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On our recent trip to Rome we went to a little restaurant near our hotel, called The Drunken Cow. It takes its inspiration from the Cucina Povera, the poor man's kitchen. Few and cheap ingredients, simple dishes, utterly delicious.

This recipe is for oxtails. In the old days, an ox was divided into 4 parts, that went to different kinds of customers, from the very rich to the well-to-do. The fifth part of the animal, the offal and very cheap bits, was for the butchers. It makes a really festive dish; I made it for a dinner party of 10 friends, and they totally loved it. It's better when you make it the day before.

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Amarettini-Cake

the base is a biscuit (sponge cake?), I prepared from 2 eggs, 2 TS water, 100g sugar, 100 g flour, 1 P. vanilla-sugar and 1/2 P. baking powder

drain 1 jar of cherries (Schattenmorellen) and distribute the fruits on the cake;

mix together
500 g joghurt (whole milk j.)
250 g mascarpone
add crumbled 120 g Amarettini

whipp 400 g cream with 2 P. vanilla sugar, stirr into the above mix

now mix in 2 P. "Gelin" (instant Gelantine)
spoon the mix on the cherries (you need a cake-ring around the base) and let it sit for a day or two;

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Tarte aux tomates

I'm currently reading all the Bruno, Chief of Police novels by Martin Walker - they're tremendously fun, not expensive at all on Kindle, and a delight for the keen cook as well as for whodunit fans.

This is a recipe Bruno cooks in The Resistance Man. I've recreated it from the description in the book, and we both loved it.



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Pollo alla Cacciatora

This is chicken in the way of the hunter, so I guess it starts with stalking your chicken, waiting till you see the white of its eyes, and shooting it.

But you may also buy chicken legs, as we did, sissies that we are. It's a lovely, comforting dish that's very easy to prepare. Mind, there's marinating time in this recipe.

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Sultan's Delight

When we were on our week's vacation in the UK, we experimented with South African recipes from a magazine Lord S had bought on his travels. I promised to post the recipes, and here's the first one. It literally takes just seconds to make - a few minutes if you count the time for measuring.

Sultan's Delight, a warm pudding (serves 4 to 6)
500 ml (2 cups) milk
250 g (1 cup) suigar
250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
250 g (1 cup) flour
60 g butter
4 eggs
5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) baking powder
pinch of salt

To go with it: fruit of your choice (we had pineapple; very good combination)

Preheat the oven to 180C (360F). Butter an ovendish.

Beat all the ingredients together until well mixed.

Pour in oven dish and bake for 30-60 minutes, until it's brown and risen, and a knife dipped in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm rather than piping hot.

The baking time may vary according to ovens and dish used. The cottage oven took more like 1,5 hrs, and for the last 45 minutes I covered to top with tinfoil to stop it from getting too dark. You can bake it in advance, and reheat it in the microwave.

Beef Stew with Prunes

My Partner's son, the Young Man, read this recipe online and decided to try it. The results were delicious!

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Really Easy Greek Stew

This recipe is put together in less than 20 minutes. And then it can stew in the oven while you do fun things. Or prepare the rest of your dinnerparty - it's a great dish to share with friends.

I was going to make it for the dinner party we have Friday, only I really want to make islandsmoke's fantastic hot avocados, and that has feta in it as well. The avocados are vegetarian and totally worth trying.

This is also worth trying and totally not vegetarian.

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Ginger Chicken Salad

From our Rural Electric Co-op magazine. This stuff is wonderful. Very refreshing, and fairly light unless you keep eating it, which is a risk. The ginger is very subtle, and is more apparent if it sits overnight in the fridge. Doubling it is not a risk and ginger lovers may want to go past that, even.

All measurements are volume, sorry, but I did do a conversion.

2 cups (500 ml) chopped cooked chicken. We like a mixture of white and dark meat, but suit yourself.
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) fresh blueberries
1 cup (250 ml) seedless grapes (we cut them in half, chop them if you'd rather) red or green as you prefer.
1 cup (250 ml) chopped celery
1/2 cup (125 ml) slivered almonds We use pecans because we like them better, peanuts might overwhelm it, brazils or macadamias should be fine. This dish has a fairly light flavor.

Dressing:
1/2 cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
1/4 cup (65 ml) sour cream
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger, don't be afraid to use more, but it is interesting at this level
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml), hell. a pinch of salt, you can always add more. but you'll play hell getting it out.

Whoosh this up in a bowl and then stir it into the meat and fruit and nuts. I like it on a romaine leaf with a little ground pepper and a bit of hot sauce. Ranier cherries also go great in this.

A wonderful dish for hot weather.

L

Not really a recipe -

more like a procedure.

Meatloaf. The ultimate comfort food. If you cook, you have a favorite recipe, and good for you>

I, like perhaps most people, had been accustomed to chopping stuff up and mixing it together in a bowl with my hands. A little bit back, meatloaf was on the menu but my hands/wrists said "oh no you won't", so I dragged out the food processor.

Eureka.

Use your usual recipe, and beat the shit out of it in the processor. I did bread first, rye bread, fresh. Put that in a bowl and did the veggies; onions, peppers, whatever. Blend in the meat. I mean 'till it's mush. Add egg, the bread, and whatever spice/sauce you use and blend it in.

Be ruthless.

Cook it as usual. We were stunned. The texture is marvelous, the loaf holds integrity better, and the flavors blend evenly throughout.

Try it if you can. Hell, at the worst you have meatloaf.

L

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I really felt like baking a something sweet, but not so sweet, this weekend and then I found this recipe, so... why not? :)

Here's what you'll need~



Base

300 grams of cornstarch cookies / Maria cookies / sweet digestive cookies
½ cup of butter

Cheesecake
2 cups (± 400 grams) of cream cheese
1 cup (± 160 grams) of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of lime juice

Topping
200 grams of Dulce de Leche (either Brazilian or Argentinian, they’re both very good)

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