Monday, June 11, 2012

Starters for great Start

1. Arancini

0.8 lb leftover risotto* (400g)
2.8 oz mozzarella (80g), cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
2 cups extra virgin olive oil (475ml)
*if leftover risotto is not on hand, add a generous amount of grated parmigiano cheese and a small amount of tomato sauce to boiled salted arborio rice.
To start your Arancini:
Grab a handful of leftover risotto and shape into a 2 1/2-inch diameter ball.
Press a hole in the middle with your thumb and place a few cubes of mozzarella cheese inside.
Reshape rice ball until mozzarella is fully enclosed.
Roll each rice ball into beaten egg and coat evenly with breadcrumbs.
In a deep saucepan, heat extra virgin olive oil and gently place rice balls in hot oil without overcrowding.
Make sure the olive oil is hot before rice balls are added, otherwise the rice balls will become heavy.
Fry rice balls for a few minutes on each side until golden.
Place rice balls on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Per 4 persone

2. Beef Carpaccio with Pomegranate

12 ounce whole beef tenderloin (340g)
Bunch of arugula, torn
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and cracked black pepper to season
Grana Padano shavings
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 lemon, juiced
To start your Beef Carpaccio with Pomegranate:
Wrap your beef tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This makes it easier to cut the beef.
Cut beef into 1/4-inch slices and place each slice between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. With a beef pounder, flatten out the beef until it is paper thin.
Remove from plastic wrap and place on a large plate. Add a few arugula leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and Grana Padano cheese shavings over the raw meat.
Add a generous amount of pomegranate seeds and freshly squeezed lemon juice, just before serving.

3.  Potato croquette

1.3lb potatoes (600g), peeled
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese (120ml)
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (120ml)
2 eggs
1 mozzarella ball, cut into thin strips
1 cup breadcrumbs (240ml)
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil for frying
To start your Potato Croquette:
Boil potatoes until fork tender and let cool for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, mash potatoes. For a creamier texture, use a potato ricer.
Add freshly grated parmigiano cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper, one egg and mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Grab a handful of mashed potatoes and create logs that are 1 1/2 inch thick by 3 inches long. With your finger, create an indentation in the middle of the log and add a slice of mozzarella. Close up the logs and make sure mozzarella is fully covered. Reshape if necessary.
For the batter, dip potato logs in a beaten egg and cover with breadcrumbs.
Fry in hot extra virgin olive oil until the potato croquettes are crispy and golden brown.
Let cool on a paper towel and serve warm.
4. Mozzarella in Carrozza

8 slices toast bread, crust removed
1 large mozzarella ball, sliced
4 anchovy filets
1 cup milk (240ml)
2 egg
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (60ml)
To start your Mozzarella in Carrozza:
Sandwich a slice of mozzarella and an anchovy filet between two pieces of bread for each carrozza.
For the batter, beat eggs and milk together in a bowl.
Dip carrozza sandwiches into batter and make sure they are fully coated.
In a saucepan, heat extra virgin olive oil and cook sandwiches until golden brown on each side.
Add a dash salt and serve immediately.

5. Pizza pasta


2/3 lb leftover spaghetti with sauce (300g)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (45ml)
freshly grated Grana Padano
salt to season
To start your Pizza Pasta:
In a bowl, beat eggs with freshly grated Grana Padano cheese before adding leftover spaghetti. Make sure the spaghetti is fully covered with egg. Add a dash or two of salt, noting that the leftover spaghetti is already seasoned with salt.
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. To test oil temperature, drop a piece of spaghetti into the pan. If it sizzles upon contact, the oil is ready.
Pour spaghetti mixture into pan and flatten it out like a pancake. Fry for 2 minutes on high heat or until golden brown.
It is important to drain all excess oil from the pan before flipping the pasta over. To flip the pasta, cover pan with a plate larger than the pan and hold it covered. Flip the pan and plate together to transfer pasta onto plate, then slide the uncooked portion back into pan and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove pizza pasta from pan and place on plate with paper napkin underneath. Serve warm or cold.

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