Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo

I've always been pretty curious about Cajun cuisine, a mix of French, Creole and American culinary traditions that create intriguing recipes like this chicken gumbo.
I skipped the sausage of the original recipes because it should be used andouille, a spiced, heavily smoked pork sausage of French origin. You can add this sausage together with the chicken or, if you're Italian like me, you can use Calabrian Nduja sausage as a substitute. Being on diet I preferred to keep the recipe lighter though, without fat pork meat.
Another ingredient that could be hard to find is okra, it can be used gumbo filé instead or even cornstarch, in this case loosing some flavor though.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 chicken cut in pieces without skin and bones
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 onions
4 celery ribs
2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 yellow
6 garlic cloves
a couple of bay leaves
2 quarts chicken stock
1 teaspoon black pepper, white pepper, dried thyme leaves, dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons okra
1/2 cup chopped green onions tops
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
4 cups rice

Preparation
Season the chiken with some of the pepper, thyme and oregano leaves and paprika and brown it in a casserole. Took it away and keep apart. In another casserole melt the butter and add the flour sieving, cook until you have a roux the color of peanut butter, add onions, peppers, celery and garlic cut to pieces and cook for about 4 minutes stirring continuously. Add the chicken, the stock, the remaining seasoning and the okra, bring to boil and cook over medium heat for about a hour or until it becomes dense enough for your taste (I preferred a pretty thick soup).
In the meanwhile cook the rice, pour it into the gumbo, decorate the top with the the chopped green onions tops and parsley leaves and serve.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Mascarpone Cream with Orange, Amaretti and Chocolate

Mascarpone Cream

Recipe, cooking and styling Barbara Torresan

I must admit that I have a crush on mascarpone: I love it in every fashion and disguise. So I couldn't resist this fabulous recipe that my preferred food-stylist, Barbara Torresan, prepared to me. So why shouldn't we try to prepare it by ourselves?

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups of fresh mascarpone cheese
5 eggs
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of Cointreau, Triple Sec or other orange flavored liquor.
5 amaretti (bitter almond biscuits)
2 1/2 ozs. dark chocolate
zest of 1/2 orange

Preparation
Separate the yolk and the white of the eggs, whip the white until very firm and whisk the yolks together with sugar till you have a dense cream. Add liquor, orange zest, part of the chocolate, broken in crumbles and the mascarpone, continuing to whisk. Pour into slowly the egg whites with a palette knife so to end up with a soft, foamy cream that need to be refrigerated for about 2-3 hours. When it becomes enough firm pour into your cups, sprinkle with the other chocolate and the amaretti biscuits, all reduced to crumbles, and serve.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Friday, March 4, 2011

March 2011 Desktop Calendar

March 2011 Desktop Calendar

A bit late Food~0~grafia offers its desktop calendar, alas a wallpaper for your PC screen with a food photo and the calendar of the current month.

In shooting the image for this month I was influenced by a Flemish painter who lived in the XVII century: Alexander Adriaenssen.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cookiecutters

Cookiecutters

In the latest days I didn't miss any opportunity to take some pictures trying to use the equipment that I usually left out: this time it was the turn of my poor view camera.
This time the excuse was the arrival of these wonderful, antique cookiecutters: I put them on an old wooden table, I turned on a light, placed a panel to open the shadows a bit and I brought out my view camera, that was lying unused for months.
I loaded the back with some Fuji Instant film (similar to old Polaroids, but with much better colors), pulled out of a box a Schneider Symmar 180/5.6 lens, a medium tele for large format, and with a black cloth on the head I was trying to focus where I wanted.
Exposure control, set the time, charge the shutter, take out the dark slide, release the shutter, strap the film and at the end the funny thing is that, while using much different equipment, I'd have a rather similar result with my digital cameras, well... after 20 minutes of work in Photoshop (yes, film still has its advantages), but not with the same fun.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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