Choose a pattern for your focaccia: just the way you like it

In the early morning, before going to work, you can prepare a soft mixture for a focaccia dough. You need the following ingredients: 500 gr all purpose flour, 40 gr extra virgin olive oil, 9 gr yeast and some sugar, (the tip of a coffee spoon) which will help the soft mixture to leaven, 300 ml water, 10 gr salt. Then, leave it to bubble and rise for four or five hours at least. At this point, you will make the focaccia by pouring the mixture on the oiled surface of a baking tray. Work on and stretch out the dough with the tip of your fingers. Cover the dough with a clingfilm and leave it to rise again for about 20 mins.

Then, choose to decor the focaccia by making a pattern with the delicacies you prefer and bake it in the oven 180°/200° C. Perhaps you can make an emulsion with water, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and just paint it on the surface of the focaccia. Or you may choose to go for brie cheese, fried rings of leek, slices of sweet and sour bulbous of Leopoldia comosum (an inviting delicacy from Apulia culinary tradition) and a hint of thyme leaves. Whether in a way or in an other, your focaccia will taste very appetizing and much welcome by your table-companion. Enjoy it. Thank you.

Parmigiana of aubergines, easy and inviting dish from Southern Italy

   Hallo! Are you thinking, by chance, about something easy to prepare for dinner? Even in January, this parmigiana would make you think about Summer flavours. For this dish, it is  ideal to choose round aubergines, since they are sweeter and have less seeds. The distribution of aubergine cultivations makes possible to find this vegetable even at Winter time, thanks to the farming in green houses. What is more, it is highly recommended to look for aubergines coming from the close surrounding area and freshness will be guaranteed. The skin of the aubergine should look smooth, glossy and its flesh has to be compact. Pressing lightly against the vegetable, you will be able to check about its ripeness, that is, if the sign of your finger will stay for few seconds on its skin, it would mean the aubergine is good for being cooked. Of course, according to your taste, feel free to have the aubergines with their skin on or to remove it. 

   For preparing parmigiana, as first step, it will be necessary to have a homemade tomato sauce prepared with fresh peeled tomatoes or to choose a good peeled tomatoes sauce in the tin. If your option will be for a fresh homemade tomato sauce, then you should dip tomatoes into boiling water, only for a couple of minutes, after having done a small cut on their surface. This will help to peel tomatoes in an easier way, once they are out of the water. Any way, the tomato sauce you are going to make will be simple, with a very home fresh flavour and it will taste of good. In a sauce pan, let rings of onion and a hint of garlic hiss in extravirgin olive oil. Then, add small pieced peeled tomatoes and cook them slowly. Add little juice from the tomatoes, a sprinkle of pepper and sea salt. The sauce will be good when it will be little reduced.

   As for the parmigiana, make round slices of aubergine. Dip the slices into egg, mixed with a sprinkle of salt, and coat them with breadcrumbs. Fry the slices of aubergines making a golden crisp surface. If you think that frying the aubergines you would have a fat dish, then you can simply grill them in the oven and your parmigiana will turn to be a lighter dish. Start creating layers of your parmigiana in a baking tray, alternating aubergines, with slices of good cheese (in this case, here we have an excellent caciocavallo from Gargano, in the North of Apulia) and a traditional salume (capocollo is a typical pork cold cut produced in the area of Martina Franca, Apulia). Feel free to opt for any cheese and ham you prefer, however. Place the parmigiana in the oven (180°C for few minutes) and leave the cheese to melt. When the parmigiana is ready, add warm tomato sauce, decor and serve the dish with fresh leaves of basil. Enjoy the meal, enjoy the evening.

   Buon Appetito, Guten Appetit, Bon Appétit, Smacklig Måltid!

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