When in Rome, Do as the World Eater Does

When in Rome, Do as the World Eater Does

Reading Time: 12 minutes

 

Ah, Italy. Land of pizza, pasta, espresso and more. Such a wondrous country. And at the epicenter of it all, Rome. The Eternal City. What a glorious place to visit. It is indeed a magical land, transporting you back thousands of years no matter where you venture. I firmly believe that Rome is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

With all the history on display, visitors flock to Rome in droves, which makes it a tourist mecca… which means much of it is also a tourist trap. And nowhere is that more apparent than at it’s thousands of eating establishments, which all seem specifically designed to draw in sightseers and out-of-towners with the promise of a delicious, classic, Italian meal, but rarely deliver. Which brings up an interesting problem. Where should one eat?

Romans love holding onto their classic culture – and history in general – more than other place I’ve ever visited. This is wonderful in regards to preserving culture, heritage, history, art… but tends to stymie progress in the food and coffee world. Let’s consider what the phrase “classic” means when it comes to a meal.

Many Roman restaurants claim recipes handed down from generation to generation. This may very well be true, and Grandma’s recipes might have included the best ingredients possible… when she was alive. Remember, there was once a time that food was, by default, natural, organic and whole, as opposed to pre-packaged, chemically processed, mass-produced, and littered with chemical pesticides, chemical additives and preservatives. Let’s assume that Grandma’s recipes really did hail from 200 years ago, as opposed to from the 1950s, when frozen, canned and microwave meals were standard in every kitchen, and it wasn’t yet known how bad these foods were for you. Going with a best case scenario, Grandma’s recipe might have called for tomatoes, which she grew in her garden, and chicken, which came from the family farm. This sounds great, but that easily could have evolved into a mass-produced, GMO, subpar-tasting, mealy tomato and a water-and-antibiotics-injected, washed-in-chlorine, mass-poultry-farm chicken. Technically, still the same ingredients, but eons away in terms of taste and health benefits.

Bottom line is that, in today’s world of artificial foods, toxins, chemicals, additives, carcinogens, hormones, medicines and a whole other plethora of unappetizing ingredients added to our foods, sourcing good quality ingredients is the first step to a good restaurant. Unfortunately, I find that unless you’re paying a Michelin Star-level premium for your meal while in Italy, many Roman restaurants – even if they are sticking to the spirit of generational recipes – serve subpar quality ingredients, resulting in a subpar outcome, no matter how talented Grandma was.

Add to that, an alarming lack of consistency, some truly cranky service and crazily expensive food, it’s as if the Roman restaurant industry realized that since Rome is like Disneyland – non-stop tourists and no down season – they are unlikely to have a lot of repeat customers, so there’s no reason to worry about winning anyone over long term. And while I get how frustrating it can be to kowtow to ungrateful interlopers regularly, I don’t care! When I eat out, I want good food, good service, and – of course – a good price!

That’s why I was so happy when I finally discovered the best place to eat in Rome, which I ended up visiting numerous times:

Mercato Centrale Roma

 

Thank goodness for you! Located in the Stazione Termini (Rome’s main train terminal), the market is home to a wide variety of high quality food vendors, a wine bar, a coffee shop and a restaurant. Fairly new, having opened in October 2016, the Mercato took over the Cappa Mazzoniana, a century-old hall built by architect Angiolo Mazzoni, initially intended for use as the station’s restaurant, which never happened (until now). The thing that sets the Mercato apart from the other eateries in Rome is that they went out and sourced the best of the best in terms of local chefs, so you don’t have to. They did the research and you reap the benefits.

Whatever you might be in the mood for exists at the Mercato. Meat? Pizza? Gelato? You name it, you got it. They’ve got a pretty good system down, too. Sit at a communal table and a server takes your drink order. Then choose from one of the many stalls and eat to your heart’s content. Start with a glass of wine and an antipasti of cured meats and cheeses, move on to a pasta, have fish for a main, finish with a ristretto and something sweet. Each from a different vendor, specializing in a specific thing.

On this last trip to Rome, I frequented the Mercato a handful of times. I was over the moon about finding some enjoyable espresso there (something, surprisingly, very hard to come by in Rome), but it was the truffle stall (Il Tartufo di Luciano Savini, aka Savini Tartufi) that won my heart. We tried two different truffle pastas there, and they were, without a doubt, the best pastas we ate in Rome.

My favorite was the Gricia al Tartufo Nero. It starts with a calamaretti, which is a short, wide pasta tube, visually reminiscent of calamari, that collapses when cooked, trapping the sauce within (!). It’s coupled with bacon, a drop of milk, extra virgin olive oil and Pecorino Romano cheese, and then finished with a generous heaping of freshly grated black truffles. The sauce perfectly melds with the fresh pasta, and each bite is a reminder of all that is good in this world. I’d never had a pasta so delightful, perfectly cooked to the desired al dente consistency. Their Tagliolino al Tartufo was excellent as well, using a tagliatelle pasta in an egg/Pecorino Romano/extra virgin olive oil sauce. Both pastas were in the €15-20 range. That may seem expensive, but – to put Roman food prices into perspective – we went to a busy, casual osteria not at the market and ordered their truffle pasta. It didn’t even come close in taste or quality to the Mercato’s truffle stall, and it cost a hefty €37, nearly double the price.

The next time we visited the Mercato, we had the Trapizzini, a triangular shaped pizza bianca (pizza dough) stuffed to the point of overflowing with traditional Roman fillings. They recommended as a first timer trying the braised beef (their #1 best-seller), but, not being in the mood for red meat, I opted for the pollo alla cacciatora. Wow. It was a winner. The chicken was juicy, flavorful and so well cooked that it fell apart easily. It was cooked in garlic and white wine, and mixed beautifully with the crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside pizza dough surrounding it. My only regret is being too full to try another one.

At the Mercato, you shouldn’t miss out on something sweet. I opted for a tiramisu from Cremilla. Even though they’re known for their gelato, I couldn’t resist the look of this fluffy, velvety, coffee-tinged dessert. Sure enough, it was smooth, subtle, creamy and exactly what eating a tiramisu in Italy should be like.

Paired with an espresso from La Caffeteria (one of the few espressos in Rome I didn’t have to cringe to ingest, nor add sugar to), my meal was complete.

All in all, come to the Mercato to enjoy the hustle and bustle around you, and take in the smells of all the fantastic foods. Have a sit down meal at Michelin-starred chef Oliver Glowig’s restaurant on the second floor, enjoy a casual plate of lovely pasta at one of the many booths on the ground floor, or go really chill and simply grab a beer and a slice of pizza to go. Indulge in fried foods or sweets, chocolate and cakes. You can even buy some fresh produce on your way home. The market really does have it all, and they do an excellent job executing.


  

 

 

 

 

I tried a plethora of items and was pleased with them all. Mercato Centrale definitely offers a great choice for a variety of typical Roman foods (and more) at a good price. And you can trust the sourcing, because the vendors come highly curated.

 

 

 

 

 

In other words, when in Rome, do as the World Eater does, and eat at the Mercato Centrale at Termini I. Buon appetito!

 

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Parmesan and Basil Mayonnaise

Sweet Potato Wedges with Parmesan and Basil Mayonnaise

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

These oven-roasted sweet potato wedges served with a generous amount of fresh, home-made basil mayonnaise are the perfect comfort food for the still ongoing winter chills. It is creaminess topped with more creaminess – and truly bursting with flavor! The tangy basil as well as the umami parmesan adds extra character to the savoury condiment, making it even more delectable. Making a home-made mayonnaise seems a daunting task, but is actually very simple and quick to whip up. This silky basil and parmesan mayonnaise is an irresistible dip and can be combined with a wide variety of dishes. Why not use it as a sandwich spread or, instead of tartar sauce, to complement a fish course?

Sweet Potato Wedges with Parmesan and Basil Mayonnaise

Yield: 4

Sweet Potato Wedges with Parmesan and Basil Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 4 midsized sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps. lemon juice
  • 250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 35g grated parmesan
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. 1. Prepare the sweet potato wedges. Scrub the sweet potatoes under running water, then remove any spots or dry edges from the skin. Cut them into chunks and place the wedges on a non-stick baking tray, rub the potato pieces with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake in the oven, middle rack, fan 180-200°C or gas mark 5, for about 45 minutes until soft.
  2. 2. Please note: Before preparing the mayonnaise, make sure that all the ingredients you´ll need have room temperature.
  3. 3. Take a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks to it along with mustard, lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. With a hand mixer, combine all ingredients well.
  4. 4. Take a herb chopper (small blender) and combine fresh basil, grated parmesan and 50 ml extra virgin olive oil. Alternatively, use a stick blender and combine the ingredients in a high rimmed bowl. Blend the ingredients well. Set aside.
  5. 5. Take the hand mixer and whisk the egg-mustard mixture on middle speed while very slowly pouring the remaining 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil to the bowl. Make sure not to rush the procedure as the egg may curdle otherwise. With a steady speed, the mixture should become thick and smooth. Once the oil is used up, carefully add the basil and parmesan oil. Combine well.
  6. 6. Serve the mayonnaise immediately. If the sweet potato wedges are not ready once the mayonnaise is prepared, store it in a sterilized glass jar or a vacuum seal plastic tub in the fridge. Because the mayonnaise is made with raw eggs, it should not stay uncovered and outside the fridge for too long. It can go off very easily, so make sure to keep it cool and finish it off within 3 days.
http://www.glotime.tv/sweet-potato-wedges-with-parmesan-and-basil-mayonnaise/

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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SPIRAL YOUR WAY TO OPTIMUM HEALTH AND FITNESS – IT’S A WIN WIN

SPIRAL YOUR WAY TO OPTIMUM HEALTH AND FITNESS – IT’S A WIN WIN

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

This vegetable spiralizer is already a big hit in a multitude of family kitchens.  Make courgetti spaghetti or trim down carrots or sweet potatoes for salads and stir fries,

Simple to use and a great way to transform your vegetables as a healthy low calorie substitute for pasta and an irresistible ingredient for a variety of recipes.

Make creative and nutritious meals for your entire family with this Salter electric spiralizer, with a rotating food fork and easy switch function to effortlessly make fresh spirals. Recipes are included for you to get started – the spiralizer is perfect for experimenting with salads and stir fries, as well as providing a healthier alternative to pasta and noodle dishes. With 3 stainless steel blades to choose from, you can even create spirals and ribbons with different thickness and textures.

For an effortlessly healthier lifestyle, use this Salter electric spiralizer to create meals bursting with freshness and flavour.
Simply place your vegetable or fruit onto the food fork, rotate with the very easy switch function and create tasty spirals to share.Shop-bought spiralized vegetables are four times the cost of fresh produce, so you can save 75% simply by using the spiralizer at home.Three blades are included so you can choose between thin or thick noodles, as well as a unique spiral blade for beautiful ribbons.A built in compartment also features so you can conveniently store the power cord and all of the accessories safely away between uses.

Check out the Salter cookshop for more details and inspiration.

http://www.saltercookshop.com/ek2299-salter-ek2299-electric-spiralizer.html

We have three Salter spiralizers to give away, to be in with a chance
of winning just enter your details below. Good Luck.
Competition is open to entries worldwide but please note that this item runs on 230v
so make sure you have way of converting if your supply is 110v etc

Click here to view this promotion.

Why not try this delicious recipe from Ali Maffucci from the book InSpiralized
Follow Ali on Twitter for some great recipes https://twitter.com/Inspiralized

 

Mediterranean beetroot noodles with feta

Yield: 4

Mediterranean beetroot noodles with feta

Ingredients

  • 85g each yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 60g pitted olives
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small beetroots, peeled and spiralized
  • 225g block of feta or halloumi

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. In a bowl combine all the ingredients except the cheese and the parsley for garnish. Place the block of feta or halloumi in the centre of a large ovenproof dish. Top and surround with the beetroot noodle mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Serve hot, garnished with the extra parsley.
http://www.glotime.tv/spiral-your-way-to-optimum-health-and-fitness-its-a-win-win/

 

Whether you’re low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, or raw, you don’t have to give up the foods you love. Inspiralized shows you how to transform vegetables and fruits into delicious meals that look and taste just like your favourite indulgent originals. Courgette turns into creamy clam linguine, turnip into pesto spaghetti, sweet potato becomes fried rice or a pizza base, and cauliflower makes great Tabouleh.

There are recipes for breakfast, snacks, sandwiches, soups, salads, casseroles, rices, pastas, and even desserts. Everything is easy to follow, fresh and flavour packed and includes nutritional breakdowns. Many of the recipes can be customised to use whatever vegetables you have to hand and whatever your personal goal may be – losing weight, following a healthier lifestyle, or simply making easy meals at home.

This book covers every vegetable you can possibly spiralize, and offers advice for spiralizing whether you’re feeding just yourself, your family, or even a crowd. So bring on a hearty appetite and a sense of adventure?you’re ready to make the most of this secret weapon for healthy cooking.

The book is available from Amazon in softback or hardback versions (prices vary)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inspiralized-Inspiring-recipes-make-spiralizer/dp/1785031309/

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Parmesan and Mushroom Arancini with Taleggio Filling

Parmesan and Mushroom Arancini with Taleggio Filling

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Arancini, meaning “little oranges” because of their shape and colour, are fried, stuffed rice balls originating in Sicily.

They are a famous street food and, due to their popularity, widely available now in the UK from street vendors, Italian cafés and restaurants. Arancini are a clever way to turn leftover risotto into another culinary delight. These fried risotto balls make wonderful finger food – and not just for parties! They are a delicious and versatile little snack for on-the-go or for a lazy evening at home. Best enjoyed straight out of the oven while the Taleggio in the centre is still hot and gooey.

Parmesan and Mushroom Arancini with Taleggio Filling

Category: appetizer

Cuisine: Italian

Yield: 15

Parmesan and Mushroom Arancini with Taleggio Filling

They are a famous street food and, due to their popularity, widely available now in the UK from street vendors, Italian cafés and restaurants. Arancini are a clever way to turn leftover risotto into another culinary delight. These fried risotto balls make wonderful finger food – and not just for parties! They are a delicious and versatile little snack for on-the-go or for a lazy evening at home. Best enjoyed straight out of the oven while the Taleggio in the centre is still hot and gooey.

Ingredients

  • 200g risotto rice, e.g. arborio
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 125g chestnut mushrooms
  • 600ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock or broth (1 stock cube)
  • 100ml white wine, e.g. Pinot Grigio
  • 75g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano parmesan
  • Large handful of curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 50 Taleggio, cut into 15 cubes
  • 2 small eggs
  • 5 tbsps. plain flour
  • 80g bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Slowly heat the saucepan and melt the butter.
  3. Sweat the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan.
  4. Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir several times to avoid any burning of the ingredients and rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the white wine to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add stock to the rice bit by bit (pour from the measuring jug).
  9. If you are using stock cubes, boil water and dissolve 1 stock cube in 600 ml hot water.
  10. Keep adding more stock once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
  11. Stir regularly to avoid any burning of the rice.
  12. Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the pan.
  13. Finely grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir into the risotto and turn off the heat.
  14. Let the risotto cool off.
  15. In the meantime, prepare three bowls, one with a whisked egg (you can use a fork for that), one with the flour and one with the breadcrumbs.
  16. Cut the Taleggio into 15 equally sized cubes.
  17. Once the risotto is cold, take a small spoonful of it in the palm of your hand, put a piece of Taleggio in the middle and enclose the cheese with some more risotto.
  18. The size of the risotto ball is roughly that of an egg.
  19. Lightly dust the risotto ball in flour, then dip it into the egg, covering every surface, then use a fork to transfer it into the bowl with the breadcrumbs for coating.
  20. Place the risotto ball, on the baking tray.
  21. Repeat the process until the risotto is finished.
  22. Take a clean frying pan and add as much oil to it as to cover the entire surface, with roughly half a centimeter in depth.
  23. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (fan) or Gas mark 4.
  24. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the arancini in the pan and deep-fry until golden brown. Remove the risotto balls with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking tray.
  25. Use kitchen towels to remove excess fat.
  26. Bake the arancini in the oven, middle rack, for about 15 minutes.
  27. Serve immediately.
http://www.glotime.tv/parmesan-and-mushroom-arancini-with-taleggio-filling/

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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Cookalong Pancakes With Reza Mahammad

Cookalong Pancakes With Reza Mahammad

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The moment you have been waiting for.
Yes , here as promised is renowned celebrity chef Reza Mahammad showing you
his delicious recipe for Ricotta Pancakes…… Enjoy

 

Below you will find all the ingredients needed to follow Reza at home for his delicious recipe for
‘Ricotta pancakes with spiced red and golden plums’

Ingredients                                      Serves 4

250g ricotta cheese
2 eggs separated plus I whole egg
25g unsalted butter melted plus more for frying
40g sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste/extract
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
50g plain flour

For the spiced plum compote

250ml water
225g caster sugar ( add 25g more if the plums are not too ripe and sharp)
3 star anise
Juice of 2 oranges
½ tbsp finely grated ginger
¼ tsp salt
200g ripe red plums cut into halves remove the stone then cut into wedges
200g ripe golden plums do the same as the red plums
A squeeze of lemon juice optional  (if the plums are very sweet)

 

Reza is best known as the flamboyant and highly entertaining TV chef, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Indian food. He has received high praise for his last three Food Network series Reza’s African Kitchen and Reza, Spice Prince of India and Reza, Spice Prince of Thailand/Spice Prince of Vietnam.


He has made recent appearances on BBC’s The One Show as guest chef and judge for the UK Food and Farming Awards and guest chefs for ITV’s This Morning.
The British Curry Awards awarded Reza the special recognition award 2015 for his contribution to the UK curry industry.
Reza’s Indian Spice was published with Quadrille to much acclaim, winning 2nd prize in the Gourmand World Cookbook awards (Indian section) and Editor’s Pick in The Bookseller. Drawing from his encyclopaedic knowledge of Indian food, Reza combines Indian and Western flavours to stunning effect, delivered in his informal, humorous style.
Reza cut his televisual teeth on Flavours of India in 1993/4 but he really came into his own as co-presenter with Sanjeev Bhaskar on Delhi Belly in 2001 for UKTV. The much talked-about series is still being repeated on air to this day and has lost none of its popularity. In 2002 Channel 4 came looking for the next big star for their hugely popular series A Place in France and found it in Reza Mahammad. This resulted in the completion of the next two series,A Place in France II and III. Reza’s relationship with UKTV resumed with Coconut Coast in 2003 and was followed by United States of Reza in 2004.
Reza has a wealth of experience on the food festival circuit, headlining most recently at The Good Food and Wine Shows Durban, Cape Town, Jo’burg, Kuwait Food Festival, The Taste of Dubai, Taste of Abu Dhabi, Leicester Food Festival, Russia Food Festival as well as BBC Good Food Shows. He is scheduled to make appearances at the Fantastic British Food Festivals this year.

Reza has a highly regarded cookery school in South West France, Chez Cartier, where he teaches and hosts international clients, showcasing his vast repertoire of cuisines and flavours.

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Malayan Chicken Curry – Classic, rich and deep in flavour

Malayan Chicken Curry – Classic, rich and deep in flavour

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Malayan Chicken Curry – Classic, rich and deep in flavour
Your family and friends will rave over the authentic flavours

You really will feel like you are in Malaysia enjoying this
aromatic dish,

Packed with spices to bring out the flavour of Malay
Serve with cooked boiled rice
Why not try this weekend.

 

 

 

Malayan Chicken Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Malayan Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 4 skinless chicken , breast or de-boned thighs, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 Onions, Large sliced
  • 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • ½ tsp tummeric powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 200ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 4 dried curry leaves
  • Sand & Pepper to taste
  • Coriander to sprinkle when serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan
  2. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and fry in two batches over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until sealed with a golden colour remove from pan and set aside
  3. Add more oil if needed, add onions and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat until soft
  4. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 1 minute add the stock, Mango and bring to the boil
  5. Boil for two minutes to reduce liquid then add cream and curry leaves
  6. Bring back to boil, add chicken, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through
  7. Remove the curry leaves, sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander
  8. serve with cooked rice and mango chutney.

Notes

Serve with cooked Boiled Rice and a side helping of Mango Chutney

http://www.glotime.tv/malayan-chicken-curry-classic-rich-and-deep-in-flavour/

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