Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Black rice with cuttlefish

I like very much black rice called arroz negro. And I'm not talking about black rice called also forbidden or purple rice, which probably has just came to your mind, I'm talking about the same rice that is used in preparing e.g. paella, called bomba rice. So, why the black colour of the dish? Well, the colour is from, as black as coal and very thick, squid or cuttlefish ink which added to the rice makes it black and gives it salty and sweet taste. You can buy it as a liquid - in a little jar or in a little plastic bags (4 g each) - or as a powder - this one, however, is not as intense in flavor as the first one, so I recommend the liquid one. If not in your local store, You will find it, for sure, in one of the online shops:).

This is the second recipe for a black rice on the blog - actually the first one was for black paella, called often black rice. This one contains a cuttlefish called in Spanish sepia or jibia and is based on the recipe from Ferran Adrià book: ''The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià''.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Spanish anise doughnuts

Rosquillas are Spanish deep fried doughnuts with fluffy texture, traditionally prepared during the Carnival and Holy Week period. There are many types of rosquillas and many ways of preparing them. The most common ones are rosquillas de anís aromatised with anise liquor and rosquillas de vino to which, apart from anise, sweet muscat wine (moscatel) is added. Normally rosquillas are deep fried but some recipes show the healthier manner to prepare them in an oven, this one is not the case, I'm afraid:).

Friday, 24 January 2014

Castilian garlic soup

Warm-up and very filling castilian soup with garlic flavor - therefore called sometimes garlic soup (sopa de ajo) - and smoked paprika aroma, shows that with very few and simple ingredients a nourishing dish with distinct taste can be created.

The main ingredients in this soup are: bread, garlic, serrano ham and smoked paprika. The base is water or chicken broth and just before serving raw egg is added, which after a short cooking time splits up into congealed pieces.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Baked bananas with cream cheese and dulce de leche

I will never forget the taste of banoffee pie which I was passionately picking at while working in one restaurant in England. Not that it was the best banoffee pie in the world, but because it was the first time for my taste buds. I was delighted by this unique combination of bananas and dulce de leche, and even though I didn't really like cream, in this excellent company it was also kind of delicious:).

Today's recipe resembles a bit banoffee pie. Consist of 4 levels: baked bananas, cream cheese with yogurt and a pinch of vanilla, walnuts and dulce de leche at the top :) 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Cheesy pancakes with smoked salmon and avocado

I've got no idea if you like pancakes, but I have to confess that I love all sort of them: both sweets and savoury ones, with cheese, pumpkin, potatoes, spinach and other vegetables - all of them, for me, are absolutely delicious. My attraction to the pancakes has undoubtedly something to do with my origins. Where, if not in Poland and other Eastern Europe countries, this delicacy is playing one of the main roles in everyday meals.  

Spain is definitely not a pancakes country, well maybe sometimes they eat the sweet ones - It has just come to my mind that on Gran Canaria they prepare tortitas de carnaval with anise and raisins -  and for sure you can find more of this regional examples, but one  thing is certain: pancake is not a meal of this place. 

A little bit against the Spanish tradition, today I suggest smoked salmon, avocado and tomato salad with fresh coriander, served on very cheesy pancakes with chives.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Octopus in red wine

It took quite a long time before I decided to prepare octopus by myself:). I had it many times eating out or visiting family or friends,  but I couldn't just encourage myself to buy a fresh one and prepare it myself at home, until one day I broke my shyness toward octopus end I cooked pulpo a la gallega. It was delicious:).

Pulpo a la gallega, which means octopus with olive oil, powdered red pepper (pimentón), salt and often served with potatoes, is probably the easiest and the most popular way of preparing octopus in Spain, but fortunately not the only one:) 

Today I propose octopus with onion, stewed in red wine and tomato sauce with oregano or rosemary - or with oregano and rosemary, as you prefer:)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Barraquito coffee

Almost ten years ago, when I came to Spain, I couldn't just imagine a day without coffee - in a large mug with hot milk and sugar - now, I prefer tea, especially the green one - without milk and sugar:). At the beginning of my Spanish adventure, I lived in a small mountainous village in Almeria province, where I learnt a traditional way of preparing and serving coffee. From the beginning  I used to drink café con leche - coffee with hot milk (more or less half and half) served in a teacup. I learnt there that café solo is a shot of coffee without milk - served also in a teacup, but smaller - that café cortado is a shot of coffee with a little bit of hot milk - served in a small transparent glass - and that café bombón is also a shot of coffee, but with condensed milk. I have to admit that at the beginning I was quite surprised seeing men sitting at a bar in the morning and drinking - also traditional - carajillo - coffee with a little bit of alcohol mostly rum, brandy or orujo.

In my next Spanish stop, in Canary Islands, I drank for the first time barraquito - coffee served in a transparent glass (taller then that in which café cortado is used to served) - which include a shot of coffee, hot milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, lemon zest and 43 or Tía María liquor. Simpler version of this coffee is called café leche leche - coffee with hot milk and condensed milk.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Duck confit, orange and pomegranate salad

After Christmas and New Year culinary excess, 12 grapes eaten in 12 seconds (this year I managed to do it thanks to a very easy trick: peeling the grapes:)), long rest among family and friends, which lasted till 6 of January, plus one week more:), with still full belly, few additional kilos and head full of new ideas, today I officially come back to my culinary blogging wishing all visitors Happy New Year!:).

I'm starting this year with an old, because it's from the past year, recipe for a salad with duck confit, orange and pomegranate, which I made just before my Christmas holidays. To prepare the meat I used an old French way of preserving food called confit. It's basically a slow poaching of a duck in its own fat which, after it gets cold, preserves the meat during a long time. First, a duck is marinated in salt and spices and later it's cooked in its own juices and fat. This kind of cooking makes meat of duck juicy and tender.