Palometa en salsa / Atlantic Pomfret in Sauce

20 Palometa en Salsa

So why Atlantic Pomfret when there are so many other better-known fish to choose from? In spite of what you might think, it was not my intent to baffle you all with a relatively unknown fish. I chose the fish in question for a couple of reasons…….

Firstly, because I had never tried it before. That alone is reason enough for me to buy it, as I am not particularly interested in playing it safe where food is concerned. Secondly, it was recommended by the Greenpeace website I often frequent, which portrays the fish that are in season and therefore environmentally better to eat. Thirdly, it had been caught by relatively traditional means in the sea. I am very much against fish farms and avoid consuming their fish whenever I can. Although we have done much to better the conditions of the land animals we eat, giving them better more natural living conditions, I am not convinced we have advanced much in the world of pisciculture.

I am not a vegetarian, I eat just about anything that falls on my plate, I do however try and eat sensibly and as ecologically as I can.  I look for animals that have been reared naturally or caught in the wild and I also try to eat local produce. I grow my own fruit and vegetables as naturally as I can. I believe it is the healthier option, it is also often the cheaper option.

The hunting season here started last weekend. The neighbour passes me his excess, so my freezer now has a couple more rabbits and a hare than it did. He started giving me his game some time ago, and he always gave it to me skinned and ready to cook. One day he forgot, the rabbits arrived whole, hide and all!

Many, many moons ago back in Lancashire I used to go hunting with local farmer friends. Recalling how they skinned their rabbits I decided to give it a go……..

 

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Advertisements

Tarta Tres Chocolates / Three Chocolates Tart

23 Tarta tres chocolates - Cut

The recipe today is a simple yet spectacular pudding. It has an absolutely perfect cake shop like finish with glossy smooth lines and a mirror-like surface…… and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. It is a chocoholic’s dream given form!

It was given to me by a young lady from here in the village. She is a bright, respectful girl, full of vitality and plans for the future, an example of what is best in the youth of today. Unfortunately I suspect that she is in the minority.

The youth of today, at least where I live, show a singular lack of respect for others and the property of others. I see them here, taking anything that’s not tied down, damaging whatever falls in their path, be it the work of man or of nature. Not only are they oblivious to reprimand, they take it with an insolent stance that borders on outright defiance.

In the village here the mayor has done much to improve the town, with some new installations and improvements to the existing ones. Returning home yesterday I saw further evidence of vandalism and the first daubs of graffiti on walls. This is a small village with perhaps a dozen children and adolescents, yet even here there is a growing disregard for the property of others….. and unfortunately it is more than just one or two of them. From where I sit and write this I can see much of the village and the majority of the youth at play……..

01 Alfalfa

Graffiti is a scourge that is difficult to eradicate, any would-be poet can cheaply buy a tin of spray-paint and scrawl his thoughts across some publicly or privately owned space. What is it that makes them think that they have the right to paint on the buildings of others? Then of course there are those that consider it art!! Most of what one sees goes little further than to profess the love, or hatred for some person or cause. If one is very lucky, at least the message will be grammatically correct and have few spelling errors……. 

02 Panaderia

Having said all the above, one of the nearer villages opened its doors, or should I say walls, to graffiti artists…… and the emphasis here is on the last word, artists. They have turned the village of Alfamén into an open air art gallery…………

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Lincoln’s Lancashire Hotpot

28 Lincoln's Lancashire hotpot

I have called this week’s recipe “Lincoln’s Lancashire Hotpot” because two Lincolns are involved in the story of this recipe…… but before I talk about the Lincolns, let me talk about a Trevor…….

This recipe was actually requested by Trevor, a friend from my dim and distant youth. A friend with whom I have had little contact until relatively recently when, thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we have managed to share the odd conversation. He lived about half a mile from me, at the bottom of the hill, and we used to “knock around” quite a bit in our early teens. I also enjoyed being in his mother’s kitchen, enveloped in all those wonderful aromas whilst watching her bake.

As a couple of tykes we got into all sorts of scrapes! I recall on one occasion I went on a camping trip with him and his parents. I remember being surrounded by families and caravans as we discussed the inner workings of a toy rocket, that was absorbing all our attention, with a single-mindedness that only the young can display.

99 Winewall

I lived at the top of the hill (Archive Photograph)

I remember the toy consisted of the rocket, a base structure and a pumping mechanism. We had to pump air into the rocket and then let it go, the compressed air giving it the power to fly high into the sky. The instruction booklet made it quite clear just what the maximum amount of pumping was.

I mean come on games manufacturers, how can you think that a couple of young rascals aren’t going to give it an extra pump or two, or ten? Using true scientific method, we started to steadily increase the pressure to see just how high we could make it fly……….

 

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Traditional Rice Pudding

07 Traditional Rice Pudding

Whilst cooking the Coney in Confit for last week’s article I decided to cook a rice pudding too. I cooked the coney on the traditional wood fired stove, which is an “all or nothing” cooker. I can’t just heat one of the rings on the hob, or not heat the oven. I could probably have a dozen pans going at once and several things baking away in the oven.

08 Wood fired stove

When using this stove I almost always decide to cook a couple of extra meals, perhaps something for the following day, perhaps something that is easy to freeze for a later date, or perhaps a pudding, in this case a rice pudding. I particularly like the recipe I have for you today, because it is so easy. It is almost a pop in the oven and forget sort of recipe! There are perhaps few basic ingredients like rice, for example you can:……………….

 

…………..I would recommend that my Spanish readers give my rice a try in spite of it being cooked in a non-Spanish way. I know that many Spaniards believe that British food is way below par, but did you Spaniards know that more than one British person believes that Spain’s internationally acclaimed cuisine is lousy? I suspect that the real problem is that for some Brits, Spanish food is too different, something they are not used to eating.

More than one British diner has turned their nose up at snails, whole baby squid, pig’s snout, sheep’s brains or edible thistles to name but a few.…………………

 

To read the full article and the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Coney (or Chicken) in Confit

13 Coney in Confit

Before I start let me state immediately that this recipe works equally well with chicken. Just substitute the rabbit for a couple of chicken legs.

There is a Spanish saying that (translated) goes something like “The cleanest house is not the one that is cleaned the most but rather the one that is dirtied the least!” Wise words indeed…….

One could easily apply this to personal finances, where personal wealth might be less related to what one earns but rather how much, or indeed how little, one spends. Perhaps the recent financial crisis has taught us that we shouldn’t be spend so much of our hard-earned cash on mere whims and nice-to-haves, on things we perhaps can’t afford rather than on what we really need? I strongly suspect the recent financial crisis has taught us nothing, but that is another story for another day…….

At home we reuse everything, subconsciously, without even thinking about it. As I write this now, I am recalling the three-course meal we prepared yesterday, for a couple of friends who we invited round. We cooked what we wanted to cook, it is only now, looking back, that I realise just how little it cost…… almost nothing in fact.

We had a pasta salad which was very cheap, but in fact was probably the most expensive part of the meal! This was followed up with macerated then slow cooked hare. The neighbour shot the hare, the vegetables were from our allotment, although I most own up to purchasing half a bottle of the local wine to steep the hare in. For pudding, an apricot betty. The apricots were mine and the topping was made from breadcrumbs.

So what has the above got to do with coney in confit? Probably not a lot if I am honest!

1988 26 Sallent de Gallego

Sallent de Gállego

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Mantecados / Almond Biscuits

18 Baked

I was up in Sallent de Gállego in the Pyrenees a couple of weeks ago. As I have mentioned in the past, it really is a beautiful place to be and somewhere I keep saying I will visit more often…… although I never do! When we visit the town we always go to the local bakery to buy some “mantecados”, they really do bake some of the best I’ve tried. The problem is of course that they are so good that they soon disappear. I decided therefore it was about time I made my own version of these mantecado biscuits.

99 Sallent

These biscuits tend to have ground and chopped nuts in them, often almonds but also hazelnuts and pine nuts too. I used almonds, as I have lots of them from the orchard.

01 Almonds

Almond trees grow very well here and there are many fields of them around the village. As with many crops they are harvested by machine now instead of by the traditional manual methods. To collect the almonds the locals would lay nets under the trees then hit the branches with the locally available canes. The almonds would drop from the trees and be collected in the nets.

99 1 - Almonds, Collecting

Nowadays they use tractors with a special attachment that shakes the whole tree, with the almonds dropping into a special net that extends mechanically, like a butterfly’s wings,  unfurling from the tractor to wrap around the trunk of the tree.

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Apple and Mustard Pickle

09 Pickle in jars

This week’s recipe is a quick and easy pickle using the apples and onions that I am harvesting in the orchard and allotment at the moment. Quick is the operative word as I have not had much time lately…….

As I mentioned last week, I am very busy at the moment collecting and then storing fruit and vegetables for the winter months. At the moment I have little time to spare and therefore it is exactly the wrong time to be given extra work. Many months ago I mentioned to the Mayor of the village where I live, that if he ever needed any help with anything, I would be happy to help out and support the activities within the village…… although I have to admit that three days of manual back-breaking manual labour wasn’t exactly what I had envisaged.

03 apples in bucket

In the village where I live, as in many of the towns in Spain, a large part of their fiestas is given over to the running of the bulls around the streets chasing the local residents. Here as in most villages, numerous large metal gates are strategically placed at street junctions to form the circuit. Further barriers are erected to protect house fronts and doorways. The areas where the bulls are most likely to congregate is also spread with lots of sand to soften the otherwise hard tarmac of the streets.

I am not in favour of the running of the bulls. Here at least though they suffer no physical harm….. although I am sure they themselves would prefer not to run round the streets of an evening being egged on by raucous on-lookers. Ironic then that I was asked to help remove the metal gates and barriers as well as to sweep up the sand at the end of the fiestas. It hadn’t rained here for weeks, but as luck would have it we had quite a downpour before the sand was collected. I can now say from experience that wet sand weighs significantly more than dry!

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge