adventures in cookery pt 2

16 Jun

Having a borderline obsession with Spanish food and liking Rick Stein, I was thrilled at the prospect of his new show as it aired on BBC 2 last year.

Rick Stein’s Spain saw the Steinmeister travel across my favourite country visiting the regions of Valencia, Extremadura, Andalucia and Catalonia to name a few.  As always with Rick you get a bit of poetry here, a reading from Don Quixote there and reminiscences of childhood holidays.  A little later in the year, the series was followed up with a Christmas Spanish Special in London where he cooked a seasonal feast for all the people he’d met along the way and worked alongside Jose Pizarro.  Man, I love JP, he’s my favourite and totally awesome.  It also helps that after recently tweeting my intent to cook a pork stew recipe from his book, he replied “love it!” and followed it up the next day with “how was your stew, did you enjoy it? :)”  YES, IT WAS VERY VERY TASTY, THANK YOU, CANIBEYOURFRIENDPLEASETHANKYOU?

Jose Pizarro with Rick Stein

Ahem!  Anyway, my reason for telling you all this is that whilst glued to the TV, vegging out on the sofa and making Homer Simpson style drooling sounds, I made notes on what recipes I’d like to cook.  Come on, Fanny, stop imagining how lovely this would all taste and do it yourself!  

It was decided.  One Saturday, me and Carsmile would make all the tapas.  The menu looked a little something like this:

  • piperada
  • piquillo pepper stuffed with salt cod brandade
  • potatas bravas
  • leche frita
Essentially, everything was pretty tasty but the salt cod was incredibly salty!  After waking up the next day we realised that the heart palpitations and crazy-assed dreams were a result of some kind of salt OD.  We’d soaked the fish for half the time it needed.  Oooops.  Won’t make that mistake again!
So, having decided what to cook I set about sourcing recipes – I didn’t have the tie-in cook book at the time so pulled up some authentic looking recipes online.  The piperada is a combination of vegetables (onion, pepper, tomato, garlic) and ham with eggs.  It’s basically a veg omelette and I think I preferred a version I’d previously done – roasting lots of chopped vegetables and placing a runny fried egg on top (gorgeous and so easy).


Next up was the aforementioned salt cod stuffed peppers.  This was a reasonable amount of faff and if we’d have eaten one pepper each rather than a greedy two, we might have had a good night’s sleep!  I think I would attempt this again using better quality fish.

Piquillo Pepper stuffed with Salt Cod Brandade

Now for the classic potatas bravas.  So simple yet tapas bars seem to differ on this – some are too greasy, some too dry, others give tomato sauce to accompany the potatas while others offer aioli.  We went with this recipe and found it to be yummy.

Potatas Bravas

Finally pudding!  The deep fried milk looked kinda amazing and the recipe I found was easy to follow.  This was the one dish I made on my own as him indoors is not keen on milky deserts (rice pudding and the like).  I enjoyed this a lot and would attempt again but personally it could’ve been a little sweeter or maybe just drizzle with a touch of honey.

Leche Frita

OK!  We cooked some tapas, were happy with the results – collapse on sofa in front of CSI.  Do Saturday’s get any better than that?



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