Tag Archives: spanish recipe

Celebrating local produce.

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Over a year ago I received an email from a lady in the U.K, who was planning a holiday to my area the Montes de Malaga, infact just down the ‘Mount’ and would be celebrating her 50th birthday with friends , she wanted an evening of celebrations..Could I do this  ? Of course I could !

The terrace of La Rosilla (my home) is a perfect setting for something special, unique & delicious.

I was given free rein of the menu, with the only stipulation being ‘ we want to taste Andalucia ‘ Could I do this ? Of course I could.

Surrounded by local produce of the best, Chorizo, Morcilla & Jamon, created in Colmenar, Almonds , Oranges & olives  grown on my land a Traditional mountain Menu, was born.

Seasonal watermelon was pureed and mixed with lime & white rum & mint for a welcoming Mojito, served with my infamous Beetroot gazpacho Shots & figs off my tree, stuffed with Goats cheese & drizzled with local honey.

Beetroot Gazpacho Shots

The view was absorbed and as the sunset, and chicadas grew quieter the feasting began.

Chickpeas were braised with Chorizo & spinach, and Morcilla sautéed with apple, onion & cumin, a dish that converts anyone into a ‘Black pudding’ lover.

I share with you below the recipe for the main, ‘Lentejas con Jamon y Fino’ lentils braised with cured ham and sherry, a hearty accompaniment with a deep earthy taste, this was topped with quail roasted in garlic, giving an impressive looking dish.

I baked plums from the mountain, with cinnamon, butter & orange flower water, along with a traditional whole orange & almond tort.

The night grew dark, fairy lights came on, tee lights were lit, conversation flowed, cava was sipped, birthday cake sparklers were enjoyed, and ‘Cumpleaños Feliz’ sang & a lasting memory made.

Lentejas con Jamon y Fino

Quail on ‘Lentejas Con Jamon y Fino’

lentils are a Spanish store cupboard ingredient, my favourite the Pardina lentil is dark green in colour, (similar to the Puy lentil of France) and has a deep earthy flavour, boiled to cook with a bay leaf or two, they retain their shape and texture and are delicious stirred into many dishes.

Ingredients

  • 250g Pardina lentils, rinsed and put in a saucepan with dbl qty of cold water and 2 bay leaves, bring to the boil & then simmer for 25 mins. Drain & reserve a cup of cooking liquor.
  • Olive oil to saute & serve
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • Tin of plum toms, chopped
  • 1 tsp of Pimenton Dulce
  • Glass of dry sherry or white wine
  • Jamon chopped – or you could use chopped pancetta
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds.
  • salt flakes (I use maldon) & fresh black pepper.

In a large sauce pan saute the carrot, onion celery until softened but not coloured.

Add the garlic & carraway seeds and saute gently for 2-3 mins.

Add the jamon and stir for a min, or so. then add paprika.

Pour in the sherry and let everything bubble for a minute, to cook of alcohol.

Add tomatoes, then stir in cooked lentils.

It should be a thick sauce consistency, add the reserved lentil water to if it looks to dry.

Add salt & pepper to taste – Simmer very gently for 10 mins.

When ready to serve add fresh chopped parsley, & drizzle with olive oil.

You can topped with hard-boiled eggs, for a economical supper, or top with roast chicken.

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Pipirrana What a lovely name for a salad.

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Pipirrana, what a lovely name for a dish.

When working with my OH at our Golf Academy, many of our members, have heard through the grapevine, or by myself that I’m a little obsessed about food.  Many of the men, are very proud of the culinary skills, and are more than happy to demonstrate to me, and I have no objection, as this results in many delicious lunches prepared for me, in the beautiful alfresco setting at the golf course.

Yesterday was no exception with the lovely ‘Javier’ rustling up his take on ‘Paella’ and the wonderful summer salad.

Pipirrana is a fresh, chopped Spanish salad, and like many Spanish dishes, there are many takes on it.  It basically is ‘Porra” the thick, soupy tomato dip, before it has been blitzed in a blender, with a few personally chosen added ingredients, my favourite being ‘Pulpo’ or crabsticks.

It is a refreshing salad to have on the side of any grilled, barbecued meat or fish dish, or on top of Bruschetta as a canapé.

Pipirrana

Ingredients.

All ingredients should be peeled and finely chopped.

Cucumber

Tomatoes

Onion

Green Pepper

Olive Oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and Fresh ground black pepper

Toppings

Crabsticks, hard-boiled eggs, pulpo. / Optional

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl; add oil and vinegar to coat and season.

Buen Provecho.

Soup for the Soul Spanish Style !

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I was totally prepared this morning, for my day at the 19th Hole, I knew it would be wet and windy, and the cold would chill me to the bone, so I packed up my healthy lunch, filled my flask with homemade soup , grabbed a mandarina from the fruit bowl and  I was off.

On arrival my other half quickly dispatched me from the van, gave me my days instructions for work, and sped off, with my knapsack and lunch in tow !

I’ve been on a healthy eating regime now for 3 weeks, and it’s going great guns, so there was no way I wanted to sabotage my attempts, by consuming the snack bars chocolates and crisps that when you pop you cant stop ! But as the day progressed the faint rumbling of my tummy was becoming louder and my will power to deny myself of tempting treats was waning,

But low and behold, a rather wet looking Golf Pro, must have read my mind, or maybe my facebook and came up trumps, and delivered unto me, a steaming most delicious bowl of ‘Sopa de Picadillo’  The Spanish version of Chicken soup for the soul.

So I hid myself awWild Mintay, in my little hidey hole of the office, with Soup in hand, a squeeze of lemon from a lemon picked from the tree outside, a sprig of mint taken wild from the flora on the golf course, and I sat and devoured the warming, comforting and filling soup.

Sopa de picadillo, like many ancient, and family recipes that are passed down, taught and shared, have many guises, but this is my favourite…I hope you enjoy it,  a squeeze of lemon for me, adds a piquant touch and a little more vitamin C.

Sop de Picadillo

Sopa de picadillo

For the stock:

1 chicken carcass (leave plenty of spare meat on the bones)
1 ham bone (leave plenty of spare meat on the bones)
4 leeks
3 celery stalks
1 medium-sized onion
Salt, pepper to taste

For the soup:

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 large spring fresh mint, chopped

A squeeze of lemon

Heat enough water to cover the first 2 ingredients in a cooking pot and add the chicken bones, ham bone and onion, cut into large pieces.

Cover the pot and cook on a low heat for between 2 to 3 hours or 40 minutes in a pressure cooker.

After this time, remove from the heat, take the chicken out of the stock, de-bone it, then de-bone the ham and set aside.

Strain the stock through a strainer and also set aside. Place the strained stock in a pan and heat, and when it is hot, add the diced ham and chicken meat and remaining vegetables.

Cook on a medium heat for 25 minutes, then just before serving, add the hard boiled eggs and mint; warm briefly and serve.

Serves 4-6