Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta with Mushrooms and Spicy Sausage

Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta with Mushrooms and Spicy Sausage

A creamy cornmeal porridge, polenta used to be made of other grains, such as hulled barley, spelt, buckwheat or chestnut flour before in the 16th century Christopher Columbus brought corn from the Americas back to Europe. A staple of Northern Italian cuisine, polenta is more than just a side dish. It is extremely versatile, eaten as a freshly cooked mush, cooled and then grilled or fried, or thinly spread out to be dried and baked to make polenta crisps. Instant cornmeal polenta is widespread nowadays and reduces the cooking time to a mere 2-3 minutes. Adding Parmigiano-Reggiano to the polenta enhances its fairly simple flavour to a delightfully creamy and savoury taste sensation. Polenta pairs well with tomato sauce, mushrooms, fried eggs or sausages. This recipe has combined mushrooms and spicy sausages to serve up a hearty meal that is quick and easy to make. Buon appetito!

Ingredients:

For 2 portions

2 thick, spicy sausages (or 4 Merguez), cut in chunks

150g woodland mushrooms (e.g. Shitake, Oyster, Eryngii or Champignons)

½ large white onion, thinly sliced

Knob of butter for frying the sausages

Dash of sea salt and black pepper

For the polenta:

100g instant cornmeal polenta

100g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

400ml water

Knob of butter

Dash of sea salt

For the parsley oil:

50ml extra virgin olive oil

Handful fresh parsley

Dash of sea salt

 

What you’ll need:

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife

Pot

Frying pan

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

Grater

Blender

Small fine mesh sieve

Small jar

Method:

  1. For preparing the parsley oil, take a large handful of fresh flat or curly parsley and chop it up. Combine the chopped parsley and about 50ml extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blitz. Let it sit for approximately 30 minutes while preparing the main meal.
  2. Thinly slice the onion, cut the sausages and any large mushroom pieces into smaller chunks and fry in some butter until the meat is cooked through. Add a dash of sea salt and black pepper for taste.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the polenta by mixing 100g of cornmeal with 400ml of water and cook on low heat. Instant polenta will thicken very fast and needs to be stirred frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Once the polenta is thick and throws bubbles, turn off the heat and stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a knob of butter and a dash of sea salt for taste.
  4. By now, the parsley oil should be sufficiently infused. Take a small fine mesh sieve, place it over a jar or glass and pass the oil through it. It should have taken on a light green colour from the parsley.
  5. Divide the polenta into two portions, add the fried sausage and mushroom pieces and round of the dish with a generous drizzle of parsley oil. Serve immediately.

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

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mushroom Risotto with Chorizo

Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mushroom Risotto with Chorizo

If dinner is usually deciding between having pizza or pasta, why not opt for a risotto instead? Another classic Italian dish, risotto is easy and foolproof to make. The basic recipe consisting of risotto rice, such as arborio, onion, garlic, broth, white wine, butter, and parmesan can be altered by adding an array of further ingredients like chicken, sausage, seafood and a variety of vegetables. Risottos are extremely versatile. The basic recipe can be whipped up to finish off leftovers or, using premium ingredients, be turned it into a dinner party’s culinary delight. This smooth and flavourful dish of nutty, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese coupled with spicy chorizo and the rich, savoury tastes of Shitake mushrooms, the mild flavour of Chestnut mushrooms and meaty texture of Oyster mushrooms is a true delight for the senses. Whereas creamy in texture, the risotto still retains some bite to it and provokes the olfactory nerve with the most invigorating scent.

Mushroom_Risotto_3

Ingredients:

For 2-3 portions

 

200g Risotto rice, e.g. arborio

5 heaped tbsp. of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

15g dried Shitake mushrooms

4 mid-sized fresh Chestnut mushrooms

4 mid-sized fresh Oyster mushrooms

600ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock or broth (1 stock cube)

75g chorizo sausage, diced

100ml dry white wine, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc

Large handful of curly parsley, finely chopped

1 midsized onion

1 clove of garlic

25g butter

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Salt, pepper to taste

 

What you’ll need:

Saucepan

Spatula

Tablespoon

Chopping board

Kitchen knife

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

 

Method:

 

  1. Chop the Chorizo, fresh mushrooms, onion and garlic. Slowly heat the saucepan and melt the butter. Sweat the onion, mushroom, garlic and Chorizo for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir several times to avoid any burning of the ingredients and rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the white wine to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add stock to the rice bit by bit (pour from the measuring jug). If you are using stock cubes, boil water and dissolve 1 stock cube in 600 ml hot water. Soak the dried Shitake mushrooms in the hot stock before adding the mixture to the saucepan. Keep adding more stock once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir regularly to avoid any burning of the rice.
  5. Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the pan.
  6. The cooking process takes about 20-25 minutes Test the softness of the rice. It should be slightly al dente.
  7. Finely grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir into the risotto.
  8. Divide the mixture into 2-3 portions and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of extra Parmesan on each plate.

 

Mushroom_Risotto_1

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

http://www.castelli-uk.com

 

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Mediterranean Bread Parcels

Mediterranean Bread Parcels

Rejoice! The days are finally warmer and longer, which makes weekends more enjoyable, too! A light breeze playing with your hair, a twinkle of sunlight dancing on your nose, and the smell of green grass and flowers hanging in the air – yes, you have guessed correctly, it’s finally summer again (at least in some parts of the UK)! This means grabbing a blanket, packing up the picnic basket and taking friends and family in tow to trot off to the closest green space there is to find. To beat the hunger pangs on a long afternoon lazing about, these tasty cheesy bread parcels are the perfect picnic snack to bring along – easy to carry around, no cutlery necessary and best eaten cold! A combination of salty goodness from the “King of Cheeses”, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Parma ham, milky mozzarella, aromatic fresh basil, sweet sundried tomatoes and the sharpness of sweated onions make these little pizza pockets the King of your picnic basket. Hail to the Summer Season!

Bread_Parcels_4

 

Ingredients:

For 8 Parcels

For the dough:

500g mixed, plain flours (white and wholemeal)

320ml tepid water

2 tbsps. dry yeast

1 tsp. sea salt

1 pinch sugar

 

For the filling:

8 slices Parma ham

1 mozzarella ball

100g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1 mid-sized onion

8 pieces sundried tomatoes

A handful of fresh basil leaves

Olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Extra flour for dusting

 

What you’ll need:

Mixing bowl

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

Fork

Rolling pin

Grater

Chopping board

Large Kitchen knife

Frying pan

Flat baking tray

Tablespoon

Teaspoon

Wooden spoon or spatula for stirring

Cling film

Non-stick baking paper

 

Method:

  1. For the dough, take a mixing bowl and combine the flours forming a little well in the middle of the bowl. Add dried yeast, sea salt and sugar.
  2. Slowly add tepid water into the well and start stirring more and more flour into the water using a large fork until the clumps are getting bigger and start combining into an even mixture.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly, then cover them and the dough with extra flour and start to knead. It tends to be easier to knead on a hard, flat surface instead of the mixing bowl. For this, make first sure that the worktop is clean and dry before dusting it with flour.
  4. Knead the dough thoroughly for at least 5 minutes, slapping it, folding, pulling and pushing it from every angle until it feels elastic and smooth.
  5. Put the dough back in the bowl, sprinkle some flour on top and cover the mixing bowl with cling film. Allow the dough to prove for about 30 minutes in a warm environment.
  6. In the meantime, chop the onion into strips. Sauté the onion strips by slowly heating up a frying pan with olive oil and spreading them out evenly over the pan and letting them cook, on low heat, until they turn transparent. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to avoid browning.
  7. Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut up the mozzarella and sundried tomatoes.
  8. Dust the worktop with flour. Take your dough and knead it for a few minutes, then take half and roll it out to a large square, approx. 3mm thick. Then take a knife and separate the dough into four pieces.
  9. Drizzle olive oil on each square and rub it in the dough.
  10. Distribute all ingredients equally: One slice of Parma ham per square, 1-2 tomato pieces, 1-2 slices of mozzarella, a tablespoonful of sautéed onions, a handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a few fresh basil leaves. Add black pepper to taste. As the ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano are fairly salty already, I would not recommend adding any extra salt for taste.
  11. Take one side of the dough square and wrap it over the filling. Use your fingertips or the back of a spoon or fork to press the dough edges together so the filling won’t fall out. Glaze the parcels with olive oil using a pastry brush.
  12. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough with the remainder of the ingredients to make 8 parcels altogether.
  13. Place the bread parcels on a flat baking tray with non-stick baking paper and put them in the hot oven (middle-rack) for approx. 25 minutes or until golden-brown at 180°C (fan).
  14. After about 15 minutes into the baking process, take the pastry brush and glaze the bread parcels with water. This will make a crustier crust.
  15. After the baking process, let them cool and pack them up for a nice picnic.

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

http://www.castelli-uk.com

 

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