Spanish polycromatic symphony that your eyes enjoy before your stomach.
Paella is a Spanish rice dish. It originated in the fields of a region called Valencia in eastern Spain but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces.A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice, various meats , vegetables or seafood. Paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked.
There is a wide variety of paella, such: 1.Paella Valenciana – The original paella was born in Valencia. Besides rice, this includes chicken and pork. 2. Paella de Marisco (Seafood paella) – This paella does not contain meat. It usually contains prawns, mussels, calamares, clams, and other seafood. 3. Paella Mixta – This paella is a mixture of the paella Valenciana and the paella de marisco. It contains both meat and seafood. Sometimes this paella is called Paella Andaluz. 4. Paella Vegetariana – This paella contains a variety of vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers, and rice and does not include any meat or seafood. 5. Paella Negra – This paella is cooked with squid ink and looks black. It may have very small squid.
- Ingredients for 4 serves:
- 10-14 raw shell-on king prawns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g cuttlefish, cut into chunks
- 8 shrimp tails
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper (optional)
- 250g paella rice
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- pinch of saffron
- 1/4 x 200g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
- 300g mussels cleaned
- 100g frozen peas
- handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- ½ x 200g can chopped tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Shrimp heads
- Prawn shells
- Peel and de-vein the prawns (remove the dark dorsal vein), reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
- To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and shrimp heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour 2 litres of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
- Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Add chopped cuttlefish . shrimp tails and sautè for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
- Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the cuttelfish & shrimp tails to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas (and if you desire the red pepper cut in stripes)
- Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving.
Enjoy with white wine made from the Alvarinho ( a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia ), Verdejo ( a variety of wine grape that has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain) or sauvignon blanc grapes. These wines should also be served well chilled, between 5 and 8ºC
This 2 ingredients instant ice cream will be ready quicker than it takes to eat it. It comes out of the food processor like soft-serve ice cream. You only need a very ripe banana and cherries. Experiment by adding other frozen fruits such frozen strawberries, peaches, apricots, berries but you can add also nutella, peanut or pistachio butter. All you need is a freezer and a blender. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 1 person :
- 1 ripe or overripe banana, sliced and frozen (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
- 10 pitted and frozen cherries (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
- Maple or agave syrup 1 tbs (optional)
- Add bananas and cherries to the food processor and blend.
- At first the banana pieces will look crumbled or smashed. Scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times to make sure everything gets blitzed and continue to blend until smooth, approximately 4 -5 minutes.
- Scoop ice-cream into bowls or cones and serve immediately with chocolate chips or chopped cherries
If the fruits are frozen rock-hard, leave it to thaw for about 10 minutes before blitzing, this will make it easier on the food processor
Discover the tastiest italian iced “crema di caffe’ freddo as it is prepared in Italians bars and your coffee willl never be the same again.
A creamy and fluffy alternative to traditional coffee. Crema di caffe’ is an icy mixture of espresso and whipping cream served in small transparent glasses. Enjoy!
- 150 ml espresso coffee
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp Nutella (optional)
1. Prepare an espresso.
Dissolve the sugar in the espresso . At this point if you desire you can add 1 tbs of Nutella. Mix to dissolve
2. In a deep mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream (300ml) until soft peaks form.
3. Add the espresso coffee
4. Whip again 1 min until homogeneous
4. Pour the mixture into a plastic container and leave in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Leave larger quantities in the freezer for longer
5. Once cooled, take the desire amount , whip it or blend it with a handblend until smooth and creamy
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on the top. You can decorate the inside of the glass with some Nutella to give color & chocolate flavor. Enjoy!
My lovely cousin Eleni (excellent lawyer and mother) who lives in the beautiful Heraklion in the Greek island of Crete gives me this savory recipe for “amigdalosalata”. A fresh and healthy sauce that will get your mouth watering, made by greek strained yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise, almonds and a good amount of fresh dill (Anethum graveolens).
If you’re looking for a herb perfumed sauce to serve alongside steak, this is the right one. Amigdalosalata doesn’t require any cooking and can be ready in no time. Enjoy!
( Many thanks to Eleni, Filimon & Nikolas for the exciting moments that we have lived together last month)
Ingredients: 1 kg strained greek yogurt, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp mustard, 1 bunch of fresh dill, 1 cup of almonds without skin
Method: Cut each almond in 2-3 parts. Chop the bunch of dill.
In a large bowl place all ingredients together (Yogurt , mayonnaise , mustard , chopped dill & almonds). Mix it well and season to taste.
Get grilling and enjoy you summer!
Portobello stuffed mushrooms with 3 different cheeses. When rich and fresh ricotta pairs well with earthy mushrooms in a timeless hot appetizer. Stuffed mushrooms with spinach/fresh ricotta mixture, savory cheddar bottom, freshly grated parmesan on top. Eat it hot!
Ingredients: 5 handfuls mushrooms – 80 gr ricotta cheese – 5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese – 50 gr cheddar cheese – handful of spinach -1 garlic clove – olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Remove the stalks (they come out easily) and cut them into pieces
- Heat a pan with olive oil, when hot add garlic & stalks. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems for about 5 min, then add a handful of spinach & salt. Cook for 3-4 min stirring often. Turn off the heat .
- Add ricotta to spinach & stir to combine
- Brush the mushroom caps with oil, salt (and pepper if you desire)
- Place pieces of cheddar cheese at the bottom of each mushroom cup
- Fill with the ricotta stuffing, place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over each mushroom.
- Bake for 20 min or until the cheese is golden. Bon appétit!
Fettuccine Alfredo is a traditional Italian pasta dish – incredibly tasty in their semplicity-made from fettuccine tossed with a soft Parmesan cheese and butter . As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich coating on the pasta. Original Alfredo sauce should never include heavy cream, double cream or italian panna. The creaminess of this sauce is the result of an emulsion between the pasta water (rich of starch), grated fat parmesan (not aged) and melted butter.
Fettuccine Alfredo has been invented by Alfredo Di Lelio in 1892 in his restaurant in piazza Rosa in Rome.
Ingredients for 2 servings : 200 gr. egg fettuccine
1 cup grated fat parmesan (not aged)
200 gr unsalted butter
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
1. In large pot, cook fettuccine as directed on package until “al dente”, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
2. While fettuccine is cooking, tranfer 1 cup of pasta cooking water to a large skillet and bring to a boil. Add the butter and whisk gently to melt.
3. Gradually add parmesan. Stir to incorporate.
4. Quickly drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, gently toss fettuccine to coat in the Alfredo sauce. Adding more pasta cooking water as needed to form a velvet cream.
5 Top with pepper and more grated cheese.Serve immediately
Extremely inviting , flavorful & delicious rack of lamb. Green crust outside, juicy pink inside. A colorful idea for Easter. Incredibly easy recipe in 4 simply steps. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 2 large racks of lamb cut in half with their bones per serving
salt – ground pepper – olive oil – 2 tablespoons Dijon or other mustard of your choice
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- sprig of parsley
- sprig of mint
- sprig of thyme
- sprig of rosemary
- sprig of basil
- 1 garlic clove
- CRUST: Place all ingredients for the crust into a blender and pulse several times until is homogeneous green. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200°.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1 lamb rack to pan and “seal it “. Cook few minutes (about 4min) on each side enough to develop color. Remove lamb from pan. Repeat with remaining lamb rack.
2. Brush Dijon mustard over every side of each rack ,
3. Then press green breadcrumb mixture all over.
4.Transfer the pan with the lamb into the oven and bake for 7-8 min.
Let stand 10 min, then cut into chops. Serve with herb roasted baby potatoes, stuffed mushrooms and a fresh glass of Leone Rosso wine, doc Orcia 2010 (By Donatella’s Cinelli Colombini factory). Enjoy a happy Easter!
Crunchy, herb scented roast potatoes with a pinch of grated cheese. A lovely accompaniment for meat dishes. They’re easy to make and the variations are endless. You can add ground pepper, paprika, dry garlic, dry onion, herbed breadcrumbs, fresh or dry herbs of your choice. Enjoy them with herb crusted rack of lamb or with your traditional easter lamb recipe and a fresh glass of wine.
Ingredients: 1 kg baby potatoes, garlic powder, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano Reggiano, 1/3 cup olive oil, 4 tbs chopped parsley, 4 tbs chopped thyme, 4 tbs chopped rosemary.
Method: Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). In a large bowl mix oil , parmigiano Reggiano, garlic powder & chopped herbs. Add potatoes, sprinkle generously with salt and toss to coat.
Spread potatoes in single layer on large baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.
Roast until tender and golden brown for about 1 hour- 1 h 15 min Stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with additional herbs mix & salt. Serve hot or warm.
A trick to getting your kids to eat eggs? Beetroot colored pickled eggs is the perfect solution. Beautiful and full of proteins. Easy, tasty, cheap & kid friendly. Try these pickled eggs in a green salad or alone such an appetizer and enjoy a happy Easter!
- 6 hard cooked eggs, peeled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup beetroot juice
- Place eggs in saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil for 12 min. Lift into a bowl of cold water and cool. Peel and put into a sterilised jar.
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, vinegar and beet juice to a boil.
- Pour liquid over eggs in the jar. Seal well & cool.
- Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
Delicious , succulent , crispy outside – juicy pink inside – lamb souvlaki previously marinated in olive oil , oregano , thyme, onion, lemon or lime juice, coriander , garlic , salt and pepper
Ingredients for 3 souvlaki
250 gr lamb leg or shoulder cut into 2cm cubes
1 red onion
1 red pepper
Marinade: Olive oil, 1 lemon, mediterranean herbs such oregano, thyme, mint, coriander. Onion, garlic, salt & ground pepper
- Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes
- In a large bowl mix all ingredients for marinade.
- Put the lamb pieces into the bowl with the marinade, cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- After 4 hours (or after one night) peel and cut the onions, chop the peppers into 2cm pieces and assemble the lamb souvlaki alternating lamb, wedges of onion and pieces of pepper.
- Brush the lamb with olive oil and cook over hot grill for about 8-10 minutes, until cooked to your liking.
- Serve with hot Greek pita bread, tzatziki sauce and fresh Retsina of Attica “Kourtaki” (Greek resinated – with pine resin – wine)