Amazing shaddow art of Larry Kagan!
19 July, 2012
01 April, 2012
Well, to be honest it's not exactly a pesto. I took inspiration (as on so many other occasions) from Jamie Oliver and put together one of the most simple and delicious pasta dishes. In fact, I guess that with pasta, simplicity is the key: keep it simple, good ingreds, watch, learn, practice, eat right away!
- spaghetti pasta;
- 2 cloves garlic;
- a big handfull parsley leaves (extra for garnish);
- 2 tablespoons grated pamesan cheese per serving;
- 1 egg yolk per serving;
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil per serving;
- salt, coarse ground black pepper;
- a few drops lemon juice (optional).
So, in a stone mortar crush 2 garlic cloves with salt (acts as an abrasive and draws moisture from the garlic making it pasty). Then pick the leaves from a good bunch of parsley (about how much you can squeeze into the mortar bowl). Crush well by hitting and with circular motions of the pestle. Poor in some olive oil, a few tablespoons. To make it more pesto like, you can add grated parmesan and pine nuts. I did not.
In stead I put the grated parmesan in a bowl and to that I added one egg yolk per serving. Stir well and add olive oil to taste. The same with coarse crushed black pepper. No fire so far!
Add the garlic parsley mush to the egg and parmesan. It must have reduced to a spoonfull by crushing it.
Jamie adds some lemon juice. I added very little, just a few drops. It's true that it can bring a nice flavour to the dish but it can ruin it just the same. I personally like the olive oil flavour better.
Boil the pasta in salted water and when al dente just add it to the sauce bowl without straining it too much. Starchy pasta water is welcome to thin the sauce and give it a velvety consistency. Coat well the pasta and serve immediately with extra parsley leaves and grated parmesan.
It's a great pasta sauce idea which combines the velvet sauce of the carbonara with the freshness of the parsley and fruity olive oil.
It was so goo that I scooped up the remainder of the sauce from the plate with a loaf of bread. Enjoy!
04 March, 2012
In the historical and administrative centre of Prague, on the Valentinska street, right on the corner you can find U Parlamemtu restaurant. A quick glance through the window will give you a hint that the restaurant is a genuine Prague eatery, not too fancy and not too shabby. Why? Because at the tables placed not too close together sit Prague locals. You can tell by the faces, the clothing etc. There are bearded men drinking beer, women, and one or two whole families.
Ok, once inside, you sit comfortably on squeeky wooden chairs at wooden tables next to wood plated walls. Atmosphere is genuinely friendly, people go about their business eating and drinking the good stuff.
A young waitress with a smile on her face welcomes you and she knows the house specials without checking the menu. Just two brands of beer on the menu, one light pilsener and one dark. Both Prague genuine delicious beers.
You get a pint and unwind a bit. As a tourist that has just walked a few hours you are hungry and want to taste some Prague local traditional local specialities. Get the rabbit and duck roast with the omnipresent bread and potato dumplings.
Good choice: the roast meat is tender and doesn't feel old, dumplings are incredibly light and fluffy. The spinach on the rabbit dish is real spinnach (fresh, not frozen). Sauerkraut is sauerkraut!
Espresso Style verdict: a bouchon like restaurant in the muddle of Prague, honest, genuine, not a rip of like many other joints around there, packed with locals where you can enjoy good beer and perfectly done Czech traditional specials. 5 stars out of 5 for food, 5 for service, 5 for atmosphere!
07 January, 2012
I find this video that I bumped into while looking for a French Onion Soup recipe on Youtube so great and charming. It's Julia Child speaking with such conviction about the knives she uses in the kitchen and the importance of using and mentaining a sharp knife. She is bothered by the kitchens she visits in wich she hardly ever finds a sharp knife. I'm so with her on that one!
05 January, 2012
The pate's are a spread for tartines or slices of bread made from liver. Almost any liver works but the most used are chicken, pork, rabbit. Of course, the higher end of pate is duck or goose pate. Nowadays you can buy pate of all kinds in cans but I've discovered (that what I should have remembered from my childhood) that you can easily can make your own pate in house.
INGREDIENTS (for a medium bowl):
- 500 gr. chicken lliver;
- 1 big onion;
- 1 clove garlic;
- 3-5 strips bacon;
- 200 gr. butter;
- 100 ml. white wine, dry (can use sherry, port, etc.);
- 2-3 bay leaves;
- 1 handful parsley;
- salt, pepper, mustard seeds (optional).
HOW TO MAKE:
First dorp a little knob of butter into a frying pan and add the onion cut julien and the minced garlic. After the onion has softened add the bacon cut into 1-2 cm. bits and fry to render the fat from it a little bit. After 10 minutes of cooking you add the chicken livers and cook them all on medium heat for 15 minutes stiring occasionally. Middway through the cooking process add the glass of wine. Oh, the flavors!
Season well with salt, pepper, bay. Beware the salt in the bacon. After the livers are well cooked through, add the chopped parsley and turn off the heat and let cool for a wile. Remove the hard bay leaves and blend all the composition in a food processor until smooth. Fill a serving bowl with the paste and seal the top of it with the rest of the butter that you've liquefied beforehand. I've gone easy on the butter, but you must know that the base recipe calls for 1 cm. thick butter cap on top of the pate bowl.
Refrigerate it when it has cooled enough and serve in the next few days on toast! Try it with toast and dijon mustard!