Crostata is an Italian tart. It is one of the most classic Italian desserts. It uses a shortcrust dough (pasta frolla) made with flour, cornmeal, butter, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest. It’s then filled with berries (most traditionally).
Many regions and towns in Italy have their own desserts that vary from region to region. But a crostata is one of those desserts that is known and made throughout all of Italy. There are many different ways to make pasta frolla, either with or without the corn meal. Making it without the cornmeal becomes flaky.
For many years I consider myself a frustrated baker. This recipe, dreaming of an Italian crostata became one of my adventures.
“Veni Vidi Vici” Julius Caesar statement is still present ~ Latin meaning “I came; I saw; I conquered” While opinion is still divided on what kind of a ruler Caesar really was, there cannot be any denying of his contributions, both to Rome and the Roman Empire to modern civilization.
Over tea and cold sake, this is a historical dish in Japan and the presentation image was transformed by the ways of the Hawaiian people.
An ever – changing raw fish appetizer has been modified by an imitation crab which accompanied by sauces and garnishes to help this dish stay fresh. The cooked Pollock provides a creative outlet – finding ways to compliment such delicate flavors that inspire the Asian – American togetherness.
I like to highlight the seasonal vegetables, sticky rice and mildly acidic sauce making the magic.
Tea – “Drink a cup of tea and forget the cares of the world.” Tea tells stories, punctuates journeys and is a muse to poets. The history of tea is inextricably intertwined with the history of humanity. The Japanese tea ceremony “Cha no yu” (hot water tea) became a social gesture in the 16th century. Today this refine pleasure is shared among friends.
Sake -The most ceremonious beverage in Japan was through centuries only enjoyed in temples.
Presently, in America, “Sake Day” is to be enjoyed October first. Arigato!
While most people think mole as a Mexican chocolate with spicy variation of hot peppers sauce, the word is actually derived from moler “to crush” and is used in Latin American and Caribbean cultures to refer to any sauce made from Molcajete – ground ingredients.
The term mole stems from the Nahuatl world molli, which means “sauce” or “concoction.” Mole comes from a family of sauces prepared throughout the Oaxaca and Puebla regions of Mexico and is characterized by a complex, layered flavor derived from intricate blends of dried chiles, cocoa, spices, nuts and dried fruits.
I have altered the basic recipe toward the Puebla style version due to the lack of some ingredients, which are included in the sauce of the iconic “Mole Poblano.” By omitting a few… made it “interesting and delicious.”
“The flower wars” as Puebla was called in the 15th century, is a Pre-Columbian era planned city.
“Walking through the streets of Puebla “Flower wars” is a fascinating experience to see all the magnificent architecture; among them, are the churches where following by cantinas people takes a tequila shot served in gorgeous Talavera pottery and afterward – walks to the church for praying. This is sometimes a repetitive scene.
“We may enjoy the spicy-sweet,
Bitterness of same,
The simple, happy
Capsaicin of the brain.”
A special “Thank you” to Kathy Shapiro for joining the cooking “Ole – mole” fun!
Ravioli cooked in a family broth recipe ~ “Pasta in brodo” and Putanesca sauce.
During the 16th century, broths were the ways in nobilities’ kitchens.
Bringing to life from past to the present, with no Nobel blood… this broth, is all about the Etruscan’s honor who tickled me to add the flavors and nutrients from my grandmother’s recipe broth. Any broth you crave during a cold day.
Italians…”There are three things can’t never been tampered with.”
Soccer, The Pope, and Grandma’s recipes.
A recipe cannot replace a memory…
Grandma’s sauce ~ a speck of it:
Parsley, Basil, Thyme and Sage
Olives and Anchovies
And of course, red Italian wine.
For a perfect finale, from Parma, a sculpture capturing the essence of the moment. Parmigiano Reggiano. Voila!
Soccer – World Cup champions against Brazil 4 – 1 (Mexico City). With soccer rhythm and stamina, “Long live Gianni Rivera, The Golden Boy.”
Pope “Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create”
“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought” Hallelujah – the song.
Allilanchu Cakianki and Punsunki, “Hello and Thank You! in Quequa, an indigenous Inca language still spoken today in the Peruvian Andes.
Connecting Mexico and Peru, a corvina fish burrito marinated in earthy spices, bittersweet, citrusy, tart & tangy. The marinade includes Peruvian Aji (botanical chili pepper), Mexican oregano, and annatto. Annatto is an orange – red condiment derived from the seeds of the achiote tree and prepared by grinding the seeds resulting in a spicy fabulous paste.
Traveling through Machu Picchu, “UNESCO World Heritage Site”, the 15th– century Inca citadel, the emotional and mystical experience is still an iconic memory. When the sun rises over the ruins of Machu Picchu, there is a clear evidence of the Inca Empire at the peak of its power.
The Incas developed an infrastructure including an amazing model in clay before construction began. During construction, no mortar was used, been so precisely cut that even a credit card could not be inserted.
To be in the presence of the beautiful lamas is a wonderful view and experience; caress them in their back and you will be spit on by them….
While cooking this dish, it brought me to “La flor de la Canela”, a beautiful Spanish written magical poem, song and waltz dedicated to a Creole native beautiful woman “Flower of the cinnamon,” by Peruvian composer Chabuca Granda~ 1950
“La Flor de la Canela”
Let me tell you, Lima Déjame que te cuente, limeño
Let me tell you the glory Déjame que te diga la gloria
Of the reverie that memory evokes Del ensueño que evoca la memoria
Of the old bridge, the river and the mall Del viejo puente, del río y la alameda
Let me tell you, Lima Déjame que te cuente, limeño
Now that the memory still perfumes Ahora que aún perfuma el recuerdo
Now that she’s still rocking in her dream Ahora que aún mece en su sueño
The old bridge the river and the mall El viejo puente el río y la alameda
Jasmines in her hair and roses on her face Jazmines en el pelo y rosas en la cara
Airosa walked the flower of cinnamon
Airosa caminaba la flor de la canela
It shed smoothness and in its wake left Derramaba lisura y a su paso dejaba
Scent of mixture that he carried on his chest Aroma de mixtura que en el pecho llevaba
From the bridge to the mall Del puente a la alameda……
An outdoor gathering is a wonderful way to entertain, it is a cause for rejoicing! Even if it is outside a kitchen, a terrace, deck or a hibachi, nothing is as inviting a party with an array of drinks and an atmosphere.
This season, my dream to travel to the Middle East had to be a created imaginary set in our yard. There is something colorful and delightful with the smell of the citrus and leaves in a warm summer day.
A 2020 summer time to be remembered as an education in itself. Learning about cultural values of Garcia Lorca’s poetry it is as easy as enjoying Beethoven 7th symphony or try painting which is the heart of a daily life.
and referred as the Age of Reason, a period when European philosophers
emphasized the use of reason as the best method for learning the truth.
Voltaire, exploring law and politics is called for today.
Thank you George Gershwin for your title song “Summertime”
An inspiration to a “summer day” in spring time invites us to a pollock – escabeche ceviche salad. Talk about love at first bite!
Pollock originates from the waters of North America and the United Kingdom. My creation is by adding spices with “escabeche,” as a favorite of mine.
The origin of escabeche is Persian, it was brought to Spain by the Muslims during the conquest of Hispania in the 756 BC. In Mexico, either on the beach on a paper plate or in china – served restaurants, the magic of escabeche is an appetite opener.
Located off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico and reachable by boat, the beautiful Isla de La Roqueta is an experience to enjoy. It is a lover’s beach, (not to be confused on the beautiful Baja Lover’s Beach). Enjoying the view, savoring the delicious pickled vegetables many distractions exists; amongst some, a donkey drinking a bottle of beer is a show on itself.
As you reach or leave the island by glass-bottom boat or scuba, a “Queen of the Sea” statue has been submerged few feet deep for more than a century.
Due to the devotion of the Mexican people, the statue has been called a “Virgin of Guadalupe of the sea.”
“Moments lasts all of a second, but the memories live on forever”
Escabecio in Italy, savoro in Greece or escabeche in Latin America is always a spicy “Bravo!” ~ A sunny gastronomic ceremony.
The Assyrian origin of strudel, is from Asia to Turkey. The use of this thin puff pastry stuffed with a sweet filling brings us back to the Asiatic regions where the consumption of these type of cakes has its roots in the ancient times of the Mesopotamians.
Everyone, at least once in the life, has eaten
strudel, the fragrant dessert stuffed with apples, usually connected
with the lodges in the mountains of Trentino Alto Adige, Austria or the middle
European regions. This dessert, the classic Viennese recipe of the Apple
strudel foresees a filling of apples, raisin and pine nuts, however in other
American versions, we invented them as an apple muffin strudel.
Adding some gelato, far away from Tuscany and the Rhine country side, with pure simplicity reminds me of “The Land of a Hundred Castles” its rocky mountainous landscape and wooden valleys.
Moving back to another continent, a neighborhood where I grew up, there was a bakery where I walked every day ~ the smell of the strudel is still very vivid. As sometimes we make eating a ceremony, so sacred that could become a religious one – yes, an utterly gastronomic ceremony.
Every day has something
sweet to say for itself, and every season its own particular treats.
Thank you Priscilla and Aaron for your spices from Africa. Cinnamon made the difference.
Thank you Kathy for the beautiful serving platter.