Sunday, October 29, 2006

Della serie: cene italo/spagnole

Our italian/spanish dinner this week was hosted by Crissy, and a new nationality was represented: Peru, thanks to David :)
We're getting better and better and this time we spoke Spanish almost all the time, and Luisa tried to read the Italian cookbook that I brought. We exchanged sayings too .. for example: how do you say 'to be extremely tired' in a colorful way? Lucas, Crissy and I couldn't come out with an American or Italian saying, whereas we found out that in Mexico they say
'cansado como una cucaracha fumigada' (tired as a fumigated cockcroach, stanco come uno scarafaggio spruzzato con l'insetticida) :) :)
And in Peru they say
'cansado como el caballo de los bandidos' (tired as the horse of the bandits, stanco come il cavallo dei banditi) .
So if some readers want to help.. can you find an Italian/American saying for this?!?
The dinner had a 'Halloween' theme, since we are so close to October 31st. So here is our guest Crissy holding the bleeding skull:

More pictures and some recipes below.

For the dinner we were supposed to bring food typical of our countries. So I took the book that my Dad gave me: 'Cucina di tradizione del Piemonte, Ricettario a Fumetti' by Alberto Calosso and Piero Gallarino (e' bellissimo! Chiunque si interessa di cucina dovrebbe prendere questo libro, e' davveri simpatico, c'e' un pazzo cuoco-cartone che produce ottimi piatti e li illustra :) ). It's a book about cooking from Piemonte, my region. I took a recipe for a soup, because I thought there would be too much other food to make a pasta.
It was really good, so I share the recipe with you (slightly cut down on the butter).
Zuppa di cipolle (Onion soup)
Cut very finely 2 kg onions (~5 medium/big onions). In a pan, put 50g (1/4 stick) of butter and melt it, add the onions and cook very gently for ~20 min. In the meanwhile, melt 30 g (~2 tbs) butter in another pan, add a spoon of flour, and ~ 1 l vegetable broth (I added this much as the recipe said, but I think it's too much, so I had to cook it for a while later to evaporate some liquid) and salt. After the onions are done, blend them to obtain a sort of mousse. Add to the broth. Bring to boil and cook until it's of the thickness you like. Then, add 3 tbsp sour cream (panna da cucina, se ce l'avete a disposizione), mix, and serve hot with crostini (pieces of bread cut and toasted in a pan where some butter (~1/2 tbsp) was melted previously).

Also Lucas cooked! He made cornbread, the style that his grandmother used to make it:
Lucas's grandma's cornbread

Mix 1 lb cornmeal, 1 broccoli bunch cut into pieces, salt, 1 small onion sautee, 1/4 lb melted butter, 12 oz cottage cheese, 4 eggs beaten. Put in a pan, so that it's about 1 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 400 F for 30 min. It was very good!!!

Luisa made a chinese dish, which she explained is commonly cooked in Mexican households of her region, due to the strong influence of Chinese immigrants.
It was very good, but I can't remember the name!

Mariana made the 'Sopa de gato' (soup of the cat), which is neither a soup nor does it contain cat meat :) - but it's a stir fry of tortilla, chorizo and cream. Very yummy :)
(sorry, the picture is blurry).

And Crissy made a wonderful 'Italian roast', which was beef and vegetables slowly cooked in a crockpot with tomatoes and spices for 10 hours. It was delicious.

The dessert was a mixed cheesecake (we didn't make it though) :)
Very good, I couldn't resist trying transparent slices of 3 of the 4 flavors.

I also made another dessert, taken from the Piemontese cookbook, but since I transformed it into a Halloween dessert, I'll describe it in another post.

I just wanted to post a few pictures of the guests of this dinner:

Crissy and David
Luisa and Jorge
Mariana and Trino
Marta and Lucas


Susan in Italy said...

Wow, I'd never heard those Spanish expressions. In Spain, they just say, estoy hecha polvo (I'm made into dust).
I think it's great you're having international dinners. i try to do that here in Milan too.

chemcookit said...

Hey Susan!
Good to hear from you! I didn't know the Spanish expression, that's pretty clear :)
I love international dinners. I'll check on your blog if I can have some inspiration from you in the future :)