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Buffet business dinner - Chicken Cacciatora and crespelle

Buffet business dinner – Chicken Cacciatora and crespelle

As school starts, and summer ends, we all fall back into our routines. We pick up our daily, weekly pace and march through the rest of the year looking forward to weekends and maybe a trip South where it’s warmer.

This year, we would like to make life just a bit easier for you ! Yes, that’s right, just a bit easier !!

And this is what we will do:

We have a great selection of home made, real food, meals in our freezer. These meals have been prepared to make your life easier !

Remember last winter, when you got home late from driving someone around ( like kids in sports), and you were tired, and the kids were tired and cranky, and you had to get dinner ready in a hurry ?

Remember last winter, when you got home from work and didn’t go to your yoga class again because you had to get dinner ready for the rest of the family?

Remember last winter, when you were so tired you would have loved to soak in the tub with a glass of wine . . .  and instead you had to prepare dinner so the rest of the family could eat ?

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions . . . then that is how we can make life easier for you !!

From now on, you can send us an email with your order, we will accept all orders by Wednesday, and will have all the food ready by Friday. You can either come to Stayner and pick it up, or we can deliver it to your home ( with a small extra charge)  . . . all you need to do is leave a cooler with ice outside for us to put the meals in !!

Take a look at our menu, and chose your next dinners 🙂

Grazia’s Italian K&B Menu

Weekly Menu . . . let’s get back on track !

Tuna Fish Meatballs

Tuna Fish Meatballs

Summer has been busy, and it has been fun to be “off track” and not have a real schedule . . .  but now we need to get back to real life !

This week I am going to get back on track and plan my family’s meals ahead. I like to do this so that I do not need to think about what’s for dinner or what I’ll be offering my children for lunch every morning . . . the thinking has already been done!

I share my weekly menu on this blog for two reasons, the first is so that you can benefit from my thinking ( if you wish) and take some of my ideas for your own weekly meals. You will find many of my recipes on this blog also.

The second reason why I share this plan is that maybe you live in the Collingwood Ontario area and would like to order some of my food . . .  this way you don’t need to think about it OR cook it !!

Monday: Lunch will a lovely Egg salad sandwich. Dinner will be pasta with my home made Pesto.

Tuesday:Lunch will be a baguette sandwich filled with Tuscan salame. Dinner tonight will be Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

Wednesday: Lunch will be Pasta with Tomato sauce ( home made with my soffritto) and dinner will be Tuna Meatballs.

Thursday: Lunch will be a smoked turkey breast roll. Dinner tonight will be the family favourite Mozzarella in Carrozza. I always make extra of this because the kids love it the next day too !!

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Friday: Lunch will be Mozzarella in Carrozza from last night.  Dinner tonight will be Saltimbocca alla Romana.

Saturday lunch is when the kids are home and we will be eating up the leftovers from the dinners during the week . . . if there are any !! Dinner on saturday needs to be easy as I am never home – Pasta with meat sauce will be perfect!

Sunday . . .  I think that I will surprise the family with a nice brunch on Sunday and prepare some home made waffles, a nice frittata and bacon and eggs. Dinner tonight will be a nice leek and potato soup . . .  I hope there will be enough for lunch on monday too !!!

Please feel free do download my weekly meal planner if you wish to plan your meals like I do: Meal plan link

 

 

Soffritto, battuto, mirepoix . . . whatever you call it. . . it is the base !

Some people call it “soffritto” ( which means fried in shallow grease), some people call it “battuto” which litterally means beaten, in Canada I’ve heard it called Mirepoix ( which is not really correct . . .  but we can talk about it in an other post).

Onion carrot celery

These three ingredients, finely minced, are the base of very many recipes of the Italian Cuisine, with this mixture you can give flavour and richness even to the most simple and trivial dishes.

I can not call this a recipe, because this, as I mentioned above, is the base of many many recipes. The problem that most of us may encounter is that we don’t always have fresh carrots or celery in the refrigerator, or maybe we don’t have the time to chop them finely by hand . . . and, let’s be honest, pulling out the food processor and having one more thing to wash is always a pain!

What do I do ? It’s really simple: With my food processor I finely chop a “nice quantity” of the tree ingredients – the proportions between carrot, celery and onion are very personal . . . some people add other ingrediens to these as parcely or other herbs – I prefer to keep the flavour balanced and simple so that I can use it for as many dishes as possible.

Chopped soffritto battuto

Once everything is finely chopped, being careful that it doesn’t become liquid, I put it into small plastic bags for the freezer, I find that the ones with a zipper are the best, here in Italy you can find them at IKEA .  For a more practical use, I fill the bag about half way, then I lay it on the table and flatten it so that I let as much ari out as possible, then I freeze it flat. Once it is frozen it will be nice and hard and will take up less space, when I am preparing a sauce, or a risotto or a stew  and need some soffritto all I have to do is open the bag, break off as much as I need, and then return the bag into the freezer.

This way I always have my basic ingredients handy, there is no waste, and I only have to work once 😉

BATTUTO SOFFRITTO

Sacchetto battuto soffritto

Weekly menu for the week starting July 7

Mini Apricot Crostata

Mini Apricot Crostata

This will be a different menu that I am sending today . . .  as we are leaving for Italy on Monday July 7, I will NOT be cooking next week !!!

I love cooking and I have made it my profession. I cook with passion and constant interest in changes and improvement . . . but it’s nice to be on holiday and not do it for a while 🙂

So the menu that I’ll publish today is to give you an idea of what I can do for you. I am posting a menu for a party that I catered for 30 people.

Hors d’Ouvre

Frittata with Potatoes, Frittata with Onions, Crostini with caramelized onion and cheddar cheese, Raw vegetables with aromatic salts, Tuna and olive spread, Home made Focaccia, Home made Tuscan Bread

Caramelized onion crostini with strong cheddar

Caramelized onion crostini with strong cheddar

Entree’

Gnocchi alla Romana
(semolino gnocchi baked with blue cheese and walnuts or simply butter and sage)

Home made from scratch lasagna alla bolognese
Penne with Tomato sauce
Penne with Butter

Tuscan style Arista(pork loin cooked in the Tuscan Style)

Seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes Mixed greens salad

Desserts

Home made Mini Apricot Crostata ( tart)

Fresh seasonal fruit salad served in a brandysnap basket

Fruit salad in brandysnap basket

Fruit salad in brandysnap basket

Triamisu

This menu was a great success and everybody enjoyed the great food.

Weekly menu starting June 23

Caramelized onion crostini with strong cheddar

Caramelized onion crostini with strong cheddar

This is it . . . . this is the last week of school !!

From Monday until the end of August we will have the kids at home . . . . It will be fun 🙂

As you know we have recently moved. This time, the move is more permanent . . . I am unpacking all my boxes from Italy and there is so much to tidy up !!

Veggies to dip in aromatic salts.

Veggies to dip in aromatic salts.

Of course I am very happy to be working hard. Dinners at the Beild House are always fun, and I am receiving lots of requests for lasagne to be prepared for family meals.

Buffet at the business dinner - The hors d'ouvres

Buffet at the business dinner – The hors d’ouvres

I have also been catering to larger events: a confirmation on June 1, a business dinner on June 10, a get together on June 19 and Sunday I have an other event coming up !

This is the advantage of having many weekly meal plans that have already been put into place . . .  just pick one that was successful and repeat it !!

Buffet business dinner - Chicken Cacciatora and crespelle

Buffet business dinner – Chicken Cacciatora and crespelle

I am going to pick from the second week of May.

Buffet business dinner - the desserts

Buffet business dinner – the desserts

Although I am busy . . . I love to cook and it is what really helps me relax. So please keep asking for food !!! 😀

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Mozzarella in carrozza 1

Quante volte succede di comprare il pane e di non finirlo ?

Se c’è una cosa che non sopporto proprio è quella di buttare via il cibo . . . specialmente il pane !! Mi sembra proprio uno schiaffo alla miseria !!!

E allora cosa farne di quel pane raffermo ? Certo, possiamo fare la Ribollita ( se il pane è toscano ) oppure possiamo farlo asciugare in forno e poi tritarlo ed avere del vero pangrattato, non come quello che si compra confezionato e che sembra quasi farina!!

L’altra sera avevo delle mozzarelle  in frigorifero che si avvicinavano alla data di scadenza, ed ho pensato di fare un piatto della mia infanzia: La mozzarella in carrozza !!

La  ho voluta fare in modo molto semplice e facilmente ripetibile anche da chi non ha tempo !!

Ingr. Mozzarella in Carrozza

Questi gli ingredienti: Pane raffermo, mozzarella, pasta di acciughe ( se ti piace) uovo sbattuto con un pizzico di sale, pangrattato, e un filo di olio.

Pane Toscano

Ho tagliato delle fette di pane non troppo spesse e non troppo sottili, non mi sono messa a rifinire il tutto togliendo la crosta e dando alle fette una forma regolare . . .  ma chi ha voglia e tempo otterrà sicruarmente un risultato più bello !

Pane e Mozzarella

Su una fettina di pane ho adagiato un paio di fette di mozzarella, e su quelle per i grandi ho spalmato un po di pasta di acciughe ( ai bambini non piacciono !), poi ho coperto con l’altra fetta di pane ed ho passato il panino nell’uovo sbattuto con un pizzico di sale – facendo attenzione a bagnare bene anche i bordi del panino. Ho poi messo il panino nel pangrattato in modo che fosse tutto ben coperto.

Mozzarella in carrozza 3

I panini a questo punto sono stati messi su una placca da forno ricoperta di carta da forno e dopo averli conditi con un filo di olio, li ho cotti a 200°C per circa 15 minuti circa ( o comunque fino a quando la mozzarella è sciolta e il pangrattato è bello croccante)

. . . Inutile dire che non ci sono stati avanzi . . . anzi, ho avuto difficoltà a fare le ultime foto . . .

Per rendere la Mozzarella in carrozza ancora più appetitosa, la prossima volta penso che imburrerò i lati esterni del panino, ed aggiungerò del parmigiano grattugiato al pangrattato . . . così diventeranno ancora più croccanti ! Mozzarella in carrozza 2

Soffritto

C’è chi lo chiama soffritto, c’è chi lo chiama battuto.

Sedano Carota Cipolla

Questo trito di un minimo di 3 ingredienti è la base di moltissime ricette nella Cucina Italiana, con questi 3 ingredienti si possono insaporire anche le pietanze più banali e farle sembrare un piatto ricercato e intenso.

Non posso chiamarla una ricetta, perché questa, come ho detto prima è la base di moltissime ricette. Il problema che molti di noi possono incontrare è che non sempre abbiamo il sedano o le carote fresche in frigorifero, o magari non abbiamo il tempo di tritare il tutto a mano . . . . e diciamolo francamente, prima di tirare fuori il frullatore e trovarsi una cosa in più da lavare ci pensiamo due volte.

Come faccio io ? è semplicissimo: con il trita tutto mi preparo una “bella quantità” di battuto – le proporzioni fra carota, sedano e cipolla sono totalmente soggettive . . .  alcuni aggiungono anche altri ingredienti come prezzemolo o altro ancora – io preferisco mantenere il gusto semplice e bilanciato in modo da poterlo usare per diverse preparazioni.

Soffritto

Una volta tritato il tutto finemente, facendo attenzione che non diventi un frullato, inserisco il battuto in piccoli sacchetti di plastica per il congelatore, trovo che quelli con la zip siano i più comodi da utilizzare ( per adesso i migliori sono quelli dell’IKEA ). Per praticità io riempio il sacchetto fino a circa metà e poi lo sdraio sul tavolo e appiattisco il battuto in modo da avere togliere il più aria possibile e lo metto piatto nel congelatore. Quando il battuto sarà congelato e duro, occuperà meno spazio e se ho necessità di preparare un sugo, un risotto, uno stufato o qualsiasi altra ricetta, basterà aprire la zip del sacchetto, staccare un pezzo di battuto dalla tavoletta della dimensione che mi serve e rimettere il sacchetto ben chiuso nel congelatore.

In questo modo ho sempre a portata di mano il mio battuto, non spreco ingredienti, e devo lavorare pre prepararlo solo una volta ogni tanto 😉

Soffritto o battuto pronto da congelare