Sopa de espárragos verdes

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A warm Spanish soup today :

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This month :

Blog-checking lines: Our November Daring Cooks’ hostess was Begoña, who writes the beautiful blog, Las recetas de Marichu y las mías. Begoña is from Spain and didn’t want to go with the more common challenges of paella or gazpacho, she wanted to share with us another very popular recipe from Spain that we don’t see as often called Sopa Castellana which is a delicious bread soup!

(more here)

Besides the classic (with a complicated broth), there was an asparagus version that I’ve preferred.

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I combine the 2 recipes and changed… well, here is my broth, based on a grilled onion, with stalks of turnip, cloves, laurel, thyme, rosemary, a dry mushroom and chick peas.

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In the South of France, this type of simple bread soup existed too. Particularly aigo boulido in Provence, so my impression is garlic is the main ingredient.

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It’s the season of frozen green asparagus. Always.

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The soup with the bread.

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Poached quail egg. A similar soup with one egg is called “bouillabaisse borgne” one-eyed bouillabaisse.

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So we have a 4 eye monster soup.

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Mmmm, it’s very filling.

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Lotus root and shiso tortilla

That’s a Spanish style egg based tortilla, with renkon (lotus roots) replacing the potatoes. That’s deliciously crispy under the teeth. The shiso brings a green touch.

I had slices of boiled renkon (lotus root) that I stir-fried. Then I poured beaten eggs with minced shiso leaves.

I sprinkled a little turmeric on top.

Served with goya-maki as a side and a little kimchi.

Bonus : small bites made with the rest of goya-maki filling and slices of renkon.

September’s round up

A little retrospective about last month.
In September, the readers’ favorites are :

Sprouted hemp seed bread, improved version
Simple 10 minute falafels
Milk your beans (make soy milk)
Eating like a queen : bouchée à la reine
Yaki ika, Ika yaki (Japanese calamari)
Kabocha and carrot kibbeh

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Sweets :

Farz fou ! Crazy pagan baking.

Guilt free chocolate cake
Kabocha polka-dot yokan

Hey, the kabocha is getting popular as Autumn is looming…

Some more :

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Click here.
Click here.
Click here.
Click here.
Click here.
Click here.

Desserts :

Click here.
Click here.
Click here.
Click here.
Click here.

Empanada gallega de hokke con pasas

Abracadabra ! We’re in Spain, in Galicia and you can see the yellow sun in a blue sky. Es la empanada… Que rica !

Schluuuurrrp…. Really, that was a treat !

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

So I’ve made this fish one and a dessert empanada (coming soon)


I’ve followed the recipe… mostly.

A few minor ingredient veriations. Mostly, I’ve used hokke (arabesque greenling) a Japanese fish instead of cod.

We get the fish lightly salted, for short term preservation. (more about it here)

Don’t forget to decorate it…

And to open a chimney. I’ve not used egg, but brushed with olive oil.

Fresh from the oven !

Empanada Gallega de bacalao con pasas
(my grandma’s empanada recipe with salted cod and raisins filling)

Source

Servings: 10 – (makes a 40cmx30cm square empanada or about a 35cm diameter round empanada).
The filling may sound a bit strange at first, but that’s until you taste it  If you like salted cod, I’m pretty sure you will like it like this.
Dough Ingredients:

5-1/3 cups (1280 ml) (750 gm) bread flour
2 cups (480 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 satchel (1 tablespoon) (15 gm) dry yeast or (1 oz) (30 gm) fresh yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (11 gm) salt
4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash
Dough Directions:
Measure out all the ingredients.

Shift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.
In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.
On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.
Before rise
Rising
After rise
Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.

Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.
Filling Ingredients

400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones)
2 garlic cloves
¾ cup (180 ml) Olive oil
300 gm (10½ oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned (you put it in fresh water 24 hours before, change the water four times)
100 gm (3½ oz) raisins
100 gm (3½ oz) cured ham or bacon (not smoked)
A few strands of saffron
Filling Directions:
Finely chop the onion and garlic.
Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic, fry over medium heat until the onion is transparent (you do not want the onion to brown at all).

When vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the saffron and the raisins. Cut cod and ham (or bacon) in less than bite sized pieces, and add. Stir everything together.
Add salt as needed (we do this at the end because the amount of salt will depend on how salty your fish remains after the unsalting and how salty your cured ham or bacon is).
Allow to cool for at least half an hour before filling the empanada.
Assembling the empanada:
If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.

Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.
Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.

Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4.
Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.
If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.
Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please watch this video to see how it is done: http://youtu.be/CNpB7HkTdDk
When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.

You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!

Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer.
In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.
Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

Arròs negre, black is the new rice…


That’s another style, the black paella. But it’s called arròs negre meaning black rice. The color is of course calamari ink.

other paella posts

I’ve used brown rice and made it small size in a pie dish. That dish was too thin to go directly on my induction stove, it was starting to melt… so I have placed it on the cast iron plancha.

That’s how I made it. I used a dose of nero di sepia (bought) and the juice that got out of the seafood as broth.
That’s slow food… like 3 hours of cooking on low heat.

The rice is cooked. It didn’t take the color as much as polished rice would.

I added the topping put on high heat to get the bottom crust.

Sweet red pepper to contrast the color.

The seafood is nothing great, a frozen mix (shrimp, clams, calamari) so I’ve stir-fried in olive oil with paprika and turmeric till crispy.

Yummm…..


Chicken wing Summer paella

A healthier paella, with germinated brown rice. It’s just as delicious.

No seafood today. I’m back to the original paella with rabbit and snails… No wait, they don’t have that at the local butchers. So I settled for chicken wings.
I don’t need a pretext for a paella but :

Our Daring Cooks’ September 2012 hostess was Inma of la Galletika. Inma brought us a taste of Spain and challenged us to make our very own delicious Paella!

If you want seafood :

a black paella (click here)

Fideuà (pasta paella) with octopus
Fideuà with shrimps
Fideuà with calamari (recipe)
Paella with asari shells
Paella with shrimps

The rice :
So this time, I have used hatsuga genmai (read here how to prepare it), germinated brown rice. I’ve let it dry one hour before using.

The meat :
I salted and grilled chicken wings. Then I’ve added them and their juices to the broth.

Veggies : season’s greens.

Making it…

The rice is al dente… Last leg of the trip.

Final flavoring : red chili, saffron and rosemary.
I have added at the start a good amount of paprika and turmeric for the color. This saffron is for the taste.

Mmmm….

White garlic, green apple

Shiny ribbons of fruity olive oil.

That was a powerful ajo blanco.
classic grape version of this chilled soup (click here)

There was a lot of that in it. Maybe a bit too much. But after, you feel refreshed.

The first Santsugaru apples of the season. They look green but they are already very sweet.

Served directly from the mortar.