Monday, 9 February 2015

Deep fried calamari..

If you are looking for something quick, simple and incredibly tasty, then you've just found it, 'Bingo. The only problem you will have is, eating deep fried calamari is like sitting in the back row of the cinema with a tub of pop corn and your date! You forget about your date and just keep launching the tender calamari into your mouth. Its moreish and so satisfying with a generous squeeze of lemon and large pinch of salt. Apologies for the pictures, I had eaten most of it and forgot to take a quick snap. I'm a greedy guts but tell me something I don't know!! Go and get yourself some calamari, subito and have a go at this super fast recipe.

400g cleaned squid plus tentacles
100ml milk
5 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp 00 flour
1 tsp Maldon salt and a grind of black pepper
Sunflower or vegetable oil

Lemon wedges to spritz

1.      Clean and prepare the calamari.
2.      Cut the body into 1cm rings, use the tenticles too. They are my favourite as they crisp up.
3.      Leave the calamari rings and tenticles to sit in the milk for 2 hours if time allows, if not 20 minutes will be fine.
4.      Bring the oil up to temperature. Test the temp by tossing in a small cube of bread, if it sizzle then the oil is ready.
5.      Drain the calamari from the milk and pat dry.
6.      Coat the calamari in flour and fry in small batches.

Delicious with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of salt.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Nonna Carmela and Zia Maria....Inspirational ladies from an Italian kitchen.

I just wanted to share with you these two photos of two lovely ladies. Nonna Carmela here at the top making her cicatelli by hand and Zia Maria showcasing her pumpkin and sausage raviloi. This is passion, knowledge and a love of cooking and the reason why I chose to write a cookbook 'Southern Italian Family Cooking',  and capture family recipes and techniques before they would be lost forever. Nonna is 86, she is slowing down now in the kitchen, but still cooks daily and zia Maria is in her mid 70's and like a skiping child, they are sisters.

Pasta on a daily basis is still made by hand and nothing pleases me more than when I receive a tray of fresh pasta to stash in the deep freeze for a quick and easy dinner time. The passion from my elders has rubbed off on to me in every aspect. From making pasta with Nonna, to my mum Solidea teaching me how to make passata, and my dad Rocco teaching me how to ring a chickens neck...(sorry). But this is it. If your passionate and inspired this is what you do.

Having four children I try to cook with them as often as I can, time and patience needs to be on my side of course!! So that's it. Ask your mum, Nonna or aunty for advice and recipes. Get motivated and inspired in your own kitchen, who knows where it may lead......

Baci Carmela x