Monday, 31 March 2014

Cream cheese flan with strawberry sauce

Flan is one of the most popular Spanish desserts. It is smooth, rich, creamy, sweet and not particularly low in fat. The classic one is a mixture of eggs, milk and sugar which is poured into the molds with caramel and then baked in water bath.  Milk, which is used to prepare a flan, is often flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest. There are, of course, many mouthwatering variations of flan: with almonds, fruits, chocolate, coffee, cheese, yogurt, turrón or dulce de leche. There are also savory ones, which may contain fish, seafood, vegetables and so on. Today, however, being in a season for strawberries, I decided to prepare flan with cream cheese, covered with strawberry sauce with a hint of vanilla; instead of traditional liquid caramel.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shrimp stuffed hake with artichokes and potatoes

Today I recommend one-pot meal with white fish. It's, unfortunately, a little difficult and time-consuming, but isn't it worth to make an effort to prepare such a dish, from time to time, just to experience new tastes and make our taste buds happy?:). Apart from hake stuffed with shrimp and sauce - or rather spread - made from parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of chili flakes, I've added to the pot sliced potatoes and artichokes, and finally I pour in a fish broth with white wine. If you don't have or do not like artichokes, you can replace them with green beans, broad beans, green peas or cauliflower florets.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Broad beans and peas salad with arugula pesto

Spring has already come, so it's time for a decent shot of vitamin:). It's been quite a few days since broad beans and peas has appeared on vegetable stalls in Barcelona's markets. Broad beans are one of my favourite vegetables, normally I eat them cooked, but here, in Spain, I've tried for the first time the raw ones that I eat immediately after removing them from the pods. This young broad beans and peas do not require even a bit of cooking, but if you want  you can put them for 2-3 minutes to salted boiling water, and then, after straining them through a sieve, put them into cold water to stop the cooking process. This way the peas will keep their beautiful green colour. Broad beans, unfortunately, after cooking will become a little grayish.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Pisto with fried egg

Pisto manchego or simply pisto is a traditional Spanish dish. Nowadays, vegetables added to a pisto varies depending on the season, region or a personal taste, but the authentic pisto, coming from La Mancha, contained only red and green peppers and tomatoes. Very often onion, garlic, zucchini and eggplant are added to this dish, although some believe that with an eggplant, pisto is no longer a pisto, but French ratatouille. It's served cold or warm, often with fried egg or sausage and sometimes as a snack with bits of serrano ham.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Toasts with sobrasada, goat cheese and pear

Have you ever heard of sobrasada?. It's Spanish raw, cured sausage made with ground pork, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper and other spices. Thanks to its soft consistency, sobrasada can be easily spread on a piece of bread. Just like chorizo sausage it's seasoned not only with salt and pepper, but also with smoked paprika which gives it very characteristic reddish colour. It's a traditional product of Balearic Islands, where it's consumed both fry and raw. In many traditional recipes a little bit of honey is added to sobrasada, so as to alleviate its very intense flavor.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spanish Russian potato salad (ensaladilla rusa)

Ensaladilla/ensalada rusa (Russian salad) or ensaladilla/ensalada Olivier is the most popular Spanish vegetable salad, which was probably created in 1860 by Belgian Lucien Oliver, chef of Hermitage restaurant in Moscow. Except for the name, Spanish Russian salad has little in common with the original recipe invented by Olivier, who depending on the season was adding to it grouse, veal tongue, caviar, capers, crayfish or smoked duck. Spanish ensalada rusa is similar to Polish vegetable salad, but apart from potatoes, carrots, peas and eggs contains also tuna, green olives, and grilled red pepper. Some add to it crab sticks and/or pickled cucumbers called in Spanish pepinillos

Monday, 10 March 2014

Beet salad with red beans, arugula and kiwi

Guapo and guapa, two Spanish words - actually one word meaning nice, handsome (first masculine, second feminine) - which, while being in Spain, is hard not to hear. All children, girls and boys are called this way in different everyday situations, but not only them...A few days ago, while shopping at a nearby supermarket, I heard a young shop assistant working at a fish stand asking a client: ''¿que te pongo, guapo?'', which loosely translated  means: ''what can I do for you, handsome?''. Hearing this, I turned to look at this guapo and when I saw hunched, almost bald old man I smiled to myself and thought: this is so Spanish. It's very funny and enjoyable at the same time that such a completely unconscious, spontaneous, often mechanically used word can cause satisfaction,  encourage positive state of mind, and put a smile on our faces - I'm sure that not only it caused smile in my face but also put this older gentlemen into a good mood:).

Today's salad was created very spontaneously - as the Spanish word guapo is used - while checking the content of my fridge and cupboards, but fortunately it turned out to be a complete success, stimulating and fully satisfying my taste buds.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Dumplings with calçots and romesco sauce

Some time ago a colleague gave me an idea: Polish and Spanish fusion cuisine. I must admit that this idea sank very quickly into oblivion, because at that moment any specific recipe came to my mind. Last weekend, however, when preparing calçots I came up with the idea for Polish dumplings - pierogi - with Catalan inseparable duo green onions and romesco sauce. So, yesterday I made them, and I must - subjectively - admit that they were tasty:). Therefore, from now on, a new category called fusion will appear on the blog. I'm going to add to it recipes combining Polish and Spanish cuisine - today's is the first one:). Last year I had written about popular in Catalonia green onions called calçots served with romesco o salvitxada sauce - link here, today I suggest the recipe for dumplings stuffed with grilled calçots (you can replace them with leeks or green onions), romesco sauce and quark. The recipe for a dough is from blog. His author, Monika ensures that this is a great recipe for her mom's dumplings, and she is not wrong, because the dough is just as it should be: very soft and light.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Razor clams with parsley and garlic vinaigrette

I finally made it!. On Friday, as I had been assured, razor shells appeared again at the market Sant Antoni, obviously all of them  alive, because only these are suitable for consumption. Those which I bought had so much vitality that when I tried to take a picture, one of them shot at me with water and almost wet my camera lens:). The natural habitat of these mollusks - just like the other clams - are the sands of the sea, hence don't freak out if you detect creaky sand in your teeth while eating them:). You will probably forget about it very quickly, savouring the delicious taste of these sea creatures.