Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Gazpacho series: "Gazpacho Rojo" Red Gazpacho

At last the warmer days have come! The weather is perfect for a refreshing, revitalizing, delicious and marvelous GAZPACHO. There are many kinds of gazpachos in Spain (I know at least 4),  I'm going to start this series with the most famous one, the Red Gazpacho. Here it goes!
You need:
  • 12 Ripped Tomatoes (peeled and cut into pieces)
  • Half Red Capsicum (peeled and cut into pieces)
  • Half Green Capsicum (peeled and cut into pieces)
  • 1 Long Cucumber (peeled and cut into pieces)
  • 2 or 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • A Handful of the soft part of white bread, soaked (Optional)
  • Sherry Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar or Apple Vinegar to taste
  • 100 Ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Approx. 300 Ml of cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Diced Cucumber
  • Diced Capsicum
  • Diced hard-boiled Egg (Not for vegans)
  • Jamón Serrano, cut into strips  (Not for Vegans, Vegetarians)
  • Croutons
  • Spring Onion
  • Etc
  Put the ingredients in a pot and mix them with a blender, then add the water and ice cubes and mix well.
It can't be easier and it's just delicious, refreshingly perfect for a hot summer day.
P.D. This is a perfect recipe for Vegans, just don't add any egg nor Jamón Serrano :-)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

"Patatas Barbaras" Gora Potatoes

This is a simple and delicious recipe that my mum created when she had a Tapas Bar beside a river in my town.

 You need:
  • 4 big potatoes,"agria" are the best.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • White Wine Vinegar (Approx. half a glass)
  • One Chilli
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tbspoon of Cumin 
  • Salt to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a medium frying pan to approx.180ºC. 
Deep fry the potatoes, turn them as needed until they are cooked.
Then, place them in a sauce pan, set aside.
Now put the oil from the frying pan in a jar (you can use this oil next time) but not all of it. We need some of it (approx. one cm deep) to make the sauce for the potatoes.
Leave the oil in the frying pan to cold.
In the meantime mash the garlic, Chilli and cumin in a mortar (you can use a blender if you like).
Make sure the oil is cold and add the vinegar, 1 glass of water,and the mix.
Bring to boil and salt to taste.
Add this sauce to the saucepan with the potatoes, mix a bit and bring to boiled for 5 minutes, covered.
Now you just need to wait for a couple of hours until the potatoes absorb the sauce.
A comer! 

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Churros are the favourite and most popular Spanish breakfast. It's traditionally eaten with a very thick hot chocolate. We do what it's called in Spanish "mojar el churro" (dip the "churro") which also has some other meaning but I am not going to talk about that now :-)
I made these churros in Ohakune a couple of weeks ago, we had the hope of skiing in Turoa but the weather was so bad that we had to ate instead.  I always take the pictures for my blog by myself with my Iphone but this time I was so lucky there was a great photographer with us and he made these wonderful pictures, thank you Jono,  you can see his work here:

You need:
  • 300 gr High Grade Flour
  • 300 gr boiling Water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Icing or Caster sugar
  • You need also a "churrera" (churro maker)I've got one like this:
Mix the flour with the boiling water and salt in a bowl with a wooden spoon. 
Place the dough in the churrera.
In a Frying pan put the oil, make sure that you put enough oil to cover the churros.
Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a medium frying pan to approx.180ºC. 
Make the churros over the frying pan, use a fish scissors to cut them or make a big spiral, turning if necessary  and take them out when golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and dust with the sugar.
Repeat the process until the dough is finished.
A comer!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The best "chorizo" made in New Zealand

And finally there is a proper and authentic CHORIZO in New Zealand, made in New Zealand and better than some brands made in Spain.
The person behind this delicacy is Javier Garcia, he has a restaurant in Christchurch that I haven't had the chance to visit yet but I know now I will.
You can find "chorizos Garcia" in "On Trays" in Petone, Wellington.
Gracias Javier Garcia!

"Judias blancas con chorizo" White beans and chorizo stew

This is a classic in the Spanish "cocina", there are heaps of ways of make it but here I made the most simple one and delicious too. Vamos!
You need:
  • 300 g Lima Beans (Soaked overnight)
  • 1 or 2 Chorizos Sliced
  • 2 Carrots Sliced
  • 1 Potato diced
  • 1 Small Onion Chopped
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 Red capsicum
  • 1 Spoon of Cumin
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Spanish paprika ("Pimentón de la Vera")
  • 5 Sundried Tomatoes (Optional)
  • 2 o 3 Tbspoons of EVO Oil
  • Salt to taste
Put all the ingredients in a pot (I have used a pressure cooker), cover well (over 5 cms) with water and boil until the beans are tender.

If you use a pressure cooker, bring to boil first then take off the foam and close the lid. 
Bring to pressure and cook for 25min.(You may need to look the instructions of you pressure cooker for the right time, unless you have a Fagor Pressure Cooker)

A comer!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Food for singles: "Morcilla con pimientos" Black pudding with roasted capsicum

Morcilla is Spanish black pudding. There are many different kinds of "morcilla" in Spain, usually made with pork blood and spices. You can find it also with rice or onion and it's always delicious.
There is not Spanish morcilla in NZ but you can find the Hungarian version and is as good as the Spanish one.
  • 2 "Morcillas", Sliced  (Hungarian black pudding from Moore Wilson)
  • 3 Roasted and Peeled Red Pepper, Sliced (from Davies Trading, brand "Orilla") 
  • 1 Handful of pinenuts
  • 2 Tablespoon of  EVO Oil
Heat the EVO Oil in a frypan and put all the ingredients.
Stir fry until the Morcilla is cooked.
Done, a comer!
It goes well with homemade sourdough bread.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Cooking Class - "Paella Campesina" and "Guitarras"

Last Friday I had my first cooking class,  I was the teacher.
My first student was my acting teacher, Barbara Woods. 
She teaches Meisner Technique, and I love it! You can take a look at her web here:
It was nice to change the roles and I have to say that she did a very good job.
We made a "Paella Campesina" for 4 people, and "Guitarras" as entrées.
You need:

  • 6 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Approx)
  • 3 Cloves of garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 Chorizo, Sliced (Barbara bought a Serbian one from the Mediterranean Warehouse)
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika "Pimentón de la Vera" ( Moore Wilson e.g., optional)
  • 1/2 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 Peeled Tomato (Chopped)
  • 1/2 Red Capsicum (Chopped)
  • 1/2 Glass White Wine
  • 10 Prawns 

Rice and Legumes
  • 300gr Medium Grain
  • 100gr Boiled Chickpeas (The Turkish brand "Tamek" are my favourite)
  • 100gr Boiled White Runner Beans ("Bianchi di Spagna" from Mediterranean Warehouse)

  • Crushed Parsley
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (Crushed)
  • Black Pepper (Crushed)
  • 4 or 5 Saffron Strands (Crushed)
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot water (Approx. double volume of the rice)
Heat the EVO Oil in a Paella pan (30cm dia.)
Add the Garlic and the chorizo and fry for a minute on a medium fire.
Add the rest of the ingredients for the sofrito, stir for 10 minutes. 
Then add the wine and the prawns and stir.
When the liquid has evaporated add the rice and stir well.
Then add the hot water, the Legumes and the seasoning and stir well for the last time.
Cook on a medium fire until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.

  • 2 Slices of sour dough bread (we used Normandy Rye from Mediterranean Warehouse)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic cut in half.
  • EVO Oil
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 Slices of Jamón Serrano or Prosciutto (Mediterranean Warehouse or On trays)
  • 2 Slices of "Manchego" Cheese (Mediterranean Warehouse or On trays)

Toast the bread and rub the garlic on to it.
Pour some EVO Oil.
Cut the tomato in half and squeeze it over the toasts.
Put a slice of "Jamón Serrano" and "Manchego Cheese" on top.
A comer!

For dessert Barbara brought some Dates that we ate with Manchego cheese, it was delicious!
Thanks Barbara!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Matariki! Filled Eggs

Matariki is the Maori New Year. It's the name of the group of stars called the Pleiades, the rise of Matariki occurs on the last days of May and the celebrations start at the sighting of the next new moon, normally in June. This year was on 14 of June.  It was the perfect excuse for me to make this recipe that according to the tradition (or maybe just to my family tradition) it can only be made on Christmas or New Year.
So Happy Matariki!
You need:
  • 6 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Home-made Mayo (Approx.)
  • 1 Can of Tuna in Brine
  • 12 Stuffed Green Olives with red Pepper
  • 50g Cooked Green peas, (Approx.)
  • White Asparagus, Canned (On Trays in Petone) 
For the Mayo,you can follow this recipe but using the following ingredients:
  • 1 Egg
  • 150ml Sunflower oil
  • 50ml EVO Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
Peel and cut the boiled eggs in half.
Remove the yolks and place them in a bowl.
Mash the yolks thoroughly, then add the tuna and mix well.
Now add 3/4 of the Mayo and mix.
Then fill the white eggs with this mix by using a spoon and place them in a tray.
Put a little bit of Mayo on each egg and put an Olive on top.
Sprinkle the Green Peas all over the eggs.
Put some white asparagus around them.
This is delicious with slices of sourdough bread, preferably toasted.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

"Mahonesa" How to make a Mayo in less than 5 minutes

Mayo or Mahonesa is basically a sauce made by emulsifying oil and egg. "Mahonesa" sauce is a Spanish salsa. According to wikipedia:
"The most probable origin of mayonnaise is that the recipe was brought back to France from the town of Mahon in Menorca (Spain), after Louis-François-Armand du Plessis de Richelieu's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as salsa mahonesa in Spanish and maonesa in Catalan (as it is still known on Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French."
You need: 
  • 1 Small Egg
  • 150ml of Oil (I used a good EVO Oil)
  • 1 Tbspoon of Lemon Juice or vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Mustard (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
Put first the egg in the beaker, then add the oil and the rest of ingredients.
Put the stick/hand blender at the bottom of the beaker, blend at low speed and lift the blender slowly. You'll get something like the picture. Done! 
This "mahonesa" is not very thick, if you wanted it thicker you'd need to add a bigger amount of oil. And remember, you shouldn't keep this Mayo in the fridge for more than 3 days, it is not like the one from the supermarket ok? that's why I've used just one small egg.

And here it is the purpose of my "mahonesa":
White asparagus, lettuce, and homemade sour dough bread.
I've added this video by popular demand:

Sunday, 6 June 2010

EVO Oil - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We can't talk about Spanish Cocina without mentioning EVO Oil. It is present in almost every Spanish recipe, including desserts. In my town most of the families own a piece of land full of olive trees, sometimes inherited from their parents. There are still families who get together to pick up the olives. My older sister's husband used to have one of those "olivares". I was hardly a teenager at that time and I didn't have much motivation to help with the labour of picking up the olives: the idea of getting up early in the morning in winter, sometimes at minus something degrees didn't seduce me too much... until my sister came to my room and whispered in my ear the gastronomic delights my mum has cooked the previous day for the ones who went to pick up the olives. I was the first one jumping into the van. I was already hungry.
Olives trees now are planted in many places around the world, including New Zealand. And you can find EVO Oil in almost every supermarket all around the world. But why is Olive Oil so popular?
  • EVO Oil tastes better than any other oil.
  • It has more Vitamin E (natural antioxidant) than others, so lasts longer.
  • And contains a high amount of monounsaturated fat, good for your heart.
"Deep frying" doesn't sound healthy but it depends on which oil are you using. And good news, deep frying using EVO Oil is actually healthy!
  • EVO Oil smoking point is 210ºC, much higher than any other edible oil and higher than the ideally temperature for frying food, 180ºC. Butter, for example, breaks down at this temperature and forms toxic products.
  • Frying in EVO Oil creates a crust on the food surface that doesn't allow the oil to penetrate into the food, making it less fatty. 
  • It can be reused more times than any other oils without loosing its properties and its volume increases when heated, so literally it "grows".
But remember:
  • Never mix EVO Oil with others oils when you deep fry and don't use it more than 3 times.
  • After frying, filter the oil in order to remove the possible food particles.
  • Use always enough volume of EVO Oil to cover the piece of food completely.
  • The Oil has to be always hot, 130ºC min. so that the food doesn't absorb any oil.
So all good! 
Ready for "Spanish" Fries?

Friday, 4 June 2010

"Conejo en escabeche" Spanish Rabbit Marinade

According to the Merriam-webster dictionary:
Main Entry: escabeche
Function: masculine noun
Language: Spanish
: brine (for pickling) 
I have to say that "escabeche" is a lot more than that. It's not like a pickle at all, it's a dish itself. I'm afraid, there is not a word in English to define this delicacy, hence let's call it "escabeche" (pronounced "esca-bercher"). And when you try it you will know what I am talking about.
For this particular one I've used rabbit but other meats can be used, also fish and some kind of shellfish.
You need:
  • 1 Rabbit, like this, you don't need to become a hunter, rabbits are sold in Moore Willson at the meat section, they are skinned and gutted, ready to cook! You just need to cut it into pieces.
  • 70 ml EVO Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Carrots, Sliced 
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Unpeeled
  • 20 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 Sprig of Thyme
  • Salt to taste 
  • 200 ml White Wine Vinegar
  • 500 ml Water
Pour the EVO Oil in the pot, this time I've used my presser cooker, it's faster and it will tenderise the meat.
Fry the rabbit and the chopped garlic on a medium/high fire until golden brown.
Then add the onion and carrot, stir well.
Add the spices and stir. Cook for 15 minutes on a low/medium fire, stirring when necessary.
Pour the Vinegar, water and salt to taste.
Close the lid, bring to pressure and cook for 25min.(You may need to look the instructions of you pressure cooker for the right time, unless you have a Fagor Pressure Cooker)
Reduce Pressure and remove the lid.

Cover and leave to cold.Then put it in the fridge for a day. 
Waiting worth it.
This dish can be kept in the fridge for at least one week and every day it's more tasty!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

"Pimentón de La Vera" The best Smoked Paprika

"Pimentón" is an essential ingredient in the Spanish "Cocina" 
"Pimentón de La Vera" can be found almost everywhere in New Zealand now, it's one of the best Spanish Paprika, be careful when you buy it and read the label at the bottom, this one is "sweet" but there is a "hot" version too.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

'Lentejas estofadas" Lentils Stew

 This kind of dish is what we called in Spain "comida de cuchara" which means "spoon food".  It's traditionally eaten as a main course for lunch, preferably with a piece of bread. It can be a very good vegan dish if you don't include "chorizo" and you can always add any other vegetables other than carrots.
You need:
300 g Lentils (Organic Brown Lentils Cerec are my favorite)
1/2 Onion
3 Cloves of garlic
1/2 Red capsicum
2 Carrots Sliced
1 Potato (peeled and sliced)
1 Teaspoon of black peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
4 Sundried Tomatoes (Optional)
2 Cloves (Optional)
1 or 2 Chorizos Sliced  (Optional for non vegans)
Put all the ingredients in a pot, cover with hot water and cook on a very low fire until the lentils are cooked (for about one hour, depends on the kind of lentils).
Cook the "sofrito" in the meantime.

4 or 5 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO Oil)
1 Tablespoon Spanish paprika ("Pimentón de la Vera")
3 Chopped garlic
5 Segment of Onion
2 Tablespoon Concentrated Tomato or 1 Cup of pasatta
2 Tablespoon Apple Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
Salt to taste

In a small frying pan poor the EVO oil and fry the garlic and onion, add the pimentón, stir for a minute and add the tomato salt and vinegar , stir well and poor the mix into the pot of lentils (when the lentils are done). Stir well and cook for other 5 minutes more.
A comer!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

"Tortilla española" Potato Omelette (Step by step)

This is one of the most popular "tapas" in Spain.
I always thought it is easy to cook
, but then I came to New Zealand, gave the recipe to a friend who cooks really well and loves my tortilla and she told me later that she never managed to cook it right.

This recipe is specially for her, Nellie, my first friend in New Zealand and I'm going to make it step by step.  


You need:
  • 3 Medium Potatoes thinly sliced(Agria are the best)
  • Half Onion Chopped
  • Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fill a small frying pan
  • 4 Beaten Eggs
  • Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a small frying pan and deep fry the potatoes on a medium fire, turn them as needed until they are cooked but not too crispy.
Drain and set aside to allow them to cool down a bit
Now mix the potatoes with the beaten eggs and put salt to taste.
Put a little bit of EVO Oil on a small nonstick frying pan, heat on a medium fire and put the mix into, don't stir.
Once one side is cooked you have to turn the tortilla upside down in order to cook the other side, the best way is by using a big plate like this. 
 This side is cooked, put the tortilla back into the frying pan until cooked.
A comer!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

"Estofado de Jabalí" Wild Pork Stew

Hi, I've just noticed that this is the first recipe with meat I've published... Jamón doesn't count I suppose... well, I had some meat in the fridge and I needed an extra amount of protein and iron for my "Filming and Auditioning weekend workshop" with my acting teacher, Barbara. She is teaching me how to be an actor without acting... Sounds weird, but works.
Ok, focus, talk about food.

You need:
1 Big Onion Chopped
Half head of garlic
500g Wild Pork
3 Bay leafs
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Glass of White Wine
1/4 Glass of Wine Vinegar
1/2 Glass of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon or Square of Dark Chocolate 

This stew usually takes hours to cook but I didn't have much time so I've used my pressure cooker.
Put the onion in the pot as a bed.
Place the meat on top as well as the garlic, bay leafs, and peppercorns.
Pour the wine,the vinegar and the Olive Oil.
Salt to taste.
Close the lid, bring to pressure and cook for 20min.(You may need to look the instructions of you pressure cooker for the right time, unless you have a Fagor Pressure Cooker)
Reduce Pressure and remove the lid.
Add the dark chocolate and simmer for a few minutes, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates.
I added some cube fries, deep fried in EVO Oil.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Fish Soup "Sopa de Marisco"

Base of Vegetables  
1 Clove of Garlic (Chopped)
1/2 Red Capsicum(Chopped)
1 Small Onion (Chopped)
1/2 Leek (Sliced)
1 Small Carrot (Diced)
1 Small Tomato (Peeled and Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Ground Almonds
Fish and Crayfish
250g Peeled Prawns
250g Sliced Frozen Baby Squid Tubes
400g Groper (Cut into Pieces)
4 Sliced Frozen Baby Octopus (Optional)
1/2 Glass of White Wine
1/2 Brandy (Optional)
1.5l Fish Stock
2 Cloves of Garlic (Crushed)
4 or 5 Saffron Strands (Soaked in hot water for approx. 15min.)
Salt to taste

Let's go! Vamos!

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic on a medium fire for a minute.
Add the capsicum and the onion, fry for 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the vegetables and slowly fry on a low fire for around 20 minutes.
Add the thickener and stir for a minute.
Then add the Fish and Crayfish, stir, pour the wine and Brandy, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Now we add our wonderful fish stock or caldo followed by the seasoning.
Cook for 10 minutes.

You can optionally add some "Picatostes" (croutons) or boiled rice.
A comer!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

"Mojo Verde" Avocado sauce

I learnt this recipe when I was living in Canary Islands, in a small beautiful island called La Gomera. 
It's called Mojo Verde, which means green dip, they have lots of different kinds of Mojos, but this one is my favorite. It goes well with meat or fish and delicious on top of boiled potatoes and sweetcorn, or simply as a dip.
1 Ripped avocado
1 Bunch of Fresh Coriander
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Small Mild Green Chili
2 Tablespoons of Vinegar
4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to Taste

Mixed all the ingredients in a food processor.

Versión española: Aprendí esta receta cuando viví en las Islas Canarias, en una islita preciosa llamada La Gomera. En Canarias tienen un montón de mojos distintos, todos buenísimos, aunque este es mi favorito. Se puede comer con carne o pescado, y está buenísimo con patatas cocidas y mazorcas o "piñas de millo" o simplemente para mojar.
1 Aguacate maduro
1 Manojo de Cilantro fresco
1 Diente de ajo
1 Guindilla verde no muy picante
2 Cucharadas de Vinagre
4 Cucharadas de Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra
Sal al gusto
Triturar todo con la batidora.
Ya está!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sea perch: The king of the stock

Here it is, Mister Sea Perch.
He is ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside.
It costs less than 5 NZD per Kilo and it's the king of the stock.
You cannot find it everyday but yesterday he was there, waiting for me at the Seamarket shop, I couldn't resist its look, I bought two of them.
Once at home, I washed them, cut the head, and separated the bones. I put the fillets on the fridge for dinner and used the rest of it for a fabulous "Caldo" or fish stock.
You might be scared of cleaning a fish, but, believe me, it's easy, you just need a bit of time and maybe a good pair of fish gloves, that's all.
Ok, now let's make our tasty "Caldo" or fish stock, vamos!

1Kg Fish bones and head
1 Glass of White Wine or Brandy

1/2 Onion (Diced)
1/2 Stalk of Celery (Sliced)
1 Carrot (Sliced)
1/2 Leek (Diced)
3 Bay leaves
A bit of Parsley
Black Peppercorns
Some Dill

Place all the ingredients in a pot with 5 litres of water and bring to boiling point on a high fire, taking off the scum in the meantime.
Then pour a glass of cold water and bring to boiling point again, keep it like that for 30 min.
Now you have to strain the stock by using a fine mesh strainer, you can also place a fine cotton cloth inside the strainer.
Bueno, the "caldo" is ready.
I am going to use it in a "Sopa de marisco" or fish soup, that will be my next post.
I can't wait!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

New Zealand Scampi: the best crayfish in this part of the world

I love New Zealand Scampi!

They are the best crayfish that you can find in New Zealand, better than lobster or prawns. They have a very tender meat and an incomparable flavour.

In Wellington, you can buy them in Moore Wilson at the grocery department, unfortunately you just can find them frozen, but even like that they would win any competition against Thai prawns or Australian Shrimps.

Scampi have been fished  throughout New Zealand waters and they are processed, frozen and packed at sea. Isn't it gorgeous?

In terms of carbon footprint they are obviously much better than any other product from overseas. So it's all sweet!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Paella with New Zealand scampi

6 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Approx)
3 Cloves of garlic (Chopped)
1 Teaspoon paprika "Pimentón de la Vera" ( Moore Wilson e.g., optional)
1/2 Onion (Chopped)
1 Peeled Tomato (Chopped)
1/2 Red Capsicum (Chopped)
1/2 Green Capsicum (Chopped)
1/2 Glass White Wine

8 Sliced Frozen Baby Squid Tubes
6 Sliced Frozen Baby Octopus (Moore Wilson)
6 Prawns
4 Frozen Scampi (Moore Wilson)

4 Brussels sprouts (Cut in half)
100g Green Beans
100g Broccoli

300gr Medium Grain

Crushed Parsley
1 Clove of Garlic (Crushed)
Black Pepper (Crushed)
4 or 5 Saffron Strands (Soaked in hot water for approx. 15min.)
Salt to taste

Hot water (Approx. double volume of the rice)

Heat the oil in an approx. 30cms dia. frying pan, ideally a "paella pan" (Moore Wilson e.g.). Add the garlic and fry on a medium fire for a minute.
Add the "Pimentón de la Vera" and the rest of the ingredients for the "sofrito" but the wine, and stir for 5 min.
Pour the wine and stir until the liquid has evaporated, then add the crayfish but reserve the scampi, stir for a minute.
Add the vegetables and the rice and mix well.
Add half of the hot water and the seasoning and mix well for the last time, shake the pan a bit to make the surface even.
Now place the scampi nicely lying over the rice and pour the rest of the boiling water all over.
Cook on a medium fire until the water is evaporated, the rice should be cooked.
Good luck!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Wonderful "Croquetas with Jamón Serrano"

75 gr. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100 gr.Flour
200 gr. Jamón Serrano (e.g. Moore Wilson)
1 Chopped Spring Onion
1 l. Milk

3 eggs
Enough Extra Virgin olive oil to fill a medium depth frying pan.

I love croquetas.
If you have ever been to Spain you know what I am talking about.
I like them warm or cold, with jamón or chicken, alone or with salad.
You have to do a bit of work and need a bit of time but you'll never regret.
Ok, vamos!
Let's make the bechamel.
Heat the oil in a frying pan (e.g. a wok) and fry the spring onion on a low fire then add the Jamón Serrano stripes and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the flour and mix well.
Poor the milk, little by little, don't stop stirring.
Add some salt and stir for not less than 20 minutes, then add some grated nutmeg.
Now you have to extend the "dough" in a wide plate and allow the dough to cold down.
Let's make the shape.
Now we have to use our modeling skills, it's not that hard.
Take a portion of dough using a tablespoon, flour it and shape it, then coat in eggs and breadcrumbs.
You'll get something similar to the picture on the right.
If not.. well... it's fine, any shape is valid...
Now we have to deep fry our wonderful croquetas in extra virgin olive oil.
You probably think this oil is bloody expensive for it but there are many reasons why I use it, one is the taste, one is your health, I'll talk about that later...
Ok, lets fry them.
Poor enough oil in the pan so that when you fry the croquetas they are completely covered.
Fry the croquetas at approx. 170º and place them on a plate over a paper towel to eliminate the oil excess.

They are now ready to it, buenísimas!
Was it worth it?