Over a year ago I received an email from a lady in the U.K, who was planning a holiday to my area the Montes de Malaga, infact just down the ‘Mount’ and would be celebrating her 50th birthday with friends , she wanted an evening of celebrations..Could I do this ? Of course I could !
The terrace of La Rosilla (my home) is a perfect setting for something special, unique & delicious.
I was given free rein of the menu, with the only stipulation being ‘ we want to taste Andalucia ‘ Could I do this ? Of course I could.
Surrounded by local produce of the best, Chorizo, Morcilla & Jamon, created in Colmenar, Almonds , Oranges & olives grown on my land a Traditional mountain Menu, was born.
Seasonal watermelon was pureed and mixed with lime & white rum & mint for a welcoming Mojito, served with my infamous Beetroot gazpacho Shots & figs off my tree, stuffed with Goats cheese & drizzled with local honey.
The view was absorbed and as the sunset, and chicadas grew quieter the feasting began.
Chickpeas were braised with Chorizo & spinach, and Morcilla sautéed with apple, onion & cumin, a dish that converts anyone into a ‘Black pudding’ lover.
I share with you below the recipe for the main, ‘Lentejas con Jamon y Fino’ lentils braised with cured ham and sherry, a hearty accompaniment with a deep earthy taste, this was topped with quail roasted in garlic, giving an impressive looking dish.
I baked plums from the mountain, with cinnamon, butter & orange flower water, along with a traditional whole orange & almond tort.
The night grew dark, fairy lights came on, tee lights were lit, conversation flowed, cava was sipped, birthday cake sparklers were enjoyed, and ‘Cumpleaños Feliz’ sang & a lasting memory made.
Lentejas con Jamon y Fino
lentils are a Spanish store cupboard ingredient, my favourite the Pardina lentil is dark green in colour, (similar to the Puy lentil of France) and has a deep earthy flavour, boiled to cook with a bay leaf or two, they retain their shape and texture and are delicious stirred into many dishes.
- 250g Pardina lentils, rinsed and put in a saucepan with dbl qty of cold water and 2 bay leaves, bring to the boil & then simmer for 25 mins. Drain & reserve a cup of cooking liquor.
- Olive oil to saute & serve
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 sticks of celery diced
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- Tin of plum toms, chopped
- 1 tsp of Pimenton Dulce
- Glass of dry sherry or white wine
- Jamon chopped – or you could use chopped pancetta
- 1 tsp caraway seeds.
- salt flakes (I use maldon) & fresh black pepper.
In a large sauce pan saute the carrot, onion celery until softened but not coloured.
Add the garlic & carraway seeds and saute gently for 2-3 mins.
Add the jamon and stir for a min, or so. then add paprika.
Pour in the sherry and let everything bubble for a minute, to cook of alcohol.
Add tomatoes, then stir in cooked lentils.
It should be a thick sauce consistency, add the reserved lentil water to if it looks to dry.
Add salt & pepper to taste – Simmer very gently for 10 mins.
When ready to serve add fresh chopped parsley, & drizzle with olive oil.
You can topped with hard-boiled eggs, for a economical supper, or top with roast chicken.