In these uncertain, confusing and scary times, I have decided to change my blog to meet the needs of our changed way of life.
I am inspired to do this by the example of my grandfather, Ettore Biaggi, who had a famous restaurant in Lugano, Switzerland. During the second World War he had a radio program called ” Il Cuoco delle Onde ” ( Cook of the Air ) in which he would give recipes using the very restricted ingredients available under wartime rationing. So instead of duck or goose livers he created a paté using tinned tuna. Rice, which came from across the closed border with Italy, was unavailable so he created a risotto using pasta. These have become some of my favourite recipes.
We are not yet that restricted in our choices but if you are trying to limit your visits to food shops then some of these recipes may be helpful in using what you have in the fridge or pantry.
What my friends in Italy ( in total lockdown ) are telling me is that they have much more time to cook, so I might include some recipes that take more preparation.
At the moment I am with my family down at Tilba where we are fairly isolated and can enjoy a wonderful environment.
Nearby there is the dairy farm that produces the fabulous Tilba milk and milk products owned by Erica and Nic Dibden. Talking to Erica I asked about butter and she suggested I make my own as they do not produce it. She gave me some of their extraordinary rich cream which was near the end of its shelf life and I made it into some absolutely delicious butter. This is not something I would normally do, but I had the time and by converting cream ( which has a limited shelf life ) into butter which can be kept for quite some time I have made something that suits the changes we are making to our lives.
• Tilba cream is incredibly thick and made from only Jersey milk
• use pure cream and not one that has thickener in it
• beat the cream in your mixer for about 10 minutes
• adding a pinch of salt
• when the cream is starting to separate and harden
• lift out the majority of the butter
• sift the remaining butter and buttermilk through a muslin
• refrigerate the buttermilk for later use ( it is super delicious and healthy)
• roll the butter in the muslin and give it the shape that you want
• you can also press it into a mould
• roll the butter in grease proof paper
• secure and keep in the fridge or freeze