Category Archives: European

Risotto alla Milanese (with bonemarrow and saffron)

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.

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Braciole 3 Ways

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!

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Ravioli 3 Ways – Veal and Spinach, Ostrich and Pancetta, Smoked Venison and Butternut

As we try to stick to a fairly low carb diet most of the time, I haven’t made fresh pasta for ages.  This was a great excuse to make ravioli for date night.

As every date night is a special occasion I decided to push the boat out and make 3 different types of ravioli with 3 different sauces.

Veal & Spinach Ravioli in a Walnut Sauce, Ostrich & Pancetta Ravioli in a Porcini Sauce and Venison & Butternut Ravioli in a Sage Butter Sauce.

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Portugese Date Night – Chorizo Stuffed Calamari and Beef Espetada

Sometimes the simplest food is the tastiest – Beef Espetada being a prime example.  A dish from the island of Madeira,  large chunks of beef are rubbed with garlic, salt and bay leaves.  It is then skewered and cooked over an open fire.

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Date Night – Haddock Fish Cakes with Hollandaise Sauce, Beef Wellington, Lemon Posset

I wanted to redeem myself after overcooking the beef fillet at the girls’ lunch in June, so I decided to make  Beef Wellington for date night.  Keeping in line with the  English theme, I made Haddock Fish Cakes for a starter and Lemon Posset for dessert.

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