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White polenta: what it is and how to cook it – Italian Cuisine


Curious to discover white polenta, a classic Venetian preparation? Follow the advice of the chefs at La Scuola de La Cucina Italiana on cooking and pairings!

White polenta is used in Venetian cuisine, particularly in the provinces of Venice, Treviso and Padua. Its diffusion in this area of ​​Italy is due to the traditional presence of the cultivations of white corn, also called Pearl White. What is the difference between white polenta and yellow polenta? The white polenta, obtained from the grinding of this type of corn, tends to be more delicate than the yellow one and its grain is also finer.

Which pan to use for cooking?

Polenta is traditionally prepared using gods cauldrons of copper: this material allows to spread the heat evenly. Alternatively, one can be used pot high and narrow, so as not to let the liquid evaporate too quickly; the material to be preferred in this case is thealuminum, so that the heat conduction is uniform. The temperature of the stove must always be kept fairly low.

How to make white polenta creamy?

If you want to get a polenta from consistency more creamy, simply add more water during the cooking phase. For a version, however, even more enveloping you can prepare the polenta in advance, let it rest and, at the time of serving, add to the polenta of the milk or of the cream, mixing everything with an electric whisk. The result will be extremely delicate and can be the perfect combination for crunchy preparations.

What is the best match?

White polenta is typical of the region Veneto and traditionally it is combined with dishes from this area. The advice is to combine it with preparations based on fish; the white polenta is, in fact, more delicate than the yellow polenta and allows, therefore, to enhance its flavors. Moreover, having a color very particular, it is possible to play with the contrast, combining white polenta with brightly colored ingredients.

A recipe: White polenta with black cuttlefish and parsley oil

Tuesday 19 November was held, a The School of Italian Cuisine, a special dinner in collaboration with Cantine Maschio: it was a unique opportunity to discover a land rich in flavors and landscapes from the Trevigiana hill of Prosecco, recently UNESCO heritage, to the verdant plain between the Piave and the Sile.

In combination with the wines from the cellar, they were made by Marco Cassin, chef at La Scuola, four courses, inspired by traditional Venetian cuisine. If you are curious to discover the prepared menu, look at the pictures in the gallery! On this occasion we also collected one recipe to use the white polenta also in your dishes. Discover it below!

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Ingredients for 4 people:
1 liter of
water
600 g Cuttlefish
250 g White corn flour
100 ml Extra virgin olive oil
45 g Cuttlefish ink
30 g Parsley
salt

Method:
Boil water; add the salt and wait until it is completely dissolved. Add the flour gently, continuing to whisk. Once the main mass is created, continue turning with a wooden spoon. After about 40 minutes the polenta will be ready.
Prepare a water flavored with celery, bay leaves, leek, cloves and juniper berries; salt it and bring it to a boil. After cleaning the cuttlefish, blanch them for a few seconds.
Put the squid ink in a saucepan with a little water; once it reaches a boil, add the cuttlefish and complete the creaming.
Blanch the parsley in salted water; add it to the oil and blend it. Finally, filter it. Serve, placing the polenta at the base and the cuttlefish in black on top; finish with a few drops of parsley oil.

Are you curious to discover other useful kitchen tips? Subscribe to one of the courses de The School of Italian Cuisine: click here to view the calendar!

Texts by Caterina Limido

The leeks, how to choose and cook them – Italian Cuisine

The leeks, how to choose and cook them


More delicate than onions, leeks are perfect for a thousand preparations, from salads, to starters, side dishes and even as a main dish.

The leeks they are a vegetable that belongs to the same family of garlic and onion although it does not form a real bulb. It has a more delicate part, formed by many white leaves called sheaths, which overlap forming a cylindrical structure. The same leaves thicken then and become a light green color: this part is not normally used even if for some recipes it is used as a container.

Summer and winter leeks

There are two main varieties of leeks, a summer and winter. Both have a delicate flavor, but they have small peculiarities that differentiate them. The best and tastiest are the winter leeks, which however have the hardest sheaths. Summer leeks, on the other hand, have a more delicate taste and are more tender, so that with long cooking they blend almost completely.

How to choose them

To be very fresh, the leek must not show any lesions or part blackened or yellowed. It must be well firm and compact, with the cheeks attached to each other. It is prepared by cutting off the ends with the roots and separating the white part from the green one, which does not necessarily have to be thrown away. In the case of winter leeks, it is very often necessary remove the first sheath, too hard and leathery to be cooked. To clean them from the earth they sometimes contain, the sheaths must be cut with a sharp knife, from top to bottom, and then slightly opened, rinsing them under a jet of fresh water.

How to cook them

The leeks have a delicate and less intense taste of onion. For this reason you can also eat raw, cut into slices and added to various salads or sliced ​​for the long and combined with peppers, carrots and celery for a fresh and low-calorie dip. Its delicate flavor makes it perfect for a sauté to be used for an omelette or for a saffron risotto. Stuffed with cheese, the leeks are baked, for a tasty and nutritious side dish. Boiled together with some potatoes, it is ideal for preparing a velvety, to be served smooth or with toasted croutons.

Cook the Jerusalem artichoke: 10 recipes – Italian Cuisine


Originally from North America, this tuber contains the flavor of the potato and artichoke together. Also known as the "cane truffle", for many years it was a valid substitute for the potato

Cooked, raw, fried, reduced to puree: there are many ways to cook Jerusalem artichoke, a tuber with countless resources: Did you know that it is gluten-free and therefore suitable for the celiac diet? It is indicated for those suffering from diabetes because it has the property of lowering the level of absorption by the intestine of sugars and cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamin A and B. To cook it, follow our advice.

Topinambur, escarole and gorgonzola salad

This is a fast and very tasty salad that can become a unique dish. Chop 1 celeriac, 4 Jerusalem artichokes and an apple into small pieces. Dip them in a bowl with water acidulated with half a lemon. Wash a head of scarola well and reduce it into strips. Separately, roughly chop 50 g of walnuts. Add the vegetables and the apple in a large bowl; in the mixer pour 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 of apple vinegar, add the walnut kernels, 50 g of sweet gorgonzola, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Blend until you get a thick cream with which you will garnish the salad.

Crunchy chips

To prepare thinly slice the Jerusalem artichokes and leave them to soak in cold water for about 30 minutes. Then dry the slices, pass them in the flour and fry them in abundant olive oil with a clove of garlic in a shirt and a sprig of rosemary. Serve as soon as they are golden with a pinch of salt.

Delicious skewers

This appetizing finger food can be prepared in advance and heated in the oven just before serving. Cut the Jerusalem artichokes into small slices and cut a slice of pumpkin into small pieces and place them on a baking tray covered in oven at 180 ° for 25 minutes. After 10 minutes sprinkle the pumpkin slices with grated Parmesan. In a pan, cook the peeled onions for 20 minutes with a tablespoon of sugar, a bay leaf, a chili pepper, a knob of butter, salt, half a glass of white wine and a tablespoon of vinegar. Form the kebabs by piercing 3 sticks of Jerusalem artichoke and two onions in each stick. Finish with the pumpkin au gratin.

Jerusalem artichoke flan with chestnuts

A perfect appetizer for this period. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and collect them in a bowl with cold water acidulated with a little lemon juice. Cut them into regular pieces and steam them until they are tender. Then whisk with two tablespoons of robiola, grated Parmesan, 2 eggs, salt and pepper; pour the mixture into 8 buttered molds and bake at 180 ° for 25 minutes. In a saucepan, brown 200 g of chestnuts already boiled with a knob of butter and a few sprigs of thyme. Turn out the flan and garnish with the crumbled chestnuts.

Fusilli with Jerusalem artichokes and hazelnuts

For this recipe you can use handmade fusilli, if you don't have time, simply spaghetti. Prepare it this way: cut and peel the Jerusalem artichokes which you will put in a saucepan to boil with a drizzle of oil, water and a clove of garlic. When they are tender, remove the garlic and shake them with the addition of grated pecorino, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of white pepper. Meanwhile boil the fusilli, drain and season with the Jerusalem artichoke sauce. Add a handful of chopped hazelnuts and fresh mint.

Risotto with Jerusalem artichoke, pumpkin and gorgonzola

For this risotto, sauté the shallot, season with the diced pumpkin and topinambur, toast the rice and then cover everything with vegetable broth. Once cooked, it will take 12-15 minutes, stir it and melt the gorgonzola cut into small pieces.

Soup with bread and cheese

A simple and very tasty dish, which is prepared in no time. In a pot, slice the shallot, the Jerusalem artichoke and a head of Belgian endive. Fry everything for a few minutes and then add the finely chopped fennel to the vegetables. Add some vegetable broth and cook over low heat for at least an hour. Separately, cut into small pieces, without removing the crust, a few slices of Altamura bread which you will toast in the oven at 180 ° for 8 minutes. Place the slices of bread in a baking pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, pour the soup and garnish with a sprinkling of grated Bitto cheese. Grill au gratin for 5 minutes and serve steaming.

Topinambur cream with ham choux

For a sophisticated first course. Prepare the cream by frying the sliced ​​shallots in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and brown the Jerusalem artichokes cut into small pieces. Add a liter and a half of broth, a sprig of thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes. When they are ready, remove the thyme and blend the cream, adding 100 g of cream. Separately prepare the choux pastry as described below, and garnish the cream puffs with a cream made by blending cooked ham, grated Parmesan and a dash of milk. Serve the Jerusalem artichoke cream with the ham puffs.

Scallops and Jerusalem artichokes on Catalonian sauce

This recipe could be an elegant appetizer or, if you prefer, a second course of fish. To prepare it, clean the scallops and separate the coral from the walnut, and then brown them in a knob of butter. Meanwhile, dice the Jerusalem artichokes and dip them in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain and fry in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a thinly sliced ​​shallot. Also boil the Catalonia and when it is cooked whisk it with a spoonful of milk until you get a cream. Serve the scallops with the diced topinambur and finish with the Catalonian sauce.

Boccice of lobster with diced topinambur and orange

This dish combines the sweetness of lobster with that of Jerusalem artichoke. You can serve it as an appetizer or as a second course. Boil the lobster and cut it into small pieces. Add fennel cut into thin wedges and peeled orange slices. Separately boil the Jerusalem artichokes after having stripped them and cut them into small pieces. Let them cook in a drizzle of oil and a clove of garlic in a shirt and add them to the lobster. Season everything with the juice of an emulsified orange with oil, salt and pepper.

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