Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gin-ger Tonic

Fill a baloon glass with crushed ice, pour 1/3 gin, 2/3 tonic water, add 1 tbs of finely grated fresh ginger root and 10 rosemary leaves finely cut.

Stirr well, add 2 staws, enjoy...

Gin suggestion: Tanqueray 10

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fiorentina - T-bone steak

Here below is how I prepare my favourite cut of meat Fiorentina, T-bone.

The breed of the bovine for a steak to be called Fiorentina is Chianina, beef grown in Valdichiana.
Beef are big size animals used both for work both for meat. Nowadays mainly for meat. The coat after one year of age is white, cream.

T-bone has in it two sides divided by the bone the strip loin and the tenderloin.
Portehouse is nothing but a T-bone with a bigger tenderloin (fillet).

This cut contains the two most serious part of the beef, that is why it is so expensive.

T-bone usually are also thick cuts to be shared with more than one person.

The Fiorentina I cooked is a Porterhouse 7cm or 2,7 inches thick and weighted 1,3 kg or 2,8 pounds.

In the picture above you can see the thickness of the cut and its size. The photo is taken from the strip loin side. Below is the meat upside down with the extra fat removed I have left only the first membrane attached to the meat wich actually seals all the juices inside.That membrane is very gummy and removing it might result in damaging the cut.

I have covered the Fiorentina with Tuscan extra virgin olive oil (of course) and sprinkled on each side black pepper, cooking sea salt, dried garlic and onions  flakes. Massage gently the meat.

 As you can see the fillet is so tender that you can see the fiber spreading just touching it.

Above is a fillet detail so juicy and tender that can be cut by using a fork.

Put the meat over high heat (if you pass you hand over the grill and can't leave it on the same spot for more than 2 seconds, you know it is high heat) and cook 5-7 minutes per side (turning the meat upside down) than turn the meat 90° and cook again 5-7 minutes per side.

 End its cooking on the bone for about 3 minutes just the time to heat well the thickest part.

Cooking time really depends on the thikness of the meat and how you like it done.

Fiorentina has to be raw inside so if you follow my suggestion you won't be disappointed.

The texture of the meat after the 90° flip.

Here above the doneness of the meat a very crusty outside perfectly grilled and the juicy raw inside.

To slice the meat set it vertically and start from the top next to the bone all way down, turn the kife orizontally untill the meat is totally removed. Repeat the process also for the other side.

Once the meat is removed from the bone, slice it against the grain of meat.

The meat is so tender you will enjoy 1 cm or 0,4 inch thick slices.


Above the plate composition: fillet on the left, strip loin on the right and to exalt the red-pinkness of the meat inside some pickled zucchini.

A close up of the fillet fiber.

How do you like T-bone steaks cooked ??

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midwestern BBQ Sauce


1 white onion
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot add the onions, finely chopped, and cook untill softened.

Add the other ingredients: ketchup, vinegar, sugar, water, salt and cayenne pepper. Stirr all the ingredients well and bring to boil. Cover the pan an cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for other 5 minutes untill thickened.

Midwestern BBQ Sauce is great on ribs, brisket and poultry, it has a great hot and sweet touch that enrich your BBQ and grilled food.
Brush the meat just a couple of minutes before removing from the fire.
As it contains sugar a longer time will blackened the sauce and your meat will be ruined by the burned taste.

The Midwestern BBQ Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Try it also with fries and potatoes in general.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Black Pepper Grilled Beef Fillet with Balsamic Onions Chutney

Ingerdients per person:

1 beef fillet 2,3 inches or 6 centimeters thick
1 red onion
1 orange zest
1/16 cup or 1,5 centiliters of Modena balsamic vinegar
1/16 cup or 12,5 grams of brown sugat
3 table spoon of olive oil
black pepper and salt


Rub the fillet with black peper and salt it.

Cut the onion in half and slice thinly each part .
In a medium sauté pan add the olive oil and heat untill very hot.
Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes, add 1/2 cup of water and let it slowly evaporate, this way the onions will become very tender. Once the water has evaporate, add the Modena balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar. Cook for an additional minute, remove from the heat and set aside.

On the grill over high heat set the fillet. Cook between 5 and 7 minutes  per side for rare up to 10 per side for medium. Check the doneness of the meat by pressing on it.

Let the fillet rest for a couple of minutes.

Serve the fillet with the balsamic caramelized onions and a grated orange zest on the side.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010


A strong, heavy flavour commonly used for beef, lamb, game and any other flavoured meats. It is very good for grilling as it burns at high temperatures, not as much for smoking for same reason.
It' s smoke tends to a bitter flavour so do not exceed using it during whole cooking time or you will cancel the meat taste.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spicy Fillet

Here is my Saturday night spicy smoked beef fillet. Below I'll report some tips on the preparation process.


the meat

1 inch thick beef fillet per person (0,77 pound)

the rub

3/4 cup of paprika
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup chile powder
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. cayenne (if you want it really hot)

The fuel
beech brace
2 cups mesquite chips

take out the refrigerator the meat 1 hour before cooking it.
Brush the meat allover with mustard, gently spread on it the rub. Use your fingertips to assure the rub on the meat on each side.

Set the brace in 2 piles, 1 high temperature and one low.
on the low side place the mesquite chips(previously soaked) in the smoking box.

A fillet is a small piece of meat so in order to keep it juicy and tender you want to grill it for a minute over high brace on each side. Move it to the low fire area, close the cover of the pit and let it slowly cook for 5 minutes per side. At this time you want to be sure the flavouring mesquite chips you have added are smoking well, you only have few time to give your meat the desired flavour.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mixed Salad

green saland, gerkins, red onion, bread crumbs, black olives, fennel, carrots, haricots, Emmenthal cheese.

Tuscany extra virgin olive oil, Modena balsamic vinegar, salt.

Oriental surprise

Risotto alla Milanese