lunedì 19 settembre 2016

GNOCCHI DI PATATE RIPIENI DI BISQUE DI GAMBERI CON FIOCCHI DI PANCETTA CROCCANTE, GAMBERI, CIPOLLETTA E PEPE DI SICHUAN




E rieccomi qui finalmente  a mettere nero su bianco i miei esperimenti in cucina 
Merito di Annarita di Il Bosco di alici, vincitrice dell'MTChallenge n.58, che stavolta ci ha lanciato la sfida su un must della cucina Italiana: gli gnocchi di patate.
Non vi sto a dire che guardavo mia nonna mentre li faceva, credo di averla vista solo una volta di sfuggita mentre attraversavo di corsa la cucina per andare a giocare in giardino con i miei cugini... posso però dire che ricordo quanto erano buoni conditi con il sugo di pomodoro fresco che come lo faceva lei nessuno mai più e una bella spolverata di Parmigiano. Ora mi pento di non aver prestato attenzione alla mamma di mio padre quando cucinava, perchè era bravissima, ma ero una bambina e in Estate la mia attività era stare a giocare in spiaggia o in giardino con i miei cugini!
Però so come li faceva, perchè mio padre ha sempre detto che lei usava SOLO patate e farina e così è... nulla di più.
Per questa nuova sfida mi sono attenuta alla ricetta di Annarita dove è previsto l'uovo nell'impasto per fare gli gnocchi ripieni. Qui mi dilungo "brevemente" (lo so che non si dice  "dilungarsi brevemente", ma devo enfatizzare questa cosa!!) perchè l'idea di base me l'ha ispirata la Cina, dove fanno i ravioli al vapore anche ripieni di "brodo", ma poi ci ho messo del "mio", perchè più che un brodo ho voluto giocare su sapori più decisi, tipo una bisque di gamberi "rinforzata" con del concentrato di pomodoro, i gamberi li ho messi nel condimento giocando su un connubio che trovo perfetto con della pancetta affumicata, che mi ha regalato la consistenza croccante, per bilanciare il morbido degli gnocchi, con la cipolletta e il VERO pepe di Sichuan, comprato a Jiinli Strret nel capoluogo del Sichuan, Chengdu, e ci tengo a ribadire VERO perchè il profumo che sprigiona è totalmente differente da quello che si trova qui da noi, un altro mondo.
NOTA IMPORTANTE sul pepe di Sichuan (che ho usato sia rosso che nero): fa soffritto in olio o burro prima di ogni cosa, per far uscire tutto il suo profumo e aroma.

Con questa ricetta partecipo all'MTC n.59




GNOCCHI DI PATATE RIPIENI DI BISQUE DI GAMBERI CON FIOCCHI DI PANCETTA CROCCANTE, GAMBERI, CIPOLLETTA E PEPE DI SICHUAN



Per 4 persone

Per la Bisque di gamberi
750 g di teste e carapaci di gamberi freschi
60 g di pomodori Piccadilly (circa 3)
50 g di burro
60 g di cipolla di rossa
50 g di carota
150 ml di vino bianco
500 ml di acqua
Pepe
Prezzemolo
Timo

Soffriggete velocemente nel burro, le carote tagliate a julienne, le cipolle finemente affettate e i pomodorini a spicchi. Aggiungete le teste e i carapaci dei gamberi e il rametto di timo e fate tostare per 5-6 minuti, sfumate con il vino bianco. Macinate un po’ di pepe, aggiungete il prezzemolo e versate l'acqua e fate cuocere per una ventina di minuti. Il trucco di Michel Roux è che non va mai fatto cuocere troppo, perché dice che non aggiunge nulla di più al sapore della bisque, anzi!!
Filtrate il tutto in un colino e preparate la gelatina.

Gelatina di bisque di gamberi

1 cucchiaio di estratto di pomodoro
5 g di colla di pesce in fogli

Unite alla bisque di gamberi ancora bollente l’estratto di pomodoro  e fate sciogliere la gelatina, mescolate bene. Filtrate e versate in un contenitore di vetro largo e basso, in modo da ottenere uno spessore di circa 1 cm  e fate raffreddare prima di coprire con pellicola e riporre in frigo.

Per gli gnocchi

800 g di patate gialle
175 g di farina 00
1 uovo piccolo (52 grammi)

15-16 gamberi sbollentati sgusciati

Lavate le patate e lasciatele bagnate; bucherellatele con i rebbi di una forchetta, posizionatele su un contenitore di vetro e coprite con un foglio di carta forno bagnata e strizzata.
Mettete nel forno a microonde alla massima temperatura (io ho un Whirlpool e corrisponde a “JET”, ma credo corrispondano ai 900w) e cuocete per 3 minuti, girate le patate e cuocete altri 3 minuti, rigiratele e date altri 3 minuti, a seconda delle dimensioni delle patate (le mie erano media pezzatura) bastano da 9 a 10 minuti, ma testate la cottura con una forchetta.
Sbucciate le patate ancora calde e passatele nelle schiacciapatate, allargatele sul piano di lavoro, per fare uscire un po’ di vapore e iniziate a mescolare con metà della farina. Sbattete l’uovo e amalgamatelo all’impasto e aggiungete mano mano la farina.
Ottenuto un impasto liscio e non appiccicoso, ma morbido, prelevate un pezzetto alla volta e apritelo a dischetto (circa 5 cm di diametro) sul palmo della mano leggermente infarinato, inserite con un cucchiaino un po’ di gelatina di bisque di gamberi, un pezzettino di gambero sbollentato e richiudeteli bene in modo da sigillarli perfettamente (qui ci aiuterà molto l’umidità dell’impasto) e riponeteli in freezer su un vassoio leggermente infarinato.
Questo passaggio è importante per due motivi, il primo è che la gelatina tende a diventare liquida con il calore dell’ambiente e delle mani e il secondo è che così potrete prepararli con un po’ di anticipo per averli già pronti alla cottura.



Per condire gli gnocchi

40 g di burro
2 cucchiai di olio extra vergine di oliva
15 fettine sottile di pancetta affumicata
10-12 grani di pepe di Sichuan (sia rosso che nero)
4-5 gambi di cipollina fresca (la parte bianca)
30 gamberi freschi e sgusciati
Prezzemolo
sale

Sciogliete il burro e un cucchiaio di olio extra vergine di oliva con il pepe di Sichuan in una padella capiente. Aggiungete i pezzetti di pancetta e fateli friggere fino a diventare croccanti.
Togliete la pancetta e mettetela da parte.
Nello stessa padella versate le cipollette a rondelle e soffriggete solo uno-due minuti. Emulsionate tutto aggiungendo il prezzemolo con un frullatore ad immersione, rimettete sul fuoco e versate i gamberi e mescolate per non più di un paio di minuti, salate. Togliete i gamberi dalla padella, e nel frattempo cuocete gli gnocchi.
In una pentola capiente portate a bollore l’acqua, aggiungete il sale grosso e versate gli gnocchi direttamente dal frezeer, non più di 10 alla volta e fate cuocere. Quando gli gnocchi vengono a galla, tirateli fuori dall’acqua e scolateli, mentre versate un’altra decina di gnocchi.
Accendete il fuoco sotto alla padella dove avete preparato precedentemente la pancetta, la cipollina e i gamberi  , e versate delicatamente gli gnocchi, fate scaldare un paio di minuti, rigirandoli nella “salsetta”, aggiungete i gamberi, saltate velocemente e servite caldi con i “fiocchi “ di pancetta croccante.



domenica 11 settembre 2016

“WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY TO BE ALIVE" by Lisa G. - September the eleventh - NEVER FORGET

credits HERE

Come sapete ormai ogni 11 Settembre da quando ho il mio blog dedico sempre un pensiero a quel giorno che per me ha significato un cambiamento terribile del mondo civile, anche se io vivevo a migliaia di km di distanza da New York, volenti o nolenti quel giorno ha cambiato tutto: in primis la vita di tante persone e famiglie, il nostro stile di pensare, il nostro modo di viaggiare, ci sono state guerre, ci sono attentati, le tensioni tra i mondi... volenti o nolenti ..è così, e NON DOBBIAMO DIMENTICARLO MAI.
Quello che segue è il racconto della mia amica Lisa G., che ha vissuto l'11 settembre, perchè lei lavorava in una delle Torri gemelle, perchè ci andava tutti i giorni lì, e qui spiega a suo figlio dopo 4 anni da quel giorno come è stato per lei quell' 11 Settembre, di come delle piccole, insignificanti decisioni prese quella mattina le hanno salvato la vita e l'hanno riportata a casa da suo figlio, suo marito e tutti i suoi cari!
Non traduco il testo in Italiano, perchè sono certa che non riuscirei a trasmettere le emozioni di Lisa, che ringrazio per avermi permesso di pubblicare la lettera che scrisse a Sean.

English version
This letter was written eleven years ago by a special friend of mine, Lisa G., to her son after 4 years from that terrible day she lived, because she worked in one of the Towers..I really thank her for permission tu post this letter. For me it is important to write every here on my blog on this day not to forget because as we were talking about with Lisa yestarday a lot of people still forget that day.
Thank you Lisa and God bless!!
" I wrote this to my son 10 years ago. It took me 4 years to put it down on paper. Never forget!
Well, Seany – here goes. This is my story of September 11. Almost 4 years later I’ve decided it’s best to put things on paper just in case I forget. Don’t get me wrong – I will never forget – it’s just that I don’t want to forget the details…..details that may seem small but are and can be very important. I might go back and forth a little bit but bear with me – I will try to do my best.
That day was the most beautiful morning. I remember being on the ferry. I always stayed in the front so I could be one of the first off. I remember looking at the approaching skyline and the sky was so blue and thinking, “what a beautiful day to be alive.” That is the God’s honest truth. Those were my thoughts at the moment. Anyway, I remember taking the train (2 stops). Before I got off the train, I was thinking about a winter coat I had seen in Strawberry. Strawberry was located in the concourse level of WTC1. A friend of mine who I worked with (Karen) was from Germany. They don’t make bagels in Germany so I used to bring her a jalapeno bagel each morning. She would thank me and I’m happy she will have that memory because she deserved it. She truly was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I hope she will remember me as well. Anyway, while I was on that train, I had bought Karen a bagel but remembered that she had gone on vacation the previous Friday to Monte Carlo. Great - no problem, I would eat that bagel and now have time to go check to see if they had that coat in my size and if so - put a deposit on it. You see Seany, how fate works? These are the little details – reasons that I did not go right up to the 94th floor that morning. So there I was in Strawberry. I was on line to put a deposit and did. As the girl was ringing me up, I heard and felt a loud thump. Just loud enough to question it in my mind. It seemed no one around me noticed. As soon as I got my receipt, I put it in my wallet and that’s when all hell broke loose. There was a strange sound, something I had never heard before. It was a stampede - people running, hundreds, maybe thousands. Of course I never heard that sound before. Inside the store was soundproof. I could see people running and only when I opened the door I heard some screaming, some crying that a bomb had gone off. They were running to the right of the store. I don’t know if that is north, south, east or west. Anyway, I was thinking that I wanted to go the opposite way. Anywhere where there was no crowds. I don’t like crowds, never did. This is surprising Sean because I followed the crowd that day. I think too that saved my life. There were so many details, reasons that saved my life that day. Little decisions that were so miniscule, but in the scope of things had a really big impact in the end. I looked straight across the crowd at the R station. I knew there was a passage way down under the tracks that would leave me across the street at Century or should I go the other way up the escalator. That would leave me (the name escapes me, but where the concerts were). Thank God I did not go up there, because I heard that was the worst part – very bloody. I decided to follow the crowd. When I got to the stairs, that’s when I felt panic. I looked up and it looked like there was a blizzard. What the hell is that? You see my Seay, the mind takes a bit of time to register things that your eyes are seeing. Especially things that shouldn’t be happening. A blizzard doesn’t happen in September. It was debris, smoke, paper flying through the air. I went up the stairs. There was a man up there saying “take your time, don’t run.” (I wonder if he made it). I crossed the street and went by the Burger King and realized I came out of the other tower. My building was behind it and I couldn’t see how badly it was hit. All I could see was black smoke. People were now saying that a small plane had hit tower 1. I remember dialing my cell phone and believe it or not called my office. I couldn’t get through, busy signal. The next call I made was to daddy. No luck. I remember I had a crummy cell phone and I just thought that was the problem. I started speaking to some of the people. One man made me use his cell phone. I thought that was so nice. No luck. (I wondered if he made it). There was also a girl next to me who asked me if I thought they would let her go back into the building. She had dark hair and had an accent, Spanish I think I said, “Why would you go back with all this havoc going on?” She said she had left her purse and wanted to go back. I don’t know if she did or not. Sometimes it bothers me that I don’t remember these people’s faces. Maybe their loved ones would like to have known if they were initially out of the building. I wish I could remember (I wonder if she made it).
At some point, I had just put it in my head that I was going to go home. There was no sense in me staying. I’d probably catch hell from the office in the morning. Not really, as I worked with a really great group of people. I had gone around the corner, because I was looking for a pay phone. It seemed that everyone had the same idea as me. I decided to wait on line. There was an elderly man on the phone. He was talking into the phone and had his finger in the other ear. I was trying to be patient and so was the girl in front of me on line. I said to her, “You know, I hope get got through to tell everyone that he’s alright and now he looked like he is giving a play by play.” She said I was right and tapped him on the shoulder. That was when it hit. I didn’t know what IT was. I heard a sound so loud. I cant describe it. I remember describing it as a Godzilla screech. Then in an instant there was a fireball. The fireball started on the left side of the building and came out in the middle of it. I didn’t realize what I was looking at. Again, the brain does not register so fast in these cases. It was like someone turned on a light in a room full of cockroaches. Everyone scattered. (I wonder if that old man on the phone or the girl made it). Finally reality hit me and all I knew was that I better get out of the way. Something could come flying my way. I dove into a deli, but at that moment, the waiters (who ironically looked Arab) were trying to get out to see what the commotion was about. They practically pushed me back out onto the sidewalk. I just decided to go. I exited and immediately turned left. I refused to look back. I think that helped me immensely Seany. Looking back might have done me some more damage. I finally got through to Daddy. He was frantic. He said he was going to come and get me. I told him no way. First I knew he would never be able to get to me and second I didn’t want another worry. Daddy didn’t even know at that point that the second tower was hit. All I remember saying was “something was wrong.” I told him I didn’t know how I was going to get home and that I was afraid to go on the ferry. What if the ferry was rigged too! By rigged, I mean with a bomb. I think you will be learning a lot of new words that pertain to this situation in the future. Terrorism will be one of the frontrunners. I remember trying to get down to the ferry. At this point, I was completely paranoid. Meanwhile in the background, I could hear people screaming, crying, holding their mouths as if to suppress a scream. I remember seeing a car right by the big bull. Someone just left with the windows wide open and running. I thought that might be rigged. There’s that word again, Seany – rigged. At this point, my mind HAD registered what was going one. I knew now that we were being attacked. There is no way in hell that 2 planes can hit the WTC at the same time. I finally made it to the ferry. You see Seany, my only goal was to get home that day. When I got to the ferry terminal, there were people everywhere. I was dying of thirst. So thirsty that I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I remember seeing a soda machine –two in fact. I hate soda, but it is better than nothing. What else is new, no change. I asked a lady for change. I only had a five dollar bill. She gave me money anyway. See how nice people can really be? Those little things are important Sean AND remembered. Damn, the machines were not working. I wanted to scream. Should I risk going outside to a deli? Who knows what would happen out there? I decided I had to. I walked across the street and there was a street vendor. I asked him for a bottled of water and he gave it to me. I thought it was funny that he had a bottle of scotch sitting right by his window. He asked me if I wanted a shot, I considered for a second, but truthfully I figured it would make me more thirsty. (I wonder if he made it?) I went back into the ferry terminal. A girl was in there. She was shaking terribly. I don’t know her name or remember what she looked like either. Is that what shock does to you? She said all she wanted to do was get home and hug her son. Then, there was a stampede again. We got split up and I never saw here again. (I wonder if she made it?). That was when I thought I would die. People started running and crushing up against the wall. I saw people running under the seats to protect themselves. (What is happening? What is everyone running from? I figured whoever went after the trade center was now going for the Statue of Liberty. That was the only thing I could think of. But I had to get out of there, too many people. I would rather risk what was to come outside than stay inside with all of those panicky people. There was only one person out there. A man, just me and him. He lit up a cigarette and I asked him what was going on? He said, “One of the towers collapsed.” Again Seany, a statement like that just doesn’t take hold, doesn’t register. It becomes just an ordinary statement like “Spring is here.” Sounds idiotic, but true. At that point, I looked up toward the canyon and saw thick black smoke coming down both streets. Panic set it – AGAIN. I remember thinking that everything was going to turn dark and that scared me more. I thought to myself that if they don’t open the ferry doors soon there is going to be another stampede. At that moment, the ferry doors opened. (I wonder if the man smoking made it). I debated whether or not get on. After all, I knew this was going to be a very crowded boat, and we all know I like to avoid crowds. But it was darkness or drowning. Which way would I rather go? Drowning one out. I got on the ferry and everyone was grabbing life preservers. Did I get one? Don’t remember. There were many people without. I staying on the outer part where the windows were. I figured if the boat would go down, I might have a good chance of jumping. The boat left quickly and all I could see outside the boat was black. That was scar. As the boat moved on outside was starting to brighten. I remember talking on the phone with Aunt Lori. I don’t know if I called her or she called me and believe it or not, I don’t remember the conversation at all. I think it was something about daddy getting stopped in the middle of the Verrazano bridge and having to turn back to Brooklyn. Maybe that was a conversation I had later. I don’t know. I remember thinking that as soon as my feet would hit Staten Island, I would be safe. And we did. When we arrived, the Transit Authority made everyone go thru the turnstiles free. We boarded the train and somewhere along the third stop, someone said that the second tower fell. It ws so black that I thought it would cover a large distance, it did. I don’t remember walking home from the train station. That bothers me, that part if completely gone. I remember reaching home. My neighbor down the block came in as soon as I got home. I remember thinking I really wasn’t in the mood. I had a terrible headache and was covered in dust, but I should be thankful for her concern. The answering machine had 12 messages. I know one was from my friend Sean, my mother in law, dad, brother and I don’t remember the rest. The phone rang and it was my boss Bob. Thank God he was alive! He had been going into the elevator when the first plane hit. He made it out. Everyone in my office was accounted for except for Ben and Craig. Ben was married and had 3 kids and Craig had a wife. All of the people in my office had their own tales to tell. Some worse than others. Who was in the building, who was on the streets. Each had their own horror story to tell. The TV was jammed with video. I needed to see a different perspective. You, my Seany was at the daycare. I wanted to see you terribly. In fact, I was afraid of what I would do when I finally would pick you up. But my head was pounding so bad that I didn’t want to give you any bad vibes. I know you were safe at that point, and that was all that was important to me. Aunt Lori told me that there was a report of asbestos in the dust so she told me that I should take a shower. I would have never thought of it. (Till this day, I still know what I had on). When I picked you up you wanted to go to the park. I wanted to cry. That was the last place I wanted to be. I took you because I didn’t want you to think anything out of the ordinary. You played in the park and I stated up in the sky. That night I don’t remember much. I remember telling daddy to leave the hall light on. I was scared to go to sleep. That passed eventually, like everything else. Time heals all wounds Sean but it never heals the scars. This experience is a part of me now. I am tied and bound to it. Anyone who was there – would understand it. Anyone who wasn’t wont. I am a part of history – whether I like it or not. No one will every understand the sights that day, the sounds = such loud sounds, the people. I hope my son that you never have to see something like this in your future. If I could I would protect you from it, but in my heart I know I cant. I have to just accept the fact of how lucky I was that day. All the circumstances that fit into place, that kept me from going in the wrong direction. God was certainly with me that day and I hope he continues to guide me in the right direction. As for you, I will pray too that God will show you the right direction in life. I can just show you so much. The rest is between you and Him.
I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I was up there. Since the first plane practically went through my floor (94). Would I have survived the impact? Would I have tried to come down the stairs? Would I have tried to get to the roof? Would I have panicked and jumped. Would I actually have the balls? (Sorry Seany). These little details are things that can drive you nuts. What would my obituary look like? I really didn’t accomplish much. Can someone muster up my life in one singe paragraph? I felt guilty, not about survival, but about weakness. I felt that maybe I shold have been stronger and yes in some cases I was stronger. Stronger than the people around me. But that strength gave way to panic and I had to seek help. In time, with therapy and medication, Im trying to put 9/11 behind me and I am succeeding. I know I made it……..I love you with all my heart, my Sean"

sabato 10 settembre 2016

BISCOTTI AL BURRO DI ARACHIDI (senza lattosio)- PEANUT BUTTER (lactose free)


                             Scroll down for English version

Per tre brevissimi giorni viene a trovarti la figlia di una carissima amica, arriva in “incognita”, perché dovrebbe studiare studiare studiare, ma lei già studia 12-13 ore al giorno, è luglio, io sono abbronzata peggio di un pezzo di carbone e lei è bianchissima come un fiocco di neve, e non va  bene .. lei è giovane, ha una vita davanti, se la deve godere un po’, anzi tanto…quindi tre brevissimi giorni al mare con me tra granite e insalata di polpo è giusto che se li prenda!!!
Sono stati troppo brevi, ma abbiamo trovato il tempo di fare i biscotti al burro di arachidi insieme (oltre a quelli con i mirtilli rossi disidratati) perché per qualche tempo deve evitare lattosio e derivati e noi non ci siamo fatte problemi, anzi!!!
Alla sua mamma dico:per te questi biscotti son letali NON FARLI, vista la tua allergia.


BISCOTTI AL BURRO DI ARACHIDI (senza lattosio )-da una ricetta di “Buon Appetito America” di Laurel Evans

75 ml di olio di arachidi
130 g di burro di arachidi
100 g di zucchero
100 g di zucchero bruno
1 uovo
160 g di farina debole
½ cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio
½ cucchiaino di lievito per dolci
1 pizzico di sale

Preriscaldate il forno a 175°C.
Lavorate insieme l’olio di arachidi, il burro di arachidi e i due tipi di zucchero. Unite l’uovo e mescolate bene.
In un’altra ciotola, mescolate la farina, il lievito per dolci, il bicarbonato di sodio e il pizzico di sale. Mescolateli all’impasto e mettete in frigorifero minimo un’ora (fino ad un massimo di due giorni).
Preriscaldate il forno a 175°C.
Foderate una teglia con carta forno e formate delle palline di 4 cm circa di diametro e mettetele su una teglia ad una certa distanza l’una dall’altra.
Bagnate i rebbi di una forchetta con acqua fredda ed appiattitele formando un disegno incrociato.
Infornate fino a che i biscotti si scuriscono appena sui bordi, ma non al centro (circa 10 minuti).
Sfornate   e fate raffreddare leggermente.
I biscotti possono essere conservati per una settimana chiusi in un contenitore ermeticamente.

English version

Last July one of my best friend’s daughter came to visit us, but just for three short days, because she had to study too much, even if she studies more than 12—13 hours for days. It was Summer I was so sunbathed that a piece of coal was pale in comparison… and she was white more than a snow flake. She is so young, she had to enjoy life NOW, so we had three very intensive days at the seaside, to eat granitas and octopuss salads…. And we even found the time to bake some lactose-free cookies!!
I hope to see asap!!

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (lactose—free) by Laurel Evans

1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup (130 g) peanut butter
1/3 cup Peanut oil
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For 20 cookies.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Beat together the peanut butter andpeanut oil by hand until smooth. Add sugars and beat until well combined and fluffy, then add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Cover dough tightly and chill for at least 1 hour (and up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) Place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press fork into the tops to create the criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides.
Remove from oven, and carefully make indentations in centers by pressing with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Return the cookies to oven, and bake until edges are golden, 6 or 7 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Let cool before serving. Cookies may be stored in a sealed container for up to a week.