Sea bream for lunch..

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Hi everyone! Today I took the first exam for this last semester so now i’m 3 exams closer to my degree..!

For lunch Nikos prepared a sea bream fillet with rosemary, garlic and lemon in the oven. Accompanied by french fries and tomato-onion salad is the tastier combination! Buon appetito!

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Earlier this morning..

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Parmesan “keftedakia” surprise..

Hi everyone! Today i’m sharing with you a recipe me and Nikos prepared last week for the  international Parmiggiano Reggiano culinary contest! Check here our recipe and upload yours until July 18th!

To take part, recreate a typical dish from your culinary culture using Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheeses, and then share your recipe! The best 30 recipes, judged and selected by a panel of chefs, will be published in the first Parmigiano Reggiano CrossCooKing recipe book. There will also be a special surprise for the most interesting interpretation!

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Kofta, in Greek κεφτές (keftés), is an Azerbijanian, Balkan, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish meatball or meatloaf. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. In India, Turkey and Iran, koftas are usually made of lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, whereas Greek and Cypriot varieties are usually made of beef, veal, pork or mixtures of them. In Greek cuisine they are usually fried and eaten with tzatziki or yogurt.

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Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef or a mixture of minced beef and pork
  • 3 slices of stale bread without crust
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 egg finely chopped fresh oregano, fresh mint leaves, and parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • Yogurt seasoned with paprika and lemon zest

Preparation

Put the bread in bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Add the rest of the ingredients along with the minced meat and the herbs. Preferably grate the onions over the mixture so it gets infused by their juice. Season with salt and pepper. Scrunch and mix up well, then cover and place in the fridge to bind for at least 30 minutes. Remember: the more the mixture remains in the fridge the more aromatic the meatballs become. Divide the meat mixture in small pieces. Mould and pat each piece into comparatively flat meatballs, wetting your fingertips in water every now and then. Add a piece of parmesan cheese in the middle and wrap it. Dust them with flour, shaking the excess away, and stir-fry in olive oil. Dip the meatballs in the yogurt sauce. Buon appetito!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Fuchsia risotto..

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Have a nice week everyone! Today for lunch I prepared a creamy beetroot risotto! It’s a really simple and quick recipe and the red/pink color of the beetroot makes it look amazing!

Ingredients

  • 320 gr risotto rice (I used Carnaroli)
  • 200g beetroot
  • 100g butter
  • 80g of grated grana padano
  • 100g gorgonzola
  • milk or cream
  • 50ml white wine
  • 1lt hot vegetable stock
  • salt

First of all, blend the beetroot to a puree and store it in the fridge. In a pan, melt half the butter indicated and  toast the rice for 3/4 minutes. Sprinkle with white wine and let it blend. Add stock, salt and cook the rice for about 15 minutes by continuing to add stock when necessary. Melt the blue cheese with a little cream or milk. Remove the risotto from heat and stir in the remaining butter, grana padano cheese and the puree from the fridge.
Serve with melted gorgonzola.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Unusual lunch..

Hi everyone!

Today it was a perfect day for a walk in the center.. It was lees cold than usual (10°C!) so we decided to have lunch at one of my favorite #unusualflorence place, Brac! Number 8 on the map!

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I can never get enough of this place, I like going there any time of the day and it never disappoints me! Situated in a small street where probably many tourists pass outside without even noticing this “paradise”, but when you enter you’ll never forget it. I’m not a vegetarian but I could eat there every day! This place is unique, it’s one of the places I could go alone and take a cup of tea, read something from their library and relax!

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Installation by DEFERRARI+MODESTI architects!

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And finally some photos from this beautiful sunny stroll.. Have a nice weekend!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Colorful risotto..

Lunch time! Today I didn’t feel like going out for grocery shopping so I made a risotto with what was left in the fridge! Risottos are so easy to cook and there are plenty of combinations, don’t be afraid to experiment!

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This time I used:

  • 1 medium size eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 medium size pepper
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 200 g rice
  • extra vergin olive oil
  • about 1 litre of vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • a glass of wine

When is ready serve with parmiggiano reggiano. Buon appetito!

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Tuscany part 1: Monteriggioni..

I think it’s about time we discover Tuscany!

First stop the tiny but unique Monteriggioni, definitely one of my favorite destinations. Despite its size it attracts me much more than other villages of Tuscany. Perhaps this is because you don’t have much choice other than to relax and sit in it’s one and only square Piazza Roma and enjoy fine wine accompanied by a tasty tagliere (tuscan salami and cheese). Yesterday for the first time we left the car 1.5 km far and walked in the countryside. Then we went for lunch at Bar dell’Orso, a small trattoria with excelent italian atmosphere, amazing sandwiches and original tuscan recipes! And after that a coffee at Piazza Roma of course and more countryside. I love spring!

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Some information :

Monteriggioni is one of the most classical and best known Italian walled town. Since the Middle Age its fame was so big that also the great poet Dante Alighieri makes sign to his ‘round enclosure‘ in the Divine Comedy (Hell, chant XXXI vv. 40-41). The town walls, nearly intact, cover a length of 570 meters and are alternated by 14 towers and two gates. The Senese Gate is at the base of a square tower while the Florence Gate is opened in the curtain and defended from one of the towers of the fortified perimeter.

The town was built by the Senesis in the years 1213-1219 on a hilltop overlooking of the Cassia Road. Its ideal position allowed to control the Elsa and the Staggia Valleys in direction in Florence, the historic enemy of Siena, that at that time was rapidly expanding its territory.

The hill where Monteriggioni rises is natural, even if it could seem a great ‘motte‘ (from the name of the classical Norman castles ‘Motte-and-Bailey’ built on artificial hills and gifted of enclosure), and the circular, almost perfectly, layout of the walls was obtained simply following the sketch of the ground’s curves of level. In the planning was tried of to limit the weak points for excellence, the gates, entrusting the only connections with the outside only to a  east to west crossing road. To Monteriggioni the military building work appears physically distinguished by the inhabited area confined to its inside but well separated from the walls from a ‘territory of respect‘, although in the ancient times the inhabited area has been more intense than today and consequently with a more narrow band of separation. The hamlet that we can admire our daysis essentially authentic, being ever been object of building and tourist speculations. The only changes to its aspect happened in the first years of the 16th century when, trying to conform the fortifications to the development of the new fire weapons, were lowered the towers andaccumulated earth at the base of the walls with the purpose to get a bastionated effect. (Source)

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Have a nice weekend eveyone!

photos © chrysoula papagianni

Sushi time..

Sushi lunch today with Antonia and Chiara!

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Pesto alla Genovese..

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Pesto is a cold sauce, synonym and symbol of Genoa and the whole Liguria, which in the recent decades has been among the most widely known sauces in the world.
The first traces of pesto we find actually in 800 and since then, the recipe has always remained the same. To prepare the real pesto sauce takes a marble mortar and a wooden pestle and … a lot of patience. The name is the contracted past participle of the Genoese word pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to poundto crush, in reference to the original method of preparation.
Like any traditional recipe, every family has its own recipe for pesto sauce!

Ingredients

  • Genoese basil – 50 grams, preferably young and fresh.
  • Ligurian Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 100 ml
  • Grated Cheese – 6 tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP or Grana Padano DOP and 2 tablespoons of Pecorino
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Pine nuts – 1 tablespoon of nuts from the Mediterranean
  • Coarse Sea Salt – a few grains

For me the ideal pasta to combine with this sauce is Linguine, or Trofie!

Buon Appetito!!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Spring pops up finally..

I don’t know how many of you saw yesterday’s post. The weather was amazing, finally after 1 month of rain.. So i went for a walk with Inesita!

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We were just walking and enjoying the sun! Then we went to eat something at The Diner, I love tis place!

Ines brought me a gift from Serbia, a chocolate (what else?) in a beautiful package.. Then we took a walk by the river and i had an accident with my camera 😦  Fortunately only the filter broke and the lens is intact! I will never forget the scared expression of Ines..

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Friday’s Lunch..

I’m having lunch with my friend Nadia at Mama’s bakery.. A very friendly environment full of bagels and cupcakes!!

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