Baked Pesto and Parmesan Oysters

Baked Pesto Parmesan Oysters

1. Make the Basil pesto.
2. Preheat the oven (400F/200C).
3. Wash, clean and open the oysters.
4. Place the oysters onto a baking tray. Put 1/2 – 1 tsp. of pesto onto each oyster and gently spread it over, then sprinkle about 1/2-1 tsp. of grated parmesan over each oyster.
5. Put the baking tray in the oven, bake 3-5 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
6. Serve!

Good for brain: The Magnificent Veal feet soup

The first time my mother served this soup; my brother and I were freshly in our teen years. His blue and sparkling eyes looked at me full of disgust, they were saying this is definitely the worst soup in the world. I agreed, slimy, gelatinous texture, strong flavor.

Few minutes later after a short but spicy argument with our mother we were obediently eating f**** soup trying not to think about the new entry on our You must eat that and I do not want to argue Menu. This soup was here to stay.

After a full year of cooking only macrobiotic, low fat, almost no meat, fresh and raw my mother decided that going to extreme is not good for her and that her blood type 0 deserve meat diet. At the time we were visiting and consulting several alternative experts regarding her MS diagnose and one of them convinced her that the veal tendons contain something (I completely forgot what) very good for brain synapse recovery.

25 years later I adore deep, slimy and meaty flavor this soup has. Despite the promise my teenage brain made not to ever eat this soup when I grow up I cook it regularly.
Never say never.
These bones are not easy to find; I have to pre order them from my butcher. Antonio cooks them privately at home and like to eat them but he’s not keeping them in the shop because nobody buys them.

2 veal feet (skinned, no hoof)
2 small onions (halved)
2 clove garlic (crushed)
1 carrot (whole)
few black peppercorns
some parsley
small piece of celery root
8 – 10 cups cold water
The Magnificent Veal feet soup

Combine all ingredients in a large pot; simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours (1 hour in a pressure cooker). Strain the soup. Remove the tendon from the bones and cut in bite size pieces. Cook in some soup pasta, mix in tendon parts and sprinkle with fresh parsley. You can feel how your gray brain cells are growing:-)

veal feet

Grilled T-Bone Steak

Grilled T-Bone Steak

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup  soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 beef t-bone steak (good enough for 2)

In a large container combine all the marinade ingredients, add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at east 24 hours, turning as often as you can. T-Bone steak marinade

After a day, drain and discard marinade.

Grill steaks, over high heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees, medium, 160 degrees, well-done 170 degrees).
Grilled T-Bone Steak

Grilled T-Bone Steak on open fire

Cut the steak in thin strips and generously splash with olive oil.



Bavette with Squid in Tomatoes sauce

Bavette with Squid in Tomatoes sauce

2 cans pelati (400 g)
2 medium onions (julienned)
4 cloves garlic (julienned)
100 g pancetta (sliced finely)
2 bay leafs
pinch of dry oregano
small pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tsp. sugar
250 g squid tentacles and squid cut in small pices.
½ tsp garlic powder
Olive oil
300 g bavette pasta

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, pancetta, fresh and dry garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring every once in a while, until fragrant and golden. If the mixture is too dry, add 2 – 3 tbsp. of water. Add sugar, stir in the pelati and remaining spices and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from fire, mix well with immersion blender, return to the heat and add squid, cook for 10 more minutes (more or less, until the excess liquid evaporates).

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the bavette until almost done, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce.

Cod eggplant red curry

Cod eggplant curry
Thai red curry paste 
500 g fresh cod
1 small eggplant
1 small onion
1 small kohlrabi (or chayote)
1 can coconut milk

Make the curry paste. Slice the eggplant into quarters and sprinkle the salt all over it. Salt will draw out the vegetable’s moisture and bitterness (It’s a process known as “degorging“). Leave it in a colander for a half an hour.

Cut the onion, kohlrabi and cod in bite size pieces.

Heat the small amount of sunflower oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion on it for few minutes, until golden. Add the thai red curry paste and fry the spice mixture for about a minute. Add coconut milk, bring the mixture to boil, add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes, add the cod and cook for 5 minutes more.

Serve on top of basmati rice.


Warning: it’s very addictive! And very easy to make.

homemade limoncello

This Italian lemon liqueur is made from the lemon zest steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup.

For about 1 l (4 cups) of Limoncello you need 8 – 10 organic lemons (depends on the size of the fruit), sugar, water, cloves and some kind of alcohol.

If the lemons are store bought you’ll need to remove the wax from the surface of the fruit.
Fruit producers spray the skin of lemons (oranges, and other citrus fruits also) with a thin layer of wax after the fruit is harvested. This is done to keep the skin of the fruit looking nice and adds a shine. Wax is considered safe for consumption (ha ha ha).
To remove wax drop lemons in boiling water for 15 seconds and scrub them well with a brush or clean kitchen towel under a cold running water.

The lemons we used are from our friends and neighbors trees. In Dalmatia region they are in season form November till February. And every once in a while we receive a few kilos as a gift.

2+½ cups vodka
peel of 8 just-ripe lemons, a little pith on
¾ cup sugar
juice of 3 lemons, strained
3 -4 whole cloves
1/2 cup water

We made few bottles with homemade grappa (lozovaca – wine grappa) the resulting aroma and smell of alcohol was too strong. Vodka is more neutral and gives better, more lemony, easier to drink final result.

Combine vodka and lemon peel, cover and steep 48 hours in a cool, dark place. Strain. Boil sugar, lemon juice and cloves with 1 cup water until syrupy (few minutes). Cool, remove cloves and mix into lemon vodka. Serve chilled.

Remaining lemon juice use for lemonade.