Bird song: Mistle Thrush

Another resident all-year round is the Mistle Thrush, a name which as I was born in Yorkshire I call a ‘mizzle’ thrush. A beautiful large spotted bird, seen in winter defending berry-laden trees from other birds. Often seen on the ground searching for worms, seeds, invertebrates and berries such as haws, we also see Mistle Thrushes around the fruit trees.



To hear the song of the Mistle Thrush, and to read more about it, click here for the RSPB.
To tell the difference between the Song Thrush and the Mistle Thrush, watch this film by the British Trust for Ornithology.

5 to remember
el tordo – the mistle thrush
otro – another
un residente – a resident
todo el año – all-year-round
manchado/a – spotted

A light supper salad

This is one of those dishes invented on the spot by a need and the variety of options available. We’ve got into the habit of nibbling on cheese and almonds in the evening which is fine, but not EVERY evening. So on impulse I took from the cupboard a small jar of chickpeas, and from the fridge a tub of queso para ensalada [the Spanish version of feta]. This is how it turned out. serving bowlful 15-4-15The secret is marinating, so prepare this after breakfast for supper the same day.

Small jar of chickpeas
Feta or queso para ensalada
½ tsp pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
One large salad onion [or half a large white onion] chopped
Zest and juice of a lemon
Handful of freshly-picked mint, rinsed chickpeas, lemon & feta 15-4-15Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put into a bowl, with the drained/crumbled feta. Add the pepper, lemon zest and two generous glugs of olive oil [I apologize for sounding like Jamie Oliver at the moment]. Stir, and set aside.

Sort and rinse the mint leaves, dry, and set aside. mint 15-4-15In a small bowl, add the chopped onion and lemon juice. Set aside. onion in lemon juice 15-4-15When you are ready to eat, tear/chop the mint as you prefer. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl. Check the seasoning.

5 to remember
cada noche – every evening
en el momento – on the spot
agotado – drained
desmenuzado – crumbled
un glug – a glug

Sweet potato fishcakes

We’re always on the lookout for new fishcake recipes, so thanks to our friend Pat for this one. It combines sweet potato with salmon with the warmth of pimentón. We combine both kinds of pimentóndulce and picante – for sweetness and a little heat. ingredients, to mix 20-3-15This serving makes four large fishcakes, one per person with salad or vegetables. The fishcakes can either be shallow-fried in a little oil for 2-3 minutes, or oven-baked. We do the latter.

Serves 4
500ml vegetable stock
400g sweet potato, peeled and diced
200-250g salmon fillet, skin removed, cut in half
½ tsp pimentón dulce
½ tsp pimentón picante
Squeeze of lime juice
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
Breadcrumbs or Panko
1 lime, quartered, for serving poaching the salmon 20-3-15Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the fish and cover with a lid, cook for a few minutes, check with a knife so the fish isn’t overcooked. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. sweet potato, boiling 20-3-154Bring the stock to the boil again and add the sweet potato. Cook until tender. Drain with a colander. salmon & sweet potato, cooked 20-3-15 chopping the chives 20-3-15Add fish and sweet potato to the pan, then add the pimentón, lime juice, chives, salt, pepper and one beaten egg, and mash with a potato masher. mashing 20-3-15Using your hands, shape the mixture into four fish cake shapes. Put on a plate and chill in the fridge for as long as possible. fishcake, shaped before panko 20-3-15When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. On a dry baking tray, spread a thin layer of breadcrumbs and gently brown them in the oven. Check so they are only just pale golden. Set aside to cool. panko, just out of oven 20-3-15Beat the second egg lightly and put into one shallow dish. Put the breadcrumbs, or Panko, into another. Dip a fish cake into the egg, spooning the egg all over, then dip it into the breadcrumbs. fishcake, shaped with panko 20-3-15Repeat with all the fishcakes. To oven bake, place the fishcakes on a lightly-oiled baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes. plateful 20-3-15Serve with the lime quarters and a salad or vegetables. We ate it accompanied by broccoli sprinkled with lemon juice.

5 to remember
el pimentón dulce – paprika
el pimentón picante – cayenne pepper
una croqueta – a fishcake
combinamos – we combine
el brócoli – the broccoli