Guacamole is very popular Mexican dip with many variations.
This variation, which includes also the use of tomatoes, is the most appreciated in our family and every times is comes out a bit different as we do not measure the ingredients, we change it a little bit depending on what we have on hand.
This is great as appetizer with tortilla chips, but also with wraps or other dishes.
Mugardos is a small fishing borough and municipality in the Comarca of Ferrol, located in the province of A Coruña in the autonomous community of Galicia, north-western Spain.
It’s here that you can find this delicious octopus stew, but now, as we are not allowed to travel, you can prepare it yourself and create a small vacation at home.
This recipe is calculated for 2 people, but you may boil more octopus and use only the quantity you need (you may also use more) and reserve the remaining for another preparation.
Note: this recipe is perfect if you have some octopus leftovers and you wish to serve more people! I our case I doubled the quantity of potatoes for a full dinner; for this reason this is a variation of the original dish.
Pulpo alla Mugardesa - Octopus and Potatoes Stew from Galicia
1 green pepper (I used another red pepper as did not have the green one), diced
250 g potatoes, peeled and diced (I doubled the quantity of potatoes to 500 g)
1 bay leaf
100 ml white wine
200 ml reserved liquid from the boiled octopus
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
Some smoked paprika (pimienton de la Vera)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, when the water begins to boil you need to grab the octopus from the head and ‘scare it’ by dipping it in the water 3 times and pulling it out. This makes the octopus stiffen, so the skin does not fall during the cooking process and makes the tips of the tentacles curl. Cook your octopus between 20 and 25 minutes on a medium heat. Make sure the octopus is covered with water throughout the cooking. Towards the end of the cooking process, you can check if the octopus is ready by piercing the thicker tentacles with a wooden skewer to check if they are tender enough. Octopus should be al dente, just like pasta. You should feel the same resistance as a cooked potato. Once the cooking time is complete, allow the octopus to rest in the cooking liquid before you drain it and use it for this recipe. I prefer to drain the octopus and let it cool down before slicing. Do not discard the water!
Fry onion and garlic in a non-sticky skillet at low temperature until translucent.
Add peppers and fry a few more minutes.
At this point, add potatoes, bay leaf, and fry for other 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes.
Now add the cooking water from the octopus, the paprika (as well as the smoked one if you like). Add little salt.
Let simmer covered slowly until potatoes are almost done. Add some more cooking liquid form the octopus if needed. The sauce should be liquid but thick enough to bind a little bit.
In the meanwhile, slice the octopus.
Add octopus and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Stir only gently and let simmer for 2 more minutes.
For the best taste, keep warm (do not boil it again) for about 10 minutes before serving.
Salmorejo is a fresh, thick, pink-orange soup consisting of tomatoes, bread and garlic witch is topped with hard boiled eggs and diced jamon serrano (serrano ham). A few days ago I posted the original recipe; now it’s time to post my super quick version for the days you may not have time to wait, but you wish this something fresh and tasty. In these days we try to avoid going out (Coronavirus lockout) and going shopping, we use what we have in the pantry and we adapt the recipes to the ingredients we have on hand.
Salmorejo is a fresh, thick, pink-orange soup consisting of tomatoes, bread and garlic witch is topped with hard boiled eggs and diced jamon serrano (serrano ham). We enjoyed this for the first time in 2014 (see photos!) in the house of our friends in Cordoba and we really loved it. For the preparation we used the light white bread witch, combined with the red of the tomatoes, gave to the dish this nice orange-pink color. The ham was already prepared diced and sold as jamon serrano for salmorejo, but you may simply dice some jamon serrano. Ana used quail eggs, but, as these are mostly not available, normal commercial eggs are suitable for this recipe.
150 g white bread, with light colored crust (or do not use the crust)
Water to soften the bread (more or less 100 ml)
1000 g tomatoes, ripe, washed and diced
100 ml oilve oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon white vinegar, optional
10 g salt, or to taste
2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and diced
100 g serrano ham, diced
Olive oil to drizzle
Dice the bread and add some water to soften it. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Place tomatoes, olive oil and garlic in a food processor, pulse until very smooth and the skin of the tomatoes in not visible. If you know that you food processor is not strong enough, you should remove the skin prior dicing them.
Remove excess water from the bread (simply drain it) the bread and pulse again until smooth.
Season with salt and vinegar to taste. Pulse shortly.
Place in the fridge to chill.
Pour the salmorejo in bowl, top with egg and serrano ham and drizzle a few drops of olive oil.
Today’s travel went virtually to Spain, or better to Andalusia were a few month ago we enjoyed a wonderful week visiting amazing places and we were introduced to the trendy Spanish way to serve Vermouth.
If you are not traveling and you have to stay at home, you can prepare it yourself and enjoy it with you family with some tapas or simply olives!
There are different way to prepare it. Here some suggestions, from super simply to more sophisticated, depending on what you still have at home.
Atole is a Mexican corn beverage drink that is served since Aztec times during festivities. At this time the plain atole was prepared by cooking maize (corn) with water and lime until soft; then ground and cooked until thickened.
If milk is added, it is called atole de leche and if also chocolate is added, this preparation is called champurrado.
Other variation include the bark of cacao (atole de cascara), honey (atole de agua miel), red chile (atole de chile) or the native brown sugar called piloncillo (atole de pinolei).
The addition of chocolate came probably from the Mayan culture and until now in Yucatan (old Mayan territories) they serve a thick chocolate atole perfumed with honey, black pepper and allspice called tanchcua.
As you see there are many different ways to prepare this beverage, I will give you my version; however, you may adapt it to your taste!
For the decoration of the picture I used the “muñequitas” which I bought in Mexico almost 30 years ago in “San Cristobal de La Casas” (Chiapas) and which we still keep for the pleasure of our eyes and souvenirs.
Champurrado - Mexican Hot Chocolate with Corn Flour
I hope you know quinces, if not, I wish you get some and try to prepare this divine preparation which can be prepared in advance and which can be part of menu in both sweet and savory winter dishes in the coming festive days.
“Dulce de membrillo” or simply “membrillo” (Spanish name of quince paste or quince cheese) is a sweet, sticky, very thick jelly made with quinces, and is a typical dessert eaten with cheese in Spain (as the name), but it is also wonderful served for breakfast on toasted bread.
This year we got a very mild autumn and until now, the temperature did not reach the freezing point.
At the beginning of October, we collected most of the quinces, but some of them were too high for the harvest. This week the last quinces fall down, I collected them, and I knew I had to preserve them as soon as possible.
I remembered that I have already prepared quince paste, but this time I wanted to use less sugar and add more lemon flavor. I also decided to blend them only after turn reddish; it is easier for me to reduce the liquid in this way.
As membrillo contains a lot of sugar, it may be kept in the fridge for a long time. However, as I in my recipe I reduced the quantity of sugar, I suggest to keep it well wrapped in the fridge for about 2 weeks, if you want to keep it longer, I suggest to freeze it.
Place the sugar in a heavy pot add grated lemon zest, the juice of the lemon and the water. Stir. Place the pot to very low heat.
Immediately peal the first quince, remove the cored and dice them. Add the prepared quince to the sugar mix and stir. Continue to prepare the quinces add them one by one to the mixture. You will see that the quinces will release their liquid-
Let this simmer slowly stirring form time to time to reduce the liquid; don’t let it stick and burn at the bottom. Most of the quinces will turn mush and after about 1 to 1½ hours, the mixture will begin to turn orange-reddish.
When the liquid is mostly reduced, turn it to puree using the hand blender.
Continue cooking stirring frequently with a wooden spatula, until the paste becomes very thick and has a deep orange color.
There several ways to check if the paste is ready to be poured in the molds:
Draw the wooden spoon along the bottom of the saucepan: it should leave a trail and the quince mixture will stick to the spoon.
The mixture is thick enough to hold the spoon upright
The paste should easily come off from the sides of the pan.
The paste is thick enough if you are able to see the base of the pan when you draw the wooden spoon through the mixture.
Scrape the paste into your prepared tin (I use simply clear foil) and level the top. I also used silicon molds, which worked perfectly for this. Leave to set for at least a day in a warm place, then wrap and store airtight in the fridge.
Our delicious oranges from Crete (the best I know!) inspired me to prepare homemade candied orange zest and since then I am using them for different recipes.
Just before Easter, I prepare my “Colomba” again (Easter Italian Dove Cake) and this week these easier version perfect for breakfast and for giveaway!
In recipe I mentioned the soft candied orange zest; I made it at home boiling the cleaned orange peels (after easting the orange first) in water, throwing away most of the liquid and adding the sugar (same weight as the zest). I’ve boiled until the water was evaporated and the zest quite dry but still soft. I spread it on a baking tray and the next day I sliced it and placed it in small jars. In order to prevent mold, I placed the closed jars in a pot with boiling water (covering half of the height of the jars) and after simmering for at least 30 minutes, switched of the heat and waited until cooled down in the pot. This is not the conventional way to prepare the zest, but it’s easy for me and I love to have this wonderful ingredient ready to be used.
If you don’t make the candied orange zest yourself, I suggest soften it for a few hours in little hot water prior use.
We know that not everybody has his culture of sourdough, for this reason a placed the alternative directly in the ingredients!
1/2 cup sourdough starter (100% hydration), alternative: 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup flour + 1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 orange grated zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter (for the dough)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups flour
1/2 cup of soft candied orange zest (best if made at home)
Additional flour for rolling out
6 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons sugar for clear glaze
Combine in a big bowl the sourdough starter, stir well, add the first cup of flour and stir well again. Cover and place in a war warm place to rise (I use the oven with only light on). The best temperature is around 26-27°C.
When the mixture is foaming add the orange zest, salt, the first 1/4 cup of butter, the sugar, and the egg. Stir well. Mix together 3 cups of four with the orange zest and add them to the dough. Stir and knead until well combined. You may stir/knead with the dough spatula in the bowl or use the kneading machine. The dough should result wet but not too sticky. If necessary, add some more flour.
Cover and let rise until doubled in a warm place (see above).
Divide the dough into two portions. Roll out the first portion onto a floured surface to the size of about 50 to 40 cm. Brush with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and roll the dough form the longer side. Now you have cylinder about 50 cm long. Cut the cylinder into 2.5 cm slices and place each one in a prepared muffin mold (I use silicone ones so I don’t need to prepare the surface). Repeat the same with the second part of the dough.
Place a heat-resistant bowl of warm water into the oven and place the molds in the oven to rise. Depending on your yeast/sourdough and the temperature, this takes 1 hour to a few hours!
Let rise until they rise (I let them rise until three fold volume!) and preheat the oven to 170°C (let the bowl in the oven.
For the glaze combine the hot water with the sugar and stir until the sugar almost completely melted. Gently brush the risen brioches.
In my life I have prepared nachos only once ( Nachos de Camarones) and my family asked me to make some more.
This special wish came perfect with the given list of ingredients I for the game “ready set cook” as tortilla and chicken were among the options.
The combination were done quite quickly and the result delicious.
I did not add cheese (as not in the list J ), and exactly had been appreciated as the dish resulted lighter; I think I would have added some cumin, but all spice was a great alternative and finally the addition of the thick yogurt made the dish fresher!
I recommend not adding too much salt, as the chips are usually salted; adapt the quantity to the chips!
This dish created for a cooking game where the ingredients are restricted from a selected list came out very tasty and delighted my family very much. I made a selection of the ingredients, which I had on hand and picked some winter savory (satureja montana) from the garden. For the cooking way I decided to create a new dish inspired by a vegetables stew with cheese, we got in Gran Canaria called “pisto”. Usually this dish is served with eggs, but in this case the cheese took the most important part and a so simple dish turned out in a great stew!
I’ve served this recipe as single portions in clay pots, but you can also place this is only one bigger oven proof mold. Serve with croutons or with a slice of rustic bread.