Tag: tricks

Legumes: 5 unusual recipes and 5 unexpected tricks – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Legumes: 5 unusual recipes and 5 unexpected tricks

Yes, you can make anything with legumes: from ice cream to meringues, from meatballs to focaccia. Fabiola Di Sotto aka @fabiolavegmamy explains it veg mother with over 590 thousand followers – in her first book (Terrific vegetable cuisine, and. Vallardi). In recounting the benefits, tricks and over 110 recipes of vegan cuisine, in your book Fabiola which does not penalize taste, you obviously dedicate ample space to very healthy legumes. We asked her for some tricks to make the best use of them.

5 unexpected tricks with legumes

Don’t throw away the cooking water

«The cooking water of legumes, especially chickpeas, can be mounted. This is the now well-known aquafaba, which can for example be used instead of egg whites to make mayonnaise. Or even meringues, as demonstrated by the recipe below. «I also use it in ice creams and in sparkling wines. A very good one is prepared with peaches: blend them, add a little xanthan gum and finally gently mix the whipped aquafaba with the whisk. The important thing is that it is rich in saponins, a result that is obtained by cooking the legumes – strictly unhulled – in a limited quantity of water”, continues Fabiola Di Sotto. Cooking liquid of all varieties can also be used in any preparation, instead of water«to provide the body with more nutrients: from bread to cakes, from pizza to soups.

Add the beans to the mixtures

«Including cannellini beans in the dough, whether sweet or savory, allows you to give them greater softness and substance. They are perfect in chocolate salamifor example, but also in bread. Lentils are also extremely versatile and are particularly suitable for cakes: just blend them, obviously after cooking them, and add them to the other ingredients.”

Try pre-cooked legume flour

«It is an innovative product, which is obtained from previously boiled legumes and which offers a great advantage: we can use it immediately, without the long soaking necessary every time raw legume flour is used in order to rehydrate it and make it digestible. It is ideal for quick preparations such as velvety hey pancakes, mixed with other types of flour, which at that point may also require short cooking. To make it: blend the cooked legumes, dry the mixture completely in the air fryer or in the oven at 90°, turning it every now and then. Finally, blend again and sieve. Pre-cooked legume flour can be stored for several months.”

How to save energy in the kitchen: 10 useful tricks – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

How to save energy in the kitchen: 10 useful tricks

How to save energy in the kitchen? How can we spend less, but also have less impact on the environment? Because reducing energy expenditure has two big advantages: it doesn’t make us waste precious money and at the same time it doesn’t further impact the health of the planet. It serves to make us reflect on this National Day of Energy Saving and Sustainable Lifestyles, which falls on February 16th: a whole day of dedicated initiatives, from which to take inspiration for an increasingly low impact life. It was established by Parliament in 2005 but it is probably only in recent years that we have fully understood its urgency, given that day after day the signs of the environmental and economic emergency are increasingly evident.

How to save energy in the kitchen

Perhaps this is precisely why we understood how much even small gestures can countstarting with those we do every day in the heart of the home, the kitchen in fact: Reducing the waste of food, gas and electricity needed for cooking, although it is a drop in the ocean, is also important.

10 tips for saving energy in the kitchen

Custard: the 8 tricks to make it perfect – Italian Cuisine


It is one of the bases of pastry, versatile and greedy, it would be easy to make, but… despite everything, something can go wrong. How to prevent the cream from "going crazy", the causes and the (few) remedies


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The custard, often alone pastry chef for friends (it has many) it is fantastic: very good, it is ideal for stuffing cream puffs and éclairs, cannoli, cakes and pastries; also excellent in cups, to be enjoyed in spoonfuls or with biscuits and waffles. This delight has an interesting history that perhaps not everyone knows.

French or Italian?
Its creation is an eternal dispute between French and Italians, the two most advanced cultures in the field of European pastry from the Middle Ages onwards. In 1691, the first documented recipe of a crème pâtissière appears in the culinary work of François Massialot, cook of illustrious personalities of his time, cardinals, marquises and even the brother of the Sun King, the Duke of Orleans: still today his "Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois”Is considered among the first culinary dictionaries in the world. In addition to the crème pâtissière, also the meringues and the crème brûlée, in which the sugar coating was melted and burned with a red-hot iron scoop. However, some scholars have found traces of a cream very similar to pastry in the recipes cited in the volume Banquets, food compositions and general apparatus (printed more than a century earlier, in 1549), by Christopher of Messisbugo, Cook of the Este house and consultant of the Gonzagas. Be that as it may, this splendid cream conquered French and Italian pastry making, becoming one of the basic preparations of both schools.

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How to avoid problems
The best way to do this is… to prevent them. Here are the precautions to put in place to have a velvety and soft cream, like true pastry chefs.

1 Always use the freshest ingredients
2 Follow the recipe sequence
3 The flour (or starches) goes always sifted through a very fine mesh strainer: this will prevent the formation of lumps, sworn enemies of this sweet preparation. It is not a step that can be left out!
4 Initially, to beat the eggs and mix the flour, use a whisk (electric ones are fine too but there is the risk of overdoing the whipping and incorporating air into the cream, be careful). When you start cooking, use a wooden or silicone spoon to mix it.
5 Check the cooking temperature, perhaps with the help of a cooking thermometer: the cream should never boil. Always keep it at a temperature of just over 80 ° C, but without exceeding 85 ° C. At higher temperatures, the custard will go crazy and you'll end up with… sweet scrambled eggs!
6 Never leave your custard alone: ​​once on the stove, in fact, you don't have to never stop mixing it slowly and constantly, to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and / or forming lumps.
7 The cream should always be mixed in the same verse: once you have set the direction of travel, so to speak, never change it. Mixing it constantly and always in the same direction is a crucial step!
8 Do not abandon it even after cooking: once removed from the heat, cover the custard with cling film in contact, and finally …

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The pastry chef's trick
When preparing a custard or other derived cream, it is important cool the product as quickly as possibleto slow down the proliferation of the bacterial load. As soon as it is cooked, you have to bring it to a temperature below the cooking temperature (it must drop to about 50 ° C) and cool it down to 4 ° C. Prepare a basin with water and ice and immerse the pan with the cream just removed from the heat for two thirds (if you do not have a home blast chiller). The cream does keep at 3 ° C in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Possible remedies
We seem to have followed the recipe for our cream well, the ingredients were fresh but unfortunately the result is not what we wanted. Don't be discouraged: in some cases you can try to recover your custard.
If it's too liquid, you can add a small amount of animal gelatin (isinglass) in sheets while hot, without stopping mixing.
Self has lumps, try to pass it through a sieve, spoon after spoon, without breaking its stability and creaminess; be careful to always make slow movements.
Yup is "tearing up" just? Some suggest taking it off the heat and whipping it with an immersion blender: it improves the texture but the cream will have a slightly more pronounced egg taste. Furthermore, it could disassemble a bit and therefore become too liquid.

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Quick change pastry chef
In its most basic form – which uses only egg yolks, milk, sugar, flour (or corn or rice starch) and vanilla – custard is often considered the mother of all creams. As a pastry base, it counts among its many advantages the fact that it can be revisited with a few simple touches, so as to transform before your eyes into another, different but very good, cream: here are some of the most famous derived creams from custard

Custard + Italian meringue + gelatin = Chiboust cream

Custard + whipped cream + gelatin = Diplomatic cream

Custard + whipped cream = cream Italian chantilly

Custard + butter = Mousseline cream

A lighter, flourless version that remains velvety and less dense than classic custard is known as English cream.
You can simply perfume it with a little Cognac or Marsala or, in the non-alcoholic version, with orange juice. If you want to transform the custard into a chocolate cream, add cocoa powder when you beat the egg yolks or, when it is still hot, pour in and mix in the melted dark in a bain-marie.
Now is the time to test yourself and prepare a fantastic custard, to be enjoyed in a cup with torcetti, cat's tongues or ladyfingers, or to make irresistible cannoncini, crispy rolls of stuffed phyllo dough, a scenographic cup of cream puffs with orange caramel, or St. Joseph's zeppole for Father's Day!

Francesca Tagliabue
February 2022

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Posted 08/02/2022


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