Cumin roasted and fried squash, potatoes and cannellini beans…

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Cumin roasted and fried squash, potatoes and cannellini beans...

I reckon this is a dish I could eat a lot of, and on its own. It is a mouthful to say and indeed a mouthful to eat! And a fine mouthful at that.

I had a butternut squash but wanted to experiment rather than just roast it straight. I peeled the beast, cut it into rings then halved the pieces. I then cut about 8 baby new potatoes in half.

I gurzled – new word I just made up (and I like it!) – some olive oil into a roasting tin and scattered over 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds . I popped this into a hot oven – 200c- for about 10 minutes, then added (carefully mind) the squash pieces and the potatoes. I then put the roasting tin back in the oven for around 40 minutes.

I had a loin of pork in the oven roasting satisfyingly away to itself on a bed of 4 halved long shallots and when it was ready I rescued the onions and put to one side.

Whilst the meat rested, I took out the squash and spuds and added it all to a large frying pan to which I added the shallots and a 400 gm tin of drained cannellini beans. Oh, and a little pinch of a garam masala mix. A little salt and pepper was duly ground over also and stirred gently for 5 minutes or so whilst everything got romantically aromatic.

The smell was divine. Rapturous. Roasting it first and then transferring it to finish off with the beans and shallots was a good move, if not economical on the washing up side of things!

Just for the sake of completing the circle – my main intention was after all to draw your attention to the fabulous squash dish – I added 125 gm of vegetable stock to the pork juices in the pan plus a tablespoon of crème fraîche and some black pepper.

The whole meal was one of my favourite Sunday spreads for a while.

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Anytime is tortilla time….

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Anytime is tortilla time....

Tonight I stared into the abyss that is the end of the week cupboard…staring back at me were 6 free range eggs and a jar of cornichons. Ok….let’s flip the fridge open…..8 slices of prosciutto. Hmmm….in the veg rack were several potatoes minding their own business and 4 shallots snoozing softly.

Nothing to be done other than a dish redolent of Spanish nights, aimed solely at dispelling the rusting rainy weather engulfing my corner of the globe presently.

Tortilla. Paradise on a plate.

So, I poured a glass of finest Spanish Cava to set me on the right path and began peeling and slicing. I even popped Mana on the sound system.

This simple piece of bliss was around 6 spuds peeled, halved and sliced. 4 shallots peeled and chopped. A frying pan coated with plenty of olive oil, heated then add the pots and shallots. Coax around the pan until starting to brown a little – about 15 to 20 minutes on a lowish to medium heat. I was a bit cheeky tonight because I also added a finely sliced green birdseye chilli.

Warmth.

I then beat 6 free range eggs with plenty of black pepper and some ground sea salt – added this to the pan and let it drift into every nook and cranny.

Another five minutes then place the frying pan under a hot grill until the egg is setting and browning. Remove. Place a platter over, pray and flip!

Voila!

I served it with the prosciutto, cornichon and some fennel salami. I also has some warm crusty ciabatta and mixed green salad on the side.

Perfecto!

Gracias!

Red & Green Salsa…

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Red & Green Salsa...

Salsa…simply Spanish for sauce..which does not do justice to this stunning summer dish that I made yesterday for an early evening garden supper. Why anyone buys this from a supermarket I do not understand – they never taste anything like the home made variety. This is one of my takes on a common theme of toms and chillies. We had it with stacks of warm ciabatta and prosciutto.

INGREDIENTS

4 tasty toms, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber peeled and deseeded
1 red chilli deseeded and chopped
1 green chilli deseeded and chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
Clove of garlic, finely chopped
Bunch of Greek basil – the one with small leaves, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Decent extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Pop all ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Add a good glug of balsamic vinegar and about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix again. Season to taste. Refrigerate for a little while to let all the flavours collide, merge and marry. The kick is good and the fresh feeling lingers long. 

Pick and mix salad lunch…

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Pick and mix salad lunch...

Healthy mode today – my wife recuperating from an op so I decided to go for a big salad with cold meats and anchovies on the side. Managed to source some superb Pane Pugliese on my shopping travels this morning – toasted and drizzled with olive oil it was a fine partner to the affair, I served mortadella, serrano ham, two varieties of Italian salami and some superb cold rare beef left over from yesterday.

The salad plate was a pick and mix – lettuce and cucumber in the centre, and around it, vine tomatoes and basil, radishes, fennel sliced in lemon juice, French salad onions finely sliced – then I drizzled over my own échalotes vinaigrette – 5 tbsps sunflower oil, 2 tbsps white wine vinegar – 1 tbsp dijon mustard and 2 small échalotes finely chopped and a dash of black pepper and rock salt to taste. Pop it all in a small jar with a lid and shake like there is no tomorrow.

Surprising how filling it all was – and it was lovely spending quality time with my family at the table at lunch time.