Today : New Jersey!

Dear friends! 

Today we just popped over across the bridge ( J.Washington Bridge that is) over to Paramus New Jersey to visit the Outlet Mall – Bergen Town. Pretty cool and a lovely place to shop.. Just a nice day out… We’ve checked the Whole Food Market in there, we’re always pleasantly surprised with the variety and the freshness of their goods! 

  
  
  
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Some more home made delicacies, here in Brooklyn 

Hello there! 

These two dishes are other two more must have for us, two more home made dishes that we can’t pass on while we’re staying in Brooklyn, two simple, flavor boasting dishes that have that West Indies touch that we love. 

Roasted Beef with gravy cooked down with spices, potatoes and fresh thyme, until the meat is moist and tender, we enjoy ours served with a fresh tomato slice on two warm slices of Jamaican “end-bread”. Will not give it enough credit if I’ll say I’ve made me a beef sandwich but you got the idea : amazingly good.

  
The other one is usually served as breakfast but we often enjoy it as brunch or an early afternoon meal if we’re on the go. Super-hot smoked sausages cooked with onions, tomato and ketchup ( yes ketchup!), this dish has so many shades of flavor is unbelievable, the heat and the spices from the sausages, the velvety and fresh flavor of the onions and the tomatoes and the unbeatable sweetness coming from the ketchup making this dish almost sweet and sour but also hot and spicy at the same time. This goodness served along with some fried plantains that are a staple in the Jamaican cooking. 

  
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Have a lovely day!

#Weekend Food Memories

Ciao everyone! This weekend we’ve came across some really good ingredients and as we usually do we cook them! Resulting in some really good dishes, simple recipes and some amazing flavors. 

Buffalo Mozzarella, San Daniele Ham and Warm & Crunchy Bread, not that much to add, the mozzarella, fresh full of bold flavors and slightly salted, so good that we suggest you eat it without any seasoning, if you must just a fresh grind of black pepper. Served with San Daniele ham, this  ham is produced only in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, in the hilly area around the town of San Daniele in the province of Udine, in the extreme north-eastern part of Italy. Recognisable by its typical guitar-like shape, the presence of the trotter and the Consortium brand, San Daniele ham is made solely of the meat of pigs born and bred in Italy and sea salt. An easy combo, an amazing mix of flavors. 

  

Stir-fried Ginger Chicken with Carrots, mixed Mushrooms served with Rice Noodles. The tender strips of corn-fed organic chicken breast, marinated in fresh ginger shaves, soy sauce, chilli flakes, sweet paprika and cumin. The meat stir-fried in hot sesame oil, with thin sliced carrots, red, yellow and spring onions and a mix of mushrooms. Spicy, fresh and delicious.

  
Our wine picks for this weekend are Vermentino di Gallura, this DOCG wine from the Island of Sardegna in Italy has  color of fresh straw, with the greenish tinge of drying grass. The nose offers a delicate and refreshing bouquet of white blossoms, and the palate retains this floral style and, in the best examples, balances it out with zingy acidity and a hint of minerality. We’ve choosen the one from the well known sardinian winemakers Sella & Mosca. 

We could not miss on a red of course, our choice:  Negroamaro del Salento, This is a red grape variety native to Southern Italy . It is grown almost exclusively in the Puglia ( Apulia) region and  particularly in Salento. The grape can produce wines very deep in color. These bold reds tend  to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. 

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Spring is here! Mozzarella, Tomato, Parma Ham & Focaccia bread.

No need to turn the stove on, all fresh, easy to prepare and super tasty!

All the ingredients of this fresh and spring-perfect meal, were locally sourced. We’ve used some “bocconcini” ( literally translated from Italian bite-size) of Mozzarella di Bufala DOC, which is made using the milk of the Buffalo that are raised in certain specific areas within the Campania region in Southern Italy.

We have accompanied the delicious cheese with few ripe organic tomatos, sliced artichokes hearts and few slices of Parma Ham, this also like the mozzarella cheese sourced from a well known area in Italy, famous for this delicious cured cut of ham, the province of Parma situated in the Emilia Romagna region in Northern Italy. The dish was finished with a vinaigrette made using extra virgin olive oil infused with basil and chilli flakes, and served with strips of warm focaccia bread. 

As we said before: simple, fresh, easy to prepare and delicious! Enjoy 

  

Organic Roasted #Chicken with potatoes,drinking  #Cabernet Sauvignon from #Veneto

Dear friends, let’s  be fair, Sunday nights are made for roasted dinners.

For us a roast dinner usually calls for some organic, delicious, and juicy chicken. Tonight’s dish has been in fact prepared using organic corn-fed chicken tights, seasoned with adobo, garlic paste, sweet paprika, black pepper, chilli flakes, and thyme. The chicken once seasoned has been placed on a bed of carrots, onions, and potatoes.

 The finished dish, some succulent cuts of dark meat, tender inside and roasted to perfection outside.The mix of seasoning has given it a hint of spice from the adobo and the chilli flakes, a bold taste of sweet smokiness from the sweet paprika and an aromatic, fresh and hearthy aftertaste from the thyme.

  

Tonight we decide to pair this dish with a bold glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Veneto region. The classic profile of this grape tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant and green bell pepper notes. 

While many of you might be familiar with this wine being from California or Chile. Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history also in Italian wines, this grape is in fact found in several Denominazioni di Origine Controllata (DOCs) and is used in many Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) 

Enjoy!

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#Easter celebration, you ought to bake a Pastiera

Easter celebration, you ought to bake a Pastiera.

Pastiera is amongst all the Easter period sweet recipes, probably the most delicious. In every southern Italian household you will find one of this delightful cake. 

The Pastiera

The legend tells that modern recipe of the cake was probably invented in a Neapolitan convent by a nun that wanted to bake a cake as a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ, that will carry the perfumes of the flowers of the orange trees that are blooming during this time of the year, and will have as the main ingredient wheat, which symbolizes new life. The ancient recipe calls for a mix  of wheat, fresh ricotta cheese, eggs, and water which carries the fragrances of the flowers of the spring time, some candied citrons and a mix of spices full of aroma. With time passing by, as it usually happens, the recipe has developed a few adjustments, so nowadays you can find a widely popular version that also has custard cream, which makes the cake even softer and smoother. The cake is best tasted few days after it has been baked, so that the flavors, and the characteristic orange scent can be well blended together and acquire a unique taste.  

  

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Tonight’s dinner : a Lovely #Chinese combination

Tonight’s dinner : a lovely Chinese combination 

Tonight’s we were in the mood for some cozy food to share with friends, so why not cook some Chinese favorite. We opted out for Vegetarians Spring Rolls and Sweet and Sour Chicken  served with rice both plain and egg-fried.

Unfortunately as sometimes it happens, we didn’t have a Chinese beer in the fridge, so why not pair our Chinese meal with a bottle of Italian wine from our cellar. We choose Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2013. A fantastic red from the southern Apulia region, a red wine with fruity and spicy yet refreshing notes. 

The Rolls were prepared in the traditional way, the wrapper made with flour,water and salt slightly cooking the light batter in a non-stick pan, for the filling we used stir-fried mix of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, green onions, garlic and finely chopped peppers. We fried them in our wok using peanut oil. The Chicken  was cooked in a very simple way with bell peppers, pineapples chunks, garlic, a mix of spices, the water- corn starch mixture, pineapple juice,adding  some brown sugar and rice vinegar, to give it the golden and delicious velvety coating. 

Enjoy! 

  

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#Tuesday night dinner : Frittata and a glass of Barbera! 

Tuesday night dinner, wanted something easy to prepare and yet fulfilling. Eggs are always between the staple ingrediends you probably have,so do we! So why not have a Frittata! We prepared this lovely eggs-based dish, combining organig eggs gently mixed with previously hard boiled potatoes, a mix of spices and soft white onions. The end result a dish ready in ten minutes and super delicious. We served this with soft brown bread and paired it with a lovely glass of Barbera del Monferrato 2013.

  

Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, is  the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy (together with the well known  Sangiovese and Montepulciano). This grape produces good yields and is recognized for deep color, low tannins and high levels of acid.

Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow for the production of long-aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. The best known appellation is DOCG famous Barbera d’Asti in the Piedmont region. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ use of oak barrels, which provides, aging lovely hints of vanilla.

Barbera seems to have originated in the hills of Monferrato in central Piemonte, Italy ( the one we’re drinking tonight is in fact from Monferrato) where it has been known and appreciated for centuries.

  

Best pairing options are grilled meats or a lovely chicken dish, but will not let you down with pasta or pizza. We drunk this 2013’s ,as mentioned above, with a lovely frittata and it’s spicy notes went really well with the bold flavors of this egg-based dish.

Salute! 

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Tonight : a glass  #Montepulciano DOC! 

Tonight we are having a nice glass of Montepulciano DOC from 2011. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a red Italian wine made from the Montepulciano wine grape in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo gained the  Denomination controlled origin (DOC) in the late 1960’s. The DOC region for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo covers a vast part of land in the Abruzzo region between the Apennines and Adriatic coast.The hillside vineyards planted on calcareous clay benefit from warm and significant sun exposure that is ventilated by dry breezes coming off the Adriatic.

Montepulciano is produced in all four provinces of Abruzzo–L’Aquila, Chieti, Pescara and Teramo ( this one is in fact from the Pescara area). The most favorable vineyards are in fact planted in the northern provinces of Pescara and Teramo with the later having it own DOCG.

These northern provinces benefit from having less fertile soils with more ferrous clay and limestone mix and higher elevations as the Apennines draw closer to the Adriatic. This creates cooler micro-climates that tend to produce more concentrated wines.

This lovely red is best paired with pasta dishes with meat sauces, grilled meats and any other rustic dish with earthy flavor. 

Salute!

 

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