An Italian Feast

  2007年三月剛去完意大利旅行,買了好些美食手信回家,於是便煑了一餐意大利菜招呼朋友,試試我此行對北意飲食文化實地考察後的深層領會及重拾集體回憶,無他,給大家多一個大吃一頓的藉口,順便開個Wii party,笑笑自己體能測試究竟差過實際年齡多少。
  我全程最欣賞的就是在Bologna吃的燒牛肉冷盤(見Modena、Bologna遊記內文),略燒過的牛肉其實還很生,像carpaccio但更有肉味,肉質嫩滑。不過我不懂怎麽煑,真要努力尋訪高人指點才行。其餘菜色的設計都盡量貼近北意的風味及利用千里迢迢帶回來的材料,包括salami加fig paste (Modena的吃法),risotto (一道在北意十分普遍的菜,我們曾嚐過的有「無料」creamy白色的(Breuil-Cervinia - 忘了用甚麽煑,可見並不impressive),用紅酒煑成紫米露一樣的 (Bologna),用南瓜煑成橙色的 (Modena),以及用腸仔煑成像生炒牛肉飯一樣的 (Mantova),變化極多,基本上可依個人喜好發揮創意) – 我用了在Venice菜檔買回來的dried porcini mushrooms煑,另外,當然還有Modena的名產balsamic vinegar,我買了8,10和15年釀製的,分別用來dress salad,牛扒及雪糕,嘩!好像很講究似的呢!

Italian Feast Menu

Season salad
Bread stick & whole black olives
Salami with fig paste
Grilled vegetables – bell peppers, zucchini, aubergines
Homemade Taglitelli alla Bolognese
Risotto ai funghi
Homemade pizza with mozzarella, black olives, proscuito and basil (print version)
Pan-fried sirloin steak with aceto balsamico

Dessert - Vanilla ice-cream with fresh strawberries, dressed with aceto balsamico

 


Salami with fig paste

無花果醬甜甜地和salami的咸味配搭獨特。兩種食材都是現成的,無甚花巧,唯有考考Peter的刀功,又很不錯呀!切得很薄。放在一隻很意大利感覺的碟上,完全配合今晚的主題。

 

這個飯是全晚大家公認最好味的,Stephen說下次輪到他宴客時他會有壓力呢!

Risotto ai funghi (Print version)

I use dried porcini mushroom for its full-bodied aroma and mix with fresh mushrooms (鮑魚菇) for more texture. The baby asparagus add crunchiness and color to this marvelous dish.

 

Serves 3 - 4
300g Aborio rice (Italian risotto rice)
dried porcini mushroom (1 cup)
3 – 4 large, fresh brown mushrooms (any kind, preferably firm and earthy in taste) (chopped into small pieces)
baby asparagus (a small bunch, chopped into small pieces)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 small onion (peel and finely diced)
1 blob butter
375ml chicken stock (清鷄湯)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 glass white wine
  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms with some cold water until softened. Cut into small pieces and save the soaking liquid for cooking. Fry the fresh mushrooms with butter and olive oil until soften, season with salt and pepper. Cook the asparagus to just done (~ 1 min, check to avoid being too soft) in boiling water and drain.

  2. Fry the chopped garlic and onion for 2 minutes. Add Aborio rice and fry for a minute; then add a glass of white wine. Stir until the wine has almost been absorbed.

  3. Now turn down the heat a little bit and add the chicken stock, one ladle each time (not all at once!) and stir until it’s almost all absorbed by the rice before adding some more. Cookbook will tell you to heat the stock first, and it may have a reason, but I don’t bother. You don’t have to stir continuously, but frequent enough so that the rice won’t get stuck to the pan. Therefore don’t leave the pan at this stage! After you’ve used up all the chicken stock (this can take ~ 15 min), check the firmness of the rice and start adding the soaking liquid (again one ladle each time) to finish cooking it to the right texture. The rice should look soft on the outside but still have a bite. If you cook on high heat or too quickly, the rice will be too “gluey” on the outside but still uncooked on the inside.

  4. Add the soaked porcini mushrooms, fried fresh mushrooms and boiled asparagus to the rice and stir thoroughly. The chicken stock should have added enough taste, but season with salt (if necessary) and freshly grated black pepper.

  5. Turn off the heat and add the freshly grated parmesan cheese. It is important to put a lid on and let the rice sit for a couple of minutes. This really helps to make it very creamy. Serve immediately.


Taglitelli alla Bolognese (Print version)

The sauce is very easy to make, just need a little bit time and preferably cook in a very heavy casserole pot so that the heat is even and no favour escapes. I use the Le Creuset cookware. However, what makes this dish so tasty is the fresh pasta. Do get hold of “fresh” taglitelli if you don’t make it yourself. It makes a world of difference!

 

Serves 4
400g fresh taglitelli
200g minced beef
200g minced pork
1 medium onion (peeled and finely chopped)
1 blob butter
1/2 glass white wine
2x tinned tomato
1 teaspoon concentrated tomato puree

 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion. Then add the meat and fry until golden brown. Stir in the wine, tinned tomato and tomato puree. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for about 2 hours stirring from time to time. Season with salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste. Serve with freshly cooked taglitelli and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).


Pan-fried sirloin steak with aceto balsamico

對不起,又忘了拍照,其實賣相沒有花巧。最緊要買靚牛扒,我個人特別鍾情美國牛肉,肉味一流,牛扒要夠厚,要少少肥,不用醃,要用又厚又重的frying pan煎,我鍾意用我隻Le Creuset grill pan,夠重,又有斜紋,燒起來很有BBQ風味。先燒熱frying pan,加olive oil再燒熱後才放牛扒,燒熱了的油可以即時封住外層並鎖住肉汁。8oz 牛扒medium rare to medium的話每面大概煎四至五分鐘,煎完一面才翻去另一面,一邊煎一邊洒salt and black pepper (好似日本爐端燒一樣),切忌中間「吉」塊扒一刀看看有幾成熟 (大忌!大忌!),因為肉汁會流走!煎好後放上碟,每面用掃搽上1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar,搽勻後謹記放 2至3分鐘才可吃或切,這樣肉汁才不會流失,會更好味!

click to enlarge

Black olives

Miranda帶來了很美味的whole black olives,是在跑馬地一間賣意大利美食的店舖 il Bel Paese 買的 ,這樽重逾2kg的olives大有來頭,是Modena出名的food producer - Casa Rinaldi 生產,每粒橄欖都有大半隻拇指般大,果肉有質感而且味道濃郁,因為沒有去核,更原汁原味,而且不太咸,餐前小食認真一流。