Recipe of the day 12-01-2018
Julia Child describes in her Memoir, My Life in France, her first meal in France (November, 1948): (which, it should be noted, is one of my favorite books),"it was “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley… I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth… The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter… It was a morsel of perfection… It was the most exciting meal of my life.” For me this dish has always fascinated me and it was in South Africa that I first became acquainted with the taste. Back in Portugal my Aunt Fernanda used to prepare a sole dish but it was with tomato and peppers, this recipe I will share with you on another occasion. I still remember the first time I had dinner with Luisa back in 1982 it was in a Restaurant called Redwoods in the village of Sasolburg, South Africa, 17 km from her home. I wanted to impress her so this was the right place ( in those days there were not many first class restaurant in the area). She allowed me to order for her and I choose for both: king prawns in a butter chili sauce as a starter and sole meuniére for the main dish. The sommelier suggested a white South African Sauvignon Blanc wine. Luisa confessed that she did not drink wine, but using a bit of my charm I convinced her to have a glass with the meal. I promised that I was sure she would enjoy. Well she not only enjoyed, we had two bottles and from that day on Luisa has always loved a good wine to accompany a good meal. But my story is about the sole meuniére, well, I must admit that I fell in love with Luisa that night , but this fantastic dish also captured both our hearts and like Julia Child we agreed that it was the most exciting meal of our lives. Needleless to say that both Redwoods and sole meuniére become our favorite restaurant and dish for many years.
Unlike a lot of classic French cuisine, sole meunière requires almost no advance preparation and very little time at the stove. It is one of the quickest ways to get to dinner, and you probably already have flour, salt, pepper, butter and lemon on hand. All you need is a beautiful piece of fish.That fish does not have be Dover sole, especially given that in recent years, its sustainability has become an issue (not to mention the fact that it is very expensive). Other flat, white, flaky fish will cook up nearly as well, and will taste delightful when pan-fried and smothered in brown butter. After all, there are very few things that wouldn’t. Little is known about how sole meunière came to be, though we do know that for at least the past century it’s been a specialty of Normandy. “Le Guide Culinaire,” by Auguste Escoffier, which was first published in 1903, lists several variations of the dish, including sole meunière with eggplant, with grapes, with cucumbers and with various kinds of mushrooms. However, it is likely that the dish is much older, since it is so very basic.
Dear Friends today I’m going to share with you my recipe of sole meuniére. Everyone knows that the French excel at exquisitely wrought and technically challenging fish dishes. However, they are just as enchanted by simpler recipes that focus on preserving the pristine beauty of their seafood. Sole meunière is a perfect example. To prepare it, sole, a succulent, flat white fish, is pan-fried in butter until crisp-edged and tender, then served with brown butter pan sauce, a sprinkling of parsley and a wedge of lemon. (The term meunière means in the style of the miller’s wife, and refers to the flour in which the fish is dredged before frying.) Except for the browning of the butter, the ingredients are kept in their most elemental form. Yet together they create a dish of incomparable harmony and depth. In its most traditional presentation, sole meunière is made with the whole fish, then filleted tableside. But for the most part, home cooks use sole fillets, which makes the process faster and easier and only slightly less flavorful and juicy than when the fish is cooked on the bone. My recipe is done the traditional way using the whole sole. Ingredients:Fish:½ cup all purpose flour, 2 medium size soles, Coarse kosher salt, Freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter.Sauce:¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, Lemon wedges. Preparation: For the Fish: Place flour in pie dish. Rinse fish; dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of fish with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge fish on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Place on large frying pan, Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until it's hot and shimmers. Add butter; quickly swirl skillet to coat. When foam subsides, add fish and cook until golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over and cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide fish between 2 warmed plates; For the Sauce. Place small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add butter; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice ( sauce may sputter). Spoon sauce over fish. Serve with lemon wedges.
For this dish I recomend a South African Sauvignon Blanc:
Located at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, South Africa with its rugged landscape is one of the world's most stunningly beautiful wine regions. It's history as a winegrowing region in the Cape goes back many centuries, though its modern incarnation dates back to the fall of Apartheid in the early 90's. In the past 20 years, however, South Africa has made great strides, adopting the best of modern vinicultural practices, and gradually attracting both talented winemakers and interested consumers. South Africa makes some delicious Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps partly because the vine has had so long to accustom itself to local conditions. In the cooler coastal Overberg region.
Nederburg Winemaster's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp and refreshing white with fruity hints,
with notes of melon and tropical fruits, a subtle sweetness and a pleasant lingering finish. Entirely made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Nederburg's Sauvignon Blanc features a brilliant color with a lightly greenish tinge. Smooth and refined, one can easily
go through a number of glasses of Nederburg's premium Sauvignon Blanc, but there's more...Often called simply Sauvignon, extremely popular variety making crisp, dry, aromatic and extremely distinctive wines all over the world. The smell is sharp and piercing
(unlike that of Chardonnay) and reminds different tasters variously of gooseberries, nettles, crushed blackcurrant leaves. Most Sauvignon Blanc is fermented at relatively low temperatures in stainless steel with the intention of preserving every bit
of youthful fruit. The wines are in general designed to be drunk as young as possible, although some of the fruit from particularly low-yielding vineyards can be concentrated to withstand oak ageing and may need a year or so in bottle before showing their
best. I have tasted South african Sauvignon Blanc that has survived more than five years in bottle but very few that have actually improved as a result. Have a great week-end and please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page.
Recipe of the day 11-01-2018
Arroz Sogadoiro: receta de Pepe Galan.
Dear Friends, este fin de semana me visitan en Mungia, unos amigos de Donostia (San Sebastian) y como les encanta los platos de arroz, ha decidido prepara la receta de mi buen amigo Pepe Galan, “Arroz Sogadoiro”. Vos cuento un poco sobre Pepe Galán: nace en A Coruña en 1955. Una especial atención por la pintura marca el principio de su trayectoria, experimentando con otros soportes, como la serigrafía, el grabado y la fotografía, medios que son compartidos con diversas técnicas aplicadas a su trabajo escultórico. Concurre en Ferias y exposiciones nacionales e internacionales. Europa le supone un importante contacto con las diferentes opciones artísticas, históricas y contemporáneas. Partícipe y cofundador respectivamente, de La Galga y Gruporzán. Representante de la generación que se da a conocer en la década de los ochenta, tras comenzar su experimentación plástica en la inmediatamente anterior. Sus inicios se inscriben en lenguajes figurativos que rápidamente dan paso a procesos de abstracción, a su vez evolucionados, hasta alcanzar grados de conceptualización, profundizando y decantándose por una idea aglutinadora de los medios de expresión, cada vez más próximos a lo escultórico. Galán irá creando una obra que transita por distintas etapas: primero el tejido en volumen, después el metal, y más tarde, materiales translucidos como, plástico o cristal. Actualmente trabaja en su taller de A Coruña desarrollando obras de grandes dimensiones, especialmente con metal y cristal. Vos dejo su página web para poderes conocerlo un poco mejor. www.pepegalan.com
A mis amigos donostiarras les gusta mucho el pulpo y también el arroz entonces esta reinterpretación de paella y pulpo a la gallega, les va a encantar. Yo personalmente no tengo problema con la variedad de paellas ,me gustan todas, pero tengo una ligera declinación por la preparadas con pescado o marisco será por el saborcito que nos deja el pescado, cosa a muchos no les gusta tanto después de probar distintas combinaciones de paellas con arroz y pescado me recomendaron que probara con pulpo aprovechando el mismo caldo de cocción. En un principio me pareció una cosa extravagante ¡¡¡ese caldo tan morado !!!! me daba no sé qué……preparar el arroz con él hasta que al final me he decidido y vaya si esta rica será uno de los arroz con más sabor que he probado hasta la fecha.
"Jacques Mabille de Poncheville, quien haciendo el Camino de Santiago a pie, hizo posada en Lugo y saliendo a hacer el paseo por la gran muralla romana, entre las puertas de San Pedro o Toledana y la del Castilla, en un campo entre dos cubos, vio unas mujeres vestidas de negro y creyó que aquellas serían las brujas o meigas de las que le habían dicho que era abundante Galicia , y que debían estar poco menos que preparando el aquelarre. Pero eran las pulpeiras del San Froilán". (texto extraído del libro "Cocina Gallega" de Álvaro Cunqueiro y Araceli Filgueira Iglesias: )
Arroz Sogadoiro: receta de Pepe Galan.
Preparación: Mercar dous polbos galego (entre os dous 2500 kgaprox.), despois conxeládeo na casa. Se non haifresco na peixaría, mercalo xa conxelado, pescado no Atlántico. Con este sistema evitamos ter que mazalo.Cocer o polbo (30-35 min.) enteiro coas cebolas. “Asustalo” (metelo e sacalo da pota tres veces, quedara terso e con pel), e pinchalo de cando en vez para comprobar a dureza (que tire a duro), ou ao gusto. Reservar auga, vai ser o caldo da nosa receita e unha das cebola para decorar.Na paella de 60 cms de diámetro, botar un chorro de aceite de oliva, quentar. Engadir os pementos, dourar. Aportar os tomates picadiños, acto seguido, unha parte do polbo en anacos que anteriormente cortamos, sofritir.Agregar o auga de cocer o polbo (dobre da medida de arroz, axustar sal), engadir o arroz.Continuamos co resto dos elementos e parte decisiva para decorar a nosa obra artístico-culinaria;cebola, rallos enteiros do polbo (un por cada comensal) e pemento en tiras previamente reservado. Por último o pementón, un toque fundamental de sabor e cor tan característico do polbo a feira. Quedará espectacular. Que vos preste. Pepe Galán. www.pepegalan.com
Para este plato yo recomiendo un vino Blanco del Ribeiro.
El Vino Blanco del Ribeiro representa más de un 85% de la producción de la Denominación de Origen, es el vino de los vinos, reconocido internacionalmente como uno de los mejores blancos del mundo. Los blancos del Ribeiro son vinos muy sólidos que asociamos casi sin pensarlo a los mariscos y pescados, siendo también perfecto el maridaje con quesos suaves, embutidos de pasta blanca, y en general platos de sapidez no muy intensa. Variedades de Uvas Treixadura, Torrontés, Loureira, Godello y Albariño.
La Denominación de Origen Ribeiro está situada en la Galicia meridional, en el borde noroccidental de la provincia de Ourense, en las confluencias de los valles formados por los ríos Miño, Avia, Arnoia y Barbantiño. Cuenta con una extensión de 2685 hectáreas de viñedo ubicadas en los municipios de Ribadavia, Arnoia, Castrelo de Miño, Carballeda de Avia, Leiro, Cenlle, Beade, Punxín y Cortegada, y parte de los de Boborás, San Amaro, Toén, Carballiño, Ourense. El viñedo se extiende desde los 75 hasta los 400 metros de altitud en valles y laderas a veces de acusada pendiente que es salvada por terrazas denominados socalcos o bocaribeiras que siguen las curvas de nivel. Bien amigos espero que habéis disfrutado de esta receta que en el día de hoy es de mi amigo Pepe. la próxima semana ya vos comento como ha salido la mía. No vos olvides de dejar vuestros comentarios en mi página. Muchas gracias.
Recipe of the day 08-01-2018
Rabo de Ternera Estofado. Receta de mi tia Fernanda.
Me faltaba en el blog la receta del rabo de ternera estofado que siempre hacia mi tía Fernanda, tanto en casa, como en los restaurantes ahonde ha trabajado. Esto no podía continuar así más tiempo. Ha tenido que pensar un poco y buscar dentro del armario, mirar mi libro antiguo de recetas y 'et voilà!' la encontré. Hoy voy compartir con todos vosotros la receta al pie de la letra. El de rabo es uno de mis estofados favoritos. En este caso, me apeteció hacerlo con un vino Alentejano José de Sousa Mayor 2011 Tinto, que aportase toda su fruta e intensidad. El rabo, aunque sea de ternera, en intensidad no se queda precisamente corto en comparación con el de toro, así que el equilibrio es total. La receta la intento mantener muy fiel a la original. aunque es cierto que es una receta que presenta pequeñas variaciones cada vez que la preparo en casa, fruto en la mayor parte de los casos de la improvisación, es decir, a veces se le añaden ingredientes tales como un tomate, o se le cambia el pimiento rojo por uno verde. También se utiliza una cabeza de ajos en vez de sofreír sólo unos dientes o según me como hacia mi tía, que cocinaba la carne de rabo en crudo, es decir, no la rehogaba absolutamente nada. Veréis que será por formas de prepararla, el caso es que todas salen buenas, ésta que transmito hoy ni es mejor ni peor que la que hagáis vosotros en casa, pero esta, es la que preparaba mi Tía Fernanda y yo siempre, desfrutaba de sus sabores desde muy joven, es la receta familiar. Si prestáis atención a continuación veréis que el rabo de ternera es una receta sencillísima que puede preparar uno mismo sin mayor problema ya que no tiene ningún misterio. Admite errores en su elaboración porque además de que ingrediente arriba ingrediente abajo el estofado queda siempre bueno, si nos pasamos un poco de cocción con la carne no pasa nada, es tan gelatinosa y por ende sufrida que no se os quedará seca. Tampoco pasa nada si como os hemos comentado líneas arribas pasáis de rehogarla o si las verduras las queréis pasar por el chino o dejar enteras, insistimos que de todas las formas que os imaginéis el plato está buenísimo. Lo único por lo que puede salir desastroso es porque no cueza suficientemente la carne, pero sabiendo que aguanta carros y carretas, ir probando.
Es muy probable que lo hayáis disfrutado en algún restaurante pero aún no os hayáis atrevido
a prepararlo en casa por miedo a no conseguir ese punto meloso en la carne y esa salsa sedosa y brillante que es pura lujuria. Si es así, no temáis al fracaso, porque cocinar rabo de toro es mucho más fácil de lo que pensáis
y, siguiendo estos consejos, conseguiréis rematar una faena que os hará salir a hombros por la puerta grande. Consejos para cocinar rabo de trenera y triunfar. Si os soy sincero, el secreto es que no hay secreto y los trucos
se reducen a los tres de siempre, buenas materias primas, mucho amor a la hora de prepararlo y tener en cuenta que, como cualquier guiso, al día siguiente está mucho más rico. Pero como eso a muchos os deja como estábais, voy
especificar un poco más. Elegir un buen vino tinto. Prácticamente cualquier plato que vayas a preparar con rabo de trenera pasa por guisar bien la carne antes de hacer cualquier otra cosa. Y para guisar bien un rabo, hace
falta un buen vino preferiblemente tinto. Puede ser un Rioja, un Ribera del Duero, un vino del Penedés, un vinho Alentejano… o cualquier vino de proximidad, pero tiene que ser un vino de calidad. Lo siento mucho, pero
el vino de tetra brick, no es la mejor elección.
Antes de dejaros con la receta quería volver a defender al pequeño comercio o carniceria de barrio o pueblo, porque seamos realistas, esta gente lo está pasando mal. Fijaros que cuando les compramos la bandeja de rabo de ternera además de ofrecernos de todo, nos daban ideas para prepararlo e incluso te dan las propias recetas. Ya vos ha comentado en otras ocasiones que el tendero de toda la vida es un una persona muy amable y cordial, y que además tiene muchos detalles con uno, huesos, perejil, te dan bolsas etc.. Y lo más paradójico de todo, son los que menos ganan del sector y te redondean los precios por ejemplo si es el último trozo, o si se pasa en unos céntimos un precio que sea redondo, o si te llevas mucha cantidad. Vamos con la receta de Rabo de ternera estofado, para 3 personas, 1,5 kg de rabo de ternera, 3 zanahorias, 2 cebolla mediana, 2 pimientos verdes Lamuyo pequeño, 1 cabeza de ajos, 3 vasos de vino tinto, caldo de carne (en la misma proporción que el vino), 2 hojas de laurel, hierbas aromáticas (perejil, tomillo albahaca, orégano, romero, cilandro) harina de trigo para rebozar, pimienta negra, aceite de oliva virgen extra y sal. Preparacion: Marinar la carne. El guiso ganará mucho si antes de ponerte a cocinar pones a marinar los trozos de carne en el vino con algunas verduras y hierbas aromáticas (ajo, cebolla, laurel, romero, tomillo, pimienta en grano, perejil… o incluso ser un poco más atrevido y añadir algo de jengibre y ralladuras de cítricos.
Mirad qué fácil el plato, Después de que la carne haya estado “a remojo” durante al menos 4 horas, la sacaremos del líquido y la secamos muy bien con papel absorbente. En seguida la pasamos por harina y la sacudimos para retirar el exceso y a continuacion la doramos bien en un fondo de aceite de oliva extra virgin en la olla que vayamos a utilizar para cocinarlo o en una sartén. Anadir ajos sueltos pelados y fileteados. Cuando los trozos de carne estén bien dorados, los reservamos. Preparar un buen sofrito con verduras frescas, cortamos las verduras más o menos en trositos pequenos. Aunque el vino de la marinada es el que utilizaremos en el guiso, debemos colarlo y, como base preparar un sofrito con verduras nuevas en el aceite en el que hemos dorado la carne. Porque si usamos las verduras de la marinada, más que sofreírse se cocerán en el vino que han absorbido y dejarán sabor a alcohol. Reducir el vino antes de devolver la carne a la olla. Es importante subir el fuego al añadir el vino y darle tiempo suficiente para que el alcohol se evapore. Una vez lo hayamos conseguido, será cuando reincorporemos la carne a la olla a presion. Menear el contenido un poco, cerramos la olla y a cocer durante 50 minutos en olla a presión y 25 minutos en olla super rápida. Si usáis cazuela normal necesitaremos unas 3 horas o hasta que la carne al pincharla se desgarre del hueso.
El secreto para que la salsa quede perfecta. Os adelantaba al principio que el rabo de Ternera está mejor al día siguiente y, esto es clave para preparar la
salsa, aunque no imprescindible. Es muy común, si vamos a comer el rabo el mismo día que lo cocinamos, preparar la salsa triturando todo lo que queda en la olla (nada más retirar los trozos de carne), incluindo las verduras porque han dejado todos sus sabores
y eso nos interesa. Para conseguir esa salsa de 10, lo que que se debe hacer es retirar
toda la grasa del líquido sobrante. Lo más cómodo es dejar que se enfríe en la nevera hasta que la grasa solidifique y retirarla fácilmente con una cuchara, luego la podéis guardar para añadir una cucharadita
a otros guisos. Una vez tengamos ese líquido desgrasado es cuando podemos ponerlo de nuevo en el fuego para reducirlo hasta que esté lo suficientemente espeso. No hace falta añadir ni maizena, ni harinas ni pan rallado, pues con todo el
colágeno que ha soltado la carne será suficiente para conseguir una salsa de 10. Volcaremos el rabo en la misma, y listo para calentar de nuevo y tomar. Congelable 100%, mejor de un día para otro, obligatorio comer con
pan e ideal con una guarnición de patatas. Bien amigos espero que hayas disfrutado de esta receta. No vos olvides de dejar vuestros comentarios
en la página. Muchas gracias.
Recipe of the day 07-01-2018
Rey (Beryx decadactylus )
Virrey del Cantábrico al
horno con Patatas.
Personalmente a mí me gustan las grandes capturas porque suelen ser más carnosas, pero en este caso he de admitir que el éxito superó mis expectativas, seguramente porque la relación carne/espinas y piel, es menor, y como es bajo la piel donde se almacena la grasa, pues al fundirse y ligarse con el vino de cocción y el almidón de la patata, ligó una salsa que no creo que olvide en muchos años. Y ya que hablo de patatas, tengo que insistir una vez más en la necesidad de localizar un buen proveedor (las mias son de prima Prazeres), porque el chocolate del loro, nos puede arruinar todo el guiso. Aclarados estos pormenores, la receta es coser y cantar. Ingredientes: 2 Virrey del Cantábrico (800 gramas cada), 4 patatas medianas, 1 cebolla, 3 dientes de ajo, 1 vaso de vino blanco Alvariño, fumé natural de pescado, aceite de oliva virgin extra, sal, pimenta tomillo y cominos. Elaboración: Limpiamos los virreyes como de costumbre, escamándolo, desentrañándolo y lavándolo al grifo sin retirarle la cabeza ni los ojos, la una por sabrosísima para el gourmet del pescado fresco, los otros por certificar precisamente esa frescura. Empezamos por pochar las patatas con la cebolla y los ajos, en una sartén tapada. Pondremos la sal desde el principio para que suelten el agua de vegetación y así, al abrir un par de veces para remover las patatas, el vapor se evapora pero según las patatas se van cociendo en su propio agua. Una vez ligeramente doradas, se ponen en la bandeja del horno haciendo una cama, se ponen los pescados encima, se espolvorean estos de sal y aliñan con un poco de limón y se perfuman con comino y tomillo. Regamos las patatas cima con un chorrín de aceite de oliva virgin extra y con una buena copa de vino, en este caso puse un delicioso Albariño de Monção Portugal. Metemos al horno precalentado a 200ºC. Yo los tuve 17 minutos, así que calculen entre 15/20. No está de más abrir un par de veces el horno para rociar los pescados con el caldito. Tras controlar detenidamente el tiempo, para que en ningún momento se pase, lo sacamos y servimos al momento. A mí me gusta de servir los platos individualmente por lo tanto les saco las espinas y cabeza al pescado y presento por encima de las patatas con un poco de guindilla y perejil. Bien amigos espero que hayas disfrutado de esta receta. No vos olvides de dejar vuestros comentarios en la página. Muchas gracias.
Recipe of the day 05-01-2018
Hello dear friends, around the world Christmas may have come and gone, but many kids here in Spain are still eagerly awaiting their presents. On the evening of January 5th, the three wise men parade through the various towns of Spain, throwing candy to the kids. They have come to bring presents, these are distributed either that night after the parade, or the next morning. In the past, more people celebrated the arrival of the wise men with gifts than they did with Santa Claus. Now, more and more people receive their gifts on Christmas Day, allowing the kids time to play with their new toys during their school break. Presents are usually divided between the two holidays, though, and most kids get a few gifts on both days. According to Christian tradition, this was the day that Melchior (known as Melchor in Spanish), Caspar (Gaspar), and Balthasar (Baltasar) came to visit the baby Jesus and brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Known in the Anglophone world as the Epiphany, the arrival of the Three Kings is defined in Spain by the enormous expectation and the tremendous annual celebrations that revolve around the event. Festivities officially start the evening before Epiphany, on the night of January 5th, when the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings' Parade) takes place in every town and city, with hundreds upon hundreds of people crowding the main roads of the urban settlements in order to get a glimpse of the reenactment of the arrival of the Three Kings into town.Typically, people will be strolling down the roads, trickling into the major avenues or squares of the cities with ladders on their hands, ready to climb on the second or third row of people, hoping to come out with a bagful of candies and one or the other gift. That evening, before an early night in bed, children leave out their shoes in a spot where the Kings are sure to see them. The religious monarchs, just like Santa Claus, certainly love their sweets, so Spanish children often set out goodies to entice the Kings as well as hay to feed their camels. When morning arrives, children delightedly discover that the Kings nibbled the sweets, the camels ate the hay, and by their shoes there are wrapped presents just waiting to be torn into. The magical night comes to a close with another Spanish Christmas tradition: a typical breakfast of Roscón de Reyes, a ring-shaped cake decorated with fruits symbolizing the precious gems that adorned the royal trio's lavish clothing.
Roscon de Reyes (Spanish Twisted Roll of Kings)
Many peopple through out Spain wait until after King’s day to start really focusing on eating right, and getting back into shape. Why wait until after the Epiphany? Because they love the roscón de reyes ! Roscón de Reyes twisted roll of kings is mainly consumed on Three Kings Day in Spain (6th of January ). However it's origin is not related to the Christian faith, it's much older and has pagan roots. In fact roscón de reyes goes back to Roman times, where it was elaborated for Saturnalia, or the slaves' holiday. It was celebrated in mid-December to honour the agriculture God, Saturn. The event commemorated the end of the darkest period of the year and till the end of the month the "sun holidays" would come, when the sun entered Capricorn, the winter solstice. It meant the end of the labour in the fields. The slaves would be able to rest and recover from a hard season's work. The slaves were given round cakes made of figs, dates and honey. A dry lima bean, which represented prosperity, was hidden in the cakes. The slave who found it in his piece would be free for the day and be treated like a king. This tradition was absorbed by Christianity when in the 4th century, the church established Three Kings Day. For many years their origin as winter solstice celebration was forgotten. However the custom spread. Many years later in France the celebration was called Le Roi de la Fave (the king of the lima bean) during the reign of King Louis XV (1710 -1774). In Spain it was introduced by Philip V, Louis XV's uncle, and soon it became a highly popular tradition among the nobility. With time the custom seeped from the high classes to the common people. Madrid and Sevilla were the biggest cities to adopt it, and then spread throughout the country and later to Spain's colonies in Latin America. The lima bean (butter bean) was first substituted by one diamond necklace, then by coins, then by figurines. The current custom is to put a figurine and a lima bean inside the roscón de reyes. The person who finds the figurine will have be lucky during the new year, as the wise kings protect him. The person who finds the lima bean must pay for the dessert. Ingredients: 650 grams of baking wheat flour, 25 grams of fresh yeast, 250 ml of fresh milk, 120 grams of sugar, 100 grams of butter (left at room temperature for soft malleable texture), 1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks, orange zest, 1 tbs of rum, 1 tsp of orange blossom essence (fit for food), a pinch of salt, o decorate: candied fruit, sugar, almonds, or whatever you like.
Preparation: Place the fresh yeast in warm milk and dissolve with your fingers. Leave for 15 minutes so the yeast activates. Place 650 grams of flour in a bowl. In the center place the orange zest and sugar. When the milk and yeast are ready add it to the center of the flour Stir the center with a spatula, slowly incorporating the flour on the bottom and sides of the bowl until a thin paste forms, however flour must remain on the walls of the bowl. Add the butter, the orange blossom essence, the rum, the egg yolk and the salt. Mix well with the spatula until you have a sticky dough, incorporating the flour on the walls of the bowl. Sprinkle the table you will be working on with the rest of the flour. Place the roscón de reyes dough and knead. It will stick to the surface at first, but as you knead it it will stop sticking. If it's impossible, add some more flour (only if strictly necessary). The dough has to be slightly sticky, but if you slide it quickly through the surface it mustn't adhere to it. When the dough is ready shape into a ball. Sprinkle some flour in a large bowl and put the dough in it. Cover with cling film and put the bowl in a warm place, perhaps a room with a heater. The mass must double it's volume, and it can take from 2 to 3 hours depending on the temperature. When the dough has grown enough remove from the bowl and knead for one minute to remove the air from it. Form a ball with the dough. With both thumbs make a hole in the middle and enlarge to give the roscón de reyes it's shape. It must have more or less the size of the baking tray you will be using. Line the tray with baking paper and put the dough on it. It's likely it will shrink a little. Spread it evenly on the tray until it has a good size. If the dough sticks on the baking paper it doesn't matter..Cover the dough with another sheet of baking paper and let it leaven in a warm place until it's size doubles. It should take between 30 and 60 minutes. Once it's leavened, with a brush paint the roscón de reyes with egg batter and decorate with dried fruits to your taste. Place the tray in the oven for 25 minutes at 170º C until it gets a golden color and remove from the oven. Let it cool before cutting or filling it. Today about a third of the roscones sold in Spain are filled. If you want to fill yours, use a bread knife to slice the Roscon in half horizontally and carefully remove the top. Next, squeeze in the whipped cream or filling you've chosen and carefully replace the top. Keep refrigerated until serving if filled with cream or custard. Have a great 3 Kings Day and please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page.
Recipe of the day 02-01-2018
Recipe of the day 02-01-2018
“Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.” Julia Child. Happy New Year Dear Friends I start the year with some good advice and lighter meals after the Christmas period. I hpe you enjoy. There's a good chance you are thinking of ways to live healthier in the new year. Whether you want to drop 6 kg, improve your cholesterol or have more energy, I have various food-related New Year's resolutions that will help you achieve your goals. When cooking at home, you have full control over what's going into the food you eat, so if you have any special needs, you can assure they are being met -- and even if you don't have particular requirements, you can make sure you are using the best possible ingredients. Cooking at home allows you to use fresh ingredients, produce that is seasonal and foods without artificial ingredients, It also allows you to use only the amount of added ingredients, like sodium, that your body really needs. Clean Eating. A reduction in processed foods and elimination of “ultra-processed” foods. When engaging in this resolution you may increase intake in nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, all high in phosphorus, and an essential nutrient for tooth structure. To get started, create a cooking plan, which includes gathering recipes, necessary equipment and ingredients, as well as determining the number of times per week you might plan on cooking. If you don't cook at all, start with one meal per week. This month, it might be one meal per week, and next month, it might be two meals -- but be realistic. For basic cooking equipment, I recommend the following essentials: a large cutting board, a sharp chef's knife, a large saucepan with a lid, a silicone spatula and cooking spoon, and a large stick-resistant skillet. In terms of pantry staples: Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil are my three basics I can't live without. I also recommend canned beans, whole grains, nuts, dried fruit and vinegars, which add flavor when cooking. When it comes to selecting recipes, choose ones you will enjoy and have time to make. Sometimes, recipes can be overwhelming with long ingredient lists ... and with cooking techniques that are unfamiliar to you. But a simple recipe can be just as delicious and impressive as a complicated one. A basic omelet, a grilled-cheese sandwich and a basic spaghetti dish are good dishes to start with.
Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice.
Well for many years I’ ve disliked chicken curry and most of our friends know it. That was not the case 30 years ago. I will tell you today, a story related to my dislike of chicken curry that always brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. At that time I was working on a project in the Kalahari desert in a manganese ore mine at Samancor Mamatuan Mine Hotazell to be exact, around 600 km from Johannesburg. At Christmas time that year, our good friends Alberto and Fatima were getting married and they invited us to the wedding in Vanderbijlpark (80 Km from Johannesburg ), so we came down a week before the wedding, in order to visit some of our friends and stayed at Rui and Isabel house. When it was known that we had arrived we received quite a lot of invitations for lunches and dinners. The friends were mostly Luisa’s because she was from the town and they knew her very well, but very little of me. So! the second day after we arrived we went to the first dinner and when we sat down at the table, Luisa’s friend said “ Luisa I have made your favorite dish I hope you enjoy it.” She brought in a massive serving dish of chicken curry and Basmati rice to the table. She served every one and filled up my plate, out of respect I kept quiet and did not manifest my dislike for the meal. After I finished she served me another generous helping….. huff it was hot and I politely swallowed down every last grain of rice, helped by lots of water ( these friends were born again Christians and did not drink alcohol beverages). The following day we had lunch at another friends house and the same thing happen “more chicken curry and rice” , luckily these had beer on the table and I drank quite a few in order to quench the hot curry and also allow the chicken and rice to go down my throat. The following night another invitation and you will not believe it yet another chicken curry dish. The thing was that Luisa’s friends new that she enjoyed hot food and specially loved curry, her friends presumed that I was also a fan of the stuff, wrong I was not. Well the following night we had dinner with Isabel and Rui at home and I could not believe my eyes when she bought to the table Chicken curry and rice. With Isabel I was a bit more comfortable and at that moment I said to her, “ Isabel I don’t like chicken curry and for the past three days that’s all I’ve been fed at the different friends’ houses that we have visited. So if you don’t mind I will eat only salad and abstain from the curry.” She looked at me and said don’t worry Tony I’ll prepare you a steak and chips in no time, and that was it in less than 20 minutes I was devouring that fantastic steak that tasted so gooood. From that day on I never tasted curry again even when I visited Indian or other Asian countries. Luisa always made the dish when I was on a trip. Funny enough last Saturday Luisa told me that she was craving for some curry and I said don’t worry I’ll prepare Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice and to be honest I enjoyed it.
In this family-friendly Indian dish, thinly sliced chicken legs and thighs are sautéed with curry powder and simmered in an aromatic, slightly sweet curry sauce thickened with Greek yogurt. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes or in the time it takes to make the basmati rice and the cooking method ensures that the chicken comes out reliably tender every time. The taste and spice level of this dish will vary a bit depending on the type of curry powder you use. I use a widely available and relatively mild brand. Ingredients:800 grams boneless, skinless chicken legs and thighs, cut into 10mm strip, Salt and freshly ground black pepper,2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder, divided, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided,1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons suga, 1/4 cup whole Greek yogurt (do not use nonfat, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Preparation: Begin by cutting the chicken into 10mm srips. The best way is to cut each chicken legs and thighs in half lengthwise, removing the bones, then slice on the diagonal. Don’t make yourself crazy over it, but try to make each piece about the same size this ensures that they cook evenly. Next, season the chicken with salt, pepper and curry powder. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, then briefly sauté the chicken until it is lightly browned but still pink in spots. Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a clean bowl, then add the onions to the pan and cook until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, more curry powder and sauté until fragrant. Now add the chicken stock and cornstarch to the vegetables, then cook until the sauce is thickened. Introduce the chicken back to the into the pan, along with the frozen peas and simmer until the chicken is just cooked. Finally, stir in the Greek yogurt and fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with basmatic rice and enjoy.
Basmati is a fragrant, nutty-tasting long grain rice grown in the Himalayas and Pakistan. “Bas” in Hindi language means “aroma” and “mati” means “full of,” hence the word Basmati or “full of aroma.” The key to making basmati rice that is light, tender and fluffy is to rinse it first, otherwise the grains will be gummy and stick together. It only takes a minute or two. Ingredients:1 cup Indian basmati rice:2 cups water, 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter;1/2 teaspoon salt. Instructions: Place the rice in medium bowl and add enough water to cover well. Using your hands, gently swish the grains to release any excess starch. Carefully pour off the water, leaving the rice in the bowl. Repeat four times, or until the water runs almost clear. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain the rice. In a medium size pot, bring the water, butter, salt, and rice to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. If the rice is still too firm, add a few more tablespoons of water and continue cooking for a few minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve. Have a great day and please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page.
Recipe of the day 29-12-2017.
Recipe of the day 29-12-2017.
"Hunger" has a very negative connotation in our society. Our immediate reaction to the word is that it's a bad thing, something to be eradicated and fixed. Of course, when we're using the word "hunger" to describe the issue of food insecurity, we are indeed describing a problem. However, when there's plenty of food available to eat, hunger is actually a lovely part of the overall eating experience. To put it simply, food tastes better when you're hungry. Think of the last time you heard a great speech. You’ll notice that the power came not only from the words, but the pacing. Great speeches contain critical pauses — and without them, the speech would lose its lustre. The same is true with food. Good food requires hunger (created during those pauses between meals) to become great food. As many of my friends know I’ve been in and out of hospital throughout the duration of this past year. I have a medical condition which is located in the digestive system. Hopefully it will be sorted out, by undergoing surgery which I hope will be, before the end of January. Due to this I’ve had to carry out various medical test that involved changing the diet and resorting to pureed foods, broths and liquids. The last exam was carried out on the 29th of December, and my doctor recommended that I carried out a semiliquid diet for at least seven days and then another five with meat and vegetable broths and 2 days of liquids. You can imagen...... I went right through the Christmas period without leaving home and without eating all the different foods that I normally enjoy during this time. The night before the test I had to take a very powerful laxative which made me visit the WC many times throughout the night. I’m telling you all this because even though I was not moving a lot or spending energy, I did feel quite hungry during the days leading up to the test. When I returned home from the hospital, after the test, it was late afternoon. Luisa was preparing homemade hamburgers which I adored. It’s not the food that I normally eat or for that matter post in my page, but the desire that I had to eat a solid meal, compiled with days of “fasting” this hamburger turned out to be that best that I could have. So let me share the recipe with you:
Perfect homemade beef burger
A home-made beefburger, just a bit pink in the middle, grilled and served on a slice of all-wheat bread with one's own choice of toppings, is very, very hard to beat. But the burger has to be right good lean meat, well aged, and minced not too fine.Personally, I think it is not too extravagant to use silverside, topside or even rump steak for making excellent burgers. Ingredientes: Minced beef silverside, rump, or chuck steak (allow at least 200g untrimmed meat per burger/person). The best (least artificial) burger buns you can lay your hands on - or use other types of bread, like whole-wheat slices like I did on this ocasion. breadcrumbs, Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, Sliced ripe tomatoes (lightly dressed with olive oil, if you like), sliced raw onions, lettuce (not iceberg), roughly torn if you like, but not shredded, Tomato ketchup or Mayonnaise ( I don't use either), Thinly sliced mild cheese (Gruyère or Edam is better than Cheddar) or a fried egg to top it all.
Preparation: The size of the patties should be determined by the size of the bread you will be putting them on. Also, remember that the higher the fat content of the meat the more the patties will shrink as they cook. Another thing to be aware of is that all the patties to be the same size so they cook at the same rate. If not, you will end up with small overcooked burgers and large undercooked burgers. Mix breadcrumbs with the minced meat to make the texture more solid. By taking a ball of the ground meat and holding it in your hand, you will get a feel for the size and be able to make all the burgers the same size. Simply press the meat into a patty it will crack and break up around the edges. What you want to do is press down in the middle and in from the sides, turning the burger around in your hand until it is even and uniform. It should be a solid disk of meat that is tightly compacted.
When hamburger patties cook, they shrink. As they shrink the edges tend to
break apart causing deep cracks to form in the patty. To combat this, you want the burger patty to be thinner in the middle than it is around the edges. Slightly depress the center of the patty to push a little extra meat towards the edges. This will give
you an even patty once it is cooked. Now that the patties are formed, it is time to season them the way you would a good steak. Remember that a good burger isn't any different than any other piece of meat you are going to grill. Since the ground meat has fat
uniformly spread inside the meat you don't need to oil the surface like you might with a pork chop, but a nice sprinkling of herbs and spices will give you burger added flavor. Personally, I prefer just a little salt and pepper, the same way I like my steaks.
Once the patties are formed and seasoned they are ready for the grill. I know people who like to prepare the patties way ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator. You really don't want your hamburger patties to spend too much time exposed to the air. If you are not going to cook them right way then they need to be wrapped tightly, otherwise, they should hit the grill right away. Don't allow ground meat sit around to grow bacteria. Given the inevitable variation in burger thickness and barbecue temperature, not to mention personal taste, it's hard to give precise guidelines for cooking times and turning points. But I can say that, stuck or not, I like to flip my burger after just 3-4 minutes, as I want it fairly rare. And a couple of minutes on the other side usually finish it off. My wife, who likes her burger literally raw (and I mean fridge cold) in the middle, gives it scarcely a minute on each side, but the barbecue has to be very hot, Don't forget to season lightly with salt and pepper just before you turn the burger.
When you think your burger is done as you like it, set it to rest off the heat for a minute or two while you prepare your bread and appropriate garnishes. I can't possibly tell you what you like on your burger but I can suggest some choices and I can tell you what I like. My own customised burger comprises the following stack, from the ground up, as it were:
Whole-wheat bread slize base, lettuce, salt and pepper 1, burger, onions,sliced tomatoes and fried egg. I also love fresh home made fried chips. I might occasionally go for a cheeseburger, in which case the cheese goes directly on top of the burger to encourage melting, and a few sliced onions might get a look in on top of the cheese. I never butter the bread, nor do I toast it. Dear friends do enjoy and please place a coment on my page.
Recipe of the day 10-12-2017.
Recipe of the day 10-12-2017.
Cooking and eating foods that are popular in other countries can be a fun family adventure. In my opinion discovering new kitchens is a gateway to discovering new cultures and therefore, opening ourselves up to diversity, the history of the world has been made, for example, through the search for pepper, which shows how important food is for all of us. Food is always connected to the culture and rituals of a country, and eating and cooking new foods can be a friendly and gentle way to get to know other cultures.Basmati rice, miso soup, ceviche, cous-cous ... There are many dishes that nowadays begin to be quite common in restaurants, even some are prepared at home quite often, they are exotic, a change in our day to day, although we do not like all of them and even some can be not so tasty, because they are dishes that we are not used to, because culturally we do not usually eat that product or because we have not tried that type of cuisine. With so many different cultures to discover across the world, I often find myself contemplating how I will ever begin to explore the traditions of such a vast number of countries. Finally, I have found an answer to this question, and that answer is food.
Food is an important aspect of any culture, and often becomes the basis for cultural stereotypes. England, for example, is renowned for its Sunday roasts, whilst snails and frogs legs are typically associated with France. Stereotypes aside, trying different cuisines can be a great way of exploring foreign culture in the comfort of your own home, providing a taste of culture whilst also avoiding the high costs of travel. I consider myself relatively adventurous with food, I love to taste different cuisine, from different cultures, as most of you know I’ve visited over 60 different countries and have savoured many a different dish. I have found many recipes that use everyday ingredients with different cultural twists. This could therefore be a perfect option if you are not overly adventurous with food, or simply if you fancy a slight change from your routine weekly meals. Whether you’re just a week-end cook, or simply a lover of food, foreign cuisine could be the perfect solution to all your cultural worries, providing a great way of enjoying a culture whilst avoiding excessive costs. A friend called me the other night, panicked. " Toni!! Help!! I'm having colleagues from our Tokyo office, over for dinner tomorrow night at my house and I don't know a thing about Japanese food!" My response to him was? "Great Joe! Don't make Japanese food." For some reason, we have this funny notion that when we have guests from another country over for dinner, we need to serve them food from their homeland. On one hand, this is kind of nice, since we want to feel comfortable and familiar with the food they are eating. On the other hand, it's not very smart unless you are very well-versed in that cuisine. And even then, it might not be the best move.
Polbo á feira,
I dedicate this recipe to my dear friends Fernando and Amada from Vigo, if anyone can prepare this dish the traditional and proper way it's them. Today I'll try to transmit the best I can, one of my most loved dishes. Polbo á Feira Galician name literally meaning "fair-style octopus" alternatively known as pulpo estilo feira and pulpo a la gallega, is a traditional Spanish/Galician dish.“Spice up your life by tasting Galician style octopus with potatoes.” If you have never had this dish, you are really missing out on one of the most emblematic Galician pride and joy. Anyone that visits Galicia will typically try this dish in a bar, a restaurant, on a stall on the street, or on one of the town fests that alternate from town to town every Sunday of the year. Pulpo a la gallega, takes us back many centuries, not because the recipe was the same, but because octopus has been consumed in this autonomous region for longer than we can count. Octopus was one of the few types of seafood that was transported from the coasts to the interior towns and in fact it was far more appreciated in these towns than near the sea, as those had other products such as lobster, king crab and a great variety of fish. When America was discovered many products appeared in the Spanish markets, including a fake spice obtained from some crushed red chiles, in Spanish they call it pimentón, in English: Paprika. But it wasn't until a few years later that Pulpo a la gallega became and actual dish. Some 125 years ago, when muleteers went to cattle fairs, they bought large amounts of octopus and then they'd prepare it with olive oil and paprika. In thoes days paprika was also used in the preservation of food. Today the story is a little different, we don't need paprika to preserve food, since we freeze it, but in Galicia, which is still a largely rural region, it's possible to go to cattle fairs and eat pulpo a la gallega and watch the preparation process which has it's own special magic.
The good news is, that it's also possible to prepare it at home, so let's go for it. Ingredients (four portions): 1 octopus of 2 kilos, 400 grams of potatoes, 1 onion, Paprika, Spicy paprika, Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Preparation: If it's a fresh octopus first we must soften the octopus, there are two ways to carry this out, you can either beat it with a wooden rolling pin until its texture softens or freeze it for two days and then defrost the day before
cooking (that's what I do). It's advisable to leave octopus inside the fridge (place it in a bowl because it will release some of liquid) Dice the onion and add it to a big pot
with water. When it begins to boil it's time to add the octopus. Grab it's head and dip it in the pot remove for 20 seconds repeating the process three times then release
it inside the Pot (Use a rubber glove to insure you don't get burned). Cook for about 1 hour. Once cooked remove the pot from the stove and allow it cool for 20 minutes. Using the same water in which the octopus was cooked, cook the potatoes (previously peeled and
diced). While they boil dice the octopus in medium sized slices. When the potatoes are cooked remove from water and add to a platter, placing the octopus slices on top. The final touch is adding a good squirt of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and paprika also coarse salt to taste. So,
dear friends Polbo á feira doesn't present many problems to carry out in your kitchet and it always tastes great, however, it is said that all food
is better when tasted in its source of origin. In this case Galicia. Have a great day and please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page.
Tip of the day 10-12-2017.
Hi again dear friends, today I'm going to share my experiences regarding the: Benefits of Shopping at the Local Farmer’s
Market. A tomato that passes from one hand to another, without intermediaries, direct from the garden to the consumer. Here the price is set by the producer and there is no wholesaler or wholesaler who keeps
the highest percentage. The benefit is double, both for the farmer and for the consumer. Local farmer’s markets have sprung up everywhere, and many people are enjoying the benefits associated with
being able to drive a few miles to pick up fresh produce and other products.Are you shopping at your local farmer’s market? If not, let me tell you why you should. Farmer’s market produce, is nearly the antithesis of grocery store fruits and vegetables.
In most cases, the owner of the stand picked it just that morning, so you know the food is as fresh as you can get it, outside of growing it yourself. Many farmers use organic methods to grow their produce. Most label it as
such, so you can be certain you are purchasing chemical free products. They also are more likely to use non-modified seeds. Organic farming is better for the soil, the environment, and your body. Offerings at the farmer’s market are
generally picked at the peak of their ripeness when the plants’ natural sugars are at their peak. Eating produce when it is ripe not only tastes better, but it also provides the best nutrition possible. One look at the vivid colors of
produce found at the farmer’s market, and you’ll be able to tell just how nutritious the fruits and vegetables are. Vivid colors in fruits and vegetables are a reflection of the nutrients they contain. Many local farmers cultivate
extremely nutritious produce through their careful farming methods. When you shop at the farmer’s market, you know where your food has been. You can talk with the farm stand workers to learn about the farm’s growing and processing
practices. In many cases, you can even visit the farms to see how they grow and handle the produce you are serving to your family. Obviously, it is fruit, vegetables and local produce in general that are the mainspring of most markets, and
the smaller the market, the more it will tend to be an outlet for local producers. In rural areas, it is still possible to find markets where small farmers sell just their own produce - potatoes, vegetables and fruit in season, flowers, perhaps farm-produced
cheese, home-made bread, eggs, and even a living rabbit or two, or week-old chicks. So my dear friends here you have it, the farmer’s market is a great place to gather. Visiting is a fun family activity, and you can
meet members of your community do try it.
Recipe of the day 09-12-2017
Recipe of the day 09-12-2017
Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it - Julia Child. Today is Sunday and for me sitting around a table, enjoying a good homemade meal with the company of my loved ones is an unrepeatable pleasure. As I mentioned many a time, whether with family or friends, it is possible to cook in a simple and relaxed way, and without stressful moments. In order to carry this out I’ve started cooking delicious recipes, from homemade dishes to simple but tasty Iberian traditional stews. In the comfort of my home I can think of many occasions to eat well and surprise my guests. I’ve become accustomed to cooking with fewer ingredients, fresh, and of good quality, buying only the necessary and not wasting. My recipes aim in getting away from the complicated dishes that have taken over from traditional meals in the last years, especially in my area of residence. I want to differentiate the restaurant kitchen from the kitchen at home without losing none of the gastronomical “Know How” that I have experienced throughout my years of eating outside my kitchen. From in between my stove, I want to transmit confidence for all to apply the best techniques to the best recipes and above all enjoy, smile and have fun. The idea is that you will be able to mix and match dishes and create your own menus for any occasion and at any time of the year. Very important is that I always take advantage of seasonal products, compiling recipes that are easy to follow and easy to prepare, presenting a simple and inexpensive meal as if it had cost a fortune, offering all kinds of useful tips and tricks to save time and money. Well my dear friends the real truth is that I cook because I like to eat also it makes me very happy when someone enjoys and loves to eat what I share.
Recipe of the day 08-12-2017
“For the last 35 years I’ve been an engineer and international business executive in a multinational company and probably to fight stress I decided to learn how to cook. Today I am not a great chef but my recipes are famous among my friends and family. I found an activity that besides being rewarding is something special” – Antonio José Ribeiro Gonçalves. Why do we like to cook? Because when we put on the apron and turn on the stove we take control of the situation. We choose the recipe, prepare the ingredients and cook as we wish. Embracing the feeling of control, that comforts us. Because cooking fills us with concern to try new things: recipes, ingredients, techniques and cultures to explore, also each discovery fills us with satisfaction. Because we all have in our heads images and sensations that are activated with certain scents, especially with homemade dishes that take us back to childhood and fill us with pleasure. Because the kitchen connects us with simple things, with nature and with our cultural past. Making a simple meal, from scratch, gives us back some natural tranquillity. Because it is a passion that is shared: cooking thinking about who is going to taste our dish makes us get involved in a special way. We show that person, that he or she matters to us and seeing what they really enjoy is a fantastic feeling. Whatever the main reason, we cook not only to feed ourselves, but also to entertain and relax. So start the Christmas season very calm, enjoying the kitchen with the recipe that I leave today; your friends and loved ones will end up sucking their fingers.
Fresh Salmon and Broccoli Lasagne
Lasagne is one of the emblematic dishes of Italian cuisine, but nowadays it has become popular in practically the whole world, achieving with this a multitude of variants of such delicious pasta. Nowdays we can prepare a good lasagne with the ingredients that we like the most and with great results, like this exquisite lasagne that I share with you today. Of mild flavour, thanks to the perfect fusion of salmon, broccoli and béchamel sauce, this dish that is prepared without any complications can be a great option when it comes to entertain your guests. Accompanied by a glass of red wine will delight the most demanding diners.
Ingredients Serve 6: 350grams lasagne, 600grams skinless salmon fillets, 500grams broccoli, 700ml skimmed milk, Juice of 1 lemon, 40g butter, 40g plain flour, 2 onions,1 tablespoon of sugar,1 cup white wine1 egg yolk, 1tbsp of cream, a pinch freshly grated nutmeg150grams, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 2 bay-leaves, fresh dill, Salt and freshly ground pepper. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the salmon in a shallow pan with the milk and the bay leaves, bring to the boil, cover and then simmer very gently for 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove the fish, take off the skin and flake the flesh, reserve the cooking liquid, discarding the bay leaves. Chop the onions and caramelize with the sugar in a non-stick pan. Deglaze with white wine. Reserve.In a large pot, bring 3 litters of salted water to a boil. Dip the lasagne sheets and cook from 8 to 10 minutes. Taste to check doneness.Meanwhile, steam the broccoli or cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just tender, then drain thoroughly. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the flour and cook for a minute. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the milk a little at a time, keeping the mixture smooth. Bring back to the boil, stirring, and simmer for 3-4 minutes to give a sauce the thickness of thin cream. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, nutmeg, ginger and dill. Add the egg yolk and cream and mix well. Reserve. Place some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and place on top the first layer of lasagna. Cover with a little caramelized onions, the diced salmon and broccoli and drizzle of béchamel sauce. Add another layer of lasagna and continue until all the ingredients have been used. Do not add too much filling between each layer. There should be at least four layers of pasta. On the last layer, pour the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes until lasagna has browned slightly. Serve and garnish with some broccoli and carrots. I'm happy to report that the end result brought a beaming smile to my face and also to my guests. Please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page, all the best for tomorrow.
Tip of the day 08-12-2017.
Today’s tip of the day is directed at preparing food safely. It's very important to prepare
food in a safe way in order to help stop harmful bacteria from spreading and growing. You can take some steps to help protect yourself and your family from the spread of harmful bacteria. Wash your hands: Your hands can easily spread bacteria around the kitchen and onto food. It's important to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap
and warm water: before starting to prepare food, after touching raw food such as meat, poultry
and vegetables, after going to the toilet, after touching the rubbish bin, after touching pets. Don't forget to dry your hands thoroughly as well, because wet hands spread bacteria more easily. Storage. Correct storage of food in kitchens is as important as correct
cooking. When storing food in fridges or coolers make sure the food is at room temperature or lower. Putting warm food in a fridge means the food does not cool evenly and therefore can cause food poisoning. Cover your food too, food left out in the open is
vulnerable to bacteria. Use by dates. You will also see ‘use by’ dates on food that goes off quickly. You shouldn’t use any food after the ‘use
by’ date even if the food looks and smells fine, because it might contain harmful bacteria. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Soak vegetables in water with a big pinch of sea salt. Leave it for half an hour and then wash the
vegetables in running water before using them. The salt helps remove any traces of fertilizers, insecticide or pesticides that can be coating the vegetables. Kitchen
Extractor & Ventilation. Another essential tool to keep your kitchen clean is to install the right kitchen extractor and ventilation systems. Over-the-cooker canopies and the ductwork leading from them are fitted with filters and should
be regularly replaced. Food poisoning spreads: when one food, mainly raw food, comes in contact with other types of food. Bacteria can also be transferred indirectly,
for example from hands, tools, surfaces, knives, and clothes. One thing you can do for preventing cross-contamination is, keep separate chopping boards for raw and cooked foods. Refrigerators: Never over-fill the fridge. This is a common mistake that most of us make. Over-filling fridge will lead to it not working
to its full potential. The fridge needs some space for air circulation to ensure that the foods are kept smelling nice and fresh. Over-filling leads to foods taking on a stale smell and you run the risk of having your raw food coming into contact with
cooked food, which is never a good idea. Refrigerators must also be checked regularly to guarantee that they are running at the proper temperature and they should also be
cleaned, both inside and out. Never leave the dishes in the sink overnight. Did you know that the sink is one of the most contaminated areas in a house? Leaving the dishes unwashed in the sink is a complete no-no. As tired as you are,
just grit your teeth and finish up that one chore. That way you can sleep peacefully at night without worries of bacteria and rodents. Trash (Rubish). Ensure your trash can is always closed and regularly empty trash, especially if you have
food wastes in them. You don’t want to leave rotting food in your kitchen, making it a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and insects. Also, wash your rubbish bin at least once a week. Dear Friends do keep your kitchen spanking clean
as mentioned above, it's imperative to your, as well as your family’s good health.
Recipe of the day 07-12-2017
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a, what-the-hell attitude.” Julia Child. The magic of many a cook, being it mothers, aunts, professional chefs or for example me..... its to convince, entering the kitchen, those who never step on it, to divulge the pleasure not only of eating a good dish, but the joy of cooking it. Cooking is a way to: have fun, share, try and experiment. A space that takes us away from the stress of everyday life and that allows us to enjoy our own creations. Cook books are important but when it comes to being able to play in the kitchen, to experience the freedom to improvise and turn out a delicious meal, then basic techniques are more important.
Understanding fundamentals will free you up to experiment and allow you to feed a group of friends or family a delicious meal, with nothing more than an open mind, intuition and the use of fresh products. Take a class or ask a friend to show you the ropes (My nephew Lourenço always asks me for cooking advise). In the kitchen, as well as in life, never assume you're finished with learning. Always be teachable. If you're in the kitchen and you're agitated and stressed, pause and take a few breaths to see if you can't find a little calm in the middle of the chaos. If you're in the kitchen and you're happy as a lark, then pause and take a few breaths to let it all in, to really steep yourself in your enjoyment. If you're in the kitchen and you're bored, pause and take a breath, noticing what might be a little different about today's task at hand. Look for where the sunlight is coming in, or the particular texture or colour of the ingredient you are working with. Sniff the air. Every moment is endlessly fascinating. What helps me to be happy in my kitchen and in life? The connection, the acknowledgment, that even though I have been living in a crowed urban areas all my life, I am still closely bound to the earth, and this is a never ending source of comfort and joy.
Red mullet with baked cherry tomatoes.
Red mullet is a fish of intense flavour and much appreciated in the kitchen. This species is highly valued, and although its price is not low especially in these dates, it makes up for it with its excellent flavour and firm white flesh. Today I bring you a very simple way to prepare red mullet in the oven, but no less tasty, on the contrary, there are so few ingredients that accompany it that allows us to enjoy, without masking, it’s delicious fresh fish taste. Ingredients for four people: 4 red mullet fillets (about 150grams each), 375 grams red cherry tomatoes, 2 spring onions thin sliced, ½ lemon juice, ½ lemon cut into pieces, 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar, 2 garlic cloves thin sliced, 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh herbs (Basil, Bay- leave, Dill ). At this point I would like to mention something with regards to Dill. It’s the most basic herbal pairing that anyone who knows fish can think of, It's no surprise that dill makes top of the list in the use of herbs with fish. For good reason it’s a marriage that was meant to be. Preheat the oven to 200º C , Place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish with the garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender. Meanwhile, tear off 4 sheets of foil and line with non-stick baking paper. Place 1 fish fillets on each piece of baking paper, spring onions, then scatter over the lemon rind and herbs add a dash of apple vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold over the paper-lined foil and scrunch the edges together to seal. Place the parcels on a large baking tray and introduce next to the tomatoes in the oven and bake for a further 8-10 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily when pressed in the centre with a knife. Spoon the tomatoes on to four serving plates and top each with 1 fish fillets. Garnish with parsley and serve. I encourage you all to try today’s recipe of the day. I know you can. Please don’t forget to enter a comment on my page. have a great weekend.
Tip of the day 07-12-2017
You all know that I love using fresh herbs, so todays tip of the day is direct on how to grow them in your own home.There's nothing like the taste of herbs picked fresh from your own garden! They're so easy to grow, whether in beds, borders, containers or on windowsills and with our full range of seeds and plants, growing your own herbs has never been easier. Also, we can use these herbs in the kitchen, as they bring a great aroma and flavor to our dishes or use them as a home remedy for many ailments. Whether you have a garden or vegetable garden at home, or if you plant in pots and planters. Growing herbs indoors is convenient for harvesting and great for those without gardens. It also extends the season for annual herbs so you will have fresh produce all year round! Suitable herbs to grow indoors on the windowsill include Chives, Parsley, Basil, Coriander, Marjoram, Dill and Mint. Simply sow the seeds on the surface of damp, free-draining seed compost and sprinkle lightly with vermiculite. Cover the container with a clear plastic bag or piece of glass and place somewhere bright and warm for the seeds to germinate (about 18-20C). Once germinated remove the cover and grow on. Herbs need a bright position to grow well. You can treat windowsill herbs as cut-and-come-again crops, harvesting regularly to encourage new growth. When harvesting herbs, remove foliage from the outside of the plant, allowing new leaves to develop in the center. As a general rule don't pick more than a third of the plant's foliage at a time to enable it to recover. Herbs are excellent for freezing enabling you to enjoy their flavors all year round. This is especially useful for fast-growing herbs such as Coriander, Parsley and Dill. You can either freeze whole sprigs in a freezer bag or freeze chopped herbs with water in ice cube trays. Herbs are best harvested in the morning before any essential oils evaporate. You can harvest outdoor evergreen herbs such as Rosemary, Sage and Thyme sparingly all year round but be aware that no new growth will occur until spring. Dear friends herbs are some of the easiest plants to cultivate so why not give herb growing a go this year!
Recipe of the day 06-12-2017
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” - Cesar Chavez. While food is ultimately about survival, it’s also about connecting with others. Coming together to share food is a practice that’s been used throughout history to forge relationships, share stories, provoke laughter and celebrate blessings. When I invite friends for a meal at my home, my intention is to nurture the association of food with love, health, and a true sense of joy. Coming together over food is a celebration and an opportunity to acknowledge and honour the goodness of others and the gifts of everyday life. We all like to sit around a table with our family or our friends. What better way to share friendship and a delicious meal than in the relaxed atmosphere of our own home. The flavours of the food itself are enhanced by the stories shared and the connections formed over the course of a meal, whether it’s with your favourite uncle, brother an old friend or a new acquaintance. Both small and large gatherings can be rich and rewarding! Eating forms connections, connections beget opportunities, sharing meals bolsters team building and a sense of community. Enjoy today’s recipe. I encourage you to place a comment. Please make it happen.
Stew of Red Beans from Tolosa with Vegetables.
Understanding what beans are and their nutritional value. Biologically speaking, beans are legumes, meaning they are the seed or fruit of a pod. But beyond the bean's official status, humans tend to use them in one of two ways -- as a vegetable or as a protein. How you classify them in your diet is primarily a matter of where you get your protein. True to their name, these popular beans are kidney shaped and are especially good in simmered dishes where they absorb the flavours of seasonings and the other foods with which they are cooked. Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fibber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycaemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. But this is far from all kidney beans have to offer. Kidney beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulphite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulphites. Ingredients for todays recipe: 500 grams red beans from Tolosa ( they are the best), 6 large carrots, 6 cloves of garlic, 2 large onions,1 bay leaf,1 leek, 2 large turnips, 1 small fennel (not much) and a stalk of celery, 1 kg of ripe tomatoes, 5 medium potatoes, 150 gr. Pumpkin,1 red,1 green 1 yellow pepper, fresh herbs (oregano, basil, cilantro, parsley), 300 grams of broccoli, Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste) 50 ml extra virgin olive oil. Spread the beans on a flat surface and discard those that are damaged. Wash them to remove all impurities. Introduce them in a bowl with cold water to soak overnight, normally 12 hours. It is not necessary to add salt at the time of soaking. The following day drain water and set aside until it’s time to prepare them. In Portugal and Spain there are a thousand ways to make beans, there are those who cook them with sausage, with bacon, with pork, etc. but today my recipe is different to how most cooks would do them. I have cooked them with lots of vegetables and no meats, which is how we like them at home and I assure you that the result is great. But the secret is in the fresh vegetables that I have used, they give the dish a flavour that a normal stew does not have, I assure you that once you try them this way you will not think of doing them in another way again. Very important, the beans must be of excellent quality and not aged, normally red kidney beans are not that expensive, but spend a little money and you will see that it was worth it.
I used onions, red and green peppers, leeks, fennel, celery and garlic. Chop everything into very small pieces so that they mix well when cooking, the smaller the better. In the end we hardly notice any texture of any of the ingredients but all its flavour will be felt. Peel carrots, pumpkin, turnips, potatoes and tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes in 2 parts and all the other ingredients in small pieces, Remember that the smaller the pieces the better they will cook. I do not want them to identify themselves when they are served on the plate, what I want is the taste. In a pan, add a little extra virgin olive oil and let it heat, add the onions, fennel, celery and leeks first. Allow everything to fry for 5 minutes so that the flavours mix well. Then add the crushed garlic. Toss around all contents very well and let it brown a little, 3 minutes over low heat is more than enough.
Introduce the peppers, the carrots, the pumpkin, the turnip and the potatoes. Mix well with the previous ingredients and let it cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and the bay leaf. Add the beans, steering again so that everything gets well mixed together. Cover with cold water (important, so that it begins to boil slowly) until the pan is almost full, if you want the broth thicker put a little less water, then you can always rectify with hot water (not to break the cooking). After 1 hour cooking add salt and pepper to taste, allow slow cooking at medium-low temperature for 2 more hours, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon and adding every 1/2 hour a little more water, always cold. The last half hour cook the stew on a low heat, add the broccoli, testing from time to time to see if its cooked. As you can see its quite easy to make, it takes some time, but the trick is to do a big pot, you can freeze the excess or better still invite friends over, feed them this delicious meal and then give them each a Tupperware to take home, to enjoy the next day.