Thursday, February 5, 2015

27 Jan, Gorgonzola Tart (Torta salata con gorgonzola e pere)

I found French pastry at a Gelson's! It's a very expensive $10.99 a box but with no chemical additives. Made with just flour and butter. French butter!

I searched for a recipe and settled on one with gorgonzola, mascarpone and pears.  Another recipe suggested walnuts on top. I experimented.

The pears are where the recipe went wrong. The end slice of the torta salata was delicious. But the bottom of the rest of the torta was soggy. It was not salvageable.  Off into the trash it went.

I asked Marta in Cremona for advice. She told me pears have too much water, use green apples instead. She was also horrified at the cost of the sfoglia. She suggested making my own. 

The taste of that end piece was wonderful, so I will try making this torta again. With apples and with a recipe.

I cut the pastry rolls in half. $2.50 a test is not too expensive. 



Torta salata con gorgonzola e pere


1 disco di pasta brisée4 pere Williams200 gr gorgonzola dolce100 gr mascarpone50 gr gorgonzola stagionato10 ml latte10 gr burro1 tuorlo1 cucchiaio succo di limone1/2 cucchiaino di pepe verdi in grani pestatosale fino
Per prima cosa accendete il forno a 200°

Mettete il latte ed il burro in un pentolino e mescolate a fuoco basso fino a quando il burro sarà sciolto.
Stendete la pasta brisée in una teglia utilizzando la carta forno nella quale è avvolta. Lasciate che la paste debordi un po' dalla teglia.
Spennelate la superficie della pasta con il burro fuso.
Bucherellate il fondo della pasta con le punte di una forchetta.
Mettete in una terrina il mascarpone e i due tipi di gorgonzola uniti con sale e pepe.

25 Jan, Baked Apples (Mele al forno)

Today is a chilly, cool day.  These are so easy to make and the air is filled with a wonderful aroma.

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut apples in half and core, using a melon ball tool. Place a crispy amaretti cookie and a dab of butter into each cavity. Top with juice of fresh oranges. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  Serve warm, with a spoonful of yogurt or crème fraîche.

24 Jan, Italiarama again!

There's been a very large hole in my life. Without the weekly Saturday mornings speaking and hearing Italian, I've suffered. Last semester I had to leave town suddenly when my mother survived a heart attack. I took a suitcase of study guides, reading books and audiobooks. But the stress made it impossible to study. But today class has started and I am here!

I love love love this class and our instructor, Michele Scotto.

20 Jan, Gorgonzola Risotto (Risotto al gorgonzola)

What to do with a piece of Italian DOP Gorgonzola cheese? I asked Marta in Cremona.

Her suggestions were:  

~~With pasta
~~Crêpes ai quatri formaggi
~~Torta salata con pasta sfoglia gorgonzola e mele

I choose to make the Risotto, using a recipe from my favorite Italian cooking site, GialloZafferano.
I made a half recipe.

Gorgonzola Risotto

Serves 4

1 large shallot, minced very finely
1 liter vegetable broth or water, warming on the stove
100 ml white wine
20 g butter
30 g Parmigiano or Grana cheese, grated
350 g Carnaroli rice
150 g Gorgonzola DOP cheese, dolce if possible
Salt and pepper to taste

In a deep saucepan, gently sauté the minced shallot in butter over a low fire.
When the shallot is soft, add the rice to the pan and let it toast for 2 minutes.  Stir constantly.
When the rice is transparent, add the white wine and simmer for a minute.
Add a ladle of hot broth to the rice, stirring constantly. 
Let the rice cook until almost dry, then add another ladle of hot broth.
Repeat stirring in broth by the ladle and let then let simmer.
The broth will have been all used within 20 minutes.
When the risotto is done, add the gorgonzola, which has been broken into small pieces.
Stir in grated grana.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat. Serve immediately.

A suggestion is made to reduce the gorgonzola to 100 gr, if one is using the more aged gorgonzola.

Risotto al gorgonzola

Scalogno 1 grande 
Brodo vegetale, 1 lt 
Vino bianco secco, 100 ml 
Burro 20 g 
Grana padano grattugiato, 30 gr 
Pepe q.b. 
Riso carnaroli, 350 gr 
Gorgonzola dolce, 150 gr

Per preparare il risotto al gorgonzola iniziate mondando lo scalogno e tritandolo molto finemente, poi fatelo appassire a fuoco dolce nel burro che avrete sciolto in un tegame (1). Quando lo scalogno sarà ben appassito aggiungete il riso (2) e fatelo tostare per circa 2 minuti, fino a quando inizierà a diventare trasparente, poi sfumate con il vino bianco (3).
Aggiungete un mestolo di brodo (4) e procedete con la cottura del risotto, aggiungendo brodo ogni qualvolta il risotto si asciugherà. Quando la cottura del risotto sarà quasi terminata mantecate con il gorgonzola a pezzetti (5) e con il grana grattugiato (6). Togliete dal fuoco e pepate a piacere. Servite il risotto al gorgonzola immediatamente!

Se preferite un gusto più deciso, potete utilizzare il gorgonzola piccante, ricordatevi però di diminuire le dosi e utilizzarne circa 100 gr!