Bizcocho de Almendras / Almond Cake

07 Finished cake, cut

A couple of weeks ago I published an article titled Pollo en Pepitoria / Tarazona Chicken. As I mentioned at the time, we were on the way back from a weekend in Olite. This recipe is also inspired by that weekend away.

We actually stayed in the Parador in Olite. For those of you unfamiliar with the Spanish Paradors, they are state owned hotels in renovated castles and palaces. They are in some of the most amazing buildings, often perched on high with commanding views. I also believe that they are reasonably priced and as such I would recommend them to anyone. We opted to eat one of our meals in the Parador and we were served what they called an Ujué almond cake…………..

………………… My first visit to the town was many, many years ago. I liked it then, but it has in fact improved since that first visit. Whilst we were there we could see that they were re-cobbling many of the streets. From the areas that were finished we could see that it was well conceived and constructed and should improve and harmonise the structure of this medieval village. They have also done work in restoring the church and the availability of tourist information at key points within and without the building itself. The church itself really is a magnificent edifice to behold………….

2017 03 21 Ujue

………The cake is really simple to make and with some flaked almonds and icing sugar can be made into quite a centre-piece for when next you have some friends over…….

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Israeli Meatballs with Broad Beans

12 Broad beans on a plate

When is the right time to cook a particular dish or indeed buy “fresh” ingredients?

I have waited nigh on five months to make today’s recipe, ever since my son gave me a fantastic book on Israeli cooking for Christmas. I waited because I wanted the freshest ingredients possible, with as many as possible coming from my allotment. The end result, deliciously spicy meatballs made using garlic, onions, fresh mint, parsley and coriander from the allotment served with fresh broad beans that are also homegrown…………

……………..I don’t know if it is an age thing….. but I am finding that I enjoy using spices more and more. I find I am making more dishes from the Middle East, North Africa and India. It is also easy to get the spices here, locally. Many temporary workers, in particular from Morocco, who came to pick fruit or grapes, have found a permanent home in the villages in the valleys around here.

These meatballs are full of spices, which gives them lots of Middle Eastern flavour, but they are not spicy-hot. They should therefore be suitable for almost anyone.

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Bajan Patties

08 Finished pastry cut open

Brexit is on the minds of many people, and not just those living and working in Great Britain who are affected directly. How it will affect me, as a British person living in Spain, was very much on my mind on my recent trip to England over Easter. But the effects will no doubt go much further still, not only will people across Europe be affected, but I doubt the European Union itself will come out unchanged…… or perhaps I should say that I hope it doesn’t come out unchanged.

Whatever happens it is shame that Britain will be leaving the EU, but it is even more of a shame that the UK government and the European politicians didn’t see it coming. The European politicians in particular seem to have their head stuck in the sand, they didn’t and perhaps still don’t see the writing on the wall, the writing of discontentment. Yes, extremist parties are feeding local discontent in a number of European countries, but that discontent does exist, rightly or wrongly………….

……….. Leaving Brexit for a moment, and moving on to the dish of the day……According to the dictionary Bajan is an informal word for Barbadian, the inhabitants of Barbados. The island was discovered by Columbus, then later occupied by the Portuguese before finally forming part of the British Empire in the 17th century. An explosive mix of invading peoples has given rise to some very interesting flavour combinations and local dishes. Later they too found their own “Brexit”, Barbados claimed independence from Britain in 1966…………………….

………….. So back to the Bajan Patties, a diverse set of ingredients and flavours that create mildly spicy meat filled pastries. I hope you like them.

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


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge