Monthly Archives: June 2014

Spanish Garlic Soup – Sopa de Ajo Blanco

Sopa de ajo blanco
Sopa de ajo blanco

Ajo Blanco, also known as white gazpacho, is a traditional Málaga area cold soup. You can find it in many restaurants as a starter. After testing several recipes this is by far the best one we have found. Garlic soup is usually served cold in Spain, but this version is best served hot.

Ingredients for Spanish Garlic Soup for 4 Servings

  • 4 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 1 leek – puerra
  • 1 chili – pimiento picante
  • 2 whole garlics, about 20-25 cloves – ajo
  • 1,5 l (6 cups) chicken stock – caldo de pollo
  • 1 glass of white wine – vino blanco
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of potatoes – patatas
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt – sal marina
  • a handful of chopped parsley – perejil
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of heavy cream – nata cocina
  • a handful of croutons – crutones
  • grated Manchego cheese – queso Manchego

Mince leek, parsley, garlic and chili. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and fry leek, garlic cloves and chili for couple of minutes. Add white wine, chicken stock, potatoes and parsley. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Use stick blender to make silky smooth structure. Add the cream and bring to boil again. Add little butter to give the soup nice gloss. Serve with the croutons, grated cheese and chopped garlic stems or leek.

¡Buen provecho!

The Best BBQ Sauce!

The best BBQ sauce!
The best BBQ sauce!

This BBQ sauce recipe is something that we have done several times over the years. It is far better than any bottled sauce. Also, the soft ingredients in the sauce give you the feeling of home made sauce, so we usually do not use blender when making this. You can use it for ribs for marinating and dipping sauce. It goes well with pulled pork and why not just dip some fries into it! ¿Por que no?

The Best BBQ Sauce for 4 Servings

  • 4 chopped spring onion – cebolleta
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or garlic stems) finely minced – dientes de ajo
  • 0,5 dl (1/4 cup) olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 1 chili – pimiento picante
  • 1 teaspoon of spicy Spanish smoked paprika – pimentón picante
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked salt – sal ahumado
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 4 dl (2 cups) of ketchup – ketchup
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of brown sugar – azucar morena
  • 0,5 dl (1/4 cup) of apple vinegar
  • 0,5 dl (1/4 cup) Dijon mustard – mostaza Dijon
  • 0,5 dl (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce – salsa Worcestershire
  • a few drops of chipotle tabasco – tabasco chipotle

Soften chopped onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add chopped chili, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper and stir well. And remaining ingredients, stir and bring to boil. Lower heat and let the sauce simmer for about one hour.

After the hour check the taste. You can increase spiciness by adding tabasco. Check the balance between salt and sugar and adjust, if needed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least for one day before using.

¡Buen provecho!

 

The Best French Fries! (by Heston Blumenthal)

Frying on high heat
Frying on high heat

Have you ever had good fries – I mean – really good fries? Not those sad ones you get from McDonald’s, but the thick crunchy fries they serve in really good restaurants?  I was wondering how they make those and I found Heston Blumenthal’s video from YouTube describing the process. It takes little more than microwaving a bag of chips, but it’s really worth it! As Heston says in the video: You have to cook them not once, not twice, but three times!

Ingredients for The Best French Fries for 4 Servings

  • 1 kg (2 lbs.) of potatoes – patatas
  • 1 litre (1/4 gallons) of sunflower oil for frying – aceite para freir
  • pinch of sea salt – sal marina

Wash the potatoes and cut them 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick chips. Put the chips in a large pot where you can fit all chips at once. Leave them under running water for about 5 minutes to get rid of excess starch.

Put the pot on stove for 20 minutes. At this point the water almost starts to boil. Remove the pot from the stove, drain the water out and let the chips cool down a bit. Place the chips on an oven grid (or alike) and put them into the freezer for about an hour to dry.

Heat up the frying oil to 130 ºC (270 ºF) – use a thermometer to check the temperature. In the beginning you may heat the oil up 150 ºC (300 ºF), because frozen chips cool down the oil. Fry the chips for 5 minutes so that the surface begins turn slightly brown. You need to do this in batches, if you are using 1 litre of oil. Use a pot large enough, because frying oil raises when you place cold items in.

Hot tip: If you want to make a large batch of fries for later use, freeze them now. If you are serving them immediately, it’s not necessary to freeze them after the first fry.

For the second fry, heat the oil to 180 ºC (360 ºF) and in the beginning it may be as hot as 200 ºC (390 ºF), but not higher, because the oil begins to burn easily. Cook the chips, season with salt and you are ready to serve The Best Fries ever!

¡Buen provecho!