Week 79. San Marino. Piadina w/ Prosciutto & Mortadella

San Marino

So, there was a man who wrote a blog. He didn’t know why a blog was called a blog, but enjoyed cooking and thought it would improve him if he wrote about what he cooked. When he started to write his blog, he was enthralled by the world of writing. When he read his words back he thought about other people reading them in their houses – people he didn’t know. He thought of them telling their friends about his cooking blog and these people telling their friends. He secretly thought about what would happen when he got the phone call. The phone call asking him to leave his day job and to sit in a converted shed at the bottom of his garden and write a cooking book. The shed wasn’t in the garden he had now – it was in his future house. The house would be bought from the huge advance he got from the book.  He imagined the book would do very well, so he thought about how television would come for him. He would cook at a table facing the camera and people would love his style. He would become more famous and more book deals would come. He would move from blogging in a flat to owning a mansion. Why shouldn’t it happen. It could. All he had to do was write well, frequently and make the food interesting.

It didn’t happen though.

After a few weeks he found that when it came to write a blog post he was often quite tired. When he was tired he couldn’t think of much to say. Then he had children. Not one, but two. Then he moved house and job. Then the children grew up a bit and time got used up a little bit more. With children he became more tired and couldn’t think of anything to say at all. Then he left his job to set up to work for himself…

To do the cooking book? To run a deli?

No. To run a Senior Financial Recruitment Business.

Of course, that person is me. Life took over and priorities changed. Now I’m concerned with the bringing up of my children above anything else. I would still love to write a cookery book – although I’m a lot more realistic about the quality of my writing now. It might have to be a cooking book for children!

I love to cook and I will finish this blog. I get asked all the time

“are you still doing your blog Joe?”

The people who usually ask me don’t read it anyway, and just see the updates come through on Facebook or Twitter. The answer is always the same now

“Yes, and I will finish it, but I am not sure how long it will take. It could take many, many years”.

I’ve averaging one post every 4 weeks now. There are 110 countries to go. 440 weeks is getting on for 10 years! We will see.

The food this week made a perfect lunch.

My knowledge of San Marino, before doing my research was limited to knowing they are the whipping boys of European Football. A tiny country/ micro-state, entirely surrounded by Italy, The entire population is 30,000. When England play San Marino at football, the score is usually about 7-0. If there are 30,000 people total and footballers are men in their 20s (usually), lets assume that the proportion of the population at that age is 5% of the population – the pool of men they can pick their team from is 1500. That means that in San Marino, one in 136 men in their 20s would be in the national team. In England our population is approx 56,000,000 – our pool is therefore 2.8 million. As a man in your 20s in the UK, there is only a 1 in 254,000 chance you are in the team……..and we only win 7-0?!

A Piadina is a bread which is somewhere between a pitta and a flat bread. It’s delicious. I bought the lovely meats and cheeses from our local Italian deli. The dough took about 10 mins to make, 30 mins to settle in the fridge and the cooking was about 5 mins…so in under an hour (of which the actual prep time was only 15 mins) you have a pretty special sandwich. The left over dough I used for a pizza base.

I will make the Piadina again. It’s so easy to do and would be great for hummus, falafal, spicy chicken – anything sandwich or kebab-like. The filling was great – although, as always, I would have liked a little chilli in there.

Use this as the recipe for the Piadina. I slightly amended the filling. My filling was Ricotta Cheese (spread across the inside of the bread), Mozzarella, Mortadella, Prosciutto and then a handful of Rocket which I had drizzled with lemon juice.



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