Limoncello

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Limoncello is a strong, Italian liqueur made from the zest of sfusato lemons. This spirit is mostly associated with the southern part of the gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coast where the sfusato lemon is a common crop. Limoncello can be either clear or opaque.

I recently went on a short break to the town of Sorrento which sits high on the cliffs on the southern coast of the bay of Naples, Italy. This wonderful little town has a lot to offer the tourist looking for a chill out. Including this place.

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This great little shop sells Limoncello everything. Even limoncello soap, apparently. Inside this alladin’s cave of yellow with its vast array of all kinds of shapes and sizes of bottles, boxes of sweets the staff eagerly ply visitors with small samples.

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It is one of those places where one really has to buy something. Why? Because I can think of no where outside of this part of the world like it. So I did.

Having bought my bottle I then, as is my habit, retired to a street side bar/café for a beer to ponder my new purchase and announce my latest adventure on Facebook.

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Cue my good friend and culinary genius Chef Instructor Terri Dien.

Mike: “Hey Terri, look what I just bought. This stuff is quite potent! I think this stuff has potential for dilution in soda water or tonic water”.

Terri: “Lovely, Mike! Yes, drink it straight and you might not be able to stand up straight… but added to soda is a great way to enjoy it….. over a scoop of ice cream or sorbet…. Yum. I also add some to buttercream when I’m making special occasion cakes ”.

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Terri: “Limoncello (from Italy) is available here (California) in most stores… we can also make it, too! Paul and I made a batch years ago that’s still in our freezer. But I’m sure it tastes even better where you’re sitting!”

Mike: “Can I quote you in a blog post?”

Terri: “Of course!”

http://www.chefterridien.com/

Mozzarella and Tomato Toasties

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I’ve been indulging in one of my favourite stress busters. Playing in the kitchen. I’m not going to tell you what it is I’ve been playing with because that could, potentially, spoil a future blog. Although, I suspect, you could give it a good guess……

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I just happen to have some left over tomato sauce and some Mozzarella cheese. The sauce is made from a reduction of roughly 50/50 fresh (just off the vine) and tinned tomatoes well reduced. No onion, no garlic, just tomato and nothing else. It is this sauce base that really makes this very modest little toastie so brilliantly and wonderfully fantastic that I just had to tell you about it.

Spread the sauce over slices of bread. Dot with mozzarella and add a little ripped up basil (By the time I got around to making images I ran out of basil and used parsley, but you get the idea).

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Add another slice on top and toast any way you like. I imagine this would be just as good as an open sandwich too. Serve with a simple green salad.

I love cooks treats don’t you?