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?