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Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Escalivada is a traditional Catalan dish which is oven grilled vegetables in olive oil. The vegetables used can vary, but Sergio made red peppers, aubergine and onion. He served it with Pan Tumaca, which is basically, toasted bread with garlic and tomato. Truly delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 onions
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes blended
  • garlic
  • salt

Method

Brush the vegetables with olive oil. Place the aubergine, onions and red peppersin the oven at a high temperature, about 200C for about an hour. The skins should start to blacken. Remove skins and cut into long strips. Cover with olive oil and serve with the pan tumaca.

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Over Easter we were in Cordoba, the home of Salmorejo (it’s on every menu), and I defy anyone on return NOT to attempt to make it. This really is peasant food at it’s best. The over ripe tomatoes that are no good for salads, stale bread, some garlic which is in abundance everywhere in this country, off cuts of jamon as a garnish (optional) some olive oil (not peasant food where I’m from in south east England, but in Spain, Europe’s largest producer, it is!) and a dash of wine vinegar. It just tastes so fresh and if you get the right tomatoes, you get this wonderful salmon colour in your bowl. Good luck, this is really worth having a go at.

Ingredients

  • 500 g  ripe, red tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 stale loaf, crust removed (spanish/french stick is perfect)
  • 1 tbsp spoon vinegar
  • 4 tbsp spoons of olive oil
  • big pinch of rock salt
  • jamon, chopped to garnish

Method

Put all of the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt in a bowl. or blender and, you guessed it, blend. Then Slowly add the bread to make a thick soup. Garnish with bits of chopped jamon and a drizzle of olive oil. Refrigerate and serve cold.

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Torrijas

“Semana Santa” or “Holy week” has just passed. Here in Spain, attendance at Catholic churches is falling dramatically, with Spain’s youth apparently becoming more and more disillusioned with Catholicism. Well, that’s the theory, but you wouldn’t believe this was the case during Semana Santa. Spain doesn’t hold back; they take this very seriously… I’m talking processions that last up to 12 hours, pointy hats, thousands upon thousands of marchers, brass bands, drums, not to mention the countless effigies of Christ and the Virgin Mary and the tens of thousands of people that line the streets to watch…

Food wise, the star has to be Torrijas. Served almost exclusively in the Easter period, it is a kind of French toast/Eggy bread, with copious amounts of sugar. It can vary on the quality, like any dish I guess, but the picture above was of  a really good one that we ate on a terraza in Caceres in Extremedura, the poorest region of mainland Spain. This really was the authentic Torrijas experience, as if I had tilted the camera up, I would have been photographing the pointy hatted marchers (nazarenos) bearing the weight of Christ on their shoulders. Recipe to follow shortly… promise.

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Beef Burgers

Decided to make burgers tonight for our friends… Bought some top quality beef from the market and added all of the trimmings. We have a pub quiz team, which often trades under the name Hamburgers and Guns, so it’s sort of in honour of that. Sometimes only a good ol’ burger will do. And for Nancy a taste of home. AMERICA YEAH.

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 1 kg beef,
  • 2 red onions finely diced
  • 1 red chilli (optional) finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Cilantro/coriander chopped  (optional)

Method

Fry the onions in olive oil on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or so until they go translucent. Set aside to go cold. This stops them from being crunchy when you bite the burger. Now make the patties, in a bowl add all of the ingredients and bind them together. Make into patties, not too thick otherwise it’ll be difficult to cook.

Heat some olive oil in a pan, when hot add the patties and reduce the heat to medium.Cook for about 10- 15 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking. Serve in a toasted bun with the salad and dressings of your choice. Anyway you know what to do, you’ve had a burger before.

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Tostas

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.

Ingredients

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)

Method

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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Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (could be substituted with creme fraiche or greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans – optional

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the pan you’re going to use. If you want a loaf bread, use a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, but I used a pan that made it more like sheet cake.

Use an electric mixer or fork to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour if flat or 1 hour and 10 minutes if you’re making the thicker loaf. Insert a knife into the center. If it comes our clean and dry, it’s done baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

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Homemade Pizza

We used more of our homemade pesto to make a pizza sauce.

Ingredients

for the base

• 1kg white flour (plus another 200g white flour to be added later)
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 2 packets of yeast (7g each)
• 1 tablespoon sugar (brown is recommended)
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 650ml lukewarm water

for the topping

  • pesto
  • tomato puree
  • fresh tomatoes
  • black olives
  • salchichon (cured sausage)
  • goats cheese
  • mozzarella
  • oregeno
  • basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

I got the crust recipe from Jamie Oliver but I adapted it. I used cake flour because that’s all we had in our kitchen but it’s probably too light for making pizza crust. I recommend that you use bread flour which has a high gluten content and turns out a good pizza crust.

First combine the yeast, water and olive oil in a bowl and let it rest. Make sure your yeast isn’t too old. If it’s working it should have little bubbles on the surface of the water after a few minutes.  Meanwhile, take the 1kg of flour and make a mound with a well in the middle. Pour the liquid into the mound and use a fork to bring the flour into the middle. Swirl until liquid and flour are combined. Continue doing this until it you’ve used up most of the liquid and it’s all sticking together. Dust your hands with flour and use them to mix in the extra 200g of flour. Knead until the dough is smooth. Mold the dough into a ball and place it in a flour dusted bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and put it in a warm place. After about an hour the dough should be doubled in size.

Remove the dough and need it a couple times. You can divide the dough in half and make two large crusts, or you can make several individual pizzas. Dough should be enough for 6 to 8 small pizzas.

Preheat the oven to between 425 and 450 F. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and place your crust on top. Decorate your pizza however you like. We covered it with the ingredients listed above. Bake your pizza until the edges look golden brown. This should only be about 10 to 12 minutes. Our crust was a little too crunchy, but I believe that’s because of the flour I used and the thinness of the dough I rolled out.

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