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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

We ate this in a restaurant a few months ago and was delicious. I have been wanting to cook this dish since then. The ink gives the dish a salty taste of the sea and the “chipirones”  even came with their ink conveniently packaged in a small perforated plastic bag. Now that’s evolution for you.

Ingredients

  • chipirones (baby squid) prepared
  • the ink of the chipirones
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method


Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil to soften. Add the baby squid on a low heat.

Add tomato puree, and the wine and a little seasoning. cook in the pan for about 20 minutes on the low heat. At the end, stir in the ink and serve with basmati rice.

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Morcilla is Spanish blood sausage, or black pudding if you come from the island to the north of France that precedes its name with an adjective. This was simple and delicious.  Morcilla was bought it the biggest market in Madrid, to the north of the city in an area called “Cuatro Caminos”. Everyone says that the best Morcilla comes from and is eaten in Burgos, maybe it’s like Guinness and doesn’t travel. The Morcilla is simply sliced and fried in a drizzle of olive oil for about 5 mins. As it fries, you’ll get the aroma of cinnamon, onion and whatever other magical things they put in it… oh yeah, blood! Not one for the vegetarians.

Ingredients

  • Morcilla

for the salad

  • mixed leaves,
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • handful of walnuts
  • some blue cheese
  • handful of raisins

for the dressing

  • 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Fry the Morcilla for 3 minutes on either side in hot olive oil, serve on freshly sliced bread with the salad. Enjoy!

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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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Yemas

Yemas, a sweet made from egg yolks and sugar,  are from Avila, a town to the north west of Madrid on the way to Salamanca. We brought a box of their delicacy back home to sample and unfortunately the verdict is a big thumbs down. The bad texture and an unpleasant taste combine to create something ummmm,  well, not good. That is however only our opinion as the people of Avila are clearly proud of “Yemas” and they seemed to have no problem in selling them, maybe to ignorant tourists but anyway, people were buying them. On the plus side, they come in a nice box!

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Gazpacho

Spain’s summer soup is wonderful on a sunny day. If you can get good ingredients it just tastes so fresh. Originating from Andalucia this dish is classic Spain.


Ingredients

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of stale bread made into breadcrumbs
  • 2 italian green peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 5 tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • bread for croutons
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method

Peel the tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then the skin will fall of more easily.

Add all of the ingredients into a food processor, in batches if so required. And blitz into a smooth consistency, adding a little water to help the process. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Huevos Rotos, or broken eggs, is a classic Spanish dish which I genuinely love. It is really simple, but relies on really good ingredients. The eggs should be free range and really fresh, the Jamon or cured ham, of good quality and of course, like all Spanish dishes, it is all in the execution. The most famous place to get this dish in Madid is at Casa Lucio’s on Cava Baja, La Latina’s most famous street. Casa Lucio serves huevos rotos to the rich and famous, Hilary Clinton, The King of Spain, Juan Carlos II and Will Smith to mention a few, not all at the same time I don’t think but who knows… The dish really varies from place to place, but I like to serve it with Jamon and Pimiemtos de Padron.

Ingredients

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 3 free range fresh eggs
  • 8 pimientos de padron
  • a few slices of jamon serrano
  • salt
  • olive oil

Method

Chop the potatoes into the shape you want. I went for fries, as a preference, some dice the potatoes, others slice into chips.

Meanwhile heat a large amount of olive oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, carefully put the potatoes in, as there is a risk of being burnt by the hot oil. Cook in the oil for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and going crispy. Set aside. Now in another frying pan, heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in preparation for cooking the eggs. Fry the eggs for a few minutes until dine to your taste, spooning hot oil over the yolk to cook the white. I like the whites of the eggs to be cooked but the yolk quite runny so it drips down over the potatoes. When they are done, place them on top of the potatoes, and the “break” them with a knife and fork allowing the yolk to drizzle of the potatoes. Place some thin slices of jamon on top, garnish with pimientos de padron and serve immediately. Hope you like this classic Spanish dish.

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Jamon Serrano

This is a post that should have been written ages ago, as jamon (cured ham) is a Spanish institution. They’re passion for this cured meat is unrelenting. The pride they show for their jewel is amazing, you will be told most days how good the jamon is and encouraged to agree…”Si, me gusta el Jamon mucho.” It even has its own food classification, there is meat, fish, vegetables, pulses etc… and jamon, a separate food group, which aslo creates a convenient loophole for vegetarians. “I’m  a vegetarian, but I eat jamon, claro!” . There are two main kinds of pig in Spain, well two kinds of pig from which they make jamon. Serrano, the pink pig and more common, hence a cheaper product, and Iberico, the black pig which creates jamon Iberico, which is considered by most Spaniards to be the better version and is significantly more expensive. It takes two years minimum to cure the jamon, which is hung in cold, humid conditions, which naturally changes as the seasons change. check this site for more information… The Jamon leg really is a genuine symbol of Spain, you will see it everywhere, no lie.

It is even given as a Christmas bonus pretty much every year by the majority of employers here. And, if you come to Spain, on 23rd December or there abouts, you will witness hundreds of Spaniards struggling home, often drunk after the Christmas party, clutching their enormous Jamon leg in special presentation case…  We are currently designing a range of “I heart Jamon” T-shirts with the full intention of making a few million dollars and retiring on the profits. Wish us luck, in the mean time, find some jamon and eat it… it is really good.

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