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May Tasters

May is the first real spring month and the vegetables are plentiful and at a reasonable price. I chose to write a Braised Beef recipe my mother liked making and one my father and I really enjoyed. Serves 4

BRUSCHETTA GRANDE CON PESCE (Italian bread & fish)

Ingredients
4 Large slices of bread toasted (or lightly fried in
very hot fat) on one side only
80g peeled prawns
40g of crab meat
40g of cooked white fish
20g of chopper Capers
20g of finely sliced white leek
2 cloves of garlic crushed to a pulp with salt
30mils of olive oil
80g of chopped fresh peeled tomato
60g of double cream
40mils of strong fish stock
40mils of dry white wine
The juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Seasoning at will
4 sprigs of parsley

Preparation
1. In a non-stick saucepan heat the oil and lightly fry the leek, the garlic and Passata
2. When soft, add the capers and all the fish, stir for 5 minutes
3. Add the wine, reduce a little then add the stock, seasoning and cayenne pepper
4. Stir well and add the cream away from the heat
5. Divide the mix on to the four toasted bread slices, sprinkle the lemon juice over each and decorate with the parsley

BRASATO DI MANZO CON PEPERONATA (Braised beef & peppers)

Ingredients
750g of lean topside of beef
500mils of strong beef stock
150mils of red wine
60g of ham fat
60mils of seed oil
2 medium sized onions medium sliced
4 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
1 whole tin of chopped tomatoes
3 sweet peppers (red, yellow and green) deseeded
and roughly chopped
3 sticks of celery cut small
1 large aubergine roughly chopped
10g of chopped tarragon, parsley, rosemary and sage (fresh if possible)
Seasoning at will

Preparation
The evening before:
1. Place the beef in a suitable bowl or saucepan
2. Pour over it the wine and the stock
3. Add the onions, garlic, celery and mixed herbs (marinade)
4. Cover the container and turn the beef upside down once during the night

The morning after:
1. In a deep oven tray fry the fat in half the oil
2. When very hot, seal the beef on all sides (just the meat), and cook it in the oven at 180°C for 1 hour and half. In the meantime . . .
3. Drain well the marinade and keep it aside
4. In a suitable non-stick saucepan. Heat the remaining oil, when hot place in a well drained marinade, fry, then add the vegetables
5. Cook briskly for 7/8 minutes and lower the heat so the “Peperonata” stews for half an hour
6. When beef (1) and Peperonata (2) are cooked, place (2) in a serving dish and (1) the middle

Serve with boiled or creamed potatoes and broccoli and cauliflower florets

BANANA & STRAWBERRY TART

Ingredients
500g sweet short pasty
(available in Supermarkets)
3 medium size bananas
12 firm strawberries halved
200g clotted cream
2 small eggs beaten lightly
150g lemon and lime marmalade
30g of Castor and 20g of icing Sugar
The zest of 1 lemon

Preparation
1. Roll out the pastry about 5 mm thick
2. With it line a 200 mm fluted loose bottom tin
3. Bake it blind (with beans on paper) for 10 minutes: oven 200°C
4. Retrieve the beans and return the pastry case into the oven 180°C for 5 minutes
5. Cool the case while preparing the filling
6. Mix well half the cream with the marmalade and the rest with the beaten eggs and castor sugar
7. Spread the marmalade and cream on the bottom of the tart, cover with sliced bananas
8. Spread over evenly the egg and cream mix and sprinkle over it the lemon zest
9. Place in the oven at 180°C and bake for half an hour
10. Cool the tart on a wire rack before placing the strawberries neatly over the tart
11. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve cold

Serve with extra pouring single cream

BUON APPETITO – Giovanni Fontebasso

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