Tag: East

Shiitake mushrooms: from the East with flavor – Italian Cuisine

Shiitake mushrooms: from the East with flavor

Of most cultivated mushrooms, such as champignon or pleurotus, it is generally said that they are very watery and not very tasty. Asians do not meet this rule shiitake mushrooms which, on the contrary, have very interesting gastronomic properties and also an excellent supply of nutrients.

Where they come from and how they are made
The origin of these mushrooms is lost between China and Japan, the country that gave them their name: "shii" actually means Oak, the wood on which they grow spontaneously. Unlike other wild varieties, they are easily "tameable" and therefore widely cultivated, on suitable natural substrates. The botanical name is Lentinula edodes and come up with rounded hats And dishes, with an irregular surface. In the lower face they are crossed by lamellae dense and have gambetti short and thin, almost too thin for the size of the heads. Color is a light brown, similar to that of the mushrooms called "cremini" or Portobello.

A particular taste
The taste and smell of shiitake do not resemble any of the "western" mushrooms. The most particular note is a mild garlic scent, but they also have the strong one flavor known as umami, the taste that characterizes many dishes of Chinese and Japanese cuisines. In the Land of the Rising Sun they are used for dashi, the delicate and at the same time persistent broth at the base of many jap preparations. There, as well as in China, they are used in soups and hot pot (dishes in broth), in sautéed vegetables and in the filling of ravioli, such as jiaozi And gyoza, both in vegetarian recipes and in those based on pork or beef. The consistency is firm, almost fleshy, and they keep cooking and shape well, without pulping or emitting too much water.

The nutritional qualities
Like many foods typical of Asian cultures, the nutritional virtues of the shiitake have also been deepened and oriental medicine extracts active ingredients used to treat various diseases and ailments. So we know they have a good amount of proteins and contain fibers, mineral salts (especially potassium, selenium and zinc), vitamins D and group B, substances antioxidants like the "Lentinano", responsible for the taste of garlic. More simply, with few calories (just over 30 per 100 g) are a light but nutritious food and suitable for slimming diets and detox regimes, to which shiitake bring all their flavor.

Fresh or dried
Thanks to the increasing diffusion of foreign cuisines, shiitake are becoming more and more familiar in our country as well. So much so that it is possible to find them in the shops of natural food, in some markets and, lately, also in many outlets of the large distribution. Those fresh they come from national crops, while in the shops of oriental specialties they are easily found buckets. In this case, pay attention to the origin: given the spongy structure, mushrooms absorb beneficial but also potentially harmful substances from the substrate and therefore it would be better to choose products Italian or European and in any case, if possible, biological. Having said that, like all mushrooms, to enter our markets, these too must overcome rigidities microbiological checks. A curiosity: in nurseries or on the net you can buy special compounds, containing the spores to start a small but satisfying one home production.

How they prepare
Not growing in the earth, but on a plant support (such as wood, straw or sawdust), they are not very dirty so usually just wipe the fresh mushrooms with a damp cloth and shorten a little the stems which, at the point of cut, may be blackened. This done, they are sliced ​​into strips or cut into pieces, leaving the smallest ones intact. The preparation of the dry shiitake that must be placed is a little longer in the bathroom for 1-2 hours in water, initially hot. Once drained, the stems must detach with the tip of a small knife and discard because, despite soaking, they remain fibrous, hard and dry.

In what recipes to use them
Compared to other oriental ingredients, it is easy to decline western shiitake. In fact, they adapt to practically all cooking and recipes that we would do with our mushrooms, but also with porcini and chanterelles. Yes they can trifolar with garlic and parsley, add barley or other cereals to soups, even in saffron risotto. They match the mediterranean herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and mint. Stewed and minced, they can be included in the farce of the roasts as in those of stuffed pasta. They are excellent passed on Grill and seasoned with oil and a few drops of lemon juice. They look good with potatoes in Ligurian-style frying pans and in ragù to combine with tagliatelle and white polente. Try them also cooked stewed with seafood, shrimp, squid or cuttlefish. You will discover that the forest can have a new and intriguing taste.

February 2022

Incoming search terms:

cardamom, a popular spice in the East – Italian Cuisine

cardamom, a popular spice in the East

The ideal spice to use in the kitchen, with a different taste to be savored, cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) we can define it fresh, sweet and a little pungent. Belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, the same as turmeric and ginger, its plant resembles a lily, but it can reach three to four meters in height.

Of Indian origin, precisely in the country of Malabar is among the ingredients of curry, while in the East, where it is very common, it is added to coffee. In Italy, however, it is still not very widespread.

It comes in the form of tiny seeds contained in capsules and of different colors: after harvesting they are dried in the sun and then they can be used as they are or reduced to powder, even if the flavor is better preserved in the first case. Among the varieties, the Ceylon cardamom, typical of Sri Lanka, deriving from the plant, is used in the kitchen Elettaria repens, which is also called green cardamom, whose scent is more pronounced. Then there is that Brown which tends towards smoked and that black with an extremely delicate flavor. There is also the white type which are actually artificially lightened greens. After harvesting, they are dried with a laborious process to prevent them from opening. Preserved in this way, they keep their scent much longer. There is also powdered cardamom on the market, obtained by grinding seeds and shells which, however, is much less aromatic. As a reminder, to recover the seeds, to be crushed before use, just open the capsule by applying light pressure with your fingers.

Properties of cardamom

Cardamom has aphrodisiac properties: already in 800 this particular quality had been discovered, moreover it seems that the seeds helped to conquer a person if hidden in an infusion or in a drink. In short, a kind of Cupid. Furthermore, in the ancient Egypt it seems that the seeds were useful for whitening teeth and that some sources have ascertained that it was also used during the phases of embalming as anti-putrefactive. Ah, in India it is a sacred good, because it is considered one communication tool to get in touch with the gods.

But did you know that it was also used to prepare lotions against sore throat? Also, not containing gluten it is ideal for celiacs who will be happy to use it.

The black cardamom

Because it is easier to find and less expensive, the black cardamom it is often used instead of the more precious green cardamom, even if the two varieties have decidedly different aromas (the green one is less bitter and more intense). For its slightly smoky flavor, due to the fire drying process of the pods containing the seeds, black cardamom is not particularly suitable for overly delicate dishes or sweet preparations (for which it is preferable to use the green variety). If you want, you can also add when cooking rice or soups the whole pods, squeezing them slightly but being careful not to let the seeds come out, and then remove them when serving the dish (in this case the cardamom flavor will be more intense). Two or three seeds of cardamom in the cooking water of legumes it helps to make them more digestible and counteracts side effects such as abdominal bloating. Cardamom seeds are also one of the ingredients of garam masala, a mixture of spices widely used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine to flavor rice, while in Arab countries black cardamom, like the green one, is used as a flavoring for tea and coffee. In general, it is better to buy black cardamom in pods because in this way the seeds retain their aroma longer.

Green cardamom

This strong-flavored spice has a flavor slightly peppery, with a hint of eucalyptus and lemon, which leaves a feeling of warmth in the mouth without being spicy. Let's say it has a slight minty aftertaste. Its pungent flavor also enhances both fish, meat and vegetables, which is why it must be used sparingly.

In addition to satisfying the palate, it is good for the body in general. Indeed facilitates digestion and helps the intestine when it is irritated. But not only that: it can be used to do infusions against colds and to tone the body. It can also be used as essential oil in the form of massages diluted in a neutral oil.

Cardamom and its recipes

The use of cardamom in the preparation of desserts it is a widespread custom especially in the cuisine of Northern European countries, which also use it for the preparation of liqueurs, including the famous glögg, a typical alcoholic of Sweden. In fact, it goes well with sweet and sour cuisine and with desserts and chocolate creams and mousses.or vanilla, and is a classic ingredient in pain d'épice. The Arabs instead use it to prepare the qahwa, Arab coffee, traditionally considered a tonic and purifier of the blood. This drink is obtained by dosing coffee and cardamom seeds in variable quantities depending on the desired result.

Do you want to experiment in the kitchen by trying your hand at which cardamom-flavored dessert? Try LA CRÈME CARAMEL WITH CARDAMOM, the cardamom and coffee garland, crunchy coffee millefeuille with cardamom scent and – why not – finish in style with cocoa and cardamom coffee with whipped eggnog

Incoming search terms:

What do you eat at the East Market Milan? – Italian Cuisine

What do you eat at the East Market Milan?

Shopping in a vintage market requires an equally fashionable snack: here's what you eat at the East Market, one of the most anticipated events every month in Milan

East Market is the vintage market the coolest in Milan, a hipster paradise where you can find everything: clothes, shoes, jewels, vinyls, illustrations, objects, handicrafts, but not only. It is a meeting place where to spend time listening to a dj set, drink one beer together with friends, have fun in thevideogames area or just look at a lot of nice things.

What do you eat at the East Market?

In such a context, he could not miss, the most loved: lo street food, Italian and not only. The Food Market it is enriched every month with new trucks and offers some inevitable proposals that we tasted during the last edition. If you plan to make a leap to the next date, be prepared to look forward to some of the best food truck of the East Market. Let's go!

Altamura bread: when simplicity wins

Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple piece of bread, seasoned with a few genuine ingredients. And if the care for raw materials is not lacking, here is something so simple that it can become delicious. At Pantura you can expect a feast of bruschetta to be seasoned with tomatoes, avocado and stracciatella, but you can't help but try the sandwich with octopus grilled, potatoes and vinaigrette. All with bread from Altamura, whose waste is reused to prepare panzanella and bread balls.

Meatballs in all sauces

The Meatball Family was born first of all as a restaurant specialized in meatballs, designed by Diego Abatantuono in 2013. Today, in addition to as many as 3 stores in Milan, the meatballs travel around the city with 4 food trucks. There is something for all tastes and needs: meatballs are waiting for you meat, of fish, of vegetables or even in version sweet. Inevitable the outline of classic and sweet French fries.

The tradition of lampredotto

Lapredotto means conviviality, tradition, family. And so it is also for Lorenzo Nigro, the man behind this food truck. His family has been making lampredotto since 1952: his grandfather Luigi, together with his wife Mara, worked tripe and offal and in the meantime, in a shop, they prepared the sandwich with lampredotto, to be served strictly with salt, pepper, green sauce and spicy.

At the third generation, today it is Lorenzo who brings this street food around, a symbol of Florentine cuisine. Other specialties, such as the Tripe Florentine style, Hamburger is hot dog of Chianina.

The Japanese-Brazilian cuisine

The fascinating encounter between the flavors of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine also makes its way into the street food with Temakinho's truck. With its unmistakable style, colorful and original just like in the restaurant premises, Temakinho offers different specialties: crunchy fries, including the breaded prawns with spicy banana sauce, up to the most popular classics, such as i poke, i roll or i temaki with tuna, salmon and prawns.

Flavors from India

Nura is the first Indian food truck in Italy, which brings together the raw materials from Tuscany and the specialties of the Kerala, in South India. This is demonstrated by the aromas released by his dishes: mint, ginger, coconut, cashew nuts, curry. A kitchen that offers numerous possibilities: in addition to meat and fish, there are various vegan and vegetarian, but also those suitable for gluten intolerant, thanks to the use of rice flour, chickpeas or corn.

The sweet

Those with a sweet tooth will not be able to go home without dessert. At the East Market we have tasted the tiramisu in a jar freshly prepared by Mascherpa, in classic and pistachio versions. The store, first tiramisuteca of Italy, is located in the heart of Milan, in Via Edmondo de Amicis 7: here the tiramisu takes different forms, but the protagonist is a mascarpone cream just like the home-made one (thanks to the pastry chef Giovanna Anoia, who prepares it according to the family recipe).

After doing a nice food truck tour (in the gallery above), you are ready to go shopping again! Click here to discover the next scheduled date.

Tickets can be purchased at the entrance on the day of the event at a cost of € 3. With the entrance ticket the first drink (beer or wine) will be priced at € 2 instead of € 5. Children enter for free up to 14 years.

Proudly powered by WordPress

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Click here to read more information about data collection for ads personalisation

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Read more about data collection for ads personalisation our in our Cookies Policy page