Videos

Wild saithe fillet stuffed with mortadella

It's away from the church bells ringing, in the secure retreat of a kitchen in Rome that this dish was born. I got to the market late in the morning, so I could get the best bargain before the fishmonger stall would shut down. What's gratifying about this fishy creation is the nutty pistachios contrasting with the crispy mortadella filling.  They say fish is good for you, but for me, it's the indulgent accompaniment with cream and mortadella that makes it excellent. The origins of Mortadella Bologna are to be found in the territories of the ancient Etruscan area (nearby Rome), rich with oak trees that provided piquant acorns to the many local wild pigs. The Bologna Archaeological Museum houses the first evidence of what is claimed to be a producer of mortadella : on a Roman pillar are depicted on the one hand seven grazing piglets and on the other a mortar with a pestle . The mortar was used by the Romans to pound and knead the pork with salt and spices. This suggests that the name of the sausage comes from mortarium. This dish is sweet succulence perfectly combined with salty freshness.

The video below was made in collaboration with a French production. Even though the instructions are in French, it wouldn't hurt to follow the video when making this recipe, especially for the step where the mortadella filling is involved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1QGRFIribY

Wild saithe fillet stuffed with mortadella Ingredients: (serves 2 people)

  • 100 gr. creamy soft spreadable cheese
  • 30 gr. fresh whipping cream
  • 50 gr. dairy unsalted butter
  • a sprinkle of ground pepper
  • a sprinkle of fine salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 gr. mortadella Bologna
  • 50 gr. pistachio nut kernels
  • 200 gr. saithe or coley fillet
  • 50 gr. crispy babyleaf salad

In a bowl, place the creamy cheese, add the whipping cream, a hint of salt and the olive oil. Whisk until obtaining a smooth preparation.

Make an incision down the centre of the fish from the head to the tail, then make a cut in order to create a pocket for the filling. It is important that you don't break the fish, so take your time and do this process delicately.

Cut the mortadella into thin slices. Fill the fish with mortadella and cover it. Plant a pic to maintain it still. Dust with the pistachios and add the salt. In a pan, melt the butter and cook the stuffed fish 2 minutes per side. Serve it with bubbles of cream cheese and the salad.

With love and pistachios,

Eleonora

Martini, it's time for aperitivo

For me, transmitting gastronomical heritage is key to a functioning passing of the baton. To exist, tradition must evolve and trespass its own boundaries. I'm proud to annouce my partnership with Martini ® as their brand ambassador in France. For them, I'm introducing the concept of aperitivo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbbp3aOdLL4

In fact behind every dish there's a story I decode with anecdotes, the characters animating them, the art, the land. Whether in Paris, London or New York, with my friends and family we often find ourselves at dawn for a drink. In Italy we do too, but our way. We call this pre-dinner time the aperitivo time. We share a cocktail and we accompany it with very generous buffets of antipasti. Food is central.

So it's a journey to the heart of Italy that I propose to discover through four major cities: Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples. Come on I'll take you, andiamo!

With love and a cocktail,

Eleonora

Savoury cake and a cracked cup

It was mainly from the thirteenth century that bread in Italy began to be filled with all sorts of ingredients, ranging from meat, fish, vegetables, fresh herbs, eggs, cheeses. The decision on whether going for a spinach filled or a cheese flavoured savoury cake would vary according to the season, the market supply and the local traditions. For this recipe, you can use the pretty cups of teas we all have in our kitchens. I inherited mine from my nonna. As much as I try to treat them rather immaculately, these little beauties still have to withstand the stress of my multiple-cities constant moving. That's how one fine day, after having finally received a lost luggage, as I unwrapped the cups carefully, I heard the sound of a break. One of them detached itself from the rest of the group by means of a vertical crack. Change of perspective, then. So I put it to good use, at the centre of my cupboard, near the scale.  And it's now standing there with a whole new life's purpose. The reason why I sometimes like to use cups whilst cooking is that the whole idea is to enjoy the #foodhappiness process without getting stuck on analyzing measurements. This is a recipe I created for a French video production project. My other videos from this same adventure can be viewed in my videos section. I love the idea of capturing the moist of the egg with the delicious pitted olives. If you find watching the video tempting enough, then you’ll be even more thrilled at the idea of reproducing it with the instructions below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvyY7ckJ9zo

Cheesy savoury cake with salami and olives (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 3 free-range fresh large eggs
  • 2 all purpose flour cups
  • 160 gr. of Emmental cheese
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 80 gr. pitted black olives
  • 30 gr. rosemary
  • 100 gr. Italian Napoli salami
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of fine salt
  • 1 cup of fresh whole milk
  • 1 cup of fresh natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp. dried bake yeast
  • 1 cup of potato starch

First of all, preheat the oven at 180°.

Remove the salami from its skin, then cut it into thin slices and then into cubes. Cut the Swiss cheese in dices too, then set aside. Mix the Parmesan cheese with the yogurt in a big bowl. In two small bowls, separate the whites from the egg yolks, and add the yolks to the parmesan and yogurt mixture. Set the whites on the side. Add salt and oil to the main bowl and stir thoroughly. Sift the flour and the baking yeast, to then add them to the batter. Finally add the milk and mix.

Once all the liquids have been dealt with, you can now proceed onto mixing in the Swiss cheese, the salami and the final touch: the olives. Stir well. Whip the egg whites up.  Once they are nice and firm, blend them gently in the dough, putting particolar attention as to not breaking the whites. Ideally you should incorporate them working with a spatula from the bottom upwards.

Pour the batter into the mold. Finally add the rosemary on top. Bake for approximately 35 min. at 180 °.

With love and savoury cake,

Eleonora

Rice pudding with chocolate

In my beginnings, there was the rice pudding. I must have been no more than 3 or 4 years old. The home cooks who showed it to me were absolutely portentous. Women of great size, wearing dresses with floral motifs, their hair pulled back and a predisposition to raw judgment and an excessive use of olive oil. I guess that certain characters should be preserved and protected as monuments of our collective memory. I wonder whether Unesco has ever thought about that. Paying tribute to the last Highlanders of our regional kitchens.   The most delicate and glorious rice pudding comes coated with shortbread in Rome and Tuscany. A constant presence on holiday tables, it's a big round cake, not higher than 3/4 inches and baked in the oven until you get those nice caramelising edges. We are going to go for the lighter version today. Rice cooked in milk enriched with either candied oranges, raisins soaked in Vin Santo or, for the most greedy, small pieces of bitter chocolate. That's what we are aiming for, in the recipe below. This was a video conceived as a result of a collaboration I did for a Parisian production company, hence subtitles are in French. However, images talk for themselves, so if you want to give it a try, you can find the instructions below the video. For all of you gluten-free folks out there, here is a mouthwatering recipe that will drive you crazy. Are you smiling in #foodhappiness swing? Now that's better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hw5uuD8t-U

Rice and chocolate (serves 4 people as a snack or dessert)

Ingredients:

  • 150 gr. Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 500 ml. fresh whole milk
  • 100 gr. dark chocolate
  • 50 gr. caster sugar
  • 1 unwaxed organic lemon

Grate the lemon in order to obtain its zest. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla in two and collect the seeds. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla, the lemon zest and the sugar. Let it cook at low fire; make sure to turn off the heat before it comes to a boil.

Next, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. When the rice is cooked and all the milk will be absorbed, remove the lemon zest and the vanilla altogether. Chop finely the dark chocolate. Place the rice in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle each serving with abundant chocolate.

With love and pudding,

Eleonora

Frittata rolls with courgettes and green sauce

"Ma parla come mangi!" In other words, speak the way you eat. Be simple. Don't be rethoric. In Italy we also use food as a cultural or social paradox. When I was a child, I would be served frittata (i.e. omelette) whenever at home everyone was too tired to cook. As simple as it is (ok, maybe harder than boiling an egg), there were few things at the time that made me happier than my grandmother calling me at the table: "The frittata is done"! Later in life I found out that, figuratively, this phrase is used when some huge mess occurs. Also, the act of "turning the omelette" (a stage of cooking) is associated with an alleged attempt to slip away from a discussion. It turns out, at home I should have watched my plate and watched my mouth, too.

But, nonetheless, a frittata can be so crunchy and delicious that I might as well just roll it. That's what I did for a French video production project. My other videos from this same adventure can be viewed here, here, or here, to name but a few. I love the idea of capturing the moist of the egg with the cirtusy green sauce. If you find watching the video tempting enough, then you'll be even more thrilled at the idea of reproducing it with the instructions below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhvSdfY4GL4

Frittata rolls with courgettes and green sauce

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 fresh free-range eggs
  • 1 courgette
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gr. sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Pour the eggs into a bowl, add the salt, the pepper and the rosemary. Whisk them until fluffy. In a pan, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and splash the beaten eggs in. Let the egg dough curdle from 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat the operation on the other side and cook for the last 3 minutes. Place the obtained omelette on a plate.

Cut the courgette into slices. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the vegetables at low heat for 15 minutes. In the meanwhile, cut the sundried tomatoes into strips.

Evenly place the slices of courgettes and tomatoes on the omelette. Roll the omelette and cut it into rolls of about 3 cm. each. Mildly prick each roller with a cocktail stick.

For the green sauce, finely chop the parsley and place it in a small bowl. Pour the remaining olive oil in and finally add the lemon juice. Mash the mixture  Add a teaspoon of green sauce on each roll before serving.

With love and eggs,

Eleonora

Honey glazed salmon fillet

In Roman habits, friday is a non-meat day. The tradition is linked with the Bible and the general precept of the Catholic Church that imposes not to eat meat on Fridays, the day of the Passion of Christ. Green light then to all kinds of fish and vegetables. When strolling around Roman's open air markets, such as the one in Campo dei Fiori or Testaccio, any respectable fishmonger on this day would scream out loud its generous supply of blessed cod with chickpeas (baccalà co' ceci). In order to grab attention, they would accompany it with a typical Roman stornello, an often emblematic folk song containing lyrics on a romantic and mockery tone, like these ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k-S3onbVyk

Even if you're rolling on deadlines before the end of the week, believe me, this no-fuss recipe will only take 5 minutes to make. I love how the citrusy flavour tickle with the rich drops of balsamic vinegar. What's more, this sweet and sour salmon is easy & quick to perform and will give the impression of an elaborate dish. I worked on this video as a collaboration with a French production company, hence subtitles may be cryptic. However, images do speak for themselves, and if you want to give it a go, you will find below all the details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWDd9KbkzX4

Honey glazed salmon fillet

Ingredients (serves 1 person):

  • 150 gr. salmon fillet
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 30gr. honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 gr. of fennel seeds
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

In a bowl, first press the orange and the lime. Pour the obtained juice into a large bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, the honey and the olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grate the fennel seeds and add them to the mix.

Place the salmon fillet in the obtained marinade. Cover with foil and let rest in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.

Warm up a pan, then cook the fish fillet aller-retour, 1 minute each side. Next, lightly drizzle with the marinade and let the sauce reducing for a couple of minutes. Put the fish on a dish and pour the sauce on top with a brush before enjoying it with a side seasonal salad.

With love and salmon,

Eleonora

Shrimp cocktail, the spicy side

I've always been in awe for fish, first of all because it doesn't create as much of a hubbub as meat does (hence it's more convivial), and secondly because, when fresh, I'm personally on a verge of a lust for life. In range of my collaboration with DeliSnacky, which previous videos you can find here and here, I developed this shrimps cocktails recipe, which has then been turned in a video. The pitch is allusive to an antipasti which became popular in Italy over the '80s. This vintage snack is now ready for a comeback, but with a twist: avocado spicyness. The recipe video has got French subtitles, so please refer to the instructions below in order to make it at home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFVdj8o4esQ

Spicy shrimp cocktail

  • 150 gr mayonnaise
  • 1 fresh unwaxed lemon
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado
  • a bunch of salad leaves
  • a few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 36 tiny shrimps

In a bowl, pour the mayonnaise, 5 or 6 Tabasco sauce drops, and the juice of one lemon. Mix well and put aside. Now prepare the avocado by cutting it in tiny dices. Mince the salad with the aid of a knife. Lay it in a big cocktail glass, starting from the salad on the bottom, then the avocado, followed by the shrimps and its sauce on top.

With love and avocado,

Eleonora

Pan di spagna with zabaglione

Zabaglione is better served warm on a cake. I remember those times long past by, when an utterly scrumptious cream would have been made possible with the aid of a big wooden spoon only ("olio di gomito", as we call the physical effort of the kitchen in days gone by). As part of my collaboration with DeliSnacky, here is my version of Pan di Spagna with Zabaglione. What is Pan di Spagna? An aerial and spongy Italian recipe. Traditionally created by an Italian marquee's chef as a twist to the Biscotto di Savoia exclusively for the Spanish King visiting, this recipe can be adapted to a number of occasions, since we can cut it with a different form (star for Christmas, egg for Easter, or heart for Saint Valentin'es, depending on the celebration). The video's subtitles are in French, please find below an English language thorough explanation of how to proceed; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODEGCuXykWk

Pan di Spagna with Zabaglione (serves 6 persons)

For the Pan di Spagna:

  • 75 gr. potato starch
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 150 gr. caster sugar
  • 5 fresh free-range eggs
  • 75 gr. all purposes flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 125 gr. fresh red currants

For the Zabaglione

  • 160 gr. caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100 ml. limoncello liqueur

Preheat the oven at 180°. Open the vanilla pod, take out the seeds and leave on the side; then in a pot break the eggs, add the salt, the sugar, the vanilla and mix vigorously; finally add the flour and the starch with the aid of a sieve. Mix well. Pour into a mold. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.

To prepare the zabaglione, put the yolks in a pot, add the sugar and the limoncello, whisk well. Immerse the pot in a water bath and stir for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan di spagna from the oven; cut the cake in half, spread half of the zabaglione cream inside, cover it with the remaining cream.

With love and zabaglione,

Eleonora

Crisp mascarpone custard with candied oranges and dark chocolate

Maybe you don't want as rich a dessert as you would literally pamper in these upcoming festivities. Nevertheless, it is nice, in light of this brrrr...freezing winter, to come back home to something exquisite to enjoy at the end of an otherwise dull midweek supper before the real Christmas food festival kicks in and your jaw keeps dropping. I must have been about 12 of age when, finally allowed to enter the kitchen (as I explained thoroughly here), I was taught by my grandma how to make the real, authentic, unfussy and let me add, majestic Tiramisù. The major ingredient is the fluffy, richly flavoured mascarpone cheese. Regardless of the season, I love to be inventive using this ingredient with my own recipes. Last week I sipped a good cup of mulled wine (which recipe you can find here), and I told myself, why not enjoying it with a pairing dessert? So here it is, wrapped up in a video recipe. This is a collaboration I conducted with a French video production (you can watch the first episode here), but even if the wording is French, believe me, this cooking video speaks for itself. In case you were wondering about the exact ingredients and execution, you can find them right below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ycGs15r4Xc

Crisp mascarpone custard with candied oranges and dark chocolate (serves 2 persons)

  • 250 gr. mascarpone cheese
  • 125 gr. of room temperature tap water
  • 175 gr. caster sugar
  • 40 gr. dark chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 savoiardi biscuits (or ladyfingers)
  • 100 ml. whole milk
  • 1 unwaxed organic orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Cut the orange in four pieces. Remove its pulp, then cut the skin into fine stripes and whitewashthem: immerse them in water, remove them after 2 minutes boiling. Repeat the method for 4 times in a row (this will take out the acidity from the orange's skin). Then, let the orange strips dry on a clean cloth.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with 50 gr. of sugar until creamy. Then add the mascarpone cheese and mix gently. Chop the chocolate roughly with a knife, and add it to the mixture.

In a pot, pour the water with the remaining sugar. Incorporate the orange strips and the cinnamon stick. Let cook for 25 minutes at low fire.

Pour the milk in a tiny bowl, then break each biscuits in two and lightly soak them in the milk. Place them at the bottom of a mug, then let half of the mascarpone cheese mixture fall on top of them. Finally, add a few orange slices per serving and sprinkle with some chocolate chips.

With love and candied fruits,

Eleonora

Savoury Tarte Tatin

In case you were in search of  food ideas for this week's dinner time, the answer for you is only a click away. Just sit and enjoy the first extract from my collaboration with Deli'Snacky, a Youtube channel providing plenty of ideas for quick and effective meals! Did you know that the world famous Tarte Tatin, traditionally prepared with apples from Normandy, could also be turned into a savoury option? Well I didn't, until I run out of fresh fruits in my kitchen, and here is what I came up with instead! http://youtu.be/HRoqjgpNOd4?list=UUhmCpJRIGrcFnI-mtMbT4cA

Three Peppers Tarte Tatin

  • 3 peppers (yellow, green and red)
  • 1 red onion
  • 40 gr. pitted black olives
  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 30 gr. fresh dairy butter
  • 30 gr. extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 gr. caster sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 40 gr. tap water

Remove the seeds from the peppers. Take a large pan and grill the peppers for about 30 minutes. In the meanwhile cut the onion in dices, and pour the olive in a pan with a little bit of butter. Let everything melt at low flame and eventually add the onions in. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then let cook gently for about 15 minutes. Now preheat the oven at 220°.

Once the peppers are ready, get them out of the pan and immediately in a bread bag. This way, the vegetables will naturally transpire and in a matter of minutes it will be far more easy to get rid of their skin. Once the skin is off, cut the peppers into large stripes. Cut the olives in little pieces too.

Warm up the sugar in a pan with half a glass of water, after a few minutes it should caramelise. In the meanwhile, have a cake mold ready and line its base with some parchment paper. Pour the caramelized sugar in the bottom of the mold, then spread the peppers and, on top of them, add the onions and the olives. Cover with the puff pastry sheet. Bite the cake with a fork and cook for 20 minutes in the oven at 220°.

With love and peppers,

Eleonora

Sour cherry ricotta cake - a blog exchange for HautAppetit.com

We met on Instagram. We talked about sharing #foodhappiness together. We planned for a date. Here in Rome. We made it happen.

Elizabeth Minnett is a former model who also runs a deliciously fashionable baking blog, HautAppetit.com. Whether in Milan, London, Paris or New York, cities that she visits regularly in order to keep updated with the latest fashion trends, she made it a mission to translate fashion statements into food ones. Following the historical background behind Italian gastronomy, she wanted me to create a recipe that would embody the colour patterns and the texture of the eternal city. By keeping it light, of course ("feed the models" being her motto). Here is the amusing result of a foodie italo-american affair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUi3CBphaFCi0teFPDwLc2ZA&v=I4NNBI4TgD0

Have you missed any points? No worries, I wrote down the recipe for you.

SOUR CHERRY RICOTTA CAKE

* Eleonora Galasso’s recipe

120g sugar

4 eggs, plus 1 yolk

135g flour

100mL milk

250g Ricotta

150g sour cherry marmalade (jam)

2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

Directions:

Please watch the video for instructions!

With loads of love and cherries,

Eleonora

Viva la pappa col pomodoro!

At the end of what has been a boiling hot week in Rome, let me wish you a very joyful weekend through a couple of videos displaying the Italian attitudes for excellence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ5Zwrcvvaw

"Viva la pappa col pomodoro" is a very popular song interpreted by Rita Pavone, a sort of "enfant prodige" back at the day, who acted as Gian Burrasca in one of the first tv-series:"John Gale, the bad boy". This nickname, which the family gives to him because of his restless behaviour (more for exuberance than malice), has become proverbial to indicate an unruly kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNjdrzBYzOk

"Che Bambola" by Fred Buscaglione is the epytome of the Roman piacione, a guy who would typically go after all pretty girls by assuming a forced captivating attitude. A typical experience for any gal going around an Italian town.

Off to an Italian weekend, enjoy yours!

Eleonora

Food & Eating in the movies

Food is an eternal presence into our lives and cultures, and it can calls out an infinite number of possibilities linked with the self. The eternal question - should we live to work or work to live -  is nowadays paralleled by the much tastier- should we live to eat or live to eat - one. Just have a look to a few movie scenes to notice how powerfully the gastronomy culture permeates who we are as well as our actions.

- In Inglorious Basterds (2009) by Quentin Tarantino, Austrian SS Officer Colonel Hans Landa enjoys a strudel mounted with whipped cream in the company of Shosanna, a Jewish cinema owner who has secret plans to kill Adolph Hitler. The shady tension and implicit relation between food and human aberration is herein epical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnENQVoi-oo

- Marie Antoinette (2006) by Sophie Coppola is a pop revisitation of the lavish lifestyle led by Louis XVI's wife. Candies are, amongst others, a declaration of independence and a diversion from boredom of the court of Versailles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLJ1vuUWprA

- Charles Laughton gives a foodtastic monarch portrayal in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) by putting out a liberating yet highly simbolic scene when devouring the chicken. He's in a state of fury at having been nagged by all and sundry, including the royal barber, to marry yet again, despite having had three wives already. By the end of the film he has had six wives, the fifth of whom, Catherine Howard  sings to him during dinner once he's finished demolishing his chicken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4tOb9J7W2k

- Marilyn Monroe plays The Blonde in this Prince and the Showgirl (1957)scene when the prince invites her to dinner, having already enjoyed supper himself, and leaves her disappointedly alone enjoying caviar and Russian Olivier salad. After a couple of phonecalls the gentleman returns: "How is everything?" and Marilyn, playing dumb answers: "Just dandy".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8HdgChsYHE

- Food can be therapeutic, as explained in Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bObjXY24Ei4

- The Thin Man (1934) is an extraordinary mix of well humored and light hearted witty lines - "Nice food, isn't it?"- on a non consumed supper -  "Yes, indeed, it's the best dinner I ever listened to". Just hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG3NZjRv2nM

- This scene from 9 and 1/2 Weeks talks for itself about the explosive aphrodisiac power of food

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vLBMEWexoI

Legendary italian movie icon Alberto Soldi had an american dream in the eternal city. His character in An American in Rome (1954) is obsessed with everything american. However, he soon found a nice spaghetti dish much more interesting than a rather improvised milk with mustard. The Italian way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1g6ApalmoI

The shy Amelie Poulain (2001) decides to change the lives of those around her for the better. She cultivates a remarkable taste for small pleasures, such as dipping her hand into sacks of grain or cracking créme brulée with a teaspoon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmllotLUU38