Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Huevos al Plato

Huevos al Plato (baked eggs with ham):

Eggs baked on a tasty bed of vegetables and meat make a traditional Spanish snack. Leg of pork has been used in this recipe but, if it can be obtained, any Spanish garlic sausage will give a more Iberian flavor.

  • 6 eggs
  • 8 oz / 250 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz / 125 g cooked leg of pork
  • 1 oz / 25 g/ 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 oz / 50 g ham
  • 1 onion
  • 2 oz / 50 g / 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 pt / 125 ml / 0.5 cup meat stock
Slice the onion. Cut the ham and pork into strips. Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently brown the onions and meat in it. Blend in the flour. Add the tomatoes and stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes
until it is very thick. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a casserole. Break the eggs on top and bake in a moderate oven at gas mark 5/375°F/ 190°C until the whites have just set. Serve immediately.

Huevos al plato (picture by xurde)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gazpacho


This popular Andalusian dish is often called an iced soup salad. Whether it is more soup than salad depends solely on how much water is added. To give a really Spanish touch serve some of the chopped soup vegetables, together with chopped hard-boiled eggs, in separate small dishes.
 
Ingredients:


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  •  chopped parsley (optional)
  • 4oz/ 125 g/l cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • water, as required
  • ice, as required
Preparation:
Mince the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper and onion. Crush the garlic and mix it with the salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Add the oil, drop by drop, to form a thick paste. Slowly stir in the vinegar and put the mixture into a soup tureen with the minced vegetables. For a thinner soup a little water can be added. Add the ice and leave the soup to stand in a cold place. Decorate with chopped parsley if desired.
 
Gazpacho (picture by csaavedra)
 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Catalan soup

Catalan soup, like so many Spanish soups, is usually thickened with egg yolks. An equally delicious variation, which results in a thinner soup, is to omit the eggs and serve sprinkled with grated cheese.

For 6 servings you'll need:
Delicious Catalan soup
  • 3 large onions
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 oz/50 g1 1/4 cup chopped ham
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 pts / 1.5l / 6 cups stock
  • 1 glass white wine
  • few sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • few sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes
  • pinch nutmeg
Slice the onions thinly and brown gently in a saucepan in a little olive oil. Quarter the tomatoes and chop the celery. Add them, with the ham, to the pan. Cook for a few minutes before adding the wine. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and add to the pan with the thyme, nutmeg and stock.
Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Just before serving, beat the egg yolks together with a little of the soup. Stir well into the rest of the soup. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

 Ingredients:
  • Tomatoes, ~3-4 large ones
  • Garlic, 1 cleft
  • Parsley, a fair amount
  • Olive oil, ~1 spoon
  • Balsamic vinegar, Slightly less than the olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, ~1/2 dl (a few spoons)
  • Spaghetti, one portion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • In some cases, tomato purée (depends on the tomatoes)
Preparation:

Cut a strip in the tomatoes and boil them in ordinary water until the "skin" starts to release, put the sauce pan in the sink, and fill it up with water until it's cold enough to put your hands in. Pick up the tomatoes one at a time and peal the "skin" from them.
Cut the tomatoes in two and remove the gooey stuff on the inside (or as a food enthusiast would do, eat it), so that only the vegetable meat remains.
Chop down the tomatoes and put them in a frying pan (I usually set the heat at levels 6-8 out of 12), pour some water on them so that they're covered.
Chop or press the garlic cleft and throw it in; but also cast in some parsley.
After a while, the water will have steamed away, at which point you have to fill it up with more.
This has to be repeated (unfortunately) for up to 2 hours. After about 3-5 refills of water, the tomatoes will have become a lot less solid, and become more like a sausey consistence. Now it's time to pour in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Be careful with the balsamic vinegar though, only a small amount should be used; less than a teaspoon. Maybe pepper a little now. This is when you should try the sauce. If it's too orange in colour, and tastes too little of tomato, pour in some tomato purée. This problem occurs sometimes when tomatoes aren't so excellent.
Keep filling it up with water (I usually fill it up with about 1/2 dl at a time).
You have to time the paste and the sauce a little, when the sauce needs water for the last time you should pour the pasta on it.

The pasta:
Boil some water + use a whole lot of salt + use some olive oil. Boil the pasta and wait until it's done. Pour out all the water except for about 0.5-1 dl, pour the pasta + the pasta water in the frying pan, and shake it around a bit with a spoon.
When the water has steamed away again, sprinkle the parmesan cheese and some more parsley and shake it all around. Serve on a plate and enjoy the fruits of labour.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce