27 September 2010

Fabulous Fritatta


Still using up all those lovely leafy greens and today was the turn of spinach and some beautiful looking leeks.  Again thanks to Verdura, like I said a seriously good book for veggie inspiration.  So I thought I'd try frittata.  I have never been a huge fan.  Often in cafes they seem so heavy and overly eggy it had completely turned me off frittata.  My weekend at Mana Retreat converted me, as their frittata was so light and tasty I had to have seconds. So hoping that it is in their recipe book due out early November as that one will be hard to beat.  However I thought I would give it a go and something different to do with spinach and leeks and a few healthy lunches ready to go for the week.



Spinach: When it comes to healthy foods spinach is a superstar. It is chocka full of of vitamins and minerals. To get spinach at its tastiest, seasonally it makes a biannual appearance in the spring and autumn. 
So a bit of run down on the goodness of spinach...Vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone health. Plus carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that help protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer. And what's more regularly eating spinach may make you happy! It can boost your mood thanks to vitamins B6 and C. Both play vital roles in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with pleasure and keeping depression and anxiety under control.  And there is folate, best known for protecting against birth defects, but it can also help prevent cancers of the cervix and lungs and works alongside vitamin B6 to protect against heart disease.
Need  further convincing of spinach's superstar status, it's also a leading source of magnesium, important for maintaining strong bones and for preventing chronic diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes.  So go on and have some spinach it really is a super power food!
Look for bright green, unwilted leaves. To store wrap spinach in paper towels and store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's crisper. It should last three to four days.

Spinach info courtesy of wholeliving.com   Great website and great magazine- super cheap to subscribe to!  Fool of great recipes and everything about body and soul in balance.

Spinach Likes: eggs, chicken, fish, ham, mushrooms, potatoes, garlic, cream, yoghurt, cheese, olive oil, good vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, nuts, rice, pastry, citrus, nutmeg and paprika.

Leeks: They were highly esteemed in the past and many food cultures still love them. The leek is a member of the onion family and can help guard against high blood pressure and certain cancers.  Seasonally they are around late spring through to autumn.  Choose firm, straight leeks with dark green healthy leaves.  Fresh leeks will have bright white roots.  Store in fridge crisper for up to a week.

Leek Likes: chicken, chicken stock, fish and fish stock, cream, cheese (cheddar, blue, Parmesan), dill, chives, parsley, thyme, black pepper, potatoes, parsnips, anchovies, mustard, walnuts, hazelnuts.

So on the menu for lunch today Frittata di Poni e Spinaci or in boring old English Leek and Spinach Frittata. Pretty much straight from the recipe with only a minimal amount of interference from me.

Frittata di Poni e Spinaci - Leek and Spinach Frittata
Ingredients
Serves 4
3 leeks
1 bunch spinach
Salt and pepper
25g unsalted butter
3 tbsp EVOO
6-8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 tbsp Parmesan, grated
2 tbsp bread crumbs

I also added a little freshly grated nutmeg to the spinach and added a little blue cheese that was found lurking in the fridge and crying out to be used.  Oh and I also had some chives so they made their way in too. I would think a little crumbled feta would also work quite a treat, actually any cheese that can be crumbled or melts would most likely be a good addition.

Trim the leeks at the root ends and cut off the green tops.  Use only the lighter green and white portions.  Cut the leeks in to thin rounds and place in a colander.  Separate the rings and run cold water over them to remove any dirt trapped between the layers. 

 
Trim the root ends of the spinach.  Wash the spinach well in several changes of water and chop coarsely.  In a large saute or frying pan place the spinach with the water still clinging to the leaves. Add salt to taste and here I also add a little fresh nutmeg, what with spinach and nutmeg being such good friends.  Cook the spinach very briefly over a medium heat until it reduces in volume and is slightly wilted.  Drain in a colander and very gently press out any excess water with the back of a wooden spoon.



Meanwhile heat the butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the leeks and cook over a medium - low heat until the they are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the spinach and toss for 1 minute.  Transfer to a bowl and let the mixture cool.
When the vegetables are cool add the eggs, garlic, mint, parsley, grated Parmesan, breadcrumbs and pepper to taste.  Mix ingredients well.
Heat a small non-stick, ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the remaining olive oil and swirl it in the pan to coat the bottom and sides.  Add the egg mixture and lower the heat.  Cook the frittata slowly, stirring the eggs until small curds form.  Stop stirring and cook until the frittata is firm except for the top.



To cook the top place the pan under a hot grill or in a preheated 200°C oven until the top browns lightly.  Let it cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes.  Place a plate over the top of the pan and invert the frittata on to it.  Serve at room temperature, cut in to wedges.


I served it with some roasted red pepper sauce.  When capsicum are in season and cheap I buy bags of them and roast them for around 40 minutes, seal in a plastic bag, peel and de-seed them.  The then just add some salt and pepper and whizz in a food processor.  It can be varied with the addition of some roasted garlic and a little pinch of chili - fresh or flakes. I then just freeze little bags of the sauce and then it only takes a few moments to defrost on the stove.

And on the side a simple green salad with lemon vinaigrette.



The frittata exceeded my expectations.  It looks beautiful with the green marbling from the spinach and lots of layers of flavour.  Sweetness from the leeks, a green tang from the spinach, then a hit of blue cheese, a little parsley and finally a fresh hit of fragrant and sweet mint.  Delicious on its own but even better with a little of the roasted red pepper sauce that added a roasty sweetness and a little heat from the chili.

Buon Appetito! 




 

25 September 2010

What do with an abundance of greens,,,?


After a few weekends away I am enjoying a weekend at home and thanks to Epicurean Supplies I have beautiful freshly picked organic rainbow chard, spinach and curly kale in amongst a huge box of organic goodness.


So some green cooking on the cards for dinner tonight.  One of my favourite cookbooks is Verdura by Viana La Place.  A whole book of Italian vegetable recipes and they certainly do know how to make simple, fresh ingredients sing.  It is my first go to book for vegetable inspiration and a great first stop if an over abundance of anything on particular. I think I got my copy at Cook The Books.  A whole shop dedicated to books about food - so if you love cookbooks it is a dangerous shop to visit but of so much fun. The Silver Spoon is also another great book for ideas on just about anything if you want to go a little Italian. A real door stopper of a book with a chapter devoted to just about every fruit, vegetable and meat you could imagine

So given all the greens I turned to Verdura.  The Scafata caught my eye.  Broad Beans with Swiss Chard and Tomato, it sounds so much more exotic in Italian don't you think?  So with a few tweaks here and there, and a little more rainbow chard than broad beans a very tasty side indeed.

I am finally harvesting broad beans from the garden, however they don't last very long as so tempting to just to eat them straight out the pods.  When so young and fresh you don't need to do anything to them at all.  Hence a little bit of tweaking to the recipe required.



So for my Scafata we have rainbow chard,  a little lighter on the broad beans and a jar of cherry tomatoes from Sabato...these are so good.  The base of carrots, celery and onion gives great depth of flavours to the dish. I didn't want to waste the colourful stalks of the rainbow chard so they were finely chopped and added to the soffrito too.

Scafata is traditionally made with biete da taglio, young Swiss chard leaves with a barely developed rib.  So if you are growing your own you could pick it young and tender to get that especially delicate, sweet and clean taste.  If not, no bother as it turned out a treat with a regular bunch.


Scafata - Broad Beans with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
Ingredients
5 tbsp EVOO
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
800g broad beans ( I only had a few and scattered them on top raw as straight from the garden and delicious as they are.)
Salt, to taste
1 bunch, tender Swiss chard, ribs removed and cut in to thin strips ( I used a bunch of rainbow chard and also finely chopped the stalks, too beautiful to waste)
450g tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped ( I used a jar of Sabato cherry tomatoes, but you could substitute with a regular can of tomatoes to save all the peeling and seeding - not may favourite thing to do with tomatoes!)
Pepper





Heat the olive oil and add the diced vegetables and broad beans (or if fresh out the garden just scatter on raw at the end).  Stir well. Add salt to taste and a few tablespoons of water.  I also added a pinch of chili flakes which gave a nice amount of heat without taking over any of the flavours - I do love a just a little kick.  Cover and cook slowly over a low heat until the broad beans are tender or if leaving them until the end, just until the vegetables are tender. If the mixture becomes dry add a few more tablespoons of water.
Add the chard and tomatoes and cook, with the lid partly on, until the tomatoes thicken and the water has evaporated.  Grind a little black pepper and serve.

Also in my box of goodies were fresh baby fennel.  I love fennel and should have plenty of my own soon as it seems to have self seeded all over the place.  

Fennel: popular for its subtle aniseed flavour. Fennel appears in both Autumn and Spring, ranging in size from baby bulbs to fairly hefty ones.  Its fleshy leaf stems can be eaten cooked or raw.  For fresh fennel look for brightly coloured fronds and a firm and creamy white bulb with the layers packed tightly together.  They will keep in the fridge crisper for 3-4 days.
Smaller bulbs tend to be milder in flavour and can be eaten raw in salads or as a crudite.  Slice thinly at the last moment to avoid browning or pop in to some water with lemon juice to stop any discolouring. Larger bulbs can be sauteed, braised, roasted, BBQd...endless options really.

Fennel Likes: cream, chicken stock, olive oil, lemon, orange, cheese (blue, goat, Parmesan), almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, tomato, potato, anchovy, tuna, mayonnaise, capers, olives, radicchio, watercress, smoked salmon, prosciutto.
  
Fennel sliced, dipped in flour and egg and coated in a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs and Parmesan and fried like a fritter is moreish to say the least. 
Fennel can also be added to pasta dishes, risotto, stews and soups.

I found this simple way to do fresh fennel, again thanks to Verdura - Fettine di Finocchi - Golden Fennel Fans - it even sounds so pretty.  It really couldn't be simpler.  Cut the fennel lengthwise in to fan shaped slices held together by the core.  Mine were baby fennel so very much baby fans!  Heat some EVOO in a frying pan and saute the fennel until golden brown on both sides.  A little salt and pepper etFishmarket this morning. The fennel can be served hot as a side or left to cool to room temperature and served with anti pasti or as part of a buffet. It would also be good left to cool and wrapped in a little prosciutto and drizzled with a little lemon oil.



The fish was great but it was definitely the veggies that were the star tonight.

And for the monkfish.  Tonight I brushed it with herbs, wrapped it in prosciutto and baked it in the oven. I thought the saltiness of the prosciutto would marry well with the meatiness of the monk fish. Brushing with a little olive oil and herbs adds a little flavour and helps keep the fish moist. This really is an easy dinner dish in under 20 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish
Ingredients
Serves 4
2 fillets monkfish
4 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
6 slices prosciutto
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C
Mix together the herbs, zest and olive oil and add pepper and just a wee pinch of salt as you also have the saltiness of the prosciutto.  Set aside for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse a little.  The brush over the monkfish and wrap it up in the slices of prosciutto. Place in baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes.  It will really depend on the thickness of the monkfish fillets, but you want it just cooked and don't forget it will keep cooking once out of the oven.




With a nice chilled glass of pinot grigio we were all Italiano.




Buon Appetito!



21 September 2010

Tasty Thai

Having been away all weekend no time for shopping or even really thinking about what to cook this week.  So tonight was a case of what is in the fridge and in the pantry.  I seem to still be on a bit of a vegetable phase after Mana Retreat the other weekend, plus with Spring here I have the urge to be a little healthy with Summer just around the corner and potentially some beach time...yikes!  
Or correction Spring was here.  Since Friday we have been hit by all sorts of weather, though I can't really complain as not one of the poor people still without power. One of the largest storms on the planet - apparently the size of Australia! So sadly the weather is once again wintry. So in addition to feeling like being a little healthy I felt the need for a little heat with a good helping of chili and ginger which nudged me in the direction of Thailand. On investigation in to the fridge plenty of delicious vegetables for a Thai inspired vegetable stir fry. 


Ingredients What was in the fridge and pantry
In the end it all comes down to personal taste so if you like more heat add more chili.  Broccoli and mushrooms would be a good addition.  And if you can't go without chicken, beef or prawns would taste pretty good too.

What I used tonight...
1 tbsp Rice Bran Oil - you don't want any oil with too much flavour, sunflower or canola would also be absolutely fine
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 green chillies, thinly sliced, deseed if you don't like too much heat.
fresh ginger, about an inch sliced in to thin strips
2 carrots, julienned / cut in to thin strips
1 red pepper, julienned / cut in to thin strips
1 red onion, thinly sliced, or any onion would do
3 pack choy, chopped, any Asian green would do
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1-2 tsp Mirin ( I know this is Japanese...but I like the sweetness, you could substitute with a tsp of sugar)
Lime juice
Sesame oil
Heat the Rice Bran Oil and add the garlic, ginger and chili.  Let the flavours develop or a moment and then add the carrots, peppers and red onion.  Stir fry for a few moments, that's all it needs as you still want a little crunch.  Add greens and stir fry for another moment.  


Add fish sauce and mirin, another wee moment, a quick squeeze of lime juice and you are done!  Drizzle with a little sesame oil and serve over some boiled or steamed rice. To liven up the rice add some lime zest and juice.  The rice is also really good with a handful of freshly chopped coriander mixed through it.  Light, tasty, healthy and all ready in about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!






   

16 September 2010

Supper Club #3

Supper Club #3 seems an age ago!  Pre Raro, pre retreat and obviously pre Supper Club #4.  It was another night of great food, good vino and of course the fabulous company of the Supper Club Girls.

Keep Calm and Carry On.  Just love this print - love the sentiment.  Kind of a works as a mantra for the kitchen too especially if you feel impending culinary disasters are imminent.  Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster produced by the British Government in 1939 during the beginning of World War 2, to raise the morale of the British public in the case of invasion.  It was meant as a "last case scenario" to be used only should the Nazis succeed in invading Britain, in order to stiffen resolve-all very stiff upper lip. It was little known and never used.  In 2000, a copy of the poster was rediscovered in a second hand bookshop in Northumberland and since Crown Copyright expires on artistic works created by the UK government after 50 years, the store's owners, Stuart and Mary Manley, were able to reprint copies at customers' requests.  Apparently there are even copies in Buckingham Palace and Downing Street. According to Wikipedia they have sold have sold some 41,000 Keep Calm and Carry on posters and if you want one you can get it here along with all sorts of paraphernalia.

Back to the beautiful dinner. To kick things off Grilled Mushroom and Prosciutto Stack.  An elegant and light starter, so a great way to whet the appetite. The salty feta and prosciutto a perfect foil for the meaty field mushrooms and then to finish it off a little spicy kick from the peppery rocket and the final touch a little truffle oil.  For a good truffle infused olive oil try the Village Press, great value and a great substitute for the full Monty which can be just a little pricey!

Love mushrooms, but they do dry out quickly so they are best stored in a paper (rather than plastic) bag and they will keep for a few days in the fridge.  Avoid washing mushrooms as they will become absorb the water and become more than a tad soggy, not very pleasant. Just gently wipe off any dirt or if very grubby peel the skin off.  Generally the flatter a mushroom is, the older it is.  Tight little button mushrooms are the youngest.  Older mushrooms have a stronger more pungent and definitely tastier cooked rather than raw.

So pretty...and tasty too.
Grilled Mushroom and Prosciutto Stack

Ingredients

Field Mushrooms                                    
Olive Oil (garlic infused or EVOO)
Goat Feta                                           
Rocket
Truffle Oil                                              
Salt and Pepper

Directions

Pre heat oven to 180°C.  Remove skins from field mushrooms and brush with garlic olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender. Dress rocket lightly with truffle oil and season with salt and pepper. A little dressing goes a long way. It should just gently coat all the delicate little rocket leaves rather than drown them.
Lay prosciutto onto the middle of each plate. Place roasted mushroom on top. Crumble the goat feta on top of the mushroom and place rocket on top of that.  Voila! Simple, tasty elegance!
  
For main course we moved on to Pistachio Salmon - this was divine and one I will doing again, and again and again - it could well make the favourites list.  Such a great way to do salmon.  The pistachio butter is wicked - taste and calorie ways!  But well worth it and hey you are being good having fish and cauliflower and horseradish puree in place of potatoes!!  The butter is decadent but with the texture of the pistachios and the acid of the lime to cut through it and the salmon...seriously good.  Easy to make and could easily be the star at any dinner party.


Pistachio Salmon

Ingredients

Pistachio Butter
1 cup shelled pistachios                          
300gms softened butter, cubed
Rind & juice of 2 limes                            
1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped               
Salt & pepper

Salmon - 8 fillets                                   
White wine 


Directions
 
Process all of the ingredients for the butter in a food processor until a paste is formed. The butter can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just bring back to room temperature before spreading on the salmon.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Lay the salmon fillets in a roasting dish and fill the pan with white wine until a third of the way up the side of the salmon. Bake for 10-12 minutes until top of salmon is opaque. 
Remove the salmon from the oven. Turn oven onto grill and smear a generous crust (don’t be shy) of the butter paste all over the salmon. Grill for a further 5-8 minutes till a crust is formed. Keep an eye on it, as it will burn easily. The salmon should be medium rare. As per seafood school always just under cook fish and seafood as it will continue to cook out of the oven / grill.  However, if the salmon isn’t cooked to your liking, cover with tin foil and pop back in oven on  back for a couple more minutes.
Serve with steamed green beans or asparagus and cauliflower and horseradish puree - recipe below.
 
Cauliflower and Horseradish Puree

Ingredients

1 Head Cauliflower                                 
½ cup  Cream
Horseradish                                           
Salt and White Pepper
Chicken Stock (oxo cubes or powder is fine) 


Directions

Break up the cauliflower and cook in chicken stock until tender. Drain really well and place back on cook top to steam off as much moisture as possible, as we want silky, creamy puree and not a runny, watery one.  Meanwhile warm the cream in a saucepan.
Puree the cauliflower with a stick blender (or place in blender).  Slowly add the cream and add the horseradish - 2-3 tablespoons is about right but feel free to add more or less depending on your taste.  It all depends if you want the horseradish to be the dominant flavour - personally I love the sharp bite of horseradish. Season with loads of salt and white pepper. Don't be shy with the seasoning.

For dessert one of my all time favourites - Creme Brulee and this one with rhubarb...a delightful little surprise under the creamy vanilla brulee.  It is one of my favourites yet I have never made it.  So thinking I must make it a personal challenge to overcome my fear of trying to.  For me it has always just seemed one of those difficult desserts that I have put in the scary basket along with souffle and pavlova or meringues.  So many delicious fears to overcome, but I am more than up for the challenge.

Loved this one.

Creme Brulee with Rhubarb

Ingredients

Bunch of rhubarb                                                 
2 tbsp sugar
10 egg yolks                                          
1 litre cream
150g sugar                                            
2 vanilla bean pods
Caster sugar for garnish 

Directions
 
Slice up the rhubarb and place in a saucepan with 2 tbsp sugar and stew until cooked down.  Place 2 tbsp of the rhubarb mixture in the base of each of the ramekins or enough to cover the base. Preheat oven to 100°C.
Split vanilla beans and place in saucepan with the cream.  Bring to boil and remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large clean bowl until pale and creamy.
Pour the cooled boiled cream over the egg yolk mixture. Whisk well.  Pass through a sieve and rest for 10 minutes.
Skim the surface bubbles off the mixture and discard.  
Pour the mixture into the ramekins and place in a baking tray, carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until they are still slightly wobbly in centre.
Cool and refrigerate for up to 5 hours.
Sprinkle each ramekin with caster sugar until well covered and using a blowtorch, caramelise the sugar on top or if no blow torch place under the grill for a few moments. Leave for a moment or 2 to allow the caramel to harden..it ain't no creme brulee without the crack of caramel. 


More foodie delights from Supper Club, thanks Pip.


For all my Vegetarian Friends (And those who just love good food!)

Coromandel, NZ
I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at Mana Retreat in the Coromandel for a yoga retreat with Juliet Forch. What a wonderful weekend. Having never been on a yoga retreat I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Whatever expectations I had they were exceeded threefold.

A stunning and tranquil setting, spectacular views, met some wonderful people, some great yoga and totally delicious food. So a pretty damn near perfect weekend.

I headed off Friday afternoon and the perfect afternoon for a wee road trip, well perfect once passed the traffic jams that are Auckland on a Friday afternoon. Out of Auckland and southbound to Thames, hung a left and headed towards Coromandel Town.  A very windy but beautiful drive hugging the Pohutekawa lined coastline to Mana Retreat, nestled up in the bush about 40km from Thames. It would be really stunning when the Pohutekawas are all in bloom.

Arrived late afternoon and settled in to Ponga Lodge, my home for the weekend and then decided to make the most of the late afternoon sun and explore a little.  There are many beautiful pathways to be explored.  I picked the Goddess Path that leads up to Sanctuary and very glad I did as the best weather of the weekend.


Spectacular views from the top.  The first evening dinner and then some restorative yoga.  Dinner was a lentil and lemon soup, homemade bread (totally addictive, especially with a good slathering of butter), beetroot salad, rice salad, green salad and a fruit crumble for dessert - all organic, vegetarian and delicious, a lot of which comes from their vegetable garden.  I definitely need to find some alternative words for delicious.  Post a couple of hours of restorative yoga off with the torch and managed to make it back to Ponga Lodge for a good long sleep.  Not before admiring the amazing display the night sky put on...the stars were truly amazing. 



I am so looking forward to the Mana Recipe book due out early November - watch this space.

More delicious food followed all weekend...and certainly inspiring me to cook some really good vegetarian food and share some inspiration with my vegetarian friends or anyone who just likes really good food. The fritatta with roasted pepper sauce was the lightest, most scrumptious frittata I have ever tasted! Didn't really like frittata until this one - I certainly hope it is in the recipe book that one is way too good not to share.





So on the menu for dinner tonight Patatas a lo Pobre or Poor Man's Potatoes courtesy of Moro The Cookbook.  Sam and Sam Clark share a passion for the intense flavours of the food of Spain, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. The word “Moro”, meaning “Moor” in Spanish, encapsulates much of their style of cooking.  A heady blend of Arabic and Hispanic dishes that offer warm spices and fiery sauces, slow-cooked earthy stews and delicate flavourings. The Moors occupied Spain for 700 years from the 8th to 15th century.  The two spheres of cooking are connected by what is called the cinnamon-saffron link (Spain and Muslim Mediterranean). 

Sam & Sam are the are the chef-owners of Moro Restaurant in London's Exmouth Market - highly recommend it if you are in London town. Moro is one of my favourite cookbooks and full of delicious recipes that are easy to do at home. Most of the recipes are very simple but the resulting flavours are most certainly greater than the sum of their parts.  Great recipes and ideas for small plates if you want to delight your guests with a magnificent Moorish feast.  You can feed meat and non meat lovers no problem at all as vegetables play just as important a role as meat or fish. I have always believed that even as a side vegetables should be just as exciting and flavoursome as the main event. Spices are also integral to most of the recipes and the book is full of useful information on the spices used and how they can be best used to enhance a dish even if it is just a pinch.  As always the best results come from fresh seasonal ingredients.

Anyway I digress, back to the Poor Man's Potatoes.  It may be a simple dish but it was very, very good as a meal served with a fresh green salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette.  It would also make a great side dish.  The slow cooked onions become sweet, golden and brown with little crispy bits and the garlic takes on that great sticky, nutty deliciousness that only garlic can do.  They are really what makes this dish for me.



So here is the recipe courtesy of Moro The Cookbook
Patatas a lo Pobre - Poor Man's Potatoes
Ingredients
Serves 4
15 tbsp olive oil
3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced - it's the thick slices that make for all the sticky, nutty garlic flavour.
3 green peppers, or red if you prefer, halved, seeded and roughly chopped
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh but if not just use 2 dry ones.
1 kg firm, waxy potatoes, peeled
Salt and pepper

Set a large saucepan over a medium hear and add 5 tbsp of olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the onion and a pinch of salt.  Cook the onion slowly, turning down the heat, if necessary, for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and sweet in smell and taste.
Add the garlic, peppers and bay and cook for 15 minutes more to release their flavour.  Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half lengthways and each half in two to three wedges, depending on the size of the potato.  Salt them slightly and leave for 5 minutes.


When the pepper has softened, add the remaining oil and when the oil is hot again, add the potatoes.  Let everything simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain in a colander or sieve.  And serve.


I served this with a simple green salad and a lemon vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette...

Ingredients
1 tbsp shallot, finely chopped, or you could use a little red onion
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon oil (you can make your own by steeping some lemon zest in some EVOO.  The flavour becomes more intense the longer it is left to infuse)
4 tbsp EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk all the ingredients together and you have a smooth, creamy, lemony dressing...a favourite of mine this one and think it will be a Spring regular.


A yummy supper indeed. 

Buon Appetito!