Tag: lunch

Stress-free Christmas lunch (and without waste)? Yes, we can – Italian Cuisine

Stress-free Christmas lunch (and without waste)? Yes, we can


You probably haven't started the countdown for the Christmas. But (almost) surely you already have thought to all you have to do and work hard to prepare the menus of the feasts. A thought that, for many, is a nightmare. But something can be done for lighten load and arrive at the end of December with most tranquility. And even with less unnecessary expenses, fewer leftovers in the fridge and less wasted food. Now is the right time to organize the calendar of feasts end of year. Also regarding lunches, dinners and dinners. Taking cue from mindfulness, one can concentrate on the first, the after and the during, focusing on everything that one must (but above all what one does wants) to do on the occasion of these feasts. And get organized so that everything is easier, less tiring and less stressful.

Decide on the mood of the holidays
Do you want a sumptuous dinner e traditional, or a menu that amazes everyone? You are a sorceress cookers or you're a beginner, and therefore you fear a failure? In order not to be overwhelmed by the appointment with the holidays it is good to have clear ideas. Immediately. Therefore, to think what kind of lunch do you sucks, also depending on the type of guests sitting at the table, and assessing their skills as chefs. If you feel safe, you can to plan what to do and when to do it, so as not to get in trouble at night eve. If, on the other hand, you are not very adept at cooking or you don't love to cook, then it is good to organize where and when to make the best purchases of ready meals (but of quality) to make a great impression anyway with guests.

Order in gastronomy (even at the super)
The classic and reassuring delicatessens they are always a resource, particularly when there are important meals to prepare. Except that, at Christmas, they are takenassault. Therefore, it is necessary to order in time what you want, to avoid the risk of "Overbooking". The alternative is the large distribution chains: from long S to Hyper, they make glossy catalogs for parties, where you can choose dishes of gastronomy, desserts, wines and everything you need for to celebrate properly. It can be ordered directly in stores or online and pick up (or have them delivered) when it's convenient.

Plan purchases
To better organize your lunches feasts, think about how many people you will cook and calculate how big they should be portions. Planning portions for all foods will give you a pretty good idea of ​​how much you will need to cook and will prevent you from falling into the temptation of to buy too much. And maybe, then find you the fridge full of leftovers that soon become waste.

Shop for security
When you do the expense for the Christmas lunch, remember to bring at least two with you thermal bags so that you can separate the foods uncooked from those already prepared, in this way you will avoid the contamination Crusade, which is a major cause of intoxication food. And also one of the reasons that determines the greater waste of food in the kitchen.

Cook in advance and freeze
You can prepare most Christmas recipes with weeks in advance and store, then, in the freezer. How to do? Just store the food in a container hermetic or close them in the special freezer bags. To freeze a food is like "pausing it" and thus prolonging its duration. You can freeze practically everything, but once thawed, foods return to their usual "times" and go consumed within 24 hours. Consider this aspect, therefore, to know when and what to thaw in view of meals to prepare.

Give a new (creative) life to the leftovers
The "Party" from leftovers it's a nice way to meet friends in an informal way during the holiday season. And a perfect opportunity to creatively reuse what it is remained in the fridge. What is left of the turkey or roast? It becomes a base for delicious appetizers. A fruit that has become a little too soft? Can be used in one fruit salad. A vegetable that is becoming too much mature? It is the basis for a soup. Are all the cookies shredded and therefore inedible? Perfect for cooking a delicious crumble. With what you find in fridge after binges of the parties you can baste an aperi-dinner with the flakes, thus avoiding throwing food that can still be used. Just follow the tips and i tricks of the experts contained in some books dedicated to the kitchen of leftovers. Such as "The art of using leftovers from the kitchen" by Olindo Guerrini (published by Newton & Compton), "Create with kitchen leftovers" by Marina Spinelli Dondoli (published by Vallardi) e "The gourmet of leftovers" by Allan Bay and Fabiano Guatteri (published by Touring).

Manuela Soressi
December 2019

The imperial soup for Christmas lunch – Italian Cuisine


There is the meat broth and a special pasta: here is the traditional dish of the Abruzzo region, warm and comfortable

In Abruzzo, although perhaps it is better to limit the tradition to the area of ​​the Teramano, a delicious dish is prepared for the occasion Christmas lunch.
It is a meat broth very tasty and comfortable that is served not with tortellini, not with cappelletti, not with pasta, but with a sort of omelette called imperial pasta.

How to make imperial pasta

This egg based pasta has all the appearance of an omelette, but is more compact and spongy because inside it also has the flour and go baked in the oven.

Ingredients
It is prepared with 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons of 00 flour, 8 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg, parsley and salt.

Method
Divide egg yolks and egg whites and beat the first with the Parmesan, flour, nutmeg and salt. Separately, whisk the egg whites. Add the two compounds slowly, adding the chopped parsley to the knife. Mix well to avoid lumps. Cook the imperial pasta in the oven at 180 ° for 15-20 minutes in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Once ready, cut it into cubes and serve it with the boiling broth and plenty of Parmesan.

broth-imperial

The chicken broth

The Christmas lunch broth it cannot be a simple vegetable broth, unless it is a vegetarian lunch.
That's why we advise you to prepare it with the hen (or with a chicken) of about 1 kg cleaned externally and internally and immersed in cold water with various aromas such as celery, carrot, onion, cloves, a tomato, a bay leaf and juniper berries.
All these ingredients must cook for a long time, at least 4 hours, on low heat.
Then the broth must be filtered for good to eliminate all the fat part. The secret is to leave it cool for a long time and then with a skimmer pull away all the part that is deposited on the surface.
You can filter it even more than once to make it light and tasty at the right point.

Browse the tutorial to find out more tips for preparing the broth

How to organize Thanksgiving lunch – Italian Cuisine

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The pots start to rub, the most organized have long drawn up a shopping list and prepared a detailed planning, the perfectionists have already thought about how to decorate the table and of course everyone has already booked the turkey! Approaches the Thanksgiving, American feast that uses thelast Thursday of November and traditionally it is the time when families gather around the table to – in fact – say "thanks". The origin of this feast is religious and dates back to the time of the Pilgrim Fathers, in which he thanked us for the harvest of the year just ended. Today thanksgiving has become more secular, but the unifying spirit and the desire to party with relatives and friends remain intact.

Also in Italy, thanks to the opening of many American-style bakery and restaurants and numerous films and TV series set during Thanksgiving, the tradition of thanksgiving lunch begins to spread and to understand how to organize it we turned to a food expert from the American passport! We talked to Laurel Evans, known online as "An American in the kitchen"From the name of his blog. Laurel has lived in Italy since 2004 and through her blog and her cookbooks she tries to introduce the true American food culture.

Let's start with the organization: to arrive on time and not overflowed how many days before is it advisable to start the preparations?
I always recommend starting the day before lunch, so you won't get stressed on the day of the party.

110717Once the timing is defined, we can only concentrate on the true protagonist of Thanksgiving: turkey! Remember to order it in time because it is difficult to find large turkeys, calculating approximately 500gr of weight per diner. Be careful, however, not to exceed without first checking the size of the oven! The kitchens of American kitchens, in fact, are usually larger than ours and can easily accommodate turkeys of more than 8kg. Laurel suggested, also to better control the cooking, to "choose a turkey of 5-6 kg, which should sit quietly in a standard size oven".

Is it necessary to treat the turkey meat before cooking it?
I recommend making a dry marinade, that is, massaging the turkey with a mixture of salt and spices the day before, covering it with plastic wrap and letting it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before baking it. In this way the meat will flavor well and will also have a more pleasant consistency.

Filling yes, filling no, filling cooked and served separately. What do you prefer?
Tradition would like the filling inside the turkey, but the cooking times increase a lot with this method. For this reason, when I prepare the turkey, I cook the filling separately and serve it as a side dish. [Ndr. Esistono infinite varianti di ripieno per il tacchino, molte hanno una base di pane e carne di maiale, ma potete davvero sbizzarrirvi con la fantasia scegliendo di profumarlo con gli aromi che preferite e aggiungendo prugne, castagne, agrumi, tutti ingredienti che ben si abbinano alla carne del tacchino.]

The cooking of turkey is certainly the most delicate and difficult phase to manage.
Can we "forget" about the turkey once it is baked or should it be followed step by step? Is there a trick to check the cooking and to be sure that both the turkey meat and the filling are cooked?
The turkey should be followed, you can't absolutely "forget" it in the oven. It should be wet every half hour with a mixture of broth and butter to make it soft and succulent. To check the cooking, a meat thermometer should be inserted at the thickest point of the thigh (close to the bone but without touching it). The turkey is ready when the thermometer marks 72 ° C, on average it takes about 3 hours of cooking for a 5kg turkey.

What are the other dishes that can't miss on the Thanksgiving table?
To accompany the turkey it is necessary that there are many Side Dishes! My favorites are i Brussels sprouts baked with toasted hazelnuts and maple syrup and the cornbread, an easy to prepare corn bread that is a typical American dish from the southern states.

On the Thanksgiving table, desserts are also a must, and it is usually a parade of traditional American cakes: apple pie or the pumpkin pie that after the glories of Halloween it remains among the most important ingredients in the cuisine of American holidays. But my favorite is the pecan pie and maple syrup, its taste is precisely the essence of autumn.

Whatever the size of the turkey, it is almost impossible to finish it all! How do you use leftovers?
Apart from the famous sandwich with turkey, a great classic for reusing turkey, I prepare dumplings mixing the cooked and chopped meat with vegetables and milk. I cook this mixture and use it to stuff puff pastry bundles that I put in the oven. Simple and effective, practically perfect!

Claudia Minnella
November 2017
updated to November 2019

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