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A Virtual Cooking Class by Chef Andrea of “Cooking Classes in Rome”

Following our day of cooking with Chef Andrea we received the following email from Chef Andrea, which I am sharing with you here.  This is unedited and includes many tips in addition to the recipes.  If you try any of these recipes, I hope you will leave a comment about your experiences.  The earlier blog post has many pictures of the dishes we prepared.  Ciao!

Chef Andrea at his cooking school in Rome

Here’s your friend and Chef Andrea writing you about all the recipes we cooked on Wednesday the 17th of November during your cooking class.

I’ve used measurements in grams and cups to make you all able to reproduce my food. But remember, as soon as you will return back home, if you are using cups the flour you may find may be more dense than we used so you will have to sift it first before measuring it.

1. Appetizer: Deep Fried Artichokes

Ingredients for 4 people:
– 4 artichokes
– 2 lemons (1 to squeeze in the bowl of water, and 1 to rub the artichokes)
– about 2cups/ 200gr all purpose flower
– about 1 can beer
– ice cubes (to make the batter crunchier, you don’t need it in case the beer is enough cold)
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– coarse salt and pepper
– 1 can of sunflower oil to fryInstructions:
The artichokes we used were called “violetti” which means purple and are good to fry, but not the best to stuff inside and cook in the Roman style “alla romana”. For this kind of artichokes you have to wait until the beginning of February and look for “cimaroli” types.
Clean your artichokes starting with tearing off the outside leaves. As soon as the bottom of the leafs begin to turn a brighter color, stop pulling the leafs off. After, start pealing the stem, all the way through to the collar, leaving as much of the stem as possible. Right after be sure to rub the artichokes with lemon to avoid a color change. To carve the heart, you will need a sharp carving knief. You need to hold the kneif horizontal to the stem, making sure you are only using the point of the knief. Start carving where the brighter part of the leaf ends and the purpal starts. Cut one layer at a time always moving up in a spiral. After rub with lemon. Cut each artichoke in half and then each half into halfs or thirds, depending on the size of them. Once cut, leave them all in a bowl of water with lemon until you are ready to deep fry.
For the batter you need to start with mixing all purpose flour and cold beer (if your beer is not cold enough, you are able to add a few ice cubes) until you reach a tick, smooth, elastic substance. Once at this point, add one teaspoon of E.V Olive oil and salt.  Heat up a sauce pan with frying oil (using sunflower oil to fry). You are able to tell if the oil is warm enough if once you dip your artichokes in, it starts to fry. Cover each piece of artichokes in your beer batter and them place them in the oil, allowing them to fry for a few minutes on each side, until brown. Dry off on a paper towel and serve warm.
Suggestion: If you want you can make the Southern Style Pesto, that you can use as a dipping sauce (or you could even use it as a pasta sauce). In a food processor, add cherry tomatoes, E.V. olive oil, almonds, salt, garlic (remember to get rid of the heart of it, which makes it heavier to digest) and fresh organic basil leaves. Blend it until smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too liquid because the tomatoes had to much water, add a handful of parmesan cheese and blend again. Serve to dip your artichokes.

Wine Pairing: Frascati Spumante – it’s a pure Frascati grapes Spumante handmade produced with the Champenoise Method from the Winery Cantina San Marco ed. 2007

2. First course: Gnocchi al pomodoro fresco e basilico (Homemade gnocchi with fresh tomato and basil sauce)

Ingredients (Serving for 4 people):
– 2.2lb / 1 kg Potatoes (the one that fits this recipe are called Idaho or Russet potatoes back in the US, or for the other countries just get old potatoes and not fresh and watery ones……remember that the more water is contained in the potatoes, the more flour you need to add and the heavier the potato dumplings will be!)
– 1/2lb / 250g all purpose flour
– 1 egg
– pinch of salt
– 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
– 1Kg / 2,2 lb fresh and organic tomatoes (the one we used in the kitchen are called San Marzano, the closest to the Roma tomatoes you can find back home)
– few leaves of fresh organic Basil
– 1 clove garlic

To make the gnocchi you have to cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain and slip off the skin, then mash until smooth. Gradually stir in the egg yolk, salt, and enough of the flour to obtain a smooth dough that is just a little sticky (usually the flour I use is ¼ the weight of the potatoes). Now you can take a piece of dough and roll it on a lightly floured work surface into a rope about 2.5 cm long. Repeat with all the dough and you can give the gnocchithe shape you prefer. Usually to give them the gnocchi their special grooves, twist around the tines of a fork.
To cook the gnocchi, put a large pot of boiling water over high heat. When the water is boiling, toss in few tablespoons of salt with the gnocchi. Stir to keep the gnocchi from sticking, and when they’ll rise to the surface scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
In the meantime, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, saute garlic with extra virgin olive oil (remember to leave the skin on and do not burn the oil, just wait for garlic to get brown). Than add chopped and peeled tomatoes, and allow them to cook and saute. To peel the tomatoes leave them into boiling water for few minutes, then cool down with cold water and get rid of the skin. After the tomatoes have cooked down for 5 to 10 minutes, they’ll look softer and release some water, add salt. You are able to add chili if you want (but not too much). If you like you can add a cheese touch adding fresh ricotta diced in with the tomatoes. The sauce will look creamy with diced tomatoes and diced ricotta, in the end add freshly chopped basil leaves.
When the gnocchi are cooked, drain it and add it to the frying pan with the tomatoes and mix. Add Parmesan cheese and garnish with basil leaves, serve hot.

Wine Pairing: Marmorelle, it’s Frascati Superiore DOC – it’s a pure Frascati grapes from the Winery Principe Pallavicini ed. 2009 (Colonna – Rome – Lazio).

3. Second course:  Saltimbocca alla Romana (Saltimbocca roman style)
Note: Saltimbocca, the word translates as “jump in the mouth”Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 1 lb / 500gr thinly sliced beef cutlets (scallopini or tenderloin)
– 10 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
– 10 slices thinly sliced edamer cheese (american cheese, swiss cheese or sliced mozzarella cheese is fine as well…..remember it has to be soft and mild cheese)
– 20 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilInstructions:
Put the beef cutlets side by side on chopping board. Lay a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of beef and cut it into small squares. Gently flatten the cutlets with a rolling pin or meat mallet, until the pieces are about 1/3 inch thick (about 0,5cm thick) and the prosciutto has adhered to the beef. Then lay the cheese and a couple of sage leaves in the center of each cutlet square.
Weave a toothpick in and out of the beef to secure the prosciutto, cheese and sage.
Heat the oil and in a large skillet over medium flame. Put the beef in the pan, prosciutto-side down first. Cook for 3 minutes or until crisp it up and then flip the cutlets over and saute the other side for 2 minutes, until golden. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks, and keep warm. Don’t season with salt or pepper since prosciutto is salty and you don’t need to add more seasoning to your plate.
Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca, garnish with sage leaves and serve immediately.Wine Pairing: Cesanese di Olevano Romano – it’s a pure Cesanese (the typical red grapes from Lazio Region) aged in small barrels from the Winery Azienda Agricola Proietti ed. 2007
4. Dessert: Chocolate Soufflé

Ingredients for 6 soufflé:
– 1 cup/100gr. unsalted butter
– 1 cup/100 gr. dark chocolate (the best brands to use are Callebaut or Ghirardelli Semi Sweet)
– 1 1/4 cup/120gr. confectioner sugar
– 1/2 cup/50gr. all purpose flour (I suggest to sift it before using it)
– 2 full eggs
– 3 egg yolk
Combine 1 cup/100gr. of butter and 1 cups/100gr. of dark chocolate into a double saucepan and cook it in a water bath. Then set aside and let it cool down.
In the meantime to make the cream mixture you have to take a mixing bowl. With a whisk beat 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks with 1 cup/120gr. of icing sugar, ½ cup/50gr. of all purpose flour until very thick and light in color. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture until smooth.
To assemble, spray with some non-stick spray any container (could be an aluminium one like the one we used in the kitchen) and dip your mixture over it. Cook it in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 350°F / 180°C. Cover the whole cake with icing sugar and chips of grated unsweetened chocolate if you want.
Wine Pairing: Cannellino – it’s a Passito wine of Frascati grapes from the Winery Cantina San Marco ed. 2007 (this is a sweet wine that suite perfectly with desserts)

Have fun and a great dinner!

Andrea Consoli
Executive Chef
Cooking Classes in Rome

2017-07-03T23:00:36+00:00 November 21st, 2010|Appetizers, Cooking Tips, Desserts, Dinner, Entree, Menus and Memories, Recipes|