Focaccia Bread With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Made this little discovery, courtesy of Arne prabhu (he had a recipe book lying on his living-room table).

Method

1.  Mix 7g instant yeast with a teaspoon (tsp) of sugar and about half a cup of warm water.  Stand for 10min.

Mix 3 and 1/3 cups flour with 1 tsp salt.  Add water and yeast mix to this and add water as required.  Add 4 tablespoons (tbsp) extra virgin olive oil to mix.  Knead for 10 min.  The dough should be quite pliant and there should be bubbles under the surface.

If the dough is too wet, add flour.  If it is too stiff, add water.

2.  Cover dough with a damp cloth.  Leave dough to rise for 2hrs.

3.  In the meantime, smear oil onto two round baking trays.

4.  Knead risen dough for 3-5 mins.  Drizzle with olive oil or ghee.  Sprinkle with dried herbs and granular salt.  You may also want to add crushed black pepper and hing/asafoetida.  You can also add mozzarella cheeze, thinly sliced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and sliced olives.  It is also nice without ‘toppings’.

5.  Place in oven at 220C or 7 (if using gas).  Bake for 20 mins.

6. Remove from oven.  Garnish with freshly cut basil leaves, if desired.

Breadsticks

Prepare the focaccia dough as above, except that you should add 1 tbsp olive oil as opposed to 4 tbsps.  Add 60g ghee and 3 tbsps finely chopped fresh oregano to the dough.  Leave in a warm place for an hour to rise.

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper.  Roll out the dough on the wax paper to 5mm thick.  Cut into 2cm strips using a fluted pastry wheel.  Space the strips on the baking sheet leaving 3cm between them.  Brush with olive oil.  Allow to rise for 30min.

Preheat oven to 180C.  Bake until crisp and golden brown for 15-20 mins.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tiramisu

This one is courtesy of Bhaktin Tania.

1. Mix small tub of mascarpone cheeze with 200ml whipped cream.

2. Dip “Nuttikrust” biscuits into boiling water (with carob powder).  Remove quickly, because they crumble.

3. Boil cut strawberries in water and 3 tbsps of sugar, until it forms a syrup.

5. Make layers in a glass: (a) Cream mixed mascarpone. (b) Nuttikrust/carob (c) Strawberry syrup (d) caramel (e) Repeat once over (f) Finish with cream sprinkeled with cinnamon and grated carob.

Ravioli (Mother Citrarupini, Italy)

This recipe was taught to me by Mother Citrarupina from Italy.  It is a particular Italian favourite of Radhanath Maharaja, who calls mataji ‘Mother Ravioleshvari.’   Maharaja’s personal cook in India, Radha-Vallabha prabhu, received training from her.

A. The Filling

1.  Boil spinach in hot water, drain and squeeze.  The water should be thoroughly squeezed out of the spinach.   The best way to do this is to boil the spinach in the evening, and drain overnight.  There should be four times 500g spinach.

2.  Chop the drained spinach until it is fine.  Mix 1kg of ricotta cheeze/panir into the spinach in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

3.  Blend 300g parmesan cheeze in a blender.  Set a little aside as a topping for the ravioli.

4.  Mix parmesan.

5.  Add one grated nutmeg, a  little salt and 1/2 tbsp bread crumbs (esp. if the filling is too wet).

B.  The Ravioli

1. Mix 750g durum flour with about 500ml (two cups) water.  Knead for about 8min.  The harder it is, the better.  Should not knead in a rough way.

2.  Don’t add pepper.  Boil for 5 mins.

3.  Serve with Simple Italian Tomato Sauce (see below), olive oil and parmesan cheeze.

Simple Italian Tomato Sauce (Mother Citrarupini)

1. Olive oil and hing/asafoetida

2. Two grated carrots (no celery for ravioli, it goes better with pasta)

3. Add water.

4. Add tomato sauce/passatta

5. Add basil and a little sugar.

6. Cook until thick

Another nice sauce is ‘Butter and Sage Sauce’ – another recommendation of Mother Citrarupini.


Offer to pictures of Srila Prabhupada and Pancha Tattva.

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