Every year we get caught up in the Masterchef competition "Cooking does not get tougher than this" as Greg Wallace shouts at us year after year. Whilst we enjoy the dishes that the contestants come up with in the invention test, cringe when we hear the comments made after it has gone woefully wrong, watch in awe as they complete a "busy lunchtime service in a top London restaurant" and root for our favourite, by the end of a gruelling 6 or so weeks I can honestly say that after the final episode has been and gone and the winner walked off to their 'changed life' I cannot remember a thing about them, with one exception - Tommi Miers.
Tommi won the 2005 competition and showed us all her skill and love of Spanish and Mexican dishes. Since then she has gone on to open up two Mexican Restaurants, presented a couple of TV series, written a few books and has a column in the Times on Saturday, which I love to read. All her recipes are just what I want to cook, with more than a slight slant to rustic, peasant food - I just love her and all her recipes. One of my favourites is Pan Fried Lamb's Liver & Kidneys in Sherry A solid tapas in Spain, I cannot resist this dish, but do have a bit of a dislike for kidneys, never been able to get on with the texture of them so I leave them out.
450g Lambs Liver, sliced into small strips
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Pimenton - Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 glass Olorosso Sherry
For the Picada
2 cloves of Garlic
Large bunch of parsley, stalks removed
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp sweet paprika - picante pimenton
2 tsp fresh thyme (I used 1 tsp dried)
4 tbsp olive oil
Make the Picada: put garlic into a pestle and pound until a paste, add parsley, bash until mixed well, add almonds and grind away.
Add pimenton, thyme and seasoning continue to pound away. Add olive oil and mix well. Be wowed by the fragrance then set aside.
Add oil to pan and get to a medium high heat, add the livers and fry until lightly coloured.
Sprinkle with pimenton and cayenne then add the sherry, bubble away for a few minutes over a high heat.
Stir in the picada and the sauce will thicken. Serve immediately with chopped parsley to garnish, I also had lightly toasted ciabatta and a green salad.