miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016

RICE WITH STUFF - MY TAKE ON PAELLA



Paella is one of our more traditional dishes being cooked in many Spanish households lon Sundays. The dish is originally form the Valencia region, and people from Valencia are quite protective of the original Paella, and get very upset when someone calls "Paella" to rice with stuff that doesn't have the typical ingredients they would use. Remember what happened with Jaimie Oliver and his Paella recipe, just because he added chorizo.

However, Paella is cooked everywhere in Spain, and the majority of us do not follow the original recipe (and everybody that I know adds chorizo too), so I am going to write here the recipe of my take on Paella.

Ingredients:


Olive oil, salt, rice, couple of carrots, 1 pepper, 1 onion, about 200 gr of peas, about 200 gr of prawns, couple of garlic cloves, chorizo (hehe), paprika and meat. Normally paella is made with chicken or rabbit, but I didn't have either so I used pork.
Regarding the prawns, you can use normal ones, king prawns, peeled, with shell, cooked, uncooked, totally up to you.
The color of the pepper up to you too.
If you are lucky enough to have saffron you can use a bit.

Regarding the salt, we will add a bit of salt to taste every time that we add and ingredient to the pan. We will have the heat at médium to high.

First we dice the garlic and the onion. Then we add olive oil into a pan plus the chopped onion a garlic.

  Once the onion is golden, we add the chopped carrots.


Then we add the chopped pepper.


Next, the chopped meat.


Followed by the chopped chorizo.


Then the frozen peas and prawns.


We leave all the ingredients cooking together for around 5 to 10 minutes, then we add the rice. I used 2 cups of rice. The secret about cooking rice is that you need to add exactly double amount of water than rice. So when the rice starts changing the color a bit to translucent we need to add in this case 4 cups of water.


In order to give the rice that special color we are going to use the paprika. If you have yellow food coloring you can use that instead, and you will achieve that vibrant color associated with paella. If you have saffron you can add a bit, but you need to bear in mind that saffron wont give the dish the yellow color the paella is so well known for, so do not add lots and lots, as it has quite an intense flavour.


Once the water starts to boil we leave it to cook for 20 minutes reducing the heat to minimum. If your pan is a lot bigger than your stove you may need to stir the rice every now and again to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly. If that is not the case you do not need to stir the rice.


After the 20 minutes the paella will be ready. Leave it to rest for about 10 minutes before plating.



Now it is time to enjoy! Your Paella will taste even better if you squeeze a bit of lemon juice and if you have nice glass of red wine with it.

I hope you like it!










miércoles, 8 de julio de 2015

GAZPACHO



Gazpacho is one of the most traditional Spanish dishes. It is considered a cold soup, although it is not a description I like. Gazpacho is gazpacho, and that is a definition in itself.

And you can find as many gazpacho recipes as households are in Spain. I do not know 2 people that prepare gazpacho in the same way. And, although the main ingredients are tomatoes, the rest can vary. My advise is that you search for a few different recipes, try them and then adjust the recipe to your own personal taste.

So, this is MY gazpacho recipe.

Ingredients for 1.5 litres of gazpacho: 500 gr of beef tomatoes, 1 lemon, half green pepper, salt, 1 clove of garlic, tiny amount of onion, olive oil and water.

As you can see I do not add bread to my gazpacho. If you would like the gazpacho to have a thicker texture then just add more tomatoes instead of bread.


Add to the blender the tomatoes cut in halves or quarters, the half pepper, the garlic, the amount of onion that you would like, the peeled lemon (make sure you take all the seeds out), 1 soup spoon of salt, about 2-3 fingers of olive oil, and cover it with water up to the 1.5 litres mark.

Simply switch on the blender and leave it mixing until all the ingredients become liquid.

A hint, the color has to be orangey, then you will know it is ready.

If you add some ice to it becomes a really refreshing drink. If you add a diced boiled egg and some Spanish ham then you have a main dish.

sábado, 16 de mayo de 2015

FALSE ELVERS


Have you ever wanted to try elvers but couldn't because they are so extremely expensive? I have the solution for you: my false elvers recipe!

Ingredients: crab sticks (the more the merrier), garlic (a lot), a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of cayenne (optional)

For this particular recipe that you see on the pictures I used 16 crab sticks per person and a whole garlic head.





Peel and mince the garlic: dices, slices, ... however you fancy

The "difficulty" of this recipe is that you have to strip each and every one of the crab sticks, and that takes a while. If the sticks are frozen make sure they are completely defrosted, otherwise it will take you twice as long to strip them. Do not try to make the strips by cutting them with a knife, as strip won't be as thin and you will end up stripping them manually anyway.




Once everything is ready, put a base of olive oil in a big enough pan and start frying the garlic. Once the garlic acquires a golden colour add the strips of crab sticks and a pinch of salt (not much because the sticks are already precooked with salt). You can add a touch of cayenne to give the dish a spicy twist.

You will need to stir them constantly until the sticks start taking some colour, but do not overcook them or they will burn quite quickly. The dish will be ready in about 5 minutes.



The dish must be eaten hot, so it is best to have the table already set so you can eat as soon as the food is off the pan. In order to keep the dish warm as long as possible it is a good idea to present it in clay plates.

Absolutely delicious!