Coney (or Chicken) in Confit

13 Coney in Confit

Before I start let me state immediately that this recipe works equally well with chicken. Just substitute the rabbit for a couple of chicken legs.

There is a Spanish saying that (translated) goes something like “The cleanest house is not the one that is cleaned the most but rather the one that is dirtied the least!” Wise words indeed…….

One could easily apply this to personal finances, where personal wealth might be less related to what one earns but rather how much, or indeed how little, one spends. Perhaps the recent financial crisis has taught us that we shouldn’t be spend so much of our hard-earned cash on mere whims and nice-to-haves, on things we perhaps can’t afford rather than on what we really need? I strongly suspect the recent financial crisis has taught us nothing, but that is another story for another day…….

At home we reuse everything, subconsciously, without even thinking about it. As I write this now, I am recalling the three-course meal we prepared yesterday, for a couple of friends who we invited round. We cooked what we wanted to cook, it is only now, looking back, that I realise just how little it cost…… almost nothing in fact.

We had a pasta salad which was very cheap, but in fact was probably the most expensive part of the meal! This was followed up with macerated then slow cooked hare. The neighbour shot the hare, the vegetables were from our allotment, although I most own up to purchasing half a bottle of the local wine to steep the hare in. For pudding, an apricot betty. The apricots were mine and the topping was made from breadcrumbs.

So what has the above got to do with coney in confit? Probably not a lot if I am honest!

1988 26 Sallent de Gallego

Sallent de Gállego

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

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Mantecados / Almond Biscuits

18 Baked

I was up in Sallent de Gállego in the Pyrenees a couple of weeks ago. As I have mentioned in the past, it really is a beautiful place to be and somewhere I keep saying I will visit more often…… although I never do! When we visit the town we always go to the local bakery to buy some “mantecados”, they really do bake some of the best I’ve tried. The problem is of course that they are so good that they soon disappear. I decided therefore it was about time I made my own version of these mantecado biscuits.

99 Sallent

These biscuits tend to have ground and chopped nuts in them, often almonds but also hazelnuts and pine nuts too. I used almonds, as I have lots of them from the orchard.

01 Almonds

Almond trees grow very well here and there are many fields of them around the village. As with many crops they are harvested by machine now instead of by the traditional manual methods. To collect the almonds the locals would lay nets under the trees then hit the branches with the locally available canes. The almonds would drop from the trees and be collected in the nets.

99 1 - Almonds, Collecting

Nowadays they use tractors with a special attachment that shakes the whole tree, with the almonds dropping into a special net that extends mechanically, like a butterfly’s wings,  unfurling from the tractor to wrap around the trunk of the tree.

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Apple and Mustard Pickle

09 Pickle in jars

This week’s recipe is a quick and easy pickle using the apples and onions that I am harvesting in the orchard and allotment at the moment. Quick is the operative word as I have not had much time lately…….

As I mentioned last week, I am very busy at the moment collecting and then storing fruit and vegetables for the winter months. At the moment I have little time to spare and therefore it is exactly the wrong time to be given extra work. Many months ago I mentioned to the Mayor of the village where I live, that if he ever needed any help with anything, I would be happy to help out and support the activities within the village…… although I have to admit that three days of manual back-breaking manual labour wasn’t exactly what I had envisaged.

03 apples in bucket

In the village where I live, as in many of the towns in Spain, a large part of their fiestas is given over to the running of the bulls around the streets chasing the local residents. Here as in most villages, numerous large metal gates are strategically placed at street junctions to form the circuit. Further barriers are erected to protect house fronts and doorways. The areas where the bulls are most likely to congregate is also spread with lots of sand to soften the otherwise hard tarmac of the streets.

I am not in favour of the running of the bulls. Here at least though they suffer no physical harm….. although I am sure they themselves would prefer not to run round the streets of an evening being egged on by raucous on-lookers. Ironic then that I was asked to help remove the metal gates and barriers as well as to sweep up the sand at the end of the fiestas. It hadn’t rained here for weeks, but as luck would have it we had quite a downpour before the sand was collected. I can now say from experience that wet sand weighs significantly more than dry!

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Pollo al Chilindrón / Chicken in Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

10 Finished dish

I have been quite busy the last few weeks. Having said that, those that know me would say  that I am never really not busy! Let’s just say then that I have been more busy than usual, processing all the fruit and vegetables this season brings. I am slowly filling up the larder, airing cupboards and freezers with bottled jams, chutneys and sauces, cupboards full of onions, garlic, apples and almonds as well as frozen fruit, vegetables and ready-made meals. I don’t mind, my efforts feed us through the winter months, and, to be honest, I like to be busy.

My Mother tells me that when I was a child the doctor prescribed “knock-out drops” to put me out when my energies showed no signs of waning. This would no doubt be frowned upon today. Nowadays my mother would have been given a booklet with advice on how to cope and I would have been assigned an acronym to cover my affliction. I don’t know if knock-out drops still exist….. but I do know my wife is searching incessantly for some…….

Today’s recipe is a simple traditional Spanish chicken and tomato dish. I chose it for a couple of reasons. Firstly it is quick so I can dedicate more time to the harvest. Secondly this dish uses tomato sauce, something I have in abundance at the moment. You can grow your own vegetables to make your own as I tend to do or, you can can go for the quicker option of buying what you need from a shop. Whichever route you take I would recommend that you buy the best ingredients. As this dish is so simple, there is nowhere to hide. I cook everything in the one pan, so there’s not much washing up with this recipe either!……………..

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Cheese and Dried Tomato Banitsa

18 Finished banitsa

This recipe is courtesy of Kristina’s Mum. Kristina was the poor Bulgarian lady who was thrown in the deep end….. she ended up having to work in my team. Not only did she have to put up with me, she had to put up with a bunch of Spaniards who, perhaps unsurprisingly, tended to talk in Spanish. She did a fantastic job and ended up being a valued member of the team.

Over the months we worked together we occasionally touched on the subject of food. She mentioned that Bulgarian recipes used “white” and “yellow” cheese. I feared something had been lost in translation, until I received a Bulgarian cookery book that used ingredients called”white cheese” and “yellow cheese”. If more proof were needed, relatively recently I had to go to the dentist’s for some treatment. To recover from the shock I went into a delicatessen near the dentist’s looking for something interesting to eat……. and found to my surprise that they sold Bulgarian white cheese.

01 White Cheese

Kristina also introduced me to a new herb, Summer Savoury. I must admit to never having heard of it before. I found I liked the flavour very much and often sow the herb in the garden, using it fresh or drying it for use at a later date.

08 Summer Savoury

Although I have many hundreds of business-related trips I only ever visited Bulgaria once, visiting the capital, Sofia…………….

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Polvito Uruguayo (Caramel, Cream, Meringue Delight thingy!)

26 Finished pudding

The pudding this week is simply delicious. It has got to be one of the easiest puddings to make and it looks great. You won’t see me using much hyperbole on this blog, but today is an exception. Trust me….. you have to try this one!

I was recently in (San Cristóbal de) La Laguna in Tenerife with most of the family.

2017 07 28 San Cristobal de La Laguna

La Laguna

We had just come out from visiting the church “Iglesia de la Concepción”, we were hungry and it was raining lightly.

2017 07 38 Iglesia de la Concepción -San Cristobal de La Laguna - Iglesia de la Concepción

Iglesia de la Concepción

We made a dash for the first restaurant just across the square.

We had and would visit some fine restaurants during our stay on the island, but this one stood out from all the others. Exquisite food, great staff and very reasonably priced. Over the coming months I plan on publishing three recipes from our time in Tenerife, two of which come from this restaurant. So if you are out that way then let me recommend to you the “Tasca-Mesón Guerea

The name of the pudding might lead to some mirth from my Spanish-speaking readers and, due to the double entendre in the title,  I feel completely incapable of translating it into something English and repeatable! If however you serve it at your next candlelight supper, just feign innocence and introduce it in Spanish………………

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Farmhouse Whirls

15 On cooling rack-close up

I thought of this recipe for a couple of reasons

1 – The temperatures here in Spain

2 – The pastry making from last week’s recipe

Last week I encouraged you readers to have a go at making pastry. I also suggested a recipe that should help with the technique of “rubbing in”, something common to many types of pastry. Today’s recipe also helps to practise the basics as well as being one of the easiest pastries to play with. It is a robust type of pastry requiring little care when being rolled out.

As most of you will have gathered by now, I live in Spain. Last week the highest temperature ever recorded was reached, 47ºC. Climate Change I hear you ask?…. who knows. As per my comments in the past I think we should take care of our planet, climate change or no. It just doesn’t seem like we ought to risk the only planet we have! I always have something baked on-hand for a nibble mid morning or mid afternoon. We find this recipe is good for hot weather as these whirls keep much better at this time. Other cakes and biscuits I make are more liable to go off.

99 Winewall 01

Winewall

The name of the recipe itself takes me back to the farms and farmhouses of Winewall and Colne, the area where I grew up. Although I am talking of the 1960’s and 1970’s, in many ways these farmhouses had remained stuck in time. The next door farmer for example used a Victorian washing dolly to wash his clothes then a mangle to extrude the water. A man, who we called “Dan Dan the Lavatory Man”, would come by from time to time and empty out the long drop toilet from the farm and indeed some of the houses just down the road…………….

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

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge