Monday, March 30, 2015

The New Proposal of OPEN CLASSES


We are happy to propose a new program of Open Classes at GiglioCooking.

Lessons take place every day, twice a day, with different menus.


If you wish to paricipate, You are welcome to contact GiglioCooking at:
Info@gigliocooking.com
tel. + 39 055 7145914
the fee is 100 euros per person.

The program is:

OPEN CLASSES - Weekly Program



Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
11:00 am/02:00 pm

Pasta Making



Tuscan 

Experience



Pizza & Gelato

Pasta Making


Pizza & Gelato

Tuscan 

Experience

04:00 - 07:00 pm
Italian Region

Experience

Pasta Making



Sicilian

Experience


Pizza & Gelato
Sicilian

Experience


Pasta Making

06:00 - 09:00 pm



Pastry Class







Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto
Italian Region Experience: Risotto with Saffron (Lombardy); Tagliata (beef, Tuscany); Babà (Campania)
Tuscan Experience: Ribollita or Minestrone, Chicken Hunter Style; Biscotti with Almonds
Pastry Class: Baking techniques (Patè a choux, Short Bread),  Tiramsù
Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Sicilian Experience: Timbale “Norma”; Pork rolls; Cassata Siciliana

Monday, March 23, 2015

But... What Really Happens in a Cooking Class at GiglioCooking?


You enter the iron gate and walk toward the tall glass door..



....where the chef is welcoming you.



You find the apron and the recipes you chose.



The ingredients of your recipes are ready on the table,.....



.... with the knives, the  pans and pots you will use.



The Cooking Party starts:


 everybody is involved, hands on.



Delicacies are frying......




...while some others are caramellizing.



The colorful dessert deserves a moment of meditation...... for the photo.



Ready for tasting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

This Food Will Make You Slap Yo' Mama


Flan of Cauliflower and Fondue of Sheep Milk Cheese


Polenta Cake with Truffle and Gorgonzola, Greens


Vegetables Timbale wrapped in Bell Pepper, Cracker of Zucchini


Artichoke Cake, Frico of Parmigiano Reggiano


Bag of Cabbage, Speck and Fontina Filling


"Porrata", Leek Pie with Puff Pastry


"Torta Pasqualina", Easter Pie, with Spinach, Ricotta, Whole Eggs


Eggplant Parmesan


Dolmades

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Quintessence of Essence


FILETTO DI SOGLIOLA CON I RICCI DI MARE
SOLE FILLETS WITH SEA URCHINS



Ingredients:

Fresh soles
Extra virgin olive oil
Few spoons of milk
Pinch of salt
Fresh wild fennel (both leaves and flowers)
Sea urchin eggs

Clean the fresh soles, pulling off the skin on both sides.
Fillet them, following the line of the central spine.
Shape the fillets by rolling, braiding or twisting. Toothpicks can be used to fix during cooking and then taken off.
Pour  a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil in a stainless steel skillet with double bottom. Add a few fresh fennel  flowers and leaves. Place the soles. Splash ( or spry) with a little milk; sprinkle with salt.
Put the lid on.
Put on the stove at high heat for 4 minutes. Take the skillet off the fire keeping the lid on: the fish would continue to cook sweetly.
After 2 minutes, open the skillet and place the sea urchin eggs nicely on the hot soles.
Serve immediately.

This recipe is explained in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLTwFrEB4_o

Monday, March 16, 2015

VELENI E BENEFICI DEI CIBI

Siamo bombardati da notizie di ogni genere: articoli e programmi che esaltano un cibo, altri che ne denunciano la pericolosità per la salute.

Quasi ogni cibo è soggetto alla stessa sorte: un articolo ne parla bene, un altro male.
Un motivo di fondo c’è: in ogni cibo sono presenti nutrienti benefici e sostanze così dette “anti-nutrienti”.


Questi giorni è il turno della farina bianca ad essere nel mirino dell’informazione, soprattutto quella nella forma 00, cioè la più raffinata e con minore quantità di proteine. Assieme ad altri cibi , zucchero, sale e latte, costituisce - secondo alcuni studiosi - la quaterna dei “veleni bianchi”.

La farina 00 è quella con maggiori quantità di amidi, quindi glucosio, quindi zucchero. Quando  introduciamo nella nostra dieta questo alimento, formiamo una massa glutinosa che si muove lentamente attraverso il sistema digerente causando sonnolenza e costipazione.

Nell’intervista in TV a Daria Bignardi, il Professor Berrino ci spiega qualcosa di più:
http://zapping.altervista.org/prof-berrino-mangiamo-merda-e-grazie-alla-tv-pensiamo-che-e-buona-il-video-censurato-dal-web/

Eppure mangiamo pane da sempre. Tutto il mondo mangia il pane, in forme e impasti diversi.



Il pane è alla base della Dieta Mediterranea, ed è un simbolo per la religione Cristiana, come per altre religioni.

Dove è la verità?

Non sono un medico, non ho la pretesa di sostituirmi a nessuno. Solo una madre e una cuoca. Sono donna, soprattutto, e amo andare in fondo, amo anche trovare il compromesso, quella cosa tanto bistrattata che può invece portare serenità del vivere.

Mi è sempre stato insegnato - dalla nonna, prima, dalla scuola poi - che bisogna mangiare un po’ di tutto, che il nostro corpo ha bisogno di tutto nelle giuste quantità. Anche del glucosio, che è la benzina per il nostro motore, la nostra energia. E’ ancora vero? I nostri corpi di umani degli anni 2000 prendono ancora energia dal glucosio?

Certo, sappiamo tutti che un’assunzione smodata di glucosio - e grassi - conduce all’ obesità, con rischio delle malattie croniche che ne possono derivare:  pressione alta, diabete, colesterolo e arteriosclerosi, fino alla trombosi e all’ infarto.

Quindi , oserei dire, da profana, che ciò che nuoce è la quantità.

Come nuoce una grande quantità di caffè,  alimento “sdoganato”  dalla lista di quelli completamente cattivi, in quanto ha un effetto lipolitico, cioè favorente il dimagrimento, sembra avere buoni effetti sulla memoria. Troppi caffè non vanno bene: la caffeina , che ne è l’alcaloide, ha effetto stimolante sulla secrezione gastrica può causare danni al sistema digerente  può causare inoltre insonnia e ipertensione.

La cioccolata, con la sua teobromina, il cibo degli Dei, sembra agire beneficamente sull’ umore. Certo di troppa cioccolata conosciamo i rischi, a cominciare dalle carie.

Cosa dire  del prezzemolo? Questa erba è un potente complesso di vitamine, pro-vitamine, magnesio, calcio, fosforo, potassio, zolfo, rame, aminoacidi e clorofilla. Ma le proprietà abortive erano conosciute dalle Streghe (che altro non erano che donne che conoscevano le proprietà delle erbe) nel Medioevo.


Patate, melanzane, pomodori sono tutte Solanacee, contengono cioè un veleno blando che viene reso inattivo dalla cottura. Nel pomodoro tale veleno si trova nelle foglie. Nelle patate e nelle melanzane si trova in uno strato sottile sotto la buccia. Da sempre cuociamo patate e melanzane e mangiamo del pomodoro solo la bacca, anche cruda. 

I grassi sono gli alimenti essenziali per il trasporto delle vitamine lipo-solubili: non vanno completamente vietati.

Credo che ciò che fa male non siano i cibi, a meno che non si abbia una specifica allergia o una particolare esigenza medica. Sappiamo (lo sapevano meglio i nostri avi, a dire il vero) che da alcune malattie si può addirittura guarire attraverso una dieta giusta (soprattutto vegetale). 

Credo che ciò che fa male siano i conservanti, i pesticidi, i fertilizzanti, gli ormoni, gli antibiotici con cui i nostri alimenti, vegetali e animali, vengono prodotti.

Ci sono, a mio avviso, anche buoni segnali: quando vado a fare la spesa noto che le persone sono sempre più consapevoli di ciò che portano a casa: leggono le etichette, si informano, stanno attenti.


Tutto va bene nella giusta quantità: non si può mangiare carne tutti i giorni, e, andando avanti con gli anni, neanche tutte le settimane e non in "quantità industriali".  Non si può mangiare mezzo kilo di pane al giorno, ne’ insaccati come se piovesse. Dobbiamo fare attenzione ai latticini, ai dolci, ai cibi conservati (questi è meglio evitarli) Ma uno strappo, specialmente in compagnia, è una di quelle cose che fanno la vita ancora più meritevole di essere vissuta (baccelli e pecorino nel picnic di Pasquetta: come rinunciare?)  e  che aggiungono allegria alla nostra giornata.

Forse è proprio la moderazione ciò che abbiamo perso, persi noi stessi nello stress delle nostre giornate e nel mare di informazioni.

Abbiamo già, tutti noi, molte paure: le varie crisi, le guerre, le malattie. Spesso psicosi sul cibo portano a disordini alimentari e malattie difficilmente curabili, se non con anni di cure e terapie anche psichiche. Forse ognuno di noi, divulgatori di notizie e ascoltatori, dovrebbe ponderare bene tutto prima di prendere decisioni drastiche sulla nostra dieta e usare la moderazione anche nel modo in cui apprendiamo le notizie. 

Basics on Tastes

There are 4 ( 5 in Asian people) basic tastes:

1.    sweet: sugar, carrots, sweet bell peppers, liqueurs, many fruits
2.    sour: lemons, limes, vinegars, wine
3.    bitter: endive, turnips, chicory, dandelions, radicchio, coffee
4.    salty: sea salt, oysters

The fifth taste is called Umani, it is a savory taste, comparable to mushrooms, sage, truffles and mainly MSG (from soy sauce, which large use  is the reason why the fifth taste is present in Asians)

There are at least ten primary odors detectable by the olfactory receptors in the human nose:

  1.  - Fragrant : toasted almond, popcorn
  2. - Sweet: the odor of hot waffles in the street, of mature fruit (banana), caramel,vanilla
  3.     Floral, fruity: the scent associated with flowering vegetables, herbs, and plants, frui 
  4.     Citrus fruit: the scent of lemon
  5.  Musky, woody, sap (resin) : the scent of sexual attraction between animals and humans; the scent of the under-wood after the rain
  6.     Pepperminty: the scent found in various strengths in all members of the mint family (peppermint, basil, marjoram, and oregano) 
  7.  Ethereal: the scent of ether, any of a class of organic compounds derived from the distillation of ethyl alcohol, also used as an anesthetic
  8.  Pungent: the scent of spices
  9. Camphoraceous, chemical : the strong scent of camphor, present in some insect repellents but also in the herb sage, and used as a stimulant, expectorant (medical)
  10.  Putrid, disgusting: the scent of decay, of aged meat, and of some cheese molds, rotten eggs 




A perfume , or a stink, is a combination of two or more primary odors.
The wine is a mixture of ethereal, fruity, sweet.
The bread just out from the oven is fragrant and sweet, sometimes a little sour if made with sour-dough.

The odors are perceived in the zone of  brain called Limbo, the same where emotions are born. This might be the connection that make us so sensitive to odors and perfumes, that brings us to a memory or, better, to the memory of an emotion.

The human perception of the flavor is given also by other factors: temperature and texture.

Temperature is fundamental: we hardly appreciate a cold soup or a warm chocolate bar.
Texture makes a big difference too: many people dislike the persimmons for their slimy-ness. The variety of persimmon called Kaki-mela has the same consistency of the apple: the same people who do like the soft variety often like this one.
Texture is fundamental in Risotto, which final result must be grainy and creamy (which seems a contradiction) at the same time.
Texture determines also the “sound” of a food: what to say about the “cracking” of a dark chocolate, the “cricking” of potato chips, the “fizzy-nes” of Champagne?

The combination of all these factors create the flavor of an ingredient or of an elaborated culinary preparation.

We can talk about the flavor of a particular variety of pear, for example, considering the percentage of sweetness and sourness, the grainy-ness or the smoothness of its pulp; we can perceive the ripeness by its the scent.

Up to  this point we have formulated a vague idea of how much the detection of a flavor involves all our physical senses and our inner feelings. The “why” we like or not like certain foods is also determined by the cultural environment and by the habits of the Country where we grow.

Talking about flavors of cuisine elaborations, I would divide them in two kinds:
- smooth and flat
- with picks

A smooth and flat flavor is the typical of a preparation in which final result all the components (tastes, odors, textures of every single ingredient) create one single, homogeneous, “smooth”, velvety sensation. In similar morsels hardly the single ingredients are recognizable. The final flavor is a “taste” by itself, pleasant and luxury.

The flavor “with picks”, happens when there is “a party in your mouth”: a fun distinguish of “picks”, in different zone of the tongue and palate: picks of sourness, sweetness, bitterness, saltiness. Such a flavor usually makes you to eat more.

An example of “flat-smooth” flavor and “flavor with picks” is constituted by two different ways of preparing Ravioli Cheese and Pears. A few details in execution make a big difference in the final result.

Below you see the two recipes. Try both: you will be amazed by the difference.


RAVIOLI CHEESE AND PEAR WITH ASPARAGUS SAUCE






Filling:


100 gr gorgonzola
2 small diced cooked pears

Sauce:
extra virgin olive oil
shallot
asparagus
vegetable broth

To Finish:
Parmigiano

Filling:
Peel and dice the pears. Cook them in a little water. Mash them and mix with the Gorgonzola.

Sauce:
Cut off the tough part of the asparagus; peel the stalk. Steam them 3 minutes.
Cut the tops and set aside.
Mince the shallot and sauté it in olive oil. Add the peeled stalk and cook 5 minutes adding some broth. puree with the hand mixer and filter through a chinois.

Assembling:
Make “won ton” shape ravioli with the Gorgonzola and pear filling.
Cut 5cm (2” x 2”) squares and put a teaspoon of pear filling in center. Lift opposite corners and pinch together to seal the sides. Slightly twist the top. Boil them in plenty of salted boiling water. Drain.
Put some sauce on individual dishes. Place 5 ravioli in the middle. Arrange three asparagus tops. Finish with flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano.


RAVIOLI CHEESE AND PEARS WITH TRUFFLE 


Filling:
75 gr gorgonzola
75 gr parmigiano
75 gr ricotta

Pears sauce:
3 pears
4 shallots
1 bay leaf
1 dl white wine
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

To finish:
50 gr butter
50 gr grated Parmigiano
60 gr white truffle
black pepper


For the filling:
Smash the Gorgonzola and mix it with the other cheese

For the Pear sauce:
Peel and dice the pears; mince the shallot.
Sautè the shallot in extra virgin olive oil. Add the diced pears, the coriander seeds, the bay leaf.  Cook a few minutes, depending the ripeness. Drench with white wine and let it evaporate

Assembling:
Stretch the pasta dough; cut it in rounds; put a teaspoon of cheese stuffing in the middle.
Divide mentally the round in three equal parts. Lift up two points and seal the sides. Lift the third part pinching it from the middle and seal the other two sides. You will obtain a triangle.
Boil in plenty salted water. Drain and toss in the pear sauce. Finish with truffle or truffle butter.

A Simple Recipe of the Italian Tradition: The Chicken Hunter's style


Ingredients for 4:
1 small rabbit or a medium size chicken
500 gr ( 17 oz ) pureed tomatoes
120 ml ( ½ cup ) dry red wine
1 big sliced red onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
10 gr ( 1/3 oz ) fennel seeds
120 gr ( 4 oz ) black olives
60 gr ( 2 oz ) extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
salt

Wash and clean the rabbit or the chicken and cut it up in little pieces. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and gently cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic without the inner part and fennel seeds. Add the rabbit and brown it.
If you prefer a creamy sauce you can previously flour the rabbit.
Pour in the wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper.

Cook, covered, on low heat for about ½ hour, then add the olives. Cook for further 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

MARCELLA’S NOTE ON HER BIO


I was risen surrounded by natural foods and instinctive cookers. My belief is that food is the beginning of any culture on earth, as it is the starter and the reason why each civilization developed in a certain way. I am a cook, before being a “chef”: someone who likes to elaborate the food in order to feed the body and the soul. Using organic, local, seasonal ingredients was  the main reason why my restaurant Le Tamerici in Isola del Giglio obtained mentions on all the restaurant guides in Italy. After being a cook,  I am also a chef, in the sense that I am able to plan, organize,  be on time.
Finally I am a teacher, being this the profession I have been doing the last fourteen years: students say I am good to transmit both the passion and techniques I have gathered by experience and studies.

A “food career” pursued step by step, first watching the women of the family, running the restaurant and studying at the Istituto Alberghiero, then teaching and writing recipes, never stopping, but searching every day new discoveries and culinary adventures. 


My philosophy of cooking is: we cook something to eat it. It seems obvious,  instead it seems that nowadays we have lost this primary vision of the cuisine.
It is true that we first eat with the eyes, but I believe that too much garnish and overlapping of decoration and carved food has not so much to do with the primary purpose of nourishment and conviviality. This does not mean that the dish is not presented in a nice way.
A dish must be simple, not easy. When I say that I mean: a few ingredients of high quality. Not easy: a cook must be able to choose both the variety and the quality.
Making a bruschetta could be more difficult than an hollandaise sauce or “molecular caviar”: the right bread : no salted, baked in a wooden fed oven, made with organic ender wheat flour, better if milled with a stone wheel….., slightly grilled – not baked!!!! - , no burnt, crispy outside, soft inside, ready to welcome the most suitable olive oil, which cannot be to light in colour and taste, not to spicy… just right. And the tomatoes: San Marzano or cherry tomatoes ripen on the plant, sweet and juicy. The final touch of salt and pepper, both freshly ground.



The place where you cook is airy, clean, spaced, illuminated, with the right utensils and tools. A table placed just near the kitchen to enjoy the food as soon as they are cooked.
Knowledge of ingredients – seasonality, varieties, quality -  and technique, but mostly a great passion for the true food is my philosophy.


WHY IS  GIGLIOCOOKING DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER SCHOOLS

GiglioCooking is open for everybody who loves food and cuisine.
The participants will not follow exclusively demonstrations, but they all will be involved hands on in the preparation of the food.  The food must be felt, heard, smelled, tasted: the food will talk to you.  GiglioCooking will take you through an unique culinary experience.
All together we will study tradition and we will open our imagination to create new recipes, always in the respect of Nature and Health.  GiglioCooking is ready to start a new culinary adventure and the participants will be the protagonists.

As you enter the school you will be embraced by a warm atmosphere of welcoming and you will feel immediately comfortable.
The essential furniture, the lights, the spaces, the colours will predict the expectation of exchange, communication, learning while teaching and beginning of lasting relationship of friend-ness with both participants and chef.



WHAT STUDENTS TAKE AWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE

The experience itself. A different and more aware approach with food. Since then on, staying in a kitchen will be a Cooking Feast.

GiglioCooking  releases  a Certification of Attendance.
They will go back home with the package of the recipes* done at school and the apron.

*) For some courses the Package of recipes is a real book, printed exclusively for GiglioCooking