Monthly Archives: December 2014

Seared Duck Breasts with Pedro Ximénez

Duck breast with caramelized apples and Pedro Ximenez sauce
Duck breast with caramelized apples and Pedro Ximenez sauce

Sweet sherry is consumed especially in Málaga area. Spanish people don’t even call it sherry, it’s Málaga dulce or Vino de Málaga. One of the most popular grapes used for making this wine is sweet Pedro Ximénez. It’s a beautiful dessert wine, but there are a lot of Spanish recipes utilizing this fine product, too, for making a sauce. Duck breast with Pedro Ximenez sauce is one of them.

Ingredients for Pedro Ximenez Sherry Sauce

  • splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 4 shallots – chalotes
  • half a bottle of Pedro Ximénez cherry – Málaga dulce de PX
  • pinch of sea salt – sal marina

Chop shallots very fine and soften in olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer until reduced to about half. It takes about half an hour. Season with salt to taste.

Ingredients for Seared Duck Breasts for 4 Servings

  •  2 large duck breasts with the fat on – pechugas de pato
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Place the duck breasts in room temperature about an hour before starting to prepare them. Score the fat. Don’t cut too deep, we only want the fat to be scored – not the meat. Put the breasts to a cold frying pan and put it on high heat. When most of the fat is melted (about 3 minutes), turn the breasts and cook the other side for another 3 minuts. Don’t toss the fat away, you’ll need it for the apples.

Season the breasts with salt and pepper on both sides and wrap them into aluminium foil. Let them cook in 200 ºC (400 ºF) oven for 10 minutes and rest another 10 minutes before cutting.

Ingredients for Caramelized Apples

  • 4 green apples – manzanas verdes
  • 3 tablespoons of duck fat – grasa de pato
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of brown sugar – azucar moreno

Peel the apples and cut them into thumb size cubes. Put a frying on medium heat and splash some olive oil on the bottom. Add the apples and sugar to the pan and fry them until they are medium soft. Don’t overcook them. There should be some structure left in the apples.

¡Buen provecho!

Salmon Sandwich Cake

Salmon sandwich cake
Salmon sandwich cake is a perfect Christmas dish!

Idea for this sandwich cake came from this year’s Lidl‘s Christmas magazine. This dish was on the cover and we decided to give it a try. As you can see, it turned out great and was tasty as well!

Ingredients for Salmon Sandwich Cake

  • 500 g (1 lbs) of cold smoked salmon – salmón ahumado
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of mayonnaise
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of peeled shrimps – langostinos
  • 1 spring onion – cebollita
  • 2 eggs – huevos
  • 6 slices of toast – pan tostada
  • 5 tablespoons of capers – alcaparras
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • dill for garnishing – eneldo
  • 1 lemon for garnishing – limón
  • a punch of arugula for garnishing – rúcula
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva

First make the mayonnaise. Chop spring onions. If the shrimps are very big, cut them in half, too. Mix them with the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the eggs (5-6 minute eggs work fine).

Splash some olive oil on to the mold (a plastic container will do fine) and spread the oil evenly throughout the edges. This makes removing the cake from the mold easier.

Place layers of smoked salmon all over the mold. Leave edges hanging outside of the mold.Remove the crust from the toast slices. Cut them so that they fit into the  mold.  Place the ingredients on top of the salmon in the following order:

  1. bread
  2. mayonnaise mixture
  3. bread
  4. egg slices
  5. 2 tablespoons of capers
  6. bread

Turn the salmon edges on top of the last layer of bread and seal the lid. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. Garnish with capers, slices of lemon, arugula and dill.

¡Buen provecho!

The Best Mulled Wine for Christmas

A mug of mulled wine
This is by far the best recipe for making mulled wine!

Spanish people call this vino caliente, hot wine, in Finland and Sweden it’s called glögi or glögg and for some unexplained reason in English it’s mulled wine. Well, it’s the same thing in every country, though. We’ve been making mulled wine every Christmas for years and it’s a perfect drink when you’re preparing Christmas dishes as well as serving for your guests (who come to visit bringing you a whole lot of Christmas presents, hopefully).

Ingredients for Mulled Wine for 4 Servings

  • 1 orange – naranja
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of sugar – azucar
  • 4 star anises – anís estrellado
  • 1 vanilla pod –  vaina de vainilla
  • 6 whole cloves – clavos enteros
  • 6 dl (3 cups) of black currant juice – zumo de grosella negra
  • a thumb size piece of fresh ginger – jengibre
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cardamoms – cardamomos
  • 1 bottle of red wine – vino tinto
  • 4 cinnamon sticks – ramitas de canela

Peel orange and mix the peeled zest with all remaining ingredients except red wine and cinnamon sticks in large pot. Squeeze the orange juice into the pot. Bring to boil and add the wine. Reheat, but don’t let it boil. Serve with the cinnamon sticks in the mugs. If you wish, you can filter the wine, but skillful scooping to avoid spices entering the mugs will do, too!

You can use orange slices and star anises to garnish the mugs.

¡Feliz Navidad!
¡Merry Christmas!
¡Hyvää joulua!