These elegant appetizer bites are ready in about 10 minutes, start to finish. [Read more →]
These elegant appetizer bites are ready in about 10 minutes, start to finish. [Read more →]
Mmmmm…the smell of bread baking on a Saturday morning is almost enough to send me into a frenzy. But. BUT. I don’t exactly want to get up at the crack of dawn to make said bread. Who does? I mean, it’s Saturday for cryin’ out loud. And all that kneading, and waiting for the rise, and then the second rise…fuggedabadit. Too much time and effort for a lazy Saturday morning. Until now. Last weekend, I hopped over to Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy because Susan had posted an English Muffin Loaf recipe that I wanted to try. I loooooove English muffins, but unfortunately they’re not available for purchase in my neck of the woods, so they must be made from scratch. Which is fine, but they take a lonnggg time. Hours. So I have been putting that little project off for several months. lol Susan had adapted a recipe from Bellini Valli over at More than Burnt Toast. Valli’s recipe is fantastic! Very quick, no kneading (did you see that?! NO KNEADING! Woot!), and ready for consumption in less than 2 hours. Now that’s what I call fabulous. And another thing—this English Muffin Loaf is delicious on it’s own, but imagine the possibilities! Eggs Benedict! Sausage, Egg and Cheese Nik-Muffins (see what I did there? lol), English muffin pizzas! I see lots of homemade bread in our future. Thank you Valli, for a truly wonderful recipe, and thank you Susan for re-posting and kick starting me into bread baking gear!
Oooh, and a steep price it is….Free. LOL Before moving here to the Canaries it never–and I mean NEVER–would have occurred to me to make my own mayonnaise. I mean, why? It’s so easy to buy it at the store, and inexpensive to boot. Why would anyone even bother? But then I tried my mother in law’s alioli. It was like a serious revelation, a turning point in my life. Homemade mayo? WAY better than store bought. Add garlic? Even *better* than WAY better than store bought. It only takes about 2 minutes start to finish, too. You’ll need a food processor or blender with an opening at the top to pour in the oil, but it really is one of the easiest things in the world to make. So that’s recipe number one of this post. Keep reading for a super easy spring/summer sandwich recipe…
2 generous pinches of sea salt (the amount that you can pick up between your thumb and fingers)
3 cloves garlic (more or less, to taste)
sunflower oil (I prefer sunflower to olive in this recipe…the olive oil makes the alioli bitter imo)…now this will vary, but about a cup?
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Add salt, garlic and egg to your food processor or blender and process until garlic is finely chopped.
In a thin, steady stream (this is really important), add the sunflower oil until the sauce thickens. I have had it happen where the mayo never thickens. Don’t worry, just pour the mixture into another receptacle, add another egg and slowly pour it back in in a steady stream.
When the mayo has thickened, add the vinegar (processing all the while) to mix.
How easy was THAT?
Alioli goes very well with just about everything (except dessert), so be sure to have it handy at all times! lol It keeps in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, tightly covered.
Now, let’s move on to that sandwich recipe I promised. Would you LOOK at this organic baby watercress my veggie vendor had?!
Doesn’t that just look fresh and delicious?! Watercress is a very common ingredient in Canarian cooking. We make stews with it, salads, and the ever popular, “Sandwich de Berros.” (berros=watercress) The watercress sandwich is common for breakfast, for an afternoon snack, and is often served at family gatherings and parties. The sandwiches are great when you first make them, but in my opinion are even better the next day, so they are a perfect make ahead addition to whatever fun gathering you have planned.
1/4 cup alioli
4 cups baby watercress (or regular watercress, stems removed)
1 loaf sandwich bread
Place alioli and watercress in your food processor and blend until smooth.
Spread mixture on sandwich bread and cut into triangles.
Cover and reserve in refrigerator until ready to serve.
So, remember I was telling you about all the grilling we’ve been doing? Often times, the leftover grilled meats and vegetables are less than appealing, am I right? I mean, who wants to eat a cold chorizo? Chorizo is one of the best things EVAH just off the coals, but later? Not so great. They tend to be dry when reheated, and generally not the most appetizing of foods. Other ingredients are easier to find uses for, like roasted peppers and baked potatoes for example. Potato salad, anyone? But, I was feeling guilty about tossing all of those lovely chorizos after our barbecues…there must be *some* way to salvage them? Well, there is. And it’s delicious! And they are revived to their delectable juicy selves. Awesome! Just look at these tasty little bites of goodness:
There are many names for this particular style of egg dish. Here in Spain, we call it a “tortilla,” whereas in Italy, it’s called, “frittata,” and in the States it’s generally referred to as an omelette (depending on your heritage, that is. lol). The funny thing is that tortillas are made with eggs, but it’s really about the ingredients you add to them. Traditional Spanish tortillas are all about the potatoes. This one includes the conventional potatoes, but also includes delicious toasted garlic, onion, roasted red peppers and grilled chorizo to make for a mighty tasty, wonderfully easy meal.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Spanish onion, minced
3 baked potatoes, skin removed and roughly chopped
3 chorizos, grilled and chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
8 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized, deeper saute pan.
Saute garlic until golden, then add onions and continue to saute until translucent.
Add potatoes, chorizos and peppers and heat through.
*note* if you don’t have leftovers, I suggest baking the potatoes in the microwave or oven until done, and cooled, using canned roasted peppers, and for the chorizo, just saute it until cooked through before adding the potatoes and peppers)
Meanwhile, beat eggs with salt and pepper until beginning to froth.
Reduce heat to low, and pour eggs over meat and vegetables.
Stir around a bit, to permit egg to solidify slightly, then cover.
Using a spatula, press egg toward center occasionally, to form the rounded edge.
After about 10 minutes, when egg is beginning to set, carefully place a large plate over the saute pan (one that larger than the pan).
This is the tricky part.
I usually count to three and flip the tortilla onto the plate.
Please be careful not to burn yourself! It’s also important to make sure the egg is beginning to set before doing this, or you’ll have egg all over the place. Ask me how I know this. LOL
Wipe out saute pan, and add a bit more olive oil.
Slide the tortilla back into the pan and cover.
Repeat the pressing of the sides occasionally, and when the egg is really looking like it’s set, sort of “shake” the tortilla around in the pan a bit to prevent sticking.
This should take about 10-20 more minutes, depending on the size of your pan.
Repeat the “flip” process (I find that it looks prettier when you flip a second time).
To see what a finished tortilla should look like, have a look HERE.
Serve as desired. Here I’ve cut the tortilla into cubes to serve as tapas.
As you already know, some things that are so very commonplace in the US are virtually non-existent here. Biscuits are yet another example of this phenomena. Ok, ok…it’s not exactly a “phenomena,” I was just being cheeky. lol However, I do find it strange that there are McD’s and BK’s all over the place, and yet, they do not serve breakfast. No breakfast?! That should be illegal, since the best thing from McD’s is their breakkie menu, at least as far as we’re concerned. English muffins? Nowhere to be found. Pancakes or french toast and syrup? Nope. Biscuits? Not a chance.
So, I’m left to my own devices to try and come up with great recipes for all of these things that are hopelessly unattainable. Unless someone else comes up with one first. Then all I have to do is copy what they’ve done. LMAO As in this case. Why on Earth would I even bother to make up a new recipe, when Elly has so conveniently already posted one? I must confess that I did alter her recipe a teensy little bit, but man, if you are looking for an awesomely delicious biscuit recipe, look no further. These biscuits were gone so quickly, they didn’t even have the chance to cool down! My kids were waiting in line at the counter, plates in hands, just waiting for the second tray to come out of the oven. My hubs couldn’t stop saying how awesome and delicious they were. And me? OMG, I was in some biscuit induced state of nirvana, and don’t remember much except for the buttery, fluffy melt in your mouth awesomeness that I experienced while eating these. And, as a special bonus? They were done in under 30 minutes, start to finish (that includes “devouring” time)! So, friends, here you have them…Elly’s most fabulous biscuits:
1 cup flour
1 cup self rising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (1/4 pound, 100 grams)
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450ºF/225ºC.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Add dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Add butter and pulse until mealy.
Add milk and pulse until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
Turn dough out into a bowl (you may need a rubber spatula to get it all out–they’re sticky!).
Flour your hands and gently form 12 balls.
Arrange 6 each on baking sheets and gently pat down just a little bit.
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
The temps have actually cooled off a little here in Canaryland…we’re now into more wintery weather (which for us, means high 60′s-low 70′sF/high teens to low 20′sC, and lots of rain ). With the cooler temps comes my need to fill the house with spicy aromas baking in the oven and simmering on the stove….cinnamon, pumpkin, apples….yes indeed. I’m almost ready to break out the tree and start decorating for the holidays! :O But maybe not just yet. I should probably celebrate this as fall for at least a week or two, right? LOL The kids have been asking for new and different healthy things they can bring to school to snack on, and they love pumpkin pie…so I thought, why not make up some pumpkin muffins? Easily transportable, and mostly nutritious…perfect! Once they were made, the kids gobbled them up so quickly they never even made it to school. hahaha Time to make some more.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to taste
Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC.
Lightly grease 8 ramekins with sunflower oil or butter.
Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.
Add pumpkin and egg and beat to combine.
Add milk and vanilla and continue to beat until well mixed.
Mix dry ingredients (up to oats) in a bowl, and add to sugar mixture.
Stir by hand just until combined.
Fill ramekins 3/4 full.
Combine streusel ingredients and top each muffin with mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
***note These can also be made in regular muffin cups, you should be able to get 12 muffins, and the baking time should be reduced to 25 minutes.