Category Archives: Spanish

Pisto

Pisto manchego, is a Spanish recipe used as a side or main dish. It can also be a sauce for empanada. It can be eaten with rice, potatoes, and goes well with fried or hardboiled eggs. It’s similar to the French ratatouille, but with fewer spices or eggplant.

  • 1 large onion or 2 medium
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs oil (preferably olive)
  • 2 peppers (one red and one green)
  • 2 zucchini
  • 800-1000 grams (28 oz) diced/pureed canned tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste

The T-mix is perfect for this recipe. If using a T-mix chop the onion, garlic, and green peppers. If using the T-mix make sure they are in big chunks. They will get chopped finer later. Cook them for about 10 minutes. Add zucchini in large chunks and chop for a few seconds in the T-mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 30 minutes on 100 C.

If you use the T-mix, you can use the varoma to steam potatoes.

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Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Add cruitons for yummy factor

Add cruitons for yummy factor

We really hadn’t decided what to make with the cauliflower yet when we wrote out the menu yesterday… but we figured we would find something– and we did! Creamed soups are really good, nutritious, and easy. They don’t require a lot of fat to be absolutely delicious. So, tonight’s version was as follows:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 small carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 large cauliflower
  • 4 small/medium potatoes
  • bean sprouts
  • salt/pepper/curry powder
  • 3-4 cups water
  • feta cheese
  • sharp cheddar or freshly grated parmessan to top

Saute the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to brown in 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tbs olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients in large chunks. Do Not Add Cheese (feta or cheddar yet!). When vegetables are cooked, add feta and vegetable mixture and puree in the Thermomix or in a blender until smooth. Adding other cheeses will just stick to the blender so I prefer to top the puree with them. If you need more liquid at this point add milk.

Top with homemade cruitons (by frying bread squares in olive oil and garlic) and a good aged cheese! YUM

The Menu for this Week

Considering we are somewhat slow to put our pictures and recipes, we will put the week´s menu. Looking at the Living the Frugal Life has inspired us. It’s good to have the week ready so we can buy and prepare better. The weeks we don’t do it, it’s easier to get us in trouble.

Monday: Rice and Fish Salad

  • Brown Rice
  • Salmon and white fish
  • Vegetables
  • Mayo

Tuesday: Chiliquiles

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cheese
  • Tortillas

Wednesday: Cocido Madrileño (sin carne)

  • Vegetarian Cocido is an oxymoron, but with the heat of the summer seems the more apropiatte. Here is the wiki explanation.
  • Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) is the main ingredient.
  • We will dress it with olive oil, white wine vinager and salt.

Thursday: Tortilla Española (this is our recipe)

This week is a coincidence we have 2 meals from Spain.

Friday: Pizza

I hope we make spinach and other goodies.

Birthdays Parties!! (Back to the kitchen!)

Yesterday, on Friday night we celebrated our birthdays. They’re only 1 day apart! So we have to celebrate together, right? We invited almost 40 people! and only a few had to missed it. We were very excited for the party. It was very cool to have all the friends from Aalborg in one place. They were from different groups so it was nice to see them mixing.

It was an international party, besides Carlos (from Spain) and Sarah (from the U.S.) we had people from (East to West aprox.) Japan, Korea, China, Philippines, Ukraine, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, Great Britain, Senegal, Ghana, Island, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and California, and the ones who missed it were from New Zealand, India and Iran. All of this of course doesn’t count the people from Denmark.

Anyways this is food blog, so here we share the menu of the snacks. We put little signs with the dishes, since the international crowd would not know what it is. In our experience we have seen that it can be somewhat confusing trying something new that you have not idea what it is.

Birthday Party Menu:

For exact recipes please ask for it.

Spanish Empanada
Tuna, eggs, tomato, onion, peppers
This recipe was given to Carlos by his grandmother on her death bed.

American Potato Salad
Potatoes, eggs, mayo, celery, green onions, pickles, mustard
American as Coca-Cola. This is an authentic dish at every American party.

“Tex-Mex” 7 layer dip

Spiced pinto beans, (mexican) salsa, crème fraiche (sour cream), cheese, guacamole, green onions, and fresh tomatoes
This recipe comes from our days in Texas. Please don’t ask for this secret recipe.

Danish Carrots and Celery with American Dip
This is an amazing combination that keeps amazing generations.

Hummus
Garbanzo bean, lemon, sesame, olive oil
Middle Eastern Specialty (recently there has been an argument about if is Jewish or Palestinian)

Turrón
Traditional Spanish Christmas Candy.
These samples have been especially brought to you from Spain by Sarah and Carlos.


There were also other things and store-bought dips. There were plenty of chips to dip, but it took a while for many guests to get the concept. Some of them were eating all the dips with spoons!

We noticed that our vegetarian friend was pretty glad that everything was vegetarian (except the tuna of the Empanada).

p.s. So, now after the first trimester of Sarah’s pregnancy, it seems we’re back in the food blog businesses!

Mixed Bean Chili with Chicken

This is a five star meal. When we lived in Texas, our friend Eric prepared a chili like this. We tried to emulate him, and we think we came up with a good combination. We found this white bean chili from the new homemaker, and Sarah thought that adding cream would be good to thicken it. The challenge here is to make an American recipe with European products.  

Every time we do beans, Carlos has the idea of making a typical Spanish, Judias Pintas con Chorizo (recipe by Peepa – spanish). But Sarah, can only think about American-Mexican Chili. The main difference is the spiciness. Meals in Spain are like the rest of the Europeans, mild and not spicy, while Mexican dishes, can be quite hot. Carlos asked his Spanish grandma to cook these beans for Sarah the last last time we where there. She liked them, but Sarah still doesn’t think its necessary to put chorizo in the pinto beans just like Carlos wouldn’t dream of puting tortilla chips in the beans. So, Carlos drops in some slices of chorizo and Sarah makes sure the dish is topped off with tortilla chips.

We where helping some friends move, so we thought it would be good to do a crockpot meal. We brought the crockpot from the U.S.  We have never seen crockpots, or slow-cookers in Europe. We have theories about that, but we will stick this time to the recipe. We are convinced though, that the best way to make any kind of stew is using a crockpot. Not only because you can achieve a great flavor, as all the ingredients mix very well during the hours, but it is really easy to prepare.

You just basically throw all the ingredients in the pot:

  • White beans (in this recipe we use a higher percentage of white beans) 1+ cups
  • Pinto Beans (one cup dry)
  • Garbanzo Beans (one cup dry)
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chili peppers/jalapenos (to taste) we used 3 or 4 slices from a jar. It was mild but had just a hint of spice.
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1/4 or 1/2 chicken* or a chicken breast (with the bones) and a few legs. Take off most of (85%) the skin.
  • Chorizo (about 200 gr. or 1/4 pound or less)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cummin (1 tsp approx)
  • Paprika (1/2 tbs approx)
  • Oregano (1tbs approx)
  • Water to cover the beans by about 1 inch 

Top with:

  • fresh Cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • cheese (cheddar where available)
  • sour cream/creme freche

*you can use chicken breasts, but you will not have the enhanced flavor of the bones. For stews it is always better to add some bones. In Europe is easier to find whole chickens, so just use a half/quarter. In the US sometimes it’s hard to get meat with bones, you can always use some yummy chemicals (like dried bouillons or canned prepared soups).

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook in the crockpot

We left the food cooking for about 8 hours. When we came back, we were hungry and the house smelled delicious. Another trick when using the crockpot is to cover it with a couple of rags, so the heat and the smell don’t get lost around the house… 🙂 This is Carlos’s invention on how to save electricity because he says it keeps the heat in the crockpot. I thought it was ridiculous at first, but i have to admit that it cooks faster.
For the beans use about a handful and a half for every person. We recommend adding a few more just in case just in case you want leftovers or its really yummy and you have seconds or thirds!

Spanish Carrot Cake

This recipe is from Carlos’s Grandma. It isn’t a sweet carrot cake like we have in the US, its like a breakfast cake but if you put cream cheese frosting on it then it can be a desert cake.

Breakfast Carrot Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (if needed)

Mix wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients separately. Add dry ingredients to wet ones adding the milk if needed.

Bake at 170 for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Empanada de Ham and Egg

Leeks and egg (left) ham (right)

Empanadas: Leeks and egg (left) ham (right)

We ate this for brunch and it was perfect. I also recommend making up the crust in advance and then freezing it. Julien, a French friend of ours recommended that we do that with pie crusts and from this experience it really really works much better.

Dough: Recipe taken from a Thermomix book.

  • 400 gr. flour
  • 180 gr. butter at room temperature
  • 70 gr. water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Put all ingredients in the t-mix in the order they are listed and mix for 15 seconds speed 6. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and divide in 2 or 4 if you are useing smaller baking dishes. I suggest you freeze them like this. Later thaw out over night and roll out until thin.

Fillings:

  • sliced ham
  • cream cheese
  • eggs
  • leeks

There are many fillings you can use. The one we did today was a layer of flavored cream cheese, a layer of ham, and a layer of beaten egg with leeks mixed in.  It was really good, but you can use any type of cheese you like.

Another idea is to do ham, cheese, and dates! The contrast between the sweet and the savory is delicious. If you want to add more calories you can add a layer of cooked bacon to either recipe as well!

Finally, bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 20-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.