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May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Fish, Poultry, and Meat Thread

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Please use this thread to discuss Fish, Poultry, and Meat from the following chapters:

Food of Spain - Fish and Seafood, pages 297 - 347
Food of Spain - Poultry and Game, pages 349 - 391
Food of Spain - Meat, pages 393 - 437
Moro - Fish Main Courses, pages 177 - 200
Moro - Meat Main Courses, pages 201 -226

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  1. I cheated and started this weekend. On Saturday night we had the Fish tagine with potatoes, tomatoes and olives from Moro (p. 183). The recipes is here, about halfway down the page, for those of you without the book: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/r...

    I absolutely loved this dish. Lulu liked it a lot too. LulusDad didn't have a whole lot to say about it, so I'm guessing either he was mulling algebra in his head (yeah, he's sweet but a little weird) or he wasn't so taken with it. But I LOVED it. That said, it took a bit more work than I had expected. A charmoula is made from garlic, salt, cumin, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, paprika, cilantro and olive oil. I used the food processor; you can also use mortar and pestle. Rub about 2/3 of the mixture onto the fish and let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Next you boil some waxy potatoes until just tender, drain and halve. Fry some garlic with olive oil until light brown, add halved cherry tomatoes, toss. Then add grilled, peeled, sliced green peppers and the rest of the charmoula. Put about 3/4 of this mixture into the bottom of your tagine or pan (oh, on top of the halved potatoes), add the fish on top, put the remaining tomato/pepper mixture, then sprinkle some olives on top and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. I didn't need to add any side - there was more than enough for the 3 of us, and it had it all - carbs, protein, vegetables - and loads of flavor.

    5 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      This sounds really tasty, but there are a lot of steps involved! Having made the recipe, do you think it would be possible to simplify it a bit, and if so, do you have any tips?

      1. re: Westminstress

        You could make the charmoula ahead of time. You could skip the whole roasting of the peppers (although of course they wouldn't be quite as delicate), but that is about it. I have to say, I was surprised how long I was in the kitchen for this one. At the same time, I really did enjoy it, and was glad I'd taken the time/effort.

        1. re: Westminstress

          there is also a charmoula mix that kalustyan sells that could speed up the assembly. You still have to add parsley etc but its pretty good.

        2. re: LulusMom

          Fish Tagine with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Olives, p. 183

          Our family also really enjoyed this too, and yes; this was one dish that we ALL liked a lot, children, adults, and even the cook! The "charmoula" was absolutely delicious, giving the fish (I used haddock) and the sauce so much flavor. It is an uncomplicated prep, but does have several steps, some of which could be done ahead (grilling peppers, making the charmoula, assembling the sauce to be reheated later.) I took LulusMom's advice and used the food processor for the charmoula or it would have taken even longer! It was a great one-dish meal, and the next day we had the left-overs for an even-more flavorsome lunch!

          1. re: LulusMom

            I made the fish tagine tonight, using the link provided by LulusMom. I roasted the peppers and made the charmoula (I used the food processor) last night. I used fillets of wild Alaskan cod. I didn't peel the potatoes (why peel new potatoes?) and instead of frying the garlic cloves until brown, I chopped them and sautéed them until just beginning to color before adding the tomatoes.

            I and my guests really enjoyed this. Lots of flavor from the charmoula. I served roasted asparagus tossed with the Moro pomegranate molasses dressing alongside. Looking forward to the leftovers of both for lunch tomorrow.

          2. Mero en Amarillo (Grouper with peas and saffron) p. 184 Moro.

            I used flounder because it was local and fresh and looked beautiful. We all thought this dish was fine, but didn't have the "kebang" factor we like. If you absolutely love saffron, this would be a good dish for you. First you fry up 6 garlic cloves, then some cubed bread. Make a paste out of this (mine was a little dry to be called a paste, but it worked). Season your fish and put in the pan. Fry on each side until "sealed." Add the garlic/bread paste with some white wine. Let that bubble for about 30 seconds; add water with saffron and some peas (I used frozen, which they ok), turn down the heat and cover and cooked until cooked through. Fine, nothing earth-shattering here. Again, for those without the book, a link to the recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

            1. Pollo al ajillo (chicken cooked with bay, garlic and white wine), Moro, p220

              This was good for me, but not great. Mr GG loved it though. Simple prep - separate two whole bulbs of garlic into cloves but leave the skins on. Warm 4T EVOO and fry the garlic gently until golden. Remove the garlic and brown a whole, jointed chicken in olive oil. I made it harder for myself by cutting the bird up myself, which really is not my forte. You leave the skin on the breasts and wings and skin the thighs and drumsticks.

              Return the garlic to the pan and add 200ml of white wine or fino and bay leaves (fresh if possible). Simmer uncovered for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol then stir in water. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes, then remove the breasts and simmer the dark meat for 10 mins. These timings were perfect for me. Return the breasts to the pan to heat through then adjust the seasoning if necessary.

              This gave moist chicken in a tasty sauce. I served the whole garlic cloves as well, although it doesn't say to do so, and they were mellow and delicious. We mopped up the sauce with fresh ciabatta and I served a simple green salad on the side with the knock-out pomegranate molasses dressing also from this book. A lovely dinner.

              16 Replies
              1. re: greedygirl

                Pollo al ajillo (page 220)
                I made this last night. Although it was not strikingly different in flavor than other chicken dishes I've made in the past, I found myself unable to stop sopping up the sauce! I was faithful to the recipe
                ( which is described well above) except that I used dried Turkish Bay leaves rather than fresh, and I did halve the recipe. I will make this again sometime.

                1. re: greedygirl

                  I am going to have to do this one; I bet it turns out quite differently with white wine vs. Fino Sherry.

                  I shal report on the Sherry version, as I have a bottle brought by a friend who was recently in Spain:)

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    Pollo al Ajillo, p. 220 Moro Cookbook

                    Although the reviews above are not all raves, I am going to try my hand at this recipe tonight. I have boneless, skinless chicken thighs defrosting in the sink right now and that is my main motivation for trying this dish. I am hoping that my family approves, because my dinner last night was a bust. No plan yet as to what to serve alongside.

                    1. re: dkennedy

                      Pollo al Ajillo, p. 220 Moro Cookbook

                      Well, my family ended up loving this dish though I can't imagine why. I thought it was just so-so.

                      1. re: dkennedy

                        You know, dkennedy, you bring up an interesting question that I have always wondered about; why do my family members and/or Mr. Goblin sometimes really like certain COTM recipes that I am only so-so about too? Sometimes they rave about a recipe that I consider OK but not great. Is it because:
                        1. Folks are always predisposed to like a dish that is served to them--that they didn't have to make for themselves?
                        2. The cook has acquired "admiration fatigue" after all the prep/tasting and so on that getting a recipe made and onto the table requires?
                        3. De gustibus non est disputandem--?

                        And then there're the completed dishes that I think are terrific, and my family doesn't quite "get"!

                        1. re: Goblin

                          And then there're the completed dishes that I think are terrific, and my family doesn't quite "get"! I come across this reaction far too often.

                          Last nights dinner was laughably effortless and yet my daughter asked for seconds (which never happens), so did my DH, and my son said make it again. Meanwhile when I do go through the effort to make a complicated, layered dish it is usually lost on the kids. Frustrating!

                          1. re: Goblin

                            I tend to think 1) is the most common answer. I know that the one night a week that my husband cooks for me is a night when I'm thrilled with dinner almost all the time. Just the fact that someone else has done the work - thinking of what to make, shopping for it, doing the chopping, the cooking, any pre-washing up that is appropriate - that all makes me so happy that I'm very pleased to eat whatever is available.

                            I have an insomnia problem (somewhat less now that motherhood exhaustion is always there), and when I lived alone and worked at an office I would often wake up in the middle of the night and end up making some sort of cake or nibble that I could take in with me, just to keep myself occupied. And people absolutely loved it. Surely the cakes/nibbles were not always so wonderful, but the fact that people found them there, free of charge and energy on their part was a big reason they were such hits.

                            The ones where the family doesn't quite "get" them are the ones that drive me crazy. when I'm loving the meal and the others seem sort of "eh" about the whole thing it makes me slightly crazy.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              "The ones where the family doesn't quite "get" them are the ones that drive me crazy. when I'm loving the meal and the others seem sort of "eh" about the whole thing it makes me slightly crazy."

                              Totally agree. Had a bit of that tonight when I was loving the grilled mackerel and my family was less enthusiastic about it. It didn't bother me too much though because the prep was so easy and quick that not too much sweat equity invested on my part. Plus, since it is so easy and relatively healthy that I figure I will probably make it again anyway.

                              It is the times I spend a lot of time on a recipe, particularly one that I pick out because I think my husband or kids will like it, and then they are lukewarm that really irk me.

                              Honestly, I think sometimes dishes are huge "hits" at my house because everyone is hungry. On nights when my husband has skipped lunch, he always thinks dinner is a winner :)

                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                I think you definitely have something there (the hungry theory)! Maybe on nights when I know dinner will be somewhat work intensive I need to figure out some way (constant distractions?) to keep my husband from emptying the fridge at lunch time (or at least backing away from the bag of chips in the afternoon). I'm going to start monitoring which nights get "meh" type responses and what his lunch was (and if Lulu had a birthday party at school that day).

                    2. re: greedygirl

                      THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                      Garlic Chicken (Pollo al Ajillo) - Castile - La Mancha, Pg.351
                      http://4plates2table.com/2011/08/18/

                      Wow... Great COTM minds. I chose one of the most simple recipes from the FOS book, but arguably one of the most tasty, for our first May dinner too. The procedure is pretty much the same as the Moro recipe it seems, especially since we now know how much the Clarks rely on Rosen. I used dry white wine even though we have Fino in the cabinet. The pan sauce was full of flavor and had a lovely unctuous quality. I feel the chicken has to be aggressively seasoned before browning to defend itself against all the other flavors. Make sure there's plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

                      We loved this. The garlic was not too pronounced but enhanced the flavor of the chicken. I'll make this again to be sure. The side dish was a tapas from Daisy Cooks! by Daisy Martinez: Asparagus with Serrano Ham and Manchego cheese. Yum...

                      I've added a link to a much altered version of this basic recipe but the essence is there and if anyone wants accurate amounts or clarification etc., just ask. Bear in mind, Ms Roden did Not use Wondra flour as the blogger did...

                      1. re: Gio

                        You say, "The garlic was not too pronounced but enhanced the flavor of the chicken."
                        I'm going to make this Sunday or Monday, using a whole cut-up chicken about 3-1/2 lbs.,and am wondering if you used 1 'or' two heads of garlic in yours recipe; i.e.,if you used the FOS recipe or the linked recipe.
                        FOS suggests 1 or 2 heads of garlic for a whole chicken. No biggie, just curious. Thanks, Gio.

                        1. re: Rella

                          Good morning Rella. I used Claudia Roden's recipe in TFOS and I used the 2 heads of garlic. In order to speed the process of peeling each clove I sliced off the root end, and holding the tips, I smashed the head with the side of my chef's knife. This doesn't take all the skin off at once but it gives you a good start. If you make this recipe I hope you enjoy it as we did.

                          1. re: Gio

                            I really don't know what to say, but in this case, there might have been several things that caused us not to like this recipe 'that much.'
                            Defnitely a lot left over for today.
                            Here are the things that probably could have changed the taste. If I had initially browned the chicken more. The pan was not over-crowded. As you say above, the chicken could have been seasoned more .... I'm always afraid that salt will toughen, so it's a close call for me how much to salt chicken.

                            I feel that the garlic could have been more pronounced, and to make it so, if I made it again, I would roast the garlic in oil and squeeze it into the broth.

                            I felt the 3 bay leaves I used flavored the chicken meat. We just didn't like this taste. The wine I used, a Pinot Grigio, my last bottle of this grape I'll ever buy, was not right for this dish. The chicken stock I used was a nice strength of my homemade from the last organic chicken.

                            I did buy a bottle of Spanish olive oil for this dish, and when it heated, I loved the smell, and also when the chicken was frying in it.

                            There was loads of the broth, but somehow it reminded me of the broth in 'Chicken and Rice" - I think it is called - that I liked in Singapore. I think it might have been the je ne sais quoi.

                            1. re: Rella

                              Hmmm... I really don't know what to say also. As a discussion above describes some folks either like or dislike these recipes for whatever reason. Making substitutions is risky I think. One has to be aware of the subtleties and distinct character of ingredients in order to make alternative choices successfully. I'm not saying you don't Rella, but sometimes what we thought would be great... simply isn't. I'm sorry this recipe was not pleasing to you.

                              I must say, though, that we cook A Lot of chicken in many different variations so it takes a noticeable difference in a recipe for us to like it. In this case it must have been the load of garlic, the Chardonnay, homemade salt-free chicken stock, and the dry bay leaves... everything just came together to suit us very well.

                              1. re: Gio

                                "Making substitutions is risky.." :

                                I agree and specifically when cooking cuisine of another country where we have every reason to believe that it is a bona fide recipe of that country by the author.

                                In that case, and here, I don't like to make substitutions my first go-round, but like to try to duplicate the recipe as the author as described.

                                I do love garlic and I've never cooked a 40-cloves of garlic chicken recipe which I think a video covers this type of recipe in ATK/Cook's Illustrated season 4?. I didn't count my cloves, but 1 head was 48 grams. 2 heads is getting cose to 40, heh?

                                Thanks for your reply, Gio.

                      2. re: greedygirl

                        Pollo al ajillo (chicken cooked with bay, garlic and white wine), Moro, p. 220

                        Our turn on this dish. We also thought the dish was good, but not great. The sauce (we used fino sherry) was the highlight (along with the garlic clove)- great for mopping. Roden's version appears to be very similar accept that the skin is kept on the thighs and chicken stock is used instead of water. I may try this to see if it elevates the dish. Either way, it was a satisfying and quick meal on a work night- no complaints.

                      3. Roast Chicken with Harissa – Moro – p. 217

                        Delicious! I picked up a lovely, plump chicken at the butcher’s and though Melissa Clark was tempting me last weekend, I couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe that originally caught my eye when I flipped through the book in the bookstore.

                        If you are using purchased Harissa (and the author’s encourage you to make your own with their recipe, cautioning that store-bought may be bitter) this dish comes together very quickly . . . and I did use my own, doctored version. If you are making your own Harissa, you’ll need to allow a little more time. Given the Clark’s caution, I decided to taste my Harissa and indeed, it was a little bitter so I added some sweet pepper paste and some honey until the flavours balanced out. The bird is rubbed w the Harissa, sprinkled generously w S&P then left in the fridge for a couple of hours prior to roasting at 425°F for 50 mins. I should note that I placed a halved lemon and a head of garlic in the cavity of my bird prior to roasting as we love those flavours w Harissa.

                        Our aromatic bird emerged looking a little burnt in spots due to my addition of honey but thankfully it was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The heat of the Harissa was just right and made for a really delicious roast. I’d definitely make this again. I served it with some warm Harissa-infused honey on the side for dipping.

                         
                         
                         
                        21 Replies
                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          I'm looking at this recipe for tomorrow night, and I have one question...
                          Does the flavor of the harissa penetrate into the meat at all? I don't really like chicken skin (oh I know, I've nearly lost friendships over this). So if I took off the skin on mine, after cooking, do you think I'd still have a flavorful chicken? Mr. NS likes the skin, so no problem for his share.

                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            I'm not a big fan of skin either LN so I remove mine too and yes, the Harissa flavour did infuse the meat. I did serve mine w the Harissa honey on the side though so I was getting some Harissa flavour from there as well.

                            For insurance, why don't you put some inside the bird so it steams into the meat as well....if you like lemon you could smear it on the cut side of the lemon prior to inserting the pieces in the cavity.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Thanks for your notes Breadcrumbs. I'm also looking at Chicken and shrimp with almond and chocolate sauce, but that one seems more like a weekend dish. This one seems like a good one for a Wednesday!

                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Sounds delicious. I bet you would also like this recipe, which I love (it's got tons of flavor): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            For homemade ras el hanout (REH is in the recipe linked above), I use the one that's part of this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Caitlin you won't believe this but that's been my "go to" ras el hanout recipe for years!! I LOVE it and have even made big batches and given it as gifts! What a small world we live in!

                              Thanks so much for sharing that chicken recipe, it sounds fabulous and I will most definitely make it, I really appreciate it Caitlin.

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                Small world, indeed! I've never made the bstillas in the link, but that's definitely my ras el hanout of choice, as well. It's so complex and flavorful. If you try the roast chicken with Moroccan spices, do let me know what you think.

                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Yummy! I can't wait to get started.... do you rub some of the Harissa under the skin on the breasts and thighs?

                              1. re: gingershelley

                                Ha! That's what I'm thinking of doing! Great minds...

                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                Roast Chicken with Harissa, Moro, page 217.

                                I did not make my own harissa this time, but used a jar of Mustapha's Moroccan Harissa, which is very nice, and not bitter at all (I far prefer it to the Tunisian harissa that comes in a little can). We made some structural changes in this recipe in that the chicken was spatchcocked and cooked on the grill. I coated the chicken with the harissa (and rubbed some under the skin also), salt, and pepper, and let it rest in the fridge for the better part of the day. Guided by the notes for cooking a boned chicken, on page 216, we started the chicken in a cast iron skillet on the grill. When it came time to flip it, it was plopped onto the grill, and the pan came inside where I added the lemon juice and water to the drippings in the pan to make the sauce.

                                This made a wonderful, tasty bird. And we really liked the cooking method; you end up with a smoky, grilled chicken, and pan drippings for a sauce. The best of both worlds.

                                I served this with a bit of harissa on the side, and a mixed vegetable dish from Food of Spain. Nice combination, lovely dinner.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  LN, wow, that looks delicious.

                                  1. re: Blythe spirit

                                    Thanks Blythe spirit! It was pretty darn good, I must say.

                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  Roast Chicken with Harissa - Moro - p. 217

                                  Loved this dish. The night before cooking, I salted the chicken a la Judy Rodgers (but a little less heavily) and smeared a generous amount of harissa all over the outside and a bit inside the cavity. I did not rub under the skin out of deference to my toddler. I did not make the harissa myself but purchased it from a great specialty store in my neighborhood that makes it fresh - honestly theirs is delicious and probably better than what I would make. The next night I roasted at 425 for a little over an hour. (My oven takes longer than most ovens and I usually turn the temperature up to compensate, but when I roasted at 450 I worried that the harissa was burning and turned the temp down a bit.) The chicken was juicy and delicious, loved the addition of harissa. Served with moros y cristianos and dressed acelgas, see report in the vegetable thread.

                                  I think the harissa would also be great on chicken parts for a faster after-work dinner. I would use drumsticks because then you would get a lot of harissa-coated crispy chicken skin with each bite, and I wouldn't bother to marinate. I have a lot of harissa left over, so I will definitely be trying this simpler version, will post back to let you know how it works out.

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    Here's an example of COTM reach beyond the cookbook users. I don't have the Moro cookbook (although, as of yesterday, all three are on their way to me, because I have a cookbook problem). This looked so incredibly tasty to me that I had to have it. So last night, I cut a little under a cup of harissa (store bought) with juice of one pretty juicy lemon. I smeared it all over the chicken and under the skin. I stuffed the cavity with thick slices of another lemon. And I instructed my partner to roast it while I was at a late meeting. He ended up adding a bit of water about 45 minutes in and basting a couple more times after that.

                                    The result...wow. Tender, incredibly flavorful. Just wonderful. We will have it again. And again and again.

                                    So thanks COTM!

                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Roast Chicken with Harissa, Moro, p. 217

                                      Another take on this easy and delicious recipe. It was my first experience with harissa--my, that is a tasty condiment! My jarred version was purchased it from the La Tienda site, and because of the other posts, I did taste it first and added some honey to smooth out the acidity. Don't have too much to add to the other reports, except that I agree that it would be better to rub the harissa under the skin rather than on top--the flavor doesn't really permeate otherwise, even if the chicken is rubbed ahead of time and left in the refrigerator for a few hours. The skin tasted dandy, but I wanted more flavor in the chicken meat itself. I also made a simple pan reduction as the recipe recommends while the roasted chicken is resting--just some water and lemon juice added to the (poured off) fat left in the pan--and this did add more flavor.

                                      The recipe produces a very moist chicken and I will try it again. Here's a photo, which looks remarkably like Breadcrumb's chicken! Served with the cauliflower with saffron, pine nuts, and raisins (p. 236) and roasted asparagus with pomegranate molasses (p. 260).

                                       
                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Add us to the fans of the Harissa chicken. Delicious. Mr GG hasn't stopped raving about it. Next time I will turn the temperature down slightly as I have a convection oven which runs hot and the Harissa caught a little bit.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Roast Chicken with Harissa – Moro – p. 217

                                          Late to the party, but having called it quits with the Homesick Texan, I returned to our Spanish month, which I didn't get to explore as much as I wanted due to travel. I remembered this recipe getting rave reviews, and as it was something easy I could do at the end of long day of work, I went for it.

                                          Process has been described pretty well already, so I'll just say that for my version, I didn't have much time for the chicken to sit with the harissa on it (almost no time), so I went ahead and rubbed some under the skin in addition to on the outside. I roasted my chicken in my Breville SmartOven (convection toaster oven), and since it was quite a bit larger than called for, extended the time a bit. I made the gravy with the pan juices as instructed (pour off oil, add water and lemon juice, scrape bottom and reduce sauce). Easy as pie and delicious. I used Mustapha's jarred harissa. This recipe was far better than I expected, for such a no-fuss operation. I'll definitely repeat this one.

                                          1. re: MelMM

                                            MeIMM - how do you like your Breville oven? I've been looking at getting one but my kitchen is very small and I'm not sure if giving up the space would be worth it or not...

                                            1. re: Blythe spirit

                                              I love it. If I had to choose between my regular oven and the Breville, I'd take the Breville. I guess it will depend upon your cooking style, but for me, it really works. I usually cook for just two of us, and I use this for almost everything. Bread, pizza, roast chicken, rack of lamb, cake... anything that will fit, and that is most things for us, I prefer to cook in the Breville. And then, of course, we do occasionally make toast. On the cookware board you can find some posts about it, including some from me.

                                              Honestly, between this thing for indoors and my Big Green Egg for outdoors, I very rarely use my big oven.

                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                Thanks MeImm and Breadcrumbs, I really appreciate the feedback. There is just nothing to compare with anecdotal evidence, and now I'm definitely going to check out the cookware boards as well. It is a bit of a concern that some have had the experience of a total 'burn out' in less than a year. But good to know that purchasing a warranty is a good idea! I have seen the oven demonstrated at my local cooking store and was sorely tempted. Now I can make an informed ( and not purely impulsive!) decision. And now, I must go. Am trying the Zuni Roast Chicken for the first time and am concerned about my cats and me being asphyxiated by smoke....going to open all windows and check back later :-)
                                                Heavens, it's smoky in here.

                                              2. re: Blythe spirit

                                                I'm another fan of this oven Blythe. I don't recall if you've been on the thread in the Cookware board but there is one about Breville Smart Ovens and there's lots of love for them out there. That said, after almost 1 full year of perfect cooking, alas my oven just stopped working. The screen went dark and it just died. Fortunately, since we were just 3 days away from owning it for a year, the store took it back and gave us a new one. I did Google this issue and it seems others have encountered the same problem. So, now we're onto oven 2, year 2 and of course, its working like a dream and like Mel, we love our Smart Oven. Prior to our recent kitchen reno, this was also our oven of choice. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one has more than a year's life in it or, if it doesn't, it too has the courtesy to kick the bucket before the year is up so I can exchange it again! We've used it to roast, toast, bake and broil and honestly, it does a fabulous job with everything.

                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  BC, great info, as I may be moving on to a new kitchen in next few months; good to know the Breville is worth the cost, and the cautions. I shall check out the Cookware board for more on this.

                                                  Good info:)

                                          2. HAKE IN SALSA VERDE
                                            I made this because I had a lot of parsley but, alas, I had no fish stock just Marigold powder. The recipe was disappointingly blah. Just because of the Marigold?But I have made a very similar recipe before, fish cooked on top of the stove with parsley seems to be a Spanish classic, but it has always been a disappointment so now I have learned my lesson. I'd be curious to know whether any one has had success with this (or similar) recipe. So far I way prefer fish with an Italian green sauce made with uncooked parsley,garlic, oil etc.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Fuffy

                                              Fuffy, which book is this in? Sorry it didn't work out for you...

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: Fuffy

                                                Sorry to hear this was NOT successful for you Fuffy, as was thinking of cooking my fresh whole Channel Snapper this way tomorrow. Albeit grilled, but finished in the 'salsa verde' from Food of Spain.

                                                Do you think I should make a more traditional green sauce, and just drizzle it on the grilled fish?

                                                I have this lovely whole fish, and am going to grill it (despite that COTM has little info on recipes for grilling, which to me is odd, as a long history of Galicia, etc. having fishermen with grilling...).

                                                I have this lovely fish, and want to grill and am trying to figure out a Spanish way.

                                                Any thoughts?

                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                  Well, I'd love you to try the recipe that didn't work for me to see what the results are - I'd be interested. But I think it would be safer for you to make a traditional green sauce

                                                  1. re: Fuffy

                                                    Not very COTM-ish, in the end Fuffy. I made an uncooked Italian green sauce for the grilled snapper. Just wanted tasty, if not exactly Spanish.
                                                    Back to COTM soon:)

                                              2. MORO - BREAST OF DUCK WITH POMEGRANATE MOLASSES

                                                This is not only quick but easy and good. I found that in my oven her heat and timing overcooked the duck breast, but perhaps I sealed for too long at the beginning, before turning and putting in to the oven.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: Fuffy

                                                  I need to try this. I really really need to try this.

                                                  1. re: Fuffy

                                                    Breast of Duck with Pomegranate Molasses - Moro p. 224

                                                    I was tempted to change the cooking method for this slightly, but went ahead and stayed true to the recipe. Heeding Fuffy's warning, I paid close attention to how long I sealed it (1 minute) before putting the duck into the oven. It was only ever so lightly browned, but after 15 minutes in the oven at 425, the duck came out closer to medium than medium-rare. (I used local duck breast from Lac Brome, however, so maybe my duck breast was thinner than what they have access to.) Next time, I think I'll follow the directions I've seen on CH to render the fat off and get a crispy skin by keeping it on the stovetop on low for a longer period of time with only a short period in the oven after it's flipped. I was a little bit worried about the sauce reducing far too quickly if I cooked it in the large pan, so I simmered the 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, and pinch of cinnamon in a smaller saucepan. Overall, this was very good, quick, and easy and is worth a repeat now that I finally have the pomegranate molasses.

                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                      We loved this too, especially the very easy pan sauce. I cooked my duck for a couple of minutes less than recommended, and it came out pinkish, but could probably have been taken out after ten minutes for medium-rare meat. I served it with little roasted potatoes, and a green salad with green beans lightly dressed with the wonderful Moro pomegranate salad dressing.

                                                    2. re: Fuffy

                                                      I found nice (but maybe scarily huge) duck breasts! Plan to make this on Friday. I'm guessing they will need a longer bit of cooking (seriously, these things seem monster-big to me). I don't have tons of experience with cooking duck breasts so - do I do the sear a bit longer, or the oven? I like my duck breasts medium rare, definitely not red/chewy. Any thoughts from those more experienced?

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        Just an aside:
                                                        Monday I was at the farm where I buy grass-fed beef (they sell grass fed: beef, pork, chicken, lamb, duck and chicken eggs). I asked what was new this year, and they are buying 400 more ducks. My first thought was 'duck breast meat.' She said they are only raising them for the eggs and hope to sell many in the D.C. area.

                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                          Unfortunately (at least duck breast-wise) I now live in Chapel Hill, NC. I was asking at one of our favorite restaurants the other day where they get theirs, and the bartender wasn't sure, but he said he's pretty sure that, given the fact that we eat there a lot, they'd be willing to sell me a couple of breasts if I have the same problem again. So ... helpful!

                                                      2. re: Fuffy

                                                        My turn (yay!) on the Duck with pomegranate molesses. I was concerned that I wouldn't cook them enough - these things must have come off the biggest duck ever. I honestly think I could have served Lulu and me with just one of them. So ... they were slightly overcooked due to my fears. But only slightly. I cooked them a bit more than the initial sealing minute called for on each side, and then maybe one minute more in the oven. I liked this preparation a lot - the sweet/sour of the molasses worked so well with the gaminess of the duck. I was concerned about how Lulu was going to feel about it, but she gobbled up at least 6 slices. I guess the lesson here, reading Fuffy, TxnInMtl's reviews and knowing what I know now, is that it kind of doesn't matter how big the breasts are, don't cook them longer than the recipe states.

                                                        1. re: Fuffy

                                                          Breast of Duck with Pomegranate Molasses, Moro, page 224.
                                                          Our turn with the duck breasts. We finally brought home some nice breasts (from Seattle!), and tried this recipe. As all of the above posts report, it was easy and very tasty. Mr. NS manned the oven while I worked on other dishes, and decided independently that they needed to go a bit longer. Oh he of little faith. Our breasts tended a tad closer to medium than medium rare. Next time we'll get it right. But they were delicious anyway! I do like a bit of sweet with duck, but have often found chefs go overboard with the sweetness. The tart note in the pomegranate molasses was the perfect counterpoint. I served the breasts with Roden's braised artichokes and peas, and a couscous made with duck stock, chick peas, dates, pine nuts, scallions, and parsley. I want more duck in my life! Delicious!

                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            LN, I MUST make this dish... duck breasts on the shopping list NOW, so I shan't forget again:0

                                                        2. Fish Marinades: Spanish Marinade – Moro p. 180

                                                          With a lovely piece of wild salmon on the menu for tonight, I was delighted to find this recipe for a Spanish marinade. Prep is super-simple and quick though the authors do suggest that the fish marinade in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours.

                                                          Garlic is crushed in a mortar and pestle w fresh thyme & oregano along w some salt and pepper. While my thyme was fresh, I used dried oregano. Once the mixture is smooth, lemon juice and smoked sweet paprika is whisked in. The book then instructs you to “rub” the mixture all over the fish. I should note that the mixture is quite runny so I spooned it over top of the fish and then rubbed it in with the back of a spoon. I had plenty left over so I froze the rest for another night. Given how runny the marinade was, I wasn’t sure how effective it would be in infusing the fish with flavour, even after 2 hours in the fridge.

                                                          While the fish looked lovely when it came out of the oven and the fish itself tasted good, there was very little flavour at all from the marinade. Next time I think I’d add the lemon juice by the tablespoon to taste. I think it just washed out the flavours.

                                                          I served this with steamed brown basmati rice and some grilled asparagus with a honey & sherry vinaigrette from The New Spanish Table (reviewed in the adjunct thread). The asparagus was awesome!

                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. Chicken stuffed with garlic and coriander, Moro, p221

                                                            Scrumptious, and not hard to do if you opt to roast the chicken whole, which is what I did. You can also use a boned chicken.

                                                            To make, poach three bulbs of garlic separated into cloves in milk for about 25 mins. Once tender, puree the garlic using a food mill (or just mash to a paste once you've removed the skins) and mix with cumin, chopped coriander and some saffron which you've infused in 3T of the hot milk from the garlic. Add 3t of olive oil and season. Separate the skin from the chicken breasts and thighs to make a pocket, and stuff the mixture inside. The book says to use a teaspoon, but I found it easier to use my fingers. Drizzle with oil and S&P and roast in a hot oven (220C) for about an hour, basting every now and then. I forgot to do this - whoops! Rest and serve.

                                                            This gave beautifully moist chicken, infused with the mellow flavour of the poached garlic, and the herbs and cumin. It also gave the most delicious pan juices. I didn't have time to make the simple lemony gravy, as suggested, but I think that would be great. We really enjoyed this dish. I served it with a dressed green salad, and asparagus and bulgur with preserved lemon dressing from the ENYTCB which I will report on in the relevant thread.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Definitely going to make this over the weekend. Have had the Moro book for years and not explored it fully, but this has inspired me!

                                                              I did the pork cooked in milk (apologies, don't have the book in front of me so not sure of page number and correct title) but was very disappointed as the pork turned our very chewy. I think this is my fault though as it was a small piece and not of the best quality, so do want to try it again with better quality/larger cut of meat. I also used skim milk, so it curdled rather than simmered down to a nice, nutty sauce.

                                                              1. re: pj26

                                                                I too am curious to try the Moro pork braised in milk. When I make a similar Marcella Hazan recipe, I always use pork shoulder or butt which is much fattier than the pork loin called for in the Moro recipe and therefore braises better. You might try using pork shoulder next time.

                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                  I've done it with pork loin (the Hazan recipe) and it was fine. I think pork is fattier in Europe though, especially if you get the free range type.

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                    Costillas con setas (Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Mushrooms, Fino, & Rosemary) p. 213

                                                                    Talk about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. This recipe is very simple. It calls for pork belly ribs (aka Chinese type) but I used baby back ribs because this is what I had in my freezer. Here is how I made it, which is close to what the recipe calls for but not exactly: Season the ribs and brown on all sides. Remove from pan, add the rosemary and garlic. Add reconstituted wild mushrooms (along with their broth), 200 ml. each Fino sherry and water. I also added a hefty pinch porcini powder. Return ribs to pan for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, until ribs are tender. In separate pan, sautéed the fresh mushrooms and add to the rib pan just prior to serving.

                                                                    At this point I've made the dish up to the point of adding the fresh mushrooms. About an hour left of cooking time before the dish will be ready. Will report back. I plan on serving this with the Hot Chorizo with Butter Bean and Tomato Salad on p. 113

                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                      The pork ribs (above) were very flavorful, though still quite tough when I served them. I am sure that was due in part to my using baby back ribs. The flavor of the Fino really came through. Did not end up making the butter beans last night. Will save for another time. Served it instead alongside a parm and arugula salad out of Patricia Well's Provence book. Also tried sipping the Fino. Yuk! Not for me.

                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                        I love it well chilled as an aperitif, with some salty ham and olives. Yum!

                                                                      2. re: dkennedy

                                                                        Forgive me, but which book is this in? Sounds divine!

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          Oh sorry, Moro cookbook on page 213

                                                                        2. re: dkennedy

                                                                          Costillas con setas (Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Mushrooms, Fino, & Rosemary) Moro p. 213

                                                                          I changed the method on this one to make it more convenient for a weeknight. I'm also a big fan of slow cooker pork ribs as opposed to oven or stove simmering. The end result was wonderfully tender, earthy pork ribs. I added the rosemary, garlic, porcini and broth, Fine sherry, and water to the slow cooker and cooked on low for 8 hours. When I got home, I sauteed the mushrooms (a mix of unidentified wild mushrooms from our CSA box and reconstituted chantrelles) and then poured the cooking liquid from the pork into the mushrooms pan. I was going to let that just simmer for 5 minutes or so, but I was behind on cooking the side, so I added the pork in while the sauce cooked on low. I served with swiss chard with tahina and cashews from Radically Simple.

                                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                                    Chicken stuffed with garlic and coriander, Moro, p221
                                                                    So I did end up cooking this over the weekend and it was great - that paste really keeps the chicken tender. I didn't have any saffron and was not about to venture out in to the miserable London weather so did without and still tasted great. I did make the lemon gravy, which went really well with the spring greens I had on the side. I usually keep my roast chicken pretty simple but this one will be joining my regular repertoire from now on.

                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                      Chicken stuffed with garlic and coriander, Moro, p221

                                                                      This was great. The chicken came out incredibly moist and had a nice flavor to it. I also forgot to baste and didn't make the pan sauce, but next time I will try not to get so distracted! I served it with the carrot salad from Moro (will report on in the other thread) and roasted endives with sherry vinegar from All About Roasting.

                                                                    2. THE FOOD OF SPAIN, CLAUDIA RODEN
                                                                      Shrimp with Garlic, Pg. 303
                                                                      (Gamba al Ajillo - Andalusia)

                                                                      This is a terrific tapa and probably the quickest recipe I've ever cooked. One pound of shrimp is cooked in olive oil and red pepper flakes for mere seconds then finely minced garlic cloves are added to the pan and cooked till golden and shrimp are pink. That's it...! Sprinkle chopped parsley over and serve. I served the shrimp with the garlic and sauce on a grilled slice of Portuguese Saloio bread. Absolutely delicious. The main dish was Braised Peas and Artichokes on page 264. Great meal.

                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        We served this as part of a meal for an unadventurous eater this evening and she and everyone lapped it up. The sauce is great - we used uncooked frozen shelled shrimp from costco which was pretty good, but I have to believe that the better the shrimp the better this dish is. Very easy!

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          Quickest recipe ever? You're talkin' my language, Gio!

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            Me too! On the list....

                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                            THE FOOD OF SPAIN, CLAUDIA RODEN

                                                                            Shrimp with Garlic, Pg. 303

                                                                            Agreed--about the easiest recipe ever (save for shelling the shrimp)--and a reminder that sometimes the simplest preparations are the best. I did these last night and served them w/roasted asparagus, wild rice, and a tomato-shallot salad.

                                                                            I have a lot of nice shrimp in the freezer so I'll be making these again--soon.

                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                              my pic:

                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                Can't wait to make this, sounds super easy - basic pan sauteed shrimps with a garlicky sauce.. will report on our experience, but sounds delightful!

                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                  So I have a pound of shelled, devained shrimp in my fridge right now but no copy of THE FOOD OF SPAIN, CLAUDIA RODEN, Shrimp with Garlic, p. 303. I get the gist from the reports above, but if someone wouldn't mind filling in the blank...I'd appreciate it. Specifically, how much olive oil and garlic are called for?

                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                    dkennedy, the recipe is here (at the bottom of the article): http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/12/...

                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                      Thank you Caitlin, I am just about to start dinner. Great article too.

                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                        Well, my dinner last night was a total disaster - except for the shrimp dish. Thanks to Caitlin, my family at least had a pound of yummy shrimp to eat. I planned on making the clams with sherry as a starter (3-4 clams each); shrimp as the next course and a buckwheat noodle dish as the main dish. The buckwheat noodle dish was a complete disaster so that left clams and shrimp as the entire meal. The clams also turned out yukky (my fault, I did not rinse them well enough and did not add enough cooking liquid so the sauce was terribly briny). My son had 2 servings of the shrimp, as did my daughter, and DH and I drank a lot to compensate for the tiny portions we were allotted.

                                                                                        We did thoroughly enjoy the shrimp dish and this is a perfect recipe for nights when you only have about 5 minutes to prepare dinner. I will make it again and again I am sure.

                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                              Shrimp with Garlic, p. 303

                                                                              As fast and simple and delicious as everyone who's gone before said. I didn't have any parsley, but no matter. Rather than being a tapa, this was a main dish for two, along with some sauteed broccolini tossed with sherry vinegar. There is a little of each left, which I will have cold for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                The leftovers were very delicious eaten cold, too.

                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                This was delicious, but I made enough to eat it as a main dish along with some roasted asparagus and some brown rice. Nothing could be simpler, and I'll bet if you found some really, really fresh and previously unfrozen shrimp, this would be a knockout!

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  Shrimp with garlic ,page 303. My, this was good..... I dread mincing garlic but was able to make quick work of it by first slicing the garlic very thinly (and carefully!) on my mandolin. The slices were pretty thin so mincing the garlic was easy and the pieces were uniformly small. I followed the directions carefully ( recipe was cut in half twice to cook for one, and I used rock shrimp which I prefer). I was delighted with the results. Absolutely delicious! And somehow, this had an almost buttery quality. I'm always leery of cooking with garlic because of it's tendency to burn quickly - but I think I'm over my trepidation now.I'd like to use this same technique on crab sometime. I'm glad
                                                                                  others pointed out this great recipe, as I would not have been likely to try it otherwise.

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    Gambas al ajillo (Shrimp with garlic) Food of Spain p. 303

                                                                                    This made a quick dinner for two that we greedily ate with crusty bread. We made this 3 T of oil instead of the 4-5 T in the recipe. We found that we had plenty of oil for mopping.

                                                                                  2. Salmon in Brandy Sauce, Food of Spain, p. 329

                                                                                    I ended up with some really nice wild king salmon, and to my surprise found a salmon recipe in this COTM. Roden says it is "the way salmon might have been prepared in the homes of wealthy mining families [in Asturias] in the first decades of the twentieth century."

                                                                                    A chopped onion is cooked over low heat in a covered skillet until softened (in 3 T olive oil; I used 1 T), 3 finely chopped garlic cloves are added and sauteed until onion and garlic start to color, at which point 8 oz of chopped, peeled tomatoes are added (I used canned) and cooked down until "jammy." A cup of fish stock (I used bottled clam juice) and 1/2 cup brandy are added with salt to taste (I needed none on account of the salted clam juice) and a split chile with seeds removed (I used a dried red chile), and all is simmered for 5 minutes. At this point I deviated by adding a nice pinch of saffron and turning the heat up to let the liquid reduce a biit before proceeding. Skinless salmon fillets are added and cooked over low heat, uncovered, turning once, until done to your liking (Roden specifies 4-11 minutes, depending on thickness and your taste; mine were fairly thick). She instructs you to taste the sauce and pull out the chile when it's only a little peppery, but I didn't need to pull it out at all.

                                                                                    This is a very gently flavored dish that did allow the salmon to take center stage, but there are more interesting salmon recipes elsewhere for me, and more excitining recipes in this book (for other things), I suspect. The sauce was very brothy, and it might have been better to hit it with an immersion blender, as she suggests in the head note, to make a smooth sauce, but I didn't do that.

                                                                                    Roden says this should be served with boiled new potatoes, but I steamed some tiny red, white, and purple potatoes from the farmers' market and tossed them with Green Sauce with Parsley, p. 139,. Roasted asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice completed the meal.

                                                                                    1. Marinated Leg of Lamb (Goat), FOS, pg 405

                                                                                      All the while that this dish was braising the kitchen smelled of nothing so much as my grandmother's house when she was putting up pickles. Now that's not a bad thing in and of itself, and plenty nostalgic, but hard to associate with braised meat. So when it was served we both approached this dish with some trepidation, that instantly changed to delight when we tasted the meat. Wonderful, and very very different from either our expectations or any other flavor combination in our experience.

                                                                                      This is a multi-step recipe, and other than substituting goat leg for lamb leg, I followed Roden's directions exactly. Although it does take planning, actual hands on time is minimal, and very easy. First the marinade (olive oil, onion, garlic, peppercorns, clove, thyme, bay, honey, vinegar, wine) simmers then is cooled and then applied to the meat, which marinates for 24 hours. Remove the meat, reserving the marinade. Brown the meat in olive oil, add honey to the pan, add vinegar and saffron, then strain in the reserved marinade, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, turning occasionally. That's it.

                                                                                       
                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                        I will try this, sounds like smell does not equal taste, and an interesting variation on what is expected from a recipe. Thanks for the report Qng.

                                                                                      2. Chicken and Shrimp with Almond and Chocolate Sauce (Pollo con Langostinos) - Food of Spain, p. 359

                                                                                        I had two bone-in, skin-off chicken thighs leftover out of a larger pack that needed to be used up. So I made a reduced batch of this recipe, that would normally call for a cut up chicken and 20 jumbo shrimp. I used the two thighs along with 8 shrimp and 1/4 to 1/3 the amounts of the other ingredients.

                                                                                        The chicken pieces are seasoned, dredged in flour, and browned in oil on all sides then removed to a plate. The shrimp are then very briefly fried in the same oil, and also removed. Chopped onions are then added to the oil and softened. Then tomatoes (three are called for, so I used one for my small batch) are added, the sauce is seasoned with salt and pepper, and reduced until thick. Then some brandy goes in. The recipe calls for you to heat it in a separate pan and ignite it before adding it to the sauce, but I skipped the flames and just added the brandy directly. The chicken pieces then go in, along with some water to almost cover them. Because I only had two pieces of chicken, I just added an amount of water that "looked right", and it came about 1/2 of the way up the chicken. The chicken simmers covered for 20 to 30 minutes (it says to remove the breasts after 15 min, but I was using any breasts, so not an issue).

                                                                                        While the chicken is simmering, you made a picada of blanched almonds that are browned in oil, garlic, parsley, a bit of bittersweet chocolate, and some sherry. This gets ground to a paste, and when the chicken is done, it is stirred into the sauce. You then cook for about 5 minutes more, and add the shrimp back in near the very end, just cooking long enough to warm them through.

                                                                                        This was very, very good. The sauce tasted balanced and rich. The chocolate gave it depth without tasting chocolatey (I used 1 oz. The recipe called for 4 oz). The whole thing was rather mysterious tasting, in a good way. It had tomatoes, but didn't taste tomatoey. It had chocolate but didn't taste chocolatey, nor did it particulary taste of almonds, or of brandy. It looked much like the picture on page 361. This is my first recipe from this COTM, and so far I am one happy cook.

                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                          so glad to hear this was a hit. It is one of many i have flagged, it may have to move toward the head of the queue.

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            Thank you for your report, Mel! I have this recipe flagged too but not sure if I get to it soon or not. Must post about all other wonderful dishes that I made from the FoS soon.

                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                              MelMM, did you use 1/4 of the chocolate called for *after* you reduced the recipe -- or before?
                                                                                              I'm wary of unusual (to me) uses of chocolate too, but this certainly sounds wonderful.

                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                The full version of the recipe, calling for a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces and 20 shrimp, called for 4 oz of chocolate. With 2 thighs and 8 shrimp, I used 1 oz. So I would say that I scaled the chocolate down in proportion to the rest of the recipe, but perhaps erring on the low side. If there is one caution I would have about this recipe, it would be about the chocolate. This quantity worked for me. Some of the other quantities for the sauce, I did not reduce as much. I have been burned by recipes calling for chocolate before. I would be careful to use the type of chocolate called for (bittersweet) and err on the side of caution (less chocolate). But I think based on my experience the recipe as written is OK. My sauce did not taste particularly chocolatey. If I were to make a full recipe, I'm thinking I would use 3 oz.

                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                  "The full version of the recipe, calling for a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces and 20 shrimp, called for 4 oz of chocolate."

                                                                                                  Hi MeLMM--I too am going to make this recipe based on your favorable review. It sounds delicious!
                                                                                                  I am wanting to use the right amount of chocolate, as per your warning. In the quotation above, you say that the "original version of the recipe. . . called for 4 oz. of chocolate." which you then cut down to 1 oz in your version. However, in my book the recipe for the full amount of chicken, etc., only calls for 1 oz of grated bittersweet chocolate for the picada (p. 360.) (This would be 1/4 oz. in your reduced version. )

                                                                                                  Or am I misunderstanding what you wrote? Thanks for your review!

                                                                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                    Well, now I have myself confused. I will check in the book when I get home tonight - I would swear my copy said 4 oz, but I could be wrong. I know I can eyeball the size chunk of chocolate I used (which I weighed when I made the recipe), so I should be able go back and figure out how much I used. I'll break off another chunk and weigh it again if need be.

                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      This is on my list of dishes to make - just checked the book and it saya 1oz for the full amount.

                                                                                                    2. re: Goblin

                                                                                                      OK, clarification time. And I do apologize for the confusion.

                                                                                                      My copy of the book also says 1 ounce. I also went back to my chocolate bar and hacked off a chunk similar to what I used and weighed it. I think I can say with some confidence that I used 1/4 ounce. I remember that at the time, I weighed the chocolate and had 1/4 of what was called for, which was what I wanted. Sorry, I wrote my review without looking at the recipe, so my mind was a bit fuzzy on the quantity.

                                                                                                      More important, my version was not overly chocolatey at all. I wouldn't hesitate to use the amount called for, or close to it, if making a full batch. But I wouldn't use more. Also make sure you are using a bittersweet chocolate. I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet 70%. For some applications, you could exchange semi-sweet (slightly sweeter) for bittersweet, but I don't think this is one of them.

                                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                  So glad this turned out. I am really intrigued by this one!

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                    Thanks for this thorough report as I too had flagged this one, but was also a little leery of the chocolate, especially with shrimp. But I'm going to try it for sure now.

                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      THE FOOD OF SPAIN, CLAUDIA RODEN

                                                                                                      Chicken and Shrimp with Almond and Chocolate Sauce, p. 359

                                                                                                      I was intrigued by this recipe, but didn't decide to try it until I read MelMM's review. And we loved it although my husband was very skeptical about the combination. (I was too but forged ahead: "never let 'em see you sweat" and all that).

                                                                                                      I made a full recipe and used boneless, skinless thighs b/c I had an 8-pack in the freezer and 18 jumbo shrimp. I was pretty true to the recipe, which Mel has already outlined, except that I used Madeira instead of sherry in my picada.

                                                                                                      I second all MelMM has said--didn't taste of chocolate or tomatoes or even particularly of almonds. It reminded me of mole, minus the chiles.

                                                                                                      At any rate, all these ingredients were transformed into a complex and delicious sauce--and a generous amount of it (DH and I agreed this called out for rice), and we enjoyed both the chicken and shrimp in it. This is not the most beautiful looking finished dish. I wished I hadn't used all my parsley in the picada so I could have sprinkled a generous handful on top.

                                                                                                      I served a few new potatoes to DH, but the only other sides were a shredded brussels sprouts dish and a lettuce and tomato salad. For the leftovers, I'll cook some rice.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                    2. Roast Chicken with Apples and Grapes - Foods of Spain p. 352

                                                                                                      I had hoped Muscat grapes were still available at my grocery this week. Alas, they were not. Recipe says to use white grapes, but my options were regular green seedless or red seedless. I went with the red.

                                                                                                      For the chicken - the recipe has you first place chicken breast down. When I went to flip it, the back was nice and crisp. Alas, the breast skin never got as crispy. It burned in parts (assuming from the grape juice you pour over the top) and other parts were flabby. The flavor of the meat was good and the cooking time was pretty spot on for me. But the skin just didn't get crispy. I did not make a gravy/sauce out of the pan juices (the recipe does not say to).

                                                                                                      For the apples and grapes part - I used the largest saute pan I have and the fruits released a lot of juice and ended up steaming. The recipe says to cook till apples caramelize - they never really got to this point (I went 8 minutes beyond the recommended time specified in the recipe - there was still a ton of juice and the grapes had turned to mush and the apples were starting to).

                                                                                                      I don't know - overall, I wasn't too impressed with this recipe. The flavors were just fine, but I think maybe another cooking method for the chicken (butterflying?) and cooking the apples first and throwing the grapes in later might be a better option. I am unlikely to make this again.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: moreace01

                                                                                                        Sorry this didn't work out. It sounded really good on paper... :(

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                      2. THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                                                                                                        [Meatballs in] Almond Sauce, Pg. 421
                                                                                                        (Albondigas en Salsa con Picada de Almendras)
                                                                                                        http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                                                                                        Getting a late start preparing dinner I realized I didn't have enough time for the meatballs (which I was looking forward to) so we simply made turkey burgers placed on grilled crusty bread with this delicious sauce ladled over top.

                                                                                                        The sauce is made by pouring stock and wine into a pan, bringing that to a boil and adding saffron, lemon zest, S & P and sugar. Then a picada is made with bread, blanched whole almonds, garlic and EVOO. I used a mortar and pestle to crush those ingredients into a paste but you can use a food processor to accomplish that. The picada is fried in a small skillet then stirred into the sauce. At this point the meatballs are added and simmered till cooked through. I lowered the heat under the sauce while G formed the patties and grilled them. The sauce cooked about 20 minutes overall. The sauce didn't thicken very much but I think it was because I didn't cook the meatballs in the sauce, nevertheless it was flavorful and certainly enhanced the burgers.

                                                                                                        A salad was served as well with a luscious anchovy and garlic dressing on page 31 of Daisy Cooks! by Daisy Martinez.

                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          I made this dish a couple of times last fall (with meatballs) and really loved it. I thought the sauce was absolutely delicious. I've been meaning to make the sauce on its own to use with other dishes but haven't gotten around to it yet.

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            What meat did you use? I think the recipe is calling for pork, veal, or a mix of the two, is that right? These are on my list to make this month, but I have to figure out what I want to use, get it, grind it, etc. so these will take some planning.

                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                              Gio didn't make the meatballs, but I used pork one time and lamb another time.

                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                I made these meatballs too with beef one time and turkey the other time. Both were wonderful as long as you let them to cook fully. Do not eat pork and have no idea how the meatballs will be made with pork. The flavour develops and penetrates the meat if cooked long and slow. I absolutely loved them. Ottolenghi's meatballs with tahini sauce are on my list to try next.

                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                  Oh, that's interesting, I have a pound of ground beef in the freezer and was thinking about subbing it for the pork or veal, but I was worried that the meatballs wouldn't taste good if made with beef. Glad to hear it was a success, and I'd like to try these meatballs so I think I'll go ahead with the meat I have rather than trying to source something else.

                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                    Another question for those who have made the complete dish (meatballs and sauce): can any parts of this dish be made ahead?

                                                                                                                    Edited to add: Or do you think I could brown the meatballs in the oven instead of frying them? That way I could make the sauce while the meatballs are cooking unattended.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                      I do not see a problem with either making the sauce a day ahead or browning meatballs in the oven. Browning in the oven will change a taste somewhat but I think will still be very tasty (and with less calories from fat!)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                        Hi Westminstress,

                                                                                                                        Your question is timely. I made these during the day yesterday to serve for dinner tonight. I did brown them in oil, but cut back on the oil significantly and then used that same pan with all the delicious fond to brown the picada. At the same time I was boiling the sauce in a second pan. So 2 dirty pans, but the overall cook time was not too bad (i.e. got it all done while baby was sleeping and older 2 were playing in playroom).

                                                                                                                        It smelled FANTASTIC and if I didn't have a beautiful steak ready for the grill we would have all been happy to eat this last night. AS it was, the kids and I ate some for snack (glad I made a double recipe). Since it was bascially a braise, I figured it wouldn't be hurt by an overnight rest in the oven. We will see. I will heat it up for dinner tonight after work and let you know how it does. It was delicious fresh off the stove, so the expectations are high.

                                                                                                                        btw, I used mainly ground turkey with a little ground pork for flavor. I think any ground meat would be delicious in that sauce, though.

                                                                                                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                          Meatballs in Almond Sauce, FOS pg. 421.

                                                                                                                          These are some captivating little meatballs! We loved them. I would never think of giving meatballs such a luxe sauce with white wine, stock saffron and that heavenly picada, but it was great. Really, that sauce would taste delicious on everything. But why not meatballs? This was a perfect meal for us, kids loved it (it was meatballs after all) but sophisticated enough for the adults to feel like it was something special. Not an easy prep, but amenable to make ahead and reheats well. I served with a salad and crusty bread. A rice pilaf would have been lovely, but no time.

                                                                                                                          This will definitely go into the rotation. May become one of my go to meals for entertaining other families with kids. I think the appeal is broad.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    Woohoo! Another one I've had my eye on. I love your adaptations!

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Question for the meatball makers: I'm hoping to make these meatballs in almond sauce tomorrow night, if I get off work in time. I can't tell by reading the recipe if this is the type of sauce that requires a starch to soak it up. Is it very soupy? Would it be better with a bread or rice dish? or can I just serve it alone with a vegetable side?

                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        I made the meatballs and sauce over the weekend, and I'd say they're not super saucy. Maybe enough extra sauce to warrant a piece of crusty bread or serve over a small portion of egg noodles. Definitely not so saucy that I would have served in a bowl.

                                                                                                                        I think my wishy-washy answer boils down to: starch optional.

                                                                                                                        (Though I will say the leftovers made a tasty meatball sandwich!)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Abby0105

                                                                                                                          I agree. We have wished we had noodles but were fine not having them. Served on a plate

                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Meatballs in Almond Sauce, Food of Spain, page 421.
                                                                                                                        I made this dish last night, and did it all in one pan. It probably took a bit longer that way, as each element had to be done in sequence, but I only had one pan to clean! I used pork for the meatballs. While they looked and tasted great, the texture was off for us. I think it might have been because of the bread I used. I had forgotten I needed bread, so I used a chunk of leftover ciabatta for the picada, and a rather mooshy hamburger bun for the meatballs. Since the meatballs were a bit too mooshy for us, I attribute that to the bread. Loved the sauce, however. I used duck stock, otherwise as written. My sauce became very think in the prescribed cooking time, and I did add a bit of water. I didn't serve them with bread or noodles, and didn't miss them. I'd love to try this sauce on other meats also. Actually, it would be good on most anything!

                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                          Oops. Photo.

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            Great photo!

                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, I made a mini batch of these (1/4 recipe) to see what all the hoopla was about and to use up some ground pork. We loved them too!

                                                                                                                            But, mine were definitely much paler than either those in LN picture above and the picture in the book....I'm trying to decide if I should have browned the meatballs longer, or, more likely, the almonds, bread and garlic. Any hints on where the rich color of the sauce comes from?

                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                              That's funny, because I complained to Mr. NS that mine weren't as dark and rich looking as the photo in the book! I have never rolled meatballs in flour before, and I attribute some of the browning to the floury coating. Also, I did the almonds, bread, and garlic in the same pan, and the same oil, as I did the meatballs. So, like greeneggsandham, I got all the brown bits from that into my sauce.

                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                Well, yours sure looked good to me & were much darker and richer looking than mine!

                                                                                                                                Completely forgot about greeneggsandham's earlier post on using the fond from the meatballs to brown the picada ingredients. My meatballs were made in a separate pan and a day earlier than my sauce, so it wouldn't have worked this time, but now I will remember what to try next time. thanks.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                                                                                                                          Albondigas en Salsa con Picada de Almendras, p.421

                                                                                                                          My turn for the meatballs in almond sauce, which were pretty tasty. I'm not sure if I'll make them again as DH didn't love them (he expressed his preference for meatballs in tomato sauce after he ate a boatload of them!) and these were a bit more work than I expected, and a lot of clean-up. (Wish I had been as smart as others here and used the same pot; rather I fried in one, drained on a rack,floured on a dish separate from the one I set the meatballs on, made the picada and sauce in a large skillet--anyway, lots of dirty dishes.)

                                                                                                                          I followed the recipe to the letter on this one (using half veal, half pork and the FP to grind the picada). I worried, as others have noted already, that they weren't browing enough, and, as a result, I overcooked them a bit.

                                                                                                                          These are good, and the leftovers will make a nice sandwich. I served them last night with a side of pan-roasted brussels sprouts with sherry vinegar and an avocado-tomato-onion salad.

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                        3. Butterflied Mackerel w/ Paprika and Garlic, Moro pg 196.

                                                                                                                          Yum. This is just a lovely and oh so simple way to serve a mackerel.

                                                                                                                          As suggested in the C&C's recipe notes we opted to grill the fish rather than baking. I also made one intentional deviation from the recipe, adding just a tiny squeeze of lemon to the flesh side of the fish before the called for olive oil; and one completely unintentional move--grabbed the half-sharp Hungarian paprika from the freezer, and didn't notice it wasn't the sweet smoked Spanish until too late. That and some chopped garlic and parsley are all there is to it. Not really a much of a recipe, but with good fish, just the right approach.

                                                                                                                          21 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                            This sounds great. I love mackerel, but it is hard to get fresh here in Minnesota. I have the fish monger call me when they get it in. I typically resort to bying frozen Japanese salted mackerel to get my fix.

                                                                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                              believe it or not even here in new england Boston Mackerel can be hard to get....it is in high demand as lobster bait! and with its lowish price point and being so perishable not many fish mongers will carry it. yesterday i happened to be in e. cambridge, mass; the portugese fish stores there are the only place i can find good mackerel, so when i'm near there i pounce.

                                                                                                                            2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                              Grilling mackerel was a revelation to us - it is so good that way. And this simple preparation sounds perfect. Will see if I can nudge the griller in the house to take this one on. Thanks for the report.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                if you like grilled mackerel, this is a super simple and tasty way to cook it. the paprika flavor (even using the wrong one!) is a great match for the fish.

                                                                                                                              2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                We love mackerel, too. And I have seen some good looking mackerel recently. Sounds like I must try this recipe. I don't have the book... is the fish just grilled and then dressed with lemon, olive oil, paprika, chopped raw garlic and chopped parsley? Sounds like something I could handle....

                                                                                                                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                  Yep, that's pretty much it. Their instructions call for a little oil before cooking, cook, then immediately after removing from the heat source sprinkle with sweet smoked paprika, chopped garlic and parsley. Actually a little lemon (1/4 tsp per fish, maybe less) before cooking was my twist, C&C have you serve with lemon wedges.

                                                                                                                                  Most of the recipe in the book deals with A) how to butterfly and bone the fish, I butterflied the fish but left the bones in to give it more structure for grilling and B) how to cook it in the oven; heat a pan on a burner, add olive oil, immediately add the fish skin side down i think (don't have the book in front of me), place in a fast oven for 8-10 minutes. But at the bottom of the recipe they note that broiling or grilling work well. I'm a grilled fish whenever possible person, so that's what I did, and it was super and easy too.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                    Thanks qianning! Did you just put the fish on the grill grate or did you use a grill basket?

                                                                                                                                    I am excited to try this!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                      Me too - it sounds heavenly. And I found a link to the recipe: http://www.nibblous.com/recipe/290 or http://afterapple-picking.blogspot.co...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                        My husband made this (the mackerel with paprika and garlic) earlier this week, although he changed it slightly (put the spice/garlic on before grilling). We liked it, but wouldn't say it was our favorite ever grilled mackerel; that honor probably goes to one in Fish W/out a Doubt. This was one of those that some at the table loved and others thought was just ok.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                          so sorry it wasn't a hit for you.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                            Oh, we liked it, it was just that we compared it to our favorite and decided it wasn't quite as good. Every plate got cleaned though.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                              Phew, glad to hear it, hate giving people a bum steer!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                Not to worry - we liked it. I know that feeling though.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                        I put it directly on the grill grate.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                    Mackerel with Paprika and Garlic

                                                                                                                                    They had nice fresh mackerel at the Whole Foods fish counter tonight and it was a beautiful evening so I followed qianning's lead and fired up the grill for grilled mackerel.

                                                                                                                                    A delightful dish. I really enjoyed this and will make it again. I grilled some nice fat asparagus with the fish and got dinner on the table with minimal time in the kitchen. a win all around for me. To be honest, I'm not sure the paprika (Spanish smoked from Penzey's) really added that much for me, but the grilled fish with olive oil, lemon and garlic was something I could eat all summer long.

                                                                                                                                    My husband on the other hand, only said "the meatballs were better."

                                                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                      I made this dish this weekend and found it a bit lackluster. We had nice fresh mackerel and did it on the grill, so that part was lovely. But I didn't love the raw garlic and smoked paprika sprinkled on the fish after cooking. I felt the flavors didn't amalgamate and would have preferred these elements cooked. My smoked paprika is no longer the freshest so perhaps that had something to do with it. But I think I would have been happier just drizzling the cooked fish with lemon juice and perhaps a bit of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                        Sorry to learn that this didn't work for you. Meanwhile, kind of funny in that this weekend we were trying the bluefish with salmoriglio from Hazan that you pointed out a while back.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                          Oh, how funny ... did you like it?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                            we did.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                              So glad!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                          This sounds like an odd version of what is a very common traditional dish… normally you would cook the very thin slices of garlic with a guindilla pepper and then stuff them inside the caballa (mackerel) when you cook it. I can't ever recall seeing this dish with raw garlic.

                                                                                                                                      2. And, while that is setting up, made myself some Smelts in Escabeche! Had an appointment near one of our best wholesale/retail fish shops today, so took it on myself to slide into Mutual Fish.

                                                                                                                                        Bought some tiny fresh smelts that are in season this time of year, thinking a tartin toast or something sardine-ey... and got a lovely Channel Snapper fresh from the water with nice wet bulgy eyes. He is on ice until Frenchman comes home tomorrow. Grilled Snapper on the menu then:).

                                                                                                                                        Ended up cooking the smelts in a COTM way; con escabeshe; wine, vinegar, garlic, bay, etc.

                                                                                                                                        A couple pics of smelts, since they are so AWESOME! Can eat tomorrow if they seem ready, or can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks. I want to taste tho, and if they are great, going back for more. $2.99 a pound, and so easy to clean. Cat's put up a frantic meeeooow, during that, but they got to eat the guts:)

                                                                                                                                        Here are pics of the tiny fishes, in my area - spring Smelts, in the family of white anchovies, bought fresh, only in spring here or late fall. Not as oily as Mackerel, but works well and FRESH!

                                                                                                                                        Here are some pics. Report back tomorrow or next day on flavor

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                          those look good. we just had some nice spring smelts at a clam shack over the weekend, they were such a treat. will look forward to your report on the final results.

                                                                                                                                        2. Cordero con Alcachofas y Hierbabuena (Slow cooked lamb with artichokes and mint), Moro page 207.

                                                                                                                                          I made a miniature version of this dish last night. We had purchased a leg of lamb from Trader Joe's some time ago, divided it into three pieces, cooked one, saved two. We weren't very happy with flavor of the meat, but had plenty to use up. We had set aside one of the pieces as appropriate for stew, and that is what I used instead of the lamb neck called for in the recipe. The meat I had was only about 12 ounces, so I made about a quarter of the recipe, and reduced all ingredients accordingly, and used a small saucepan instead of a large one. On to the recipe…

                                                                                                                                          Chopped onion is caramelized, and removed from the pan. The pieces of trimmed lamb are dusted with flour and browned, then garlic and thyme is added. Oloroso sherry goes into the pan and simmered briefly. Then the onions are returned, along with bay leaves and water to cover. The lamb simmers for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, with potatoes and artichokes going into the pot for the last 20 minutes. (Oh, I cheated here and used frozen artichoke hearts. It was a weeknight, after all.) Mint goes in at the last minute, and I used more mint as a garnish.

                                                                                                                                          This was a great treatment for a mediocre meat. It was as tender as can be, and the flavors of sherry and herbs compensated for the meat's deficiency of same. I served it with two salads from other Spanish books, one with oranges and avocado, one with limas and romaine. I turned up the flamenco, and we had a lovely dinner!

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          1. Roasted Potatoes – p. 430 – The Food of Spain

                                                                                                                                            I did a double-take before posting this because I thought maybe I was about to post this vegetable review in the wrong place but yes, it turns out that this recipe appears in the Meat section of FoS

                                                                                                                                            Simple and good. A little plain tasting and I do think the potatoes would benefit from some garlic aioli on the side or perhaps a smoky tomato or sweet red pepper sauce. I’ll do that next time but for tonight we had these potatoes straight-up. Prep is simple and cooking is a two-step process. Potatoes are peeled cut into chunks then par-boiled until their surfaces are slightly fluffy, as CR says. Once drained, potatoes are given a shake in the pot to further rough up their surfaces which CR suggests will help them absorb more oil and become crispier. Potatoes are then placed in a baking dish, drizzled and tossed w olive or sunflower oil then roasted at 425° for 50 – 60 mins. While I did think that seemed like a long time for potatoes that were already partially cooked I went along with these instructions checking to see the potatoes were no worse for the wear when I turned them throughout the roasting process. These reminded us of large French fries! They had a crispy crust on the outside and very fluffy on the inside. Texturally, they were outstanding. I just thought they were a little one note for our tastes. Next time, I’ll be sure to use a flavourful, quality olive oil and as noted above, I’ll serve a sauce or aioli alongside for dipping.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                              Those look delicious!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                                                Thanks Blythe. I actually made them again last night and served them with the garlic aioli. This is just what they needed and they were outstanding. mr bc couldn't get enough of them!!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                Roasted Potatoes, Food of Spain, page 430
                                                                                                                                                These were delightful. I made them this morning for breakfast - served with eggs over easy.
                                                                                                                                                I actually cut the potatoes into eighths and reduced the boiling and roasting times a bit.
                                                                                                                                                The result was perfectly brown and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside - just as breadcrumbs described. I roasted some garlic cloves, in the skin, right alongside - as I was trying to duplicate that 'home fries' taste. I will definitely make these again.

                                                                                                                                              3. Spanish Marinade for Lamb – p. 203 – Moro

                                                                                                                                                I was keen to give this a try since the ratio of lemon to other ingredients was off in the “Spanish Marinade” for fish in this book. (more info w that review) The ingredients in this marinade are quite similar but in this case red wine vinegar is the preferred acid with lemon juice suggested as an alternative. Luckily the authors provide a quantity for the vinegar in this instance. 2 tbsp is the suggested amount and then they go on to note “or the juice of a lemon. This leads me to conclude that lemons must be much smaller in London or, much less juicy than the ones we get here. Prep is quick and easy. Crushed garlic, salt sweet smoked paprika, the vinegar, fresh thyme, evoo and pepper are mixed together prior to being used as a rub for your meat. In my case I had pork chops vs the lamb but I was keen to see how the flavours of the marinade came through so I felt a milder tasting meat was a good option.

                                                                                                                                                Our chops marinated for approx 1.5 hrs prior to being grilled on the gas bbq. I knew we were in better shape this time when the smoky, garlicky aroma of the marinade wafted from the grill to whet our appetites. Delicious and worth repeating.

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                  Could someone, completely at *your* convenience, post the "Spanish Marinade for Lamb" ingredients and amounts from Moro for me?
                                                                                                                                                  We bought 1/2 pig this spring and I want to do pork chops as many ways as possible to isolate the "keepers". Thanks very much.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                    Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                    Spanish marinade

                                                                                                                                                    2 garlic cloves crushed to a paste
                                                                                                                                                    1 t sweet smoked Spanish paprika
                                                                                                                                                    2 T red wine vinegar (or juice of 1 lemon)
                                                                                                                                                    2 t fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped or pounded
                                                                                                                                                    1 T olive oil
                                                                                                                                                    black pepper

                                                                                                                                                    and if you are so inclined, here's the Muslim Mediterranean marinade:

                                                                                                                                                    2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
                                                                                                                                                    juice of 1 lemon
                                                                                                                                                    1 t tomato puree (which I believe is what we call tomato paste in the US)
                                                                                                                                                    2 t cumin seeds, roughly ground
                                                                                                                                                    2 T roughly chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
                                                                                                                                                    1 T olive oil
                                                                                                                                                    1/2 onion finely grated
                                                                                                                                                    black pepper

                                                                                                                                                2. Dorada a la Sal (Whole Bream Baked in a Salt Crust), Food of Spain p. 315

                                                                                                                                                  Kosher salt (or coarse sea salt) is mixed with egg whites (you could just use water instead of the egg whites, but either will work) to get a wet sand-like mixture to encase the fish with. We had a snapper that was just shy of 2 lbs- gutted, but not scaled. Make sure to close the opening in the belly- otherwise it could make the fillets dish incredibly salty if the salt gets inside the fish. The fish is baked at 400F until done. Ours took about 30 minutes to cook. The salt crust hardens, turns a sandy color and comes off easily after cracking it open. CR suggests drizzling the finished dish with olive oil and serving with alioli and lemon on the side. We enjoyed the fish simply with a squeeze of lemon. The salt crust creates a very moist, unsalty fish. As a variation, one could add herbs to the cavity before adding the salt crust.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                    Big Sal, and all COTM followers - this recipe for fish in a salt crust is also delicious with Salmon and Halibut. Not even necessarily 'Spanish' per se, but a useful technique that does indeed result in moist, terrifically textured fish flesh.

                                                                                                                                                    Recommend highly - have been using this one for years....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for the recommendation, GS! I have not cooked fish this way and find it somewhat intimidating... Will try soon since now I know that you have been using the technique for years; while I have been hiding under a rock, intimidated:)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                        It does indeed seem intimidating herby... I got my guts on for it when I was in catering sales for a high end catering co. where we had a mad wicked great chef. She did WHOLE salmons in salt crust for us for buffet's, and they were just magnificent. We would crack the crust in front of the guests with a flourish, and then serve the room temp salmon right off the giant platter in big moist chunks with an herby lemon mayo on the side. I was sold! :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                          This sounds SO GOOD that I need to move it to the top of my "to make soon" list! I must've been great to cook along side with a chef or even just to watch her in action; something I would love-love to do.

                                                                                                                                                  2. FOS - White Beans with Clams - p. 304

                                                                                                                                                    We liked this one, and it couldn't have been easier. Onions and garlic are sauteed in olive oil, then a can of white beans, white wine, and a bit of salt are added to the pot. Cook for a few minutes, then add your clams, cover and steam for five minutes until they open. Chopped fresh parsley is added as a garnish at the end. I took some liberties with the quantities -- for two dozen clams I used three small onions, 5 cloves of garlic, 5 tb olive oil, 2 cans of cannellini beans, but only 1/2 cup of white wine (what I had on hand). You could get away with less oil, but I felt more was better since the beans were canned. I also added a bit of water to make up for the lack of wine, but I'm not sure that was necessary as the clams released a lot of liquid and the final dish was definitely on the soupy side. With canned beans, this was an easy and tasty meal, and my only regret was that I did not have any crusty bread on hand to dip into the juices.

                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                      White Beans with Clams, Food of Spain, page 304.
                                                                                                                                                      The other day, when I had very little time after work, I did a control-F search on this page for the word "easy," and came up with Westminstress's post. I asked Mr. NS to pick up clams on his way home, everything else was in the cupboard. This is an effortless dish that presents beautifully. I cooked and served it in a cataplana, and I added the paprika mentioned in the note. Aromatic and delicious!

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                        Beautiful, LN! I am going to have to make that one... sounds rich, yet light, and very flavorful. Easy is always good:)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                          Westminstress & LN you've inspired me to try this dish! I love that it makes for an easy weeknight meal. mr bc isn't a huge "clam fan" but he needs to cut down anyway!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                          LN as always, your pictures are stunning!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            "LN as always, your pictures are stunning!"

                                                                                                                                                            Good heavens YES! Mine always have some sort of shadow. Just got a new camera this weekend (mainly for indoor, including food), even though my other camera is probably just as good, I don't think I'll ever reach LN's height. But I try.
                                                                                                                                                            LN, your pictures are an inspiration as well as your write-up. Another thing I like about your presentation - I think: Hey, where did she get that pan or dish? I'll bet she has a kitchen like Ina Gartin!
                                                                                                                                                            Your food bio must be extensive. I love all your posts.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that looks gorgeous, LN! Glad you liked it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                              Drool.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                Wow, I just found all of your glowing compliments, and I'm blushing! Thanks to all.

                                                                                                                                                                And to Rella, I have a pretty standard kitchen, but the cupboards are jammed with goodies I've found here and there along the way. In fact, just last week I had a carpenter rip up the built-in seating in the breakfast nook, and turn them into storage benches. They're full already!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                              No saffron? In Spain, this dish is called fabes con almejas and it always has saffron, which works so well with the flavor of the clams--it really makes the dish (in addition to the fabes, which are huge white beans from Asturias). It is a very soupy dish always served with bread.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                White Beans with Clams – Food of Spain – p. 304

                                                                                                                                                                I compared this to several other recipes in my Spanish books and this won out based on its ease of preparation and, good reviews here. The canned beans are a huge time saver and the recipe still produces a flavourful broth. I made as set out in the book but did add about ½ cup of diced fennel since I had it on hand and it seemed to suit the other flavours in this dish. As you’ll see from my photos, I didn’t have any parsley on hand so I garnished with some chopped chives. Next time around I’d hold off adding any salt to my mix until after the clams have cooked as my broth was a little brinier than I expected. Delicious. Lots of clams for me and lots of beans for mr bc. We arm-wrestled for the broth!! Oh, and a little sangria to wash it all down...

                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  I absolutely love clams, and yours look beautiful, Breadcrumbs. After all these reviews, as soon as I can get my hands on some decent looking clams, I am so making this!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                    Looks great BC, and the Sangria too:). I need to make this one; have the imported butter beans in the cupboard, and good clams are easy to get here. This will be Tuesday I think. Good weeknight easy dinner you all say...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                      If you have the butter beans, don't miss the butter bean and chorizo salad from moro - my favorite dish so far from this month's cotm.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Pollo en pepitoria (chicken in almond and egg sauce), Food of Spain p. 357

                                                                                                                                                                  http://awhitemughalskitchen.blogspot....

                                                                                                                                                                  Seasoned chicken thighs are lightly browned (I used less than 1 T for half a recipe) and set aside (recipe calls for bone-in, skin on thighs, I’d skip the skin next time). Chopped onions are cooked until soft and golden then chicken stock, cinnamon, dry white wine, a bay leaf are simmered covered. Then a paste made of unblanched almonds (we used marcona), garlic (toasted in a skillet with a touch of oil until the almonds are lightly browned) and egg yolk is added with a pinch of saffron Continue to simmer until the chicken is done. The sauce gets a lovely color from the saffron and is thickened from the rich almond and egg yolk paste. We made this on a beautiful, sunny day, but I think it would be even suited for the colder weather.

                                                                                                                                                                  We both enjoyed this quite a bit- much more than I had anticipated. My husband said that the dish seemed like Indian food to him. I think it was because of the cinnamon and the sauce over the chicken. We served this with brown rice to help sop up the sauce, but a crusty loaf would have done just fine. A very satisfying meal.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                    I made this last night. The only change I made to the recipe was going with 2 T of oil for browning the chicken (rather than 3) and using 5 chicken thighs rather than 6-8 (ours come in 5 to a package). Just a comment on BigSal's notes above. The recipe actually calls for blanched almonds, not unblanched almonds. The almonds are also fried, along with the garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                    As the dish was cooking I was skeptical, thinking there was too much liquid for a truly rich sauce. And indeed we were disappointed. As we ate, I commented that I wondered how it would work with 1/2 the amount of chicken stock called for in the recipe. It wasn't bad; it was just eh.

                                                                                                                                                                    Part of our disappointment stemmed from comparing this almond sauce to the almond sauce called for in the meatball recipe (discussed above). That sauce (which uses half the amount of almonds but also half the amount of stock as this almond and egg sauce, and adds a piece of bread to the picada) is richer, tastier, and, in our opinions, fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for pointing out that the almonds should be blanched -( which is what we used- blanched marconas).

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Hake Cooked in cider, FOS pg. 327

                                                                                                                                                                    Delightful, and very straightforward too. Saute onion, add garlic and continue to cook for a bit, then some chopped tomato sauteing til soft, and here's the twist, add hard cider, reduce, add hake steaks (filets in my case) that have been lightly browned in a separate pan, cook an additional 3-5 minutes. The cooking's done and you are ready to eat this very tasty dish.

                                                                                                                                                                    We were both wowed by how well the cider flavor went with the fish (and for that matter the tomatoes in the sauce). One of those "I'd have never thought of it" flavor combinations that really works very well.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN by Claudia Roden
                                                                                                                                                                      Potatoes with Chorizo, Pg. 432
                                                                                                                                                                      Patatas a la Riojana - Rioja
                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.tienda.com/recipes/emails/...

                                                                                                                                                                      We made this as a main dish for dinner last night. and found it to be, as the header notes state, intensely flavored. The recipe is quite simple and very easy to bring together.

                                                                                                                                                                      I made a few adjustments to the ingredient amounts and included her variations as well: The large onion was used, 2 T Spanish EVOO, 8.3 oz. semi-cured spicy chorizo, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 8 small red-skinned potatoes, 1 t pimenton dulce, 1 large red bell pepper sliced in strips, and 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes.

                                                                                                                                                                      After all the ingredients are in the skillet they are simmered over low heat for 25 to 35 minutes or till the potatoes are cooked through and tender. For some reason, even though I had sliced them as described in the text, the potatoes took much longer to cook. More like 55 min. But that was OK since a heady thick sauce was created and the potatoes were well coated.

                                                                                                                                                                      G loved this and ate two big servings which took care of leftovers. I did like the flavor but found it almost too heavy and filling. The chorizo was just too much for me and I tired of it soon after tasting. For a side dish I had quickly sauteed sugar snap peas with garlic and mint and was glad to have a green veg to break the spell... I'm glad there's nothing left.

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                        This month there really does seem to be a lot of "one member of the household loves it, the other doesn't" going around. Wonder why?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                          Really good point ... now that you mention it, very true.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                            We're singing the same song in my household as well (though I haven't actually gotten around to reporting anything yet), with my husband being the one left unsatisfied.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for this review. I was thinking of making these potatoes but will give them a pass. I think all that chorizo would be too much for me too.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                              Hunks of meat, starchy potatoes, spicy sauce coating all, if there's such a thing as Man Food this is it. I'm afraid I'm just Jane. but He be Tarzan...

                                                                                                                                                                              BTW: Congratulations, Westminstress.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS, FOS, p.355

                                                                                                                                                                            Made half the recipe and only because I had to use chicken thighs and peppers - expected it to be plain and boring since there are no spices but S&P! Turned out super delicious and easy if you do not mind washing an extra pan:) Chicken is browned in olive oil, than a bit of jamon (smoked turkey) added to the pan and after a couple of minutes add sherry. Cover and cook until tender - about 30 min. In another pan saute onion until it starts to brown, add chopped garlic and peppers sliced into wide strips (I had 1 yellow bell and 1 Hungarian - used both). Cook for 10 min and add chopped garlic, tomato, and S&P. Cook until the sauce becomes jammy and combine with chicken. It was peppery and smokey. I could swear that there was a good measure of smoked paprika but know that there wasn't:) Will definitely make it again.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken with Peppers FOS pg. 355

                                                                                                                                                                              Totally agree with Herby on this one. On paper the recipe looks rather dull, but on the plate and in the mouth, anything but. I too made a half recipe, using drumsticks and backs, otherwise following the recipe quite closely and choosing the Serrano ham and white wine options. One small adjustment that i made was to draw off most of the cooking oil & fat after browning the chicken but before adding the ham. I'm glad I did this, and would do it the same way again.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                oops, forgot the photo....

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                              2. Lamb Kebob Marinade... actually from Moro East, pg. 236

                                                                                                                                                                                Forgive my slightly heretical post for a meal partly made from a book that's not COTM, but thought those on this thread would be interested, as it concerns another Moro cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't get Moro from my library, but just recieved Moro East yesterday. A Delightful book! Would recommend to anyone who is enjoying these food flavors. Based on the idea that owners of Moro had a garden patch in a community garden - there called 'Allotments'. In my town they are known as 'Pea-Patches". There are all kinds of recipes from around the med. basin, and lot's of delightful pictures. I could literally, cook my way through this book - and plan to! The idea is that most of their 'allotment' neighbors were of varying ethnic decent from all around N.Africa, eastern Europe, and near East, and were part of the fabric of opening up many ingredients and recipes for Sam & Sam. Much of the herbs, etc. for Moro were grown here.

                                                                                                                                                                                All that to say, made a lovely dinner last night,Last night had the 'folks over for dinner on a nice sunny spring day. So, planned on using the grill and getting some COTM recipes in...

                                                                                                                                                                                For starters we had my bocarones escabeche (FOS, pg. 319) which I had made last week with local smelts. Served with the French salted butter I got last week, and fresh toasted homemade rye bread, iced radishes. This was a hit! Nice and slightly vinegary, but not overly so. Fish flesh was still firm, and you could taste the subtle garlic, peppercorns, bay & smoked paprika. Glad I let them marinate a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                Did lamb arm steaks, cut in cubes in a Moro lamb kebab marinade; smoked paprika, lemon juice, aleppo pepper (since I didn't have hot paprika), garlic. Easy peasy. let those soak a few hours, then grilled them off. Served over a lemony salad of dandelion, spinach, spring onions, pinch of zatar a simple lemon viniagrette. As close as I could get to the GREEN SALAD in Moro East on pg. 124.

                                                                                                                                                                                Had a bunch of awesome young leeks from farmer's market, so made a gratin of poached leeks, thin yukon gold slices, with some cabrales cheese layered in there. Reduced poaching liquid and cream to cover. This was AWESOME, if a bit rich for the menu. I could have sworn someone had posted some kind of potato and cabrales dish from Moro on the COTM thread, but couldn't find it, so just made something up.... I will make it again! Can someone point me to that dish and comments? I used the search function, and came up frustrated and empty.

                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry to include a non-authentic dish here, but thought you all would be interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                Hope my digression is forgiven:)!

                                                                                                                                                                                Also grilled Asperagus and made the TAHINI SAUCE on the side for dipping. That repeats in the Moro East book too. Wonderful! That is going in permanent rotation. May try with grilled artichokes next.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Moorish Skewers, Moro, pg 108

                                                                                                                                                                                  Big Sal did a great comparison review of several different versions of Moorish Skewers over on the companion thread, and it confirmed my interest in trying at least one batch this month.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I made the recipe from Moro pretty much verbatim. I did sub boston butt for pork fillet, because I had forgotten to get fillet when I shopped, but had the butt in the freezer so decided to give it a try. I was concerned the meat might be tough, but not at all. In fact we loved these. For us the robust marinade; coriander, cumin, fennel seed, saffron, garlic, sweet paprika, oregano & bay, plus wine vinegar and o. oil added fabulous flavor to the meat. And I have to think it did a great job tenderizing as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a feeling these are going to make at least a few appearances at dinner this summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                    We have pincho morunos on the menu for this week. Perfect for summer grilling. Good to know that the recipe works with pork butt too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                      You're right, wonderful summer food.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And BTW, you're earlier advice, re: if you like big flavors the Moro marinade is a good bet, was spot on for us. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm glad. Tastes are so personal. The addition of fennel seeds in this one really sets it apart from the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                          "Tastes are so personal", ain't that the truth. That said some folks are so good at guessing what others will like. I alas am not one of them, and it is a skill I really wish i had.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. ATUN CON OLOROSO, TUNA WITH OLOROSO SHERRY, MORO p. 198

                                                                                                                                                                                    This dish was a fairly simple and also successful marriage of grilled tuna with a mess of oloroso-flavored caramelized onions. The thick tuna slice are firstrubbed with crushed garlic and salt and then marinated for an hour in 1/3 of the medium sweet oloroso. i had only dry oloroso so I used a scant tsp of sugar with the recipe. Three large spanish onions are then thinly sliced and sauteed in olive oil until caramelized. I used less oil so this stuck occasionally, but the addition of a little water loosened it up again. Took about 1/2 hr per recipe. The remaining oloroso was added and the sauce cooked until the liquid was absorbed. I set aside until it was time for final preparation of the dish

                                                                                                                                                                                    The tuna is then removed from the marinade and fried (or grilled) to just shy of the desired state of rareness or doneness. Here the recipe instructions lacked precision, calling for the tuna to be fried briefly on both sides - so consult your experience or other resources on the time. the onions and remaining marinade are added and all is reheated together briefly and served out onto a plate, then scattered with chopped parsley. The recommended squeeze of lemon really made a difference in bringing out the contrasting flavors in the dish. Make sure you add enough salt ( we wound up using the salt shaker fairly freely)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fine flavor, and a dish we will make again.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ps I feel like someone else wrote an account of this dish but I couildnt find it - maybe I had composed it in my head!

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                      Glad to see a report on this (and I don't remember another one). I've been considering making it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've discovered 2 other Spanish dishes that pair seafood (one with squid and the other with clams) and caramelized onions. Both delicious. I'll have to try it with tuna.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                          We had a leftover last night with some brown rice from the frig - its hard to microwave tuna without overcooking it but it was still very good if a little less red in the middle.the contrast of the parsley and lemon against the sweetness of the onions and sherry really brings out the flavor of the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. One of these days I'll get around to posting recipes I've tried from FOS pre-COTM, but tonight just a quick report on dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                        We had botifarra amb cava (pork sausage cooked in cava) (FOS, p. 434). I had suggested we try the cider variation (which I've had in Barcelona many times), but the hubby went for cava (who can complain--now I'm sipping on a glass of cava). I ordered botifarra from La Tienda. I could the have browned the sausages a bit more, but these were still delicious. Brown, then simmer in cava until they are done (about 25 minutes). Simple and lovely. I'm not sure I could pick up the cava (so we'll try cider next time), but the wonderful, simple pork/pepper flavor of the botifarra came through. Oh, to be back in Barcelona!

                                                                                                                                                                                        We had these with escalivada (grilled veggies dressed lightly in olive oil and minced garlic--divine) and grilled asparagus with a bit of lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Perfect Catalan dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pork Sausages Cooked in Cider, FOS pg 434

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Botifarres that I could get in Boston weren't links but rather salami shaped, so I cut a few circles and otherwise cooked as directed. We had these as part of a tapas selection, but I can see how with potatoes and a sauteed apple or caramelized onions they would make a nice homely supper.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Cod baked with tahini sauce, Moro, p. 187.

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a very nice preparation for cod, which I'm going to do again for a dinner party because it's easy and pretty on the plate. It's a simple method of first sautéing the cod fillets in olive oil on one side for 1-2 minutes, then turning them over and finishing the cooking, either in a hot oven or on the stove-top, for approx. 5-8 minutes until they are white all the way through. Just before the cod reaches this point, you pour into the pan some tahini sauce ( recipe on p. 255-- mashed garlic and salt, plus tahini paste, the juice of one lemon, and 5 TBS water to thin it, and s & p.) The tahini sauce warms with the fish in the pan for about 30 seconds, mixing with the pan juices to make a delicious sauce that you spoon over the cod fillets at serving time. Optional toppings are chopped parsley and pomegranate (or nigella) seeds. I chose pomegranate seeds and they added a nice crunch and freshness. My family really liked the cod-tahini sauce-pomegranate seeds combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The recipe suggests serving this cod with the chickpea salad on p. 246, which I did, and saffron rice (p. 170) which I did not. Instead I made the vegetables with tomato and hard-boiled egg vinaigrette from Food of Spain, p. 228. This dish had plenty of potatoes to add substance to the meal. IMHO the rice would also have been very good, to absorb the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Butterflied leg of lamb with Spanish Marinade, p202

                                                                                                                                                                                            When the weather turns good in England, the whole country drags their barbecues out of the garage. It's practically the law with our temperate, unpredictable weather! Mr GG spent the afternoon cleaning the Weber and we fired it up in the evening for this simple but special dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Butterflied leg of lamb is marinaded - there are 3 suggestions for marinades and I chose the Spanish one which is sweet smoked paprika, garlic, red wine vinegar or lemon, thyme leaves and black pepper. Rub this mixture all over your lamb and only then add oil. The book is very particular about this, saying that adding the oil to the marinade, saying that it can prevent the acidity of the lemon or vinegar from penetrating the meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I let this sit for around 5 hours before grilling to medium rare - about 6 minutes on each side. This was lovely, with the smokiness of the paprika really adding to the charcoal flavour of the grilled meat. A 2 kg leg of lamb (unboned weight) was plenty for four with lots of leftovers. A happy mr GG has just had some for lunch, and I'll probably make a pilaf with the rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                              What a timely review! My husband just left for our co-op. His list includes the vague, "lamb". Texting him now to give him more specific direction to look for leg of lamb. Hopefully we'll be able to try this on Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tell him to get it boned if possible, unless you're a dab hand at butchery!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sadly, they had only lamb brats and ground lamb today. Perhaps I'll use this as inspiration for lamb burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was salivating as I read your post gg. We love lamb (some of the best we've ever purchased and prepared was in London btw) and this recipe sounds fantastic. We typically grill lamb using an Italian preparation but I can just imagine how lovely it would be with your marinade. Thanks for posting this, I'll have to give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We're lucky in that British lamb is amongst the best in the world - lots of it is exported to France, no less! If you ever get the chance to try salt marsh lamb, grab it with both hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks gg, I most definitely will!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Cerdo al Horno (Roasted Pork Belly with Fennel Seeds) - p. 210 - Moro

                                                                                                                                                                                                We're trying to cook down the freezer in anticipation of an upcoming move in a few months. I've been falling a bit behind on this COTM, so when I found a pork belly recipe, I jumped on it. The only problem was my pork belly was a relatively small piece and definitely not the 1.5 kg that they called for. My cooking brain was not fully on yesterday, so I didn't adapt properly and it came out a bit overcooked, but that was my fault, not theirs. Despite the overcooking, both of us loved the rub that is used on the meat. I was also very happy with how the crackling turned out. The authors suggest you can also use pork loin instead of belly and I might have to give that a shot next time if I can't find a larger piece.

                                                                                                                                                                                                To make, the skin is scored and rubbed with salt while the flesh of the belly is rubbed with a mixture of ground fennel seeds and garlic. This is left to rest for 30 minutes and the excess salt is removed. The pork is then roasted in a roasting pan greased with olive oil for 30 minutes at 450 to form the crackling. The pork is transferred to a new roasting pan and heat reduced to 375 to roast for another 2 - 2.5 hours until the meat is tender. While the meat is resting, a gravy is made by deglazing the pan with sherry or white wine (I used sherry).

                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  TxninMtl this sounds lovely. I'd missed it somehow and good to know you can use pork loin as well as mr bc prefers that cut. What did you thik of the gravy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was fine for us and I think it has the potential to be fantastic, but to be honest, I was so flustered by the state of the meat when I took it out of the oven that I forgot to scale back the amount of sherry for the amount of meat I had. It ended up a bit less gravy-like thanks to that. Last night was one of those cooking days when nothing seems to work out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's too bad Tx. I know the feeling. We recently undertook a kitchen reno and there's definitely a learning curve adjusting to all new appliances. I said to mr bc that I'd never owned so many things I had no idea how to operate! As a result I had some frustrating cooking experiences as I figured things out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pan-Grilled Fish with Garlic and Chile Dressing, Pg. 320
                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Piscada a la Bilbaina - Basque Country)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was delicious. Plain and simple. A hot skillet on the stovetop was the "grilling" method. I reversed the cooking order because it just made sense to me: Instead of cooking the fish first I made the sauce before the fish was cooked otherwise the fish would have cooled while the sauce was being made...
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Monkfish is the fish she uses for the recipe but gives many alternatives so I chose haddock fillets, with skin left on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The dressing consists of 5 slivered fat garlic cloves, and a dried or fresh small chile (jalapeno for me with seeds left in) that are simmered in EVOO, in a small saucepan, till garlic is golden, taken off heat then white wine vinegar and chopped parsley are added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Season the fillets, add oil to skillet and heat, place fish in pan skin side down, cook till done. This doesn't take very long but depends on how thick the fillets are. Thin fish fillets are not turned over during cooking. Serve with the dressing poured over. Usually I would expect this to be served with lemon wedges but this didn't seem to need anything else, not even pepper. We loved the delicate garlic flavor with the super fresh fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boiled potatoes are the recommended side dish. I steamed small red-skinned potatoes and served them seasoned with Maldon salt and FGBpepper and an additional drizzle of Spanish EVOO. I suppose some would like crusty bread to sop up the juices, but the potatoes were perfect crushed into the sauce. The simple salad Roden gives on page 225 (first paragraph) completed the meal. Great dinner all around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This sounds sooooo good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Another must-try. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yum, Gio, and I aplaud your reasoning in making the dressing first. Good advice. Will make this one too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, gingershelley. Good luck with it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Food of Spain--Pan-grilled [Monkfish] with garlic and chili dressing, p. 320.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks of Gio's positive review, I made this last night with the monkfish that arrived in my CSA. The dish was exactly as she stated: a simple, satisfying treatment for fish that is surprisingly flavorful. The gently-simmered (in EVOO) garlic and pepper mellow into a buttery sauce that is surprisingly suave. As Gio suggested, I made the sauce earlier and reheated if gently before serving. This made finishing the recipe a snap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The recipe suggests using 1/2 to 1 small red or green pepper; I used half of a largish jalapeño, but next time I will use a whole one, for even more kick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, the Monkfish (aka "the poor man's lobster) was delicious in this preparation. It's a hearty, thick fillet that takes longer to cook through than "regular" fish filets. I turned mine a few times tin the recommended 15 minutes, to get the fish completely opaque.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Roden recommends serving the fish right from the pan, with the dressing poured over--I just sliced it into serving portions from the pan onto people's plates, buffet-style. This rustic presentation worked just fine for a relaxed family dinner. I did not serve boiled potatoes (lots of bread instead) but I think the potatoes would have been especially good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Braised Rabbit w/ Herbs and White Wine, FOS pg 389

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last month I had picked up a frozen rabbit with every intention of making a rabbit paella at some point, but somehow that just didn't happen. Since it was taking up more freezer space than I wanted to give it, time to find another recipe. this one looked easy enough for a weeknight, and it was. But it was also a bit dull. Not dreadful, just not anything I'd be in a hurry to repeat. Also technique-wise it gave me some trouble, as no way no how could I get the rabbit to brown without seriously over cooking everything including the rabbit. Other rabbit braises that I've tried have you brown the rabbit in batches, removing pieces from the pan as you go, then add the aromatics, the return the rabbit to the pot, then the liquid. If for some reason (unlikely) I ever made this dish again, I would that cooking order, not the one that Roden gives in the FOS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Monkfish with Garlic and Fino, Moro, pg. 192

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This was a major hit with us. Delicious, easy, and pretty, what more could you want?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made an exact half recipe, but used a good olorosso rather than a fino, since that's what I had on hand. The prep-toast a few pine nuts, soak a few raisins in warm water, soak a few saffron threads in hot water. To cook, lightly brown a few peeled garlic cloves in olive oil, remove from the pan, up the heat, add monkfish fillets, browning lightly on each side, add to the pan-the reserved garlic, sherry, bay leaves, saffron & its soaking water, drained raisins. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, turning once or twice. Add the pine nuts and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The lighting & angle isn't great in this picture, but in person it really looked very nice. The foreground dish is Otttolenghi's spinach w/ lentils, which went OK with this, but something more neutral might have been better.