Rice Salad

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Many, many moons ago I was invited to cycle out to some villages around the city of Zaragoza by a couple of work colleagues. First I had to cycle to Zaragoza alone, from the village where I lived, and then we cycled together out the other side of the city to visit the villages they had mentioned. It was always going to be a long day!

I have always pushed a big gear, preferring to pedal slowly using my strength rather then spinning my legs like a windmill and using less force. If you have been watching the Tour of France these last couple of weeks you will have seen that the windmill technique is the preferred approach! The work colleagues noticed my unorthodox style and stated that I would not be able to cycle the entire route as I was. Never one to decline a challenge, I did in fact prove them wrong and never once changed into a lower gear…….

About half way back I felt a little parched and decided to stop and fill my water bottles……… I ran out of patience and knocked on the door of a couple who were work colleagues of mine. Luckily they were in and they offered me some water…..

The lady of the house, Esperanza, could see that it had been a long morning on the bicycle, she saw my weariness and offered me some of the rice salad she had just prepared…….

For the full article and the recipe please click here.

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Fritada “Aires de Aragón”

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We were fortunate enough to be able to build our own house. Well, to be precise, although I installed many of the fixtures and fittings, it was down to the builder to actually build the house! Prior to that of course we contracted the services of a very good architect.

If I have one recommendation for those of you building your own house, it is to listen to your architect. I am an engineer and as such I was more than able to draw just what we wanted for our new house. I was once told that “diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way”……. Our architect managed to disregard all my drawings without me even realising it (and a good job he did too!). The result is a house that fulfils all we asked for, yet is more functional than we could ever have imagined, whilst still fitting harmoniously in with the neighbouring buildings. He really did a fantastic job.  The final house was nothing like we envisaged….. thank goodness!

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So why publish the recipe now? As usual the seasons dictate my recipe choices. This one has five main ingredients, courgettes, green peppers, onion, garlic and potatoes. With the exception of the potatoes, not only do I grow all the other vegetable but now is the time when I am harvesting them.

Although today’s recipe can be eaten as a vegetarian dish, the restaurant and we both sprinkle a little soused tuna on top. We find the sharpness of the vinegar from the sousing of the tuna livens the dish up.

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


2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Tiramisù

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The Tiramisù (half eaten!)

Well today’s article is a continuation from a couple of weeks ago, this is the pudding that I served up when my friends came visiting. The first course was the Pasta Salad which you can pick up from here, we then had various meats, done on the BBQ, followed by this pudding. I must admit to be a great fan of cooking on the BBQ, as it is a great way of cooking with friends round and nobody has to be stuck in the kitchen preparing food for guests.

Luckily my friends brought some bread with them, as the baker’s in the village has just closed. I often make my own bread, but it was always nice to have a local bakery too. I suspect that the bakery will not open again, I suspect that there is nobody willing to take it over. The village blacksmith is approaching retirement age, I suspect that here again we will be left without……

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Well back to the recipe, tiramisù…. one of the most common puddings to be found in almost any restaurant, yet according to Alessandra, not one of them conforms to the “original” recipe!

Towards the end of the last millennium I was working for a short while in Rome. It is a great city, lots of history, fantastic food, even better ice-creams and some great people. I was providing service to Opel Europe and was working in their Rome offices. Alessandra was the local Opel liaison.

An interest in food is something a little difficult to hide……

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

Sopetas and other Spanish alcoholic beverages!

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Sopetas in the Garden

Officially summer has arrived, and here at least the weather is finally hot and sunny. It has been a long, wet and cool spring, but hopefully that is now in the past. For me Spain is a great country all year round, but come in summer to enjoy it at its best. The people are more relaxed, the open air restaurants and terraces are alive with people enjoying themselves….. life is good.

Most Spaniards drink, I would also suggest most Spaniards drink in moderation. Most Spaniards do not go out to get drunk, and if they return home a little the worse for wear is more a side effect of being out for a long period of time. They eat something whilst drinking and often drink less actual alcohol as they dilute the wine they drink. Some of these drinks are well known, like Sangría, other are far less so….. so let’s have a look at some wine drinks for those long summer evenings:

Sangría…..

Tinto de Verano…..

Calimocho…..

Sopetas

Last, but certainly not least….. sopetas.

I first had sopetas more than twenty-five years ago on one of my first trips to Spain. I was invited to spend a few days in the Pyrenees with my then future parents-in-law. I was in the Tena valley, in a town called Sallent. A really beautiful place which I will no doubt talk about in more detail another day. At this point I just wanted to mention one unforgettable evening I spent with my future brothers-in-law, their friends and of course my future wife in a town just down the road from Sallent.

Sallent

Sallent de Gallego

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

I Need a Pick-Me-Up after Cycling for Hours…..

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I have a new smoothie recipe that I thought I would share with you this week. It is one that I tend to make after a long training session. The weather here is getting better and better and I spend more and more of my time in the hills, either running or cycling. I am fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Spain. It is one of the dryer parts, but as I live half way up a mountain the countryside is in fact fairly green.

I have been playing with this recipe for a while, but I never really named it. It was simply the smoothie I associated with sports, particularly cycling. When I finally decided to write down the recipe I couldn’t think of a good name for it….. so in true “Waitress” style (the film from 2007 that is!), I decided to call it “I Need a Pick-Me-Up after Cycling for Hours”!

Whilst on the subject, a great pie from the same film is “I Can’t Have No Affair Because It’s Wrong & I Don’t Want Earl to Kill Me Pie”. If you want to try it there are several sites out there that list this and the other recipes from the film.

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