Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crespelle alla Fiorentina

Crespelle alla fiorentina are essentially spinach crepes baked with a bechamelle sauce. Like lasagna or other baked dishes that you can prepare in advance, they’d make a great dinner party entrĂ©e. Or, you can eat the entire platter with your husband, like I did. (Over the course of a few meals, of course.)

I followed the recipe in the cookbook Classic Italian Jewish Cooking: Traditional Recipes and Menus (which you can find in my Amazon store), but you can also find similar recipes online. This one, from Tuscanycious, looks great. The only difference seems to be that it calls for ricotta, whereas the recipe I used didn’t.

My crepes didn’t all fit in the pan and I was too lazy to get another, smaller pan out. That was a mistake because the ones squished on top of each other didn’t cook as evenly as the others.

While the recipe took longer than I expected (making the individual crepes, the sauce, the filling and then baking it), it was worth the wait and effort. 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gourmet Salt

As I wrote recently, I've been enjoying (slightly obsessed with?) making bread. These two loaves were topped with gourmet salts: red Hawaiian salt and grey smoked salt. The large, colored grains were both attractive and tasty on the low-salt bread. Word to the wise: Limit your snacking on the crunchy, flavorful grains that fall off as you slice the loaf. You won't stop drinking water for two days. 

While it probably isn't necessary to buy very expensive salt, it is curious to smell and taste the large variety of salts that are available. On a recent visit to the Portland branch of The Meadow, a gourmet salt store, my mind went into overdrive with the many dishes I could spark new energy into with salts like Bamboo Leaf Sea Salt or Black Truffle Salt. 

Have you joined the new salt-craze?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bob's Red Mill

You'll find whatever type of flour you are looking for, from gluten-free options like black bean flour to teff (used in Ethiopian pancakes), at Bob’s Red Mill

We stopped by the factory store for breakfast (omelets, grits and baked goods like biscuits) and some quick shopping when we were in Portland, Oregon. While I only bought some steel cut oatmeal to carry back in my luggage, I do look forward to trying out some other grains and flours while baking some new, perhaps healthier, options. Without sounding too much like an advertisement, most of their products are available in stores near you or through their website.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

cannoli for Pia

Rosemary Schiacciata

I've been quite taken by making bread recently. I enjoy watching the bread rise and smelling it as it bakes. These two Italian flat breads, one rosemary and one potato, were loosely based off of this recipe.

What's your favorite bread recipe?