Spiced Ribs/Costillas Especiadas

Do you love ribs, but hate the sickly sweet and jammy sauces to go with them? If you do, I have just the recipe for you! These ribs are savoury rather than sweet and have a complex mixture of spices..  Without being spicy!! You can always add chilli if you wish! I know I did!

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INGREDIENTS

Around 1kg of Pork/Lamb/Beef Ribs
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika,Garlic Powder/Crushed,  Cumin, Dried Oregano, Pimento Seeds, and *Ajwain Seeds.
Quarter Cup of Rice Wine
Vinegar to clean meat
Bicarbonate of Soda for extra tender meat-I’m not sure what it does, but it really does help to tenderize meat.. Don’t add too much though otherwise the meat may be bitter and taste like soap!

METHOD

Firstly, clean the ribs in vinegar and water,removing any extra fat with a knife. Leave to drain then lay them out in the baking dish and sprinkle on the seasonings, except the pimento and ajwain seeds. Get a dry pan and place the pimento and ajwain seeds in the pan. Toast the spices until they pop or for 2-3 minutes. Grind(coarsely grind) and sprinkle the mixture and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda over the meat. Pour rice wine and rub seasonings into meat. Place ribs in a roasting tin and add one cup of water, covering with foil cook on 180° heat;turning after 30 minutes… You can take the foil off if the ribs are becoming tender during this period. If not,leave for 20 minutes more. Turn up the heat to 210° and spoon the broth over the meat to keep moist. Keep doing this every now and then. When the broth has reduced and the ribs have become tender, it is ready to serve. Serve with a variety of sides dishes,including coleslaw. Disfrutalo!!

*Ajwain Seeds are from the lovage plant and are used in many Indian dishes.. It tastes like thyme in raw form, but nutty when toasted.

Creamy Quinoa/Quinoa Cremosa

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This is one way to switch things up in the side dish department if plain quinoa is a little bit boring.. Vegetables and herbs are complemented by a coconut undertone and spices which add a touch of the exotic to the quinoa. You can add dairy cream if you wish,but the sweetness from the coconut really adds something special to the dish.

INGREDIENTS

1 Aubergine,chopped
1 Small Red Onion,diced
1 Garlic Clove,minced
Half a Can of Sweetcorn
1 Small Bell Pepper,diced
Coconut Cream to taste-Use about 1/4 of a bar for the half cup of quinoa and upto half a bar for the cup of quinoa… You may want less.. Or simply use a couple of tablespoons of good quality coconut milk..

1 Teaspoon of Dried Thyme, and 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary,with leaves chopped,

1 Teaspoon of Powdered Coriander Oil for sauteeing
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

METHOD

Firstly add all the vegetables and seasonings and fry for around 7 minutes. Add the coconut cream, depending on the quantity of quinoa to be used. Add a cup of water, and leave to dissolve on a high heat. Rinse and then add the quinoa to the pot. Cover with enough water and leave to reduce. Make sure that the mixture doesn’t evaporate too quickly. When this is done, lower the heat and leave to steam. The quinoa will take on a creamy and soft texture when done. Serve with protein of choice.

Boiled Quinoa-Quinoa Hervido

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Ever get tired of rice, pasta, or potatoes? Well, I know I do and hate the sluggish and heavy feeling that some carbohydrates can bring.

Quinoa is a versatile and filling grain used in South American Cuisine for all purposes, including porridge and to stuff vegetables.

I had used quinoa before,but forgot about this versatile, protein and vitamin rich alternative to carbohydrates.. Until recently that is! So for those who don’t know how to cook it,here is the recipe.

Half to 1Cup of Quinoa grain,rinsed in water until the water runs clear.
Water to cover quinoa
Pinch of Salt

METHOD

Firstly,put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse to get rid of the bitter taste caused by the saponins. This should only take two-three washes or until the water becomes clear.

Place in a pan, and cover with enough water to cover the quinoa,add the salt,and put to boil. When it has started to boil and evaporate,(Around 15-20 minutes) lower the heat and leave to steam,as you would treat rice. You know when the grains are cooked when they have turned translucent and the germ becomes a spiral and they are crunchy,yet soft.. Not hard.. Serve with meat,seafood or vegetables of choice. Disfrutalo!

Raspberry And Chocolate Chip Cake/Torta De Frambuesa Con Trocitos Chocolates

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Another cake recipe, but a luxurious one.. Be sure to try this for the impending Easter Holiday as a treat.. Or even Mothers Day(For U.K bloggers!) this Sunday March 30th!

INGREDIENTS
Makes one flat rectangular cake(Double the ingredients for a bigger cake)

50 Grams of Butter, left in room temperature to soften
3-4 Tablespoons of Icing/Caster Sugar(This cake batter isn’t supposed to be sickly sweet, as the chocolate chips and the raspberries add to the sugar content.)

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
1 Small Carton of Cream
1 Packet of Chocolate Chips
2 Packets of Raspberries washed, with half macerated, and half left whole

2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups of Self Raising Flour, with 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder added,more flour may be needed.

METHOD

Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs. Use a blender to help. Add half the raspberries,baking powder, and the flour and blend until smooth. Then add the vanilla extract,chocolate chips whole raspberries and cream-Use about half the carton.

Stir in until mixed thoroughly. Lightly butter a baking tray, and pour the mixture in. Bake on 130°, until golden(About 30 minutes or so), and risen. If a skewer comes out clean then that’s another sign that it’s cooked. Serve with ice cream or with a cup of tea.. Or by itself..Or with lashings of cream.. Hee hee!! Disfrutalo!

Chicken,Chorizo And Aubergine Rice/Arroz Con Pollo,Chorizo Y Berenjena

One pot meals can be genius.. Just a few ingredients and you can have a really good meal..And they are awfully quick too.. Try this flavoursome and quick recipe that you can make with just a few vegetables, spices and maybe some meat(Seafood or vegetables too!) and then you have an impressive meal.

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INGREDIENTS

5 Chicken Legs
1 Onion
2 Cloves Of Garlic finely diced
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cumin, Herbes De Provence(Special herb mix of flavours typically used in Southern French  Cookery. Usually consisting of Lavender Flowers,Thyme,and other herbs)

1/4 Chorizo Sausage diced into small pieces
500 grams of Basmati Rice

Half Of  A Large Aubergine chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

METHOD
Firstly,peel and finely chop the onion, and garlic. Chop the chorizo and set all of these aside. Season the chicken with all the seasonings,apart from the herbes de provence, to avoid burning during the process of browning the chicken legs. Brown the chicken in a hot pan for around 10 minutes, until deep golden brown. Check the heat settings to avoid burning.

Decant the chicken pieces,set aside. Fry the onions,garlic,aubergine,chorizo and herbs until softened, add some more seasonings to the mixture while frying.

Add water to cover the mixture,and simmer for 10 minutes. Wash the rice, and add this to the pot,leaving it to cook on a low simmer. When the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, then it is ready. Remember to fluff the rice with a fork to test how cooked it is and to mix the contents-rather than using a spoon.. It will cause the rice to become mushy..And you definitely don’t want that! Disfrutalo! I hope you all try this recipe! 

Octopus And Spinach Rice-Arroz Con Pulpo Y Espinacas

It occurred to me that I dont have enough seafood recipes on site.. So I went on the lookout for seafood that wasn’t on the site,and something that I loved.. Then I found my local supermarket had Octopus at very affordable prices.. To the uninitiated,Octopus can be a rather scary thing,with all the tentacles,and fiddly innards to remove.. However, when you have got past those things,and cook this seafood right,then it is a joy to eat! Try to chop the Octopus into small pieces,and dont be put off by its looks.. The flavour is worth it!

INGREDIENTS

1 Baby Octopus, or around 250 grams of it, cleaned and cut into small pieces
2 Teaspoons or to taste of Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Cloves of Garlic
One Onion chopped
1 Tablespoon of Smoked Paprika(Pimentón Dulce)
3-4 Shavings of Lemon Peel
1 Cup of Basmati Rice
Around 200 grams of Spinach,washed in salt water,and drained
Vegetable oil-1 Tablespoon

METHOD

If you have already prepared the octopus,leave it out until you are ready to use it..I had mine cleaned and ready in the freezer,which was convenient for me.If not,there will be instructions on *How To Clean Octopus.

When you have prepared the octopus,chop the onion,garlic and wash and chop the spinach. Set these aside briefly,and put oil to heat in a pot. Add the onions, garlic and basil, and then shave the lemon peel and add it also.

Add the pimentón and fry altogether for around 5 minutes on a moderate heat.Add the octopus and then add enough water to cover the octopus,and simmer for around 40 minutes,or until tender.Add the spinach, and wash the starch away from the rice. Add the rice to the pot and turn the heat on low,with the liquid just covering the pot.Cook for around 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.Serve with a crisp salad and extra lemon wedges to taste. Disfrutalo!

*HOW TO CLEAN OCTOPUS-
Firstly,cut the tentacles away from the head,set aside. Be sure to discard of the eyes. With the tentacles,turn the underside and locate the ‘beak’. Squeeze gently above the cut,and the beak should pop out. With a knife,cut this away. Cut the tentacles away and chop them into inch long pieces. Then cut the remaining ring of octopus in half,twice.

Cut the head in half, after turning it inside out,removing the quill(piece of cartillage)and the innards. Turn on the other side,peeling away the skin,if desired. Slice, wash and drain, and then use as desired. Hope this has helped.

Dinie’s Fishcakes/Bollos De Pescado Por Dinie

What do you do with leftover saltfish? make a bunch of fishcakes of course! These are easy to make, freeze well and can be made in advance and with any leftover trimmed pieces of fish. Things such as a Fishermans Pie mix would do very well! Experiment with different fish and see how it goes!

Makes upto 12 small fishcakes

    Ingredients

1/2 A Packet of Saltfish, soaked in several changes of water overnight, stripped and set aside
3-4 Medium Sized Potatoes,peeled and cubed
A Small Bunch Of Thyme,Chopped with some leaves removed from the stalks
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2 Cloves of Garlic peeled, and crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Egg whisked
Fine Yellow Cornmeal/Polenta to dredge(To dip something in egg and then flour.. **See Fried Chicken Recipes!)the fishcakes(As needed)
Oil for frying, or to drizzle on a baking tray
Dinie’s Hot Pepper Sauce or Ketchup to taste

    METHOD

Firstly, drain the water from the saltfish, taking care to squeeze the water out of the strips, or use kitchen paper to blot out the water. Strip the fish using your thumb and forefinger and strip the pieces to around inch size chunks. Set aside until needed.

Peel, wash and cube the potatoes, and preboil a kettle. Add the preboiled water to a pan adding a pinch of salt and the potatoes. Boil for around 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the water, and start to mash the potato without oil or butter. Add the chopped herb, onion and garlic and some seasoning. Mix well,add the saltfish and mix again. Check seasoning. Transfer the mixture in a freezerproof bowl, and allow to get firm and cold for around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When this has chilled, prepare the ‘dredging station’, by pouring some cornmeal in a bowl, whisking an egg in a bowl, and a plate to put the dredged fishcakes, before frying. Roll a small amount of the mixture into a ball, and then use a thumb and finger to lightly spreadthe mixture out into a small disk. Dip this disk in the egg and then the cornmeal. Set aside, and continue doing this with the rest of the mixture. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a moderate heat,and add the fishcakes around 4 at a time. Cook until deep golden. Do the same with the other fishcakes. Serve hot and with Dinie’s Hot Pepper Sauce, or Ketchup and Tartare Sauce. Disfrutalo!!

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