Saturday, 31 August 2013

Salad of chorizo, eggs, beans and olives

I'm back at home now. I do like coming home, especially when those plane wheels touch down on home turf. Here's another Spanish recipe from Good Food. I missed out the potatoes as it was a lunch time meal and we had bread to accompany this lovely salad instead. I added the olives as an extra. 

Serves 4
500g bag baby new potatoes, halved
4 eggs
225g green beans, trimmed
225g chorizo ring, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 12 mins, adding the eggs after 6 mins, and the beans for the final 2 mins. Drain everything and cool the eggs under cold running water.
Meanwhile fry chorizo slices for 1-2 mins, until beginning to crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the oil from the chorizo in the pan. Add the garlic to the pan and cook gently for 1 min.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vinegar and parsley, then toss with the potatoes, beans, chorizo and seasoning. Shell the eggs, cut into quarters and add to the salad.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Patatas bravas

Perhaps one of the more well known Spanish Tapas dishes. This provided a lovely lunch the other day. Having said we were not going to eat out this holiday we changed our mind the other evening and ventured a bit further afield and were delighted with the wonderful tapas meal we had. Thank goodness for trip advisor, it is defintely worth checking and having an idea where you want to eat to avoid disappointment. The meal was a tapas tasting menu, and although I am no expert on tapas it was absolutely delicious. Tuna tartare, cod cannelloni, and croquettes  to name a few. The best course by far was pig cheek with creamy mashed potato, which I would never have chosen in a million years from the menu, but WOW. I have a lot to learn about Spanish cuisine.

The dish I made was a bit improvised but I based it on the following recipe.
Patatas bravas.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Old favourites, pasta with roast peppers and Roquefort and Serrano ham salad

Both recipes have been posted before, but both recipes can be changed to include the ingredients you have to hand. Today I used Serrano ham instead of bacon in the salad, and it was every bit as delicious. There is rain in Spain, but it's warm and there is red wine too, so who is complaining. 

Roast peppers and pasta
Bacon and blue cheese salad

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Spaghetti with chorizo and red peppers

We did venture out for a meal the other evening. I looked at trip advisor and chose a restaurant very close to where we are staying. It had good reviews on the site. We realised it was geared towards the English and English run when we arrived as the menu was in English. It was a pleasant meal and very good value as it included wine and 3 courses. The portions were huge and the children were pretty full after the starters. Though they manged to finish the desserts completely, funny that.  They were the best part. I do think there is a tendency to think people are happy if they just get served a huge plate of food. In my opinion it's quality not quantity. So I think we have decided to eat in the majority of the time and just go out for ice creams and coffees.  I made this dish the other evening. Very easy to do, and of course not limited to Spain as these ingredients are staple and are available everywhere. A great dish with lots of lovely flavours. The following link will take you to the Good Food website for the recipe. 
Spaghetti with Spanish flavours

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Chicken with Oranges

In years gone by I have gone on holiday abroad, self catering and stood in the supermarket ailses bemused at what I could possibly prepare to eat. Now I'm a little more organised and before I arrived in Spain this time I looked up and saved some easy Spanish recipes. There are so many good recipes available on the Internet, on blogs and the Good food website to mention a few. I cooked this one on our second evening here, a Valencian dish with chicken, citrus flavours, served with rice. I am happy to cook when I come here as we have disappointed with some of the local restaurants and the view is so beautiful from the terrace that it takes some beating. I am having problems doing my blog from the iPad , so I'll just put a link to the recipe and write it up when I get home.

Pollo naranja

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wasps in Spain

My children are terrified of wasps. I think I have instilled that fear into them. When they were little I used to run around like a crazy lady whenever one came near me. I remember once leaving Rachel as a baby strapped in a chair in the garden and running like a mad thing into the house because a wasp was buzzing around. Not surprising then. So when we are trying to have a lovely lunch on the terrace in Spain, with cheese and melon, serrano ham and of course red wine, the whole family are running around like mad things. I have resorted to burning fresh coffee, a tip I picked up from my friend Abbie. I don't know if it's working, although the wasps have been very sparse for a while, but the smell is actually quite appealing. Tobacco without the nastiness, and it's making me feel quite relaxed so that's fine, not to mention the red wine and pre-lunch bacardi and coke. I have of course made a Spanish tortilla and last night a Valencian dish of Chicken in oranges which I will try and
post soon.. I need to learn to speak Spanish, the ignorance of the English abroad. For now I am trying to ignore the wasps and thinking about a little siesta before a dip in the pool.  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Spicy Coleslaw

I made this coleslaw to accompany a delicious piece of slow roasted pork last week. It would make a great accompaniment to any barbecued food too. I love slow roasted pork, it's great for entertaining as it can be bunged in the oven to cook slowly for hours and it's very reasonable in cost compared to other large pieces of meat. The recipe came from Olive magazine this month. For the full recipe with the pork, which I would thoroughly recommend, go to the following link, Slow roasted pork with spicy coleslaw and sweet potato wedges. 

A large serving
800g fennel (approx 5 small), cores removed and shredded
15g dill, finely chopped
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1 red onion, finely diced
2 red peppers, shredded
3 lemons, zested and juiced
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
250ml mayonnaise

Mix together the fennel, dill, red cabbage, onion, peppers and lemon zest. Put the lemon juice, mayo, sugar, Tabasco and some seasoning in a small bowl and whisk. Pour over the salad and toss well. This can be made a day before and will stay crisp.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Fried Halloumi and roasted pepper bun with hummus

I acquired this idea for a very delicious sandwich from the M&S cafe. You will need some fried halloumi, peppers from a jar of roasted peppers, along with some hummus if you have it. Toast a soft bun and place all the ingredients inside while the halloumi is still warm. A few green salad leaves were missing in my lunch time sandwich yesterday. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pasta with red pesto, chargrilled peppers and halloumi cheese.

On cleaning out the fridge the other day, which quite frankly was becoming something of a health risk, I discovered numerous jars of half used ingredients. Without looking at the sell by dates I decided to use them up in a pasta sauce. Halloumi cheese cut into chunks and fried in olive oil provided the best part of the meal.  A jar of red pesto, left over from the salmon with red pesto meal, and a few chargrilled peppers left over from god knows when, made up the rest of the sauce.  You can't go wrong with such flavours. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Quick respberry and lemon cheesecake

All I have to say is try it, because it is really delicious. From Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals. 

Serves 4
50g butter
50g blanched hazelnuts
8 gingernut biscuits
1 lemon
4 heaped teaspoons good quality lemon curd
1 punnet raspberries (approx 150g)
250g light or low fat cream cheese, marscapone cheese or creme fraiche
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract
A splash of milk
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Good quality dark chocolate for grating ( approx 70% cocoa solids)

Place 4 tumblers for these cheesecakes into the freezer.
Put the butter into a medium frying pan on a high heat. Wrap the hazelnuts and biscuits in a clean tea towel and quickly bash with a rolling pin. Turn the heat off under the melted butter, tip in the bashed nuts and biscuits and stir. Finely grate in the lemon zest and mix well. Take the tumblers out of the freezer and divide the mixture between them, gently patting it down until firm.

Put 1 heaped teaspoon of lemon curd into each tumbler and top with a few raspberries. Spoon the cream cheese, marscapone or creme fraiche into a bowl and add the vanilla paste or extract and a splash of milk. Stir, then ass the icing sugar and another splash of milk and mix really well until it looks soft and silky smooth. Divide between the tumblers, scrape over a few gratings of dark chocolate and set aside until you are ready to serve.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Delia's Chicken Basque

Having been stuck in dreadful traffic jams after a shopping trip with Rachel and friends yesterday, I was late in getting home to prepare a meal for friends coming. I walked through the front door, dropped my shopping and literally through this meal together. It's wonderful. It's a favourite recipe of mine from Delia's Summer Collection, and one I did regularly at one time. I love the fact it's all in one pot and it is full of flavour as the wine, the chorizo and chicken flavours are absorbed into the rice. A good one for my sister in law to try when she is in Spain this week. I will certainly be cooking it when we go there this month.

Serves 4

a 1.75kg chicken jointed into 8 pieces ( I used a pack of 4 chicken breasts and a pack of thighs, both halved)
2 large red peppers, sliced 1 very large or 2 medium onions, sliced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
150g chorizo, skinned and cut into small slices
50g sundried tomatoes in oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ level teaspoon of hot paprika
1 tablespoon of tomato puree 

225ml brown basmati rice
275ml chicken stock or stock made from bouillon vegetable powder
a large orange cut into wedges
170ml of dry white wine
1 level teaspoon of fresh herbs (I didn't have any)
50g black olives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start by seasoning the chicken joints well with salt and pepper. Next, slice the red peppers in half and remove the seeds and pith, then slice each half into six strips. Likewise, peel the onion and slice into strips of approximately the same size. The dried tomatoes should be drained, wiped dry with kitchen paper and then cut into ½ inch pieces.
Now heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the casserole and, when it is fairly hot, add the chicken pieces – two or three at a time – and brown them to a nutty golden colour on both sides. As they brown remove them to a plate lined with kitchen paper, using a draining spoon. Next add a little more oil to the casserole, with the heat slightly higher than medium. As soon as the oil is hot, add the onion and peppers and allow them to brown a little at the edges, moving them around from time to time, for about 5 minutes.
After that, add the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and toss these around for a minute or two until the garlic is pale golden and the chorizo has taken on some colour. Next, stir in the rice and, when the grains have a good coating of oil, add the sun-dried tomato paste, paprika and chopped thyme. Pour in the stock and wine, and add some seasoning. As soon as everything has reached simmering point, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Add a little more seasoning, then place the chicken gently on top of everything (it's important to keep the rice down in the liquid). Finally, place the wedges of orange in among the chicken and scatter with the olives.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over the gentlest possible heat for about 50 minutes-1 hour or until the rice is cooked but still retains a little bite. Alternatively cook in a pre-heated oven at 180°C, for 1 hour. (I checked after 50 minutes and it was cooked)