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August 2015 COTM: The New Spanish Table & My Kitchen in Spain - SEAFOOD, POULTRY, MEAT, GAME

There used to be wild mushroom guy at our local market but I haven't seen him in a few years, and the whole while I was eating this I was thinking of how splendid the dish would be with some foraged goodies, and wishing he was still around.

about 21 hours ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2015 COTM: The New Spanish Table & My Kitchen in Spain - SEAFOOD, POULTRY, MEAT, GAME

Sherried Chicken with Mushroom-Pollo al Jerez, My kitchen in Spain,p.244

Mushrooms and sherry are soul mates. Add chicken and serve with fried potatoes? Yes, please. A delight, this was.

This dish starts out by browning chicken pieces (bone-in thighs in my case) and removing to a cazuela, then browning scallions or onions, mushrooms, and pancetta. A touch of flour gets mixed in, followed by a deglazing with a generous amount of fino sherry. At this point the mushroom sherry mix is to be poured over the chicken and mixed with water, bay leaves, s&p, and parsley, and simmered on the stovetop in the cazuela until tender. Lacking a diffuser, I didn't want to risk cracking my lone large cazuela so I tossed it all back into the original skillet.
I didn't have any fino so subbed with manzanilla, but I bet an amontillado or oloroso would also play beautifully here; in fact, might even bring it up a notch. Mendel suggests making the Spanish fries (really just fries made in olive oil) on page 162 to be mixed right into the dish, so I did. The potatoes soaked up most of the flavourful gravy, so I may add a touch more liquid were I to use spuds again. Rice would be just as welcome. And crusty bread for optimal plate-wiping, of course!
The Mister declared this the Spanish version of chicken marsala and cleared his plate. I really enjoyed the deep earthy-woodsy notes of these luscious ingredients singing together. Not the most eye-catching of dishes, but certainly delicious. I served with a side of blistered shishito peppers, which seems to pair well with most anything.

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Tapas and First Courses Thread

Thanks, breadcrumbs! I haven't located any mojama on the prairies, despite a thorough search, so when I was in Andalucia earlier this year I brought a few packages home with me (as well as an entire suitcase full of other edible delights!).
The plate, believe it or not, is melamine--I found it at Winners. Part of my outdoor/child-friendly collection.

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Tapas and First Courses Thread

Mojama with Piquillo Peppers and Caperberries, Moro-p.104

What an exquisite starter this dish is.

Arugula (or other salad green) is tossed with a sherry vinaigrette and plated, then topped with a portion of marinated piquillo peppers (recipe pg.27, but I used roasted coloured bells in an effort to preserve my dwindling piquillo stash ), paper-thin slices of the delectable mojama, and caperberries. Lemon wedge to be served on the side (I forgot, oops--but there was lemon in the vinaigrette, so it all worked out ok).

This makes for a sensational presentation and is a lovely combination of sweet, bitter, tart and savoury, a very swoon-worthy dish, but--and this may just refer to me and the very rare occurrence of mojama in my house--I think I prefer to enjoy this jamon of the sea straight up, or perhaps simply adorned with a drizzle of fabulous olive oil.

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Tapas and First Courses Thread

Marinated Piquillo Peppers

This has become one of my necessities for a tapas spread. I usually will use roasted and peeled coloured bells torn into strips (instead of thirds for the piquillos), but will sometimes replace one with a small tin of piquillo peppers. This is fabulous either way. Absolutely perfect atop toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

August 2015 COTM: The New Spanish Table & My Kitchen in Spain - SEAFOOD, POULTRY, MEAT, GAME

Lovely and enticing review, Gio! Sounds like a winner.

August 2015 COTM Announcement: THE NEW SPANISH TABLE and MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN

Wow! I have never heard of them before. I am looking forward to checking this site out. Thank you!

August 2015 COTM Announcement: THE NEW SPANISH TABLE and MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN

Let me know if you find availability online! Amazon.ca sells the one vinegar, but it is exorbitantly priced compared to the .com site (even when considering the atrocious exchange rate!). http://www.amazon.ca/Capirete-Vinegar... I think I may just use a US parcel service and drive across the border for this one...

Jul 26, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2015 COTM Announcement: THE NEW SPANISH TABLE and MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN

A good enough reason to book a trip to Spain, I would say!

August 2015 COTM Announcement: THE NEW SPANISH TABLE and MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN

I can't tell you how often I find myself wishing for a Canadian store resembling La Tienda. The number of Spanish ingredients I can locate in my neck of the woods is woefully sparse.

Jul 26, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Soups, Vegetables, Starches, and Legumes Thread

Peas and Fava Beans with Ham, FOS-p.263

A perfect selection of ingredients discovered at the farmers' market led me to this dish, and it was a great showcase of the season.

Jamon (or either bacon or prosciutto, which is what I used) is briefly heated and cooked with garlic, along with tender new favas, chicken stock, a bay leaf, and a sprig each of marjoram and mint. After a spell the fresh peas go in, along with scallions and a dose of rum (brandy or anise liqueur are listed as options) and cooked until the peas are soft.
This was very comforting and homey in a refreshing sort of way. The mint perked up what could have been a drab dish, and the salty/savoury bites of ham played well with the meaty favas. There was a nice amount of flavourful broth in the bowl, just enough to mop up the juices with some crusty bread.
We all rather enjoyed this simple little number that sang the song of summer, and an encore will be requested.

August 2015 COTM - Voting Thread

My vote this time was based on the lack of access to the Clark books. I had ordered Casa Moro the other week and it has since gone on backorder until at least mid-August, and my library doesn't have any of them (which I will soon rectify with a swarm of suggestions!), so the other selection it is. No matter--this month will be fabulous.

Jul 20, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 1-4

My sympathy with your dinner, LN, but I must admit that the thought of you vacuuming up your dinner for the sake of a good meal is rather hilarious, and something I could absolutely picture myself doing.
I gasped at the glorious sight of your plate, so you must have done something right!

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

This photo makes me sigh with delight.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 9-13

This is my favourite version of megadarra. I make it often, and always with a side of yogurt-garlic sauce and a vibrant plate of fattoush.
Looks great!

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 9-13

Impressive! The kibbeh recipes have me quivering in fear. No longer! Thanks for the fabulous write-up.

Jul 13, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

The ketchup really threw me off in this dish...so unlike her other recipes! I was going to try this one but I think I'll just make the kisir again.

Jul 13, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2015 COTM - Nomination Thread

THE NEW SPANISH TABLE
MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN
MORO MONTH....although I am having a hard time finding Morito--is it only available in the UK so far? It looks like a preorder on amazon.ca.

May 2012 COTM Spanish Month Companion Thread

I made this again the other day, and realized I forgot to mention that there is an error in the recipe. Cumin is listed in the ingredients but not in the directions (I assume it is to be added with the pimenton and saffron), so take note.
If you already have cooked chickpeas on hand, this recipe is a snap to make! I brought it over to a friend's house for dinner, and the diners were smearing bread along the last smudges of food in the serving bowl. It is a fabulous dish.

August 2015 COTM - Nomination Thread

Tomatoes at last, hah! And very exciting it is.

It's been a while since we've done a Spanish cookbook (over three years!) and I am itching to try some new recipes out. Spanish cooking, to me, IS summer. Evenings spent sweltering on the patio when it's too hot to eat much go perfectly with the little dishes famous to the region, not to mention the refreshing beverages on offer, paella on the grill, or gloriously simple applications for summer's bounty. Even though I've been happily plugging away at the past cotm winners, I'd like to get a few different selections under my belt.

Some cookbooks I've been perusing and am interested in delving further into are:
The New Spanish Table - Anya von Bremzen
My Kitchen in Spain - Janet Mendel
Morito, Casa Moro - S&S Clark (I haven't actually checked these ones out yet but I have complete faith in them based on the success of Moro, plus I would love an excuse to buy them)

Anyone wanna play?

Jul 12, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

I would also love to explore the rest of the Moro collection. I'd almost rather peruse first, but my library has none of them, so Id have to buy. Not really a problem since I love the first one so much; I'm sure they'd be just as stellar.
We definitely need another Spanish cookbook of the month in the near future.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

Fattoush? Oops, I meant tabbouleh.

It really was wonderful...

Jul 07, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

Turkish Kisir with Red Peppers and Tomatoes, p.144

Move over, fattoush, we have a new player in town! Holy moly, was this ever a delicious -and completely different- salad.
It starts by pureeing fleshy red bell peppers and a chile with some water in a FP to a paste. I found the water unnecessary and thus the veggies wouldn't blend properly, so I had to transfer to a blender. This pepper paste is then cooked down until reduced to a thick jam and transferred to a bowl with pre-moistened fine bulgur. To this is added grated tomato pulp, no skins, though I used some grape tomatoes and just diced those up finely alongside the pulp. Also in the salad is a large amount of scallions, some cucumber, parsley, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, olive oil, and aleppo (maras) pepper. The lot is tossed by hand and chilled for several hours before serving, then piled atop tender lettuce leaves and served with pita.
I took a curious bite of this salad, pre-chilling, and had to tear myself (and The Offspring) away from the bowl lest we eat it all before dinner. It was so, SO good. The peppers offer up their sweetness as the base and complement the tangy smokiness of the pomegranate molasses perfectly. The crisp flecks of cucumber and the bright fresh herbs offer the excitement and pizzazz against the chewy-tender bulger. The lettuce leaves were completely neglected at dinnertime as we all swooped in, with poised spoons, to devour this fabulous salad. This is a new favourite.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce, p.155

This was a delightful eggplant dish, one that I will be happy to make again. I also didn't have the pomegranate seeds to add, but they weren't missed (although somewhere in the book, PW mentions that one can successfully freeze the seeds for up to a year--I may try that tip next time pomegranates are in season for occasions such as this!). I imagine the eggplant slices would also be great cooked over a grill--that smokey flavour would play nicely with the sauce.
As hard as it was to keep from eating the whole plate, I held off on a few of the slices to let marinate overnight to see if self-restraint would pay off for next time.
What a simple and delicious application for eggplant!

Jul 07, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

Gaziantep-Style Chopped Salad, p.138

This simple little medley consists of summer veggies finely diced to a homogeneous confetti and spiked with a tangy dressing. Tomatoes (grape, in my case) and red & green peppers are tossed with dried mint, lemon, aleppo pepper, and sumac and set aside to chill for thirty minutes before serving.
While it made for an attractive bowl, this wasn't a favourite. The sumac overpowered the ingredients and the mint was undetectable. Using farm-fresh produce would undoubtedly bring it up a notch or two, but alas, the nightshades are not ready just yet where I live; even so, I think I'd prefer some of the other chopped veggie salads within the contents of this book.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 9-13

Caucasion Marinated Pork Kabobs, p.333

This was a pleasant and interesting combination of tastes as part of a lovely summery meal.
I made a half-batch of the recipe. Cubed pork shoulder is marinated overnight in a mix of diluted pomegranate molasses, grated onion, dill, and a pinch of sugar. When pulled from the grill, it is brushed with more pomegranate molasses (with extra on the side for dipping) and served with an onion-parsley salad. The salad/salsa is on the previous page and is a simple mix of thinly sliced onion -salted and rinsed- with parsley and sumac.
I only had a few hours to marinate the pork; even so the sauce had permeated the meat nicely - though I am curious to see if it would be significantly different with a lengthier bath. I was a little disconcerted by the combination of dill and pomegranate molasses, but it paired together well, and was a new flavour combination for my tastebuds. I really enjoyed the finishing touch of the tangy-sweet pomegranate molasses at the end of cooking, and the additional sauce for dipping. The pork went beautifully with the onion salad on the side.
PW writes in the head notes that the recipe would also work well with lamb or beef - this may make another appearance at the dinner table soon enough.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

Gasp! As if it couldn't sound any better! It's decided, I'm making this tonight...

Jul 06, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

What are some of your must-have Spanish cookbooks? I may need to expand the repertoire a bit, and I'm sure you folks can deliver!
I currently have Food of Spain, Moro (in tatters), The New Spanish Table, Culinaria Spain, and Tapas: A taste of Spain in America. Looking for another one or two (or twelve!) to try out, preferably one that could qualify as a cookbook of the month in the future. Got any leads?

Jul 06, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

I was wondering about her instructions regarding the overnight languish in the marinade. Glad to hear it is not necessary, and that the dish is as good as it sounds!

Jul 06, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 9-13

Wow, Gio, this sounds wonderful, and bison seems like an excellent meat in this application! Must try the feta...

Jul 04, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1