Tag Archives: Recipes

Pour & Pair!


‘Is it sherry ‘o’ clock’ I would hear on a Sunday as the hand passed the yard arm.

A phrase I would cherish and recognise as a sign of relaxation, comfort, families, and feasting. Steamy windows as the roast and veg cooked away, mum in her pinny, with flushed cheeks.

Even from a young age, I loved the sound of that cork pop, and the first glug into the schooner, because yes back then it would’ve been a cream sherry. I have by coincidence my children’s long lost great, great, great ……Grandfather 😉 Sir Francis, to thank for that after he and his crew famously stole 2,900 barrels of Sherry and delivered it up to the British Court after the Spanish Armada. Soon after in late 1500’s, it became the most fashionable drink in England.

Many people still have this stereotypical idea, that Sherry is what ‘Old ladies’ drink, maybe they do, but that’s because they have taste ;). To dive deeper into this world of Sherry Wines, to share the love and tastes and versatility of a wine for every dish and occasion, is a joy. Thanks to Sherry.wines.com the renaissance is alive, Sherry is being enjoyed all over the world, the ancient, historical and natural process to create these wines with complexity is spellbinding.



I have been a great follower and promoter of International Sherry Day and Week from the start, each year wherever I have been in the world, either on my mountain with a group for supper club and tasting of a flight of sherries, or enjoying privately with my ‘Charge’ or virtually with my Mama. Just introducing friends and visitors to a new taste sensation, something out of the box for them.


It is with great delight that I have been chosen out of many bloggers, to create a ‘Pour and pair’ recipe and hopefully a winning dish for the competition, to celebrate this years #Sherryweek 2017. I have been given a wonderful bottle of Cruz Vieja, Palo Cortado en Rama, from Bodegas Faustino Gonzalez . This special sherry has got my culinary juices flowing for the dish I think compliments this wine perfectly.


My thoughts and a little about the sherry: CRUZ VIEJA, Palo Cortado en Rama.

Palo Cortados have legends written about them. This sherry wine is fermented in the cask and bottled ‘En Rama’(raw). A wine of complexity and a rare variety, starting life and aging under a veil of flor to become a Fino and then mysteriously losing its veil, thus starting aging oxidatively.

The result is a wine with the delicate bouquet (on the nose) of an Amontillado and the velvety pallet ( in the mouth ) and body of Oloroso. Only a very small percentage of grapes naturally process into a Palo Cortado. The name ‘Palo Cortado’ (cut stick) comes from the markings on the sherry casks, as the sherry was originally destined to be a Fino or Amontialldo, It would have a single line marking /, later when the sherry maker was testing the wine and notices the change, they would mark a cross or strike the line.

This Palo Cortado is definitely to be enjoyed with food, perfect with a main dish so it can be appreciated slowly. The dark amber colour with copper lights, has strong aromas of caramel and vanilla, tastes of Autumn roasted chestnuts, and bitter Seville orange.

My recipe …

Cruz Vieja can take deep flavours, so taking both the attributes of Amontillados and Olorosos my dish is a feast of the Montes de Malaga where I live and harvest of Autumn. Rich earthy ingredients from locally made embutidos, comforting flavours, a hug on a plate, together with the Sherry wine, this dish should be enjoyed with friends around the table, sharing tales, anecdotes and making memories.



Huerta, Granja y Montes

Roast Quail with braised lentils, chorizo & butternut squash with a  morcilla scotch quails egg.




Quails Eggs
100 g Sausage Meat
50 g Morcilla
Fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp Plain flour

Bring a small pan of water to the boil, and add quails eggs for exactly 1 minute 50 seconds. Then immediately put the eggs in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process for 5 minutes.
Mix the sausage meat and morcilla together, I used a hand blender.
Put the Breadcrumbs, egg, and flour in 3 separate bowls.
Carefully peel the quails eggs.
Take a spoon of morcilla mix and carefully wrap around the quail’s eggs.
Dip the covered quail’s egg in flour, egg wash then breadcrumbs.
Refrigerate until later.



Glug of Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 red onion diced
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
100g Chorizo diced
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary leaves finely chopped
1/4 small Butternut squash diced
200g cooked Pardina lentils
Sploosh of Palo Cortado

In a pan add olive oil and gently saute the onion, celery, and butternut squash until tender.
Add the chorizo, rosemary, and garlic – saute for 5 minutes
Add the sherry and bubble down for 1 minute.
Add cooked lentils and stir through to combine all ingredients.
Keep warm and set aside.


1/4 Butternut squash in chunks no need to peel.
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Sherry Vinegar

Place the butternut on a baking tray and drizzle with Olive oil and season.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until tender.
Place in a bowl and blend to a puree add sherry vinegar and glug of olive oil.
Keep warm.



4 Quails
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Season the quails, inside and out.
In a pan melt the butter and olive oil and heat to high.
Add the quails and brown on all sides.
Roast in the oven 180c for 15 minutes.
Leave to rest in warm place.


Whilst the quails are resting, the lentils are being kept warm, time to fry the scotch eggs.

Heat a small pan of vegetable oil to 180C, then gently lower the eggs in and fry for 3 minutes.
Take out of oil and place on a plate with kitchen paper to absorb the oil.


Spoon the lentils onto a warm plate, place the roasted quail on top & drizzle with Olive oil.

Spoon on some puree and add the scotch egg cut in half to allow the oozy yolk to be seen.


Cruz Vieja, Palo Cortado en Rama.


Buen provecho todos y Salud !

I hope you all enjoy my recipe and fingers crossed it’s a winner.


Viva Jerez !





Slow cooking !


When you have to be out all day, there is nothing nicer than walking through your front door at the end of it, to the welcoming aromas of supper cooking and ready to eat.  Just a few minutes prep in the morning is all you need, your trusty hot pot and you’re done.

Healthy too, so it’ a win-win situation all round 🙂

Here is my recipe I coddled together yesterday, when scanning the fridge early morn for some inspiration, together with a few store cupboard essentials, Pumpkin Thai curry it was.

Feel free to substitute or add veggies that you have, the basics are just the same.  Once home or 1/2 an hour or so before seeing you could add a handful of prawns or even your rice to make a very hearty dish.




#cookfromthebooks Week 3


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


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.


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


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



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


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

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

Serves 4


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


  • 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.



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.


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

Warming the cockles.


Reading my Twitter line, it seems that the cold weather is sweeping Europe, well it’s certainly sweeping through La Rosilla, through all the window frames & door frames it’s blowing a whoolie. Our Spanish Finca (Farmhouse) perched in it’s mountain setting, was certainly not built to keep us warm, but to keep us cool in our hot summers climes, which today seem an age away, as temperatures plummet to the lowest of known here of -3.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining in fact I love the extremes, the weather is stunning, fresh, crisp and bringing with it skies clear and blue, all one has to be is prepared !! Ahem *note to self* .

This week-end sees our town pay homage to our saint, Virgen de Candelaria..we will all walk behind the majestic saint sat on her throne, through the winding & hilly streets of Colmenar, before the climax on Sunday evening of a grand fireworks display. With temperatures in the minuses, we will endeavor to keep warm , huddled with others, coated, scarved and gloved. Others will walk barefooted or blindfolded to give thanks to their Saint !!!

So to keep the cockles warm from the inside out, I’m creating some warming & hearty family favourites. I’ll serve these with hunks of home-made Rosemary and onion bread, with La Rosilla Olive oil for dipping. A hearty Rioja will fill our glasses too, and flush our cheeks.

 Have a great week-end , keep warm 🙂

 Carrot & Cumin Soup.

1 kg of Carrots peeled and sliced into rings

Olive oil

1 large onion – Diced

1 large clove of garlic – Sliced

1 tsp of Cumin Seeds

1 liter hot Veg Stock

Natural Yogurt to serve

Fresh herbs to garnish

  • Saute the onion & garlic in a large saucepan in some olive oil, until soften but not coloured, add the carrots and cook for a few mins.
  • Add the cumin seeds to the pan, and fry to release their scent.
  • Add hot veg stock.
  • Heat thru, and bring to gentle simmer and cook until carrots are tender.
  • Blend until smooth with a hand-held blender, or carefully pour into liquidizer to blend.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Laddle into bowls, and add a spoon of Natural yogurt & a sprinkling of fresh herbs, even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is good.


This next recipe, I have adapted from a family favourite brought from Blighty, using local ingredients to give it an Andalucian flair you can of course use English sausages & beans .


Cazuela de Chorizo Criolla – Or Sausage Hotpot


12 Chorizo Criolla – Uncooked chorizo with herbs. Herby bangers

1 large Onion Sliced

4 large potatoes sliced into rings skin on

6 carrots peeled and sliced into rings

1 large tin of Chopped Tomatoes – Instead or Tin toms and white beans you can add, Baked Beans

1 Jar of white beans, drained & rinsed

1 litre of hot stock & a slug of red wine or you can add a tin of Oxtail soup

Oregano or Mixed Herbs

Salt & Pepper


  • In a large casserole dish, layer the potatoes, onions & carrots alternately.
  • Season & sprinkle with oregano
  • Pour over the Chopped Tomatoes
  • Pour over the white beans
  • Lay the sausages on the top
  • Pour over the hot stock & wine, and season once more.
  • Put a lid on the casserole & bake in the oven 180 c for about 40 mins,
  • Take the lid off the casserole , give a gentle stir and return to oven to brown the sausages for approx 10 mins.


Enjoy in large bowls, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices.


The jewel of Autumn.


Who can but desire the luscious juiciness, of the ruby red seeds from a Pomegranate – Like Gemstones, glistening, awaiting to adorn dishes, with the jewel like presence.

Pomegranates (Granadas) I believe are the jewel of autumn, just as some of us take to hibernation, the beautiful pomegranate hangs from it’s tree, tempting us with its ripeness, with hues of colour from peach to scarlet.

In Ancient Greece it was thought of a symbol of prosperity and ambition . The Moors renamed the wonderful ancient city of Granada after the precious fruit, and Spanish colonists introduced the fruit to the Caribbean and Latin America.

On our mountain as the first fruits appear to ripen, my children scramble over the shrub-land, to be the first to bagsy their autumn treasure. Their favourite way to indulge, just tear open, and pick the seeds (arils) out one by one – Natures ‘Sweet’ shop :), My daughters have always thought of them as flower fairies crown jewels.

I remember my Mother telling me a story, when she was young and after her first week at work as a florist, she walked through the ‘Bullring’ market in the centre of Birmingham, and on a stall she saw the unusual fruit, and the ruby seeds. She spent her first pay packet on a Pomegranate for her mother, my Nan, who sat with a pin and enjoyed this new tropical fruit.

There are so many uses for pomegranates here are a few of my favourites ;

Pomegranate Raita –

A cooling yoghurt salsa to go with a spicy curry.

A pot of Greek yoghurt thinned with a little milk.

Seeds of a pomegranate

½ a cucumber chopped

a pinch of salt

a small handful of fresh mint leaves – chopped finely

a small handful of coriander – chopped finely

  •  Mix all together – Simple.

Jeweled Cous-Cous

To be enjoyed with rich Moroccan dishes.

Serves 4

250 grammes of Cous Cous

Veg Stock made with 250 ml Boiling water

Seeds of a pomegranate

Handful of pinenuts lightly toasted in a dry pan

Bag of spinach

Squeeze of lemon

  • Prepare the cous cous, with the veg stock, and let stand for 5 mins, then fluff up with a fork.
  • Wilt the spinach, in a pan with a little water, once wilted drain and squeeze out etc moisture, chop up.
  • Add to cous-cous.
  • Add pinenuts, and pomegranate.
  • Stir to mix.

Decant into a pretty bowl, and squeeze the juice of a lemon over.

Or for a decadent tipple, try a

Pom Royale

  •  Juice a pomegranate and put a teaspoon into the bottom of a Champagne fruit, with a few seeds too.
  •  Top with Cava, Prosecco or Champagne.

Salut !

So if you suffer from ‘S.A.D’ or the winter blues are upon you, break open a pomegranate, and let its health giving properties benefit your body & its ruby richness, put a smile on your face.

Getting back into routine !


Food is always high on my agenda, sharing, creating & of course eating. I’m always finding new recipes to try, scouring magazines for inspiration, aswell as being asked by friends and family for mine.

I’ve collated on scraps of paper,  favourite recipes over the summer from visitors . I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet clients from far flung places, happy to indulge my passion and whet my appetite with their superb dishes too.

Over the summer, with full on bookings for Classes, luxury food deliveries & my ‘Supperclub” on the terrace, posting recipes seem to have been put on my back burner !

Well hopefully now, as routine slowly gets back into shape, now children are back at school, all birthdays are finished, well In our family anyway and my last visitors leave on Monday I can start once again to do all the ‘foodie’ things I enjoy.

Just a couple of recipes that are easy family favourites that I have cooked and created for guests and clients of La Rosilla, and that I have sent to my ‘Mum’ when she was having a meltdown, as she was having friends to stay for the week-end, and just didn’t know what to cook…

I hope you like them too…


Smoked Salmon Pate & Rye

 Serves 4

1 packet of full fat cream cheese

200 gr of Smoked Salmon chopped

Zest of a lemon & juice of ½ a lemon

snipped chives

½ a Red onion finely chopped

1 tbsp of Whole grain mustard

a pinch of salt


Packet of Rye bread & Cucumber to serve.

Mix all the above ingredietnst together, for a smooth consitency use a blender.

Put into a pretty serving bowl, and decorate with smoked slamon lemon & chives.

Cut Rye bread into traingles & slice cucumber to decorate plate.


Beef in Red wine


1kg braising beef (cubed)

Bacon lardons – Or thick cut bacon cut into pieces

Baby mushrooms left whole

1 large onion – Chopped

2 carrots chopped

Shallots / Baby Onions – peeled left whole

2 tbspPlain flour

1 bottle of red wine

Small tin of Tomato Puree

Cranberry Sauce

2 tbsp plain flour

½ pt Beef stock

Bay leaf & bouquet garni

Make in large Casserole dish with lid.

Pan fry the bacon until crispy, remove from pan

Add olive oil to pan and brown the beef, a little at a time so it browns nicely, not


Add onion & carrot and fry

Sprinkle with plain flour and stir and cook out flour for about 2 mins, will brown.

Add bacon back in.

Pour on whole bottle of red stirring to get all the juicy bits off the bottom for flavour.

Add tomato puree & beef stock

Pop in a 2 bay leaves & bouquet garni.

Lots of seasoning.

Cook slowly for 2 hours in the oven with lid on.

Then add baby onions & mushrooms – cook for another hour.

  • It may need extra cooking just check, and when beef is tender it’s done.

A tip, when its finished cooking stir in 2 tbsp of cranberry sauce, it’s yum.

Good luck & Buen Provecho










Morcilla Love it or Hate it.


Morcilla / Love it, hate it …

I was never a black pudding kind of a girl when living in Blighty,  but since living in Spain in our rural location, where embutidos / cured meats are a specialty and handmade, full of flavour and natural ingredients, my taste buds have changed.

We were thrown into the deep in end a few years back, when I was trying to create my ‘Good life’  I always fancied being a Barbara not sure OH was too keen on being Tom ! I decided in my wisdom we needed livestock, pigs, goats and hens.  So livestock we had.

After months of feeding our pigs ‘Prada and Boggis’, that was a mistake. Tip no 1 don’t name your animals you’re going to eat.  They out grew their paddock.  I decided to move them on Christmas Day as their present, to their new larger run. That was a comedy show in itself, me glammed up to the nines, after a few cheeky cava’s and a full to bursting tummy, with a family shouting orders, but not taking part, sipping their digestif and enjoying the obligatory post dinner cigar.

After a few falls, expletives and paper crown dislodged, my Giant pigs Prada and Bogis were safely rehomed in their majestic run.

As the months went on, I knew I had to organize the final deed.  My neighbours set to it and a full Spanish ‘Matanza del Cerdo’ was prepared and executed *excuse the term, for us.  Due to the nature of a Matanza, I’ll let those who want to know more click here.

So for months we had pork of all styles and recipes of pork in every conceivable way.  That evening we were presented with armfuls of Morcila, skillfully handmade by the ladies of the village, delicately spiced, and hung to dry.

So now I had to create new recipes for Morcilla.   I also love to convince visitors and friends, that it is delicious.

This is my favourite.

Morcilla & Apple.


1 x Morcilla, cut into 1cm rings.

2 x Granny Smiths apples or tart eating apple. Chopped into bite size pieces

1 x Red onion, finely chopped

Cane honey

Splash of Sherry.

Fresh Parsley.


Pan fry the onion in a little olive oil, when softened add the apple, fry till golden.


Add the Morcilla, and brown each ring on each side.

Add a splash of Sherry, bubble for a few mins.

Put into a serving bowl, and drizzle with cane honey, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

My friend Carol Byrne of Further South of Granada blog suggested, pan frying the Morcilla, then topping with blue cheese and bake in the oven until bubbling.  Gracias Carol Nom, Nom x