Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge - I is for Italian veal rolls (involtini) with stuffed aubergine: Chef in Venice #11

There's nothing better than getting away from cooking 24/7 and going on holiday..... and cooking! 
Involtini of veal
My excuse is it's more relaxed cooking - and food shops and markets in other countries are always so much more exciting!
We're going back to 2011 now - seems a long time since my last holiday....
Been to Venice a few times - the Biennale keeps dragging me & my friend back - I've been told I'm going next year (yay!).

Cooking for yourselves rather than eating out in Venice (along with a few other canny tips) means you can get by on a shoestring - I'm only a poor chef after all.
I also try out new things. Right then I was trying out roasted whole aubergines. We served them at a few weddings afterwards - a great vegetarian alternative for hog roasts I find.

Roasted aubergine

1. Cut aubergine in half lengthways.
2. Slash the aubergine flesh with a sharp knife in centimetre wide cuts so you almost get down to the skin, but not quite. Then turn it 90 degrees and cut the other way so you end up with diamond shaped cuts.
3. Cut garlic cloves in half and place these in random places in the cut aubergine. Do the same with rosemary and oregano sprigs.
4. Drizzle olive oil over generously, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven @ 180 oC for about 20 mins.
5. Once cooked you can either leave to cool and scoop out the flesh and use for aubergine caviar or you can chop the flesh and mix it with.. say... parmesan, oregano, salami, tomato and cooked onion and place it back in the aubergine shell and re-bake it to let all those flavours melt together. Tasty!
Involtini veal raw with mozzarella, roast peppers & capers
With the involtini of veal you can either roll it in pancetta like I did with this one or secure it with cocktail ticks like the one above. You can be all healthy and bake it in the oven or fry it in butter with lemon juice added in at the end.
A trip the the Veneto hills is definitely recommended! (It really is that blue!)

Random figurine with parasol on the backstret walk early morning. Get to know the back streets & shortcuts - saves fighting your way through the grockles! 
Besides the 2 main exhibition centres of the Biennale (Giardini & Arsenale) other countries have their pavillions scattered in random palazzos, churches and tumble down buildings across the city - and it is these which by far provide the best experience... maybe because you have a break in between finding each one, or that actually finding some of them is a mission in itself!

For the 2011 Anish Kapoor offering you had to travel by vaporetto as Basilica di San Giorgio sits on its own island. Less is more they say. It is a work he has done apparently in other venues, but this was the first time in a sacred place - and the symbolism sure got everyone thinking....



Related posts 

Other Chef in Venice posts

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