Recipes to Come

Happy New Year y Feliz Año Nuevo.

To Do: various recent recipes

  • Ajoblanco (White Garlic)
  • Omelette Francesa Deluxe (French Omelet Delux)
  • Mayonesa de Coliflor (Caulifower Mayonaisse)
  • Tempura Batter (for Cod / Bacaloa)
  • Conejo / Rabbit
  • Pork Loin
  • Scallops
See you soon; It's after lunch. Right now I'm headed for 1) a siesta and 2) a small party later

Fish Fumet

Made the Carrot Puree again (see below) but with less pepper and I forgot the garlic (!). As usual everyone raved about it - but that means I can't get any constructive criticism. Damn.

Am cooking for some other people this week (family) and went on a little spree - hopefully I actually bought enough of the correct stuff to combine it into decent meals.
Key purchases were the fresh cod (filleted) and the pulpo (octopus); which will become interest things over the next couple of days.

The first step was to make a fish fumet with the remains of the cod filleting (which I let the shop do - they're pretty good at it and I didn't bring my knives on this trip).

  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1/2 med onion chopped
  • 1 bunch leek (greens only) (some say whites only but I go with greens only as does Le Cordon Bleu)
  • parsely stalks (a little bundle)
  • 1 cod head (remove eyes, gills)
  • 1 cod spine (remains from filleting)
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • 1 small thyme stalk (fresh)
  • a bit of salt
You should sweat the veggies first, then sweat the fish bones and then proceed with te water an everything... but I just plum forgot. Oh silly me (turned out well anyway)
Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered; skimming the skum; 1/1 hour.
Turn off, cover, and leave to go for a little drive on the new highway they open last week.
Return, bring back to a simmer and skim some more. Another 15 minutes go by and suddenly you notice it's changed from cloudyish to clear-ish. You're done. Don't cook too long at it can (and will) turn bitter (or so they say).
Haul out all the chucky bits and pour through a strainer (or chinois). Let it settle and gently pour off the clearest part from the top - not disturbing the crud that will have settled to the bottom.

Here you end up with fish fumet "gold" and will have to figure out something to use it in over the next couple or three days; as will I.

Appetizer: Eggs and Anchovies

This might be called a "pincho" if we were in the Basque country but we're in Galicia so it's just an appetizer.

Slice a baguette into pieces, thinish would be my recommendation.
Hard boiled egg - smash it up with
Anchovies - chopped
mix, and spread on the bread.

I would have liked maybe a little slice of roasted red peppers to top it off. And could have toasted the bread a little.

No foto - still having connectivity problems.

Sometimes Life is Simple: Steak

It was late, we'd been out shopping, then went to the Madrid city Christmas concert. So last night we just fried us up some steaks. 400 grams each (about 12 oz?) - and thick..
Got the frying pan out, splashed in a little olive oil (it´s a stainless steel pan - not non-stick). Heat on high until it's close as possible to smoking and the oil's real fluid and coats the pan easily. Toss in the steak -

  • cook side 1 for 1 minute to brown & carmelize,
  • side 2 for 1 minute,
  • lower the heat way low, turn the beast and cover the pan with a lid - wait 3 minutes,
  • turn & cover again - wait 2 minutes.
Cooking it covered is the alternative to sticking it in the oven for a few minutes at 170c. It cooks the meat through.

Thermomix: Carrot Puré (Puree)

Of course you all know what a Thermomix is, it's a blender with a built-in heating system. Cooks and stirs / blends at the same time! Quite unique one might say.

Today it was Carrot Puré (or is it puree?) - to use up stuff that I had in the vegetable box before it all went bad.

Ingredients: (all go in at once)

  • 500 gr carrots (peeled and chopped up some)
  • 3 leeks (white part only) (chopped up too)
  • 1 potato (peeled, raw [actually, I used 4 semi-minis])
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 2 T olive oil (1st cold pressed virgin 'cause we're basically `eating´ it)
  • 2 T veal stock powder concentrate (or cubes or whatever) (cheating)
  • 8 grains whole black pepper (actually, it was an assortment of colors that my sister had given me)
  • milk (to cover)

    Later when it was done I added:
  • 1 T ground white pepper
  • 1 dashing of nutmeg (fresh ground - but go easy with it)
  • salt, to taste, then a dash more
  • 2 T olive oil
  • milk (a little more to get a soupy consistancy) or cream, but I didn't have any
  1. Speed level 1 at 100C (this is a 1st generation machine so maybe about 5 on the new models - I'll have to research that some day)
  2. 20 minutes (okay, I forgot and it went for 40, no big deal)
  3. Try it and figure that it's too grainy
  4. 1-2 minutes at maximum speed to make it real fine
  5. Taste, decide it's too bland and carroty
  6. Add the second grounp of ingredients
Subtle carrot-leek taste; spicy from the pepper. Not meant as a whole big bowl of soup but more of a appetizer - a modest portion will do.

Alternative to the nifty machine: cook on the stove in a pot and attack at intervals (after 10 minutes to soften the veggies) with an immersion blender.

Fabada (Asturiana)

Yesterday I made Fabada - probably the 2nd best known dish of Spain after paella.
Basically it's a really excellent pork and beans.

Serves: 4 (maybe 6)

  • 500g dried Austurian Fabada beans (Fava beans, Butter beans)
  • 2 morcilla (spanish black sausage, not the rice version) 250g
  • 2 chorizo (sweet, not spicy, sausages) 250g
  • 250g pancetta (bacon) in one piece
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped very fine [or leave whole])
  • 1 pig's ear (or foot)
  • 1 large onion (whole)
  • 1 large carrot (whole)
  • bay leaf
  • saffron threads
Directions - short version
  1. Soak beans overnight
  2. Put all ingredients in a big pot (saffron at the end)
  3. Cook for 3 hours or so - don't boil it
  4. Remove onion, carrot, pig's ear, bayleaf, garlic (if whole)
Directions (and what I actually did):
  1. Soak beans in a bowl with lots of water (the dry beans should fill about 1/3 of the bowl and fill with water)
    8 hours. Overnight, the `book´ says 10-12 hours - depends of the beans
  2. If it's salted or smoked bacon you can soak that separatley
  3. I pricked the skin and boiled the chorizo for 2 miinutes to remove some of the intense red (paprika) color
  4. Discard water
  5. Put beans and all ingredients except the saffron into a very large pot (maybe a dutch oven, I used a glazed clay pot [barro]). Leave everything whole (althoough I quartered the onion 'cause it was huge).
  6. Cover with water (just barely). On a burner - high heat to start (I did 15 minutes). Some use chicken stock, maybe a light veal stock; I don't
  7. Skim off foam / skum (if any)
  8. Lower heat to medium, low, to avoid boiling - simmer only (to avoid breaking [smushing] the beans). Feel free to manipulate the heat level during cooking - I did)
    - Don't stir the pot - shake it instead (to avoid breaking the beans)
  9. Top up with water as required to keep the beans covered (to prevent them splitting)
    Or to kill the boiling action if it gets too active
    I put the timer on for 30 minute intervals to remember to check it
  10. Add a bunch of saffron threads when the beans seem to be `just about´ ready (I added them when I reheated it the next day)
  11. 3 hours (depends on the beans) - until they're tender
  12. Remove onion, carrot, pig's ear, bay leaf, whole garlic (everthing except the beans and meat)
  13. Leave to sit for 15 minutes (I left it overnight)

  14. Reheat in the same pot (which is when I added the saffron)

  15. If there's too much liquid (which is the case with mine) take a half cup of beans, puree them and return to the pot - to thicken the liquid (sauce)
That's it.

Roast Pork Loin

So I takes a little loin o' pork and try to figure out what to do with it.
Several seconds of research on chef2chef yield a half a dozen choices and I mix several all together an come up with:

  • oven temp 180 C
  • cook to an internal temp of 60 (the low end of recommendations - keep good pork done only lightly)
  • mustard
  • maple (maple syrup) [I love Canada]
  • soy
  • olive oil
  • cider vinegar
  • garlic cloves (2)
  • marinate it
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of each ingredient - double up on the vinegar and use French grainy mustard.
Marinate the thing for at least an hour (better would be 3) - turn once if I remember rightly

Next: the "crust" - 2 tablespoons of rosemary (I ground the dried version in my mortar)
1 tsp coarse salt (to help the mortaring)
mix with
2 big tablespoons of Dijon mustard
Remove pork from marinada, smear mustard-rosemary mix on the pork.
Put in a clay pot and pour the marinade around (not over) the meat
Into the oven at 180 until it reaches an internal temp of 60. I got nervous about the time it might take and cranked it to 200 C (my bad). And I turned off the upper element of the electric oven ... so it actually didn't `crust´ up at all. Took only 40 minutes for about 3/4 kilo.

Remove from oven and let the damn thing alone on a board or plate for 15 minutes. It will be much more tender, although you will not be eating the meat hot. Big deal. Put a foil temp over it if you want to retain more heat.

Easy, Fast, Tasty.

Tomorrow - Fabada.

But Not at Any Price

I only found foie mi-cuit and I wanted raw lobes. I want the fun of deveining them and everything. But with mi-cuit running from 60 Euros (canard/duck - Spanish) to € 160 (French - goose) a kilo (divide by 2 for $ per pound [I think]) - - at that price I'm not making a terrine today.

Maybe a nice pork roast will do instead. I'm thinking... a dijonmustard, maple, rosemary crust. I'll have to do some research. here I come (a favorite research source for recipes).

Still Crashed & Foie Gras

Here I am, a week and a half later and still no new hard drive. It's on order though and is expected to come in about a week - a week ago. Ah well. (frown) .
Now working from the (new) home machine (ordered the same time as the drive). I have no connectivity between this machine and my camera phone now my PDA camera so no pictures.
No big deal for the moment - although pictures do seem to be important ot food blogs, especially for one who is not a great writer.

Meanwhile, word of the day: sennight = seven-nights; just like fortnight = fourteen-nights

This week I'm going to make a terrine of foie-gras (duck liver or goose liver). We'll see how it goes. Recipe to follow - probably.

It starts with 2 complete foies. That would be about a kilo (2 pounds for the metrically impaired)

Last Week's Hard Drive Crash

The drive on my machine crashed again. A new (100 Gb) drive is on order and I'll be back in business sometime quite soon I hope.
Meanwhile, this entry is being done from a free internet connection in a McDonald's in Paris - on a borrowed machine.
Life's like that.