Tag Archives: #cookfromthebooks

#cookfromthebooks Week 7 – Marvelous market produce.

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Having spent a wonderful night in Malaga, it was a perfect opportunity for me the next day, to spend some time browsing and sampling produce at the amazing Atarazanas food market .  Normally when I visit the market it is a first port of call, and I can’t carry much, I always think next time take my wheelie, shopping carrier, but do I remember NO ! This time I had my OH in tow and spare hands to carry the shopping bags.

The array of produce, was alive with spring colour and aromas, freshly caught fish, just picked vegetables from local allotments, and bread baked that morning, meats and cheeses from the mountains, a true spectacle of deliciousness.

Choosing which stall to purchase from is my hardest decision, all the stall holders are so friendly, welcoming and offer advice and their superb product knowledge, but one this time especially caught my eye.  The stall was full of unusual vegetables, violet potatoes, mushrooms of all types, micro salad leaves and edible flowers, cherries dark like rubies, mangoes sweet to smell, asparagus gathered that morn, tomatoes purple like plums.  As we grazed &  learned our basket was filling up nicely.

With all these delightful goodies, my #cookfromthebooks challenge this week, was sort of preempted -Mushroom risotto it had to be.  Many years ago I was given Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express, and a few of the recipes became family favourites, like his chicken liver and tarragon parfait, and crispy noodle wrapped prawns.  His mouth-watering mushroom and onion risotto became a comfort staple, economical, but indulgently satisfying.  The basis of the recipe I use all the time, adding various ingredients to suit my diners and also what’s in the larder or fridge.

So armed with my beautiful Boletus mushrooms, pancetta, red onions, I set out on the calming process of creating risotto.

La Rosilla Risotto, wild mushroom & pancetta risotto recipe.

LA ROSILLA RISOTTO

Serves 6

olive oil & knob of butter

1 red onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

200g chopped bacon or pancetta

250g of wild mushrooms ( I used Boletus)

6 handfuls of risotto rice

1 glass of dry white wine

1 litre of hot chicken or veg stock

50 g grated parmesan

chopped fresh parsley

S & P

  • Heat butter and oil in large saucepan and saute onions and garlic, until softened.
  • Add bacon and fry for 2 mins.
  • Add chopped mushrooms and saute for a few mins.
  • Add rice and stir to coat in oil and flavours.
  • Add white wine and let bubble for a min.
  • Gradually add stock and let each addition be absorbed by the rice, should take about 20 mins gently stirring regularly .
  • You want your risotto to be tender & still creamy.
  • Add the Parmesan and parsley ,season & serve.

I served our risotto, with Parmesan shavings, rocket leaves and chopped purple, tomato salsa.

Other risotto flavours that are popular at La Rosilla, are courgette and lemon, blue cheese and walnut, fresh herb and broad beans, options are endless.

FAMILY RATING 10/10

EASY – With patience.

Market and cooking tours are my specialty, come try for yourself 🙂

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 3

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I’m really enjoying my #Cookfromthebooks challenge and the family are enjoying the results too – everybody’s happy.  I do find it hard to just pick one recipe, from one book, maybe that will change as the year progresses.  I relish time spent browsing through my cookery books, especially on days when I’m fasting (I’m on the 5:2 well 6:1 most weeks as I’m maintaining 🙂 ) I find browsing recipes on my low cal days , a sort of control testing and I can dream about plates to come !!

So onto this weeks choices, a chilled Saturday night supper & lazy Sunday luncheon by the roaring fire, temperatures have dropped in the mountains and we needed comfort & warming up.

On to Saturday night – Spiced mushroom and chickpea burgers – taken from Sam Stern’s Get Cooking.  Sam wrote his books as a teenager with a passion for cooking.  I recommend his books for any cook starting out,  perfect for students going off to Uni, to learn some dishes, that are not quite the norm, which pack a punch of flavour.  Sam describes the ingredients and recipes in a youthful and fun way . I like to include a couple of meat free days into the week, for cost and health reasons, so a tasty veggie burger would win all-round.

Sam Sterns Get Cooking book reveiw

SPICY MUSHROOM ‘N’ CHICKPEA BURGERS

These burgers are similar to falafel, but a little more robust, even a hardcore meat eater would be satisfied .  I chose to serve ours with wraps and salad, and a greek yoghurt and mango chutney dressing.

MAKES 6 – We decided in the wraps they would be better made smaller so easier to fold .

Olive oil for frying

2 onions, finely chopped

2 cloves,garlic crushed

dried chilli

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp lemon grass paste

250g of chestnut mushrooms

juice of a lime

1 x 400g jar of chickpeas, rinsed

handful of fresh breadcrumbs

dash of tabasco

handful of fresh chopped coriander

plain flour for shaping

Mushroom and chickpea burgers

  • Gently fry onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  • Add, chilli,cumin.coriander, turmeric & lemon grass cook for 3 mins.
  • Add mushroom and lime cook for 5 mins, & season.
  • Tip into a large bowl.
  • Blitz chickpeas in a food processor or crush with fork until broken, add to the bowl.
  • Add breadcrumbs, tabasco, fresh coriander and salt & pepper.
  • Flour your hands and shape the mixture into burger shape.
  • Chill burgers in the fridge for 1/2.
  • Fry in batches for 3-4 mins on each side in olive oil until golden.
  • Serve in warmed buns or wraps 🙂

TIP : I chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic in a food processor to get a uniformed chop, this helped the mixture bind too.

FAMILY RATING 10/10 a WINNER 🙂

Instead of the normal winter roast for our Sunday lunch, I decided on finger lickin’ ribs, and Oh boy they were just that, perfect comfort, sharing food.  The recipe was taken from one of my favourite books Marie Claire’s Seasonal Kitchen, a perfect coffee table book, with breathtaking and mouthwatering photography, and recipes displayed in seasons.  Clear and precise recipes and some unusual twists.

marie claire seasonal kitchen

PORK SPARE RIBS

These ribs had the most delicious marinade that they sat in overnight, thus tenderizing the meat and allowing the ribs to bathe in flavour.

250 ml soy sauce

175 g golden syrup

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp tomato puree

zest & juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 bay leaf

2 racks of trimmed ribs

Delicious ribs recipe from La Rosilla

Probably the bestests ribs 😉

  • Put all the ingredients except ribs, into a saucepan mix well & bring to the boil, stirring so it doesn’t stick.
  • Sit the ribs in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade, leave preferably over night.
  • Line a ceramic baking dish with parchment, it saves a sticky mess when cleaning up 😉
  • Arrange ribs in the dish and pour over any remaining marinade.
  • bake for 15 mins, then turn the ribs and bake for 15 more mins.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

We served our ribs, with creamy mash, green beans dressed in garlic and the most wonderful purple carrots roasted with caraway and pink peppercorns.

purple carrotsFAMILY RATING 10/10

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

#cookfromthebooks week 2

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This weeks #cookfromthebooks recipe was taken and adapted from the book ‘Perfect host’ by Felicity Cloake, recipes for feeding people and having fun.  Some great easy to follow recipes, ideas and hosting suggestions for whatever type of gathering you may choose, from friends round for tea, student food or gala dinners.  Clear instructions, but the book personally I feel could benefit from more photos of completed dishes – A picture sells a thousand recipes 😉

Perfect Host by Felicity Cloake

The dish I chose was Savoy cabbage and bacon gratin.  A delicious accompaniment to our favourite griddled lamb cutlets with mint.  A speedy and comforting Saturday supper, in front of the fire.

My adaptation, included reducing the cream content and not blanching the cabbage, slightly cutting time & calories 😉

SAVOY CABBAGE AND BACON GRATIN

Savoy cabbage and bacon gratin

Not my best food photo, but we were eating by candle and firelight (romantic) and we were ravenous to get stuck in 😉

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Salt & pepper

1/2 large savoy cabbage, shredded

a little olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

200g chopped bacon or pancetta

200ml double cream

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

50 g fresh breadcrumbs

15 g parmesan

HERES HOW ….

  • In a large pan, saute the onion until soft and golden
  • add the bacon bits and fry until quite crispy
  • mix cream with mustard and add to pan
  • stir in cabbage & season with s & P
  • tip into a large baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 mins
  • remove foil, sprinkle breadcrumbs and parmesan over, season and bake until golden.

FAMILY RATING 9/10

EASY

I think this will become a regular at La Rosilla on casual weekends, think it would be tasty to add on the side some roasted or griddled tomatoes with herbs to cut through the richness.

* a tip for breadcrumbs – I keep a bag of breadcrumbs that I whizz up from all the odds and ends of bread I make, and use straight from the freezer, a handful at a time – Great for gratins, and home made stuffings.

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