Tag Archives: recipes

Little squash cakes with a kick

These little squash cakes are a great recipe to have on stand-by as they are easy to make and can be adapted into infinitesimal variations. The butternut squash can be swapped for sweet potato. Thinly sliced red onions can be used instead of spring onions. Swap the plain flour for gram flour and they become gluten-free. Serve with tomato salad, as we did, for a light summer lunch. Eat any leftovers for breakfast, topped with a fried egg. Izy Hossack, whose recipe it is, suggests serving it with a tahini dressing [the recipe for which is below] but we had a jar of home-made harissa paste in the fridge so combined a spoonful of that with a spoonful of natural yogurt to add another layer of spice.

Makes 6-8 cakes
For the tahini dressing:-
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
For the cakes:-
200g butternut squash [about a 1/3 of a small one], peeled
2 medium-sized white potatoes, peeled
3 tbsp plain flour
2 spring onions
½ red chilli, very finely chopped [or ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes]
Olive oil or rapeseed oil for cooking.

To make the dressing, put all ingredients into a screw-top jar with a pinch of salt. Put on the lid and shake. Set aside. This will keep in the fridge, in the sealed jar, for up to a week.

To make the squash cakes, first grate the peeled butternut squash and potato. Place in the centre of a muslin square or a clean tea towel. Gather up the corners to make a bundle, then squeeze over the sink to expel as much liquid as possible.

Place the squeezed squash and potato into a bowl. Add the flour, spring onion, chilli and a pinch of salt. Using your hands, combine it together. Form six little cake by flattening each mound with the back of a spoon.

Coat the base of a non-stick frying pan with a thin layer of oil, and set over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cakes. Cook until they are a dark golden colour and crispy underneath. Using a spatula, flip them over and cook on the other side until golden.

Transfer onto a plate, lined with kitchen paper, while you cook the remaining cakes.

Serve with the tahini dressing and your own choice of salad.

Eat the leftovers with a fried egg. If you like this, try these:-
A Stew with Fresh Thyme
Poor Man’s Potatoes
Cheesy Nutty Herby Mushrooms

5 to remember
infinitesimal – infinitesimal
los restos – the leftovers
hasta – untilpor otro lado – on the other sideuna espátula – a spatula

 

This recipe is from The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack, click here for more of her recipes.
‘The Savvy Cook’ by Izy Hossack [UK: Mitchell Beazley]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Little squash cakes with a chilli kick #Recipe by @izyhossack #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2ca

A walnut sauce for pasta

We love walnuts, just as well as we have about 20 trees. There are many versions of walnut sauce and we have tried a lot of them, this recipe is from the River Café Cook Book Two. We always eat sauce for four and pasta for two, but if this is too much sauce for you it keeps well for a few days in a sealed pot in the fridge. I also threw in huge quantities of parsley and basil, because I had them, which proves this recipe is elastic in terms of quantities!

2kg walnuts, shelled and bitter skins removed
Breadcrumbs, from any type of stale loaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
150ml olive oil
100g parmesan, freshly grated
4 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped Soak the breadcrumbs in 150ml milk.

Set aside a few walnuts for serving. The recipe says to pound the rest of the walnuts with the garlic in a mortar, I used a food processor. Add a little salt, then the parsley, and pound some more.

Squeeze most of the milk from the breadcrumbs, keep the milk. Add half of the breadcrumbs to the mortar and mix. Add the olive oil gradually, plus a little milk to loosen the paste. Stir continuously so the sauce is well mixed. Finally add half the parmesan and basil, Season. The finished sauce should be thick and green.

Cook your preferred pasta, drain and return to the saucepan. To serve, add the rest of the basil, parmesan and a few pieces of uncrushed walnut. I also stirred wilted spinach into the finished pasta.

5 to remember
el pan rallado – the breadcrumbs
la leche – the milk
la albahaca – the basil
una pasta – a paste
la mitad – the half

 

Recipe from ‘River Café Cook Book Two’ by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray [UK: Ebury Press]

If you feel hungry, try these recipes:-
Courgette & Chick Pea Stew
Cheesy Scone Bake
Ricotta Cheese & Pine Nut Chilli 

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Lashings of herbs & nuts: walnut pesto #Spain #Recipe by @RiverCafeLondon http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2ec via @Spanish_Valley

Yogurt & roasted butternut salad

This dish is guaranteed to fill your kitchen with the scent of spices, as the butternut squash roasts in the oven. This is creamy comfort food which can be eaten from a bowl with a spoon. Serves 4
1 tsp ground fennel [I used seeds instead]
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mint
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved & cut into wedges
Spray olive oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp 0% fat natural Greek yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans [I used a tin of flageolet beans]
2 tbsp pinenuts, dry-toasted
1 tbsp fresh chives, snipped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Mix together the fennel seeds, ground coriander, dried mint and chilli flakes.

Put the prepared butternut squash into a roasting tin, spray lightly with olive oil then dust with the herb mixture. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Take a sheet of baking parchment, spray with oil on one side and place the sheet oil-side down on top of the butternut. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the baking parchment and roast for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing: combine the lemon juice, yogurt and mustard.

Fold the dressing into the beans and pinenuts. Gently mix the butternut into the bean mixture, taking care not to break-up the squash. Season to taste and garnish with chives. If you like this, try:-
Harissa Salmon Salad
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt
Punchy Leeks on Toast

5 to remember
garantizado – guaranteed
el olor de – the scent of
adornar – to garnish
tijereteado – snipped
el libro de cocina – the cookbook

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Yogurt & roasted butternut salad #Recipe by @AntonyWT via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-27X

Is it a soup? Is it a stew?

It’s pistou. A kind of main meal version of the Italian soup minestrone. The name comes from the sauce, drizzled over the top before eating. Pistou is similar to pesto, but without the pine nuts, and adds a kick of fresh green intensity.

Serve it in a deep bowl and eat with a spoon. Ultimate comfort food. It is very forgiving. Adapt the ingredients according to what is in the cupboard or the fridge. I forgot to buy green beans and courgettes, so added more carrots and frozen peas. Try it with different beans, red kidney beans turns the soup a darker red.

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
4 new potatoes, roughly diced
2 carrots, sliced
1.3 litres vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato puree
2 courgettes, thickly sliced
85g French beans, cut into 1cm pieces
50g frozen peas
1 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 400g tin flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pistou sauce:-
4 garlic cloves
40g Parmesan, grated
14 fresh Basil leaves Heat half the oil in a large saucepan then add the onions and leeks. Cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, carrots, stock, bay leaves, tomatoes and tomato puree and stir. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the courgettes, French beans, frozen peas and tinned beans. Return to the boil, cook for a further five minutes. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, make the pistou. With a hand blender, or in a pestle and mortar, blend the garlic, Parmesan and basil with the remaining oil. If it is thick, add a touch of water to loosen into a smooth paste.

Serve, with a small dollop of pistou on top. If you like this, try:-
Salt Cod Fritters
Blue Cheese Coleslaw 
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt

5 to remember
una versión de – a version of
es parecido a – is similar to
según – according to
me olvidé de comprar – I forgot to buy
un montón de – a dollop of

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Pistou, made in #Spain, a French #recipe by @AntonyWT http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2dm via @Spanish_Valley

Citrus cake

If you have a few sorry-looking satsumas or lemons languishing in the fruit bowl, then this is the cake recipe for you. It can be made with any combination of citrus fruit, the recipe adapts its sweetness according to the type of citrus used. And as it uses ground almonds, and no flour or raising agent, it is naturally gluten-free. About 270g citrus fruit, your choice [2 small oranges; 1 grapefruit; 3 lemons; or 1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime]
6 eggs, separated
250-350g depending on your choice of citrus [for an orange, 250g; for a mixture, 300g; for either all lemons, or limes or grapefruit, 350g]
300g ground almonds
a handful of flaked almonds

Put the whole unpeeled fruit into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Put a small sheet of baking parchment on top of the water, pop the lid on, and place the pan over a gentle heat for 1½ to 2 hours until completely soft [the time depends on the size of the fruit]. Leave to cool completely. We did this the night before.

Heat the oven to 160°C/180°C non-fan]. Grease and line a deep 23cm round cake tin.

Drain the cold fruit. Cut off any woody ends, chop the skin and flesh into small pieces. Rub through a sieve/fine-mesh strainer to remove any pips then transfer to a food processor and blitz to a purée. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and mousse-like [you can use the same whisk]. Whisk the fruit pulp and ground almonds into the egg yolk mixture. Next, fold in the egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, level the top and scatter with a few flaked almonds.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before turning the cake out.

This recipe is from Too Good to Waste by Victoria Class [UK: Nourish]

If you like this, try these:-
A Silky, Dense Chocolate Cake
A Sweet and Sour Cranberry Cake
Cupboard Cake

5 to remember
los cítricos – the citrus fruit
una toronja – a grapefruit
la pulpa – the pulp
la yema de huevo – the egg yolk
la clara de huevo – the egg white

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Cake: start with a whole orange & a whole lime #Recipe by @victoria_glass #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-21k

A cassoulet of aubergines

The first day of October rain is welcomed with relief by the olive farmers around here. It has been a dry summer and spring, and the olive trees need rain for the last couple of months of the year so they fatten up. So, cozy inside while the autumnal rain does its stuff, we wanted something warming to eat. So we made good use of the bag of aubergines brought by our neighbour. This is a vegetarian Spanish-y version of the traditional French dish cassoulet. The recipe is by Nigel Slater. It is the sort of dish to eat with a fork, serve yourself a generous helping.

Serves 4-6
2 aubergines
Olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
250g fresh tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
A little tomato puree
2 400g tins haricot beans, drained and rinsed
250ml vegetable stock
For the crust:-
120g white bread
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas6. aubergines-browning-in-panFirst prepare the aubergines. Discard the stems, slice in half lengthways, and then in half again. Warm 3-4 tbsp of oil in a deep, heavy-based casserole dish. Fry the aubergines in the oil until they are soft and nicely golden on the cut sides. Remove from the casserole, and set aside. aubergines-browned-set-asideadd-herbs-to-panAdd the onions to the same pan, add a little more oil if necessary. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft and pale honey-coloured. Stir in the sliced garlic.To the casserole dish, now add the tomatoes, bay leaves, whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary, and tomato puree. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. haricot-beans-drainedadd-beans-to-panAdd the haricot beans, aubergines, a seasoning of salt and black pepper, and vegetable stock. Partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the crust. Turn the slices of crusty bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then stir in the thyme leaves. spoonful-of-toppingready-to-go-into-the-ovenWhen the casserole is ready to go into the oven to bake, scatter the breadcrumb mixture over the top, and drizzle over a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the crust is crisp and the cassoulet is bubbling around the edges. just-out-of-the-ovenThis is delicious and has quickly become a favourite in our house.

5 to remember
engordar – to fatten up
el puré – the puree
claro/a – pale
alrededor de los bordes – around the edges
la corteza – the crust

If you feel hungry, try these recipes:-
Cheesy scone bake
A sweet creamy frittata
A non-classic tortilla

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A cassoulet of aubergines #recipe by @NigelSlater via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1So

Harissa salmon salad

This recipe can be made two ways: quickly by opening two tins and a jar, or more leisurely by poaching a salmon fillet, making your own harissa paste and cooking lentils. It is a creamy spicy salad which can be made hot hot if preferred by increasing the amount of red chilli added, and can even be served hot in winter.

Serves 4
4 new potatoes, cut into ½ cm dice
1 tin 400g brown lentils
120g 0% fat natural Greek yogurt
1 tbsp harissa chilli paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Large handful of fresh parsley [we added fresh chives]
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 200g tin of wild red salmon, flaked [we used freshly poached salmon]
Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile cook the lentils if using dried, or heat the tinned lentils in a saucepan.

To make the dressing: combine the yogurt with the harissa and garlic.

When you are ready to eat, fold the dressing into the lentils, add the onion, herbs, chilli and potatoes. Season to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl, and scatter salmon flakes over the top.

If you like this, try:-
A Super Green Salad
Smoky Spring Onions and Asparagus with Lime
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt

5 to remember
desecado – deseeded
la pasta de harissa – the harissa paste
combinar – to combine
cuando estes listo – when you are ready
dispersar – to scatter

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Warm & spicy harissa salmon salad #Recipe by @AntonyWT via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-27H