A couple of weeks back, I was asked if I fancied an evening cooking with Jose Pizarro.
I've written on this blog before about José, and how I admire him both as a chef and just a ruddy good person, and sure enough, (not long after we were stuffing olives with anchovies) he was cycling around India for 4 days for Action Against Hunger. Hero.
I first met José a couple of years back, at his eponymous restaurant 'Pizarro'. He's achieved so much since and still finds time to cycle India, appear on the telly and teach the sherry boozed of us how to cook with olives.
Nic (from sous chef) and I, sipped and chopped and chatted our way through so many tasty treats that night. There were two major revelations for me.
1. Stuffing your own pitted olives with anchovies. I don't like how mushy anchovies get in shop bought olives, so these tasted a million times better and I'll be doing it again.
2. Shaved cheese (I think it was manchego) in a spinach salad with a little sherry vinegar dressing, cor that was good. These were only side dishes to the main events which were Chorizo, Olive and Chicken Stew and Serrano ham wrapped monkfish, stuffed with anchovy and olive tapenade.
'Olives Isabel' – (José's mother)
75g black olives, 75g turning colour olives, 75g manzanilla olives, 2 whole garlic skins removed, grated zest of an orange, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 bay leaf, 1/3tsp chilli flakes, 1/4 ts black peppercorns roughly chopped
Mix and refrigerate over night. Bring to room temperature before eating.
www.oliveit.eu for more ideas