Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Stove on Sunday on Wednesday: An Italian Kitchen

Do you know that the last time I did a Stove on Sunday post was the 28th of August.  That's a month and a half ago!  What have I been doing on Sundays, or the rest of the week for that matter, that has prevented me from posting a damn food post on the correct day.  Due to said lack of Stove on Sunday posts I have become a tad precious about it..."I can't possibly post about food any other day, it has to be sunday!  I can't post about wintry treats until I have written my Italian food posts yet either..." and so I've done nothing about either one.  Well I need to nip that in the bud immediately, as it's mid October, Halloween is looming upon us and I have loads of autumnal bakes and wintry soups (not sure I do have a soup to write about but I panicked and needed a winter food) and lord knows what else to blog abut for sure.  So here it is, on Wednesday, The Stove on Sunday: An Italian Kitchen.

Whilst visiting Tuscany in August ,we dined out in some rather yummy and reasonable restaurants, as well as creating some delicious Italian themed treats back at our apartment.  Both nights we dined in, we dined out in the garden.  I dressed the area to allow for a twinkling retreat for our evening meal.

For our first meal, myself and my sisters organised the menu.  We began with bruschetta which was warmed on the barbecue.  For this I sliced ciabbatta bread whilst my sister softened red peepers in a pan.  Using handmade pesto I spooned enough to lather the top of each piece of bread with it.  Placing the peppers on top of the pesto and tearing a piece of buffalo mozzarella for each, we placed them on the barbecue long enough for the mozzarella to begin to melt.  Such easy preparation but makes for a great starter!

As the main meal we recreated a dish we'd had in a restaurant in Tuscany a few years back.  Again, very simple, steak placed on rocket leaves with shards of parmesan cheese on top.  No pictures I'm afraid but you can take my word for it, it's good.

The real wow factor dish of the week though was my mothers stuffed courgette flowers.  Courgette flowers are not readily available in the UK and some of you potentially are gasping at the thought of them.  I guess you may be able to get them from a specialist food store but I've never seen them anywhere.  If you do ever come across them, here is what they look like...

Quite an Italian speciality, my mum recalled a recipe she had seen quite some time back for them and decided to attempt it.

You Will Need...
Courgette Flowers
Ricotta Cheese
1 Lemon
Sparkling Water
Olive Oil

How To...

1.  The courgette flowers were prepared but my mother still used a paper towel to wipe the insides.  If they are not prepared you may want to google what should and shouldn't be left in.

2.  Mix the ricotta with lemon zest and and salt and pepper to season.

3.   Fill each flower with the ricotta mixture.

4.  Create a batter with the flour and sparkling water.  We actually had to use beer because we picked up the wrong water but it worked just as well, hey it may have even been yummier!

5.  Place each stuffed courgette flower in the batter to cover and then place them in a frying pan half filled with extra virgin olive oil.  You could deep fry them but we decided to shallow fry them instead, although there was a little more oil than normal to ensure it cooked all the batter.

They should come out looking something like this...

If you do come across them then I really recommend using them for a dinner party.  They're so extraordinary and unusual that I think everyone would be mighty impressed at the effort.  I was a little disappointed with the flavour but I doubt that's nothing a little more seasoning couldn't rectify.  They were a great combination of textures too, crunchy on the outside only for it to ooze with creamy warm soft ricotta on the inside. I also think a nice dip accompaniment could add another dimension to the delicacy.

We served them with a tomato and pesto salad, Tuscan sausages and pasta with a meat sauce.

1 comment:

  1. How great does this look! I am your newest follower.




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