recipes

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The secret of Umami: Unlocking the fifth taste.

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This week I received a little present from the Michelin starred chef, Ricard Camarena. Apparently he has spent the last few years developing a new product called “Letern” and he very kindly sent a nicely packaged bottle to all the Michelin starred chefs in Spain. Ricard Camarena has been using this anchovy essence for the last six years as a taste enhancer and as a substitute for salt in his stocks and broths, whether they contain fish, meat or vegetables. “Anchovy brine is my salt”, he states, “It’s the umami of the sea and has everything the sea contains: salt, iodine, oxide and the salting of fish over time”. I must admit that I liked it a lot and it has inspired me to make my own mix.

So what is umami and why are chefs obsessing over it?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mallorcan Gold



 Spanish Saffron has been grown in La Mancha for at least 1,000 years and the region is now world-famous for producing the planet’s most expensive spice. Until recently we had to import our saffron for the restaurant from the mainland but all that changed recently when the Mallorcan company “Especias Crespí” embarked on a new challenge to expand and diversify its offer.  In 2016 they planted 20,000 plants in Vilafranca and in a few weeks time they will begin to harvest the second crop. But this is only the beginning, “especias Crespí” plans to plant up to 200,000 plants in four years in 4 hectares of land especially prepared for this crop. Their goal is to produce up to 25 kilos per year and the production will be one hundred percent ecological.
 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

HAPPY BAKING

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“I adore the smell of a cake baking in the oven, its one of those heartwarming aromas that remind us of a better time and the comforts of home.”



“The secret ingredient in light-and-fluffy sponge cakes is air”



There is nothing quite as satisfying as serving up a generous wedge of home-baked cake, bread or a satisfyingly sweet pastry..and let’s be honest, its difficult to beat the taste of something that’s been baked at home, whether it’s a simple sponge, a banana cake or even warm freshly baked bread. Baking at home seems to be more and more popular these day’s and its easy to see why, it is relaxing, rewarding and great fun.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Awesome summer fruit

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The markets are bursting with fresh fruits including luscious strawberries, stunning looking cherries, thirst quenching melons, the season’s first figs, awesome apricots, plums, nectarines and succulent peaches are all jostling for position on the local market stalls.
    



Although I absolutely adore all these fruits, for my money, nothing beats the succulence of sweet, aromatic Mediterranean peaches, bursting with flavour. 

They provide delicious eating but can also be used in so many different and interesting ways in the kitchen. They can be poached in sugar syrup with cinnamon, vanilla and cloves, roasted with cardamom or pan-fried and caramelised with brown sugar and almonds. Peaches also make perfect partners for champagne, cassis and calvados and they combine perfectly with ginger, lemons, oranges, strawberries and hazelnuts. Pan-fried foie gras or roast duck are amazingly good with glazed peaches and sweet and sour peach chutney can really liven up cold meats, pâté and salads.

Monday, June 12, 2017

HEALTHY SUMMER RECIPES



I think it's a lot easier to eat a healthier diet in the summer because the season is packed with amazing fruits and vegetables that are just bursting with flavour.  


When the sun is shining, lighter meals just seem far more appealing and the truth is you don’t need to starve yourself on a wacky fad diet if you want to look better in your shorts or swimsuit this summer either. The secret is to choose healthy foods and take in fewer calories than you burn and it's easier to make better food choices in summertime as heavy, high-calorie dishes are just too much to bear when the sun rises early and goes to bed late.



I’m obsessed with Mediterranean cookery and I try to incorporate a healthy balance and harmony into my recipes. The Mediterranean diet generally encapsulates most of the criteria

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ingredients we love!




1,Sumac
If you have never tried cooking with Sumac, a decorative bush that grows wild throughout the Middle East and parts of Italy, you should seek it out and give it a try. I must admit that I love it and the dark purple-red berries are sold dried or ground and have a fruity, astringent taste. Sumac is used in the cooking of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Ground sumac is rubbed into meats for grilling and is good with potatoes, beetroot, and in mixed bean salads. It can also be added to marinades, salad dressings, sauces and yogurt.

2, za’atar is another incredibly versatile middle eastern spice blend and a fantastic ingredient to have kicking around your kitchen. It is made by grinding hyssop leaves to a coarse, aromatic, brownish green powder then mixing the powder with olive oil, toasted sesame

Thursday, May 11, 2017

“Se venden como Churros”


As if anyone needed another reason to eat chocolate, recently published research showed that dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown. Good quality dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, believed to improve the flexibility of blood vessels. Unfortunately, it only counts if eaten in moderation!

Once known as ‘the food of the gods' in Aztec culture, the story of chocolate really began with the discovery of the Americas when Columbus returned in triumph and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of strange and wonderful things.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

DRESSED TO KILL


Good salads are essential to help you stay cool and healthy during the hot summer months and they do not have to be boring and tasteless.
SIMPLE SALAD DRESSING

I was pleasantly surprised walking around my local supermarket the other day at the many different varieties of lettuce and salad leaves available. You don’t even have to go through the hassle of cleaning your lettuce as you can buy ready mixed salad leaves, full of different flavours, textures and colours all cleaned and ready to eat. All you need to do is drizzle the leaves with a little dressing at the last minute and tuck in.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sweet Pea!



 The taste and texture of fresh peas has almost been forgotten in these times of convenience and frozen foods. Most people can’t even remember the last time they tasted sweet, fresh peas straight from the pod and rely solely on the frozen or, worse still, the tinned ones that sit in a fowl-smelling, cloudy liquid. I’m a big fan of fresh peas and early spring is the best time to use them.