Tag: Perfect

how to prepare a perfect soufflé – Italian Cuisine

how to prepare a perfect soufflé


Open the oven door and, with trepidation, you wonder: will it deflate? The soufflé has always been the most feared preparation, which can give great satisfaction and as many failures. In order to keep it well "swollen" the secret lies in the preparation of the mold and in the cooking, sweet and controlled

Cross and delight of cooks of all times, it has always been a test bench for even the most expert.
At first it was just an omelette: omelettes. Then an unknown gastronomic genius had the inspiration to inflate it: omelette soufflée (from the French souffler, to blow). In short, the new preparation was simply called soufflé. The story of the adjective that becomes a name speaks volumes about the charm of this dish, which enchants not so much for its substance as for its shape.

The origins

Around the middle of the seventeenth century, as Le Cuisinier françois of La Varenne attests, the effect of heat on whipped egg whites was already known, but we must wait for Le Cuisinier moderne by La Chapelle (1742) to find the first soufflé omelette, a base of veal kidney, whipped cream, egg yolks and egg whites. At the end of the century the soufflé was already widespread in France and in the rest of Europe in sweet and savory variants, while notoriety and prestige continued to grow throughout the nineteenth century.

An unstoppable rise

The fragility of the soufflé itself decreed its success and made it the object of intrepid culinary experimentation. It reached the peak of popularity with the famous chef Antonin Carême (1784- 1833), who codified the types and presented it in individual portions, able to guarantee an excellent success. In Italy it became blown or soufflet, as Artusi called it, who proposed six versions, five sweet and one salty. Alletta, but does not feed: it is perhaps for this reason that it is not found in Italian regional cookbooks, except in only two appearances, in Trentino and in Tuscany. At the center of attention of the great cooks of the Belle Époque, it has reached the present day, renewing its amazement every time.

For 10 results and praise

Salty or sweet, at the base that you want to "blow" you add the béchamel, egg yolks and finally whipped egg whites. The air particles contained in them, in contact with the heat of the oven, expand, doubling the starting volume.
Follow our advice and all the preparation steps.

The perfect 4-point steam cooking – Italian Cuisine

The perfect 4-point steam cooking


Orientals are champions of steam cooking, a technique thanks to which they prepare very refined dishes. If you cook vacuum-packed foods, it is a more common technique in restaurants than in houses, steam is known but seems currently relegated to a few ingredients and periods of diet, when you feel the need for a kitchen light and with few seasonings. Because, there is no doubt, steam cooking it's good. In reality, the two components can also coexist: with the right straight, in fact, the steam turns out to be an ally of healthy cuisine which does not exclude the taste. Rather, enhances it. Here's how, point by point.

1. The right tools
This technique requires one steam, of course. But which? Let's examine models and features.

– Those electrical they are practical, they have more stackable baskets, timers, set programs: all you have to do is arrange the food, start and think about something else because the machine does everything by itself, including turning off and keeping warm.
However, like all appliances, they are often quite bulky and in a small kitchen they do not always fit.
– Very small, on the contrary i flower baskets, made of steel or silicone, which adapt to each pot and are stored in a small space. A defect? The flared walls do not allow to take advantage of the space as it would make a flat bottom.
– Le pots equipped with one or more baskets, with flat bottom and capacious, they are now present in all the batteries and practical as they can perform the double function of steam cooker or normal casserole.
– Even some pressure cookers they are equipped with the appropriate accessory and ideal for long cooking such as whole potatoes or cauliflower with big touches.
– If, finally, you want to copy the Orientals, you can buy i stackable bamboo baskets. They exist in different sizes and are placed on a saucepan of the same diameter or in a wok, whose flared walls will hold the baskets raised from the bottom with water.
The only drawback is that wood tends to absorb aromas and more delicate foods (like Chinese dumplings) could stick. For this there are special diskettes of perforated greaseproof paper, with which to coat the basket before putting the food, but you can also use simple baking paper or lettuce leaves.

2. The basic technique
It's very simple. Just put water in the saucepan, food in the basket, lid and go, on the fire!
Of course, with some forethought.

– Thewater it must only come to touch the basket, stopping a few millimeters before to avoid that, during boiling, it goes to wet the food. Put it already hot: it will boil first. The basket can be put into the saucepan immediately.
– It is essential that, from the beginning, there is the cover, to keep heat and steam inside the pot.
– La flame it may initially be medium, to make the water boil. Then it must be lowered to minimum (if necessary, add a flame spreader net), otherwise there is the risk that the water will be consumed before the end of cooking.
– If you need to add more water, take care that it is very hot (better still, boiling) so as not to interrupt cooking: in case, raise the flame until the steam is reformed.

3. Suitable foods
Steam cooking is delicate, the heat never violent or direct. This ensures that the foods are more consistent and tasty and maintain their brilliance. However, times are even longer than a third compared to boiling and cooking in a pan.

– To avoid this inconvenience, it is good to use cut foods in small pieces or of course of small size and / or from rapid cooking, like morsels of meat or fish, prawns, peas, broccoli florets, green beans, etc.
– To be preferred i thin cuts such as slices, rondelle, brunoise (small cubes) and julienne (thin strips).
– In particular, steam lends itself very well to foods that, when boiled in water, tend to soak: formidable for cooking potatoes for dumplings, gives excellent results with the leafy vegetables (chard, spinach) and with vegetables from spongy pulp, like courgettes or aubergines, especially if you want to use the latter for creams and fake "caviar".
– Between the unusual preparations, there are sandwiches and ravioli (both classics of Chinese cuisine), focaccia, delicate omelettes, puddings and sweet pudding. Without forgetting the fruit, for salads cooked to serve still warm.

– Although influenced by various factors (size and quality of the food, which can be more or less rich in water), here is finally i maximum times:
for the leafy vegetables, it takes 3-5 minutes;
for the others, it depends on consistency which times to obtain: more crunchy, oriental, 10 minutes are normally too many. For a consistency soft, more traditional Italian style, for vegetables and soft legumes (peas, fresh broad beans, courgettes, green beans, asparagus) and for the fruit 10-15 minutes;
for the cauliflower or broccoli florets, i Brussels sprouts, le potatoes or le carrots in touches, 5-25 minutes, depending on the size (whole new chips can be up to 35-40 minutes);
prawns and scampi cook in about 5-8 minutes; thin slices or small morsels of meat, white fish, salmon in 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness;
sandwiches, ravioli, focaccia, omelettes and puddings they generally cook in about 15-20 minutes, but the time may vary depending on the recipes and the presence or absence of a filling. For some recipes, to avoid unwanted dripping, use the baking paper, which can slightly change cooking times.

4. How to flavor
As there is no contact, during cooking, with no seasoning, the natural flavor of the food is enhanced with steam. If you use quality raw materials, just a drizzle of raw oil, salt and pepper are enough to enjoy good preparations anyway.
That said, it is possible enrich them with aromas both before and during cooking.

– Before cooking, the most suitable technique is marinating. Clean and prepare the ingredients and, keeping them apart, let them season in small bowls with oil, salt, pepper, chopped herbs and various additions, from soy sauce to balsamic vinegar. Drain well and place them in the basket, lined with baking paper so that the residual condiments do not strain under but remain on the bottom, to further flavor the food.
– During cooking you can perfume the water of the steam adding wine, citrus fruit slices, aromatic leaves, specks of spices. Simmer this broth at least 15-20 minutes, so that the perfumes have time to develop and then wrap the food in the basket.
– Do not underestimate the Eastern technique, which we have already mentioned, of line the basket with ingredients such as large cabbage or cabbage leaves, but also leek sheaths or a bed of sprigs of herbs, woven together.

Roberta Fontana
Photo: Flickr / Stefan Lins
updated by Carola Traverso Saibante
October 2019

DISCOVER THE COOKING COURSES OF SALT & PEPE

The perfect autumn breakfast in 8 easy tips – Italian Cuisine

The perfect autumn breakfast in 8 easy tips


Seasonal fruits, vitamins and probiotic foods are just some of the tips to tackle the fall from the first minutes of awakening. Let's find out all of them

There Breakfast It is good and we will never stop repeating it! Helps to wake up calmly, allows the body to take the right caloric intake and above all guarantees to arrive until lunch without finding yourself unconscious on your desk mid-morning in the grip of hunger pangs. For this alone, it would deserve 10 minutes of early wake-up. But not only…

Breakfast according to some of the most famous studios is essential even for those who want lose weight or simply wish stay in shape: eating as soon as you wake up helps metabolism and favors its correct functioning.

We therefore want to see some tricks to do a perfect autumn breakfast? Simple, healthy and above all genuine, without forgetting the essential aspect: goodness, detail never to be overlooked.

Have breakfast within 30 minutes of the alarm

If you want to try to help the metabolism and immediately give a beautiful wake up to our body, the "diet of supermetabolism", much loved in Hollywood, he has no doubts about it. Better to eat as soon as you are awake.

Choose goodness

Awakening in the fall can become difficult and sometimes traumatic, and the first fogs certainly do not help. But knowing that something good is waiting for us in the kitchen, certainly yes, it helps.

Strengthen the immune system

The period of influences, colds and different types of cooling begins, it becomes important to try to raise the immune system. Sometimes external supplements are needed, however, like probiotic drinks or yoghurts, able to enhance the immune system, form a barrier against the development of viruses and harmful germs, hinder the passage of many substances responsible for allergies, as well as produce useful vitamins .

Never forget the right vitamin intake

Always to combat seasonal diseases, vitamins are essential. Fruit, even better if in season, is one of the foods that contains the greatest number, for this it must be a must of every healthy breakfast.

The importance of dried fruit

To be added to breakfast to achieve perfection! Often we tend to see fats as a common evil and instead there are fats that our body needs like those contained in dried fruit. Moderate, but this season is particularly suitable.

Reduce sugars

Taking into account that to stay healthy you need to eat well, today you can make wonderful breakfasts even without exceeding the sugars. Among the classic biscuits and those without added sugar, it is undoubtedly advisable to choose the latter, so there will be more room to eat other sugars during the day.

Consume milk or yogurt

Nutritious and perfect foods to accompany biscuits or cereals. For those who have difficulty digesting milk or are intolerant, but cannot resist its goodness, it is advisable to opt for UHT or high digestibility milk.

The right amount of energy

It is necessary to know how to balance, but it must always be remembered that breakfast is necessary for our body to be able to face the day. In autumn, lowering temperatures slowly, it becomes really important to introduce the right caloric intake.

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