Cooking is a matter of generosity. This is the sum of my experiences so far, including cooking classes, sharing recipes and memories on my blog, meetings between foodies and projects developed thanks to the essential cooperation with friends. Last week I was explaining a Tuscan recipe to a group of Americans, and I realized that rather than giving precise doses I kept on with recommendation like this: “add a generous handful of almonds,” “season generously with extra virgin olive”… is it lack of precision and professionalism? maybe. But I’d rather consider my behaviour as living cooking with generosity and passion.
The very same generosity that you can infuse into wrapping up parcels of sweet treats or bags of care and snacks can be found, multiplied, into the eyes of those who receive them. Now I can adfirm that the affection that I have put so far into sharing recipes, experiences and treats is coming back toward me as friendship, a generous and disinterested friendship that confuses and touches me.
And here we hit the point, Sigrid’s new book Regali Golosi (Gourmet Gifts), published by Giunti Editore SpA, of which I have the honour to write a rewiew about today (I would say an almost certainly superfluous review since it has already become a best seller). I’ve found this book elegant but never pretentious, sophisticated but suitable for everyone, both for the recipes and the used ingredients. It brings a breath of international flair and winning ideas, undoubtedly something so applealing for a blogger!
What I liked the most was the intro, and you can easily understand why seeing what I wrote at the beginning of the post:
So, if what you make by yourself is better (…) on the other hand, when you give something made by yourself you gift the other person with what is so sorely lacking these days: the human mark, the unrepeatable uniqueness, the ‘authentic’ personalized, the taste of real…
Here is a selection of two proven recipes, made I soon as I got the book, perfect for the housewarming of a friend or to cheer up a friend from a cold (season desease!).
Tortilla Chips – pag.92
Ingredients: 50 g flour, 50 g cornmeal, 80 g water, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt ,1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder. For about 20 tortillas
Mix flour, salt and spices. Bring to the boil water and oil and pour over dry components. Mix well and allow to cool for ten minutes. Roll out the dough very thin with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Cut out triangles an bake them at 200°C until chips are golden.
The book originally required a fresh and yummy guacamole dip with tortillas, but since I was short on avocados, I brought a hot Mexican style dip for Dario’s hosewarming cocktail.
Hot tomato dip – my recipe
Ingredients: a dozen of little red ripe tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1 white onion, extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 pinch of salt. For 2 small jars.
Finely chop the onion and sautee in olive oil. Add tomatoes and bell pepper cut into small cubes, spices and salt. Let simmer over medium heat until the tomatoes are melted down, the pepper has become soft and all the liquid has evaporated.
Lemon and polenta cookies – pag. 12
Ingredients: 300 g flour, 200 g of butter, 15 g cornmeal, 150 g sugar, 4 egg yolks, the grated peel of 2 lemons, a pinch of salt. For about 50 cookies.
Beat sugar, butter and lemon peel with a whisk until you have a pale and creamy mixture. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, then fold in flour and salt. Knead quickly and form a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to 4 mm, cut out cookies and bake them at 200°C for ten minutes, until they start to brown.
A perfect gift for? everyone! From curious friends and food lovers to those who will always give you the wrong gift, the one that you really do not need (in this way they will have good and delicious ideas for next time!). But the first person to whom you can give this book is you: it will become your source of quick and special ideas to surprise anyone!
My gift wrapping ideas:
- brown paper bags, purple raffia and recycled paper for notes: from my official supplier of paper, paperboard and related services in Colle Val d’Elsa, Panteri.
- jar labels: order them on line at www.nutleyskitchengardens.co.uk