Wednesday, March 2, 2016



Typical in Asturies but found all over Spain.

1 onion sliced
1 cayenne chilli pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
100g or more of chorizo
100g or more of black pudding (morcilla)
1 litre of beef stock
1 large spud peeled and diced
1 large carrot peeled and diced
1 jar or can of chickpeas... or more

Cook the onion for a minute or so in oil then add the cayenne and garlic. Chop up the sausage elements into big chunks and then add them. Often the black pudding will break up, but that's fine, you keep the flavour. Add the vegetables and chickpeas. Pour over the stock and bring to a simmer, this version is ready when the spuds are done !

Traditional versions are quite different. This was made soupy to enable the chef to stuff himself with heavily buttered baguette!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beetroot Tarka Dal

1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and fine
2cm piece of ginger, grated
2 hot chillies finely chopped
2cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled, finely chopped
2 large raw beetroot, peeled and chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2t sp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder

300g of red lentils
200ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp dried mint

Tarka Mix
1 tsp cardamom pods (bashed)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 cloves

Fresh coriander

Serves 4

Cover the lentils with water and stir in a teaspoon of turmeric, heat this slowly to simmer and cook for about an hour, careful it doesn't dry out or stick.

Chop the onion into approx 1cm pieces and fry. When they are translucent add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and chilli. Stir. Add beetroot and stir some more. Add the next 5 spices in the list and add the coconut milk and a splash of water, bring to simmer and cook for about 30 mins. Add the lentil mix with the mint, add some salt, up to a teaspoon!!! Cover, stir occasionally making sure it isn't sticking until you have a decent consistency, the lentils should be dissolving by now. Cook until beetroot tender and lentils well done.

Add the seeds (this operation gives it the name 'tarka') to hot oil. Don't burn them. When it's starting to sizzle and pop, stir it into the lentil mix.

Add more water if you want it soupy, or even reduce it carefully for a heavier texture.

If you don't have all the spices you could use curry powder. Try not to forget the mint though !!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Date Molasses

You know the feeling when a recipe requires something you don't have in your pantry. Today's was date molasses or date syrup as it's sometimes referred to.

Enjoying discovering more and more foods from the Middle East, the recipe I want to try requires date molasses. Rather than pursue some extracuinestrial tour of the town's bio shops, delis and international minimarkets I decided to find an alternative.

Maple syrup is often cited. However, I quickly see that an equal weight of water and stoned dates can be turned into the syrup.

And so, equal weights of


simmer for TEN minutes...



Monday, November 9, 2015

Autumn Soup (Sunchoke and Chestnut)

1 large onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 large potato
250 g Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke)
200 g chestnuts (prepared)
1 litre of stock

Nutty simplicity.

Peel what you peel, slice and fry off. Beginning with the onion until translucent followed by garlic and fennel seeds... and remaining ingredients....
Salt and stir and lid until it almost catches (adds to smoky nutiness), add stock, bring to simmer until potato and sunchoke is cooked. Check seasoning, whuzz and get down.

Resulting soup is Autumn on a plate. Earthy, nutty, smoky, deep and you'll want more...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Feta, fig and basil nibble

Feta, fig and basil. From a canapé up to a full on salad. Great textures and superb combination of flavours. It was placed on hibiscus leaves during our photoshoot for the new website, as we tried to pretty things up.

       c u b e d...

         l e a v e s

     p a r e d and c u b e d

Olive oil
              d r i z z l e

Decorate at will.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chicken and Prawn green curry

I was given this fantastic assortment of chillies in the Figueres market today by the organic grower, Carles.

This Thai/Southeast Asian dish was prepared for 2 hungry people, there is a lot of liquid, I'm just avoiding calling it a soup. Deeply tasty and zingy. Cooking the prawn heads for a while in the stock gives it that flavoursome edge.

3 cloves of garlic
2cm piece of ginger
3 green chillies
Handful of fresh coriander stalks
2 lemon grass stalks, woody bits removed
Half a lime peel (no pith)
Coconut milk 200ml

Blast the above in a blender

Fresh Prawns
Chicken breast

1 litre of chicken stock
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
Slight drizzle of honey

Juice of 1 lime
Handful of fresh chopped coriander

Put your blended ingredients in a pan on the heat. Remove the prawn heads and add them to the pan, add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, when the heads are pink scoop them off and discard, they've helped hugely with the flavour depth. Add the soy and fish sauce and a tiny bit of honey. Cut the chicken into wide strips, about 2 cm and add them to the pan on a decent heat, they shouldn't take more than ten minutes to cook. Cut one in half to check. Add the peeled prawns, depending on the amount using, these shouldn't take long to cook. Finally just before serving add the lime juice and fresh coriander.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Butcher's Braise

1.5 kg roasting beef, tied.
1 onion
1 tomato
100g dried ceps (porcini mushrooms)
500ml beef stock
1 clove of garlic
Brandy (splash)

A casserole or wide cooking pot.

First, soak the mushrooms in plenty of tepid water for 30 minutes, later you'll use this water as stock. There will be a sand residue  at the bottom, don't move the container and be carefully spooning out the soaked mushrooms. When you need the stock, again go easy, gently ladle the liquid out without stirring up the sediment.

Salt and pepper and then brown the beef in olive oil. Throw in the halved onion and tomato, add the garlic. Cook the mushrooms and then splash in some brandy. Now add meat stock and the mushroom juice. Make sure the braising liquid is at least halfway up the beef joint. Simmer gently, covered, for two hours, add a touch more stock if needed. Later drain out the stock and reduce to a good sauce (gravy), slice the meat and serve to friends.

Thanks to Jordi my butcher who gave us this recipe (in that great oral tradition).