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Tag Archives: HOW TO

Italian Bread Baking @IICLA

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Kick off summer with another extraordinary cooking class at the  Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and learn how to make homemade Italian bread and focaccia.

MENU:

 

Onion & Cherry Tomato Focaccia (LIGURIA)

Crescione with cheese and spinach (EMILIA-ROMAGNA)

Briosche col Tappo and Granita al Caffè (SICILY)

Save your spot now!

Saturday, July 14th, 2018
10:30 AM – 1 PM
Italian Cultural Institute
1023 Hilgard Avenue – LA 90024
To register:
please call 310-824-7408 or email to classes.iicla@esteri.it  
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Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

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Panzanella, literally PAN: Bread and ZANELLA: Soup Bowl, is the name of the traditional Tuscan bread salad. The main ingredients of panzanella are stale Tuscan bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I had the pleasure to teach how to make this dish during Culinary Tour Of Italy, the cooking class I led at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles as a part of the LA FoodBowl, the month long food fest organized by the Los Angeles Times.

Here are some tips for a delicious Panzanella:

Use Tuscan bread, the unsalted Italian bread loaf.

Don’t drench the bread in the water solution, simply wet it.

Use the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Make the Panzanella ahead of time as the ingredients will blend together during the resting time in the fridge.

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Photo Credits : Mirko Mirakle Urania

INGREDIENTS

4 slices stale Tuscan bread

2 ripe tomatoes

1 medium cucumber

1small red onion

white wine or apple vinegar

8 basil leaves, hand chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

salt and pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut the onion into thin slices, soak them in a small bowl with water and a tablespoon of vinegar for at least 1 hour. Peel the cucumber with a potato peeler then cut into thin rounds. Wash, dry and cut the tomato into small pieces. With a serrated knife, remove the crust from the Tuscan bread slices, wet them with a solution of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar without soaking too much. Once softened, squeeze out any excess of liquids and chop it coarsely into pieces. Place the bread in a large bowl, then add the drained onions, tomatoes, cucumber, basil leaves and mix all the ingredients with the help of a spoon. Season with Evoo, salt and pepper and mix again. Place the Panzanella in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Return the Panzanella to room temperature before serving

 

Tiramisù Truffles

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Tiramisù truffles are an eggless version of the authentic Italian Tiramisù, very simple to make and great for any occasion. Recently I made these mouthwatering truffles during the TV show Taste of Sunrise hosted by Mary Winners on CCN Sunrise and it was a HIT!

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When it comes to Tiramisù, remember to use only SAVOIARDI (Italian crispy ladyfingers) and the best quality ingredients. I personally used Di Stefano cheese mascarpone and it worked beautifully.

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You’ll be amazed by their incredible velvety texture. These tiramisu truffles will completely melt in your mouth.

 

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Photo Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

16 savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)

tablespoons powdered sugar

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 shot espresso coffee

cocoa powder, to dust

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, pulverize the savoiardi. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Blend in the espresso then add the savoiardi and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls then roll them into cocoa powder.

Store tiramisu truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.

Remove from fridge 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Birthday & Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2018 …Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter Angelica and Happy International Women’s Day too. So much to celebrate and to be happy for!!! Here is the cake I baked for the birthday girl, a delicious 8-shaped pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake) frosted with white chocolate buttercream and garnished with fresh flowers, raspberry macarons, fresh strawberries, chocolate kisses and rainbow candies.

AUGURI!!!!

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Gnocchi & Gnocchetti Cooking Class

Gnocchi & Gnocchetti

2018 is the year of the Italian Food! Join me for another fun and delicious cooking class at the  Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and learn how to make different types of Italian GNOCCHI using the finest Italian ingredients (Caputo Flour, Parmigiano Reggiano Bertozzi).

MENU:

Gnocchi di patate – Classic Italian dumplings

Spaetzle del Sud Tirolo – South Tyrolean dumplings

Gnudi Toscani – Tuscan dumplings

in traditional Italian sauces

 

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
10:30 AM – 1 PM
Italian Cultural Institute
1023 Hilgard Avenue – LA 90024
To register:
please call 310-824-7408 or email to classes.iicla@esteri.it  

 

Chiacchiere (Carnival Fried Pastries)

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“A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” (Anything goes at Carnival time).

Carnevale (Italian Carnival or Mardi Gras) is celebrated 40 days before Easter and is the last chance to party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent. In Italy we celebrates Carnevale with masquerade balls, goliardic parties and parades showcasing gigantic floats. Children, dressed up in costumes, throw coriandoli (confetti) and stelle filanti (party streamers) at each other and blow party horns and blowouts. The traditional Carnival treats are chiacchiere (fried pastries) and tortelli (fritters). Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.

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Available on:

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Amazon.com (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen IN The Kitchen

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place the chiacchiere over a serving plate covered with paper towel.

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Pandoro Christmas Tree With Chantilly Cream

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The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Let’s celebrate Christmas with a delicious Pandoro Christmas Tree filled with Crema Chantilly (Chantilly cream).

Pandoro (literally golden bread), is a traditional Christmas sweet bread from Verona that gets the name from its golden color. Pandoro is baked  in a special star-shaped mold and doesn’t contain contain any dried fruits or nuts, unlike panettone.

I made this scrumptious Pandoro with all the attendees at my cooking class BUON NATALE! THE FESTIVE TABLE at the Italian Institute Of Culture Los Angeles. We shaped our Pandoro into a Christmas tree and filled it with delicious Chantilly cream. We also added some hazelnut spread between some layers for a nutty twist. My students and I  decorated the Pandoro with wild cherries in syrup as ornaments, dusted with lots of powdered sugar.

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With this traditional Italian sweet treat, A Queen In  The Kitchen wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!!!

BUON NATATLE E BUON ANNO!!!

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Photo credits: Maurizio “OttO” De Togni

INGREDIENTS

1 Pandoro (traditional sweet bread of Verona)

For the Chantilly Cream
16 ounces heavy whipping cream, cold
5 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

wild cherries in syrup, to garnish

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

Slice the Pandoro horizontally in 6 slices (1 inch thick). Prepare the Chantilly cream by whipping the cold whipping cream with a hand or stand mixer. When the cream is almost whipped, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a star tip or plain round tip. Build the Pandoro tree by adding layers of cream between the slices and stacking the slices in order to reproduce a Christmas tree. Pipe more cream on the star points and add wild cherries as ornaments. Dust with powdered sugar.