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Showing posts with the label healthy recipes

Wild Asparagus time in Mallorca

Wild asparagus or “Ttrigueros” as they are known here in Spain, grow all over the Island of Mallorca in March and April.  The locals spend hours scouring the fields and roadsides filling their baskets with them. 
Growing wild throughout the Mediterranean, the Romans are believed to have been the first to domesticate asparagus. After the fall of the Roman Empire, asparagus was cultivated in their monastery gardens, along with medicinal herbs. Cultivated for more the 2000 years, asparagus will grow wherever it can find a good footing. Wild Asparagus loves secluded hedgerows and undisturbed country roads. When choosing asparagus, look for firm, brightly- coloured spears with tight, crisp tips. (Very large stalks tend to come from older plants and can be tough.). If the stalks bend without breaking it’s a good sign that they have definitely seen better days. Asparagus is usually boiled or steamed, but can be grilled or roasted for a different, slightly nutty flavour. There is a special aspa…

"The Rolls Royce of Rice."

As a chef, I’m more than a little obsessive about finding the best ingredients for my kitchen; I also believe that we as cooks have a duty to really get to know and understand where those ingredients come from, how they are made and why they are so special.
One of the ingredients that I’m obsessing about right now is Acquerello rice. It’s organic, aged Italian carnaroli rice. That's right, aged! It is grown using a crop rotation system and is the only rice variety sown on the farm, to avoid the possibility of inadvertent hybridisation with other varieties. After the harvest, the grains of Acquerello carnaroli are aged from one to three years, a process which, by allowing the rice to “breathe”, optimising its qualities and characteristics. Aging renders starch, proteins and vitamins less water-soluble, improving the consistency of the grains and enabling them to absorb more cooking liquid. When cooked, the grains become bigger, firmer, do not

SPICED CHICKPEA & SPINACH PATTIES WITH HARRISA MAYONNAISE

Ingredientsserves 4
400g cooked chickpeas, drained 150g spinach, cleaned and chopped 1 tbsp ras el hanout 1 large egg yolk 2 tbsp Gram chickpea flour, plus extra for dusting Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

SOUL FOOD

--> When it's cold outside and the rain is lashing against the windows we tend to look to uncomplicated comfort foods, certain dishes that can be easily made from simple ingredients to warm our souls and sooth our cold bones. If you are looking for a little comfort during the long winter nights, there’s nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of steaming hot soup.

For most of us, soup represents nourishment, healing and comfort and the secret to good soup is to make the perfect stock.
Stocks need a little care and attention but if you follow these basic rules, you’ll be rewarded with clear-looking, healthy broths with flavours that are true and clean. For a simple chicken stock, place 2 clean chicken carcasses in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the stock slowly to the boil and skim the impurities and fat from the surface as they rise to the top. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Add 2 small diced onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 sliced carrots…

ROAST LEG OF LAMB WITH RAS EL HANOUT & Turkish spoon salad

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Serves: 4
RAS EL HANOUT
Don't be put off this recipe by the number of ingredients. The spice mix is simple to make…although you can buy it. It keeps well in a jar and can be used so many other dishes. It lends a wonderful aromatic flavour to the lamb.
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
16 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Mallorcan Gold

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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.

Ingredients we love!

--> 1,SumacIf 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

“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.

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.
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.

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.

POTAJE…..Spanish One-pot wonders

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.

Kick start to a healthy new year

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

MEDITERRANEAN SPICE

--> 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

Lost Flavours

--> “When we loose a flavour, a fragrance, we loose a recipe” CARLO PETRINI
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.