Soused Coney (or Chicken)

We have had good weather here this last week and that has turned my thoughts to lighter meals that require a minimum of cooking or meals that can be eaten cool or cold. Today I am going to be talking about sousing, as it requires very little work to prepare and is at its best when eaten cool.

I find sousing can really balance up drier meats such as coney, chicken or even quail or tuna. It can be eaten with soused vegetables as a main course or can be used to liven up salads. Just a sprinkling of a bit of soused quail, chicken, coney or tuna can add a little protein to a salad and the oil and vinegar liquid works as the dressing.

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So just what is sousing?……………..

This is “slow cooking” at its best. Just relax and let it simmer slowly for a couple of hours until the flavours have infused and the meat is just coming off the bones. I am lucky enough to have a wood fired stove. There is nothing better than reading, or listening to music with a good glass of wine by my side………

To read the rest of the article and to veiw the recipie please click here.

£250 Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I am not keen on the use of superlatives. For one they are generally overused, and secondly where does one go from there? Once I have used the superlative, say “best ever” cake, I would be stuck if I ever found a better one! In spite of the possible aforementioned predicament and after cooking biscuits for many years, I have to break my own rules and label these as “best ever”! I guess I could always use Newspeak, what with “goodest” then “plusgoodest” or “doubleplusgoodest”, triple, quadruple……

Before I get into the story, an apology and a thank you to my Mother. She sent me this recipe back in October 2010, so sorry for taking so long to try it out and thanks for sending me such a fantastic recipe in the first place…………………..

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

Bacalao al Ajoarriero

Today I will be talking about a local fish dish, which will make two fish dishes in a row. I hope you like fish! I eat more and more fish, but then again there is a great choice available here in Spain and it is relatively cheap. My mother has been here with us for the last couple of weeks and she always comments on just how cheap fish, fruit and vegetables are here compared to England.

I have to agree with her, but must admit to never really having understood why. Even taking any cost of living variances into account the cost difference is astounding. England  is after all a green island, with good land for growing crops and waters teeming with fish! Although I am not sure why some foodstuffs are so expensive, I can’t help thinking that one of the solutions is to buy locally………….

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So back to the recipe. Traditionally this recipe uses salted cod, although you can use fresh too. Spain is not actually an island although it is a peninsula and as such it is only connected to the rest of Europe via the Pyrenees. It is therefore almost surrounded by seas and the people here eat lots of fish. Spain is a hot country though, particularly in summer, and the towns of the interior can be many hundreds of miles from the nearest sea. It was not uncommon therefore for the fish to be dried and salted, to better preserve it, before being sent via ungulate transport to the interior. As this is a traditional recipe I will be using the traditional salted fish……………….

For the rest of the article and the recipe please click here

Gravlax (Marinated Salmon)

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Marinated Salmon

I used to be a “road warrior”, one of those people who spends more time on a plane than on the ground. Someone who is often away from home and working in foreign lands. I worked in an international company for the last twenty-five years and enjoyed most of it. That period is now at an end and I am enjoying this period of non-travel. A good friend, who has never really travelled, once marvelled at how I could cope waking up in so many different beds, waking up and having to wonder just where I was!

Of course one hotel is very much like another. All airports are pretty much the same and all planes are small, cramped and noisy. The one really big positive from all this travel is being able to see so many different cultures and meet some really interesting people. It is the only aspect I miss, now that I am no longer a regular traveller.

The last few days have had me reflecting on my time working in Sweden. It is the dill weed (Anethum graveolens)season here in Spain and one of my favourite Swedish recipes uses dill……

Although I have visited Sweden often for short trips,  I also spent two extended periods in the country. The first was whilst working with Saab Automobile in Trollhättan and the second with SKF (Svenska Kullagerfabriken AB) in Göteborg. They say that “money makes the world go around” but after working with SKF I can tell you it is not money but ball bearings!

Trollhattan Church

Trollhättan

I met some great people and had some great food. I was in Trollhättan in winter and can still remember the ice breaker ships going up the canal behind the Swania hotel where I stayed. People from Saab even lent me a bicycle so I could get out and sea a little of the town and surroundings, snow and all.

2003 07 Göteborg Långedrag Marina

Långedrag

I was lucky enough to be in Göteborg in summer. Sweden and, dare I say the people, are completely different in summer. With warm, very long days the whole place comes alive with almost a party atmosphere. I used to catch the tram out to Långedrag and wander around the islands before having an excellent meal in the marina. I highly recommend it if you are ever out that way.

So, on to this week’s recipe, one that I was given whilst out in Trollhättan, gravlax. This is marinated salmon in which the principle flavouring is dill weed. I tend to make the recipe at this time of year as the dill is just starting to grow in the hedgerows here and I can get plenty of the fresh new leaves………….

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