Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tarte with spinach

Here's a tasty and easy recipe that can be served on all occasions. It's one of my favorite recipes that accompanies me for almost 20 years having always a huge success.

I thought of combining the tarte with the napkin ring "DAISY". Daisy is made of galvanized aluminum wire and a wooden painted pearl; the tarte and Daisy evoke in me a feeling of simplicity, so I find them in harmony on my table. Click here to shop for them.

The spinach tarte is certainly a recipe passe-partout: as a main course, it can be served hot on a bed of salad; as an accompaniment of an aperitif, it's delicious warm, cut into small squares; finally, served at room temperature, is ideal for a picnic in the countryside.

I usually prepare the tarte the day before, in order to have time to devote to its presentation: in my opinion a white or light tint shallow plate will be perfect. If on the other hand you want to give a touch of joy to the table, then I suggest to use a colored or fantasy plate.
This recipe is unpretentious but at the same time tasty and fragrant. Certainly it will stimulate your imagination for an original presentation: your own!

Time: 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake. Kcal per person: 330

Preheat the oven: 200 C (400 F)

For 6 person you'll need:
-1 ready made roll dough (pâte brisée)
-ricotta cheese 250 g - 8,5 oz (ricotta is a fresh and creamy white cheese, slightly sweet in taste, that contains around 5% fat. It is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter.)
-2 eggs
-frozen spinach 1 kg - 35 oz (you can use fresh spinach instead, the preparation will be longer but the taste will repay. I usually use the organic frozen ones that I think are a good compromise between taste, health and quick preparation)
-salt, ground pepper and ground nutmeg

*thaw frozen spinach in the microwave according to the instructions on the package, then squeeze them to remove the excess of water
*put the spinach, the ricotta cheese, the eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a mixer and mix for 30 seconds
*roll out the dough and place it in a pie dish (diameter 20 cm - 8")

*pour the filling on the dough; fold the flaps of dough over the borders of the filling.
*bake for about 30 minutes or until the dough is golden

While the tarte is baking, you'll begin to smell a delicious perfume which will inspire your presentation and....enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Isadora and "Antipasto sfizioso"

Bonjour a tous!
I'd like to start with my favourite napkin ring called "ISADORA", ispired by the elegance, lightness and fragility of the great american dancer Isadora Duncan, the mother of modern dance.

It's completely handmade with copper thread and pearl (imitation): it's like a sculpture you can show to your guests during a meal: click here to shop for them.

I think that "Antipasto sfizioso" will be a good association, it's rich in aromas and has a color effect guaranteed.
It's a very fast recipe that can also be served as an accompaniment to a drink (aperitivo).

I generally prepare it using organic products, considering that organic products have much more taste.

Since I'm not sure if all the ingredients that I use are available where you live, I'll try to explain their role so you can find a suitable workaround.

PRESENTATION: for this particular recipe I suggest to use a white plate like in the photo or if you feel more eccentric you can try a black one: in any case avoid multicolor.
Then give an artistic attention and care when you place the cheese and the little sticks.
Last point try to reproduce the same harmonious arrangement for each plate.

time: 20 minutes
kcal for each portion: 200 kcal.

Here's the recipe for 6 persons
-preheat the oven at 200C = 400F

For the sticks you need
-1 ready made dough (roll) -called pate brisee in France-
-sesame seeds
-herbs de Provence ( It's a mixture of dried herbs from Provence a french region: in the mixture you generally find rosemary, marjoram, basil, thyme, lavander and others)

*roll out the dough and cut it into rectangular pieces (2,5 cm x 12,5 cm =1" x 5")
*put sesame seeds on half of the rectangles and herbs de provence on the remaining half
*twist each rectangle like a spiral and place them on a sheet of special oven paper
*bake for about 10 minute or until the dough is golden ( attention: on the dough package is generally written to bake for about 30 minutes or more, but this is the timing for cooking the dough with other ingredients)
*let them settle (serve them warm or cold)

While the sticks are in the oven prepare the cheese, for this you'll need
-12 teaspoon of fresh goat cheese
-red chili powder
-cumin powder

*take 12 teaspoon of cheese and using your fingers (a little bit of water on them will help you, like modeling clay) try to model each one in an half sphere shape
*roll 6 of them in the chili powder
*roll the remaining 6 in the cumin powder

Now take a breath and gently compose your chef d'ouvre (artwork).