Tag Archives: Mediterranean Recipe

Mediterranean herb tart

Standard

Sometimes I fancy something different for supper, still comforting, but fresher & light and full of flavour.

My hens have been laying well, so eggs I had a plenty, along with the ingredients to rustle up a savoury tart, I call it that, not a quiche, because my delightful brood don’t eat quiche but they love tart 😉

The flavours almost lend themselves to a feeling of ‘end of the summer’ mediterranean favourites encased on a plate.

I serve my tart with a rocket salad, with a honey & mustard dressing.

Ingredients.

400 grams of short crust pastry

1 red onion finely sliced

1 red pepper finely sliced

Ham – serrano or cooked ham sliced

tbsp of Capers

feta or crumbly goats cheese

fresh chopped parsley

4 eggs

125 mls dbl cream

S & P.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Line a tart tin with the pastry, I have a great tin with tiny holes in the base, so no need to blind bake,

Layer the onions, pepper, ham & sprinkle over the capers and chopped parsley – I like lots 🙂

Add the feta or goats cheese, dotted over the top.

Whisk the eggs, with the cream and season with S & P, pour over the tart.

Bake in the oven for approx 30-40 mins, until fluffed up & golden.

Advertisements

Trumpet blowing.

Standard

So lovely when visitors take time to write a review and say Thank-you, and that they’ve gone away with happy memories of their visit …

Subject: Lynsey’s Cooking Class

La Rosilla, Lynsey Drake’s cooking school, is a must for visitors to Spain.  My husband and I, Americans from Texas, met Lynsey in the mountain town of Colmenar, population 4,000, located about an hour from the Costa del Sol.  We chatted over coffee and sandwiches (Pitufu Catalana- Small roll with tomato, garlic, olive oil & Serrano ham) at the Hotel Belen, walked the streets of Colmenar, drinking in the flavor of the local people, shopped for chorizo and blood sausage at the factory and bread at the bakery.

Lynsey then drove us to her mountain home where on her sunny terrace we ate various cheeses and sausages and sampled sherries and olive oils.  We then proceeded to Lynsey’s kitchen where we helped prepare five Spanish dishes including paella and gambas pil pil for our dinner.  Lynsey’s husband, and their daughter,  a gracious teenager, joined us for our meal.

Tasting time .

After dinner they drove us back to Colmenar where we picked up our rental car and returned to the Coast.

What a delightful day experiencing life in a small Spanish town and a Spanish feast, a definite treat for visitors to Spain.

 

 

 

When the going gets tough …

Standard

Like many people I’m sure at this time of year, there doesn’t seem enough hours in the day, or enough pennies in the pot – Life sometimes just piles more onto your plate than you can chew …

Well when the going get’s tough I go cooking …..

So I’ve stirred up my Christmas pud, and probably made just one too many wishes…

I’ve baked 6 Christmas fruit cakes, following my old Nan’s super easy recipe, and am feeding them daily with their tot of brandy – 1 for them 1 for me 😉

I’ve made my quince jam to add a sharp & sweet addition to my Christmas ham.

Sherry & Tapas Tasting

and I’ve cooked with my dear friend Lisa aka @familyinspain who joined me on a La Rosilla Cookery & Culture Day, to sample my fayre , join me in sampling sherry & tapas, discover the local countryside, go embutido (Cured meat) shopping and click away at her heart’s content taking some lovely shots of the day.

Embutidos Colmenar

So with the advent doors being opened, oranges studded with cloves and my mulled wine pot on the stove ready for its first fill, the festive aromas fill my senses & add a little cheer.

So as I look ahead to a month full to bursting, with much work and I hope much more play, I wish you all a happy and calm countdown…..

and let’s remember it’s just 1 Day !

Cooking in the great outdoors .

Standard

Cooking outdoors, in the fresh air, is a part of our life since moving from the U.K to Spain some years ago, that has become a regular affair, and something that we never take for granted.

You can’t beat that hunter- gatherer feel, back to basics, fresh ingredients, the smell of wood burning on the bbq or Sardines releasing their oh so Spanish seaside smell into the air.

When we have a day in the garden, or should I say on the mountain, chopping logs, pruning, preparing for winter, there’s nothing better than, making a pan of ‘Patatas al lo pobre ‘ a local dishe of potatoes, peppers  onions , garlic cooked in stock, wine (maybe my addition)  & vinegar, on  the gas stove, and cooking some chorizo on the bbq, to eat with chunks of bread, washed down with some local Hooch.

Patatas a lo Pobre at La Rosilla

The children’s obligatory marshmallows on the barby treat for after’s,  gives them as-well the necessary boost to finish the jobs they started…

All over the world, there are many outdoor cooking styles to be enjoyed and shared, my friend at Cooking Outdoors, believes in getting out of the kitchen, lighting the fire & start cooking outdoors, and reading his blogs, he shares some delightful recipes.

Enjoy the Autumn outside, don’t hibernate indoors 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Stars.

Standard

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 hanging garden.

Standard

My hanging Passion flower garden, is a little hidden oasis, buzzing with bees, busy collecting the nectar for their ooh so delicious honey. It’s a cool spot to retreat to on a hot balmy day, and comes to magical life at night, when it is lit with twinkling fairy lights, and flickering candles.

A perfect spot for a romantic dinner, and if things get to hot under the collar, we can always cool off with a refreshing dip in our plunge pool. Special occasions supper at La Rosilla ‘Supperclub’ can be enjoyed here too.  Small groups of visitors for cooking & culture classes, can sit and soak up the charm.

I dream about the oncoming weeks, sitting and indulging with a plate of unctuous figs, baked with goats cheese, honey and a fresh torn basil leaf…..Bring it on.

Good food & fun :)

Standard

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 !

Standard

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.

Sun Dried Tomatoes.

Standard

Rushing through the market the other day, the Fruit and Veg stall, grabbed my attention. Bursting at the seems, with lush seasonal goodies. Strawberries, ruby-red and glistening, Cherries deep burgundy, just waiting to be worn as cheeky earrings, new potatoes freshly dug, the first apricot and peaches sitting perfectly waiting to be chosen.

For me bundles of Asparagus, armfuls in fact, to be lightly steamed, and drizzled with melted butter, to be roasted with olive oil, rock salt and a grating of Parmesan, to be wrapped in Serrano ham and grilled on the plancha…for my children dipped into boiled eggs – “Posh Soldiers” we call it.  Made into a tart, puff pastry rolled out into a rectangle, covered in herded cream cheese, asparagus placed on top, drizzle of olive oil, crack of black pepper, a touch of salt, baked till golden ..Delish.


Tomatoes too, big bunches, firm and red on their vines..tomatoes that smell of tomatoes.

Buying at the market, always involves huge lots, that’s how you get your bargains. So ladened too with my toms, I’ve made fresh tomato sauce to freeze for Pasta dishes at a later date..

On Saturday we woke to the most glorious sunshine, with temperatures to boot..ah that had me thinking, make the most of the day. So I made my first batch of Sun Dried Tomatoes for the season. To be enjoyed over the next few weeks, with crumbly goats cheese, piled on hot crusty bruchetta, or just greedily from the jar.

SUN DRIED TOMATOES .

Firstly cut each tomato in half, and scoop out the seeds.

Lay on a baking sheet, I cover mine with baking parchment

Put a drop of olive oil into each cavity, and leaf or two of fresh thyme, and sprinkle of fine rock salt.

Place in the full sun , in a hot place, in the fresh air. They can be covered with a fly net .

Leave all day, once they have shriveled, they are ready. If like me you may like a little juiciness in them..I think these are known as ‘Sunblush‘ One hot day should be sufficient, if you want them drier, bring in at night, cover, and put them out the next day.

Once dried, take a sterilized Jam Jar, put a little EVO in the bottom, and then stuff you toms in the jar. I add a garlic clove sliced in half, and a few sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary.

These little gems if not devoured before should last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Taste of Summer.

Standard

I think my Mum & I, were born with brooms up …sorry in our hands. Its a trait of hers ,sweeping that is, that I have inherited, one sometimes I wished I hadn’t, but I just have to sweep. I can’t sit still if the house or terrace needs sweeping, and living on the side of a mountain, as you can guess I’m sweeping most of the time. One day my OH found in the basura (rubbish)  a giant blower, another mans rubbish and all that…he returned jubilantly with his new possession, saying ‘I have got you the best present ever !!‘ of course, it didn’t work..that’s why it was in the bin ! But with a little tinkering it soon roared into life…so my outside sweeping habit, has now been blown out of all proportion & I can now be seen waving my roaring monster and blowing the leaves and dust off the patios, in a flash.

Of course inside sweeping continues, and 2 long-haired dogs , English Springer Spaniel ‘Spencer’ and Black Spanish Water Dog ‘Rizzo’ should have been called ‘Velcro’..attract and bring as it feels the whole mountain in with them…

So after a morning of sweeping & blowing..the sun was beckoning for us to rest and enjoy lunch .I felt like I needed the ‘Taste of Summer’ so I decided on my first Gazpacho of the season, chilled and topped with chopped cucumber, green pepper, radish, drizzled with olive oil, a little balsamic , chopped mint and an ice cube.

I like to think of my daily ‘summer’ treat as my 5 a day, munched with a few Nasturtium flowers for a peppery bite.