Every time I tell myself I need to do things slowly, one after another. You just need a bit of organization, don’t you? I bought a black Moleskine on purpose, to scribble down projects, deadlines and ideas (yes, this is the official excuse, the truth is that I like to show it out at every opportunity, I’d love to be called the girl with the black Moleskine*!). Yet every time I find myself flooded with things to do, overlapping deadlines, four windows open on my desktop with a half written post, pictures in post production (what a resounding word, it seems that we are here working on a Vogue photocall!), e-mails to far-away friends and another brilliant blog post that I’d want to comment on.
It happens the same when I’m in the kitchen: I often have only the weekend to try the dozens of recipes going on through my mind during the week, so usually on Saturday mornings I put fire to the kitchen, there’s a pot boiling on the stove, the oven timer rings , the blender is on and there’s a knife dangerously poised on the cutting board. I desperately want to try everything and I invariably find myself in a battlefield.
* Yeah, I’ve read I love shopping, and you?
Grandma is different. Last Saturday we made together these fish-balls and while we were cooking she kept on tidying up the kitchen, methodically, taking off the dirty pots, putting away the sugar on the shelf (yes, sugar, belonging to the previously baked dessert… no sugar in the fish-balls!) and so on, step by step.
This is something that I still have to learn, both from grandma and mum: the order – first of all a mental one – when I am working in the kitchen. But when I teach my cooking classes for children during the local farmer’s market I become a control freak, and before going ahead with the next recipe they have to tidy up the table. I clearly do not practise what I preach!
Is it possible to make Summer Solstice’s resolution? Am I on time? There will be more order in my kitchen. Let’s try!
And since we are in the week completely dedicated to the health issue, let’s put order in our diet, once again following the advice of Marco Bianchi, the young chef and researcher who elaborated these recipes in cooperation with the Umberto Veronesi Foundation.
- 150 g of swordfish, diced
- 150 g of cod, diced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 anchovies
- 250 g cooked chickpeas
- 6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- Sauté the diced swordfish with the cod, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped garlic (I've put the whole clove of garlic in the pan and removed it after a few minutes, so that it could just infuse the flavour, because Dad does not like garlic!).
- As soon as the fish is cooked, add the chickpeas and cook them with the fish for about 10 minutes.
- Chop the anchovies and stir them into pan with the other ingredients.
- Season the fish with chilli and pepper but taste it before adding the salt, because the anchovies are very tasty.
- Put the fish in the glass of the mixer and blend until everything is homogeneous. Stir in the breadcrumbs (just 3 tablespoons) and the chopped fresh parsley.
- Shape the fish mixture with your hands into small balls and coat them with the remaining breadcrumbs.
- Lay the fishballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes at 200°C.
- Serve them warm or cold with spicy tomato sauce flavoured with wasabi and ginger or with a vegan mayonnaise with parsley. I've served the fishballs with the following milk mayonnaise.
While I was shaping the fishballs with my hands and I was passing them on grandma to have them coated in breadcrumbs, we were happily commenting on how easy and fun to make they are. They’ll be delicious for sure, I said. And grandma, with her usual down-to-earth tone: we’ll see when they are ready, the ingredients are good for sure… and of course the fishballs were really tasty and light, appetizing both for children and grown-ups scared by the fish bones! Grandma’s comment is worth a thousand words: write down the recipe, we should make them again!
Reading the previous recipe I was hooked by the wasabi and ginger tomato sauce, I will definitely try it sooner or later. Last week I was run out of ginger and wasabi, though, so I decided to serve the fishballs with a new to me mayonnaise, made without egg. Is it a Harry Potter’s spell or is it just a chemistry mystery? The fact is, following Marco Bianchi’s advice I got a light and creamy mayonnaise, a silky sauce to dress the fishballs.
- 150 ml skimmed milk
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 150 ml of corn oil
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- chives to serve
- Gather all the ingredients into the immersion blender glass and blend to the maximum speed for about 7 minutes.
- If the mayonnaise is not "smooth" enough, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and continue to blend.
- Serve it cold from the fridge to bring out the flavour. It can be enriched with a pinch of garlic powder or finely chopped chives.