Friday, June 02, 2006

Cena - lezione sui calzoni (con dessert di tiramisu estivo)

I haven't blogged in a while.. I miss it! I was way too busy at work. But at least, I managed to have some nice dinners, and even a weekend trip, during these past ten days.
Let's start with one of the dinners: with Jorge and Luisa, a dinner-lesson about how to make calzoni.

I make calzoni using the same dough that I make for pizza:
About 5-6 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of yiest, dissolved in warm (body temperature) water (about 1 and 1/2 cups), activated by adding a little bit of sugar in it and checking if it makes bubbles
1-2 tablespoons of oil
three pinches of salt
I work all these ingredients together until I have an elastic nice dough, then I leave it covered for about one hour, until it doubles its volume. At this point, I spread the dough.
If I make pizza (or focaccia, like we made that night), I put a ball of dough on the pan that I want to use, then I spread it with my hands, 'walking' with my fingers on it until it's spread all over. Over this dough, you can add whatever you want. If you make pizza, add a tomato sauce (made by cooking finely cut garlic in olive oil and adding diced canned tomatoes, and salt to it) as a base, and then whatever type of cheese, ham, olives, meat, fish, veggies you like. If you make a focaccia (ie white pizza), spread some oil with your fingers on top of it, and then add either pieces of onions, or olives, or tuna, or just some plain grains of salt.
Cook it in the oven at ~400C for ~15 minutes or until it's golden-brown.
(here you see half a white focaccia and an onion focaccia).
The focaccie were served with some beet salad and cheese under oil:
I found out that I love beet salads, and I made up a few of them already. This was prepared by baking some beets and some red potatoes, then after skinning them, I cut them, and I added some capers, olive oil, vinegar and finely cut garlic. It was really good. The cheese under oil is similar to what I already described, although I couldn't find the usual cheese from the farmers market, so I bought a similar goat cheese that tasted good with oil, garlic and parsley too.

To make calzoni, take the same dough and spread it with a rolling pin until quite thin. Make it in oval shapes, about 20 cm long. On a half of it, add the ingredients you want. We made some with pecorino and ham, some with mozzarella and tuna, some with tuna, onions and olives, some with gorgonzola and mozzarella, some with chilorio (a mexican spicy pork meat that Mexicans use on their pizza) and cheddar cheese... Then, fold the dough, so that the empty half covers the half with all the ingredients, and seal by refolding the borders. Cook in the oven at 400F for about 15-20 minutes.
Here you see an example of a whole calzone, some that we cut to share, and a small pizza with gorgonzola and pears that I made because Lucas loves it (and yeah, it is good) :)
The calzoni should be served with a bowl of sauce (finely cut garlic or onions sauteed in some olive oil, plus diced tomatoes and salt, cooked until the tomatoes are nearly dissolved) and I also add a bowl of pesto on a side. Everyone can put on top of their calzoni the sauce that they prefer.

For dessert, I made my completely modified version of tiramisu.
To make it, you need to have
About 15 Ladyfingers (or savoiardi) cookies
One pound ricotta
2 Eggs
half a cup of sugar
About two cups of strawberries
To make the sauce: beat the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a nice whitish cream. Add ricotta to it. Beat the whites until they get a very firm 'snowy' consistency. Add them to the rest of the cream.
Blend about half of the strawberries, add some water (about three tablespoons), and use this liquid to dip the cookies in. Cut into pieces the rest of the strawberries.
Make a first layer of cookies that you have soaked in the strawberry sauce (flip them at least twice in the sauce). Spread a layer of egg/ricotta cream on top. Then add half of the cut strawberries. Pour a little bit of strawberry sauce on top of everything. Then make a second layer of soaked cookies, add the cheese/egg cream, add the rest of the strawberries on top. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

The original recipe for tiramisu has mascarpone instead of ricotta, and doesn't have strawberries at all. Instead of soaking the cookies in strawberry sauce, soak them in a mixture of strong coffee and a little water. Add cookies, cheese sauce, cookies, cheese sauce and at the end sprinkle some cocoa powder on top before serving.

For the strawberry season, though, I prefer my strawberry version :)

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