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IAN & SPAIN

WELCOME TO MY BLOG. HAVING LIVED IN SPAIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS I HAVE TRULY MANAGED TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE LOCAL CULTURE AND FEEL TOTALLY INTEGRATED. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT MY PASSION FOR SPANISH FOOD AND DRINK AS WELL AS ITS CULTURE, PEOPLE AND PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

Avocado and King Prawn Gazpacho
22 July 2021

This week I would like to share with you another gazpacho recipe as temperatures seem to be warming up even more, and a refreshing dish is ideal for any meal.  Yes, I love avocados and I am always trying new ways to enjoy them! My last gazpacho recipe was based mainly on courgettes but combined with avocados and today's recipe also involves avocado but with a different approach. It is slightly lighter than the previous recipe but also wonderfully refreshing and delicate in flavour. Ideal as a starter for any meal, be it fish, meat or rice and if you prefer a more filling dish just add more prawns and accompany with some bread! Avocados are readily available right now too so no better time to give it a go!

 

 

This is what you will need for 4 servings:

For the gazpacho:

2 avocados
1 green bell pepper
1 cucumber
1 spring onion
½ clove of garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
1 lemon
Pepper
Salt


For the garnish:

12 peeled king prawns
Some baby leaves - mixed salad
2 pear tomatoes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar cream
Olive oil
Pepper
Salt

For the aromatic oil:

10 basil leaves
Extra Virgin olive oil

  • Peel the cucumber, wash it and chop it up. Squeeze the lemon. Wash the pepper, clean it and chop it. Peel the avocados cut them in half, remove the stones, take out the pulp and drizzle it with the lemon juice to prevent it from oxidizing.

 

  • Clean the spring onions, removing the roots and the green stalks, and wash them. Peel the garlic. Chop both, and place them in the blender, with the avocado, cucumber and pepper. Add the oil and vinegar. Add Salt and pepper then add a glass of water and blend until you get a homogeneous cream. Put the cream in the fridge, in a covered container.

 

  • Now prepare the aromatic oil: wash the basil leaves, dry them with kitchen paper and chop them up. Grind them with the oil until you get an emulsified mixture. Wash the tomatoes, cut a cross into each end of the tomatoes, and scald them in a saucepan with boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain them, cool them in cold water and peel them - where you cut the cross you will see that the skin has started to peel away. Cut them into medium-sized segments and remove the seeds.

 

  • Wash the king prawns(peeled) and pat them dry. Heat a few drops of oil in a nonstick skillet; add and sauté for 1 minute, just until they change colour. Remove and season.

 

  • Wash the salad leaves, pat dry and chop lightly. When ready to serve, divide the gazpacho into 4 bowls or deep plates and arrange the tomatoes, shrimp and salad leaves on top. Water with a few drops of balsamic vinegar cream and a string of the basil oil which you previously prepared. 

Enjoy!



Like 3        Published at 22:10   Comments (0)


Green Summer Soup - Courgette and Avocado
06 July 2021

 

If there is something I love about summer, it is the possibility of enjoying a great variety of seasonal vegetables, fresh and tasty vegetables that with really simple techniques can be transformed into authentic delicacies.

Great cooking skills are not necessary here in order to enjoy this season; salads, barbecues and grilled vegetables or cold soups are some of the dishes that we can make with minimal effort and with wonderful results. Light dishes that help us cope with the heat in the best possible way.

If you have already tried gazpacho in all its versions: salmorejo, white garlic or even with melon, you will almost certainly love this delicious cold courgette soup I am going to share with you today.

This fresh courgette soup is really very simple to make, just follow the steps below:

INGREDIENTS COLD COURGETTE SOUP

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 50ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini   1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, raw, unsalted or fried
  • 30 ml sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Put the garlic cloves in a small saucepan with water and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. This will stop you from having garlic breath all afternoon.

Cut the ends off the courgettes and remove only half of the skin, cut into small cubes and add to the food processor. 

Soak the cashews in advance, for at least two or three hours, drain and add to the food processor.

Start by blending the courgette with the cashews at high speed for one minute. Stop and then add the avocado pulp, the cooked and peeled garlic, the basil, the vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper, and the cold water. Keep blending for another minute until it is smooth. To obtain a really smooth emulsion, keep adding the remaining olive oil little by little, blending it for 30 more seconds or so.

Taste and adjust for salt, add a dash of lemon juice to give it a twist, if you want, or an extra dash of vinegar. Add more water if you prefer a finer consistency.

We can accompany this cold cream with croutons or and some crispy serrano ham cooked in the microwave. 

Serve the soup at room temperature, or slightly chilled. You could add a chopped egg or sprinkled feta cheese with chilli flakes, or whatever you can think of!

Enjoy!

 



Like 1        Published at 15:36   Comments (0)


Finding Paquito
28 June 2021


"The Paquito" is the result of a campaign to promote the consumption of lamb in Spain. It imitates the popular "Pepito", a beef sandwich which can be found in bars all across Spain. There are countless recipes popping up every day with the only requirements being that it must have lamb and obviously bread as the base ingredients.

The INTEROVIC (Interprofessional Agroalimentaria del Ovino y el Caprino) has launched a campaign in different Spanish bars to include the "Paquito" in their menus. This lamb sandwich has spread to hundreds of establishments in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona and will soon spread to more cities.


The decrease in demand for lamb, suckling lamb and goat meat put producers and INTEROVIC on alert, hence they have launched this campaign to encourage its consumption, especially among the younger generation. This program, supported by the European Union, will last for three years.

There are countless recipes on offer as you can see from the link provided below, but I wanted to share one I came across in a bar in Valencia called Gastromantic.

 

 

Although not especially Spanish, it is more of a fusion sandwich well worth trying.

If you can't go, to make it at home you will need:

Mollete bread -  a Muffin-type roll
2 Leg of lamb steaks
Mayonnaise
Korean chilli
Red cabbage
Cucumber
Yoghurt sauce
lime juice
Feta cheese

  • First, fry or grill the leg of lamb steaks and then shred them with two forks.
  • Mix the yoghurt sauce with a splash of lime.
  • Cut up the red cabbage in thin slices and the cucumber in thin strips and crumble the feta cheese.
  • Mix everything together to make the sandwich filling.
  • Mix some mayonnaise with some Korean chilli or sriracha sauce, whatever you can find more easily. Spread the hot mayonnaise on each piece of bread and then fill with the lamb filling.

It is now ready to eat!

 

For more recipes go to Buscando a Paquito

 

Enjoy!

 

 



Like 1        Published at 22:04   Comments (1)


Horchata Valenciana - The Summer Refreshment
21 June 2021

For those who are not so familiar with this summer refreshment, I thought I would share some of its history and how it is grown in and around Alboraya, next to Valencia.

It is made from chufa, which in English would be the tiger nut and as a drink it goes back thousands of years. Old civilizations such as the Egyptians left samples of this healthy product in their tombs and sarcophagi. Also, diverse Persian and Arab authors already mentioned in their writings the digestive benefits of the chufa. But it was in the 13th century when the Arabs introduced their crop in the Mediterranean area. 

Valencia was and continues to be the only area in Europe where chufa is grown. Currently, it is farmed in 16 towns around the area known as L'Horta Nord (or the Northern fertile land), which surrounds Valencia.

Alboraya is the world capital of Horchata and if you ever happen to be passing through Valencia I highly recommend you visit Horchateria Panach on the main road that runs through Alboraya. It is as good as it gets and also at an unbeatable price.

 

 

The chufa is cultivated in sixteen Valencian towns in the L'Horta Nord area, where a few specific climatic requirements combine and make it the only area of Spain where such a unique tuber is cultivated. About 5.3 million kilograms of tiger nut is produced in this area, of which 90% are covered by the Denomination of Origin.

The tiger nut from Valencia (Cyperus esculentus) is a herbaceous plant of around 40 to 50 centimetres in height. It has a rhizome radicular system from which some little roots grow and in the tips of these roots, the tiger nut is formed. 

The chufa is sown from March until May, a date which is determined by the previous crop. Before the planting begins, a series of preparatory work is carried out, so that the soil remains spongy, loose and well levelled. The planting is carried out in a mechanical fashion, in ridges 20 cm high with 60 cm between them. The depth of the seed is from 4 to 5 cm. The depth of sowing is an important aspect since the yield and the quality of the tuber depend greatly on these measurements. 

 

 

The harvest is carried out from November to January. Once the plant has completely withered and dried, it is burned and the ashes and remains are cleaned up. Then, it is sown again mechanically. A few weeks after the new planting, the tuber germinates. You shouldn't miss the opportunity to see the legendary irrigation ditches of Roman origin, improved and expanded by the Arabs throughout the area, which still remain.

Legend says that a young villager from the fertile area of Valencia known as L'Horta offered King Jaume I a white and sweet drink. The King, very pleased, asked; "Qué es això?" (What is this?), and the young woman answered, "Es llet de xufa" (It's tiger nut milk). The King, having tasted the drink replied, "Això no es llet, això és OR, XATA" - This is not milk, this is gold (=OR), pretty girl (=XATA)"

Legend or reality, the drink became famous throughout the country, adopting the name of Horchata de Chufa. This drink is a refreshing and essential product in the Mediterranean diet thanks to its innumerable and healthy benefits.

 

 

Known since antiquity as a source of vitamins and nutrients, the horchata is also considered a source of health and energy the world throughout. Along with its delicious and refreshing flavour, several medical studies have accredited its many beneficial properties for the body. Investigations have concluded that the horchata has great digestive properties thanks to its high level of amino acids and starch.

Several prestigious specialists from the University of Valencia have also determined that it is rich in minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and iron as well as unsaturated fats and proteins. It is also recommended for all types of people, from the youngest to the oldest. The natural horchata can also be drunk by patients with a declared lack of tolerance to lactose and it is recommended for pregnant women as it includes more iron and potassium than a glass of milk.

It is an energising and nutritious drink that, thanks to its characteristics, has become part of the Mediterranean diet. Its cardiovascular properties are similar to those present in olive oil and it helps in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides as it has over 77% of oleic acid. All these characteristics make the Horchata of Chufa of Valencia a very complete and nutritious drink thanks to its macro and micronutrients. So be sure to try some the next time you are in Valencia this Summer. Enjoy!



Like 2        Published at 15:32   Comments (3)


Asturian 'Cachopo'
15 June 2021

Veal "Cachopo" is an Asturian recipe that consists of a breaded fillet of veal which is stuffed with cured serrano ham or cured beef "cecina", and cheese which is normally a variety typical of this autonomous community, such as cabrales, but you can use any cheese you prefer. It would effectively be the same as a typical Schnitzel but stuffed. If you go on vacation to Gijón or Oviedo, you mustn't leave without trying it! But until then, you can prepare it at home ... What you will need is a couple of very thin veal fillets and, if possible, try and get large long ones. If you go to your local butcher they will normally be able to cut you the perfect fillets. Veal is what is normally used, either rump or silverside cuts, but if you prefer a 'beefier' fillet feel free to get aged meat, just make sure they are thin cuts. 

The full ingredients to make Asturian Cachopo are as follows:

   

               Serrano Ham                                                                  Cecina

 

 

2 very large thin beef steaks -  normally rump steak or silverside cuts - in Spain, 'Cadera'. (If you have a meat hammer or a rolling pin, tenderize the meat and thin it out if it is too thick)
Some slices of Serrano ham or cured beef Cecina.

Cheese slices - whichever variety you prefer
Flour, egg and breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

 


 

Steps to take:

1.- Season the beef fillets (be careful, don't add too much salt to them than the cheese and the ham or cecina, whichever you decide to use, already have salt and it could become too salty)

2.- Spread out one of the fillets on a cutting board and cover it with the cheese of your choice cut into very thin slices. On top of the cheese add the slices of Serrano ham or Cecina, until it is completely covered. Then place another veal fillet on top. It basically looks like a sandwich with the meat acting as the bread. 

3.- Carefully pick up the whole piece and place it on a plate or dish with flour. Turn it over so the meat is covered in flour, then repeat the process with beaten eggs and finally with breadcrumbs. A little trick is to let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour so that all the ingredients cling together well. 

4.- Heat up plenty of olive oil to 170-180ºC. Enough to completely cover the Cachopo. After two or three minutes, when it is golden brown, remove it from the oil and place it on some absorbent kitchen paper before serving.

Enjoy!



Like 2        Published at 13:17   Comments (0)


Ensaladilla Rusa - The very Spanish, Russian Salad...
09 June 2021

Russian salad or also known as Olivier salad outside Spanish borders is one of the legendary recipes of Spain's bars and restaurants. It is a homemade recipe that the Spanish have adapted, and as its name indicates, is of Russian origin, surprise, surprise. 

Many people still believe that Russian salad is actually Spanish although, in reality, the original recipe has its origin in Moscow. The first "Russian" salad was made in 1860 by chef Lucien Olivier, a chef at the famous restaurant "Hermitage" in Moscow.

The exact recipe — particularly that of the dressing — was a zealously guarded secret, but it is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally. The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French white wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown.

At the turn of the 20th century, one of Olivier's sous-chefs, Ivan Ivanov, attempted to steal the recipe. While preparing the dressing one evening in solitude, as was his custom, Olivier was suddenly called away on some emergency. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ivanov sneaked into Olivier's private kitchen and observed his mise en place, which allowed him to make reasonable assumptions about the recipe of Olivier's famed dressing. Ivanov then left Olivier's employment and went to work as a chef for Moskva, a somewhat inferior restaurant, where he began to serve a suspiciously similar salad under the name "metropolitan salad". It was reported by the gourmands of the time, however, that the dressing on the "Metropolitan" salad was of a lower quality than Olivier's, meaning that it was "missing something."

Later, Ivanov sold the recipe for the salad to various publishing houses, which further contributed to its popularisation. Due to the closure of the Hermitage restaurant in 1905, and the Olivier family's subsequent departure from Russia, the salad could now be referred to as "Olivier." At some point, it reached Spain as well as other countries, but Spain really "adopted" it as its own and it has now become a staple tapas all over the country.

Russian salad is one of those starters that cannot be missing from a Summer lunch. I always enjoy starting my barbecue with homemade gazpacho or salmorejo and some Russian salad with barbecue toasted bread. Although it is served throughout the year, it is still a very summery recipe. It must be said that there are a thousand ways to make a Russian salad, in each household they use different ingredients, but in this recipe, I am going to explain my version and the typical Spanish version. 

The typical Spanish ingredients are boiled potatoes, peas, carrots, tuna, olives and mayonnaise. From here each person can play around with their own ingredients, be it prawns, chicken, ham or whatever. I think that the mayonnaise for this recipe should always be homemade, although you can of course use bottled if you don't know or don't have time to make it - I prefer Hellmann's but that's up to you.

 


INGREDIENTS:


For the Spanish version:

2-3  Potatoes – medium-sized (400-500g)
2  large boiled eggs
2  large boiled carrots
1/2  White Onion – finely chopped
200g Cooked garden peas
8  large Gherkins – diced
12  Anchovy-stuffed green olives – chopped
200 g Tuna steak in olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt
  
For the mayonnaise:

1  Egg
250 ml Extra virgin olive oil "suave".
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Salt
 

 

 

 


 

 


My version :

I swap out the tuna for shredded roast chicken breast and my olives are not stuffed, just pitted. Everything else stays the same.

 

 

Steps to take:

  • Make a simple mayonnaise by placing all the ingredients in a tall jug and blend them with the help of a hand blender until you achieve a smooth thick emulsion. It may take a bit of practice.
  • Place the potatoes and the carrots in a cooking pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to boil and cook for 25 minutes until the vegetables become well-cooked throughout, but be careful not to overcook them or they will disintegrate when you chop them up and mix them into the salad.
  • Boil the eggs - make sure they are hard-boiled.
  • Boil the peas - once ready add them to a large salad bowl.
  • In the meantime, finely chop the onion, the gherkins and the olives. Crumble the tuna or chop the chicken and place it all in the big salad bowl.
  • Once the carrots and the potatoes are cooked and cooled, peel them and diced them. Then add them to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Season to taste and add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise and then more if required. Remember you can always add more but you can never remove the mayonnaise, so don't overdo it straight away. Mix everything thoroughly and place it in the fridge for a few hours so that it really cools down. This salad is much much better when served cold!
  • Take the salad out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before serving and serve with breadsticks or crusty toasted bread slices. 

 



Like 5        Published at 13:06   Comments (3)


My Spanish Breakfast
31 May 2021

 

For those of you who have been to Spain you've probably seen or tried this dish but for those of you who haven't, it's your lucky day, because tasty food doesn't get any easier. Well, more than a dish it is a fantastic “breakfast” alternative or a starter, side dish for a meal or even a main meal which can be accompanied with cheeses and salads.

 

Like all great dishes, simplicity rules and here is no exception. “Pan Catalana” or “pa amb tomàquet” as they would say in Catalan is pretty much part of the Catalan’s staple diet. 

 

This recipe is considered one of the best examples that define the Mediterranean diet and has spread all over Spain as a traditional recipe. 

 

 

The only ingredients you need are thick-sliced country bread, a clove of garlic, “GOOD” Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I personally prefer to use a very “green” fruity olive oil with fresh grass notes, such as that from the Hojiblanca variety or a blended Picual, “Venta del Varon” is ideal for this, as this dish relies on so few ingredients I like to be able to noticeably savour all of them in every bite! However, any good extra virgin will do. You will also need a little salt and Iberian bellota ham (Spanish cured acorn ham). 

 

It is a favourite with all my family and all the visitors that come to stay. Funnily enough, many end up eating so much of it before the main meal that they don’t make it to halfway through the main course let alone to the dessert! It is rather moreish, so be careful!

 

Naturally, as with all recipes that spread, every area of Spain prepares it in a slightly different way. For example in Majorca, Catalan Bread or “Tomato Bread” is prepared with tomatoes called Tomatiga de Ramillet, which is a specific variety of tomato on the vine, which is smaller and with a little bit more of an intense and bitter taste than normal tomatoes, it is also a tomato that has a longer maturing period, meaning a longer shelf life of up to several months. The important thing here is that the tomato should be very ripe, making it easier to rub the pulp onto the bread. The original base used to be and still is made (in Catalunya) with toasted slices of “pa de pages” ('peasants' bread'), a typical round piece of wheat bread of a fair size (from ½ kg to 5 kg, from some 20 cm to 50 cm in diameter) Nowadays many make a pre-mixture of grated tomato, olive oil and salt and then just spread it on to the toasted garlic bread and top it with a couple of slices of Iberian Bellota Ham, which is much easier if you are serving a large table and especially if you like a lot of tomato on your bread.

 

However, if the mixture is not pre-made, there is said to be an “ideal order” in which the ingredients are integrated to yield the best flavour. First, the garlic is rubbed on the bread. Then the same is done with the tomato. Next comes the salt, and lastly the olive oil. The traditional way to get all the flavours mixed well without having to pre-make a mixture is to cut off the heel of the loaf and use it to gently but firmly press all of the ingredients together.

 

 

 

 

 

So, how do I make it? I personally like a fair amount of tomato on my bread so I tend to grate a couple of mature ripe tomatoes into a bowl (cut the tomatoes along their horizontal axis, not vertically), I sometimes use plum tomatoes which work very well indeed. I thickly slice a country loaf of bread, one with a crunchy crust, about a thickly as the toaster will allow me to and toast them. I then grab a clove of garlic and cut the top off it and then without taking the skin off, rub the garlic over the toasted bread. I then change the “ideal order” and pour the extra virgin olive oil on next, as I find it tends to slide off the tomato if you put it on last, then I add a little salt, as it is easier to control how much salt you put on, without the tomato, then I spoon on the grated tomato pulp and spread it evenly over the bread. Finally, I top it with a couple of thin slices of Iberian Bellota Ham and that’s it. Done. Ready to eat and enjoy, with a glass of Ribera del Duero red wine or even a coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast. Fantastic!

 

 

 

 



Like 2        Published at 23:25   Comments (5)


Pringá - A lasting memory of Seville
28 May 2021

In Andalusia and especially in Seville, there is an amazing snack which I discovered called "Pringá". Essentially it is a slice of bread, sometimes lightly toasted, with a dollop of leftover stew all mixed together. It sounds awful, but it's heavenly!

The soft tender meat is rescued from the pot and with a little love the most amazing mixture is created. As with all homemade cooking recipes, flavours will change from household to household depending on what is added to the stew pot, but a standard recipe involves mixing bacon with chicken, beef, and pork.

The key to this recipe is, of course, that the raw materials are of the best possible quality and that the cooking process is slow and controlled so that no meat is too soggy or dry. You can pretty much make a Pringá from any type of stew, but perhaps it is from the Madrid stew and the Andalusian stew that you get the most meat to play with. If you are creative, you can add some spice to the mix, although it is not something that is done anywhere, cumin or black pepper works really well.

If you find it is very fatty or too strong, just add some pickled gherkin which accompanies it perfectly. So this is what you will need to create a great Pringá.


For the stew you will need the following :

½ medium-sized free-range Chicken (approx. 1,25kg of meat)
1 piece of brisket (about 200g)
1 thick piece of pancetta
1 thick piece of  bacon Iberico
1 chunk of serrano ham off the bone.
1 bone of serrano ham
1 piece of bone marrow
1 Blanquet sausage 
1 Onion Morcilla sausage 
100 grams of pork fat - "tocino "
300 grams of chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
Saffron

Vegetables:
1 stick of Celery, 1 stick of Cardoon, 1 sweet potato, 1 white turnip, 1 yellow turnip, 1 parsnip, 3 potatoes, 3 carrots, 1 leek, 5 runner beans and ¼ cabbage.

As far as the vegetables go, you can chuck in whatever you have at hand.


So, to make the stew it is as easy as cleaning and peeling the vegetables and placing them all in the pot with the meat, except for the carrots, potatoes, runner beans and the morcilla. These need to be held back for later as they cook more quickly. Cover with water and slowly bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low heat and let it simmer for 2 hours. Remember to skim off the foam that rises to the top. After 2 hours pop in the rest of the ingredients that were held back and then simmer for further 90 minutes. Once ready, separate all the meat from the stock and let it cool to one side.

 


While the cooked meats and pork fat are still warm or hot, shred the chicken, pancetta, bacon, beef and serrano ham and the "tocino" with the help of a fork or chopping it up a little with a knife, until you get a mashed-up mixture of frayed meats. Add a little broth until the desired texture is achieved, it should not be too wet or too dry but it needs to have a thick consistency that is spreadable.

Taste and rectify with salt if necessary, now would be the time to add the spices, if you want.

Cut a slice of bread and toast it slightly. In Andalucia, a soft roll is also used - called a "mollete" - to make a sandwich. Whichever way you decide, add the gooey mush and spread it well then heat everything up, under the grill for about 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 



Like 1        Published at 21:22   Comments (4)


Mussels with a twist
18 May 2021

 

Few seafood products offer such a satisfying taste-price ratio as mussels. These little wonders are usually very reasonably priced, they are easy to cook and you don't need to be a genius in the kitchen to produce a fantastic dish.

The only problem that mussels really is the cleaning - removing the barnacles, pulling the hairy beards off and scraping away any debris that may be attached to the shells. However, there are some supermarkets that do sell them already cleaned such as Consum. The important thing is to clean them and discard the broken shells.

If the previous step puts you off, but you still love these molluscs, get someone else to do it!

Tell them to watch this video!

 

 

 

This recipe calls for something slightly different, we will be serving them with a sundried tomato and lemon vinaigrette -the mussels already have a lot of flavours- so we are just complimenting them with a little lemon juice, a citrus fruit that goes really well with seafood, and few extras to jazz things up a little. If you want to make it a complete dish, serve the mussels without the shells, add a little more hazelnuts to the sauce and put it all on a platter with 80 g of cooked spaghetti per person or some french fries and a salad. 

 


So, what do we have to do?

 

Ingredients

For 4 people

1kg of mussels or clochinas

 

For the vinaigrette

100 g of sundried tomatoes in oil

60 g of hazelnuts

75 ml of extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice and zest to taste (I use 4 tablespoons of juice and ½ zest)

1 clove of garlic (or more or less, to taste)

Chilli to taste (fresh or dry)

Chive

Salt

 

 

 

 

Preparation:

Finely chop the dried tomatoes in oil. In a mortar or food processor, put the garlic clove and the chopped chilli and the hazelnuts. Blend everything until the garlic is very finely chopped or barely visible. But we still want some slightly larger pieces of hazelnut left to give it some texture. It doesn't need to be a completely smooth paste.

Add the lemon juice, salt to taste - but careful as some sundried tomatoes are already quite salty - and then pour in the olive oil little by little, stirring so that it emulsifies slightly.

Steam the mussels in a pan with a little olive oil and then pour them into a colander. Remove one half of the shell from each mussel and serve with the vinaigrette poured on top and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

 

Enjoy!

 



Like 3        Published at 18:52   Comments (0)


Gazpacho Andaluz - the heat is getting closer
10 May 2021

 

Gazpacho is one of the most international dishes of Spanish gastronomy. Refreshing, low in calories and very easy to make. It is one of the star dishes of the summer, which, accompanied by a bit of crusty bread and a delicious dessert, will provide a solution to many of our meals this coming summer.

Making gazpacho, in principle, is quite a simple task, but like everything else, it has its tricks and you will eventually tweak it to your liking the more your make it. 

The most popular version of the recipe for this cold soup is tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, cucumber, bread, and oil. Despite the fact that many think that gazpacho is originally from Andalusia, it has been proven that previous recipes already existed. However, there is no doubt that this one is the most famous version of them all. Most versions of this recipe will vary depending on the amounts of vegetables you used, which is why there are so many different flavours, everyone has different tastes -  some prefer more garlic, some less, some more cucumber, some less, in the end, it's really up to you! But as a starting point this is what you need:

Ingredients

800 grams of ripe tomato
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper
1 red bell pepper
Spanish half cucumber
150 grams of stale bread
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cumin mocha
Salt
1 glass of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 of a glass of sherry vinegar
Water


Steps to take:

Wash all the vegetables well, cut them into medium-sized pieces and put it all in a bowl. Add half of the oil, the vinegar, the salt, the paprika, the cumin and a little water and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator.

After a few hours of marinating, take the vegetables out of the fridge, blend them with a mixer and pass the mixture through a sieve. Then, use the blender again and while blending, add the rest of the oil little by little and ... that's it! All you have to do now is to season with salt and add a little extra vinegar if you prefer more of a kick. You can decorate the gazpacho with some chopped cucumber, peppers and toasted croutons.


As you can see, making gazpacho is really very simple. Adapt the recipe as you see fit and start experimenting! One piece of advice - try and find the best quality ingredients possible - especially the tomatoes, and you can't go wrong.  Shorty I will publish a few variations of gazpacho so you never get bored!



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