Tag Archives: Andalucia Spain

Time to catch up !

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Oh my goodness, I can not believe I have not sat down and written since May ! . Shame on me, but mind you It’s not that I’ve been not living life to the full, and sometimes it’s just not the right time to write.  Well I’m back after a full to bursting, memory making, new experiences, catering to the max, foam partying, tapas tours & family and friends filled summer.

Family celebrations and special 18th birthday for my daughter with party and feasting and a great day at a stunning beach club to end it off.

A summer of welcoming guests on cooking and culture days from all over the world.  Honeymooners, friends holidaying together, families sharing new skills and cooking the perfect paellas.

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Girls from Holland.

Mama mia style weddings were a joy to plan and create for clients, with the Andalucian mountains and rustic villas providing the perfect backdrop for events to remember.  My biggest challenge this summer was to prepare, display and serve 800 tapas for an individual and stunning wedding celebration, it was utterly fabulous.

Holidays over, ninos went back to school, first rains appeared, temperatures dropped then rose again and now a heady Autumn we are enjoying.  Still able to eat alfresco and light up the BBQ, maybe just have to don a wrap or shawl as the sun sets.  Plants and flowers are coming back to life, after a long, hot summer.  Bees are busy on the blooming passionflower, and toads a plenty are coming out of their holes.

New season produce is flourishing, Chirmoyas, pomegranates, sweet potatoes to name a few.  Thoughts and tastes are turning towards comfort food, homemade soups and casseroles, long slow braised dishes and home-baked bread to mop up the juices. Most exciting for me is finally getting my new kitchen, which I’ll blog as #operationkitchen.  It has been a long time in the planning and saving, but soon work will commence.

So best foot forward for me, back to blogging, menu devising and planning for the future.  I’ll try to keep my cool when the demolition starts, but hey I can’t promise 😉

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Last Supper

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My ´Supperclub´has had a balmy summer, travelling to venues and houses of others, but ´Supper on the terrace´where it all began, some three summers ago , holds a strong place in my heart, albeit harder work, not only cooking all day, but my house has to be ship-shape, and the family have to be in Bristol fashion.

As the nights are drawing in, I decided that I would have to have my ´Last Supper´of the season, under the stars, and grapevine, whilst I could still guarantee warm temperatures and no rain.

With my No1 daughter back in Blighty now to study, she is normally my right hand girl, my steadier of nerves , and my entertainer, it was time to rope in my OH who at dinner parties is Host extroidinaire, never an empty glass, and often many a guests found on the sofa the next morn, but at ´Supperclub´front of house is not his forte.  No 1 son was also bribed to pitch in  but  he conveniently broke his big toe at school that afternoon.

Never a dull moment at La Rosilla.

So with a full house booked, prepping began in earnest, tables were laid, cutlery polished, candles lit, jazz tunes on, mojitos were mixed, and guests arrived.

Mountain living in Spain, allows me to use the most wonderful produce, that surprisingly many local eateries don´t celebrate.   Catering also for regular Vegans and veggies, who find the local approach of patatas cooked in pork fat with pork cooked in every conceivable manner the main choice on a menu – lets me offer them a welcome taste bud change, and also gets my creative mind going.

Supper on the Terrace

So what was ´The last supper ´.?

I scoured my overloaded recipe book-case, picking out old favourites, comfort food, dishes packed full of life & flavour, Ottolenghi´s Caramelised Endive & Serrano ham, Cranks´Broad Bean Pilaf & braised carrots with cumin, garlic & saffron to name a few.  Home baked rosemary and walnut rolls were served with a satisfying soup of butternut squash & almonds picked from my trees, and dessert was a sorbet of fresh picked figs  & port (the last off my tree 😦 ) , with a dark chocolate twirl.

Caramelised Endive & Serrano

Light faded, the moon shone, wine flowed and chatter got jovial,

I joined my guests with ´one for the road´and my OH was chief pot washer….well he could have done front of house ; !!

So as the season comes to an end, and the temperature drops, it has to drop soon surely ? I look forward to welcoming guests ´around the Kitchen Table´ for Autumn feasts and winter banquets.

As always La Rosilla – Unique & delicious

My Paella Pan !

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This is my guest post as featured on the Cooking Outdoors blog .  So much fun sharing recipes & experiences around the world.  You can follow The Outdoor Cook on Twitter here @cookingoutdoors.

Paella or Arroces, have become part of my families’ new life, since emigrating from the U.K to Andalucia Spain 7 years ago.

Paella is a dish prepared with love and gusto, to be shared with family, friends & neighbours. It is a dish offered in most Ferias of Spain throughout the year, and comes in many guises depending on the area of Spain you live in. From the traditional Paella Valenciana, with meat & seafood, to modern-day arroces (rices) & paellas adjusted to use what it is in season, or to suit the diners.

Paelleras (paella pans) range in size from a 4 portions to massive pans measuring meters across, to feed a whole town.  This giant paella is a spectacular cooking outdoor event, when people gather from far around, to watch and taste the local dish.  Cooked above a wood fire, these experts tend their giant pans of rice, meat & stock, until the dish is ready, rested and waiting to be devoured.  Often taking hours to prepare & cook, eaten in moments.

I like to cook my Paella on a warm summer evenings just as the sun is setting over the mountains.  I usually cook a 15 portion Paella, as leftovers are delicious.  I use a large pan and special Paella gas burner, which make it very portable, and I can cook anywhere, beach, camping & picnics.

Paella 228x300 Have Paella Pan Will travel   Guest postIt is a very social affair, often friends gather around the ring whilst cooking, many times offering their suggestions or preferences and expertise for the perfect Paella.

A favorite with my Family is Chicken, chorizo, asparagus and wild mushroom.

Based on 15 servings:

 The secret is to have all ingredients ready prepared, so you are ready to cook.

Ingredients

Olive oil

1kg of chicken pieces / skin off – Bone-in fine

1 large chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 1 cm slices.

1 glass of white wine.

1 onion – diced

1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 green pepper – diced

1 red pepper – diced

Handful of fresh thyme

1 dried ‘Nora’ pepper

1.5 kg paella rice ‘calasparra’

1 large tin of tomatoes

Saffron

2 sachets of Paella seasoning or ½ tsp each of Paprika, turmeric, fenugreek.

2 litres chicken stock

1 hand of Asparagus, trimmed.

500 g mixed fresh wild mushroom or preserved in brine

Lemon to decorate

Preparation

Prepare the chicken by marinating in olive oil, thyme, slat and pepper.

Make up stock and add saffron to infuse.

Put a layer of Olive oil in your Paella Pan to cover the bottom.

Heat gently, add your whole Nora pepper,  then chicken and thyme.

Brown the meat nicely, then stir and fry 10 mins.

Remove the Nora pepper

Add onion, garlic and peppers – Fry for 5 mins until soft.

Add chopped mushrooms and Chorizo – fry for 2/3 mins

Add tinned toms, and break up in pan, add white wine & stir & bubble.

Season with Salt & pepper

Stir in seasoning / spices.

Add handfuls of rice around the pan, to let rice absorb some of the juices, stir.

Pour in stock and saffron, stir so rice is distributed evenly.

Simmer for 5 – 6 mins then reduce heat to medium low.

DO NOT STIR ANYMORE cook for 20/25 mins until all liquid absorb, you may need to add a little more – you want you rice to be ‘al dente’.

5 mins before end of cooking, lay the Asparagus on the top in a circle, it will cook in the steam.

Turn off heat, and cover with a clean cloth, foil or as sometimes in Spain newspaper, to rest and flavor infuse.

Decorate the edge of the pan with lemon wedges, and sprinkle on some more fresh thyme.

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Buen Provecho x