Saturday, 14 August 2010

Basque Red Bean Stew

Hubby with low tolerance levels decide to locate the kitchen again last night, for a little experimentation and the results were pretty pleasing.

He works for a Basque company in the UK and frequently makes trips over to the Basque region of Spain. Over there everything stops a 1pm for a lunch hour and he often finds himself being taken out to local eateries for lots of homemade food. One of his favourites is the Red Bean Stew, apparently a dish that is cooked in every household from recipes handed down for generations. After talking to some of his work colleagues he came away with his own idea on how to replicate this dish.

Basque Red Bean Stew
Serves 6

1 Onion chopped
250g Morcilla or Black Pudding
5 cloves of garlic
75g chorizo, chopped into small chunks
300g Smoked bacon piece, chopped into chunks
2 cans of red kidney beans, keep the juice
1 litre hot water
Bay leaf
1 green chilli
1/4 tsp Cayenne
Couple of handfuls of broad beans

Gently soften the onion and garlic for a few minutes in a deep pan. Add the chorizo and bacon and fry for a couple of mins.
Add the kidney beans with juice and water, add the cayenne and bring to the boil and the leave to simmer, covered for at least an hour.
Near the end of cooking time add the broad beans and finely chopped chilli.
Cut the Morcilla into slices and the pan fry until crisp.
Serve up, with the Morcilla cut into chunks with fresh bread.

A tasty heart dish, next time he will use a ham hock that can be boiled beforehand to reduce the amount of salt in this dish, although it was on the high end of salty it was in no way overpowered by it and we both went back for seconds! Keeping the black pudding out of the main dish kept it in one piece and added another texture to the stew.

I think I will encourage him to make this again and perfect his recipe.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Widowed Potatoes

I am really loving this new cook book of mine and here is another recipe from it. Widowed Potatoes gets it name from being a dish with no meat or fish in it. Simple ingredients that combine to be really delicious with great textures, the thick unctuous base of onions, tomatoes and stock with the crispy coated potatoes, hmmm-mmmm yummy.

Widowed Potatoes
Serves 4

500ml light olive oil for shallow frying
3 large all purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds 1cm thick
3 eggs beaten
Plain flour for coating
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion chopped
4 tomatoes deseeded and chopped
1 tsp sugar
400ml beef stock

Heat the oil in a pan, medium hot. Dip the potato slices in the egg and then flour, then fry for 2 mins on each side. They should come out golden with a light crispy coating, drain the excess oil on kitchen towel and then lay in a casserole dish, I decided on halving the quantities above and making up 2 individual servings.

Fry the garlic and onion in a little oil until softened then add the tomato and cook on a low heat until it reduces slightly. Add the sugar and a sprinkling of flour to thicken then pour over the potatoes followed by the stock. Cover and bake in the oven at 160oc for 45 mins. Uncover and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potato is soft.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Berenjenas Rellenas - Stuffed Aubergine

Here is another delish dish from the Spanish World Kitchen cook book and probably one of the nicest aubergine dishes I have ever cooked.

Berenjenas Rellenas - Stuffed Aubergine

Serves 4 with sides or 2 by themselves!

2 aubergines
60ml olive oil
200g minced lamb
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato chopped
1 onion chopped (book states red, but I did not have one)
1 egg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 slice bread, crust off and soaked in milk
2 tblsp chopped parsley

Cut the aubergines in half, lengthways and score in a cross hatch pattern to about 1cm of the edge, sprinkle with with salt and leave for 20 mins.

Heat the oven to 200oc. Line a baking tray with foil and place the aubergines face down on it and brush over some of the oil. Pop into the oven fro 20 min or until soft.

Cool slightly and the scoop out the pulp, leaving a border of 1cm all around the edge. Discard half of the pulp and chop the rest.

Mix together all the other ingredients, add the chopped aubergine and S&P.

Spoon the mixture into the aubergine shells and place into a roasting tin and drizzle with the remainder of the oil.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the lamb is cooked.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Pollo en Salsa de Ajo (Chicken in Garlic Sauce)

OK, it has been ages since I blogged, far too long indeed. I hope to now bombard you with loads of new recipes. I hit a little cooking rut and lost my foody mojo, but a holiday to Menorca and a new Spanish cookbook and I am all fired up. This recipe is taken from the World Kitchen - Spain cook book.

Pollo en Salsa de Ajo
Chicken in Garlic Sauce

Serves 4

1kg boneless, skinned chicken thighs
1 tblsp sweet paprika - pimenton
2 tblsp olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
60ml Fino sherry
125ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Trim fat from chicken and cut each thigh into thirds. Combine in a bowl with the paprika, S&P to fully coat.

Heat half the oil in a frying pan and over high heat fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan.

Now add the rest of the oil and fry the chicken in batches for 5 mins or until brown.

Return all the chicken to the pan and add the sherry, boil for 30 seconds, then add the stock and bay leaf. Cover and simmer from 10 mins.

Make a picada, by squeezing the garlic from it's skin and pound in a pestle and morter with the parsley.

Stir the paste into the pan and cook covered for a further 10 mins.

I served this with oven roasted peppers and potato chunks.

A very delicious dish, the picada really helps to thicken and freshen the dish. It is not overpowered with sherry or garlic.