Italian Cooking: Fish Fingers and Sweet Potato Oven-Fries

Ingredients
4 sweet potatoes 700 g
2 egg whites
1 tsp salt, for the potatoes 4 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
parchment paper, for the sheet
4 tilapia fillets, or turbot, cut into 4 x 8 cm pieces 700 g
1/3 cup mayonnaise 85 mL
1/2 cup bread crumbs 65 g
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 g
1 tsp dried oregano 1 g
1 pinch salt, for the fish [optional] 0.1 g
vegetable oil spray
125 mL Tartare Sauce 1/2 cup

Method
Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F. Line with parchment paper a large baking sheet and an ovenproof dish. Start baking the potatoes. Prepare the fish during the first 15 min of potato baking. Bake the fish with the potatoes during the last 15 min of potato baking.

Oven «fried» potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F. Line with parchment paper a large baking sheet and an ovenproof dish. Prepare the potatoes first and start cooking them. Prepare the fish while the potatoes are baking, then bake the fish with the potatoes during the last 15 min.

2. Peel the potatoes, then cut them into 1×8 cm pieces. It is important to cut them into pieces of similar size so that they will all cook evenly and be done at the same time.

3. In a deep dish, whisk the egg white with the oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the potato pieces and coat them well with the egg white mixture. Transfer them to the baking sheet. Don’t crowd the potatoes on the sheet or they will steam and not turn golden-brown.

4. Bake on the bottom oven rack 15 min, then turn the potatoes and bake an additional 15 min.

Oven «fried» fish

5. Cut the fish into 4×8 cm pieces.

6. Prepare 2 shallow dishes: put the mayonnaise in one dish, then combine the bread crumbs, Cayenne pepper, oregano, and salt to taste in the other dish. Spread each fish piece with the mayonnaise, then coat it with the bread crumbs mixture. Turn the fish to coat all sides.

7. Put the fish pieces on the prepared ovenproof dish and spray them evenly with a vegetable oil spray. Bake the fish for 15 min on the top oven rack.

8. Take the fish and potatoes out of the oven. Serve with the tartar sauce on the side.

If you wish to know more on Italian cooking or you’s like to take a few lessons to learn and improve your cooking skills with a professional chef, then take a look to our Italian cooking courses!

Italian Cooking: Colomba – Easter Dove Cake

The Easter Dove (in italian la Colomba di Pasqua) is a cake from Italy and traditionally served at Easter. Here’s the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb all-purpose flour
5 oz butter
4 ½ oz sugar
1 ¾ oz fresh yeast
3 eggs
5 oz mixed candied fruit
almonds, sweet to taste
coarse sugar to taste
⅛ oz salt

PREPARATION:
Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and slowly work in half of the flour; allow the dough to rise in a warm place in a floured bowl.

When the dough has doubled in size, place it in a larger bowl and add the remaining flour, beaten eggs, melted butter, sugar and salt.

Work the dough gently until it stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rise for another hour.

Sprinkle flour on the raisins and the candied peel then shake excess flour away in a sieve.

Add the raisins and candied peel to the dough, place in a dove-shaped mould and decorate with almonds, baste with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Cook in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes.

If you want to learn this and many other recipes of our cuisine, remember that the Galilei Institute offers Italian cooking courses in Florence, all year round!!

What to taste in Tuscany

The origins of Tuscan food are rather rustic, as we can see from its basic ingredients: bread, even stale bread, spelt, legumes and vegetables.

Some typical appetizers are crostini (toasted bread) topped by spreads like cream of chicken liver and spleen, panzanella, and salame, including finocchiona, a fennel-flavored salame.

The typical first course is soup, like the famous ribollita or bean soup, spelt soup, pici (a type of spaghetti from the area of Siena), or pappardelle with hare.

A famous fish dish is cacciucco soup, followed by mullets and the stockfish stew of Livorno.

Among meat dishes, the bistecca fiorentina (grilled T-bone steak) is the most popular; guinea-fowl meat, pork and game are quite common as well.

The typical desserts are castagnaccio (chestnut cake), buccellato (anise cake) and cantucci.
Wine production here is excellent for both variety and quality: Tuscany produces the finest wines in Italy, from Chianti to Vino Nobile Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and many more. Vin Santo, a sweet and liqueur-like wine, is paired with cantucci (almond cookies, or what Americans refer to as biscotti).

source: italia.it

If you wish to know more on Italian cooking or you’s like to take a few lessons to learn and improve your cooking skills with a professional chef, then take a look to our Italian cooking courses!