Paan & Pane

Indian chewing"Paan" in Mumbai oposite Bademiya

pizza"Pane" from my wood-fired oven

Coffee and biscotti

While in Italy I used to have my breakfast in the mornings at the little bar nearby. Sometimes with colleagues that had already woken up, often alone. Starting with a cappuccino and a pastry, often filled with nice thick cream.When I am in France, Portugal, or Spain, same ritual. But nowhere like in that small bar in Florence. After three mornings in a row you get recognized, after a week you do not even have to order anymore. Rituals!


After that first cappuccino always one or two quick espresso, some days in the same bar, some days on my way down to the town. Although at home I try to keep rituals like that, coffee never tastes like that quick, money on the counter, adding sugar, drink, and wave espresso in whatever Mediterranean bar.

But me and obsession for good coffee? The ones that follow me on twitter know that if there is a good infographics on coffee I will tweet. And yes, my windowsill is full with different caffettiere. And calling me before my first coffee?


In the chapter on coffee, in the Australian book I referred to in my earlier post, is a great recipe on biscotti. Due to the liquor not really suitable for the morning coffee, but so delicious! And last Sunday I was in the mood for cookie baking, but the greengrocer was closed. So today I went to get some wonderful citrus fruits to make my grated zest. Since there were no organic oranges, and I prefer unsprayed fruit for the zest, I used mandarins.

A second adaptation I made to the published recipe is that I use less sugar, I stick to 400 gram, instead of the mentioned 600 grams caster sugar. The dough always comes out very sticky, but after refrigerating for a while you can make nice logs. Watch out that the logs rise when in the oven, keep some space between the logs. Also experiment some with the baking time, I prefer some thicker slices, like in cantucini, but they take some longer to harden. But do not get them too hard.

I started this blog with the morning coffee ritual. Tonight, after dinner it will be espresso with biscotti. Unless I will find the cookie jar empty…

Melts on your tongue

Saturday morning when making the shopping list for the weekend my daughter said she wanted to eat that dish that melted on your tongue. Since I have two dishes that could really measure up to that description I decided to make both for dinner tonight. The combination is excellent, and my daughter is right: It melts on your tongue.

Fried potato, peppers and eggplant

The first dish, “fried potato, peppers and eggplant”, comes from a wonderful cookbook that was published after a successful Australian series. Almost two years ago SBS broad-casted the Italian Food Safari. A wonderful series about the food traditions of Italian emigrants in Australia who have kept their traditions and food for over a generation. The accompanying website has all the episodes and recipes. But I also ordered the book, a true must on your bookshelves I believe!

Steak slice with lemon and thyme

The second dish comes from another must have book. “Steak slice with lemon and thyme” comes from Nigella Express. The book has recipes that are simpler, and do not need as much time as many other recipes. Nevertheless they are not less delicious. Also here there is a fantastic website that has many of the recipes. The good thing about this website is the “switch to imperial” button that makes it possible to easily switch between measurement systems. Although… a recent and beautiful infographics from Shannon Lattin is a perfect help for doing all sorts of conversions!

So I went out to the local butcher and greengrocer. Some great Corno di Torro, another vegetable that has some beef in its name: a coeur de boeuf or cuor di bue. And a delicious Sicilian eggplant. He also had some new harvest lemon from the Amalfi coast. Only the ingredients alone…


When it comes to the planning in the kitchen, the both dishes fit well together too. Cutting the vegetables and while the potatoes are baking the meat can be prepared, plus of course the dressing the meat should marinate in afterwards. A thing that I added to Nigellas’ recipe is that I heat the oven on low temperature. While marinating the meat I keep it in the oven to keep it on temperature.

Fried potato peppers and eggplant

At the last moment you add the garlic and make it fry in the pan briefly before removing it. A variety on using garlic oil. Then the tomatoes and the basil leaves. Prepare the plates, and yes, my daughter was right: it melts on your tongue…

on the plate

The photographs are made while cooking with the camera of my phone, apologies for the quality.