when i saw Tessa's recipe for Chicken with orange(sweet) and Tomato(sour) glaze i immediatly decided to make them. And they where a big hit at my home!

Chicken drumsticks & Wings with Orange tomato glaze

Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam(page81)
Serves 6

110g (3 3/4oz) light brown sugar
375ml (13fl oz/1 1/2 cup) fresh orange juice
185ml (6fl oz/3/4 cup) tomata passata(pureed tomato)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershiresauce
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken wings

Preheat the oven to 160C (315F/Gas 2-3). Put the sugar, orange juise, tomata passata, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to disolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Spred the chicken drumsticks and wings in a baking dish just large enough to fit them in a single layer and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the pieces over every now and then, until the chisken is crispy and sticky and the sauce is a thick sticky glaze. Serve warm, or even at romm temperature.

If you like to know what the other orange dishes are, follow this link below.

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Daring cooks november 2011: Cooking with Tea!

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I decided to make the chinese tea eggs for this months challenge because they always looked so beautiful to me, but it never came to making them myself. So thank you sarah that you encouraged us to make something with tea. The tea eggs are not very difficult to make. But i crushed one egg in the cracking proces, because i was being so enthousiastic while cracking them up. In the end all the other eggs looked very good and the taste was awesome.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Servings: 6 eggs
6 eggs (any size)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (6 gm) black tea leaves, or 4 tea bags
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon (5 ml) (3 gm) coarse grain salt
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish


In a large enough pot to avoid overcrowding, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for twelve minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
With a spoon, tap the eggs all over until they are covered with small cracks. This can also be done by tapping and rolling the eggs very gently on the counter.
Return the eggs to the pan and add the tea leaves or bags, Chinese five spice powder, and salt. Cover the pan.
Heat gently and simmer, covered, for one hour.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool down in the liquid for 30 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the liquid. Peel one egg to check how dark it is; the others can be returned to the liquid if you wish to have the web-like pattern darker. Allow the eggs to cool fully.
To serve, peel and slice the eggs in halves or quarters. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

zondag 13 november 2011


It's that time of the month again "Potluck" at I Heart Cooking Clubs where whe feature the recipes of Tessa Kiros for six months. And in here book Twelve i found this recipe for Ricciarelli or Almond cakes. And since i had a big batch of almond flour in my pantry, waiting for me to make macarons for months. I used it for this almond cakes instead.
And i totally hadn't any regrets about that after tasting the almond cakes.

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Tessa Kiros says, "These small, soft cakes are found in every shop is Siena along with the traditional panforte. They are baked on sheets or individual discs of rice paper, wich are trimmed around the cake when it is cooked and eaten with the small cake. If you do not have rice paper, line your baking tray with a piece of baking paper. When cooled, simply transfer from the baking paper to a tin".

Ricciarelli (Almond cakes)

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(page.365)
makes about 20 biscuits

300g (10 1/2oz) almond flour
280g (10 oz) caster sugar
150g (5 1/2oz) icing(confectioners) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites
1 sheet of rice paper(or about 20 small rounds) to line the baking tray

Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.
Mix the almond flour with the caster sugar, 100g(3 1/2 oz) of the icing sugar, the baking powder and the orange zest in a bowl.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and combine with the almond mix, using a wooden spoon. Mash the mixture together to make a sticky, wet mass.
mouls oval shapes to 6cm(2 1/2in) long x 4cm(1 1/2in) wide x 2cm(3/4in) thick onto a spoon. Slide the ovals off the spoon carefully with you thumb, and reshape any identations. Put them onto the baking tray, allowing room for them to spread.
Sprinkle the tops with 25g(1 oz), or half of the remaining icing sugar. Leave the biscuits on the tray for 2-3 hours at room temperature to dry them a little before baking.
Preheat the oven to 140C (275F/Gas1). Bake for about 30 minutes or until they are lightly golden and a little firm on the outside. The inside will still be soft.Remove from the oven. Cool slightly before sprinkling with the remaining 25g(1 oz) of icing sugar. Cut the rice paper around the bottom of the cakes. They will keep for about a week stored in an airthight container.

notes: i didn't use the rice paper, because i could'nt find any. Baked them on baking paper.

zondag 6 november 2011

Spaghettini al Pomodoro

I have been missing a couple of months fun over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.I haven't been able to join in over the last couple of months, but now i'm back. My book of Tessa Kiros (thats the chef whe will be featering the next 6 months) finally came last friday. It took 2 hole weeks to arrive, and yesterday i started immediatly. For this weeks theme "In my pasta bowl"

I made this simple but lovely pomodoro pasta bowl, deffinatly going to make that more often. Would you like to see the wath the others made this week, follow the link below. Or join in on the fun.

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Tessa Kiros says,"A general standard for measuring a superb home cook is often their pasta al pomodoro".

Spaghettini al pomodoro (spaghettini with tomato sauce)

Tessa kiros , Twelve(p190)
serves 6

1/2 quantity, about 400ml(14fl oz) tomato sauce(recipe below)
500g (1lb 2oz) spaghettini
1 tablespoon butter
about 120g(1 1/4 cups) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make the tomato sauce.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghettini following the package instructions. If your tomato saucepan is not big enough, transfer the sauce to a bowl large enough to contain all the pasta, and keep it warm.Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the butter to the sauce, and mix trough quikle, adding a few drops of the cooking water is necessary. Serve immediately with the pharmesan cheese.

Pomarola semplice (Simple tomato sauce)

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(p.382)
makes about 700ml(24fl oz)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1.2kg(2lb 10oz) of ripe fresh tomatoes,skinned and chopped or
900 g (2lb) tin of peeled tomatoes with juice, chopped
about 12 basil leaves, roughly torn

Put the garlic and olive oil into a saucepan on a medium heat.
When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes. Season with about a teaspoon os salt and a little pepper. When the tomatoes begin to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, depending on how much water the tomatoes contain. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and cook until the tomatoes have melted into a thick, smooth sauce. Take care not to dry out the sauce. It should have a thick, soft consistency. If you prefer a completely smooth sauce, pass through a food mill or puree rougly in a blender. Add the basil towards the end of the cooking time.
If you will not be using the sauce immediately, store in a jar in the refrigerator. Cover the tomato sauce with a tin layer of olive oil. the sauce can also be frozen for future use.
If you are using tinned tomatoes, the cooking time will be slightly less. About 15 minutes from when the tomatoes begin to boil.

Notes: i only made half of the sauce recipe, because i didn't had any more tomatoes ad hand. But Tessa writes in her book that you can preserve this sauce very wel in glass jars for months.