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Cauliflower with salty eggnog – Salt & Pepper – Italian Cuisine

Cauliflower with salty eggnog - Salt & Pepper


1) Cook the florets. Lava the cauliflower florets, immerse them in lightly salted boiling water and allow 7-8 minutes of cooking from the resumption of boiling. Drips the florets well and keep them aside. Or you can steam them: place the special basket on a pot with enough salted water to touch the edge, fix us the florets, preferably in a single layer, cover them with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes from boiling. You put the raisins soaked in warm water to soften it.

2) Complete cooking. Warm up 3 tablespoons of oil in the non-stick pan, add the crushed and peeled clove of garlic, brown for a couple of minutes, add the drained and squeezed raisins and the pine nuts. Mix, let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the cauliflower florets. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring gently, for about ten minutes, so that they flavor well. Delete the garlic.

3) Make eggnog. Beat the egg yolks with the Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt, using a whisk. Dilute with the warm vegetable broth, continuing to beat. You put the container in a bain-marie e cook for about ten minutes, whipping, until you get a thick, swollen and soft zabaglione. Serve the very hot florets with the zabaglione aside.

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Posted on 30/01/2022

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Vegan meat: the possible alternative – Salt & Pepper – Italian Cuisine

Vegan meat: the possible alternative - Salt & Pepper


It has now been well over a decade since some visionary entrepreneurs began to study how to get one "Vegetable meat". Quotation marks required for a protein product which, in fact, is alternative to the meat. And we did not use the term "alternative" at random: because more and more consumers are approaching the world plant based while not being vegans or vegetarians. Not to replace foods of animal origin, but to have an extra food to be included in a diet that remains omnivorous. Among them, the more and more numerous flexitarians who, for various reasons, choose to reduce the consumption of meat, fish and derivatives. But also many curious who discover burgers, meatballs, minced meat and morsels that are ever tastier, fun to cook and with the added value of sustainability.

What are
Let's say immediately that they are protein products which, however, differ greatly from those typical of the soy-based veggie diet, such as tofu, or gluten-based such as seitan. The main feature is in fact that of getting closer, in consistency and taste, to the meat. Thus, the "minced" ones are red and succulent as if they were beef, the "pulpy" ones have an elongated fiber structure similar to that of chicken or pork. They have a good flavor, the so-called “umami” which could be translated as “savory flavor”. As for the formats, in the beginning they were i burger, or patties: the classic mashed meatballs to eat in a sandwich, with fresh vegetables and standard sauces. While today the variations are numerous and, in honor of the traditional specialties of street food, they often have English names like nuggets (nuggets, i.e. croquettes), pulled (frayed), chuncks (morsels), meatball (meatballs), minced (ground), sausages (sausages).

A growing success
The names chosen by the start-ups that, overseas, first launched the green challenge (we told about it in this post and in this other one), they expressed the full meaning of the bet: Beyond Meat (where "beyond" means "beyond") e Impossible Burger they were declarations of intent, even before being trademarks. Today, plant-based meat is a solid reality that is increasingly appreciated, as confirmed by the data collected by the delivery companies: both Just Eat that Uber Eats they put the vegan burger at the top of their customers' veggie choices. And the competitors of the two American companies are more and more. Brazilians of Future Farm they are inspired (and aspire to inspire!) "to the pro-earth generation, finally in favor of our planet". In Europe, the challenge was taken up by the Swede Ikea, which he has revisited in key cruelty free its famous meatballs, while the world of start-ups has recently seen the birth of the Spanish Heura and the switzerland of Planted. The latter, "incubated" in 2019 at the Zurich Polytechnic and become a reality thanks to the initiative of 4 students, has just landed on our market with a very specific choice: not to focus on various burgers and minced meat but only on variations " solid ".

The list of ingredients
The formulas developed by the different companies are, in fact, very different from each other. From the point of view of taste, the most effective proteins proved to be those obtained from peas. However, especially in ground products, they are mixed with many other ingredients: mainly soy, but also other legumes and cereals, fats, fibers, starches, thickeners, stabilizers. Additions needed to get it right consistency of burgers, sausages, meatballs, “chorizo”, frankfurters and company. It is to shorten the list of ingredients as much as possible that Planted has decided, on the contrary, not to "create" anything minced but "meat" solid, easier to "put together". Thus the "chicken", morsels that resemble a tender chicken breast, is prepared with pea protein and fiber, water and rapeseed oil. To these 4 ingredients the "pulled" (pictured above), made up of frays, adds oat and sunflower proteins, while the "kebab" is in thin slices flavored with Middle Eastern spices. The ingredients are a short supply chain, coming from local crops: thus, environmental sustainability is also ensured. Pursued by most of the companies in the sector, which adopt competitive production systems in terms of saving of water resources And drop in CO2 emissions.

The nutritional aspect
Interesting to note how the products plant based have a caloric intake similar, if not inferior, to the corresponding animals and in any case a content of saturated fats significantly lower. Then, of course, it all depends on the recipes: both at the origin (the flavored versions are generally richer) and in the kitchen, where the products natural they can be sautéed, browned and seasoned with oils and sauces, while still being one healthy choice thanks to the starting nutritional composition. And providing one more reason to really make it a viable alternative to change our diet and our impact on the environment around us.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
January 2022

Chocolate cake pastries – Salt & Pepper – Italian Cuisine

Chocolate cake pastries - Salt & Pepper


1) Jumbled up 300 g of chopped dark chocolate and 150 g of sugar. United 1.5 dl of boiling water, 1 small cup of coffee, 225 g of butter into small pieces and the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod. Jumbled up to obtain a smooth mixture and then let it cool.

2) Shelled 6 eggs separating egg whites and yolks. Add 1 egg yolk at a time to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Mounted the egg whites with 1 pinch of salt and also incorporated. Grease a 24 cm springform pan and sprinkle it with a little cocoa. Pour yourself the dough and bake at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until cracks form on the surface of the chocolate cake.

3)Remove it from the oven, let it cool And keep it in the fridge 1 night. With a 4-6 cm pastry cutter, cut many cylinders and garnish them with whipped cream and strawberries; mascarpone, grated coconut and hazelnuts; candied citrus peel and melted chocolate.

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Posted on 21/01/2022

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