Tag Archives: Canapes

Lebanese sweet potato cakes.

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I have obsessions with a few things in life, but  canapes, nibbles with a pre-dinner slurp is a favourite – Foo Fahs I call them & when a dinner invitation comes, I’m often heard to say I’ll bring the Foos.

A newer lust is for middle eastern & Moroccan flavours & spices, the sweet, heady scents and taste they produce always creates a stir in me, oo er ;).

I was recently gifted a lovely little packet of Lebanese spice mix, Nutmeg, ginger, allspice, fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon & black pepper.

So what foos could I create ?

Fridge raiding , I had a sweet potato, red onions, spinach, fresh coriander….So potato cakes it would be, these delicious little mouthfuls, were served with my fresh vibrant pomegranate raita.

Lebanese sweet potato cakes.

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, peeled & diced.

1 red onion, diced

2 big handful’s of fresh spinach

2 tsp of spice mix

flour for dusting

Sumac

Salt

In a large saucepan, saute the potatoes & onion in a little olive oil over a low heat, to soften and caramelize.

Add the spice mix, and fry for 1 min, to release all the flavours of the spice.

Add the spinach and put the lid on the pan, for the spinach to wilt.

With a potato masher, mash the ingredients. Season with sea salt.

Once cooled a little, take small amounts and form into patties, dip into flour that has been sprinkled with a little sumac.

Fry in batches, until golden.

They can be eaten straightway with the raita, or made in advance and warmed before eating in the oven.

Under the Stars.

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My first Private Dining event went fabulously last night. I was booked to cook for 14 Australians, who were staying in the most wonderful villa, this was their welcome meal, and only a couple of the party knew, so was a great surprise for all the others.

They were the most lovely family, who had traveled from all over the globe for a re-union, and I was to tempt them with local delights & flavours, whilst they soaked up the atmosphere and charm

It was a pleasure to cook in such a divine location, even the sweltering heat, didn’t dampen my brow !

I welcomed them with a selection of Embutidos, cured meats, salamis, chorizos, jamon, lomo & salchichon, all made in my local town of Colmenar, together with a cheese platter, of goats cheese with a rosemary and thyme crust, the delightful Spanish manchego and a sheep’s cheese with paprika.

Home cured olives, and warm herb & hazelnut bread accompanied the beginning of their feast.

They had chosen a selection of starters, then a giant paella to share.

My daughter entertained with a beautiful flamenco dance and all regalia, and was given a standing ovation.

Supper was finished under the stars, Fruit platter and chocolate fondue & Limoncello drizzle Cake, and with children moonlight dipping in the pool to keep cool.

I love how the joy of food, brings folks together, creates memory moments, full bellies & and the taste of things to come ……

My two favourite things ..

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Dinner & dancing, two of my favourite things… So to start off the season of my supperclub ‘La Rosilla – Supper on the Terrace’ , I planned ‘Tango on the Terrace’ . Now this year the weather has been all over the place, by this time of year we are almost guaranteed balmy nights of lazy, long suppers, but not this year, and not on my inaugural night.

 

Busy cooking in the kitchen, and shouting orders to ninos to sort plates, cutlery and glasses, writing lists for the OH to prepare..no matter how organised there seems always so much to do at the last-minute. The weather in the meantime, was there on the back of mind, and cooking with fingers and toes crossed, and twitter friends crossing fingers and toes for me two, I kept popping my head out to see, checking ‘eltiempo’ for its hourly updates..and thinking please god, be nice to me.

 

At the 11th hour, we took the gamble and laid our tables for 16 , and my prayers & extremity crossing worked, not balmy and sunny, but just good enough.

 

 

Guests arrived promptly and were served Mojitos, and Empanadas, before sitting down, to their night of feasting and frolics.

Erika & Ken from Casa Media Luna – Tango Holidays entertained our guests beautifully with their graceful dancing, with the mood of dance in the air, my daughter decided to do and impromptu ‘Flamenco’ so quickly swapping her apron for a shawl, and sensible shoes to her dancing shoes, she too added wonderfully to our evening.

 

With the warmth of patio heaters, and a few guests still sipping, we sat down to join them, trouble is when you sit down you don’t want to get back up….3.30 am…WE MUST GET UP 😉

 

 

Good food & fun :)

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Wow what a week-end, as normal food & friends, featured heavily- That’s what I like, that’s why we live here.

Firstly a friend in distress, with family arriving and a recently broken ankle, not good at the best of times, but with visitors looming, and living in the mountainous campo even worse. So La Rosilla, food Home Suppers came to the rescue, I prepared a hamper of goodies, Feta & Watermelon on sticks, Stuffed Red Peppers with Anchovies, Parsley, Lemon & breadcrumbs topped with Goats Cheese and baked in the oven, herb salad with edible flowers.

Then a Harissa & Prawn Stew, with nutty cous-cous and for pud Milk Chocolate Mousse and dipping Cherries. I always love delivering the food, and running through the dishes with clients. Most of the time, they allow me the pleasure of surprising them, I’m always greeted with oohs and ahhs, as each dish reveals itself. I always take freshly baked bread the aroma just divine..I’ve often thought I might do Aromaverts – and drive round with my freshly baked bread hanging out the car window, and intrigue and gain local custom, sort of like the Pied Piper !

Saturday, was like a military operation, I always find whether away for 2 weeks, 0r 2 days, there is always so much to prepare. I also wanted to create some tasty treats to take with me. Perhaps I chose something a little too fiddly, Boquerones in Lemon, Garlic, Parsley & Oil. I sat gutting and de-boning my anchovies, not the prettiest job of all time, children had vanished and didn’t respond to my shouts of “anybody lend me a hand?”, Little Noo appeared with peg on nose, “oh go run & play“. Next spanner in the works, when my OH informed me I couldn’t use the kitchen sink, or dishwasher, as pipes were blocked, they joys of campo (country) living. So with fishy fingers, board and knives, camping cooking style resumed I headed outside to clean up, with the garden hose !!!

Finally beautiful little fish lined up neatly, covered in lemon juice to cure, were left for 3 hours, then drained slightly and doused with Olive oil, garlic and lots of parsley. Delicious. I whizzed up a little tomato salsa, to top our crusty bread, and to create the perfect bed for our topping of boquerones.

Our friends new home, in the most fabulous beach front location, was the perfect setting for everyone to dive in and eat the tasty treat, whilst enjoying copious amounts of Vino tinto. Sun setting, bbqueuing (?) boat sailing, wave jumping…perfecto.

Our costa capers were not to end there, and we traveled on to our next indulgent stop, with our friends from Family in Spain in their new home too. A weekend treat for me to be entertained. I was greeted with, Strawberry & Cava, then the most delicious Watermelon Slush (adult stylee laced with Rum ). We made hummus together, dipped our bread in guacamole, & very moorish blue cheese dip, before sitting under the shade of the most wonderful ‘Bignonia’ to home-made fruity burgers, ribs and wonderfully marinated chicken.

Fitfully full, we’d ate till it ouched, tired from over indulgence, we headed back up to the mountains…Until next time.

For family & friends, for health & happiness, for good foood & fun,
for staying young while growing old. We give Thee thanks.

Simply stylish & a little wow !

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I’m always on the look out and designing new, amuse bouche, canapes or as I like to call them ‘Foo Faahs’ …It’s a lovely way to greet guests at La Rosilla, along with a cocktail maybe a mojito or my favorite Kir Royale.

Dainty bites, full of artistic flair, maybe with ingredients they haven’t tasted before, well maybe not together.

This week I made Morcilla topped with a fried quails egg, and a sprig of thyme. Together with a Beetroot gazpacho shot, and celery stirrer..refreshing and oh such a fabulous colour. In fact my daughter chose her paint colour for her room, after seeing a ‘Beetroot Shot’ 🙂

 Have a go ..

 

Take two cooked beetroot (not pickled) – Blend with a hand held blender.

Add 2 tbsp of Greek Yogurt.

A good dash of Vodka.

A sprinkling of cumin seeds.

Whiz once more.

I find it easier to decant it into a squeeze bottle.

Then squeeze into shot glasses.

Decorate with a celery stick, or cucumber and a black olive.

Simply Stylish..with a little wow.

Mi Casa es tu Casa !

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Creating and hosting events, is one of my favourite pastimes, all the little extras, the finishing touches, I believe help create the perfect setting.  I was fortunate this week to be asked to plan and host a ‘Special’ dinner at La Rosilla, for a clients 50th Birthday, 10 guests were to arrive, and be treated to an evening full of fine food and wine, in the intimate setting of the cosy lounge, this was a true

‘Mi Casa es Tu Casa’ event.

I decorated the room with the most fragrant Mimosa, picked from the mountain, like luminous plumes of the most exotic bird, Place settings were garnished with Lavender, and Almond Blossom adorned the table, the air was perfumed with the natural aromas, of a Spanish Spring.  The entrance was lit by flickering candle light, leading the way to a night of revelry and indulgence.  The roaring fire, created the glow and warmth for a wonderful welcome.

A menu of comforting dishes was served, after canapés of Spiced Roasted red pepper dip ,and Thai Galloping Horses were enjoyed with chilled Bollinger champagne.  The finest Spanish Wines were quaffed, deep ruby reds of Ribera del Duero & Rioja, and White Albariño from Rías Baixas the colour of honey.

After deserts of  “To die for bannoffi pudding “and “Vegan Chocolate Orange cake”  Cheeses of every style, along with figs, apricots, passion fruits, walnuts and cape gooseberries, were presented to groans of “I can’t possibly eat anymore” but were eaten with delight, whilst sipping the obligatory port passed from the left.

A night of merriment and memories was had by all, and dreams of more wonderful La Rosilla evenings to come.

Thai Galloping Horses

A refreshing and piquant canapé , that looks impressive to be served with Pre-dinner drinks.

  • Pan fry 1 onion finely sliced, until dark brown in a little oil
  • add 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 tbsp of Soy Sauce,
  • heat until thick and glossy, then leave to cool.
  • Cut a fresh pineapple into dice of about 1 inch, and top with a tsp of the cooled onion mixture.
  • top with a sliver of red chilli, a coriander leaf and a squeeze of lime.