Tuscan cookery event Index

Tuscany Cookery Event

On Monday 18th June 2012, we hosted our first ever food blogger event at the Open Kitchen in Hoxton. Acclaimed chef Anna Bini taught the food bloggers how to prepare the traditional Tuscan dish courgette flan with chicken liver pate which they then tried themselves with spectacular results!

A huge thank you to all of the bloggers who attended and tried their hand at Tuscan cookery. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

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The chef: Signora Anna Bini

Signora Anna Bini is an acclaimed Italian chef and restaurateur. From her youth days in the family business on the Tuscan coast, she has been honing her skills in the best of Tuscan cuisine for over sixty years.

Today she manages three restaurants in Paris with the help of two of her sons and delights professionals and amateurs alike with her first-class cooking classes in two countries. Read more...

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The recipe: Courgette flan with chicken liver pate (serves 6 people)

If you want to re-create the dish at home, here’s the recipe:

Dish with a twist:

We love this dish, but Tuscan recipes are always changed as they pass from person to person. So we asked those who came on the night, what they would add to the dish before passing it on. If you make this at home, we’d love to try what you have added, email us at comments@tuscanynow.com

For the flan

• 8 courgettes with their flower • 300g béchamel sauce • 50g unsalted butter • 50g grated parmesan cheese • 2 eggs • Nutmeg • Breadcrumbs • 2 spoons olive oil • 2 cloves garlic • 1 bunch of fresh parsley or mint • 1 stock cube.

Wash the courgettes and dice them, cut the pistils off the flowers and shred them into small pieces. In a pan put ½ glass of water, the butter, stock cube, diced courgettes and flowers, garlic and shredded parsley/mint. Cover the pan and cook on a high flame for 5 minutes. Take the lid off and keep stirring so that the liquid evaporates. Once the courgettes are cooked, chop the mixture finely and mix with the béchamel, add a pinch of nutmeg, 2 eggs and mix carefully. Add the grated parmesan at the end. Grease an oven mould (preferably use one with a hole in the middle) and dust with breadcrumbs, pour the courgette mix in and bake in the oven at 220°C for approximately 30 minutes until it is golden.

For the pate

• 500g chicken livers • 20g unsalted butter • 2 spoons olive oil • 1 beef stock cube • 1 finely chopped onion • ½ glass white wine • 2 anchovy fillets • Juice of ½ squeezed lemon.

Wash the chicken livers thoroughly and cut them into small pieces. Put them in a pan with the butter, olive oil, stock cube and onion. Sautee on medium flame for approximately 15 minutes with the lid on. Take off the lid and turn the gas to maximum and keep turning and sautéing them. When they are nicely done add a tiny amount of wine and keep turning them; add more wine this way 2 or 3 times until it is finished. Add the anchovies, stir well, add the lemon juice and keep on the gas for a further 10 minutes, stirring often.

When the flan is ready and has cooled down a little, serve it with the pate in the centre.

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Photo Gallery: The Competition

Here is a selection of images showing all of the action from the kitchen as the food bloggers cook Anna Bini’s dish.

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Video: The event

Watch all the highlights from the kitchen as the food bloggers recreate the dish.

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The Prize: A week in Colli Fiorentini

Colli Fiorentini is a very pretty stone farmhouse with sweeping views of hills blanketed with vineyards and olive groves. With walls dating back to the 17th century, the house's interiors have been thoroughly modernised in a style that blends traditional elements with modern preferences for space and light.

The furnishings and fittings follow the same theme, combining comfort and convenience with a sprinkling of antiques. A well-kept garden with lawns leads down to a swimming pool and hot tub set on a terracotta terrace facing the sunset over the Chianti hills.

Al fresco meals can be served under the large loggia positioned for the best view, where a built-in barbeque/wood oven lends itself to traditional Tuscan fare. The villa is ideally located for walking and mountain biking, within a short distance of the small village of San Vincenzo a Torri and easy reach of Florence.

Information about Florence

Florence can really only be explored on foot: the historic centre is a compact maze of one-way... Read more

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