Monthly Archives: September 2014

Mediterranean Bruschettas

Mediterranean Ingredients for bruschettas
Mediterranean bruschettas make a great snack for surprise guests.

One day some friends dropped by without prior notice and we didn’t have anything prepared for a snack. Usually we have some Spanish cured ham, jamón or Manchego cheese, but not this day. We had some old bread, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese in the fridge, but that’s basically all you need for making Mediterranean bruschettas. There’s no strict recipe for them: use what you have on hand. We also had some fresh basil growing on our terrace and it always fits nicely with tomato. And garlic, of course. There has to be some garlic.

This variation is hot bruschetta where the cheese is melted on top. The other way of doing bruschettas is that only the bread is toasted in the oven, garlic in rubbed on the bread, then the bread is oiled and rest of the ingredients are placed cold on top. But we’re making hot ones today.

Ingredients for Mediterranean Bruchettas

  • Sliced bread – pan
  • Extra virgin olive oil – aceite oliva extra virgen
  • Fresh tomatoes – tomates
  • Fresh basil – albahaca
  • Garlic – ajo
  • Olives without stones – aceitunas sin hueso
  • Sea salt – sal marina
  • Ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • (Parmesan) cheese – queso parmesano

Preheat the oven to 225 ºC (450 ºF). Place the breads on the baking tray and drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil on top. It has good taste which goes well with tomato and rest of the ingredients. But regular olive oil will do, too. Chop the tomatoes, garlic, basil and olives and scoop on the breads. Season with salt and pepper. Grate some cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

¡Buen provecho!

Tenderloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Tenderloin steak with mushroom sauce and jacket potatoes
Tenderloin steak with mushroom sauce and jacket potatoes

While we aim to fill our daily meals with seafood, chicken and vegetables every now and then a good steak just hits the spot. Especially during weekends. Tenderloin is one of our favorites, but good ones are hard to find (and they are expensive, too). Locals prefer entrecôte and other cheaper cuts and small butcher shops usually don’t carry tenderloin without preorder.

Couple weeks ago we visited Atarazanas and noticed that fresh yellowfoot mushrooms were available. Initially we were suppose to buy pork loin and make sweet sherry sauce for it, but those mushrooms changed our plans for Saturday night dinner completely. We got some nice big potatoes for making jacket potatoes and a stack of beautiful tenderloin steaks (which fortunately are available in Málaga’s main market hall without preordering).

Ingredients for Tenderloin Steaks and Jacket Potatoes for 4 Servings

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 200-250 g (7-9 oz.) each – filetes de solomillo de vacuno
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • sea or wine salt – sal marina
  • 4 big potatoes – patatas grandes

Preheat the oven to 225 ºC (450 ºF). Wrap the potatoes in aluminium foil and cook for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200 ºC (400 ºF) and cook another 30 minutes.

Let the steaks rest in room temperature at least an hour. When the potatoes and the mushroom sauce are almost done (20-30 minutes cooking time left), preheat the grill very hot. Season with salt and pepper and cook to your liking. We were lucky to have wine salt which works perfectly with steaks.

The video below shows you how to cook the perfect steak and how to check when it’s medium rare.

And let the steaks rest after cooking. You can cover the plate with aluminium foil and let them rest for 15 minutes – no problem. The longer you allow them to just be, the juicier they’ll become.

Ingredients for Mushroom Sauce for 4 Servings

  • 500 g (1 lbs.) of yellowfoot mushrooms – chanterelles
  • 1 big onion – cebolla
  • 0,5 litres (2 cups) of heavy cream – nata cocina
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • sea salt – sal marina

Clean the mushrooms and cut into smaller pieces. Slice the onion into cubes. Put a splash of olive oil on a sauce pan and cook the mushrooms and onions on high heat until onions are soft. Don’t let them burn. Add cream and bring to boil. Lower heat and let the sauce simmer until cream thickens – about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Open aluminium foil from jacket potatoes and cut a cross on top. The potato opens when you press it from the bottom (may need a kitchen towel, because the potatoes are very hot, if they are just from the oven).

Scoop the sauce on top of the potatoes and also make a sauce beds for the steaks. Place the rested steaks on the plates, open a bottle of nice red wine and enjoy your steak dinner!

¡Buen provecho!

Spanish Chicken with Sherry and Garlic

Spanish Chicken in Sherry and Garlic
Spanish Chicken in Sherry and Garlic

One of of our favorite liquor/poultry combinations is Spanish chicken with sweet sherry and garlic. The mixture of saltiness and sweetness along with herbs brings a boring roasted chicken to a whole new level. And with this recipe you won’t end up with dry chicken – guaranteed.

Basically any sweet sherry can be used, but if you can get a bottle of Pedro Ximénez, use that. It is very sweet (so sweet that you can serve it as a dessert drink!), but it works very well with the chicken, too.

Ingredients for Spanish Chicken with Sherry and Garlic

  • 1 whole fresh chicken – pollo entero
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary – ramitas de romero
  • 4 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 1 lime – lima
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1/2 dl (1/4 cup) of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • Sea salt – sal de mar
  • Ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 1/2 bottle of sweet sherry (use Pedro Ximénez, if available) – media botella de PX

Preheat the oven to 225 ºC (450 ºF). Put the chicken on a roasting pan. Cut some slashes to the skin so that you can season it under the skin. Rub sea salt generously on top of the skin as well as under the skin.

Next let’s make the herb paste. Mince garlic, thyme and rosemary and mix with the olive oil. Season with black pepper. Scoop the herb paste to the slashes and rub some on top as well. Put butter nobs in the slashes. They make the skin crunchy and beautifully browned when they melt. Cut the lime to 4-5 slices and place on top of the chicken.

Pour half a bottle of sweet sherry on top of the chicken and put in the oven. After 15 minutes lower the heat to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and scoop the sherry from the bottom on top of the chicken so that is fully coated. Roast for 30 minutes and repeat the coating every 15 minutes.

Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it and cover with sherry once more. You can use the reduced sherry from the bottom of the roasting pan as a sauce when serving the dish. Roasted vegetables go nicely as a side.

¡Buen provecho!