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It has been my “go to” breakfast/ brunch order for ages now but have never made it before. Now I can add Hollandaise sauce to my repertoire and it really isn’t as scary as you may think. Follow these instructions and you’ll be fine.

Ingredients (for the Hollandaise sauce)

serves 4

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 110 g butter
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

for the rest

  • bacon
  • english muffins, crumpets or toast
  • 4 free range, very fresh eggs

Method

Make your Hollandaise sauce. In a blender, blend the egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a little pepper for a minute on the highest setting. At this point, put your bacon under the grill and get that cooking. Boil the vinegar and lemon juice in a pan until bubbling and add to the mixture while blending, then stop. Melt your butter in a pan until it starts to foam.

Then with the blender on its highest setting slowly add the butter. This should take a few minutes. When this is done pulse the mixture once more for a few seconds and you’re done. Now poach your fresh eggs and assemble the ingredients to form something that resembles the picture.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Success! I made the American classic, Nestle’s Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. They managed to come out looking pretty good and tasting even better. Unlike some of my other cookies, they didn’t melt into a puddle in my oven.

I made these cookies for my students at the wonderful Fundacion MAPFRE. They’ve been amazing students for almost 2 years; always friendly and smiling, coming to class, asking questions, paying attention, making a real effort. Despite the hours of correcting grammatical errors they made my first job a good job and I love them for it. Thank you to everyone at Fundacion MAPFRE!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks (If you’re in America you can get your hands on some semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I bought some really quality 70% cocoa chocolate bars and cut them into little pieces and I think it tasted better)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Method

First things first, preheat your oven to 375° F.

In a medium sized bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, with an electric mixer (or if you live in Spain and don’t have a hand mixer, just use a fork) beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts. Use a spoon to drop round balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Be careful to space them out as the cookies will expand more than you think.

Allow cookies to bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove cookies and place on cooling wrack or newspaper, which is what my family always puts their cooling cookies on.

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Thank you to our lovely friends Gina (pictured below) and Maddie for inspiring a delicious dinner! We decided to each prepare a dish from a country that we’ve lived in. Maddie brought her favorite Ecuadorian bread, Dave and I made the Spanish calamares a la romana as seen in the previous post and Gina showed us how to make a Chilean tortilla, a staple of her diet when she lived in South America.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 spoonfuls of flour
  • 2 spoonfuls of sugar
  • salt

Method

Grate the carrots and fry them for a bit in the oil and sugar so that the flavor comes out. When they start to soften put them in a large bowl and mix in the eggs, flour and salt. Pour the oil into a pan and wait until its hot, thus ensuring that the mixture won’t stick to the pan.

Pour the mixture into the frying pan and basically follow the same directions as written in our previous post about tortilla espanola. You’ll have to flip this tortilla so you’ll need a big plate, strong arms and some courage! When the tortilla is cooked through (not too runny or soggy in the middle), serve on a plate.

Thanks again to our friends for expanding our blog and our stomachs with food they hold dear to their hearts.

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Botifarras con judias blancas or in Catalan, Botifarra amb Mongetes is a delicious speciality of the region. Another dish that has it’s origins in peasant food. Cheap to make, full of protein and uses local ingredients to their full potential. I think that this is going to be a theme that I will explore more and more. I love the idea of using every ingredient to it’s full potential and minimising waste.

A few years ago I stayed with friends in New York City and the friend in question’s father was a cook that had been featured in magazines for his ability to get everything possible from an ingredient. Personally I think that doing this needs imagination, a deep understanding of the qualities of every part of an ingredient and a level of awareness of how important it is not to waste food. I’ll breathe now. Thanks again Sergio for another amazing dish.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 4 botifarras or something similar

for the beans

  • white beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 botifarra
  • bacon or pancetta
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • parsley

Method

Heat a 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the the garlic in olive oil on a fairly low heat, being careful not to burn it. Add the bacon or pancetta and pieces of sliced sausage.

Then add the beans and a pinch of salt and cook for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with the botifarra. Simply fry the botifarra in a small amount of olive oil. Sergio cooked them on a hot plate and they were delicious, so I guess that’s the way to go.

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The Blue Bowl

Regular visitors to “The Pear Tree” will undoubtedly recognise the blue bowl. It has helped make everything from mayonnaise to macaroni cheese, croquetas to carrot cake. I’m going to miss this guy over the summer months. I didn’t think it was possible to become attached to an inanimate kitchen utensil, but here is the proof. Over 80°f here in Madrid today!

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Decided to make egg sandwiches and thought that we may as well  make the mayonnaise to go with it and was really worth the effort, which in all honesty wasn’t that much. Clearly a lot more difficult than opening up a jar, but anyway… We put some fresh flat leaf parsley with the eggs and mayo which I think adds a really good flavour. Fresh eggs is key to the success.

Ingredients

  • 4 free range fresh eggs
  • a bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • mayonnaise (preferably home made see post)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • good bread

Method

Place 4 eggs (that are at room temperature) in cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the eggs for a further 5 minutes, this will give you a perfectly set white and a little bit of softness in the yolk. When the five minutes is up, plunge them into cold water and leave to cool.

Then remove the shells. Slice them up in a bowl adding 2 heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise, a pinch of salt and some pepper as well as some chopped parsley.

Mix thoroughly and place between some fresh bread. Now eat far too quickly and get indigestion like I did, or alternatively, just enjoy.

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My answer to Levi Roots (reggae reggae sauce.) This is loosely based on a recipe by Marcus Wareing. It’s sweet, spicy and very tasty.

Ingredients

  • 500g tomato frito
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic crushed with salt
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tabasco sauce, 10 drops (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of mustard (I used Honeycup’s “Uniquely Sharp” Mustard… Thanks Jess and Tim!)
  • 250ml water

Method

Put all of the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the liquid has reduced to about half. Remove the bay leaves and blend. Then push the sauce through a fine sieve and leave to go cold. Put it in a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

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