Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Jackfruit for tacos

I love tacos, tortillas and Mexican food in general, and for me it goes with beans, but everyone is talking about jackfruit these days, so I gave it a try. Got myself a jar of green jackfruit in beans and started the experiment.

First I fried some onion with olive oil and a Tio Pablo Mexican spices, in the meantime I drained the jackfruit and cut it into smaller segments, like in the photos.

I added the jackfruit to the onions and cooked it until the jackfruit become soft and easy to break with the wooden spoon. 

 Like this. Various recipes suggest breaking it up so it resemble shredded chicken... not sure I like the idea, never had shredded chicken and I don't see the appeal of it, but the jackfruit 'core' is a little hard, so some mashing goes well here, and the spices combined well. I used this to fill tacos, with the usual salad, tomatoes, guacamole and salsa verde, it was good, and I made several variations ever since, but I now use cans of organic Jack Fruit, they are easy to find in all supermarkets! And I got better at mixing my own spices ;-).

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Risotto with radicchio

One of the many joys of winter in Italy is the abundance of radicchio, and there are so many varieties, like this long and compact beauty, perfect for risotto.

I also found my Mum's old green pot (about 50 years old) which she always used to make risotto, and discovered that it is suitable to my new Italian kitchen's induction cooker. It may look a bit battered but it cooks beautifully!  

To start chop a white onion and sauté with olive oil, then add the chopped and rinsed radicchio with a pinch of salt, put the lid on and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the the radicchio is all wilted and doesn't taste too bitter.

It should take about 20 minutes on low, and look like this (with a bit of juice). Now add the arborio rice,  (I made risotto for 8 with about 600 g of rice, only one onion and one radicchio!).

Stir until the rice is hot and then start adding the vegetable stock, ladle by ladle as needed, you will need about two litres of it.

Keep stirring and adding stock until ready. When working with large quantities of rice it is better to rinse it first to remove a little starch, otherwise it will become too hard to turn, and too sticky.

Risotto with Radicchio is a great Italian classic, very popular in Veneto and Emilia Romagna (the best radicchio is from Treviso). Possibly in Veneto you would accompany it with one their fine whites, but in Emilia I paired it with a Pignoletto and it tasted great!  Enjoy!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©