Cook N Bake Moroccan Series: Kefta Brochette

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Moroccan Series Kefta Brochette

The journey through Moroccan cuisine continues, and this week we are going to taste another simple yet extremely flavorful dish that plays a common ground in the Middle Eastern cuisine as it is not popular only in Morocco but throughout the Middle East: Kefta Brochette.
Kefta means ground meat, which could be either beef or lamb, or a mix, both very much appreciated in the whole country. Kefta can be made in a variety of different ways, with eggs and vegetables, raisin, rice, and of course Kefta is often used as one of the main ingredients in tajine dishes. Moroccan people call what we daily call kebab, brochette, which is a French word (French is the second most spoken language in Morocco) to indicate the small skewer used to roast meat and vegetables. What makes Moroccan Kefta Brochette different than any other meat kebab we might be used to is the seasoning: paprika, coriander, cumin, onions, parsley, hot ground pepper, and additional herbs to taste (some people like to add mint).
These delicious brochettes can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a sandwich filler. They pair very well with roasted pepper and tomatoes, however Greek Yoghurt is also a suitable mild accompaniment.

Ingrediens:

1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
3 ounces (about 100 g) beef or lamb fat (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped very fine
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and leave for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to blend. The kefta is then ready to shape and cook.

To make kebabs, take small amounts of kefta and shape them into cylinder or sausage shapes. Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold it the skewer.

Cook over hot coals, approximately five minutes each side. (It may take less or more time, depending on how hot the coals are, and how thick you shaped the kefta.) Watch the kebabs carefully, so you don’t dry out the kefta.

Serve immediately, or wrap in aluminum foil to keep hot while you cook additional kebabs.
Recipe courtesy of http://moroccanfood.com
IMage © Hall/photocuisine/Corbis

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Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Negroni

Rometti Limoncello Happy Hour Tuesday Limoncello Negroni

Happy Hour Tuesday!

Back in 1919 Count Camillo Negroni asked Caffe’ Casoni (now Caffe’ Cavalli)’s bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to prepare him a cocktail similar to the Americano but with more gin than soda water. They didn’t know right away that in the bar in Florence would have become the birthplace of a popular drink called Negroni, in honor of the homonymous Count. Almost a century later, here we are introducing a variation of the cocktail called Limoncello Negroni.
The traditional Negroni, still very popular in Italy, is an aperitif made with gin, vermouth rosso and bitter, usually Campari. Vermouth and dry wine are often common ingredients of aperitifs as they are served before a meal in order to stimulate one’s appetite.
The addition of Rometti Limoncello to the traditional ingredients for Negroni subdues the bitterness of Campari, while it increases the sweetness of vermouth and smoothens its taste. Also, limoncello combined with the sharp flavor of gin increases the refreshing taste yet it adds warmth to every sip.
Ordered straight up in a Martini glass, Limoncello Negroni is the perfect fancy drink to savor till the last drop before a tasty, Italian style dinner.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Rometti Limoncello
Orance slice or twist for garnish

Pour vermouth, Campari, gin and Rometti Limoncello in a mixer half filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

~Enjoy!

Cook N Bake Moroccan Series: Harira {soup}

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Moroccan Series Harira

Rometti is excited to announce that this week we are going to take you back to the Mediterranean, to a mesmerizing country that will enchant you with colors, textures, mystique smells and natural beauties. Its cuisine is quite refined, although very simple, and reflects all the characteristic of the culture through its combination of spices and contrasting ingredients. For the next five weeks our Cook N Bake blog will feature Moroccan cuisine.

Thanks to its location Morocco has always been exposed to foreign interactions that contributed to influencing along with the culture also the cuisine. Regardless of the harsh climate which changes from North to South, especially going towards the interior regions of the country, Moroccan coastal side allows the development of agriculture which remains one of its main financial resources. Fruits and vegetables are fundamental in Moroccan cuisine, and so are beef, lamb, chicken, rabbit, pork (prohibited during Muslim restrictions), camel and seafood. But the main culinary characteristic is to attribute to the use of a large variety and heavy quantity of spices like kefta (cinnamon), cumin, turmeric, saffron, coriander, mint, lemon and orange flavors. These are present both in food and beverages. As a matter of fact meals, especially if formal, usually end with a cup of sweet mint tea.

To start our journey we selected a delicious starter to a Moroccan meal: Harira, a tomato and lentil soup seasoned with pepper, cinnamon, ginger, onion, celery, cilantro, and parsley. A nutritional, healthy, yet extremely flavored dish typical of Ramadan, when it is served at sunset.
Moroccans prepare this soup in a lot of different ways: ingredients may include chick peas, vermicelli or rice, as well as lemon juice or men (preserved butter). Eggs and meat can also be added, it really depends on the regions, local tradition and preferences.
Harira can be served with dried fruits like dates (very popular in Morocco), homemade bread, and hard-broiled eggs.

You can pick your own ingredients, we pickd ours and hope that you will enjoy this warming Harira soup as a starter or as a delicious meal.
Ingredients:

– 1 lb. lamb, cut into small cubes
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– 1 teaspoon pepper
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ginger
– 2 Tablespoons butter
– 3/4 cup chopped celery and leaves
– 2 onions, chopped
– 1/2 cup parsley and cilantro, chopped
– 1 2-lb. can of tomatoes, chopped
– salt
– 3/4 cup lentils
– 1 cup chickpeas (canned are fine)
– 1/4 cup fine soup noodles
– 2 eggs, beaten with the juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the lamb (or beef), spices, butter, celery, onion, and parsley/cilantro in a large soup pot and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato pieces, and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. Salt lightly.
Add the juice from the tomatoes, 7 cups of water, and the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
When ready to serve, add the chickpeas and noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Then, with the soup at a steady simmer, stir the lemony eggs into the stock with a long wooden spoon. Continue stirring slowly, to create long egg strands and to thicken the soup. Season to taste. ladle into bowls and dust with cinnamon(optional). Squeeze in some lemon. Before serving makes sure that the meat is tender.
Serve with some dates (Medjool dates are recommended).

~Enjoy!
Recipe from http://www.grouprecipes.com
Image from www.bbcgoodfood.com

Happy Hour Tuesday: Tryst in Trieste

Rometti Limoncello - Happy Hour Tuesday - Tryst in Trieste

Happy Hour Tuesday!

after almost a month of recouping from the madness of shopping malls throughout Christmas time, this past weekend I was finally able to go to a shopping mall without succumbing to the stress of the gift rush and..surprise! Left behind the whole Christmas extravaganza, vendors have already started to adorn their shops with sparkling, fuchsia and red, heart-shaped decorations. Yes, Valentine’s Day is only less than a month away but you can already start feeling the love and romance in the air! We too can’t help but falling in love with emotions, and the celebration of love inspired us to present you with a fun drink dedicated to all the friends and lovers out there. To remind us that we don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to enjoy a romantic dinner with the person we love the most.
This week’s cocktail is called Tryst in Trieste. For those who have never heard the word tryst, it is a rendevouz between lovers; and for those who have never heard of Trieste, it is a city in the North East of Italy. It’s a quite catchy cacophony, however Trieste, which is not so far from Venice but it’s conveniently located next to Germany, Slovenia, and with one of the biggest ports on the Adriatic Sea, is indeed a place that offers romantic locations and beautiful sunsets.
Tryst in Trieste is made with orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier, and Scotch to which limoncello and soda water are added. The smokiness of the Scotch softnesses the citrusy of the Grand Marnier and limoncello, while the soda water dilutes their zesty flavor in favor of a more sophisticated, yet bubbly sweetness. A touch of red color is added by muddling a cherry and a lemon wedge in the glass before pouring in the mix. We want to believe that the color and consistency of this delicious drink were inspired by the sunsets in the romantic city of Trieste.
Valentine’s Day or not, there is always some good reason to prepare a delicious dinner for two, and there is no better way to indulge in sipping some Tryst in Trieste while watching the sun go down behind the hills – or building silhouettes.
Ingredients:

2 oz orange liqueur
2 oz Scotch
1-1/2 oz Rometti Limoncello
Splash of soda water
1 cherry
1 lemon wedge

Muddle one cherry and a lemon wedge into a mixing glass. Add ice, Rometti Limoncello, orange liqueur and Scotch. Shake well.
Pour into a rock glass with a splash of soda.

~Enjoy!

Reflections of Italy: Part 1

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Reflections of Italy is a photography gallery of amazing landscapes and subjects throughout Italy!

Cook N Bake Hawaiian Series: Haupia

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Hawaiian Series Haupia

Dear Readers,

Four recipes down, one more to go and then we will sadly say goodbye to the Hawaiian Series that brought to us all some sunshine during this cold, chilly winter time. If you have been reading about our previous dishes it’s time now to put on a pa’u skirt (the traditional Hawaiian skirt), warm up the oven and throw a wonderful Luau! But wait… you need one more dish to complete the menu, a great dessert to refresh the palate and end the night on a sweet note that will bring a smile on your face: Haupia.

Haupia is coconut pudding. There is no other flavor better than coconut that so well summarizes in a spoon-full the happiness and warmth of Summer. Anyone has at least one memory that coconut with its textured taste brings up to mind, whether from the childhood or from the most recent exotic trip.
In Hawaii Haupia is usually served as a gelatin dessert, however its pudding aspect before becoming firm made it popular as cake topping, particularly on wedding cakes. The Hawaiian local “Haupia pies” are the equivalent of our Western apple pies!
Haupia‘s dense consistency is due to the mixture of coconut milk with ground arrowroot starch (the Polynesian Arrowroot called pia), or cornstarch. Traditionally, nothing else was added, but nowadays sugar and salt are popular additional ingredients, which are then heated with the cornstarch and the coconut milk until smooth and thick. This packed-with-flavor dessert is to be served in very tiny portion, possibly small cubes to accompany a ti tea.

Enjoy Haupia at a party with friends or with a hot cup of tea while listening to the sound of pouring rain. No matter how cold it is outside, Summer is never too far with this coconut delicacy!

Ingredients:

2 cups coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
toasted coconut for topping (also optional)

Into a saucepan pour one cup of the coconut milk and combine it with sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Turn on the heat on low and keep stirring until thickened. Add the rest of coconut milk with one cup of whole milk. Keep stirring. Pour into 8 inch square pan and chill until firm. Cut into squares and garnish with some toasted coconut.

~Enjoy!
Image from http://www.tastingkauai.com/haupia-hawaiian-coconut-pudding/

Happy Hour Tuesday: Strawberry Ricotta Gelato Fizz

Rometti Limoncello - Strawberry Ricotta Gelato Fizz

Happy Hour Tuesday!

Some days it seems like Happy Hour never comes soon enough. When you really need a break during a hard working afternoon, you might find it hard to make up your mind between having a drink or a snack. To satisfy both your thirst and food cravings Rometti has an incredible recipe for you to try: Strawberry Ricotta Gelato Fizz. Gelato is always a delicious, light and nutritious snack, and when you add some alcohol to it, the taste is even more effervescent.
Strawberry Ricotta Gelato Fizz has the sweetness of a dessert and the dryness of sparkling wine, yet the crispiness of the wine accentuates the fruity taste of ricotta. Finally the zesty flavor of Rometti Limoncello highlights the cider aroma of Prosecco.
Make some of these eat-and-drink treats in advance to be able to enjoy them anytime of day.

Ingredients (makes 6 servings):

For the Strawberry Ricotta Gelato:
2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Rometti Limoncello
1 cup milk
1 cup finely chopped strawberries

For the Lemon Strawberry Sauce:
1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup (1 3/8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar + more to taste
2 tablespoons Rometti Limoncello
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch table salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Prosecco, Cava or sparkling water

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place ricotta, sugar, vanilla paste or extract, lemon zest, lemon juice and Rometti Limoncello. Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl with a silicone spatula. Add milk and process again until thoroughly blended.
Transfer mixture to an ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Add chopped strawberries after ice cream is finished and run machine until they are just incorporated. Remove finished product from maker and put into freezer safe container.
Freeze at least 4 hours.

Put the strawberries, confectioners’ sugar, limoncello or vodka, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and well blended. Taste and add more confectioners’ sugar or liqueur accordingly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl or 2-cup measure, pressing firmly on the seeds. Discard the seeds. Stir in the lemon zest and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 3 days.
Before serving, mix the strawberry mixture with an equal amount of Prosecco and stir until blended. Fill the glass with the strawberry mixture and serve with a spoon.
We found this unbelievable, packed-with-flavor recipe Creative Culinary (http://www.creative-culinary.com/2012/08/strawberry-ricotta-gelato-prosecco/). We hope you love it as much as we do!

~ENJOY!

Cook N Bake Hawaiian Series: Lomi Lomi Salmon

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Hawaiian Series Lomi Lomi Salmon

Among the fresh, flavorful dishes of the Hawaiian cuisine is a side dish that can be found at almost any gathering or Luau: Lomi Lomi Salmon. If you’re a fan of poke tuna, you won’t help but love this similar, essential dish.

This week you won’t have to look for banana leaves or liquid smoke, since Lomi Lomi Salmon doesn’t require a particularly difficult preparation. It is a very simple recipe made of fresh ingredients, yet it is one of the most traditional Hawaiian dishes. All you need are tomatoes, sweet onions, green onion and red hot chili pepper if desired, crushed ice and of course, salted, fresh, raw salmon.
Introduced in Hawaii by western sailors, Lomi Lomi Salmon implies within its name to massage the mixture with your hands, as the word lomi suggests (lomi means “to rub, to massage” in Hawaiian). That’s right!, lomi is the same word used also in Hawaiian spas to indicate a massage, but in this case massaging the fish with your hands is necessary to help with melding the flavors together. Massaging the food could also have a secondary but therapeutic effect on who is mixing all the ingredients together! You have to try to believe it.

On curiosity side of things, Lomi Lomi Salmon is cured with Alaea Salt which is salt made of sea salt and a volcanic clay that gives it the reddish pink color. Alaea salt is mellow, but very earthy.
Lomi Lomi Salmon is perfect to compliment any Hawaiian themed dinner, but it is also a low calorie chunky snack that can easily accompany a glass of red wine on a pre-movie happy hour with friends.

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 lb Salted Salmon
3 Large tomatoes, diced
3 Green onions, chopped
1 Round onion, chopped
3 Ice cubes, cracked

Soak the salted salmon in cold water for about 1 hour. If the salmon is too salted repeat the process. Sometimes you might not be able to find salted salmon. In this case, rub it into rock or kosher salt and let it stand overnight. Then soak it for 1 hour.
Remove skin and bones and shed the salmon with the fingers. Place the shredded pieces in a bowl, add tomatoes and onions. Massage the ingredients until the ingredients are broken up and mixed. Let it chill for about 30 minutes and add crushed ice before serving.
~Enjoy!

image from http://foodnetwork.com

Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Granita with Raspberry Sauce

Rometti Limoncello - Happy Hour Tuesday- Limoncello Granita

Happy Hour Tuesday!

After surviving the end of the world,, wrapping an uncountable amount of gifts, and packing for a Christmas holiday break, Rometti is finally back! The decorations are gone and our house looks a little empty without the Christmas tree, but we are ready to start this year in a fresh and bubbly way!
As soon as Christmas is over, it almost seems so natural to start looking forward to the Spring and Summer months. It might still be cold outside but if we close our eyes we can surely imagine the sunshine and those bright, playful colors that the snow has been covering up with its white mantel. If like us you want to anticipate the warmth of the Summer months then it’s time to start making some Limoncello Granita with Fresh Raspberry Sauce!

For this of you who are not so familiar with granita, it is a water and sugar semi-frozen dessert typical of Sicily, Italy. There are different consistency of granita throughout Italy, but the most common one has a tiny, little, crystalline ice texture. Granita can be served by itself or mixed with other ingredients, like coffee or almonds. So why not mix it with Rometti Limoncello and turn it into a delicious drink!, just ilke Jennifer from Spoon With Me suggests.

To make Limoncello Granita you just need to make a sugar and water syrup, to which we’ll add long strips of lemon zest, lemon juice and Rometti Limoncello. A puree of raspberries will increase the consistency and give it an inviting, fun color.

Ingredients for the Granita:

6 Lemons
2/3 Cup sugar
5 Tbsp Rometti Limoncello
2 Cups water

Peel the lemons to make long, thin strips. Use the same lemons to make 1 cup of fresh, lemon juice.
Heat 2 cups of water with the 2/3 cup sugar over a medium-high heat. Stir until dissolved. Add lemon zest, and simmer for 30 additional seconds. Stir in Rometti Limoncello and the lemon juice. Let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Discard the zest and strain the mixture into a baking pan to place into the freezer. After 45 minutes scrape the first ice crystals with a fork. Put it back into the freezer and repeat scraping every 20-30 minutes until the liquid is all granular.
When it is time to serve, in each glass place some raspberries and cover them with the granita. On top add some rasperry sauce and decorate with fresh raspberries and lemon zest.

~Enjoy

Recipe and image from http://sponwithme.com