I love cooking. But I had never been to cooking school. I just ate, memorize the taste, and then tried (and error? not really) & learned how to cook eventually.
Tonight, I joined an Italian cooking class held at a local community center to learn 'something new.' As a matter of fact, I received an e-mail from unknown person who asked me to join his cooking class.
I checked his homepage and blog and decided to join his class which to provide "Special Italian cooking recipe from grandma."
The teacher, Davide, is originally from Milan. He is not a chef, but a good cook. (He formerly worked for a financial sector as a computer engineer but was recently fired due to the latest global financial crunches. He unexpectedly came to have many free time so that he decided to hold Italian cooking classes for his gastronomic friends. He found me somehow via facebook.
Tonight menu were Funghi (Mushroom) Risotto and Tiramisu' ; both of them were my favorite dishes from the country. After the lesson, we enjoyed eating them with glass of red wine.
Ingredients for 4 persons
# 1.5 litter of broth
# 5 tablespoons olive oil
# 6-7 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
# 1/2 pack of dried 'porcini' mushrooms
# 1 clove of garlic sliced
# 1/2 onion, diced
# 2 cups Arborio rice (A special kind of rice for risotto.)
# 1/2 cup dry white wine
# sea salt to taste
# Freshly ground black pepper to taste
# 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
# 2 tablespoons butter
# 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Put the dry mushuroom in a bowl with warm water for 20 minutes.
2. In a pan, prepare the broth over low heat. (Mushroom stock cubes can be used, instead.) Make use of the water from the mushrooms above.
3. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms (dry and fresh) and the garlic, cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid , and set aside.
4. In a new pan add 2-3 tablespoon olive oil and stir in the onion. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring contiguously, until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
5. Stir in mushrooms with their liquid and cook for another 10 minutes.
6. When the rice is 'al dente' add Parmesan, butter (and possibly Truffle Oil) and fresh parsley, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients for 4-5 persons
# 4 egg yolks
# 2 table spoons of white sugar
# 1 pinch of salt
# 4 egg whites ("snow" whipped)
# 500g mascarpone cheese
# 2 packages ladyfingers (strip type biscuits)
# 2 espressos + 1/4 cup of "Amaretto di Saronno" (almond) liqueur.
# 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Combine egg yolks and sugar. Whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
2. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks (un poco a poco...a bit by bit!) Bean until combined. In a separate bowl, whip the whites with a pinch of salt. Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.
3. Dip the lady fingers biscuits in the coffee and liqueur mixture and lay them in the bottom of a large glass bowl. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat lady fingers, and filling layers. Refrigerate several hours (about 5-6 hours before serving!) or overnight. Garnish with cocoa powder only when ready to serve.