A good soup to boost our stamina

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. Before we proceed to review the final galley proofs of of our upcoming new book, we decided to get an extra boost of energy for that critical task. What better way to get it than preparing a hearty peasant’s soup with vegetables galore, some angel hair pasta, plenty of moringa, oregano, parsley, black pepper, ground garlic, a dollop of parmesan cheese, and no meat (animal proteins early in the day are slow to digest and break you pace)

The final product looks like this and, as always,  you are most welcome to share it at our humble table. A morfar!

Buen apetito!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Happy Sunday with lamb chops and couscous alla Rovino

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. as we already told you a little while ago, we will prepare a couscous of veggies and grilled lamb chops, which will certainly fill our bellies and lift our spirits in this extremely gray day in South Florida. We will attempt to prepare a sauce Béarnaise to accompany the meat in a decisive way. We will sentimentally dub this dish alla Rovino, in honor of Gary Rovin, our late friend and personal attorney, who had a vivacious hustler’s disposition. He was an excellent professional, an entrepreneur and an inveterate traveler who decided to reside part of the year in Queenstown, New Zealand, after retiring in Miami; these lamb chops hark back from that part of the planet. We had many lunch dates together where we talked business, politics and, pour quoi pas, the beauty of passing women. We nicknamed him “Rovino” because he was a feisty bon vivant that made us laugh… May you rest in peace, buddy!

First of all we are going to prepare the vegetable broth so we have enough to cook everything slowly but surely. Then we will proceed to prepare the couscous the same way we have already prepared a risotto (please check steps) In that potage a la Vertamocorii we used Arborio rice as the base of our dish; today we will use couscous instead.

Then we will cut all the vegetables properly on the cutting board. Always remember to soak the mushrooms in some cold water to rinse off all the attached impurities and dirt, besides hydrating them. As if irrigated by the forest rains.

Once we are ready, we put a dollop of olive oil and a piece of butter on our cooking pan, at medium heat, always.

Once it melts, it is time to put the couscous to lightly toast it  (this trick will avoid the “sticking” at the bottom)

After two minutes of toasting (not burning) it is time to fill a third of the pan’s capacity with the hot vegetable broth.

Cook the couscous for five minutes, allowing it to absorb enough water, and then start adding the lentils slowly.

Stir the mixture slowly in a clockwise movement. Cook for 5-6 minutes before adding anything else.

Add all the cut veggies and the mushrooms. Continue to stir gently clockwise from the border don to the center.

The mixture should look like the above inserted picture. Cook everything for 10 more minutes at medium heat.

Once you add the tomatoes, you cook and stir for another five minutes before adding the species you have chosen. We used parsley, Venetian style-granulated garlic, tarragon, oregano, sweet paprika and…(hushhhh) a pinch of salt.

Once we have all the ingredients on board, we have to continue stirring gently with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes.

Important note – Now comes the critical step in this cooking process. What is it? You guessed right. Let it stand.

Do not despair. We completed more than half of our journey. Take a refreshing pause of 15 minutes for a drink.

After letting it stand for half an hour at the countertop table, we open the lid and its aroma slaps us on the face.  AHHH !!! Que c’est délicieux! It reminds us of the day when we met a Moroccan girl in Paris and…(I’ll tell you later)

Now it’s time to grill the lamb pork chops inside, using our Nuwave Air Fryer , as it is raining heavily in our patio.

Remember to cook the lamb well but not to overdo it. It should be crispy outside and juicy inside. Like this.

You can start putting everything together now in a Pyrex glass container and set it aside for a few minutes.

Once we cooked the couscous, all the veggies and the meat, we will prepare the Béarnaise sauce. We’re excited! Like in a boxing match, we are hearing the voice of the announcer saying: ARE YIU READY?!!! Yes, we are indeed.

Note – We would like to thank Mr. Justin Chapple, Culinary Director at Food and Wine, who made one of the very best videos of how to prepare a delicious Béarnaise sauce and post it in You Tube. Merci beacucoup, mon pote.

These are the elements to prepare the sauce: three egg yolks, diced shallots or green onions, tarragon, lemon juice,  white wine vinegar and butter. Justin, a happy guy in his mid 20s, used a lot of butter but, alas, we have to bow to the limitations of time. Three spoons of butter might not make it very creamy, but will not clog our arteries either.

Slowly heat a mix of white wine vinegar, diced green onions and tarragon to reduce the mix properly.

We dutifully followed Justin’s advice and we pre-heated the blender’s vase so the butter would not stick to the wall.

Chan Chan Chan !!! How did it turn out to be, folks. See for yourself down below…

We are so happy and excited that one of the sauces that our family and myself have tasted for years in many restaurants is finally at our own reach, right here at our home. Thank you very much Justin and Food and Wine.

Finally it is time to put everything together and to call everyone to the table. Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served.

Bon apétit!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Happy Sunday with family cooking

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday to you all. It is always a pleasure to pause up for a few hours from our daily frenzy to dedicate some quality time for our dear family, including the cooking of a nice dinner for them to enjoy. Today we felt like preparing a nice couscous of veggies and lentils to accompany some grilled Lamb chops. We are assembling all the elements right now and we will keep you posted of the developments in our humble kitchen.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Cheers with a truly “barbarian” breakfast

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. It has been steadily raining in South Florida since last night and we will have more during the day. We woke up ready to write in earnest but we needed some unusually brutish force to kick our muscles into gear.

What should we do? How about preparing the “barbarian meal” that we have not dared to try for months? Presto.

We grilled cut potatoes plus Canadian style bacon and added mozzarella cheese and two fried eggs on top. Voilà!

What do you think? Will it boost our reading and writing capabilities in this so solitary, sombre day? Let us hope so.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Happy Sunday with grilled salchicha, kielbasa, potatoes and veggies alla Maria W.

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. Yesterday we confided to you that we were hoping to serve a delicious soup to our crew that we had prepared in the morning. Fat chance. They demanded a loaded sandwich for a TV dinner. Today the weather was sunny in the morning but the weather progressively degraded into dampness and obscurity. -“How about if we have that soup?” we said to the gang. “Forget it, Dad…Fix us something to lift our spirits.” Alas.

There fore we decided to use some salchicha parrillera (a long, thin strand of chorizo that gets coiled for the grill) and garlic smoked kielbasa that we had purposefully saved for a time when we had to boost our family’s morale. First of all we grilled the potatoes and sweet potatoes in the Nuwave Air Fryer (a great acquisition indeed) Look.

After 15 minutes of cooking at medium-high temperature, we took them out and laid the cut carrots and ginger.

After 8 minutes at the same temperature, we added the onions and peppers to complete a cycle of 15 minutes.

After the sides, it was time for the big boys at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius for aprox.10 minutes. One of the more contested issues in barbecue grilling in the River Plate is whether you should pinch the sausages halfway through the grilling to let the juice drain out and have a more “dry”, “less greasy” product or not. We do.

After we finished grilling, we set everything aside and we start to prepare the cheese sauce. This is our seasoning.

As you can see we did not include the salt. Why? Because the cheese has enough salt to impregnate the whole dish. If you add it along the way, the dish will reek of the marshy salt-waters where they collect the product. No good.

Maybe you are wondering why we dubbed this sauce alla Maria W. Are you? Well, it is in honor of a gorgeous Polish girl that I loved madly in my youth and, sadly, I never dared to tell her about my feelings. A lost opportunity.

After shedding a few tears for Maria W. (buh…buh) we will put all this together in a Pyrex glass container. Voilà!

Do you think that Maria W. might have liked it? Well, it might serve as a consolation of sorts for my broken heart…

Smacznego!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

The best transgressions always come au pair

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good evening. After a long, productive day, writing at our desk, we decided to prepare some supper for the crew. Honestly, we were hoping that they would be satisfied with the delicious soup that we prepared in the morning. Moreover, we had already made a transgression with the loaded burgers we had prepared earlier. Remember them?

But Life is never quite that easy, isn’t it? They adamantly refused to even consider it and demanded a nice TV snack.

Therefore we prepared these sandwiches of River Plate-inspired veal scalopini (milanesas) with plenty of veggies, ham and mozzarella cheese in a freshly baked loaf of peasant’s bread (we can’t escape our down-to-Earth origins)

However, we have a terrible doubt that gnaws at our self-confidence…Do you think they’ll like these contents, eh?

Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served in front of the TV for a change. Let’s watch Tehran on Apple TV together.

Bon apétit!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Good day with a soup of potatoes, veggies, angel hair pasta and shredded cheese

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Today we woke up with the firm resolution to start our day like our ancestors had done at dawn in those humble dwellings in the mountains of the Basque Country, Piemonte and Campania: with a peasant’s soup. They had to get ready for an unusually long day ahead, toiling in the fields with almost no breaks, until the sunset. Their devoted wives made sure that they had enough calories in their bodies to fend off exhaustion and bitter cold. They fixed this minestrone with potatoes, veggies, angel hair pasta and shredded cheese. No meat (could not afford it)

Therefore we hit the kitchen and in less than half an hour we prepared this simple dish. It did help that we had some spare broth from a past Sunday’s cooking adventure (remember that potage?) So here it is, for your critique.

Is it thick enough to satisfy your yearning for some comfort food like you grandmother used to prepare you? In that case, please join us at our humble table for a good bowl of it. It is never too early for a good soup. Bon apétit!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

A little transgression now and then keeps us happy

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Today we woke up with an extremely acute syndrome of Transgression Now (have you ever felt those symptoms?) and we decided to forgo our traditional simple breakfast of some bread with a little cream cheese plus some fruits to really, really hit it hard in the kitchen, we decided to prepare the “perfect burger.” So this marvel of grilled burger plus onion, tomatoes, peppers, mozzarella cheese and a fried egg on top came into being.

Alas, as always, we have tried to encompass more with our eyes than our mouth could ever accept. Our dear father Mario always called us ojo grande, which translated literally into Spanish means “big eye”, referring to that habit of trying to hoard much more food on the plate than we could possible eat ( we always saved it for later in the fridge)

We ate only half of it and we washed it down with a lot of mate amargo: the other half went straight to the fridge. Moreover, we have to gracefully acknowledge the passage of time and include this “big-time eatery” in the long list of earthly pleasures that we have been obliged to give up: grilled meats, red wine and the company of fair women.

C’est la vie!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

Buona domenica con una pastaciutta alla Dotta Rossa

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

As we said in our previous article, we are preparing today a pasta with a mixed Bechamela-Pomodoro sauce, which we will dub as Dotta Rossa because the addition of meat (turkey in this case) qualifies it as a Bolognese sauce. You surely already know that the city of Bologna is known as “La Dotta” in Italy due to its prestigious university, which is the second oldest in the Western Hemisphere, after La Sorbonne in Paris. Moreover, for many decades. almost all the local administration was dominated by leftist parties, which added the “Rossa” (red) soubriquet to the name.

Very important concept – This simple utensil is perhaps the most important one for healthy cooking: the colander. Early on in our cooking adventures, we learned that many residues of cooking oil tend to accumulate in sautéeing. We try to use only olive oil , which has the lowest proportion of polyunsaturated fats (the good guys) However, after they reach the cooking point, all oils start to degrade and produce toxic residuals. Therefore, you must get rid of it.

The choice of turkey (tacchino in Italian) instead of beef was done because it has less calories with a lot of proteins. The first step is to cut all the veggies, including the ginger, on our cooking board and have it ready for sautéeing.  Put a dollop of olive oil on the skillet and dump the veggies; carefully stir the whole mixture with a wooden spoon.

In order to counteract the acidity of the juice coming out of onions, we recommend adding a little sugar or honey.

After the onions turn slightly brown, it is time to dump all the veggies on our loyal colander to drain the residues.

Now we repeat the same procedure with the minced turkey. This is the roster of seasoning we use. Little or no salt.

After putting a thin film of olive oil on the frying pan, we put the meat; we season it and stir with a wooden spoon.

Once it is well cooked, we repeat the same cleansing procedure with our loyal colander. Do not cut any corners!

Set aside the veggie and the turkey meat in different bowls and proceed to prepare the sauce. We already carefully explained how to prepare a Bechamel sauce (salsa blanca) in a previous article and we encourage you to review it. In order to jazz our sauce a little bit more, we added some of a dehydrated mix with four cheeses made in Argentina.

Don’t forget to grate a little bit of nutmeg on top of it (this is a Brazilian brand I love) which gives it a unique flavor.

Once the Bechamel sauce is ready (fluid and without any lumps) it is time to add the tomato sauce. Slowly!

Once you add the tomato sauce, you will have a white sauce “laced with red streaks”. Just like this picture shows.

Slowly whisk the mixture until you arrive at a nice, uniform pinkish color like this picture shows.

Once you feel confident that the sauce does not have any lumps, you can add the veggies, like this picture shows.

And finally it is time for the meat of the precious birds that fed those hardy Pilgrims in the harsh winter season.

You can add nuts on top of it; we chose to add shaved almonds. Do you like the looks of our Dotta Rossa sauce?

Now we will cook the pasta separately (always) and once it is ready, we will start layering everything on The Beast.

Note– There is nothing than enrages us so much than watching cooking TV programs and videos where the cook nonchalantly dumps all the elements of a pasta dish on the pan, without taking the time to use the colander. They claim it’s “the tradition.” Of course Italians used to cook like that. But thankfully, they (specially the ladies) are slowly changing their habits to take into consideration the toll that Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease take on their health. Altri tempi!

Now it is time to turn the heat at medium intensity and to prep the ball of Burrata by slicing it cross-like so it melts. Once the Burrata cheese melts and you mix everything well, turn the heat off and let it stand for a few minutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served. Please join us at our humble table for a nice dish and plenty of chit chat.

Buon apetitto!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

Ready for a pastaciutta with a mixed Bechamela-Pomodoro sauce?

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you all. Sincerely we were planning not to cook today and take a little break. However, one of your loyal lady readers sent us an e-mail yesterday provocatively posing a most critical question:

“Doctor, can you mix the two sauces… the white and red ones you had taught us how to prepare?”

Of course you can in a pink sauce that is becoming much more popular in Italian and Neo-Italian cooking.

It never fails. You are having a good time and there comes a woman along to ruin everything. Troublemakers.

We are getting the ingredients ready in our work station and we will, God willing, prepare a pasta with a pink sauce.

A posto!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.