Roast Aubergine Pâté

20 Roast Aubergine Pâté

This pâté is one of my favourite summer recipes. I love eating it, on some crisp toast, on a warm evening with a glass of red wine to hand. I also love to cook it, as the smell of the roasting vegetables, and in particular the thyme, fills the whole kitchen with rich summer aromas.

In our allotment the summer vegetables are in full swing and most end up in the kitchen for use in some recipe or other. We are also picking lots of fruit from our trees, yes summer is with us and we are enjoying it, and its bounty, enormously.

In spite of all this my thoughts turn to winter, as there are also many signs that this summer season is coming to an end, that the clock is ticking and that autumn and indeed winter is just round the corner……

21 Aubergines

Yesterday I was digging part of the allotment over to plant winter vegetables. Before the week is out it will be full of brassicas as well as chard and borage. The other big sign for us is the start of the school year as my wife is an English teacher. I can only hope that things are different this year, but I doubt it! The Spanish education system has unfortunately been infiltrated by legions of do-gooders. The problem is so rife in Spain that they too now have a word for it, “El Buenismo”.

The word was accepted into the “official” dictionary, the “DRAE”  (Diccionario de la Real Academia Española) in 2017. It is described as “thoughts and actions that although well intentioned are ingenuous, based on sentimentality, and have a total disregard for the actual results achieved”. A hard-hitting but unfortunately accurate definition!     

 

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

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Tropical Salad and Mayonnaise

14 Tropical Salad

Not a long article this week as we have some French friends here with us at the moment. I did however want to share a quick recipe, or indeed two, that I thought you might like! This week I will be talking about a most unusual salad and how to make mayonnaise.

Firstly let’s talk about the salad…….

This salad is one we first made years ago. It is written on a scrap of paper, and we have no idea where it came from. I have never seen anything like it on the Internet nor in any of the numerous restaurants I have visited. To be honest I am not sure whether that is good or bad!

It is a heavy and rich salad, perfect as a small starter, to get the gastric juices flowing before further courses are served. It can create quite an impact at your next candlelit supper, served in a wine glass or similar a little like the ubiquitous prawn cocktails from my youth. It is perfect for summer, being both refreshing and delicious.

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Archive Photograph

Secondly let’s talk about mayonnaise or, as they call it here, mahonesa……

If you ask a Spaniard where mahonesa comes from, they will say that it was a creation of the coastal town of Mahon on the Spanish island of Minorca. The French, including the friends that are staying with us here at the moment, would perhaps say it is a French creation.

 

To read the rest of the article and to viewe the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

No-Churn Golden Oreo Ice-Cream

15 No-Churn Golden Oreo Ice Cream

Sometimes the simplest things in life are best, like a good vanilla ice-cream on a hot summer’s day. I love vanilla ice-cream, yet it is often difficult to find. Other, more complex flavour combinations, are often much more readily available. It is almost as if the ice-cream manufacturers feel they need to push the flavour boundaries to sell their products. Life today seems to be all about bigger, better, faster or further……

I will never forget talking to a work colleague about having seen a fox whilst out cycling in the mountains. She told me I was lucky to be able to find pleasure in such simple things. She told me that Spain had little new to offer her, basically that she had seen all that the country had to offer! She said she had recently been skiing in Alaska and had taken a trip on a boat down the Amazon on another holiday, as alas there was nothing of interest to be found more locally………

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Village of Encinacorba (Archive Photograph)

Yes, as I have said, I actually enjoy the simple things in life, like a simple bicycle ride to a local village. One of the first villages I visited around here was Encinacorba, thanks to Javier, another colleague from where I used to work. Nestling away in the hills, with a municipal swimming pool that has some of the best views around, it is well worth a visit.

 

To read the rest of the artcle and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Rancid Meatballs

33 Rancide meatballs

This recipe is one of my wife’s specialities, and in spite of its name, is in fact delicious. Her paternal ancestors come from Sallent de Gállego in the Pyrenees, and this wine and dish are typical from there. Luckily the wine itself is available in other parts of Spain, for example the one I used here comes from Almonacid de la Sierra near Zaragoza. It comes from a bodega I mentioned recently in a previous article, and can be accessed via this link.

Whenever I use a hard-to-get ingredient I invariable include a link to where it can be found on Amazon. On this occasion however I could not find any on their international website. For those of you who live outside of Spain I would therefore recommend you substitute this rancid wine with a strong dry sherry.

When it comes to serving these meatballs, we opted for spaghetti just like Jack Lemmon in the film “The Apartment”.  Whenever I think of spaghetti and meatballs I think of Jack Lemmon draining the water from the pasta with a tennis racket!

01 Jack Lemon

Archive Photograph

I like the film, it is in fact one of my favourites and is also highly rated by many critics and film producers. José Luis Borau, who was a famous Spanish film director and also the president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture, considered it one of the greatest films of all time……………

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Empanadillas de Crema (Custard Filled Mini-Pasties)

22 Empanadillas de Crema

Today’s recipe, and indeed the one I published last week, don’t include precise quantities for all of the ingredients. As an engineer, and someone who loves precision in all things, I sometimes find this hard to handle. Phrases like “Add just enough flour to ensure that the dough is no longer sticky” can give me the heebie-jeebies. Quantities are but one use of numbers, and there are many more.

For me the best, and indeed worst thing about numbers, is their precision. Numbers are black and white…..

I was out cycling over the weekend on a circuit I know well. I wanted to complete the route in under 2 hours, something I had never been able to do before. I did it in 2 hours and 35 seconds. Some might think I had done enough to achieve my goal, but for a man of precision like me, even 1 second over is still 1 second too many.

99 Prime Numbers

Numbers of course exist so that we can count things……

The junior school I went to was big on mathematics. I put much of my own mathematical agility down to a game we often played. Each child was given a random card with an arithmetical calculation on one side and a number on the other. One of us would start by reading out the calculation on our card, the person who had the number that matched the answer would call it out then read their card’s calculation. So it went until every child had read out their card. The teacher timed us to see if we improved over time. Simple but effective.

 

To read the rest of the article and view the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Papas Arrugadas (Canarian Wrinkly Potatoes)

15 Papas Arrugadas

In my articles I tend to talk about the recipe I am presenting, or at least something associated with that recipe. That is not the case today.

Today I am moved to put pen to paper to write about one of the scourges of Spanish society, driving under the influence of drink or (other) drugs. I heard on the television news, just a couple of days ago, that for the umpteenth time some cyclists had been killed on Spanish roads.

This time a trio, mother, father and son were hit by a motor car. The road was as straight as a die, the visibility was good, but the driver was five times over the legal limit. The result, the  parents were killed and the orphaned son is currently in hospital recovering from his injuries.

I obviously blame these drunk drivers for their extreme negligence, temerity and complete disregard for other road users. A car in the hand of a drunken driver is as much a weapon as a gun or a knife and should be treated as such in law.

I therefore also blame the “powers that be”, for not changing the law to increase the very lenient sentences currently in place. At best a firmer sentence will dissuade others from taking to the wheel when under the influence. At worst the offenders would be off the road, in gaol for a long time and therefore unable to destroy other lives and families.    

01 Papas 01

I also blame the legal system for not taking lesser traffic infractions more seriously, in this case a stitch in time could end up saving lives……..

 

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Apricot and Ginger Rock Cakes

15 Apricot and Ginger Rock Cakes

When I told my Mother that this week’s recipe was going to be some rock cakes, she replied by saying it had been a long time since she had eaten any. That got me thinking about other traditional cakes from back home. It also had me recalling fond memories of calling into cake shops, and sampling their wares, whilst delivering milk as a youth.

For many years my parents had a milk round. It must be one of the hardest jobs going, long hours, seven days a week, often 365 days a year, out in all weathers and having to put up with cantankerous customers. They must have done something right though because the business grew year on year. This was no mean feat as in those days there were plenty of other milkmen around and if you upset a customer they could easily turn to another milkman to get their daily supply!

Hard work yes, and I am sure I complained at the time, but I also have some very good memories too:

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Archive Photograph – Colne

An elderly lady way down the bottom of Newtown Street…… it was a long walk down for a gill of milk, and she always wanted something extra. My father would go down with extra milk, or with some cream, or eggs just in case. He invariably had to make two trips however, as she would often ask for something he wasn’t carrying. He never complained though, at least not to her……….

 

To read the rest of the article and to view the reicpe please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge