Category Archives: recipe

the joys of leftover sauce…

By the way, referring to my previous post…the potatoes in any kind of carne asada are not so great the next day as leftovers, so try to eat all the tatties on the first sitting.

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The sauce and the meat however remain delicious. If you cook some pasta, (preferably spaghetti or linguini) al dente, drain it and then add it to the original pan of meat and yummy sauce, give it a good mix, you will get a whole new dish and it’s absolutely fantastic!!! I really recommend doing this.

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other foody posts on this blog:

the joy of leftover sauce pollo de corral asado nadars coffee and general stores upgrades like buses and a lot of food fabada con almejas/beans and clams preserving wild garlic tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

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pollo de corral asado*…

*…free range chicken casserole…

Time for another of my Mum’s classic and timeless recipes, honed to perfection over nearly 60 years as a professional chef.

Carne Asada is a classic Spanish dish, a kind of meat casserole if you will. You can adapt this recipe to pretty much any kind of meat but for today’s purpose we will be using pollo or chicken. This recipe also works well with lamb, beef, veal and rabbit. The meat should always be portioned into big chunks and it should always be on the bone. No weights and measures in this recipe, just use your common sense. The chicken we use is our own, corn fed, organic and free range, but if you can’t run to that, this recipe will make a regular supermarket chicken taste pretty darned good…

THE RECIPE

The night before:

Marinade your chosen meat in some good olive oil, black pepper, plenty of garlic, fresh chopped parsley some decent white wine or dry sherry and even a splash of brandy if you are feeling fancy. No salt tho, that will be added later during the cooking process.

The next day:

Remove meat from the marinade and brown it in a large frying pan. You should take your time with this process and really get the meat good and brown all over as this caramelisation is where a lot of the flavour will come from.

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Meanwhile in another large pan, start to gently fry some roughly chopped onions and red pepper and garlic. When your meat is good and brown you can add it to the onions and pepper pan. Deglaze the frying pan with some good meat stock and add this to the chicken along with some saffron, dry sherry, a splash of brandy and more stock till the meat is just covered with liquid, simmer for a few minutes and then add salt to taste.

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You can then put the pan with a lid into the oven (or keep it on the hob) and allow to simmer gently till the meat is tender, depending on the cut and type this could take anything from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Add a little more stock if you need to during this process.

When the meat is cooked remove it from the sauce and keep it warm in a dish. Meanwhile. Add some peeled potatoes and carrots (both cut into big chunks) and add them to the delicious meaty sauce. Simmer gently till they are cooked. The potatoes will take on a lovely golden colour from the saffron and will be super tasty. 10 minutes or so before the veg is cooked you can add some thick slices of red pepper for garnish and colour. Once your veg is cooked put the meat back into the pan and make sure it is thoroughly warm.

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Serve with big hunks of bread to soak up all those lovely juices. This is an absolute Spanish staple and is really worth the trouble. As ever thanks to Carmen, my mum, a genius in the kitchen and semi legendary round these parts for her cooking prowess!

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other foody posts on this blog:

pollo de corral asado  nadars coffee and general stores upgrades like buses and a lot of food fabada con almejas/beans and clams preserving wild garlic tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

fabada con almejas/beans and clams…

We need to talk about food so it’s time for another recipe from my mum…for those who don’t know she was a professional chef for 50 plus years, now in retirement she still lives to cook and i for one am not complaining! Here is how she makes Fabada con Almejas or Beans with Clams, it’s rich deep and unctuous in flavour and always has to be eaten with really good crusty bread.

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Into a large pot put:

1 large onion cut in half, 1 large leek cut into 2 or 3 big chunks, 2 big carrots cut into 2 or 3 chunks each, 3 large peeled but whole cloves of garlic, a good glug of virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper and 750g (or thereabout) of dried white beans (soaked overnight) *

Add plain cold water, enough to just cover the contents in the pan, add some saffron and put to boil,  (adjust seasoning to taste) and cook until the beans are almost tender**. When the big chunks of vegetables and garlic are soft, fish them out and liquidise them in a blender with a little of the bean liquid and/or cooked clams liquor (see below). Put the thick veg puree back in the pan with the beans to thicken the sauce. Meanwhile fry some sliced garlic in a frying pan with lots of olive oil, when the garlic begins to be golden, take off the heat and allow to cool a little, add a teaspoon of Spanish sweet paprika, stir it in and deposit the oily mixture into the pan with the beans. Add a little chilli at this point (flakes or powder).

While the beans are cooking:

In another pan pour in a little cold water and add some salt, a bay leaf and washed clams (anything from a half kilo to a kilo) NO wine necessary. Put on the hob and bring to the boil, cook till the shells are open and remove from the heat. Drain and reserve the (sieved) liquor from the clams. Add the clams to the cooked bean stew and add as much of the clam liquor as you need to loosen up the sauce. Cook altogether for a couple of minutes to amalgamate nicely and make sure the beans are fully cooked. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Sounds a bit more fiddly than it is and it’s really REALLY work the bother (and it’s not that much bother!)

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*about those beans…well it’s easy if you are in Spain, you just use Asturian fabas/beans i think you can find them in the UK  if you look hard! Don’t use Judion beans, ‘cos the skins can be a bit tough. Basically you need a big fat white dried bean that has been soaked overnight… but don’t use butter beans…they are not robust enough and they will beak up in the cooking process. The quest is yours!

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** how long to cook the beans? in the photos above mum used her own beans fresh from the garden so it took less than half an hour till they were tender, but if you are using pre soaked dried beans it can be anything from 45 mins to over an hour, you just have to keep checking them.

other foody posts on this blog:

preserving wild garlic tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

preserving wild garlic…

Back to those foraged leaves from the previous post…Most important thing, having made sure you picked them from a safe place, wash the leaves really thoroughly…

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OK, so i already posted how to make a pesto from few flowered leeks, for the recipe click here

i decide to do the same with the wild garlic leaves…works really well but be warned this is a far more pungent (but delicious) version…after processing more than half a kilo of wild garlic, my home smells really REALLY of garlic for a day or two!

The pesto freezes really well, i use an ice cube to portion it out.

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I have so many leaves that i try some other methods of preservation. I make a wild garlic paste by whizzing it up with some olive oil – the ordinary kind, nothing fancy- and salt (for every 100g of leaves use 100g of oil and 6g salt) . I read that this will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for many months…just make sure you top it up with a layer of oil to stop the leaves oxidising. I use it to boost the flavour of soups or stews or in marinades.

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…and do not disguard the stalks, they are delicious, i wilt them along with some of the leaves, v nice with steak or fish, or add them to a daal.

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tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

making makloubeh…

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So food and cooking are truly wonderful things and learning about new dishes is one of the nicest things about living with people from other countries. Been meaning to post about this for a while…this is Makloubeh, a Palestinian kind of upside down rice and chicken affair…

the small stop-motion film shows the crucial moment when the Makloubeh is tipped out…usually its cooked in a ceramic dish to avoid sticking…

I amended slightly this recipe from here, and am assured by a Palestinian friend that it is authentic:

Ingredients:
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Chicken – 1 Whole (1.5kgs)
Potatoes – 3-4 medium size
Aubergine – one large
Onion – 1 big
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Olive oil – 2-4 tablespoons
Vegetable oil for frying
Rice – 750g
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Spices for the chicken:
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Cinnamon ground – 1/2 tspn
Cardamom ground- 1/4 tspn
Coriander ground – 1 tspn
All spice ground – 1 tspn
Seven spices ground – 1 tspn
Cumin – 1 tspn
Turmeric – 1 tspn
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Spices for the rice:
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Salt and pepper- 1/2 tspn each
All spice – 1/2 tspn
turmeric – 1 tspn
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Method:
1. De-skin the chicken, cut into 12 pieces at the joints.
2. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a big pot and add the diced onion.
3. When the onions sweat a little add the chicken to the pan followed by the spices and mix well. Keep turning over and brown the chicken in the pan.
3. Add 3 – 4 cups of water and let it cook for sometime till the chicken is done.
4.Slice the aubergine and potatoes separately.
5. Deep fry them separately or if you want a less oily version you can bake them till soft.
6. Boil water in another pot. Add the rice. When the rice is 80% cooked, drain well, then add the spices to the rice, mix well and set aside.
7. Take a round ceramic oven proof dish and grease it with some butter (1tspn) on the inside. Then sprinkle a little of the spiced rice at the bottom.
8. Now spread a layer of the chicken pieces (reserve the cooking liquid) on top of the sprinkled rice.
9. Then spread a layer of baked/fried aubergine and potatoes on top of the chicken.
10. Finally add the spiced rice on top. Press the rice with a lid and then pour the reserved broth on top of the rice. Close the lid and put it in the pre-heated oven (at 350 degrees) for 15 mins till you see the steam rising as you open the lid.
11. Keep a round serving platter ready. Remove lid and replace it with the upturned serving platter.
12. Put your oven gloves on and turn the ceramic dish on to the serving platter
13. Let this rest for 2 mins. Take a serving spoon and tap the dish on the top and all the sides slowly to release the makloubeh from sticking to the dish.
14. Uncover the the dish slowly. You should have the whole makloubeh with the chicken on the top like a cake.
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other foody posts on this blog:

tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano