Mushroom Risotto, creamy mushroom rice

mushroom_risotto

Risotto (read here other news) that favourite of Italian dishes made into a creamy classic can be served with a variety of accompaniment including meat, vegetable, or fish. This is the Mushroom Risotto.

To make you need 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 small onions, finely chopped , 1 clove garlic, crushed , 1 teaspoonminced fresh parsley, 1 teaspoonminced celerysalt and pepper to taste ,  1/2 cupssliced fresh mushrooms, 1 cup whole milk , 1/4 cup heavy cream , 1 cup rice, 5 cups vegetable stock , 1 teaspoon butter , and 1 cupgrated Parmesan cheese.

To prepare, first heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high flame heat. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Remove the garlic and add the parsley, celery, salt, and pepper and cook until the celery is tender. Next add the mushrooms and reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft.

Pour in the milk and cream into a saucepan and add the rice. Heat until it simmers and then stir in the vegetable stock into the rice 1 cup at a time, until it is absorbed.

After the rice has been cooked, add the butter and Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat.

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Poached salmon

poached_salmon

Fish is known to be one of the most light-weight ways of adding protein to one’s diet and of course fish oils are very important. Salmon is renowned for being Omega-3 fatty acids and is a very tasty filling fish. Grilled, broiled, baked, or poached, salmon makes an excellent meal for dining in or out. For a quiet dinner for two at home try this poached salmon.

All that is needed is 1 to 1½ pounds salmon fillets, pin bones removed, Salt, ½ cup dry white wine, ½ cup water, several thin slices of yellow onion and/or 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced, A few sprigs of fresh dill or a sprinkle of dried dill, A sprig of fresh parsley, and freshly ground black pepper.

To prepare: first the salmon fillets with salt. Then place wine, dill, water, onions, and parsley in a saucepan and sauté over a medium flame. Next add the salmon fillets with the skin-side down in the pan and cover, cooking for 5-10 minutes depending on the fillets’ thickness. Be careful not to overcook and serve with freshly ground black pepper.

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Corsica, Napoleon’s birthplace

corsica

Somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy, southeast of France, and north of Sardinia is the French island of Corsica.

The island, an departement outre-mer or overseas region of France, is dominated by amountain chain which comprises two-thirds of the territory. Corsica is the most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands.It has three separate climatic zones – hot coastal zone, temperatemountains, and an alpine zone.

For the nature lover there is the Parc Naturel Regional de Corse which boasts several protected species while the Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Ajaccio, the capital is in Corse du Sud while the second largest city Bastia is in Haute Corse. The Corsican culture is a unique blend of French and Italian.

The French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica and his home is currently a museum while the town of Calvi claims to be the birth place of the explorerChristopher Columbus.

Along with French, Corsica has its own language which is recognised as an official language by the French government.

Corsica has interesting cuisine which includes wild boarseafood and river fishficatellu coppalonzu made from Corsican pork and cheeses such as brocciucasgiu merzucasgiuand veghju made from goat or sheep milk.

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Cyprus, Mediterranean paradise

Cyprus
Very mild winters and warm dry summers make the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea a hotspot for tourists. The island gets almost twice the sunshine of cities in Northern Europe with as many as 12-13 hours of sun during the summertime.

Cyprus sits south of Turkey and east of Greece and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. The island of Cyprus is divided into Greek and Turkish rule and is unique in that it is the only one which has a divided capital city – Nicosia. Nicosia is divided by a “green line” with part in Turkish Cyprus and part in Greek Cyprus. The city is surrounded by a Venetian wall.

International flights arrive at Larnaca International Airport in the south of the island. The island is mountainous in the north and south with plains in the centre while there are also plains on the island’s southern coast.

There are many archaeological sites scattered across Cyprus that date from the Stone Age through the Roman Empire and the island also boasts a beautiful coastline.

Cyprus is a great place to buy leather goods including shoes and handbags, jewellery, lacework from the village of Lefkara, and Cypriot wine. It boasts interesting cuisine and meze, a dish that can be made from meat or fish, is a must try.

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Yummy Cheese Fritters

cheese_fritters
Cheese fritters are a great meal that can be enjoyed if you prefer to have something filling or a snack sans meat or fish. The best thing is that fritters can be made with any left-over bits of cheese whether it is cheddar, feta, gruyere, pepper jack or mozzarella.

They can also be served with marmalade or chutney to give them a little extra zest. First in a bowl sift flour, salt, and cayenne or black pepper, chopped onions, chopped scallions, and thyme. Make a hole in the centre of the blended flour and add two eggs. Whisk batter combining the eggs with two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of milk. Next grate in the cheese and stir all together.

Let the mixture sit for a few minutes while you heat a saucepan with oil. Once the oil is hot use a large spoon to scoop up batter and drop medium size dollops in the pot. Fry until golden brown. Once cooked, remove the fritters and place in a sieve or silicone paper to drain off extra oil. The marmalade can be bought or you can make you own using sugar, cider vinegar, sweet peppers, oil, and garlic. Over a medium heat carmelise sugar and onions, sweet peppers, and garlic. Turn down flame until sauce is thick. Do not allow the mixture to burn. Turn off stove and allow marmalade to cool.

Serve and enjoy!

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A festival that can be eaten

fish_festival
When you hear the word festival you may think of a party or a celebration but did you know that a festival can also be eaten? In the Caribbean what people call festival is actually a small fried dumpling with an elongated shape made from cornmeal and flour.

Festival can be eaten alone or with fried fish or grilled or jerk chicken or pork and is a very popular food on the beaches of Jamaica where fried fish and festival is a dietary staple.

Festivals are very easy to make. All you need is two cups of flour, ½ cup of cornmeal, water, ¼ cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, one teaspoon of baking powder, and oil.

In a bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder together then slowly add water until the mixture is tender to touch but not too soft. Knead the mixture into a soft dough . Be careful not to knead too long or festival will be too crunchy. Cover the mixture and leave to sit on a counter for a few minutes until the dough rises slightly.

Place oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, break off small pieces of dough roll into long shapes and place in oil over a low flame. Fry until golden brown. The festival should be light. Serve when cool. Enjoy.

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