Total Pageviews

Monday, September 5, 2011

eel tapas

We all love tapas – the variety is endless and this one is one of my favourites and a must have when in the Basque. Baby eels piled high on French bread diagonals with a little dollop of mayonnaise and a slice or two of cooked red pepper. The eels are a delicacy of San Sebastian but are available in tins from gourmet food shops, internationally. Nothing beats the real thing though, so put them on your list for your next visit to Spain.

Baby eel tapas, printer friendly recipe click here:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

migas with fish

Migas (Spanish for breadcrumbs) comes in many forms and often includes chorizo, eggs, and pimenton. The following recipe is just as tasty and very quick to prepare.

Whizz up the following to resemble fine breadcrumbs:

1 cup torn stale bread
1/2 cup of natural almonds
2 garlic gloves

Cook the Migas in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes on a moderate heat until lightly browned.

Add a handful of chopped parsley and serve on the side with sardines or any strong tasting fish. I particularly love it served with hake (below) cooked on the plancha.

Migas printer friendly recipe, click here:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

monkfish brochettes

Although referred to as poor man’s lobster monkfish still comes at a price! It also comes as a bit of a mystery! In the southern hemisphere, monkfish it called anglerfish and although this variety looks identical to that of the northern hemisphere, the cooked texture is quite different. Monkfish, northern hemisphere variety, makes very good brochettes. The flesh is very firm and remains that way during the cooking process while anglerfish starts out well but goes sluggish towards the end. I am yet to find out why!

The preparation and cooking of this beautiful firm fish is so easy. 

Purchase fillets of monkfish, but because it is a firm fish with no waste, a little goes a long way. One small fish minus its very large head adequately serves two people.

Soak small skewers in cold water for at least an hour before use. Thread them with cubed monkfish and young, fresh bay leaves and marinate the skewers in extra virgin olive oil, sliced garlic, sea salt and ground white pepper for two hours. Cook them on a very hot plancha for a few minutes on each side until the flesh becomes opaque, brown and slightly crisp – about five or six minutes all up. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.

If you would prefer a sauce with your brochettes cook them on high heat in a frying pan in a tablespoon each of butter and oil. Remove the brochettes once cooked and deglaze the pan with a little white wine, let the alcohol burn off then add a squeeze of lemon juice, some chopped parsley, sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.

I cook them the first way and drink the white wine on the side. Simple food simply cooked, simply delicious!

Monkfish brochettes printer friendly recipe, click here:

beetroot mushrooms

This is a rather spectacular way to serve beetroot. To do so, you must own a Japanese Spiralizer Turning Vegetable Slicer. Just for the record, this is a fantastic machine if you like to make sushi or if you are a raw food enthusiast or vegetarian.

At the blade end of the machine, stick your whole, raw, uncooked beetroot into the round short cylinder then push the handle end, which has several short prongs attached to it into the beetroot so it stays in place. Rotate the handle continuously until all that remains of the beetroot is the very end 'tip' and ‘stork’, which has come about by continuous turning against the round short cylinder. You will not only have a pile of beetroot peelings, good for salads and other uses, but also my magic mushrooms and no waste!

Brush the ‘mushrooms’ with melted butter or a little oil, place them in a greased roasting pan and cook until just done, about 20 minutes on 180C. They make an interesting accompaniment to any dish where beetroot is called for.

Beetroot Mushrooms, click here for printer friendly recipe:

beetroot soup

This is my friend Claudia’s recipe and it makes a wonderful change from borscht. Not that there is anything wrong with borscht, it is delicious, but when I think ‘beetroot soup’ borscht usually comes to mind. I just love the taste and texture of this soup especially the intense tarragon flavour – it marries so well with beetroot.

Serves 6


500g beetroot, baked, peeled and moulied or chopped
2 red onions, sliced
1litre chicken stock
3 tablespoons, brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
50ml red wine
8 large French tarragon spigs, leaves only.
Natural yogurt for ice cubes


Add leaves from 4 tarragon sprigs to the yogurt and freeze in ice cube trays until solid.

Melt onions and sugar in a covered pan and sweat for 10-15 minutes. Add the vinegar, the wine and reduce to half the volume. Add stock, beetroot and the rest of the tarragon (leaves only). Bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season, then blend well until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.

Serve in bowls with a yogurt and tarragon ice cube in the centre of each

Click here for printer friendly recipe: