Home-made Lemon Curd

It is foggy outside, the sun hides since days…what’s the best way to substitute it? Exactly, home made lemon curd, it is a quick and easy recipe!

For about 200ml

3 organic lemons
112 g caster sugar
3 free range very fressh eggs (1 whole, 2 yolks)
50 g butter, unsalted, cold

Zest the lemons into a heavy-based pan and combine with sugar, rub together with your fingers or a spoon to release the oils. Then squeeze the lemon, you need about 110ml juice.

Whisk the eggs into the sugar and put the pan on a low heat, stir continuously with a wooden or rubber spoon, slowly adding the lemon juice, little by little. Stir gently for about 10-12 minutes until the mass is as thick as a vanilla custard. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside for a few minutes. Cut the butter which you only take now out of the fridge into che bes.

Put the pan back on the still warm stove and now add the butter, little at a time, continuously stirng again until the butter has melted and the curd is very smooth and silky.

Immediately transfer to sterilized jars. Keep cool and dark. Once opened keep in fridge.
The recipe also works with Oranges! 2 will give you 110ml juice.

 

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Zucchine alla Poverella (aka isi)

 

This is a traditional dish from Puglia, it is ideal to accompany some appetizers or fresh fish or you can mix them with a bowl of pasta. The mint and vinegar gives the zucchini a very fresh taste, just what you want on a hot summer day.

4-6 small zucchini, cut evenly in rondelles of about 4-5 mm
Mint (to your liking, I used about a handful), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh
1 -2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
Olive oil to fry zucchini
Salt, pepper

 

Cut the zucchini and let the water drain in a bowl (i usually put the zucchini on a plate and cover them with a second heavy plate, so the water extracts from the zucchini, takes about 1hr)
In a pan, fry the zucchini in enough olive oil until golden brown (medium heat).
Turn off the gas and add the mint, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Stir well, season with salt and pepper. Let cool off in a bowl and enjoy luke warm or cold.

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Strawberry Mint Sherbet

On a hot summer day (yes, that exists in 2016), a refreshing strawberry sherbet is a good way to cool down.
And it is even healthy..at least healthier than Ice Cream…

500g fresh strawberries, washed, cut in half
100g caster sugar
1dl water
3 tablespoons of lemonjuice
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, finely chopped

 

With the water and sugar, make a syrup and let completely cool.
Blend the strawberries, lemon juice, syrup and mint until the mix is smooth.

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Now put it in your ice maker and proceed as per instructions.
If you do not have an ice maker, place the mix in a bowl in the freezer, stir every hour with a swinger, it takes about 4 hrs to freeze.

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Store sherbet in the freezer, take it out about 10 minutes prior serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries and mint leaves.

 

 

Summer-Time-Tart

Temperatures are not as hot anymore, somewhere in the 20’s, and it feels quite ok again to stand in the kitchen and cook, but it was a nice day today, so I wanted to limit “kitchen-time” to a minimum. Today, I felt like baking a fast and tasty tart for dinner, making use of the vast choice of vegetables at the market.
Lazy as a I am today, I bought the dough, of course you can make it yourself….

For the size of my dough, 38x25cm, I used:
2 Zucchini (small ones, remember they are tastier and not bitter)
1 yellow pepper,  1 red pepper
3 fresh onions, chopped, not too fine
1 fennel
8 mushrooms
100g bacon bits
1tbl spoon olive oil

2 eggs
100ml milk
150g Parmigiano Reggiano (me, freshly grated 36 months old from the Mercato in Nizza Monferrato)

Lots of herbs and spices, salt and pepper

Of course, you can use any other type of vegetables; carrots, eggplants, tomatoes come to mind.

How to?
Cut the veggies in small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a pan and stir-fry the Zucchini, Peppers, Fennel for a few minutes. Then add the onions and stir another 2-3 minutes, add spices and herbs as you like. I used Oregano from Greece and Oman, Thym, Chili and pepper. Do not use salt.
Take the pan from the stove and add the mushrooms. Mix the vegetables well.
In a separate pan, without adding oil, fry the bacon bits until they get a golden color. Add to the vegetables. If you are Vegetarian, refrain from the last step, but you will miss the great taste:-)

Heat the oven to 200c.

Put the dough on a baking tray and cover the base with two tablespoons of cheese.
Mix the remaining cheese with the two eggs and the milk, stir well until the mixture is smooth.

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Now, gently stir the veggies once more so that the mushrooms can soak up liquids, then distribute the mélange on the dough and pour the egg-mixture on top of it, add some more freshly grated Parmesan if you like. Bake for about 40mins.
Serve warm, fresh from the oven!

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And since the oven was heated up, I also made this apple tart for dessert, which goes perfectly well with a spoon of vanilla ice cream!

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