Almost three years ago, I was in a famous book and DVD store on Via Nazionale in Rome, wandering among the shelves looking for something to give to my brother for Christmas, some DVDs with special Marvel inserts maybe, or another fantasy saga, when my eye falls on a dvd of a tv series with James Spader, one of our favorite actors. I read the plot: His name is Red Reddington and he is one of the most wanted criminals in the world. One day he turns himself over to the FBI and offers his precious “black list” of names to track down terrorists hiding in the United States. The only condition: he will speak only with Special Agent Elizabeth Keen, the agency’s new hire.

Why? What happened so extraordinary that made a fugitive return to the place where everyone wants him dead?

And I’m convinced. I’ll take it!

As often happens when I give gifts that I can take advantage of in my turn, I couldn’t resist and let him open it at least three weeks before the traditional deadline. My brother had never heard of this TV series, but like me he was thrilled by reading who the protagonist was.

We start it immediately, unaware that Red has an almost infinite heritage and that he loves food, so each episode in addition to guaranteeing a twist after another, cases to be solved and mysteries to the bitter end (starting with the secret that binds Reddington to Elizabeth. And even the husband of the beautiful agent doesn’t convince us at all.), Drags us into one luxury restaurant after another, so much so that we want some refined dish * that can be accompanied by an expensive wine (or at least more expensive than what we normally get at the supermarket!). We finished all the first season in a week, and so I rushed to buy the second season to continue bingewatching with more and more elaborate recipes and wine headaches.

The Blacklist follows a serial case, with a criminal to be thrown in jail every 40 minutes, but it is the horizontal development that really keeps the viewer glued to the screen to follow Reddington’s plans at the same time, which is far from clear; the double life of Elizabeth’s husband, Tom; Elizabeth’s own past, all full of mysteries.

It is a series with an excellent dubbing that, however, gives its best in the original language, in which Spader holds the bench always and in any case. Red is not only the puppeteer but also the hub of all the other characters’ internal emotions.

The villains of the moment are more or less intriguing, but it is their relationship with Reddington that make them interesting more than their personal actions.

If at first we were on Elisabeth’s side, at one point we went to the dark side with Red (as expected) and with Tom (less predictable!), Loving this initially hated character so much that we rejoiced at the announcement of a spin. -off almost entirely focused on him. Even though due to lack of coordination between us, we were unable to start and we learned that they also canceled it.

In any case, the passion for Red does not go away, and case after case, name of the list after the other, we follow him in every adventure convinced that sooner or later he will reveal all his secrets!


* Millefeuille of fillet and porcini mushrooms
(the recipe is from my friend, Anna)

Ingredients for 4 people:

-1 clove garlic
-500 grams beef fillet
– extra virgin olive oil to taste
– 4 slices of casseta bread
– to taste pepper
– to taste salt
-200 grams porcini mushrooms
-to tastethyme.
-4 slices of bacon

Tools required: 4 pastry rings


First we wash the mushrooms well, remove the earthy part of the stem and cut them into slices. In a pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil and brown the garlic and then add the mushrooms making them sauté well. Before removing them from the heat, season with salt and pepper, add a leaf of thyme and let them cool. Cut the fillet into thin slices and season with salt and pepper.
With a pastry cutter 8-10 cm wide and 5-6 cm high, we cut the slices of pan into boxes, eliminating all the remaining superfluous, and we proceed in this way with all 4 slices. (We will need the 4 pastry rings to shape the thousand leaves, so we will engrave each of the slices with a different pastry cutter.)
Keeping the slices of bread as a base (Without removing the pastry ring), add a spoonful of mushrooms on the slice of bread and then a slice of fillet. We continue like this, creating several layers of meat and mushrooms, until we reach the edge of the pastry ring (let’s make sure we finish with a layer of mushrooms.)
We place the pastry rings on a baking sheet and let them cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 8 minutes to have the meat rare, 10 for a medium cooking of the meat.
While we wait for our millefeuille to be ready in a cold pan, place the slices of bacon and let it cook until they are golden brown and crunchy, so as to have a fairly hard consistency.
When the millefeuille are ready, delicately remove the pastry rings and season with a drizzle of raw oil. (Too abrupt gestures could compromise the shape of the mille-feuille, so be careful.) We embellish our millefeuille with a slice of crispy bacon by placing it among the mushrooms, as if it were a sail and a leaf of thyme.

Serve hot and … enjoy your meal