To continue this month’s theme, a three course menu to start with. Some of us don’t know our way around a kitchen let alone cooking a meal in one! But most of us know a good meal when we’ve had one. Why not try cooking for the first time, perhaps? You just need a bit of confidence and some self belief. Start here . . .
Three colour salad
2 x 125g whole mozzarella
2 ripe avocados
2 beefsteak tomatoes
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (from
4 Sprigs of fresh Basil to decorate
1. Cut the avocados in two along their long sides
2. Lift the seed with a pointed knife, carefully pressing into it
3. Using a tumbler or a table spoon, scoop out the pulp whole
4. Slice the pulp in regular pieces along their long sides
5. Slice the mozzarella in regular pieces, discarding the ends
6. Do the same with the tomatoes
7. On a large serving dish, arrange the mozzarella in the centre from one end to the opposite
8. Arrange the sliced avocado and tomato each side of the mozzarella, Decorate with the Basil
9. Mix 6 parts of oil to one part balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the completed dish with some of it.
Freshly-baked crusty bread is a must.
BISTECCA DI MANZO ALLA ROMA ANTICA
Beef steak from Ancient Rome
4 x 180g Sirloin steak (with the fat cut out), slightly
flattened with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin
750 g small new potatoes
30 g chopped (not too finely) of fresh parsley
In Rome, they used a largish mortar and pestle for this recipe, now we have the “food processor”
1. Boil the potatoes in their skins and keep them well heated.
Preparation for the sauce
1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor, excluding the oil
2. Begin at a low speed, gradually increasing to mark 6.
3. When it has blended well into a thick paste, add the oil gradually, increasing the speed to 8 (depending on the type of processor you have, but do not go above the middle of the range).
3. You should now have a smooth sauce. Divide it into 4 containers and refrigerate
Preparation for the steaks
1. On a non-stick frying pan or griddle, sprinkle some oil and when it is very hot, place the steaks for no longer than 1 minute then turn them.
2. The steak should look nicely caramelised on both sides.
3. Dress the meat on a large dish and keep it hot.
4. Place the potatoes on the hot frying pan (or griddle)
5. Cook with a little butter and when ready, sprinkle the parsley over them
6. Arrange around the meat and serve with the sauce separate so each guest can choose how much they want.
FRAGOLE (O LAMPONI) IN PROSECCO
Strawberries (or raspberries) in Prosecco)
400g of Strawberries, or Raspberries
100g of cane sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1 bottle of Prosecco
8 shortbread biscuits
Cream ad lib.
Fresh mint, to decorate
This dish must rest overnight, in a cool place
1. Cut the leaves from the strawberries (if chosen)
2. Place your selected fruit in a suitable glass or bowl
3. Sprinkle the sugar over it together with the lemon zest.
4. Cover with sufficient Prosecco
5. Leave overnight to cool.
6. After cooling, strain the fruit into suitable individual dishes with some liquor; place some mint on the fruit in each dish, serve with the shortbread and cream.
The remainder of Prosecco, if any, will serve to sooth the nerves of the cook!
This is a meal to have “al fresco”
Buon Appetito Giovanni Fontebasso