black pepper

Chicken soup

Nice and warm!

It’s amazing to discover that this recipe has an entry on Wikipedia!

Now, let’s focus on it. In Italy we would made this with pasta, previously boiled in salty water and then drained, but in this case I will only focus on the soup, so feel free to add any pasta/noodles/rice you prefer.

Tip: if you are planning to accompany the soup with pasta, you can store the drained pasta directly in box separate from the soup, so it will not absorb the broth.

I am always in trouble to suggest a clear indication for servings related to soup, it really depends on how much you like it, or how many pieces of meat you are going to put in it. I tend to put more veggies in it, I like some consistency in the broth but not so meaty; this soup is actually excellent if you have some leftover from your farmer’s market, or the veggies you have are not enough to do something else.
The choice is yours.

Cooking time:
2 hours totally, ½ hour for cutting veggies, 1,5 for boiling the soup

Ingredients for 4/5 servings:
½ chicken, or 500 gr of chicken thighs
1,5 onions
2 leeks
6 chestnut mushrooms (or any other)
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
3 potatoes
2 glasses of passata di pomodoro (I cannot be bothered in writing all the time sieved uncooked tomatoes, seriously!)
1 bay leaf
black pepper
1 tsp. Aji-no-moto
0,5 tsp. salt

Preparation:
Wash and cut all your vegetables first, it will take a while but you will be rewarded! 😀 The size of the pieces is according to your taste, I really enjoy small pieces, though it takes longer to cut them; plus, bigger pieces give the same results. Use a large pot to put all the ingredients together with the chicken, skin and all. Generously season with black pepper; for the salt I tend to use less sodium in my recipe, which is why I use MSG for my meat soups.

Tip: you may eliminate salt completely and serve the soup with some grated parmesan on top.

Fill the pot with water and let it boil at low fire covered by the lid for 1,5 hours. If you don’t know how much water you need, an empirical eyeball measure will do: fill the pot with water till all the ingredients are covered, and then add another third of water. This will secure that the soup can cook on its own for the entire time.

Buon appetito!

 


(Credits: Hoyabird8 at English Wikipedia)


Red kidney beans and sausage

The best way to cook beans is with sausages, no jokes! I know this may sound gross to vegetarian, and I am the first to enjoy a beans salad (in some later post), but the salty and spiced texture of sausage is well coupled with the creamy texture of the beans; their flavours do mix perfectly together. By the way, this recipe is an excellent source of proteins, especially if you choose leaner sausages, for those of you interested in bodyfat loss or workout meals!

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 pork sausages
2 cans of red kidney beans of 400 gr each
1 onion
4 roma tomatoes
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. paprika powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. of iodized salt

Preparation:
Switch on the fire at high. Chop the onion in small pieces and toss it in a pan with the salt, a generous grind of black pepper, the paprika powder, and the cayenne pepper. Add 2 spoons of olive oil; I am being conservative here because the sausages release some fat usually, according to how lean you choose them.

Put the pan on the fire and let it cook for 2/3 minutes, until the onions are gold (not brown). Cut the tomatoes in thin slices and put them in, you may cover with the lid for 4/5 minutes. In the meantime you can cut the sausages in pieces; they can be also made out of beef or any other ingredients, even vegetarian if you prefer to. I have just used pork meat as my personal taste.

To make things easier, you can open up and crumble them, then add them in the pan. Let the meat brown for other 4 to 5 minutes, it will also release part of the fat. Open the cans of kidney beans, drain the liquid inside, was and drain them again, then pour them on top of the sausages. Add a half glass of water now. You can cook them for other 10 minutes with the lid on top.

To be served with some bruschetta, or any other toasted bread. Are excellent also with some steamed vegetables aside.

Buon appetito! 

 

P.S.: thanks Nezemnaya for the shot!

Cauliflower salad

Gnam!

This is one simple salad that I am enjoying recently. The cauliflower has never been one of my favourite when I was kid, but you know, everything changes! I guess the only important direction is the spices we are going to use to season it. I like the lemon juice, some uses balsamico vinegar, your choice.

The quantity really depends on your pot and your good will. You may decide to boil the whole “head” and then store it in the fridge for day after or cut few florets out of it and boil them before eating, again your choice.
The recipe is going to be for 2 people, just to prepare 2 portions because I am quite sure you are going to have another one after the first 😉

Cooking Time:
it is actually 15 minutes from raw to mouth, plus another 10 in the fridge if you like them cold.

Ingredients (for 2 people):
1/4 cauliflower in florets
1 ts salt
grinded black pepper
a bit of chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon

Preparation: 
Cut the “head” in florets, if you don’t know what is it, I have inserted a comfy link in the ingredients list. It’s also here, if you need it 🙂 To make everything blazing fast, cut the florets in slices, as you would do for mushroom. The thinner, the less they need to be cooked. You can do this while bringing to boil the pot with salty water.

The trick is there, it should be just enough water to submerge the cauliflower. no point in putting more water. Add a dash of grinded black pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes in the water. Yes, do it. The fire should be at medium/high.
When the water is boiling, toss the cauliflower in and cover with the lid. It should take no more than 10 minutes to make the cauliflower soft enough to be easily holed by your fork, in case you are not sure and want to “probe” them.

When they are done, drain them completely and place it in the salad bowl. In case you want them cold, put the whole bowl in the fridge for another 10 minutes. No worries for the steam, is not going to harm your fridge!
Season with lemon juice and a dash of oil on top.

Buon appetito!

P.S.: thanks Jeremy for the pic 😉