Posts Tagged ‘bay leaf’

One of my favourite dishes in Spain. In theory, it’s very easy to make, that is if you have 3 hours spare and have remembered to soak the beans overnight. The problem is that unfortunately I wasn’t 100% sure how to cook this before I started. So I will update this post when I get a good recipe and get round to cooking it again. It did taste really good even though I wasn’t totally happy with it.


  • big white beans of the farm… or similar (butter beans)
  • chorizo
  • morcilla (black pudding)
  • pancetta
  • salt
  • saffron
  • water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large onion sliced into 4


Soak the beans in plenty of water over night. In a large pan, add the beans, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add all of the ingredients, including a good teaspoon or two of salt. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 3 hours.

Take off the heat, leave to cool for 10 minutes and serve. You need to make sure that the beans are covered for the whole duration of the cooking, otherwise they will split. Good luck and as I say, I will update this post when I find out some more information. In the mean time, good luck dear reader.


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I adapted this recipe from a Marcus Wareing recipe. I love his book, I genuinely want to cook everything in it… Anyway, he uses cod and I used halibut… He uses a lot of blue cheese, but I wanted to retain the flavour of the beautiful milky fish sauce, so I added small chunks of Roquefort cheese so when you ate it, you got the occasional hit, rather than a dominating flavour. The ramekins that we bought for the chocolate mousses we made a while back were the perfect size, which was nice.


  • 400 ml of semi skimmed milk
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 1/4 bunch of thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g cod or halibut
  • 1 leeks chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 50g of blue roquefort cheese
  • handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk, from a free range egg
  • puff pastry


In a deep saucepan, add the , milk, 100ml of the stock, thyme and garlic and warm through on a low heat, do not boil.

Season the white fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add this to the sauce, and poach for about 7 or 8 minutes.

You’ll see it turning from translucent to white. Remove the fish and put to one side. Then put the sauce in a jug and put to one side as well.

Melt half  the butter in a frying and cook the chopped leeks for 5 mins, then add the other half of chicken stock to the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes and then set aside.

Now in a another (or the same frying pan if it’s been washed) melt the other half of the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Now get your jug of white sauce (garlic and bay leaves removed) and add a dash of the liquid to the flour and butter, whisk vigorously, then, when that has blended in, add the rest of the liquid slowly to create a nice creamy texture. Check the sauce for seasoning.

Take your ramekin and evenly disperse the white fish, the leeks and the crumbled Roquefort.

Place a disc of fresh puff pastry over the ramekin, brush with egg yolk and bake in the oven at 180C for 20- 25 minutes. I think this would go well with steamed broccoli and buttery new potatoes.

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This was inspired by many trips to La Latina, which I guess you could call the heart of the old Madrid. It is crammed with classic old tapas bars and boasts some of the most famous eateries in the city. One of the things that I tend to order are “Tostas” which are usually toasted bread, with caramelised onions and some kind of meat on top of that. I made ones with pork, morcilla (black pudding or blood sausage) and chorizo topped with red pepper.  Admittedly not my finest hour in terms of presentation, but it tasted really good.


for the onions

  • 6 onions
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

for the topping

  • 1 red pepper
  • good quality crusty bread
  • morcilla (blood sausage or black pudding)
  • iberico chorizo
  • cinta de lomo (loin of pork)


For the caramelised onions

Chop the onions into thin circles and fry in olive oil for about half an hour on a medium heat. Add the sugar after about five minutes or so, this makes the onions even sweeter and stickier.

for the toppings

Heat the skin of the red pepper over an open flame to scorch the skin. It should go black and then fall off easily, then I cooked them in olive oil over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. The rest of the ingredients were simply fried until cooked. Oh and you need to toast the bread!

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