LAMB & PORK
APPLES & JUICE
There is a very good recipe website at www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk Also, Miranda's Kitchen, in Curry Rivel, also occasionally writes recipes for my newsletters. Some of these are below. More to follow soon!
TORTILLA ESPANOLA (or Spanish omelette)
I lived in Barcelona for 3 years and learnt how to cook the perfect Tortilla. It is served as tapas with a glass of wine or beer, or for lunch with a delicious green salad. This is a great way of using up old potatoes and eating the salad before it wilts.
You need a large saucepan and a small, deep 9” non-stick frying pan.
6-8 smallish potatoes
2 large white onions or four small ones
A bottle of olive oil (it doesn’t have to be the best). I save my good cold pressed, extra virgin oil for salad dressings.
6 - 9 eggs depending on what size tortilla you wish to make.
Pour roughly 250ml of oil into the large frying pan. It is better if the frying pan is non-stick or heavy bottomed. If you do not have this you can use a saucepan. Heat the oil.
Peel and slice potatoes. You need to slice them in half. Then place the half horizontal and flat down on your chopping board. Slice the halves into horizontal strips and then vertically into tiny thin squares.
Peel the onions and then slice the whole onions into rings. Not too thick, but the rings need to be a good size.
Place the diced potatoes and onions into the pan with the oil. The oil should just about cover the mix. Don’t worry about using this amount of oil. You drain it off afterwards and can reuse it for cooking.
Cook the potato and onion mix for about 15-20 minutes. You need to turn every so often as the contents at the bottom of the pan will start to turn crispy and golden. Turn the heat down if this happens too fast. You want a little bit of this but not too much. When the mix is cooked through and soft place in a sieve or colander over another pan so you can conserve the oil. You can push some of the oil out with a spoon, but you do not want to crush your mix. Most of the oil will drain off so do not worry.
In a large mixing bowl whisk your eggs. I use 9 eggs. You can use 6. Add half a teaspoon or a large pinch of salt. Add the potato mix and fold into the egg.
In your small non-stick pan, heat a dessert spoon of the oil you have siphoned off on a medium flame. Add a spoonful of the potato and egg mix and let it cook on a low flame for a minute or so. Tip it out of the pan and back into the mixture in the bowl. Repeat this about 4 times. Add another drop of oil, heat, add a large spoonful of the mixture, let it cook and the eggs puff up for ½ minute, and add back to the contents in the bowl. It will look half cooked and half raw. This will help the tortilla cook through evenly.
Turn the flame to low. Control the heat so the tortilla doesn’t burn.
Add all of the contents of the bowl to the frying pan and push down with a spoon. Cook on a low flame for about 5 – 10 minutes. Check the underside if you can.
Put a large plate over the top and hold down with an oven glove. I invert/turn the tortilla on to the plate, like you were turning a jelly out of a mold. If it is looking anaemic turn it back into the pan. If golden you are ready to cook the other side. Slide the tortilla back into the frying pan slowly, guiding with a spoon. The golden side will be face-up and the raw side will go back into the frying pan. Poke it down around the edges with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Cook on a low flame for another 10 minutes. The tortilla should be springy. You want it golden on the outside and slightly moist/very slightly gooey in the middle, so you can stick a knife in to check.
COURGETTES: If you have some courgettes to use up, heat some more of the left over tortilla oil in a non-stick or heavy bottom frying pan. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Add to the pan with a pinch of salt and fry until golden. You can either add lemon zest and juice of half a lemon at the end. I also like adding a few pine nuts and raisins. Continue frying until the pine nuts are golden and the raisins slightly plump from the lemon juice.
SALAD: Serve with a large green salad. Make a good Dijon mustard dressing. Add 1 teaspoon of mustard to 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil into a small cereal bowl and whisk until amalgamated.
WHITE TUSCAN SALAD
This is a favorite of mine. I eat it on its own for lunch or with fish.
You need a large bowl or plate.
2-3 fennel bulbs
1 celery bulb
olive oil (a good Spanish or Italian cold pressed, extra virgin oil)
1 – 2 mozzarella di buffula or burrata
the juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
Peel off the outer leaves of the fennel, top and tail and, slice the bulb extremely fine. If you have a mandolin use it. They are excellent.
Peel the outer sticks of celery off and save for a Bolognese or minestrone. Only use the inner white heart. Again, slice this finely.
Mix in bowl or on plate with the mozzarella or burrata, which you can tear or slice into circles. Add a glug of olive oil, juice of lemon to taste. A pinch of salt and pepper and turn with your hands or a spoon gently.
COURGETTES & AUBERGINES
2 tablespoons of parsley
1 dessertspoon of thyme
1 tablespoon of basil
coriander if you want
Keep the courgettes and aubergines whole. Slice into strips. The thickness of the strip needs to be slightly thicker than a pound coin and slightly thinner than your baby finger. You will be grilling these, so you do not want them too thin. I use my George Forman, which I bought from Argos 8 years ago. It grills everything from fish to chicken, steaks, burgers and vegetables. You can also do these on the barbecue or on a griddle pan. Leave the grill dry (do not rub with oil as they will fry). Place them on until they have nice brown griddle marks. Turn over and do the same on the other side.
Put them on a plate and keep going until you have done the whole batch. They should be nice and dry, not burnt, and with lovely markings from your grill or BBQ. Place in a shallow dish. Pour olive oil over these.
Chop the herbs finely, mix and throw over the vegetables in the dish. Toss the aubergine and courgette gently with your hands into the herbs. Put some thinly sliced lemon circles in too. Cover with cling film and marinade.
These are best served warm with a good steak or grilled fish. An excellent barbecue side salad.
SPICY TOMATO SALAD
You will need:
gas cooker or a barbecue
5-6 large Stoneage Organic tomatoes or 1-2 packs of cherry tomatoes
2 large sweet red peppers
1-2 fresh red chilies
3-4 corn on the cob
red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
Boil the sweet corn. Slice off the cob and put in a large bowl.
While the corn is boiling, char the red peppers on your gas cooker. Turn two flames on and put on top of the flames and char until the skins are black. You will need to keep turning them. You can do this on a barbecue. The skin needs to be black all round. Place in a bowl and cling film. This will suck the skins from the flesh. Scrape the blackened skin off gently with a knife and your fingers. De-seed. Dice.
Cut the tomatoes in half, then into quarters and then again, so they are in tiny cubes.
Finely chop the coriander. Finely chop the chilies. You can leave seeds in for a kick or take them out if you don’t like heat.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir in a good glug of the olive oil (2-3 tablespoons.) Add a dessertspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. You can use the juice of a lime instead of vinegar. I would use the juice of 1-2 limes to taste. This is a great summer salad with steak, fish or chicken.
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