Amaltea Cooking school : third lesson

Appetizers, easy and tasty!

Have you ever tried to cook an octopus ? If yes, was it tender or rubbery? Have you ever made mayo by yourself at home ? And a perfect pie made with short crust pastry and eggplants?

Cooking is all about techniques, if you know the methods cooking it’s easy , relaxing and satisfying.

Third lesson : basics of some easy and tasty appetizers.

  • “Piovra bollita” boiled octopus:

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Many times I tried to make boiled octopus tender and I didn’t know why I couldn’t .
First of all the choice of the octopus : fresh or thawed? If you buy a fresh one you must be sure that is really fresh and you must work it with coarse salt in the sink,  slamming it repeatedly for making the texture of the meat soft. If you buy a thawed one , usually it’s already slammed, so it’s easier.
After cleaning it (remove the ink sack and the internal organs) put it in a pot with water, salt, a carrot, a stalk of celery and half a onion. Switch on the stove and never let the water boil , this is the trick for a tender octopus, it has to cook slowly at low temperature.
Try with a fork the consistency and take it out of water when you think is enough tender for you.

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  • “Acciughe in carpione” marinated anchovies:

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the most important thing it is to use fresh anchovies . Cleaning them is quite simple just remove the head and follow the belly with a finger inside the fish to open it in two and remove the organs.
Flour the anchovies with rice flour and fry them in boiling oil. Dry anchovies with paper towel.

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In another saucepan, brown the onion cut into slices, raisins, sugar and salt. Add vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture when is still hot on anchovies and leave to them to marinate for 24 hours . After this time drain them and they are ready to be eaten !

  • “Insalata di pollo con sedano , uova sode , maionese, pomodorini” chicken salad with celery , hard-boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes :

If you want to have a meat tender and tasty you have to use the chicken drumsticks!

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Bone the meat and use the bones for making a soup with carrot, celery, onion, peppercorns and salt. Remove the foam and bring the soup to boil. Dip the meat and turn off the stove. Leave the meat cooking  slowly. When it’s cooked, cut the meat into pieces and when cold add mayo, cherry tomatoes, celery and hard-boiled eggs cut in small pieces.

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  • “maionese” mayonnaise :

I’ve never tried to make mayo by myself before , but now I’ll do it for sure! It tastes completely different from the one you find at the supermarket!

It’s easy to make , you need a whisk for whipping the yolks with salt , lemon juice and vinegar. When the mixture is well blended you have to add oil slowly and continuously .  The mixture have to whip well. At the end you’ll have a creamy mayo.

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  • “Quiche lorraine” savory pie with eggplants :

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the tricks for making a good pie are the making of the short crust pastry and the low temperature hoven cooking. For more info look at the recipes section.