Sunday, August 30, 2009

Manchego and quince

This is another tapas (small Spanish "snack", usually eaten before dinner) we got to try in Spain. It is Spanish Manchego cheese that is eaten with a sweet paste made of quince. We brought with us two huge pieces of each and I cannot get enough of it.

The cheese is made of sheep´s milk, it is mild in flavour and it is a wonderful companion to the quince paste. In general I just love everything about quince, and this combination has become my new quince favourite.

I also want to try the combination of quince cooked in syrup and Manchego, could be something. The fall and first quince are soon here and I believe I will give it a try.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shrimps with mango

When you add shrimps and coriander to the Mexican style mango you get the most amazing summer starter. Or you can also add some cooked rice and you will have a wonderful summer main dish.

Marinade and vinaigrette are made with the same ingredients, so you just need to mix everything together and divide between two bowls, one for the shrimp marinade and other one for the vinaigrette.

Shrimps with mango
serves 2
200 gr raw shrimps, peeled
1 mango

1 lemon or 2 limes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or 1 fresh chili
bunch fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Chop coriander. Grate the lemon peel and squeeze the juice. Put in a bowl and add olive oil, cayenne pepper, chopped coriander, salt and pepper. Divide between two bowls. In the first bowl add shrimps and set aside.

Cut the mango so that you have two halves. Cut each half in small cubes, be careful not to cut through skin. Turn inside out, peel of the cubes and add to the second bowl with the vinaigrette.

Heat a pan. Cook the shrimps until cooked through, about 2 minutes each side. Add to the mango and serve.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Woodland strawberry

Woodland strawberry grows in the woods and it is the queen of all berries. It is very tiny so the taste is very concentrated, flavorful, sweet and different to the taste of the regular strawberry.

My boyfriend who is Mexican has never tried the woodland strawberry and that had to be changed. As we live in Europe right now and woodland strawberry grows here, I bought two plants at the market and they have been adorning our windows for some weeks now.

The lady at the market told me that these are two-year plants so next year we can look forward some woodland strawberries as well. Not that the two plants I bought will give lots of strawberries but for sure we will be able to have a taste.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Oven tomatoes and garlic

This is the most simple and the most amazing way of preparing tomatoes. It is the Spanish way, and Spanish know their tomatoes.
They were served to us as tapas at one of the many tapas bars we visited in Spain this summer.
After some 45 minutes in the oven the taste of the tomato gets concentrated and the garlic transfers into a roasted mushy divine.

Oven tomatoes and garlic
serves 2
4 small tomatoes
6 garlic cloves in their skin
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven, 180C. Cut tomatoes in halves and drop some olive oil on each half. Season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven together with the garlic and roast for about 45 minutes. Time depends on how big the tomatoes and garlic are. The garlic should be soft and mushy when squeezed.
When done, squeeze some of the garlic on each half of the tomato, season more if necessary, drop some more olive oil if you like. I also sprinkled some dried oregano.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rapeseed, 3rd part

When I returned to check on the rapeseed it was gone. The farmer had done his harvest.

I did find couple of straws on the side of the road and this is how the seeds look like when ready for harvest:

I cannot imagine how many of these tiny seeds you need to get one litre of rapeseed oil. I would have loved to find out and to continue the story about how the cold pressed rapeseed oil is made, but unfortunately my story about the rapeseed field ends here.
And as I mentioned before I only use cold pressed rapeseed oil, I never heat it and I store it in the fridge.