A: Huevos Rancheros, Faux Pho & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Q:  What are three things I made last week?

Ciao Readers!  After my unsuccessful attempts to do something productive, I thought I’d get back to something I know – cooking!   While we have been enjoying all of the wonderful Italian food here, I like the challenge of trying to “recreate” familiar dishes.  So, I set about making huevos rancheros, pho and chocolate chip cookies (not all in one day mind you).

In all fairness, I cheated a bit on the huevos rancheros (pictured in first row) as the New Mexican-made tortillas and green chile sauce arrived in a care package from my folks (thanks!).   The cheddar cheese came from Pegna, and of course potatoes and eggs are no problem.  They were missing the taste of freshly roasted green chiles (as opposed to jarred sauce), but they were pretty darn close!

I also made what I am calling “faux pho” – real pho being our favorite Vietnamese dish we would get back at May Cafe in Albuquerque.  I actually managed to create this dish (rows 2 into 3) entirely from ingredients sourced here (or grown on our roof terrace).  I got the pho paste and noodles (though I picked the wrong kind and these absorbed ALL the soup liquid) at Vivi Market, the small hot chili (was like a cross between a serrano and a jalapeno) and the Sriracha sauce from the lady at Sant’ Ambrogio market, and (surprisingly enough) accidentally came across the bean sprouts at Conad.  It definitely didn’t taste like the “real” thing, but was spicy and yummy nonetheless.

The most spot-on thing I made was chocolate chip cookies (balance of row 3, duh!).  Again, I cheated a bit with chips sent from home, though I have since seen a variety in the stores here.  The rest of the baking ingredients were sourced from various places (and I apologize for the atrocious photo on the vanilla extract, but this is THE only vanilla extract I could find and it took some hunting).  I wasn’t sure what kind of flour to buy and I had to play with ratios (and use walnuts as there are no pecans here, which I usually use), but they came out PERFECT.  They were yummy and delicious and warm and crispy but gooey and all the things chocolate chip cookies should be.  I was so proud I wanted to share, so Steve brought some downstairs to the guy who owns the Rosticceria (he’s always so nice and rounds down, so I wanted to say “thanks”).  When I passed by the next day he went on and on about how delicious they were; I asked him if he had ever had them or knew what they were and he hadn’t/didn’t.  Interesting to think that a regular ol’ chocolate chip cookie can be an exotic treat!

Next time we talk food….seafood and gelato in Bologna, then an Italian meal in at our neighborhood Osteria Cocotrippone (complete with photos)…  Bon Appetit!

Leave a comment


  1. Ako

     /  October 29, 2012

    Everything looks delicious, but then again I adore your cooking! Can’t wait for next year! Love & miss you!

  2. THat’s funny because I had the same experience with chocolate chip cookies here in Paris! Making them was actually easy because i used a recipe by David Lebovitz, who lives in Paris. Even better than chocolate chips are just chopped up chocolate bars, which (at least in France) are almost always better chocolate than that in chocolate chips! Anyway, I delivered cookies to some of my French neighbors and they were crazy for them!

    • Yeah, someone here suggested chopping up chocolate, but I was still in my trying-to-replicate-home-food phase (which I got over after writing the “Culture Shock” post. Nice to know even cultured Parisians appreciate a good ol’ fashioned chocolate chip cookie! We were hoping to hit Paris for the holidays, but the Italian bureaucracy is taking it’s time with my documents, so will likely be there in February – can’t wait – love it!

  3. Firenze Mom

     /  November 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network Expat Group and commented:
    Look she cooked Mexican, Vietnamese, and American foods all here in Firenze.

  4. Firenze Mom

     /  November 6, 2012

    Isn’t it great that we can make our favorite dishes from home here as well. I just wanted to point out a Substitutes in Italy for foods section on my blog that you might find useful. http://firenzemom.wordpress.com/substitutes-in-italy/

    • Thanks for reading! Actually, it’s that part of your blog where I discovered “sour cream” (which we had on our tacos I made last night!) So double thanks!


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