Empanada Gallega

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The empanada Gallega is a stuffed savoury pastry that is about as common in Spain as a pork pie in England. Although from the region of Galicia, they can be found everywhere and come in a variety of shapes, flavours and of course qualities. I have always liked them, the good ones that is, and this week I have a recipe that makes one of the very best!

Over the summer my wife and I went on a trip to Galicia. I had never been to that part of Spain and I guess, one way or another, you could say that we had been thinking of visiting the area for more than 25 years…………..

Galicia is one of the greenest parts of Spain, for obvious reasons…. i.e. it rains quite a bit there and the temperatures are generally lower than in much of the rest of Spain. We were lucky in that we had excellent weather and could enjoy all that lush greenery under clear blue skies. We were also treated exceptionally well by Ana and her husband as they took us to some beautiful places and some excellent restaurants, both in the city of La Coruña and also in the countryside around the city. Thanks again to both of you.

2016 07 25 Allariz - River Arnoia - Roman Bridge

So back to the empanada, the recipe for which comes from my wife’s Aunt who lives in La Coruña. We spent an excellent afternoon with them, seeing the sites of the city and partaking of good local food in the local bars. They also gave us empanada in their home, so I cheekily asked for the recipe which I now propose to share with you all! ………

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

Salmorejo

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A couple of weeks back I talked about gazpacho, a typical Andalusian cold tomato soup. This week I have a second one for you.

For those of you unfamiliar with Andalusia, it is the southern most region of Spain and also one of the largest. It is replete with must-visit places, be they historical and man-made or forged by nature.

I have visited the region a few times as a tourist and was also fortunate enough for a while to manage a team of people in the region. I still recall installing an IT system in a hospital in Marbella. From time to time I would take a few minutes’ break in the canteen on the topmost floor, with the spectacular views of the coast on one side and the mountains on the other………..

I have spent time in places like Marbella, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. The latter is a really special place and I would seriously suggest that it should be on everyone’s bucket list, and somewhere near the top! The Alhambra and the Generalife in Granada are something really special. They are both beautiful places to visit and each give a good view of the other.

Having said all the above, I thought I would mention a less known town not far from Marbella. It is one of my favourite places and is called Ronda.

2014 04 108 Ronda (Near Puente Viejo)

The town itself is on top of a plateau with spectacular views both out across the plains but also down into the ravine that splits the plateau in two……..

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

Pan Tomaca (Pa amb tomaquet)

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This week’s recipe is so easy I am almost embarrassed to publish it! Nevertheless I decided to go ahead and talk about Pan Tomaca as it tastes delicious. There is also no cooking involved so it is really easy to prepare and therefore just about perfect for these hot summer months.

Of course Spain is all about warmth, the warmth of the people and the warmth of a summer’s evening. One can see people out, just sitting and relaxing busy schedules permitting or not! Spaniards tend to take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the later evening, but that of course can mean late meals and late nights. It is true that many Spaniards often go to bed late, but they go to bed relaxed with their internal springs unwound. This unfortunately is more than can be said for many other poor souls across the industrialised world.

It would now seem that “specialists” have determined that Spaniards eat too late and go to bed too late………….

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

Tomato (Pasta) Sauce

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This week is all about using up summer vegetables. Whether you grow your own, or have to buy, now is the time to take advantage of the fresh and cheaper summer vegetables. I love this recipe as the sauce is delicious, and it can be bottled for use all year round. The recipe is something I have pulled together from a local tomato sauce recipe made here in the village. I will explain how to make the sauce and how to bottle and sterilise it for long term storage. The method is simple and works, none of my jars have ever gone off, even though I store them for many, many months.

Initially I made the local tomato sauce according to the local recipe. The first year a couple of our neighbours came round and showed us how to make it and indeed helped us with the recipe itself. The recipe is relatively simple, but as they make humongous quantities it does take quite a bit of effort…… in one day they make enough tomato sauce for the whole year!

Nevertheless I made it their way for a couple of years, buying an enormous pan and a special gas burner for the job. I would set up in the garden to cook enough for around 100 jars of tomato sauce. Eventually though I decided I wanted something that was less effort and used up more of the other vegetables I have readily available at this time of year. Their “Tomato Sauce” morphed into my “Tomato Pasta Sauce”.

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