Posts Tagged ‘Villa Antinori’

In What Way Do You Find This Night Different?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The leader of our Passover Seder posed this traditional question to the Chosen Family and Friends present. The Wise Son quickly responded with a non-traditional answer: Matzo! The same could be said for the first Italian Seder at ChezHelvetica, “From San Francisco to Siena”. Drawing from archives of classic Italian Passover recipes, together with suggestions from Chef Claudio, the menu came to life. Our first course featured Laura Chenel chèvre spiked with minced garlic and parsley and wrapped in Breseola with Mission figs. A tantalizing Matzo Ball Soup made with matzo meal and ground chicken followed along with Italian Charoset bursting with fragrant spices, orange, almonds and luscious dried fruits. We reclined, thanks to Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio, Pio Cesare Barolo and Villa Antinori Toscana wines. Ah, the main course — Spigola Arrosta, Red Snapper (delivered to Antonelli’s Market that morning) accented with rosemary and anchovies then slow roasted on a grill, Porcini Matzo Polenta enhanced with basil and oven roasted artichoke hearts with garlic. For dessert, beautiful sweet strawberries from a roadside stand in Rio Vista and French Vanilla yogurt from Trader Joe’s with incredible Ricciarelli di Siena, almond and meringue cookies dusted with confectioners’ sugar. An almost biblical journey to freedom and epicurean delight!

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Potato Gnocchi

Monday, September 20th, 2010

With molti thanks to the International Kitchen of Chef Claudio in Tuscany, ChezHelvetica proudly presents handmade Gnocchi di Potato. Memories of the exquisite Italian landscape, beautifully dressed people and wonderful cooking lessons fueled the creation of this dinner. After consulting the conversion guide for metric weights and measures, the appropriate amount of mashed yukon gold potatoes, flour, salt and egg yolks were rolled into a rope and then cut into small pieces. The gnocchi are boiled until they float to the top of the pot which seems to happen almost instantaneously.  Heirloom tomatoes (pureed with an immersion blender) basil and salt, sauteed in garlic infused extra virgin oil, created tonight’s delicious sauce. A porcelain dish from Sienna cradled the pit-filled olives – the best tasting according to Chef Claudio. Wine from Villa Antinori, Ciao Bella gelato with Nutella from my hotel in Florence completed this happy occasion!

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