Archive for July 2011

Cream cheese and sour cream cupcakes

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  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla. Spoon into cupcake pans to fill about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. To make the sour cream topping, whisk together the sour cream, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spoon into the well on the top of each cupcake.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until set. Set cupcake pans on racks to cool, do not remove cupcakes from the pan until they are completely cool. For a finishing touch, you can add a dollop of your favorite pie filling on top.
Made this with a full 16-oz container of sour cream (seems like you need it to cover all the cupcakes completely) and only 4 medium eggs. Cupcakes are cooling, we’ll see how they came out. It made about 1 1/2 sheets of cupcakes.





Written by orata

July 24, 2011 at 12:25 am

Posted in recipes

rice with ground lamb

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Mince 1 small yellow onion and brown in grapeseed oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add 1 lb. ground lamb and cook, mashing and stirring, till no longer pink. Season with ground cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add 1 glass full of white long-grain rice and toast in the pan, stirring. Add 2 glasses water and turn the heat down to medium-low to simmer. Cut up and add 1 large tomato. Simmer until rice is almost done, adding more water as needed, then add 2 cups chopped fresh spinach and cook till wilted. Lamb, spinach, and tomato all from farmer’s market… yum.

Written by orata

July 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm


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recipes from Matteo:

By Chef Francesco Mangano, Papavero restaurant

Roast-beef all’Emiliana

5 lb. beef top or eye of round

5 juniper berries

2 sprigs rosemary

2 garlic cloves

a little EVOO

1/2 cup red wine

2 bay leaves

Set oven to 400 F, season beef with salt and pepper. Put a frying pan on stove, heat olive oil, when it starts smoking, put top round in pan and brown it. Add the seasonings. Finish in the oven until meat reaches internal temp of 135  F. Let cool, slice, serve with salad of baby arugula dressed with balsamic/Parmesan.

Baccala’ fritto

2 lb. salt cod, soaked in cold water for 48 hrs

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. soda or sparkling water

Drain cod and pat dry. Mix water w/flour, dip fish in it, deep fry at 350 F till golden brown. Serve with sauce of fresh chopped garlic, crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, and fresh chili.


Torta di ceci (Toscana)

24 oz. chickpea flour

5 oz. EVOO

3 quarts water

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 475 F. Mix the flour and water, let rest for 1 hr. Skim the foam and re-whisk the mixture. Grease a pan with the oil, then pour the mixture in the pan and cook in the oven till you have a light brown color on top of the “crepe” (15-20 mins). Slice and season with S&P before serving.


Asparagi alla milanese

2 bunches of asparagus, bottom-trimmed and blanched

6 whole eggs

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Set oven to 500 F. Dry asparagus, sautee briefly in a pan with a little butter and the onion. Put in a ceramic or ovenproof tray, sprinkle with the cheese, and crack the eggs on top, leaving a little space between each of them. Bake till eggs are set.


Torta Pasqualina

3 c. blanched spinach, Swiss chard, or other greens

3 c. whole milk ricotta

1 c. grated Parmesan

1 whole egg, whisked

2 rolled sheets puff pastry

1 extra egg for egg wash

a little butter

a little nutmeg

Set oven to 400 F. Butter bottom of a casserole.  Set 1st rolled sheet of puff pastry in, making sure it goes up the sides. Mix the ricotta, parmesan, 1 egg, and spinach together, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour into pan. Cover with 2nd sheet of puff pastry. Seal together, then egg-wash the top of the pie. Put in the oven and bake for about 1 hr and 15 mins or until done. Let cool before slicing and serving.

Written by orata

July 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Posted in recipes, restaurants

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pasta normesca

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Slice, salt, and press one large eggplant. Mince 1 small onion and 1 small head of garlic.

Cook 1/2 package rotini according to package directions.

Rinse and dice the eggplant.

Melt a couple of spoonfuls bacon grease in a pan. Cook the onion over medium heat till lightly browned. Add the garlic and the eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, till the eggplant is soft and browned. Deglaze with mirin. Add a couple spoonfuls of pine nuts and cook, stirring, till lightly toasted.

Add minced fresh oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and 1 package cherry tomatoes, halved. Cook a few minutes more, till the tomatoes are warm and starting to soften.

Chop 1/2 package of fresh mozzarella pearls and add to a large bowl with the drained rotini. Mix in the eggplant-tomato mixture, a spoonful of chopped fresh parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of 1 lemon.


Written by orata

July 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Posted in recipes

random current food obsessions

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Frozen red grapes (must try black ones or tiny champagne grapes next)

Two things from Charlie’s wedding: Roman gnocchi with burrata and tomato sauce, and tiny chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate mousse and topped with buttercream

Greek yogurt with almonds and honey


Walnut oil


Written by orata

July 13, 2011 at 1:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

squiddy pasta

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While boiling water for 1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti, chop and saute one yellow onion, one red bell pepper, a few leaves of lacinato kale, and a few cloves garlic until the onion/pepper are starting to brown and the kale is soft. Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and chopped fresh oregano.  Rinse 1/2 lb of small squid tentacles and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring, till the squid tentacles turn white and curl up. Add a handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley, the juice of the zested lemon, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it seems too dry. Eat while watching Clerks on Netflix.


Written by orata

July 13, 2011 at 1:07 am

Posted in recipes

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