We had friends over for the weekend for a big lunch so I made bread. I am impatient, therefore it's not the best hobby for me. I went for it as it is pretty hot here at the moment (22C today) so perfect temp for leaving dough to prove outside. I used a Jamie Oliver recipe as I wanted something simple and I had fresh yeast. I cut the dough in half at the end and stuck some rosemary, black olives and a little olive oil in one half and made a plait so I guess at that stage you could do what you like. You can see my impatience in the photos, the last step is to leave your loaf to rest for 30 minutes.. I left mine for 2 minutes. But I like steaming hot bread and I had garlicky prawns and asparagus waiting to top it.Recipe here
Thursday 23 February 2012
That was close. I was walking over to my laptop with my camera memory card in one hand and a square of lindt chocolate in the other to start a blog post (both vital components in writing a blog) and I stuck the memory card in my mouth thinking it was the chocolate. Easy mistake I reckon, I was distracted and didn't notice immediately. I must be tired. After a nervous 60 seconds of waiting for photos to upload, we are alright people. Service resumed.Anyway, here we have a morcilla tortilla (that rhymes) will have to make it again so I can present it to people saying this. Below is a snack I made for myself. Guacamole, fried morcilla, and radish on toast. Delish
Tuesday 21 February 2012
BEST day of the year. I think I get more excited about it than Christmas.
I love pancakes, I love making them for other people and I have such fond memories of making them as a family as kids and having friends over for it. Flipping competitions, thinking up silly fillings..one fond memory is from not that long ago, at Uni in halls. We could smell pancakes wafting up the stairwell and convinced the boys downstairs to stretch their mix. There ended up being so many of us we had to queue down the corridor.
I have to be boring and tell you I made lemon and sugar today. It's the most popular combination for a reason and also, I am in Spain surrounded my beautiful lemon trees, it would be a crime to get the Nutella out. You think I have enough?
I've played around with so many recipes, but got to admit defeat, delias are unbeatable, recipe here.On another, but related note, have you ever seen anything like this? I found it in a Japanese shop and thought, that's quite cute and bought it as a stocking filler for my mum. It's not only cute, it works, it's so much fun. You just push it into the top of a lemon, squeeze the lemon and the juice just pours out. Then you pop the lid on for later. I couldn't help myself, had to make a lemon drizzle too...
I had to share some pics I took this afternoon, the light was stunning.
Saturday 18 February 2012
Rainbow trout is up there in my top 3 fish choices. I think they're beautiful, they are easy to fillet, they have a milder (but still flavourful) taste than salmon and a beautiful, slightly softer texture. This recipe is from Rick Stein's SPAIN book and couldn't be more simple. Pop 2 slices of fried Serrano ham into the belly cavity with a little salt, dust the fish with flour and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until brown then pop in the oven at 200C for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up a slice of the ham and crisp up in a frying pan with butter, parsley and garlic to pour over the trout. Squeeze with lemon, and it's done. Serve with potatoes or flake into a creamy pasta. Isn't this one so shiny and beautiful? I got it from Barnes market for £3.50 which I think is pretty good as its a biggun. Then my friend and I ate fresh pizza on a bench, in the rain. Lovely.
Thursday 16 February 2012
Monday 13 February 2012
I think Soufflé is one of those dishes Masterchef has gone and made us all afraid of. We shouldn't be, they're easy. Chocolate fondants are easy too, don't know why they always get messed up on MC either. So many of the simplest things to cook like fish, scallops etc people are afraid of cooking, it baffles me. It's harder to boil an egg well.
So, this is a cheats soufflé to get you on your way. You can do it with double the quantities in a small frying pan, but I was just cooking for me and I have a mini pan. Like a pan that looks like a stocking present but is actually very useful for making individual tortillas and such.
I'm not going to lie, I made this because I only had one egg in the kitchen...and some smoked salmon. So I would add some chopped fresh chives to the mix if I had any, or you could use some grilled pancetta instead of salmon with some cheddar and thyme leaves.
tiny splash of cream
say, 70g of parmesan cheese
100g smoked salmon
smoked chilli salt, pepper
Separate your egg yolk from the white and mix with cheese, cream, pepper and salmon.
Heat your pan on the hob and heat your oven/grill to 200C
Whisk the white until stiff and fold into the yolk mix with a metal spoon.
Put a knob of butter in the pan and pour in the souffle mix. After 2 minutes, take it off the hob and put it under the grill and grill for 5 mins or so until you see it puff up and go golden.
Whilst I write this I am getting peckish which is ridiculous as it is nearly midnight but I have to stay up until the washing machine has finished it's cycle..and I'm writing about food, grrrr. It doesn't help that my friend Vidaltxo is sending me amazing food pics. We met last week making gyoza..
When we met he showed me a picture on his phone of what he had been cooking. It looked like a glass of milk and an Oreo cookie, just as I was thinking, oh this guy is a nutcase, he explained he had made a black sesame cookie sandwiched with mackerel pate with a leek and potato veloute, I had met the Spanish Heston! He is in Valencia at the moment sending me pics of collido gallego and paella. I am so jealous right now, and so cold that they sound such a treat. No lie, I just hair-dried inside my slippers. I will get him back when I'm next in Spain with photos of churros and chocolate!
Machine beeping, cycle finished, bed for me, big day tomorrow.
Anyone that knows me knows my obsession with Hello Kitty. I thought I had gotten over her until my Japan trip last year with whole superstores and theme parks devoted to her. I think the love for Hello Kitty is incredible when you think that it's not a character from a cartoon series, it started off as just a character on a vinyl coin purse in the 70s. So, I had an order for a cake last week, an excuse to indulge.
Saturday 11 February 2012
When I was a little girl, I didn't like swimming. But there I was in swimming club because after my swim session I was allowed anything I wanted from the vending machine in the reception. It would only ever be a chocolate bar, a Snickers. Oh if I could only apply this method of treats after exercise to my adult life, sigh. I feel all spiritual, like I want to bow down to that tower... a pure indulgent gooey, crunchy stack of naughtiness. I actually made these for ice cream I'm making later so I made the top layer quite thick, if you're making them as whole bars I would suggest a thin layer so it's easy to slice without the chocolate cracking.Mixed with peanut butter
spread onto bottom of tin
Mixing salted peanuts into the nougat
Pour onto chilled choc layer
Spread caramel onto cooled nougat layer
Finally, dark choc poured onto the cooled caramel
Holy Moly, I made some squares and have stuck them in the freezer, they are incredible frozen! But alas, the rest is getting chopped up for icecream. It's a messy job but someone's got to do it.