Atun Escabechado

I am allergic to fish. But I love tuna… if comes from a can. When I was in Madrid, I tried homemade marinade tuna a.k.a “atun en escabeche”. It was amazing. So I decided to try myself (and hope to not end in a hospital like when I was a kid)

So searching I decided to try this recipe. I was planning to make a big batch like in the video but when I managed to find a fishmonger with fresh tuna… I was amazed how expensive it was. I only could get the leftovers, a 600gr slice, already cleaned. That gave me at the end for one 600ml jar (plus a small one for the confited onions)

Ingredients:

  • 600gr fresh tuna, cleaned.
  • 2 onios sliced
  • 2 glasses of mild olive oil
  • 1 glass of vinegar
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5gr salt
  • pepper
  • several cloves of garlic

Process:

  • In a high pan, put the sliced onions in the bottom, then garlic, bay leaves, cloves, pepper.
  • Then add the tuna and salt on top of it. Then add the olive oil and vinegar
  • Heat the pan until boil. Then lower to mid heat and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Let it cool down. Then take the tuna out and leave in another tray.
  • Filter the liquid and keep the onions. We will add it into another jar.
  • In a crystal jar (that has been previously cleaned with boiling water) put the tuna. Try to fill it as much as you can. Leaving as few air pockets as possible.
  • Then add the liquid you filtered before. Fill the jar till the top.
  • Add the onions to another jar and add the liquid to the top.
  • Let the jars open, and leave it overnight.
  • Next day, close the jar with their lids.
  • Put the jars (vertical if you can) in a high pan. Fill with water, hopefully water will be one finger than the jars, if not, you will have to be sure the jars are properly closed and then put in horizontal.
  • Boil the water, then let it simmer at mid heat for 1h 30m or so. This is the critical step to allow the tuna last for months.
  • Let the jars to cold down in the water.
  • Label the jars with a label with the date of preparation. You can eat the tuna in three months!!

So I will have to wait for a bit until I try it. So very likely I will make another batch next month.

Turron Blando

I dont really like Christmas but the few things I enjoy it is the typical sweets like turrón. It is something I wanted to try for some time so watching a video I decided to try one of them, turrón blando, based on this video.

The thing I like from turron, it is a simple recipe and super tasty. It is very common for Christmas but I have seen posh version of turrón that I think kill the idea of it.

Ingredients:

  • 300gr ground almonds
  • 200gr honey
  • 100gr sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon zest

Process:

  • In a frying pan, heat up the honey and sugar.
  • whisk the egg white to stiff peaks
  • Add the lemon zest the sugar/honey mix.
  • Once the honey mix is boiling, remove from the heat and add the egg whites bit a bit. Mix until no lumps. Do this at low heat. The more time you spend mixing with heat, the harder will get the turron.
  • Then add the cinnamon and the almonds bit a bit until all combined.
  • Add the mix to a container and let it cool down at room temperature.

To be honest, the result from the first video looked more like the real thing. My result is still tasty but looks more like a fudge that the typical turrón blando. So I will try the first video recipe next time.

But the thing that most surprised from the video I followed is, it has been the easiest time I had done stiff peaks with egg whites. By hand. Normally, it is hard work, I got tired and sweaty but I was surprised how easy he did it in the video. I follow the same process. Egg at room temperature, use a crystal bowl (plus a bit of salt) and then use the whisker left to right. No circles. I was shocked how fast it was.

And as well, I have never done mazapán, but it is something I want to try at some point too. It looks even easier than turrón.

Magdalenas

When I was a kid, around this time of the year (December), I used to go with my mother to the bakery (horno) of her hometown to make magdalenas and biscuits that we brought back to Madrid.

I have tried to make magdalenas at home several times but never got near the ones from my hometown. So this year, I added into my to-do list “go back to the bakery and see the process again”.

And finally, I decided to contact a fried who his mother used to manage the bakery and he told me that it was fine, I could go! So I was super happy!.

So it was very nice to go back, I had flash backs getting my hands dirty and doing something naughty as a kid… And the smell…. oh god, unique!

It was impressive, the process was the same, the same ingredients. And the same core people working there after 30y.

Women were the master bakers. At least two generations working there. And housewives. And it is a hard job. You have to wake up very early, bread making starts at 4am… But I think it is a joyful job. Or it is just me being romantic/naive.

The typical sweets from my hometown are magdalenas, galletas, rosquillos, tortas, calandrajos, mantecados, etc. All ingredients are simple, nothing fancy. The taste is amazing.

I made some notes about the different sweets and tried not to annoy the people working there. At the end I gave a hand packing the sweets and I liked it.

As well, I could taste the sweets… warm… after being baked…. no words…

So I left the bakery very happy. It was totally worth it, the trip, wake up early, etc. And decided to give it another go to the magdalenas and other sweets.

I dont have the recipes from the bakery, as I didnt feel comfortable asking. Sweets and girls, some thing 😛

I hope my friend’s cousin who runs the bakery gives me some guidelines.

So for the magdalenas.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 190g sugar
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 125 ml virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 200gr (cake) flour
  • 8gr bicarbonate of soda
  • 8gr tartaric acid

Process:

  • Mix eggs and sugar
  • Add milk, olive oil and lemon zest. Keep mixing.
  • Add bicarbonate and tartaric, shifted. Keep mixing.
  • Add flour, shifted.
  • Be sure everything is mixed. Leave it rest 10-15 minutes.
  • In the main time, pre-heat the oven at 220C
  • Fill the magdalenas cups in a baking tray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  • Let it cool down.

In summary the process is not difficult. But, again, I dont have similar results.

Before baking:

After baking:

And this is the real deal 🙂

So obviously, still far from the good ones.

Things I think I need to change. I need to use “cake” flour and “tartaric acid” as I used “plain” flour and citric acid. They taste good though. I need something like this.

I will try again!

BTW, these are tortas! I must try them too!

Almendras Saladas

When I visit Madrid, I try to buy fried almonds as it reminds me of a common “tapa” you had many years ago in most bars in Spain. Nowadays, it is kind of a luxury.

So checking a book of Spanish tapas at home, I found a recipe for salty almonds. I noticed they are not fried… but still went ahead.

Ingredients:

  • 300g of whole almonds (with or without skin)
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tsp of sea salt

Process

  • Grill for 5-10 minutes the almonds in the oven. Just be sure they got toasted a bit.
  • Heat up a frying pan, add the almonds. Toast just a bit.
  • Add the salt to the water and mix.
  • Add the salty water to the hot frying pan. Keep stirring. The water should evaporate quickly and leave a salty coating in the almonds.
  • Once the pan is dried. Remove from the heat. Leave the almonds to cool down and store in a jar. Enjoy!

For next batch, I need to find the recipe of fried almonds (that are salty too)

Munich – Kaiserschmarrn

Last weekend I was in Munich visiting a good friend. We had good weather and enjoyed to be outdoors, mainly in the “English Garden” and the “Olympic Park”. I tried local cuisine like currywurst (sausage with a ketchup/curry sauce), kaiserschmarrn (broken up pancake with raising) and beer (with lemonade) in the famous Bavarian beer halls.

So this weekend I decided to try the kaiserschmarrn as it was something quite new for me. I followed this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 3 tbsp of rum
  • 3 large eggs, separate whites from yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • some almond flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Process:

1- In a cup, soak the raisins with the rum. Let is rest

2- In a crystal bowl, put the egg whites and try to beat them until form stiff peaks (no big deal it you dont get that far). I did it by hand. It takes time so be patience. See this 🙂

3- In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, melted butter, vanilla paste, sugar and salt. Be sure everything is combined.

4- In the yolks bowl, start adding bit a bit the flour and milk, and keep mixing until everything is combined

5- Take the egg whites and fold them in the yolks bowl slowly until everything is combined

6- Heat up an anti-adherent pan (mine is around 26cm diameter) using a bit of butter or coconut oil at medium heat. Pour all butter mix in the pan.

7- After 3-4 minutes, add the raisins. Keep checking the bottom of the pancake until is golden brown. Very likely less than 10 minutes in total.

8- Once the bottom is golden brown, sprinkle a bit of sugar in the top. Using a knike or similar, divide the pancake in 4 quarters. Then turn each piece at each time. Add a bit of butter to the pan while turning to avoid burning the new side.

9- Keep cooking until the bottom is again golden brown.

10- Tear the pancake into small pieces using forks or similar.

11- Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp sugar over the pancake pieces. Toss the pieces while the butter and sugar caramelize.

12- Ready to serve! You can add a bit of sugar powder on top and add some mermelade in the side.

Something I forgot, you can add almond flakes too!

Anyway, very happy with the result. It amazes me how tasty are the raising in some dishes… they are super juicy and it makes the difference in this one.

Oatcakes

Sometimes I buy from the supermarket oatcakes for having snacks at home. I like them because they are not sweet and I think they are “healthy”. But then you check the ingredients list and realized that there are things you wouldnt think…

Anyway, I decided to give it a go and searched for some recipes. I decided for this recipe as it showed some pictures although I used just oats and plenty more water than a couple of tablespoons 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 200gr oats
  • 25g butter melted
  • 1tsp salt
  • 100-200ml boiling water

Process:

  • Preheat oven at 175C
  • In a bowl, mix the oats and butter.
  • Then add a couple of tsp of hot water at each time until you can form a ball. Knead inside the ball. It doesnt have to be sticky! so dont put too much water.
  • In a work surface, sprinkle a bit of flour and in a rolling pin. Carefully flat the dough with the pin. I tried to reach 0.5 thickness. The sides will crack but dont worry.
  • Use a cookie cutter. I used 8.5cm diameter cutter. Quite big cookie but I liked that way. Likely you will be able to cut one or two cookies at each time. Make a ball again with the leftovers, add water if needed, and repeat the process. Flat with the pin, cut a cookie, recover the leftovers.
  • I put a big of sunflower oil in the try, then move the cookies.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn them at least once if you can.

And this is the result!

To be honest, the taste was stronger than the supermarket ones. It tastes (obviously) a lot to oats!

I thought 200g of oats would make a lot of oatcakes but just managed 5 big ones and 2 small pieces.

Happy with the result, and glad to learn something new!

Lime Pie

I have tried this pie… twice.. and failed miserably… twice.

This is the typical random video I watch and then I add it to my to-cook list.

Somehow I went for this version as I didnt want to use condensed milk as I thought it was going to be too sweet. I didnt do any meringue or used macha tea.

My first attempt was bad for a couple of reasons. The coconut milk I used was “light” (low in fat) and at the end, the cake tasted like acid (due to the lime) water. And second, I didnt put enough biscuits for the base. And the biscuits were ginger nuts so I added extra spiciness to the taste 🙂

I decided to give it a new go, using full fat coconut milk and plenty of (ginger) nuts. To be honest, it still tastes a bit bland. Shall I add more limes (but will add more acidity?), shall I add more sugar (too sweet then)? Not sure.

I think, I will try the “classic” version next time, with homemade condensed milk.

Baba Ghanoush

I tried some time ago Baba Ghanoush while having lunch with friends and I liked, it was a nobility for me as I could try something else apart from Humus. So sometimes I have mixed grilled aubergines with chickpeas and it produces a bit smoky (and darker) humus. But two weeks ago, I tried again from a different place and I was really shocked, it was so different, so tangy. I decided to find a good recipe and try at home. So I found this video:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Aubergines (roasted)
  • 1 tsp chopped or grated garlic
  • 4-5 tbsp of Tahini
  • 1/2 Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt
  • Olive oil
  • Pomegranate (optional)

Process:

  • Two ways for roasting the aubergines. One, stab the aubergines with a knife and wrap in foil. Bake in oven for 40m at 175C. Second, halve the aubergines, spread a bit of oil and bake in oven for 40m at 175C, but check they dont burn! I did the second method but I will try the first one too.
  • Take the aubergines from the oven, scoop the meat and with a knife, chop it as much as you can. I think this is very important. I didnt you the food processor at all.
  • Then put the chopped/grilled aubergines in a bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix well.
  • You can server as it is or add a bit of pomegranate seeds and olive oil. I only added olive oil

When I tried, I was impressed, it was like the one I tried! I guess the yogurt and lemon are key! Congrats to the chef in the video!

Very easy recipe and super tasty!!!

Ginger Nuts + Corn

A couple of weeks ago I had to use ginger nuts cookies for a recipe. So now I wanted to make my own, because after eating a cookie you will feel alright.

So searching a bit, a decided to try this version:

Ingredients (10 cookies of decent size)

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4-5 tsp ground ginger (if you want a bit more, they will more fiery!)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 100g melted butter
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)

Process

  • Preheat oven around 190C. Line one baking tray with nonstick baking paper
  • Sieve flour, bicarbonate and ginger in a bow. Then add the sugar
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl, add the melted butter and syrup. Stir until combine. In my case, the dough was a bit crumbly. Maybe needs a bit more butter?
  • From the dough, take pieces and form roughly a ball, then flat it and put it in the tray. It looks delicate but it is fine.
  • Bake for 10-12 MAX! I did 10 minutes. Just slight golden and with cracks on top.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool down in a rack if you have. If you touch them they feel soft and not baked, but let it be. Once they cool down, they will firm up!.

It is a quick recipe, the result was tasty!

NOTE: Somehow, after so many years I noticed that tsp = tea spoon (small) and tbsp = table spoon (big)!!! I think I have always used the same measure /o\ Well, still got most things right anyway 🙂


As well, somehow, I bought this week a package with two corns on the cob and baked them in the oven.

Ingredients

  • A couple of corn on the cob pieces + foil to wrap
  • a bit of butter

Process

  • Preheat oven at 200C
  • Clean with water the corn cobs and wrap it in foil (dont leave any part without cover)
  • Bake for 40 minutes
  • Remove from oven, remove foil (you can reuse it) carefully, put a bit of butter (it will melt). Wait a bit and then you can eat it directly or remove the kernels with a knife.

I was really amaze with the flavour! Somehow I felt like eating corn flakes with milk! And actually, I took a gulp of milk after eat.

I want to try more often and using a fresh corn cob.

Cachopo

When I was a kid, nearly every week, one night for dinner I had San Jocobo. But then I remember that my mum started buying pre-made ones…. didnt like them. Based on that, I wanted to try something similar, Cachopo.

To be honest, I think the best is to cook a cachopo for one meal, you just buy a piece of meat (I bought beef), prepare in the day and enjoy it warm. Because in my case, I prepared for a whole week, so three big pieces and it is not the same to eat it on the day that 4 days later.

The recipe is quite simple.

Ingredients:

  • 2 steak fillets
  • 6 slices of ham (cure ham is better) – the number will depend on the size of your flatted out fillets
  • 6 slices of cheese (same as above)
  • Eggs + breadcrumbs
  • Salt + pepper
  • Olive oil

Process:

1- Season your fillets, leave them to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes at least. Get ready for the next steps

2- Put one fillet between two sheets of baking paper and then using a rolling pin, flatten it out as much as you can (I didnt do it…) Repeat for the second one. Try to make them match the size.

3- In one flat piece, put your ham and cheese. Then add the second flat piece. Be sure the ham/cheese is fully covered. Try to push the sides with the fingers so it is sealed (it is not going to be perfect). You can use tooth sticks (I didnt have)

4- In a plate, whisk two eggs. In other plate, put the breadcrumbs. Try to use one hand for handling the cachopo so you dont get dirty in both. Get the pan hot with oil

5- Pass the cachopo first by the eggs, both sides, then the breadcrumbs both sides. Fry until golden in both sides.

I had a small piece for lunch and it was good.