a selection of Squisito Italian bread rolls
a few peeled cloves of garlic
homemade basil pesto
homemade chicken liver pate
150g Squisito 'nduja
Slice rolls into 10mm slices and toast in medium oven 200ºC for 5 minutes, turn and then bake for a few more minutes checking all the time. Rub each slice with the peeled garlic. When you are ready to serve top with the chicken liver pate, basil pesto and 'nduja
to make pesto
3-4 handfuls fresh basil (at least 100g)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon Squisito Trapani sea salt
100g pine nuts
100g freshly grated Squisito Grana Padano (preferably ours from Mantova)
or 50g Parmesan Reggiano & 50g freshly grated Squisito Pecorino Romano (scale down the salt if using Pecorino Romano and adjust to your taste)
300g fruity extra virgin olive oil, Calabrian or Ligurian if at all possible
Pesto really tastes best when it's made in a pestle and mortar. However I use a natty Bamix electric hand blender if I'm in a hurry. There is a knack to using a pestle and it does take a bit more elbow grease but the result is worth the effort. 'Pesto' means to crush or pound in Italian btw.
Note: you can make all kinds of pesto from watercress to nettle!
To make chicken liver paté
450g Fosse Meadows chicken livers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 anchovy filets (or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon capers, minced
4-6 sage leaves
2/3 cups dry white wine like Vermentino or Vernaccia di San Gimignano
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano DOP
Trim any sinews from the livers and dry well with paper towels.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautee the shallots, garlic, anchovy, capers and sage until shallots are lightly browned, 6 minutes or so.
Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook over high heat until browned, then add half of the white wine (1/3 cup) and keep stirring with a wooden spoon, breaking up the livers as they start to cook through. When the wine is absorbed, add the second 1/3 cup and repeat the process.
Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Process until quite smooth, then add lemon zest and cheese and process again. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature to spread on grilled country style bread like our pane patate or pane Toscano.
Native to Calabria nduja (pronounced nnn-doo-jah) is a hot and spicy spreadable sausage halfway between a fresh sausage and salami which has been heavily smoked. Consider it as a hot and meaty Calabrian version of Bovril which can be used with seafood, poultry and vegetables. Even a little bit can be kept in olive oil and used to spice up everything from spaghetti with clams to chicken cacciatore. Nduja is often cooked with spaghetti and will ignite your mouth and set your tastebuds tingling. Just come and see us at Farmers Market for some or come and learn to make 'nduja with Alex
200g blanched almonds
2 tsps Alex’s 'Hot Rub'
a few pinches of Squisito smoked sea salt
good olive oil
Heat oven to 200ºC. Mix 1 tsp, 2 tsps Alex's Hot Rub and 1 tsp Squisito Smoked Trapani Sea Salt with the nuts and stir well. Place on baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Shake from time to time taking care not to burn. Allow to cool and store in airtight jar.
If you want our good Grana Padano from Latteria Mantova which has 101 uses,
Alex's Hot Rub or Nduja just click on www.squisito-deli.co.uk and go to our shop or call me
on 07824 314 235
Available for collection at Jewellery Quarter Christmas Market 4-9pm this Thursday,
Kings Norton Christmas Market 5-9pm Thursday 20th, Moseley Farmers Market 9-2pm on Saturday 22nd December or Mac Arts Centre Food Market 10-4pm on Sunday 23rd December or home delivery anytime.