Miserable weather calls for desperate measures. It’s a time to indulge in heart-warming dishes designed to keep out the cold, simple recipes to revive flagging spirits and jaded palates. I must admit that I rarely cook at home, but when I do I love to throw everything into one pot and place it in the middle of the table for serving. It not only saves on the washing-up but it also helps to stimulate and heighten your senses so you can enjoy your meal even more. One-pot dishes are real comfort food at this time of the year, winter warmers that sooth the soul. The Spanish of a great variety of one pot dishes called “potajes”. This basically means stew or mixture/jumble, this is peasant, rustic food and each region throughout Spain has one or two specialties normally prepared with pulses.
Friday, January 20, 2017
I couldn’t imagine my kitchen without fresh herbs. A simple dish can be transformed by using a few fresh herbs as they greatly enhance the taste, appearance and nutritional value of practically all the food we eat.
The word “herb” comes from the Latin herba, meaning grass or green plant. These days we associate herbs for their culinary and medicinal value. In the kitchen, bland food can be made exciting with the addition of herbs and they can also help to enhance and bring out the natural flavours of food in a similar way to salt, but it is important to use herbs correctly. Too many herbs can overpower and completely overshadow the natural flavour of food and too little in a dish will achieve nothing. The addition of herbs must be balanced to complement the natural flavours that are already in foods. They do deteriorate very quickly once they’ve been picked, so by growing a small selection of herbs, even in pots or a window box, they will always be on hand when you need them. Early spring is the perfect time to organise your herb garden. For the restaurants,
Paprika is one of those things that most of us take for granted, but its importance in Spain’s regional cookery cannot be overstated. It lends it’s deep, intense, sweet, spicy flavour to many of the country’s favourite dishes including “paella”, “habas a la Asturiana”, “sopa de ajo” as well as a multitude of “chorizos” and off course, local “sobrasada”. It is produced from cone-shaped peppers (capsicum annuum) that are ripened to redness and was introduced to Spain by natives of Hispaniola during Columbus’ second voyage to the New World in 1493. Hungarian scientist Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937 for isolating vitamin C in paprika. He also discovered that, pound for pound, paprika is a richer source of the vitamin than citrus and the red spice quickly became an important ingredient in preserving meats and sausages.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
We all know that in order to lead a healthy life we need to eat nutritious, wholesome food. So If you pledged to make healthier eating choices in your resolutions for the new year, picking up a few superfoods can make achieving your goals easy!
The term ‘superfood’ has become a popular buzzword in the language of food and health, but what are superfoods? Well it seems that there’s no official scientific definition of a superfood, but it’s generally accepted that superfoods contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be a source of antioxidants; substances that shield
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I love the smell of the gently toasted spices and the way they fill the kitchen with the most amazing aroma. The sheer variety of flavours that they have to offer and can bring to a dish is endless, but seasoning with herbs and spices means complimenting your dishes, not overwhelming and hiding the true flavour of the food.
Mediterranean cooks have been blending spices for centuries and they were among the first of many foods brought back to Europe from the east by Marco polo. Spices encouraged the early voyages of Columbus and Vasco
“When we loose a flavour, a fragrance, we loose a recipe”
Most of us understand the importance of seasonality, freshness, colours and flavour in our cooking. As we become more educated about the food we eat we also see words like fresh, local, organic and artisan appearing everywhere on restaurant menus and food packaging. Although those words have never been more in fashion than they are right now, it’s often too easy to get lost in all the marketing jargon and slogans that we begin to forget what those wonderful words really mean. That is until you meet someone like Laura Buades.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Let’s face it we all do it…my resolutions are usually to eat less sugar, less fat, less salt and go vegetarian. We make these resolutions annually in an attempt to start afresh and turn over a healthy new leaf. I believe that the secret to a healthier lifestyle normally lies in the kitchen and if you are really serious about it, one of the answers is to become a better cook. So if you hoping to become a culinary wizard in your kitchen in 2017 here are my 7 essential food resolutions for the new year.
1.Get a knife that’s sharp and learn how to keep it that way.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Call me an old fashioned Neanderthal if you must, but every now and then I get a real craving for a rare steak. I think its still one of the purest carnivorous pleasures known to man.
Although it might seem a little out of sync in these days of political correctness gone mad, but I have to admit that I like my steak oozing with blood…the type that might be described in an American steakhouse as “take a cow, rip off any horns, wipe it’s arse, and throw it on a grill for 2 minutes; or my personal favourite: a steak so rare, a good vet could bring it back to life!
Friday, January 6, 2017
Forward-looking chefs are always on the look out for new and exciting ingredients to liven up their menus and sea vegetables are slowly becoming the next big thing. They are also a great idea if you need to introduce a salty sensation on the plate and impress your guests.
I have a confession to make. Some years ago I caused a major incident on an airplane and very nearly got kicked off for upsetting other passengers. Luckily for me, we were already 10,000 feet above the ground and there was no going back. No, I had not been drinking; no I didn’t get into a fight. I was traveling alone and I did not have a single conversation with anyone. It was my hand luggage that did all the talking!