Friday, May 20, 2011

My Favorite Thing to Cook and Eminem's Death

Last night was a relaxing night in.  Liz and I bought pasta on Wednesday at the San Lorenzo Market.  The shape of the pasta reminded us of an over sized tortellini, filled with spinach and ricotta.  Cooking this time was a lot easier than the first.  No fuses were blown!!  Only 2 burners on and cooking in the dark is the trick!!

Within 30 minutes dinner was ready!  The pasta filling was as sweet and creamy as the filling that was made in class for Crispelle Florentina.  The balsamic reduction coated my mouth with a delightful sweetness! (Aspiring food critic right here... wish I was better at describing my food.  Maybe I should just stick with the work "yummy.")

Balsamic reduction I made to serve with the pasta

After dinner,  Liz, Erica, and I all sat together on Liz’s bed to watch Modern Family on Hulu and then after went to Perché-No for gelato, another place recommended by Chef Tammaso.  I ordered two flavors, white chocolate and coffee crunch. Delicious!!!

This morning’s class was a discussion on Northern Italian food, focusing on Lambardia.  With it’s mountainous landscape, Lambardia is known for rice, milk, butter, and cheese.  Lambardia’s traditional dish is risotto, which is my absolute favorite meals to cook.  Northern Italy also likes to use more animal fat, such as butter and lard, for cooking, because of the cooler climate,  compared to southern Italy who cooks with olive oil.  Therefore, the Mediterranean Diet is NOT practiced too much in Northern Italy as much as it is in the South.

Today’s class recipe was risotto with asparagus and Veil Milanese (breaded and fried veil).  Chef Tommaso taught about the best cuts of veil to shop for.  The top three are veil rib roast, top sirloin, or strip loin.  It is best to cook with the bone, adding great flavor, as well as making it easier to flip on the grill or pan while cooking.

Cooking the risotto was very comforting in that it reminded me of being at home, cooking my favorite recipe.  After the first step of sauteing the onoins, we toasted the arborio rice and then added the wine.  As the wine cooked off and was absorbed into the rice, the room filled with a scent of sweetness.  The slow process of adding the stock takes awhile, but I love standing and stirring the risotto with excitement, just knowing what the end product will turn out to be.

The final steps were to add butter and parmesan cheese to add an extra creaminess to the risotto. Our final product was excellent!!  Chef Tommaso was very pleased.   The risotto was very creamy and satisfying and the freshness of the asparagus was spectacular!  We also added basil at the end to give the risotto a kick of flavor.  Molto buono! 

The veil was excellent as well with a crispy outer crust and tasty, tender meat inside.

Viel Malanese

And the end of class Chef Tammaso tried to play a trick on us. He told us that Eminem died tonight (and by "tonight" we believe he meant last night).  Everyone's jaw dropped.  We asked him how, what happened, when, where... "He was drunk... crashed his car in the street... in LA..."  We were all a little skeptical of Chef Tommaso's story, but believed him.  Liz ran out of the class room to check the internet and Chef Tommaso began to laugh "This is not true!!!"  He was so proud of himself.  He got us good!!

After class, Liz, Erica, Becca and I went to climb the 463 steps to the top of  The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also know as Duomo, since we did not end up going yesterday!  The stairway up was steep, dark, and crowded.  I have never known myself to be so claustrophobic!  Whenever we would stop moving all I could think of was how I would get out if something had happened.  Once we saw a glimpse of sun from the last flight of stairs I had a sigh of relief.  Although the climb was a bit nerve racking, it was well worth it!  The view was beautiful with the sun shining over the city of Florence.  We were able to see our Piazza della Repubblica, which is right where we (and Jersey Shore!) live.  We were also able to point out the leather market, San Lorenzo Market, etc…

Piazza Della Repubblica

San Lorenzo Market

Off to enjoy the rest of this fabulous sunny Friday here in Florence!


Molly Jean

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