Tag Archives: book review

#cookfromthebooks week 9 – Carnival capers, supperclub visit & almond tart.

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The end of Semana Blanca holiday (half term here) in Malaga province, went out with a bang. A family day out on the coast enjoying blue skies and warm sunshine, a chance to finally sample a fellow supper-clubbers Rooftop Table’s gourmet ‘Thai’ delights, dancing on a bar, well it was ‘Carnaval‘ and afternoon tea with tart, Almond & raspberry slice, from Bill Granger’s book, aptly named ‘Holiday‘ .

I can’t believe it’s week 9 of my personal #cookfromthebooks challenge already, this has got to be one of my best New Year resolutions ever, a win, win resolution. 🙂 That I’m loving sticking to, and everyone else is enjoying the fayre.

Bill Granger’s style is chilled and comforting, this book, focuses on occasions and events all related to relaxing and food.  Outdoors, fireside, celebrations and barefoot.

Bill Grangers Holiday, book review by La Rosilla.

I knew we were expecting a hectic week-end of revelry, so I decided on a decadent and rich Almond and raspberry slice recipe, to enjoy as and when we wanted, whilst taking a five minutes to sip tea and chillax.  All the ingredients I had in the fridge and store cupboard, and I easily managed to put it all together in between chores before going out.

ALMOND & RASPBERRY SLICE

It has a crunch shortbread bottom, fruity layer of jam (use your favourite flavour) and a sweet nutty topping, definitely not an everyday treat 😉 .  Don’t make the mistake I did, and add all the sugar at the almond stage, it then is really sweet !!!!

210g butter softened

165g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g flaked & whole almonds mixed

2 tbsp milk

225g plain flour

40 g cornflower

160g raspberry jam

  • Preheat oven 180c
  • Line a bking tray with paper approx 24 x 20cm
  • To make the almond topping : put 60g of the butter, 55g of the sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, the lamonds and milk in a pan.  Cook over a low heat until the butter and sugar has dissolved, then leave to cool
  • Make the shortbread base : beat the remaning butter, sugar and vanilla, until pale & creamy.  Sift the flour and cornflower together and beat into butter mix until crumbly.
  • Press the dough into the baking tin and bake for 12 mins or until light & golden.  Leave to cool for 10 mins.
  • Spread the jam over the base, then the almond mixture.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 25 mins more.
  • allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Enjoy with tea & breathe !

Family rating adults 10/10 chi8ldren 7/10 dare I say too rich for them !!

Back to reality now, children back at school,l cooler climes and wind blowing a hoolie, Oh well it’s nearly the week-end 😉

BUEN PROVECHO

If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

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#cookfromthebooks Week 5

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One of my all time favourite chef and cook book writers this week, all hail the Great ‘Yotam Ottolenghi‘ and recipes chosen from his beautiful book written with Sami Tamimi, ‘JERUSALEM’ sharing recipes from their children memories, family occasions and homelands.  Yotam’s books that he has created are stories and works of art, shared through food and delicious food photography – Definitley books to have on show, even with well worn, spiced stained page corners.Jerusalem

I was introduced to Middle Eastern cooking and flavours many years ago, through a Palestinian friend, who was eager to share his love of warm, aromatic spices and regional cuisine with us.  For a long time, I left the cooking to him, sitting back and relaxing and soaking up the flavours and heady scents with the dishes he created.  On moving to Spain some 9 years ago, I started looking back into the history of Moorish spices and their influence in many Andalucian dishes, and then took inspiration from many new recipe books and ancient flavours that were being highlighted from these Eastern climes.

Most recipes focusing on locally produced, home grown ingredients, abundantly using fresh vegetables, healthy pulses and heady fresh herbs and spices.  Dishes to share with friends and family.

My recipe this week for my #cookfromthebooks challenge was MEJADRA, descibed as an ancient dish, popular throughout the Arab world, many families taking a huge pot of Mejadra with them to share on a picnic, with a spoonful of fresh yoghurt.   It is a sweetly spiced, comforting and warming dish of rice and lentils, laddened with sticky caramelised onions.

I added, as I do 😉 a handful of dried cranberries, and fresh mint and coriander chopped and stirred through the dish at the end, to add a lightness to this rich dish.  This dish although simple in ingredients and economical too, was easy to prepare but not quick, I found it  stir, relax and sip cooking, perfect for a weekend evening when there is no rush.

Mejadra Recipe

MEJADRA

250g green lentils ( I used Pardina in Spain)

4 Medium Onions sliced

3 tbsp plain flour

250 ml sunflower oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

200g basmati rice

1/2 ground turmeric

1 1/2 tsp grounds allspice

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

350 ml water

S & P

  • In a small saucepan place the lentils with plenty of water to cover, bring to the boil and then simmer for 12-15 mins until slightly soften but still with bite ( I added a bay leaf with my water), then drain.
  • Place the onions in large plate or bowl and sprinkle on the flour & salt, mix thoroughly.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil until hot. Divide the onion into small batches and fry until golden and brown and some crispy.  Don’t crowd your pan at this stage as it will create steam and the onions will just soften.
  • As the onions are cooked transfer to a colander lined with kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle with a little more salt.
  • Wipe the saucepan clean, then toss in the coriander and cumin seeds to toast for a minute or two, until their aromas are reale4ased.
  • Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar and salt & pepper.
  • Stir to coat the rice in the oil and spices, then add the lentils and water ( here I added a handful of dried cranberries) .
  • Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and then simmer on a a very low heat for 15 mins.
  • Take off the heat, remove the lid quickly and place a clean tea towel over it the pan and replace the lid, to allow it to rest and steam for 10 mins.
  • To serve, layer the dish with rice, lentils and half the onions, ( I stirred fresh herbs in here) more rice and lentils and top the final dish with the crispy caramelized onions.

COOKING : Easy but not quick.

FAMILY RATING : Adults 9/10 Children 7/10 (Think it will grow on them, it’s a lentils thing 😉

Mejadra recipe review

On friday night we also had ‘Ottolenghi’s’ Turkey & Courgette burgers with spring onion and cumin, these were a winner all round.

BUEN PROVECHO

If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

 

#Cookfromthebooks Week 1

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Saturday night arrived and the familiar, family questions of ‘What’s for supper Mum’ were being heard…’Something new’ I replied.

So I begin my personal challenge for the year #cookfromthebooks.

This weeks recipe book picked, was the delightful, artistic and beautifully written Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.

Apples for jam by Tessa Kiros

I actually picked 2 recipes this week, to make a complete family supper.  All the ingredients I had in the cupboards or fridge and both dishes could be prepared simply, which was a bonus after a hard but satisfying day, building new fencing on the mountain for our ponies new paddock.

I adapted the recipes, as I do 😉 just to add other dimensions and what I had in stock.

The first Pumpkin Pizza.

pizza

Not an ordinary pizza, by using pumpkin as the base instead of dough, you get a sweet and unctuous taste.

INGREDIENTS

1 small pumpkin – I used a butternut squash very thinly sliced lengthways. (some care needed here, use a very sharp knife)

1 onion, finely sliced.

1 jar of passata – I used ‘frito’

1 ball of buffalo mozzarella

handful of grated strong cheddar

oregano

olive oil.

Here’s how …

  • drizzle OO in base of oven proof baking dish, layer the pumpkin, seasoning as you go.
  • spread the passata over pumpkin, and bake in oven for 40 mins.
  • tear up mozzarella and sprinkle on-top of dish with cheddar
  • sprinkle over oregano and bake for 10 more mins until bubbling.

FAMILY RATING 8/10

EASY

Recipe 2, Chicken escalopes with tomatoes and capers.

Chicken escalopes with toms and capers recipe.

Fresh and vibrant tasting, with piquancy from the capers.

Ingredients

4 chicken fillets

plain flour for dusting

handful of cherry toms

glug of white wine

3 cloves of garlic peeled and bashed but left whole

tbs of capers drained & rinsed.

tbs of chopped fresh parsley

olive oil

Here’s how….

  • dust the chicken fillets with flour
  • heat a little OO in large frying pan
  • add garlic and tomatoes, saute until tomatoes start to pucker
  • remove toms to a warm plate
  • add chicken to pan and fry until golden on both sides, watch the garlic so it doesn’t burn
  • add the wine to the pan let bubble, put toms back in
  • sprinkle with parsley season and add capers
  • put a lid on and take pan off heat and let stand for a few mins, before serving.

FAMILY RATING 8/10

EASY

BUEN PROVECHO

If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted 🙂 Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

Book chatter with tea & cake.

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The sun shone for a few brief hours, enough to raise my spirits, hang my washing on the line, and sweep the fallen leaves off the terrace, but it didn’t last long.

The rain clouds returned to the mountain and the afternoon sky turned dark & grey, but no worries…It was La Rosilla Book Club time, so that meant afternoon tea & cake and book chatter with friends.  After a spring & summer of book club alfresco, we’re back to snuggling up in doors, so candles were lit, tea poured & carrot cake enjoyed.

We were joined by Joan Fallon who was the author of our monthly read ‘ Between the sierras & the sea‘ an endearing read, about the troubled times of our area of Andalucia in the civil war.  So thought provoking, to read of places so near that were affected so brutally, and yet have survived and risen again from the ashes. 

Joan talked about people & books that had inspired her like ‘Malaga Burning’ by Gamel Woolsey published in 1939  and also her new writings she is working on.

Chat veered off course like normal, which is great 🙂 We discussed Jamie Oliver,  Fanny Cradock & Delia, our favourite cook books, tapas restaurants, bureaucracy, troubled teens, manners & discipline, coastal versus mountain temperatures , the weather, did we discuss the weather ? Can’t quite remember, but we must have , we’re British….I know one thing, I forgot my washing on the line, by then sodden ! hey ho, cake was good 😉

 

 

 

Spanish Cooking – Book review

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Nothing makes me happier or more content, than to while away a few hours, reading a good book, especially if it is full of recipes, beautiful food photography and writings of a chef from the stories experiences and memories from their lives that have been centered around food, sharing and families.

Miguel Maestre’s new simply titled book ‘ Spanish Cooking’ delivers just that, traditions, and tastes from his life in Spain growing up in the South Eastern province of Murcia.

To read my full review visit the fabulous site Books4Spain .

Books4Spain has an extensive selection of over 70 Spanish cook and recipe books as well as has thousands of books in English about Spain,