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Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Amaretti cookies!

I had been obsessing over almond cookies for quite a while now. As you know, I made some crunchy almond cookies a few weeks back, but I remained unsatisfied as I was looking for a chewy almond cookie, like the true Italian Amaretti cookies that I love so much! After trying 2 different recipes I was losing hope, but luck came my way, or perhaps just the blog Joy Of Baking, and I finally found THE recipe for Amaretti cookies. They are chewy and simply delicious! Your friends and family will think that you are a domestic goddess like Nigella (little do they know that this easy recipe only has 4 ingredients!). My batch of cookies must have stayed on my dining room table for about 5 minutes when the guests arrived. Luckily, I had stashed a few away 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups of almond flour
1 c white sugar (superfine sugar)
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon of almond extract

Method

-Preheat oven to 300 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

-Beat the egg whites until they become firm (2 minutes)

-Mix together the almond flour and sugar. Add the vanilla and almond extract and pulse for a few seconds. Add the eggs.

-Take a tablespoon of the dough and roll it into  a ball. Put it on the parchment paper and flatten it slightly with a spoon (or your finger) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

Note: I changed the recipe so if you would like the original version, go to the Joy the Baker blog…

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Lemon and asparagus risotto

Oh how I love risotto! It’s sooo gooey, cheesy and delicious!

Ideally, it’s always best to make risotto when you have some friends over because it usually makes four servings (and reheated risotto is definitely not as good…)

The base for a risotto is alway the same: Arborio rice (italian rice) broth, wine and cheese. For the rest, you can add any ingredients that you like…mushrooms, asparagus, lemon, sausages or all of the above!

The secret: you must give your risotto a lot of love and attention. You must stir it often and slowly incorporate the broth, it’s like a long love affair that you must cater too, devoting all of your time and energy to this piece of perfection… but after 30 minutes, the dish is ready and you will be more than  happy to have taken the time to make this succulent recipe!

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups of chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large shalots

chopped branch of Rosemary

chopped branch of Thyme

2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup mushrooms

10 asparagus (cut in 3)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Preparation

Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shalots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the herbs and 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms, asparagus and the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Note: you can add broth or put less depending on how cooked the rice is…but usually 5 cups of liquid is plenty!

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