garbanzo & feta salad

garbanzo feta (1)
I was about to make hummus today and then remembered that I had some feta cheese.  So I ended up making a “fridge forage” garbanzo bean salad and it turned out very well. It’s great on its own, or as a side dish. Also handy because you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge (up to one day). It’s also something you can play with, changing ingredients here and there. Nice summer dinner option.

Ingredients and instructions below…
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albóndigas (meatballs) with 2 sauces

albondigas (1)
I started off with an urge to make some good old fashioned meatballs, but couldn’t decide on a sauce. Eventually I went with a traditional Spanish tomato sauce but then – oops – ended up making way to many meatballs for the amount of sauce I had. So I had to come up with a second sauce for the extra meatballs and decided to go with a sherry sauce. The original tomato sauce recipe I had called for pancetta, but I chose to use up some jamón and chorizo threads I had in the fridge instead and the result was very tasty. Then for the sherry sauce I used bacon bits. Just to say that the pancetta can be switched for something similar.

My first batch made about 30 meatballs (which is why I needed another sauce). I’ve halved the recipe to make 15 meatballs with one of the sauces, or you can double it and make both sauces. Frankly, it takes almost as much effort to make 30 meatballs as 15, and they freeze well, so I’d always opt for going with the larger batch.

Ingredients and instructions below…
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carrillada al oloroso

carrillada oloroso (1)
Since the first time I made carrillada (stewed Ibérico pork cheeks) I have tried making them in different ways, but then recently created a killer version when preparing a dish for an Introduction to Sherry class that was so good I wanted to share it here. What could be better for a sherry class than cheeks slow-cooked in sherry? And the perfect sherry in my mind was oloroso. So as usual I had a look around and found several versions of carrillada al oloroso, tweaked them here and there, and came up with this one.

Ingredients and instructions below…
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guacamole

guacamole (1)
It’s been ages – possibly years! – since I made guacamole. But seeing all those fresh avocados and tomatoes at the market lately inspired me to try it again. The first time I didn’t have any cilantro or limes (used lemon juice instead), which turned out pretty good. But the cilantro and lime juice really do transform it into something special. I haven’t put measurements for the seasoning – just taste as you go until you get the balance you like. You can also add greek yoghurt (or sour cream) to make a creamier guacamole. Serve it as a dip for tortilla corn chips, inside a warm flour tortilla or pita bread, with basmati rice… or just on its own.

Ingredients and instructions below…
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espinacas con garbanzos

espinacas con garbanzos
I can’t believe I’ve never made this most traditional dish before now, and it all came about because Kerstin @MsMarmitelover asked if I had a recipe for espinacas con garbanzos. And well, I could have found all kinds of recipes that sounded good, but knowing Kerstin, she would want a tried and tested one. So when my friend Fede @Lerele sent me a photo of a recipe on Twitter and said it was the best spinach he’s ever had… well I had to try it.

The first time I made this I didn’t quite have all the right ingredients. Rather than a large bunch of fresh spinach I had baby spinach leaves, and instead of garbanzos cooked in a puchero I just had some in a jar. Also, I only had fresh bread from the bakery, not the day-old stuff the recipe called for. But it still turned out great. I’ve since made it a few times with mostly the “proper” ingreadients. The recipe below is Fede’s recipe, with a few of my own adjustments. Another modification was using my little blender since I don’t have a mortar and pestle. And it was even better a couple of hours later once it had cooled off – amazing flavour. I have to say that Fede was right – great recipe.

Ingredients and instructions below…

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cilantro & lime hummus

cilantro lime hummus
Been a bit obsessed with adding fresh cilantro to things lately and so a couple of weeks ago I tried it in my basic hummus recipe and it was great. Later it struck me that it would be EVEN BETTER with lime juice instead of lemon… and it was! I wasn’t sure whether to include the stems or just use the cilantro leaves – in the end I opted for the latter. It’s super delicious and so versatile. Yesterday I had it with salt & pepper chicken fried in olive oil and basmati rice, today I’m planning to have some with crudité. And of course it would be great with corn chips. Anyhow, recipe and ingredients below…

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migas

migas

Traditionally migas (literally: bread crumbs) was a peasant’s or shepherd’s dish, a tasty way to use up stale bread using little more than some garlic, olive oil, and whatever bits of meat or charcuterie happened to be about. At casa az, migas has turned out to be a great way to use up the bread scooped out of crusty loaves when making pan cristal (more on that later) and then fed to skinny flatmate who always needs to “carb up”. Obviously there are loads of variations on what can go into migas, as well as various ways of preparing it. What I’ve done, as usual, is look up a few different recipes and then make something that looks good to me, though on this occasion I *almost* burnt the garlic and onions… so try not to do that.

Ingredients and instructions below…

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chicken, spinach & cashews

chicken cashew  (1)

This is the first dish I made to serve with my first batch of cauliflower rice. It was basically just thrown together with stuff I had on hand but it turned out so well that I thought I’d put it up here. One thing I didn’t happen to have on hand was fresh coriander, which I think would have been fabulous, so I’ll add it to the recipe below…

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cauliflower rice

cauliflower rice (1)

I tried my hand at making cauliflower “rice” today. No, I’m not 5:2ing (don’t get me started on that nonsense) but I’ve seen this mentioned so much on the ‘net lately – and I love cauliflower and am always looking for new low-carb options – so I thought I’d try it out. It seems the main problem people encounter when making this is that the cauliflower ends up mushy. So I took the precaution of letting the cauliflower thoroughly dry on a tea towel before chopping it up. You can see the instructions below…
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