We recently had the in-laws over for an 8 course Italian style dinner to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. I originally wanted to cook Braciole (a type of roulade) as a main course. I made Braciole 3 Ways (with 3 different fillings) last year and it was delicious. Adrienne really wanted to braai. We compromised and went for a South African/Italian style fusion dish by cooking a rump steak with a braciole style filling over the coals.
I re-watched the movie “Julie and Julia” on Netflix the other day and it inspired me to finally try a Julia Child recipe. Julia Child is famous for bringing French cuisine to America with her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. As her famous Beef Bourguignon features in the movie I decided to try out this recipe.
I’ve been wanting to make ossobuco for ages but have not been able to source veal. Then I read that Anna del Conte uses pork when she can’t source veal in the UK. If the doyenne of Italian cooking says it’s OK who am I to argue.
Vila Nova de Gaia (or simply Gaia) is a city across the river from Porto. All the cellars (locally known as “caves”) where the port is stored and aged are there. This was our base for our last week in Portugal.
After spending a couple of days in Porto (which you can read about here) we wanted to explore a bit more of northern Portugal. Viana do Castelo looked like the perfect place. This beautiful city with its stunning architecture and old world charm is 75km north of Porto.
We went to Portugal in February and it was the most incredible holiday. We loved the country – the beautiful landscapes, beaches, architecture, people and of course the glorious food !
This dish almost seems Arabic instead of European with the use of sultanas and pine nuts. This is not surprising as Sicily was under Arab rule from 827 to 1061 and Sicilian cuisine was strongly influenced by the Arabs.
Legend has it that in 1574 there was a glassmaker’s assistant in Milan whose nickname was Zaffereno (Saffron). He always mixed a bit of saffron into the colours for the stained glass to make it more vivid. The glassmaker used to joke that he’ll be putting it into risotto next. When the glassmaker’s daughter got married he did just that. The steaming pots of golden rice was a huge success with the guests and it became a classic Milanese dish.
Braciole (or involtini as it is known in Italy) are meat bundles with all kinds of delicious fillings.
Braciole is a beloved Sunday lunch in Italian American households. It is simmered for hours (often with meatballs and/or sausage) in a tomato sauce (called Sunday gravy).
All the recipes for fillings looked so delicious I could not pick just one. I decided to use 3 very different fillings – Braciole 3 Ways!
Lamb Kleftiko is a traditional Greek dish of lamb slowly cooked in parchment paper. The name originates from the word “Klepht” (meaning thief). Klephts were highwaymen who stole lambs and cooked it in sealed pits to avoid detection.