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Serranía Kitchen - recipes from around the world

This blog contains a selection of recipes from all over, in particular from Andalucía, Asia, England, Germany and the Mediterranean. Contributors include Rita Drechsler, Jovan Le Knorz, Madita Schröder, and Paul Whitelock, who are all members of the same extended Anglo-German family. Rita and Paul live in the Serranía de Ronda in Andalucía. Madita and Jovan live in Baden-Wuerttemberg, near Heilbronn, Germany.

Top 6 recipes
Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Serrania Kitchen blog began less than a month ago and is turning out to be very popular.

These recipes from around the world are mainly offered by the extended Whitelock/Drechsler family but there are occasional guest contributors. Paul Whitelock and Rita Drechsler Whitelock have posted the most but other family members, Madita Schroeder and Jovan Le Knorz, both based in Germany, have contributed also.

Guests to date include Carolyn Emmett and Julie Wilkinson.


The top 6 most viewed recipes are:

Rita's Moroccan Chicken

Paul's Serrania Onion Soup

Rita's Onion and Goat's Cheese Quiche

Carolyn's Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Paul's Spicy Vegetable Three Bean Soup

Julie's Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto


You can check them out by clicking on the recipe.

¡Buen provecho!

Like 0        Published at 8:09 AM   Comments (0)

Rita’s Serrania de Ronda Fish Pie
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Some years ago Rita Whitelock was asked by the then proprietor of the hotel in Montejaque to cater for the SOL Classic Car Club when members drove up to the village from the coast on a day’s outing in their vintage and classic cars. She was asked to prepare Fish Pie. Never having cooked this dish before, she did some research and came up with her own version, which she tested on friends in the village. They unanimously pronounced that it was delicious, so she went ahead and, with the help of her good friend Jill, cooked lunch for the Car Club. The club members were delighted. Here is Rita’s recipe:



• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 kilo of potatoes
• 1 carrot
• 2 celery stalks
• 150 g of cheddar cheese
• 1 lemon
• ½ red chilli
• 4 sprigs of parsley
• 300 g of salmon fillet
• 300 g of other fish
• 125 g of shrimp
• olive oil
• Spinach
• 2 tomatoes cut into quarters



Preheat the oven to 200C.
Boil a large saucepan of water.
Cut the potatoes into small pieces and put them in the boiling water. When the water comes back to the boil, cook for 12 minutes. Then mash the potatoes and put to one side.
Coarsely grate the vegetables and cheese into a baking dish.
Finely chop the chilli and parsley and add to the dish.


Cooking method

Cut the fish into small pieces and put in the baking dish with the prawns.
Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
Then add the spinach and tomatoes.
Mix everything well.
Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the mixture.
Place the baking dish in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the dish rest. Then serve and enjoy!



This dish is crying out for a very dry white wine, preferably from a coastal area such as Cádiz or from the Rias Baixas in Galicia.

We chose an albariño (Galicia), but Barbadillo (Cádiz) would do just as well.

¡Buen provecho!


©  Rita Whitelock


Tags: albariño. Barbadillo, Cádiz, coast, fish pie, montejaque, rias baixas, rita whitelock, serrania de ronda, SOL Classic Car Club

Like 0        Published at 12:41 PM   Comments (0)

Carolyn’s Mediterranean pasta salad
Saturday, November 19, 2022

Carolyn Emmett is another guest recipe provider whom we are pleased to welcome to the Serrania Kitchen blog. In 2013 Carolyn designed and produced "The Cookbook and Village Guide" (El Libro de Cocina y Guia del Pueblo), a bilingual recipe book based on Montejaque, that included recipes from locals, from extranjeros who live in the village and from local bars and restaurants.


Carolyn’s Mediterranean pasta salad



1. 1 bag of Penne or Pennetta white pasta
2. 1 small container of low-fat feta
3. 1 small crate of grape tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes
4. 1/2 red onion
5. 2 dashes Tabasco or hot sauce
6. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
7. 1/3 cup olive oil
8. 1 teaspoon salt (pepper to taste)
9. Several leaves of fresh basil or about 1.5 tablespoons dry crushed basil



Fully cook and shock the pasta with cold water, then put it in a large bowl to the side.

Slice the grape or cherry tomatoes in half, then chop the red onion into small bits.

To make the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, salt, hot sauce and pepper into a bowl. Whisk until completely blended.

In the large bowl with the pasta, combine the onion, tomatoes, basil and feta. Stir together, then drizzle the dressing over the salad, while stirring.

There you have it!

Serve warm with sea salt and a glass of crisp Prosecco for an authentic Italian lunch!


©   Carolyn Emmett


About Carolyn Emmett

Carolyn Emmett and husband Kevin live in Montejaque in the Serrania de Ronda. They have had an exciting expatriate life, having lived in Canada, Indonesia, Botswana and South Africa before retiring to Montejaque in 2011. In 2013 Carolyn designed and produced The Cookbook and Village Guide (El Libro de Cocina y Guia del Pueblo), a bilingual recipe book that includes recipes from the locals, bars and restaurants and extranjeros. All proceeds from the cookbook are earmarked for a social project in the village.


Tags: carolyn emmett, mediterranean, pasta, prosecco salad, tabasco, tomato

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Julie's Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto
Friday, November 18, 2022

The Serranía Kitchen bloggers, Jovan, Madita, Paul and Rita, have decided to invite friends to contribute the occasional recipe. Today we are delighted to present one of Julie Wilkinson's favourites:


Julie's Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto

It’s autumn here in Andalucía and so pumpkin and squash abound. Whilst a pumpkin purée is a staple dish for this season, I like to mix it up a little and this recipe provides a substantial lunch at little cost. I’ve fused a typical, Italian risotto with a Spanish twist.

Hope you like it – my Spanish friends always request it!


Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 1 large onion/ 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 20g butter
  • Tablespoon good quality olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley (optional)
  • 200g blue cheese – my favourites are Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte (less bite with the Dolce/ Dulce; I prefer the Picante)
  • 4 portions of pumpkin/ squash chopped into 1cm cubes
  • A good stock – I tend to use homemade chicken stock, but a good veg stock keeps this dish vegetarian – usually 1 litre or less
  • 4 handfuls of arborio risotto rice (arroz redondo will do)
  • [my now-not-so-secret-ingredient!] small glass of dry aniseed drink (anis seco). If you don’t like a slight aniseed flavour, then a larger glass of good, dry, white wine will do. The pumpkin needs this kick.



Gently warm the butter in a large, shallow pan, adding onion once warmed.

Sprinkle the oil.

Cook gently so the onion turns almost transparent, never browning or even golden.

Add the pumpkin, the anis/wine and enough stock to just cover the contents.

Simmer gently for 10 minutes or so. Do the knife test to check the pumpkin is starting to go soft.

Add the rice and top up with stock.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Gently simmer until rice is cooked (al dente) and liquid is absorbed. Try not to stir. The surface should glisten, thanks to that bit of butter.

Turn off the heat. Gently stir in the cheese, cut into small cubes. Taste for personal preference before adding all the cheese as you may prefer less than 200g.

Cover and leave the dish to absorb the cheese flavour.

Take to the table and serve (sprinkle of parsley optional).

Tip: if you prefer a variety of colours in this dish, I recommend a couple of handfuls of frozen garden peas. Stir them in just before removing from the heat so that they don’t overcook, then add the cheese as above.


Recommended accompaniment

A chilled rosado or a light tinto.

¡Buen provecho!


©  Julie Wilkinson


About Julie Wilkinson

Julie Wilkinson (Julia to her Spanish friends), semi-retired, active interpreter and advisor to Brits moving to, and now living, in this part of Spain. A big fan of the Serranía de Ronda since her first visit in 1980 and resident since 2018 after leaving her academic career in Computing behind in the UK. A fluent speaker of Spanish (amongst other languages), passionate about music in many forms and a novice birdwatcher, Julie spends her free time enjoying nature photography and hiking these sierras as well as being an active participant in all local fiestas.


Tags: anís, autumn, blue cheese, julie wilkinson, pumpkin, recipe, risotto, rosado, tinto


Like 1        Published at 6:52 AM   Comments (2)

Paul’s Serranía Onion Soup
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

By Paul Whitelock

This hearty soup is ideal for the cold nights we are experiencing at the moment. I did some research, sourced local ingredients and came up with this version.


Paul’s Serranía Onion Soup

I wanted to create a French-style onion soup using local produce. I found three different coloured local onions – red, white and brown. Garlic, potatoes and carrots came from my “huerta” and purified water came from my well.


Ingredients (serves 4)

3 local onions, 1 red, 1 white and 1 brown

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

15g salted butter, or oil

2 tsps meat bouillon (vegetable will also work)

900 ml fresh water

2 tsps brown sugar

2 medium local potatoes, cubed

1 carrot, sliced

1tbsp of random mixed herbs. I used coriander, parsley and rosemary

Salt and ground black pepper

½ cup of dark Vermouth to deglaze the pan

1 slice per person of toasted pan picado andaluz topped with a grated local hard cheese

To accompany, a doppelbock (8%) from Hijos de Rivera craft brewery in A Coruña, Galicia



Fry the shredded onion in the butter in a deep frying pan, stirring continuously, When the onions start to turn golden add the crushed garlic and mix well. You need to caramelise the onions well – this is very important for the ultimate flavour of the soup.

Meanwhile, in a large pan boil the water, add the bouillon, herbs, sugar, salt and ground pepper. Add the cubed potatoes and sliced carrot. Bring back to the boil.

Continue to fry and caramelise the onions. When this process is complete add to the large pan. De-glaze the frying pan with the Vermouth and add to the large pan.

Simmer on low heat for about an hour.

Then either blend the soup or leave it as it is. I left mine.

Serve with the toasted bread topped with melted cheese.

Enjoy with a strong local craft beer. I only had a craft beer from the North in the house, but it went very well with the soup.

¡Salud y buen provecho!


© Paul Whitelock


Tags: A Coruña, doppelbock, French, Galicia, Hijos de Rivera, 1906, ingredients, onion soup, paul whitelock, recipe 

Like 1        Published at 6:14 AM   Comments (0)

Rita’s Onion and Goat Cheese quiche
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

This simple recipe puts shop-bought quiches in the shade. Rita Whitelock prefers to cook good food rather than spend hard-earned cash on inferior offerings from the supermarkets…


Rita’s Onion and Goat Cheese quiche



• 225 g shortcrust pastry
• 50 g butter
• 2 red onions, thinly sliced
• 2 eggs
• 1 egg yolk
• 150 ml single cream
• 60 ml milk
• 75 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
• salt and black pepper



Preheat the oven to 200C.

Roll out the pastry to 6 mm thickness and use to line a 20 cm flan tin. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the beans and discard and bake the pastry case for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pan, add the onions and fry gently over a very low heat until the onions are soft and transparent.

Drain away the excess butter and allow the onions to cool slightly.

In a bowl beat together the eggs, cream, milk and goat’s cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooled onions to the egg mixture, mix well and then pour the mixture into the baked pastry case. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is set and golden brown.

Serve the quiche hot or cold with a fresh green salad and a glass of fresh juice.


© Rita Whitelock 


Tags: Chilli, cream, goat’s cheese, milk, onion, quiche, recipe, rita whitelock, supermarket

Like 2        Published at 7:47 AM   Comments (2)

Paul's Baked Mediterranean Vegetables
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The other day I harvested the last of my summer veg from the huerto. What to do with them? Well, how about baking them in the oven?

Image preview

Paul's Baked Mediterranean Vegetables


The vegetables are flexible. I used what I had:

1 green courgette

1 mis-shapen yellow courgette

3 green tomatoes 

1 medium aubergine

assorted red and green peppers

1 onion

1 whole garlic

salt and pepper




Preheat oven to 180C.

Line a baking tray with oven paper and oil sparingly.

Prepare the veg according to taste.

I left the onion whole after peeling.

I quartered the aubergine and cut the courgettes into chunks.

I halved the tomatoes.

I distributed the individual whole garlic cloves randomly throughout the baking tray.

Sprinkle over salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the veg pieces to coat them with the oil.

When the oven has reached 180C place tray in the centre of the oven.

Bake for around 20 minutes or until the veg has turned golden brown.

Remove, place veg in a serving dish and sprinkle over oregano.



A glass of rosado or a light tinto , eg tempranillo.


©  Paul Whitelock


Tags: Mediterranean, vegetable, baked, oven, courgette, aubergine, tomato, onion, garlic, peppers, pepper, salt, orégano, rosado, tinto, tempranillo

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Ritas’s Moroccan Chicken
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Rita first came across this dish at an international food festival in Montejaque in 2010 where it won first prize. The cook was Heather Cooper, owner with her husband Wayne, of HIKE AND BIKE in Ronda. Heather kindly shared the recipe, which Rita has adapted into one of her own favourite signature dishes…


Ingredients – (4 people)

4 chicken breasts (approx. 200g each) cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of ground ginger (or fresh, finely chopped)
2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
½ teaspoon of grated nutmeg
375 ml chicken broth
250 ml of water
70 g dates, chopped
90 g honey
80 g roasted almond flakes
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander



Heat half of the olive oil and fry the chicken until brown. Lay aside on kitchen paper.
Heat the rest of the oil and fry the onion until soft.
Add the spices, stir well and fry for another minute.
Return the chicken to the pan with the broth and water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Stir in the dates, honey and nuts and warm them through.
Just before serving, stir in the coriander.
Serve with couscous.


Suggested drink

Cerveza tostada or a good tempranillo from Ribera del Duero or La Rioja


©Rita Whitelock


 Tags: chicken, heather cooper, hike and bike, ronda, montejaque, Moroccan recipe

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Paul’s Prawns with Chilli and Mangoes
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

A Spanish friend requested some ideas to use up the fresh chillis in her fridge. Paul Whitelock took up the challenge and came up with this recipe. Fátima loved it! So did I!

Ingredients (for two people)

6-8 king prawns

1 medium-sized onion

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger

1 clove garlic

3-4 small hot fresh chillies

1 mango

2 teaspoons tomato purée

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons Pedro Ximénez sherry

4-6 leaves of baby spinach or similar leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste



Dice the onion; peel and grate the ginger; peel and crush the garlic; rinse, halve, deseed and slice the chillis. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Peel the mango, remove the flesh from the stone and cut into small pieces.

Mix the tomato purée, soy sauce and sherry in a small bowl.

Rinse and dry the leaves and arrange on the serving plates.

Heat the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the onion mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the prawns and continue frying until they are just beginning to turn pink. Add the mango pieces and stir-fry until the prawns are thoroughly cooked and the mango is heated through.

Add the soy sauce mixture and bring the pan to the boil. Season to taste, spoon the mixture over the bed of leaves and serve.



I had peanuts as a garnish and a chilled bottle of Barbadillo from Cádiz.


©  Paul Whitelock


Tags:  chilli, Spanish friend, garlic, ginger, mango, prawn, recipe, sherry, Pedro Jiménez, spinach, soy sauce, wok, Barbadillo, Cádiz


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Rita’s Kartoffelsalat
Monday, October 31, 2022

Kartoffelsalat (potato salad) is a favourite side dish throughout Germany. The Meter Maid’s version is very popular among friends here in the Serranía de Ronda. Here’s how she makes it:


Rita’s Serranía Potato Salad – (serves 4)


1-2 kg potatoes
Approx. 300-500 ml meat stock
1 onion
Salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tbsp vinegar
Pickled gherkins
Dash of the gherkin water
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil


  • Boil potatoes in their skins. Allow to cool, then peel and cut into thin slices.
  • Dice the onion and add to potatoes.
  • Cut gherkins into small pieces and add.
  • Pour stock over.
  • Add salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar and gherkin water.
  • Mix well and check taste.
  • Allow to stand for 1-2 hours, then check taste again. If too dry add more stock. If too sweet add oil.
  • Mix well and serve.


©  Rita Whitelock


About Rita Whitelock

German-born Rita is a retired intensive care nurse and medical administrator. Alongside her career she raised three children with her first husband. An accomplished cook, she famously catered on two occasions for the Sol Classic Car Club when they came on daytrips to Montejaque, where Rita has lived since 2005. Rita discovered Montejaque through Montejaque's twin-town Knittlingen in Germany, where she used to work.


Tags: gherkin, Kartoffelsalat, meter maid, potato salad,, rita whitelock, serrania de ronda, Montejaque, Knittlingen

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