Two years ago I participated in a competition for the use of chestnut flour. After I made “Chestnut Gnocchi with Autumn Sauce” I had advanced the flour and thought I’d use it to create this dish. It is very fast and tasty. This dish is suitable for this season. It can also be used for Christmas lunch in case you want to do something original but fast.
In the gray November days it is easy to get melancholy. The color orange can help us get into a good mood. This recipe, which can be a main dish, is rich in beta-carotene and uses an Asian spice, turmeric, which is very good for your health and mood.
Guinea fowl seem to originate from ancient Numidia (now Algeria). They were probably called “Pharaoh”, faraone in Italian, because they were an animal that was very popular with the Egyptian kings who lived close to the border of Algeria. In fact, guinea fowl are a very regal poultry with their plumage (gray small dots, the variety known to me) and for the elegant way they walk.
For several years I have a planted of wild apples in my yard and during the winter I often use them to decorate the table. When I saw that the magazine “La Cucina Italiana” had organized a contest where beer is a key element of the preparation I decided to combine these apples with pork and beer. I used Hawaiian red salt that enhances the flavor of the herbs that wrap around the meat. The result was very tasty. This recipe can be inserted into the Christmas menu.
Saturday morning we harvested the Merlot grapes from our small vineyard. The harvest has always been a fascinating event, especially for those who do not normally work in the country, so it becomes an opportunity for an extended family and gathering of a few friends. This year Rachel, an American friend of Colleen, was with us. She photographed all the different stages from the harvesting to the crushing. Since the harvesters were numerous, I dedicated myself to preparing lunch. The preparation required various trips from the kitchen, one for the gathering of grapes, herbs, peppers in the garden and another to set the table under the arches of our porch. Between one trip and another I saw various delightful scenes, silly games that were created between my son and his cousins, as playful as they were when they were children, and chatter between Rachel and and my American daughter-in-law while they gathered the grapes, happy to finally have a long conversation in English.
The recipe requires a very expensive cut of meat. However a special occasion can help you create an elegant dish in little time. Cut 4 medallions at the thinnest part of the fillet (filet mignon) around two fingers high. This way you have steaks no more than 150 grams each. To provide nice colors on the plate, I made carrots and peas along with the filets. The carrots are boiled and sauteed in a little butter. The peas cooked with onion and olive oil.
Of course, the dish can be accompanied by any side dish of your liking: buttered potatoes, green beans, spinach or other greens will do just fine. It’s important, however, that you do not serve the fillet minion alone because it would make the dish a bit sad and you would not appreciate the goodness of the meat.
Some years ago I was looking for a new way to prepare turkey. I explored many recipes and I finally found one that convinced me. In the original recipe, the turkey roll is baked in two stages. The first stage includes a turkey roll that is browned and pulled off the stove half cooked, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven. This method is very dramatic because with the scraps of pastry you can make nice decorations to apply to the roll. Over time, I decided on an easier formula without the puff pastry.