Artcava 100% Xarel·lo Chicken with a gift

chicken-xarel-lo-ingredients

I learn this recipe from my sister who had take it from my mom, who had learn it from my grand mother… so this is quite and old recipe but before my sister was without Cava, so she added the lovely sparkling and then the recipe gets a beautiful twist.

My way has been transform it in a “Pintxo“, the typical Basque country snacks. My friend Rosa, ask me to help her in a txalaparta music concert, preparing something to eat during the wine and Cava tasting done that day. My first thought was taking that humble chicken with Cava and transform it a little bit in the way you normally it them… that’s the gift!!!

Ingredients

Number of Servings 8

  • A big free range chicken
  • 2 Cava Palagó 100% Xarel·lo bottles
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A garlic bulb
  • 3 big onions
  • Dried plumbs
  • Olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pine nuts

Method
chicken-xarel-lo-cava

  1. Fry the chicken in olive oil to seal it and put it aside.
  2. In the same oil add the onion cut in “Julienne” and cook til white and slightly transparent.
  3. Add the cinnamon, the garlic bulb cut in half, the bay leaves, salt and fresh grounded pepper. Cook until the onion starts changing its colour.
  4. Add the chicken and cover it with the Cava. Put it in the oven for 2 hours at 180º Celsius. Or until soft and tender….
  5. Add the dried plumbs and the fried pine nuts just 15 minutes before finishing the chicken.

The result

chicken-xarel-lo-acabat-2

The Gift

pinxo-pollastre-al-cava
This is how I serve it during the tasting.
A slightly toasted piece of bread with the chicken crumbled and mixed with the reduction of the sauce. In one half the dried plumbs, and at the other half a Sweet “Ordal” peaches chutney and some roasted pine nuts on top!!

Fideuà (Noodle Paella)

Fideua ingredients
Another dish done in the “Paellera”. The famous Fideuà (Noodle Paella) or Fideuada. From the city of Gandia, this dish is absolutely amazing and so simple to prepare. Basic ingredients and patience as good food demands!!!

Serve it always with allioli.

Enjoy it!!!

Ingredients

Number of Servings 4

  • 400 gr. of nº2 fideo noodles
  • 1 cuttlefish
  • 8 prawns
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cayenne chilli
  • Sunflower oil (or any soft vegetable oil)
  • Fish stock
  • Olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt
  • Parsley

Method

  1. Add the sunflower oil in the Paellera and fry the noodles until golden. Don’t overcook it or then they are not going to hydrate. Put aside.
  2. Add more oil, now extra virgin olive oil, in the Paellera and fry shortly the prawns and put aside.
  3. Fry the garlic cloves until golden brown and the cayenne chili. Remove the chili and put aside the garlic.
  4. Fry shortly the cuttlefish and put aside. We want it soft and tender.
  5. Add the onion in brunoise and poach until soft and transparent.
  6. Add the chopped tomato and sautè all together. Add the fried garlic chopped. That’s a lot of flavour that I don’t want to loose.
  7. When golden add the noodles, the cuttlefish and stir it to mix all the ingredients.
  8. Add the hot fish stock covering the noodles. Stir it all and let the noodles “drink” all the stock.
  9. Add the prawns just a couple of minutes before finishing the cooking.
  10. The noodles must finish “erected”. That’s a good signal.
  11. Spread some fine chopped parsley on top to decorate.

Tips

To improve the global taste, I add a spoon of allioli when I add the fish stock. Learned from David, my brother in law, a great chef!!!

The result

fideua-plat

Fig jam and chocolate sticky buns

sticky-buns-main

During my learning process I like to try the recipes that I learn from the best chefs. I watch them cooking on TV, I search the recipe and then I try it but changing some of the ingredients to adapt it to my taste.

That’s what I have done with that recipe from Annabel Langbein, her famous Sticky Buns. The dough is done as she does it, just changing the filling… I’m not a cinnamon lover, so I changed it, fig jam and chocolate… but not mixed…

Let’s go!!

Ingredients

Number of Servings 16 buns

The dough

  • 60 gr. melted butter
  • 500 ml. milk
  • 25 gr. fresh yeast
  • 150 gr. sugar
  • 900 gr. strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Icing sugar

To fill

  • Chocolate
  • Fig jam
  • Melted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

 

Method

  1. Heat the milk until lukewarm (so it feels neutral when you dip your finger into it) let it warm up about 35-37 long, add the yeast and sugar.
  2. Add the melted butter and whisk.
  3. Put the flour in a bowl with the salt and add the liquid mixture.
  4. Work the dough until soft and silky.
  5. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled container, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until it has almost doubled in size.
  6. Roll the dough in a rectangle over a lightly floured surface.
  7. Spread the melted butter and some brown sugar and the cinnamon.
  8. Roll to form a cylinder.
  9. Cut in pieces and place them over baking paper on a tin or in a glass  tray.
  10. Let the dough rise half an hour more.
  11. Preheat the oven at 220º c.
  12. Cook the buns until golden and cooked through.
  13. To glaze the scrolls, heat the sugar and water in a small pot until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush the scrolls with hot syrup as they emerge from the oven or dust with icing sugar.

The filling is where I put part of my preferences, so I have changed the cinnamon and I used fig jam instead. The taste is more fruity and subtle.

Obviously chocolate is always a winning horse!!!! Explore the fillings!!!

The result

sticky-buns-done-2

Spanish omelette (Truita de patates)

spanish-omelette-02
That’s what I call a Classic!!!

Spanish omelette or as we say “Truita de patata i ceba”. It’s one of those simple and perfect recipes that, just taking care choosing the best ingredients possible, the success is assured.

Ingredients

Number of Servings 1 medium size omelette. 3-4 servings.

  • 3 big potatoes
  • 2 big onions
  • 5 eggs
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • salt

Spanish Omelette

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes and the onions and finely chop them.
  2. In olive oil, fry the potatoes at low heat until soft and tender.
  3. Strain the potatoes through a colander into a large bowl (set the strained oil aside).
  4. Do the same with the onion until golden and caramelized. Use the potatoes strained oil.
  5. Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  6. Add salt, the potatoes and the onions.
  7. Pre heat hight the frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I use the strained oil.
  8. Add the mixture to the frying pan over the hot oil and stir it to avoid the omelette from sticking. Lower the heat to a minimum. Cook covered until golden.
  9. When almost set, use a lid to invert the omelette. Cook a few more minutes until done.
  10. Moving the pan in circles helps to keep the rounded shape.
  11. Slide on to a plate and cool for some minutes before serving.

Tips

I always add the salt separately. Some to the potatoes, some to the onion and a little more to the eggs. If all the ingredients are in it’s point of salt, the final result is perfection 😉

Better use a plate to invert the omelette if shapes well inside the frying pan.

The result

Spanish Omelette

Ajoblanco with sour apple “Granny Smith”

ajoblanco-ingredientsAjoblanco or ajo blanco is a popular Spanish cold soup typical from Granada and Málaga. This dish is made of bread, almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and vinegar.

In that version I add some sour apple to add an extra fresh touch.

Ingredients

Number of Servings 4-6

  • 100 gr. blanched almonds
  • 1 bunch of breadcrumbs. Better if it’s from 2 or 3 days before
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 table spoon of arbequina olive oil
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • Vinegar
  • salt
  • water

Method

  1. Blanch the almonds in boiling water and peel them.
  2. Put the bread in water to soften it.
  3. In the blender glass, add the almonds, bread crumbs and the garlic cloves, add some salt grains. blend until smooth
  4. Slowly pour in the olive oil until a smooth paste is formed.
  5. In a dish, add water and vinegar and process until the mixture is thin and smooth. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Add the apple cut in “brunoise”.
  7. Serve cold (you can also add green grapes or mint)

A simple and very refreshing summer dish perfect as a starter.

The result

ajoblanco-cream

Shellfish Paella. My Mom Style (arròs)

arros00

 

I always say that there are as many styles of prepare a paella as mothers or cooks. And all those versions are right. The “traditional” paella is that one, but… what to say to a nice shellfish paella?

Here you can find my way to cook it… I learned it from my mother, but I add some of my own with tree slight and optional details, the chili at the beginning, some brandy at the end of the “sofregit” and the use of the cuttlefish spleen.

Ingredients

Number of Servings 8

  • 800 gr. rice
  • 1,6 l. fish stock
  • 1 kg. mussels
  • 1 kg. clams
  • 16 Norway lobster. (Dublin Bay prawn/scampi)
  • 16 prawns
  • 1 big fresh cuttlefish (with the spleen)
  • 1 big onion
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 grated ripe tomatoes
  • 1 dried cayenne chili
  • brandy
  • oil
  • salt

For the light fish stock (3 liters)

  • the head and spines of a big monkfish
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 onion
  • salt

Method

For the fish stock:

  1. Wash the fishmonk to clean the blood clots that may have.
  2. Put in a pot with cold water, some salt, the onion, 2 or 3 bay leafs and the leek and bring it to the boil.
  3. When starts to boil we must remove the foam that appears and from there, 5 to 8 minutes in the fire, don’t prolong cooking because it would taste nasty.
  4. Strain the broth and we have it ready to use.

 

For the paella:

  1. In a paellera, heat some oil in the middle and slightly stir-fry the prawns. Remove them from the paellera.
  2. Do the same with the crayfish.
  3. In a pot, boil the clams just until open. Discard the closed ones and keep the water. We can add this water to the fish stock.
  4. Do the same with the mussels.
  5. Stir fry the cuttlefish chopped in 1 cm. squares approx. Reserve the central part with the spleen bag [1]. Remove it.
  6. Now the paellera has the oil with the fish flavors. Add the onion chopped in brunoise, the dried cayenne, the grated garlic and sauté it. When the onion starts being transparent, add the chopped red peppers.
  7. Take out the dried cayenne, the longer you left it the hottest it will be. I prefer just a slightly hot point.
  8. Sauté the “sofregit” which is the basis of the dish until dark golden. But take care not to burn it, because then can taste awful. Don’t cross the red line.
  9. 2-3 minutes before that point add the cuttlefish spleen. Cut the bags and add the brown sauce to the”sofregit” and stir up well.
  10. Add a splash of  brandy and burn it. The better the brandy… you know…
  11. Add the stir fried cuttlefish and the rice and stir up for 1 minute. We want that the rice takes the flavors and the oil.
  12. Add 2 litters of fish stock. (Two cups of stock for each cup of rice works as well).
  13. Add salt to taste.
  14. The rice needs 20-22 minutes to be ready or until takes all the stock.
  15. 5 minutes before finishing add on top the prawns, the Norway lobsters, the clams and the mussels. Be creative.
  16. Once out of the fire, must rest 5-10 minutes covered with newspapers.

Carry out the cooking at high heat except the last 15 minutes which is better do it at medium heat.

And that’s it… a dish that once you get it, can be your winning horse!!!

Notice that I don’t use, peas, saffron, chorizo, or some of the ingredients that you can find in the more “touristic paellas”… they are just different, not worst nor better.

Be creative with the ingredients, over the “sofregit” basis you can add what your imagination can think… I prepare one with mushrooms, black pepper sausages, green asparagus and artichokes that can make you cry of pleasure.

 

The result

arros02

Photos: Maria Jose Carpio

Cuttlefish Spleen

[1] Cuttlefish spleen:
Is the brown bag that has inside the head. It gives a fantastic iodinated flavour, and for me is the clue to transform a good paella in a 5 stars one.

Traditional Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana tradicional

Today I’ve learned how to prepare the traditional Paella Valenciana. Toñi, from Valencia with the help of Miguel, her fiancé, showed us how to cook it.

The cooking simplicity, the quality of the humble ingredients and the correct use of time, helps to create a fantastic and tasty rice dish.

Ingredients

Number of Servings 8

  • 800 gr. rice
  • 1 chicken cut into eighths
  • 1 rabbit cut in eighths
  • 3 ripe chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • saffron 4-5 threads
  • 200 gr. green beans
  • 100 gr. butter beans
  • oil
  • salt
  • water
  • a rosemary branch

Method

paella-valenciana-tradicional-foc

  1. In a paellera, place some oil in the middle and add the salt, the chicken and the rabbit. Fry the meat until dark golden.
  2. Add the green beans in the middle of the meat and sauté for some minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and sauté 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the butter beans and sauté 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the sweet paprika and sauté some seconds, and add the water. Cover well all the ingredients and cook it for 40-45 minutes. Must be always covered in water.
  6. Add the rice and the rosemary.
  7. After 5 minutes remove the rosemary.
  8. The rice needs 20 minutes to be ready.
  9. Once out of the fire, must rest 5-10 minutes covered with newspapers.

Carry out the cooking at high heat except the last 15 minutes which is better do it at medium heat.

Really simply and yummy.

Tips

The meat must be deep fried… Golden and juicy

The result

arros-guillermo-2

Fotos: Guillermo Aldunate