Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

14 Baked biscuits

I love chocolate and I love ginger, so what better than some biscuits that combine the two. They also contain a little orange peel to further add to the flavour combination, so now is a good time to make them as we still have local fresh oranges available. We go through quite a few biscuits at home, I having at least one every day with my morning masala chai……. an Indian tea and spice mix to which I add lots of fresh ginger.

Fresh ginger is something that can be quite expensive in England yet it can be so cheap here. In large supermarkets it tends to be expensive, but the local town of La Almunia has several shops run by and catering for north African workers. They are over here working in the fields, caring for and later collecting the fruit from the many thousands of vines and fruit trees. These shops have all manner of dried and fresh fruits, herbs and spices overflowing their shelves and baskets in a veritable Aladdin’s cave of  culinary delights. It is here that I can buy the majority of what I need and at very, very competitive prices.

But is the small independent shop an anachronism in this modern digital age?……….

………….Zaragoza, in spite of having a population of only about 700,000 people, opened the first macro complex,  Plaza Imperial,  in 2008 with 170 shops. The second, Puerto Venecia, was completed in 2012 and has 158 shops. They expect to open the third one, “Torre Village”, with 90 shops this year. It sounds like a lot of new shops per capita and of course their being out of town means a lot of travel by car, consumption of fuel and environmental pollution.

2014 05 16 Zaragoza - El Pilar

Zaragoza

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

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Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

14 Ready to eat

Stuffed piquillo peppers is a dish one would serve in Spain on special occasions, but is in fact so easy to make it could be served every day. These peppers look good and taste good, thanks to their bright red colour, their rich flavour and their mild peppery warmth. They really are fantastic peppers to cook with and are common in many traditional Spanish dishes.

So, you might ask, if this recipe is so good, then why have I taken this long to publish it?

As an ex-IT engineer, I could blame it all on the recipe database programme I have….. but that would be an over simplification. The problem is that the database I have is too good, and storing recipes in it is in fact too easy. The tool I use can generally automatically grab recipes from websites….. I don’t have to type anything, just press a button. My over-active button pressing finger mean that I have lost control of what I have……

…….Anyway, back to the recipe. This one is a gem as I said above, get the right peppers and give it a try, you will not be disappointed:

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Carrilleras de Cerdo / Pork Cheeks

06 Finished cheeks 4 - Close-up

Not my usual format of article this week as I am going to jump straight into the recipe. Apart from not having fully thought out where this article will actually go, I wanted to talk about the recipe before some of you decide not to read any further. Yes, pork cheeks and they are delicious, trust me!! If my recommendation is not enough, you might not be aware that it is served in one of the finest traditional London restaurants, Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, and it is far from the cheapest starter on their menu……

It is some time since I sampled this restaurants board of fare, in fact it was many years ago when I found myself in London, on business, with a small group of Americans. I was volunteered to choose the restaurant, and chose Simpson’s. It is of course quintessentially British and perfect for visitors looking to immerse themselves in Simpson’s 185 years of culinary history. The truth is that I also wanted to try the restaurant as my parents-in-law had gone there on a sightseeing trip to London and had extolled its virtues to me on numerous occasions since………

……..In some ways the result is much like a “beef bourguignon”, where the slow cooking tenderises what is a relatively poor cut of meat whilst the red wine adds depth of flavour to the plate of food. As it is a local recipe and the cheeks are cooked in wine, I chose a bottle from the village here that a neighbour had kindly given us:

98 Wine Label - Los Pilares de la Tierra - 1

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

No-Knead Rustic Loaf

06-finished-bread

Today I thought I would write about something different. Today I thought I would write a little less about the origins of the recipe and more about the actual process of writing one of my articles. Today I thought I would give you a little insight into what challenges I face in my weekly self-imposed task of publishing a recipe and article on this blog………

Some people ask me where I get the ideas for my articles, well the truth is that in general they are just my idle musings, just whatever is going through me head at the time, given expression on a piece of electronic paper. Often, as mentioned in other articles, these ideas pop into my head from a dopamine induced brain-fog I often succumb to as I run in the mountains. As I often avail myself of the local mountains, at least for the moment, I have no shortage of things to write about. I can only hope that these musings are something you are interested in reading!………

90-almond-blossom-and-green-fields

…….. This particular bread journey started last summer in Galicia where even the humblest of restaurants served us fantastic bread. The quality and variety of breads they served was one of the first things I noticed about the region. So the bread has somewhat of a Galician style to it.

The next influence was from a bakery on Zurita, the street where my mother-in-law lives, that bakes a “pan de aceite”, a bread with lots of olive oil in it. Their bread is delicious so I wanted to get some of that flavour into my bread too.

The third was a television programme that was talking about “Panishop”, a local bakery chain. They had started selling a “slow” bread with a longer raising cycle to give it a better, stronger flavour. I liked the sound of that too!

Lastly, but far from leastly, I wanted a bread that required no kneading.

For the full article and to read the reciope please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge