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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.

Paul's tosta de guacamole con sardina
Monday, October 16, 2023

By Paul Whitelock

This quick snack is surprisingly filling, and healthy: lettuce, oily fish, tomato and onion. Choose a healthy bread like centeno or cereales.


Ingredients (for 1 person):

1 avocado

½ large tomato

¼ red onion

Coriander to taste

½ lime

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

A pinch of salt

1 can of sardines

Bread of choice

Olive oil



Mash the avocado

Dice the tomato

Cut the onion as small as possible

Squeeze the juice of the ½ lime

Add the salt and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Mix and set aside

Toast the bread, add a drizzle of olive oil

Spread the guacamole on the toasted bread

Add the sardines and coriander

If you wish, add a drop or two more of olive oil




A glass of manzanilla or fino suits this snack well, or a glass of white wine from the Costa de la Luz or from Galicia, eg Barbadillo or Albariño.









© Paul Whitelock



albariño, avocado, barbadillo, cednteno, cereales, coconut oil, coriander, Costa de la Luz, fino, Galicia, guacamole, lettuce, lime, manzanilla, oily fish, olive oil, onion, sardine, tomato

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Paul's Winter Warmer – 3-bean and vegetable soup
Monday, February 27, 2023

The weather turned cold this past weekend. I was home alone on Saturday evening, so I lit the log fire and settled in to watch the 6 nations rugby match between Wales and England.

What to eat, though? A pizza? Sausages and mash? No, I fancied a thick winter soup to warm me up from the inside. So, I raided the pantry and the fridge and came up with this:


3-bean and vegetable soup


1 red onion (diced)

4 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)

2 potatoes (diced)

2 carrots (chopped)

1 can tomato chunks

For the beans I used what I had:

1 small glass of alubias blancas

1 small glass of alubias rojas

1 can baked beans

Salt and pepper

1 glass red wine

½ litre of vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

3 laurel leaves



Heat the oil in a large deep pan.

Fry the onion, garlic, potatoes and tomatoes for 5 minutes.

Add salt and ground pepper and stir.

Add the stock and wine and stir well.

Bring to the boil and add the baked beans.

Stir well and set to simmer.

Cook for 30 minutes.



Serve with a laurel leaf and parsley flakes as garnish with a crispy bread roll.

I drank a can of Guinness with my soup.



I enjoyed my impromptu meal, and it certainly warmed me up.

Why not give it a try? Just use what you have. It won't matteer if you use different beans or veg.


©  Paul Whitelock

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Carolyn's Broccoli, Red Pepper and Apple Salad
Monday, January 30, 2023

By Carolyn Emmett

I make this recipe at least twice a month because it goes with so many things. It keeps well in the fridge, especially if I use Pink Lady apples, which are very crisp and retain their colour.




  • 2 Tbsps. Oil
  • 3 Tbsps. fruit vinegar (apple is best)
  • 1½ tsps. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps. honey or maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper


  • Blend together the dressing ingredients.
  • Finely chop 1 head of broccoli (no stalk), 1 red pepper and 1 apple (with peel).
  • Add to dressing and mix well.
  • Lightly toast 40g of pine nuts and sprinkle on top (optional).


© Carolyn Emmett


About Carolyn Emmett

Carolyn Emmett and husband Kevin lCarolyn Emmettive 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 other extranjeros. All proceeds from the cookbook are earmarked for a social project in the village.



Tags: apple, broccoli, dressing, honey, maple syrup, mustard, pine nuts,Pink Lady, red pepper, salad, vinegar

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Simon’s West Country Chicken Curry
Monday, January 30, 2023

This delicious medium curry has been developed and modified over several years. With influences from Asia and elsewhere, Simon reckons he’s now got it just right.



Ingredients (for two people):


2 chicken breasts cut into bitesize cubes

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 red pepper (sliced)

4 large button mushrooms (chopped)

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp hot chilli powder

1 tsp tomato puree

3 tbsps mango chutney

1 heaped tsp Bisto gravy powder or similar

1 heaped tsp plain flour

1 chicken stock cube

a splash of white wine or dry sherry

150 g basmati rice




Stir fry the chicken cubes to seal the meat

Add onion, garlic and pepper

Sweat for 1-2 minutes

Add the spices and stir

Add tomato puree and cook for 1 minute

Mix the Bisto and flour into a paste and blend with ½l of water

Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil

Crumble in the stock cube, stir the mix and reduce the heat

Boil the rice in water for 10-11 minutes

With 5 minutes to go, stir in the chopped mushrooms and mango chutney

Drain the rice and serve with poppadums or chapatis


Accompanying Drinks:


Water, dry cider, a golden ale or una cerveza tostada


©  Simon L Whitelock


About Simon Whitelock

Simon is a retired mechanical engineer who lives near Bristol, England, with wife Marilyn. They have three children and six grandchildren between them. Simon is widely travelled and has visited places as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, USA, Scandinavia, Tunisia, Morocco and a dozen countries in Europe. He is a keen motorcyclist, genealogist and amateur cook.






Tags: basmati rice, Bisto, Bristol, cerveza tostada, chapati, chicken curry, chilli powder, cider, coriander, cumin, curry, flour, garam masala, garlic, golden ale, mango chutney, mechanical engineer, motorcyclist, mushroom, onion, pepper, poppadum, red pepper, rice, Simon Whitelock, stock, stock cube, tomato puree, turmeric, water, west country chicken curry, white wine


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Rita’s Serrania Chilli Soup
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Rita is rather good at cooking. Why else did Paul Whitelock marry her? Well, there were other reasons, but we don’t need to go into that here! Here’s a nice little recipe of hers that’s easy to prepare and which tastes delicious.


Ingredients – (Serves 4)

  • 1 chorizo ring
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1 jar of red kidney beans
  • Mixed herbs
  • Soya sauce
  • Chilli – powder, fresh or paste
  • 2-3 cans of chopped tomatoes (1-2 with onions)



  • Cut chorizo into small pieces and fry lightly.
  • Slice the courgette, cut into quarters and add to chorizo.
  • Then add the sweet corn and beans and continue frying.
  • Add the herbs and spices.
  • Finally add the tomatoes.
  • Stir thoroughly while heating.
  • Check taste 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 twin-town Knittlingen, where she used to work.






Tags: chilli, chilli soup, chorizo, cooking, courgette, Paul Whitelock, recipe, red kidney beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, Rita Whitelock



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Paul's Tortilla Española
Saturday, January 14, 2023

How to make a Spanish omelette - the Basque way

By Paul Whitelock


Tortilla Española… how to make a Spanish omelette

Paul Whitelock was taught how to make a Spanish omelette by a Basque friend at the age of 21. Here’s how…



  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed or diced
  • 1 onion sliced or chopped
  • garlic (if desired)
  • 4 eggs
  • olive oil



Fry the potatoes in sufficient olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.  Cover with a lid.  Just before the potatoes are cooked add the onion (and garlic).

In the meantime beat the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and ground pepper.  When the potatoes and onions are cooked, add them to the egg avoiding transferring too much oil from the frying pan. Mix well, so that the potatoes, onion and garlic are well-coated with the egg mixture.

Pour off excess oil from the pan and make sure the remaining film of oil is hot before adding the mixture to the pan.  Turn down the heat immediately.  Agitate the mixture with a wooden spoon to aid cooking.  When the underside is cooked, turn omelette onto a plate and return to pan with the uncooked side downwards.  Cook until the centre of omelette is still soft but hot.  Don’t allow the underside to burn.  Turn on to a plate and eat either hot or cold.

If omelette sticks, don’t panic – you can carefully reconstruct it by scraping stuck pieces onto a plate and reshaping it before returning to the pan.


To drink

A boisterous red wine should do the trick!


¡Salud y buen provecho!


©  Paul Whitelock


Tags: eggs, frying pan, garlic, ingredients, method, olive oil, omelette, onion, Paul Whitelock, potatoes, recipe, Serrania kitchen, Spanish, tortilla española


Paul Whitelock

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Paul’s Cabbage Curry
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Paul recently posted two recipes for red cabbage, to use up the gorgeous brassicas from his huerto. He still had four heads left, so he trimmed them, shredded them, used most for an experimental curry, and froze the rest fresh for a future date.


Paul’s Cabbage Curry

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 generous handfuls of shredded red cabbage
  • 150 g frozen peas
  • 5 tbsps sunflower oil
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds (comino)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric (cúrcuma)
  • ¼ tsp of pimentón picante
  • 2 tsps chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 1/4tsp garam masala
  • ¼ litre of vegetable stock
  • Basmati rice



  • Chop and shred the red cabbage.
  • Heat the oil in a wide-based pan.
  • Reduce to a medium-high heat and fry the cumin seeds and bay leaves for 30 seconds.
  • Add the red cabbage and peas and mix together well.
  • Fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the turmeric and pimentón and stir well.
  • Add the stock and stir.
  • In the meantime, start the rice.
  • Bring to the curry mixture to the boil, then cover the pan, turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chilli powder, salt and sugar.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the garam masala.


Serving suggestion

A couple of poppadoms each with mango chutney and/or fresh sliced onions go well with this dish.

To drink, try dry cider (brut) from Asturias , an India Pale Ale (IPA) or a strong lager. Guinness also works.


© Paul Whitelock


Tags: Asturias, bay leaves, brut, cabbage, chilli, cider, comino, cumin, cúrcuma, curry, garam masala, IPA, lager, mango chutney, onion, peas, pimentón picante, poppadom, red cabbage, salt, sugar, turmeric


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Red Cabbage – What to do with it?
Saturday, December 10, 2022

Last Thursday, 8 December was Inmaculada Concepción. The weather was so wet, it was a day for staying in, not for going out to celebrate the Virgin Birth.

In between the showers, Paul harvested some of the glut of red cabbage from his huerto and decided to experiment with these vibrant and healthy-looking brassicas and whatever else he had in the house. After all, he couldn't go out to buy any ingredients, as shops were shut for the religious holiday.

Paul came up with two different ideas, one a smooth creamy vegan soup made with potatoes; the other a chunky sweet and sour “stew”, with carrots.


1. Jovan and Paul’s Vegan Cream of Red Cabbage Soup

Taking on board German stepson Jovan’s vegan principles, Paul came up with this tasty offering, which is also gluten-free.



  • 1 head of red cabbage. Use fresh cabbage, otherwise the soup may taste slightly bitter.
  • 1 large potato: Use a starchy variety. It helps to make the soup creamy.
  • ½ red onion.
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic, roughly chopped.
  • Parsley as garnish.
  • Lemon (or lime) juice.
  • 1 tsp ginger powder. It gives a very nice warm taste to this soup. You could also use fresh minced ginger.
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 2 tbsps olive oil.
  • 1 small cup of almond or coconut milk.
  • ½ litre of vegetable stock.



  • Roughly chop the red cabbage. Peel and chop the potatoes too. Since we will be blending the vegetables in the soup, you can roughly chop all the vegetables.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and onion. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add cabbage, potato, ginger powder, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes. Sauteing for a few minutes before adding the stock brings out the flavour of the cabbage, but don't overcook it as it will be cooked with the stock too.
  • Add vegetable stock, mix well, and cover the pan. Simmer for around 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and blend the soup with a blender until it turns smooth and creamy.
  • Add almond milk to the soup and mix. Switch off the heat
  • Finally, add lemon juice. Drizzle some olive oil/almond milk on top and garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Serve with course farmhouse bread.



Serve with a toasted beer or a stout. I’ve tried it with a Christmas ale from LIDL and with Guinness. Both go well with this soup.

Guten Appetit!


© Jovan Le Knorz and Paul Whitelock


2. Paul’s Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Soup






Paul’s second experimental dish was inspired by his love of Asian cuisine. Hence the sweet and sour element.



  • 1 small diced onion
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 3 diced carrots
  • 1 finely shredded red cabbage head
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • ½ litre of chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small cup of finely chopped dates



  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and then add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook the onion down for a few minutes until it begins to caramelise.
  • Next, add the carrots and stir again - making sure to scrape up any leftover onion bits.
  • After that, it's time to add the shredded cabbage. Cook it down until it starts to turn bright purple.
  • Once it's looking vibrant, add the can of tomatoes and stir.
  • Next, add the stock, red wine vinegar, honey, salt and chopped dates and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Simmer the soup for at least 45 minutes to soften the cabbage and to develop as much flavour as possible.



Garlic bread or a crusty farmhouse cob.

A strong dark beer, eg Murphy's Irish Stout or Schwarzbier from LIDL, or a hearty and full-bodied red wine, such as Jumilla or Valdepeñas.


© Paul Whitelock


 Tags: 8 December, almond milk, Asian cuisine, brassica, carrot, chicken stock, Christmas ale, cob, coconut milk, cream, Cream of Red Cabbage Soup, dates, farmhouse, garlic bread, ginger, ground black pepper, Guinness, honey, huerto, Inmaculada Concepción, Jovan Le Knorz, Jumilla, lemon juice, LIDL, lime juice, Murphy's Irish Stout, olive oil, onion, parsley, Paul Whitelock, potato, red cabbage, red wine, red wine vinegar, religious holiday, salt, Schwarzbier, sweet and sour, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Soup, toasted beer, tomatoes, Valdepeñas, vegan, vegetable stock, virgin birth 



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Paul’s Fuente de la Higuera Fry-up
Monday, December 5, 2022

Paul Whitelock

When we British talk of a fry-up we think of bacon, sausages, eggs, fried bread, etc. A Spaniard who orders a fritura expects to get a selection of fried fish, eg fritura malagueña.

How about this as a fry-up? Paul put together all the late-Summer vegetables he’d collected from his huerto in the last couple of days and made this:


Fuente de la Higuera Fry-Up


Fresh Mediterranean vegetables – use whatever you’ve got or buy what you need from a good supermarket. I used tomato, onions, courgettes, aubergines (two colours), a red pepper, a handful of small green peppers and a few potatoes. Plus garlic, of course.


Method 1 – Baked in the oven

  • Cut the vegetables into medium-sized chunks.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Oil a baking tray with olive/coconut/almond oil and coat the vegetable chunks well by rolling them around with your fingers.
  • When the oven reaches temperature place the baking tray in the middle of the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the veg chunks begin to turn golden brown.
  • Serve as it is or with rice or pasta.


Method 2 – Fried

  • Slice or dice the vegetables as you prefer.
  • Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of olive/coconut/almond oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add the prepared veg and fry, turning/tossing continually.
  • Serve as above with rice or pasta.


What to drink?

A nice glass or two of sidra from Asturias is a delicious and refreshing drink to accompany this dish. I don’t recommend Ladrón de Manzanas or La Prohibida – they’re too sweet (and too expensive!)


Note: Paul called his experimental dish Fuente de la Higuera Fry-Up because he lives in Fuente de la Higuera, a pedanía just outside Ronda. He also liked the alliteration of the letter ‘F’.


© Paul Whitelock


Tags: Asturias, aubergine, courgette, fritura malagueña, fry-up, fuente de la higuera, garlic, green pepper, Mediterranean, onions, Paul Whitelock, pepper, potatoes, recipe, red pepper, sidra, Spaniard, tomato, vegetables

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Paul’s Papas a lo pobre –Serranía style
Thursday, December 1, 2022

The other evening Paul Whitelock was wondering what to cook for dinner when he remembered a dish he discovered over 20 years ago when he first read “Driving Over Lemons” by Chris Stewart. Paul adapted the basic recipe described in the book and used to prepare it quite frequently back then. Paul had no recipe written down; it was still in his head. For Eye on Spain, he has adapted it once again. Here is what he did…


Paul’s Papas a lo pobre –Serranía style


Ingredients (for two)

3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into pieces

1 boniato (sweet potato), cut into pieces

1 medium-sized onion, chopped roughly

1 leek (optional), chopped into rings

4 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly

½ red pepper (optional), chopped roughly

½ yellow pepper (optional), chopped roughly

½ green pepper (optional), chopped roughly


Black pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil



Fry the onions, leeks and garlic lightly until soft

Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft

Stir frequently to prevent sticking

Serve in a bowl with a chunk of rustic bread and a glass or two of bog standard red wine, eg Valdepeñas, or a bottle of cerveza tostada Mahou, Alhambra roja or cerveza negra (eg Guinness or Schwarzbier from LIDL).

¡Buen provecho!


© Paul Whitelock


Tags: Alhambra roja, cerveza, cerveza negra, cerveza roja, cerveza tostada, Chris Stewart, Driving Over Lemons, Eye on Spain, garlic, Guinness,  leek, LIDL, Mahou, olive oil, onion, papas a lo pobre, Paul Whitelock, pepper, potato, recipe, red wine, Schwarzbier, sweet potato, Valdepeñas


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