Recently we ate in Cristina’s Italian Restuarant in Main Street, Gorey (053-9480808) for a special occasion. Cristina’s is new blood in an old venue and works well. Ivan, the chef, comes from Naples and brings passion into cooking. So although they do offer chips with everything (you have to survive!), they are not compulsory and for anyone who wants real Italian cooking in North Wexford, this is a must.
The cold meats and cheese platter
I’d like to share our starters with you. We had, very simply, bruschette with a cheese and cold meats platter. The cheese and cold meats were well presented and offered a wide selection. The bruschette were simple – as they should be. Lightly toasted thick cut white bread topped with extra virgin olive oil, fresh chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt and oregano. The proof that food doesn’t necessarily need hours of cooking to be a taste sensation.
And what to drink with this? Our choice was a Trebbiano D’Abbruzzo by Pietrantonj. This decisive, full bodied and lively white wine is well priced for today’s difficult times. Of course, for those who still want to splash out, Jarno Trulli (the formula one driver) also produces a couple of very good Trebbianos in his vineyards – Podere Castorani.
Well done Cristina’s. We’ll definitely be back.
Mulled wine and mince pies go hand in hand at christmas time!! I suggest a nice deep Montepulciano di Abruzzo by Pietrantonj. This wine has a lot of depth and goes nicely with all of the spices. I prefer good mince pies from a bakery rather then the supermarket, as I often find the mince pies in the supermarket very artificial and rich. Naturally the mince pies MUST be served with freshly whipped cream!!
Here is a lovely recipe for Mulled wine!!
• 2 clementines
• peel of 1 lemon
• peel of 1 lime
• 250g caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 fresh bay leaves
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
• 2 star anise
• 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
Method: Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol. When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.
Merry Christmas from all of us at A Taste of Italy
“A Taste of Italy”