Melindros (served with Hot Chocolate)

Melindros are very popular in Spain, they are similar to a cookie but with a cake-like texture. The tradition is to dip the melindro into hot chocolate. In Spain, the texture of hot chocolate is much thicker, more like a pudding and its spooned, not sipped.

The recipe for these melindros is very easy. By themselves, they’re good, but they are much better when you dip them in hot chocolate.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar vigorously with a whisk until creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder into the sugar mixture. Stir until it’s incorporated. Gently, add the egg whites and fold them until fully incorporated.

Using a piper, or plastic bag, pipe the mixture approximately 4 1/2-inches in length on to the baking sheet. Dust them with powdered sugar. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until just firm on the outside and soft in the center and golden brown.

Enjoy with a hot cup of hot chocolate.

Bon profit!

Orange Marmalade

 

Hola!!

For today, I made an orange marmalade. I love oranges! And it’s orange season! As a kid growing up in Spain, I would have a fresh squeezed orange juice every day. (Thanks mom!) Here in the US, I don’t do it as often, but makes for a nice treat.

Oranges are so healthy, and since it is orange season, I try to utilize oranges as much as I can.  This recipe is so tasty, I love it!

Ingredients for about 3 jars of 10 oz and 1 jar of 6oz:

  • 2 lbs oranges peeled and quartered (about 6 oranges)
  • 1 small lemon peeled (if it’s big, cut in half).
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups water

Cut the skin of the orange and the lemon into julienne strips or into 1/4 inch strips.

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and boil the cut strips for 15 minutes and set aside.

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In a large pot, bring the 1/3 cup of water to a boil, add the oranges, the sugar and the orange and lemon strips. Reduce the heat, and let it simmer.

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Continue to cook on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Stir every 20 minutes.

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To keep the jam fresh in a jars, I first boiled the jars, then added the jam to about 1/8 inch from the top. Place the lids tightly on and place the jars upside down on the counter. Allow the jam to cool before turning right side up. Leave it upside down for a few hours.

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Easy and now you should have fresh marmalade for months to come. Also, makes great gifts!

I love to eat this marmalade with a piece of homemade bread with butter. Delicious!

Bon profit!

 

Bacon Cupcake

Hola and happy fall!

Today I am posting something new and unique (For me anyway!) Cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes. I call them the happy surprise bite! What’s the surprise? Bacon! More specifically, bacon jam! Woohoo! I was super happy when I received some delicious jams from TBJ Gourmet. (https://tbjgourmet.com) They say everything tastes better with bacon. With this recipe, I would have to agree!

Let’s get started!

Recipe for 12 cupcakes:

  • ½ cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Filling:

– TBJ original jam

Frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of TBJ Classic Bacon Jam

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

Place the butter and sugar in a mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing. Next add the milk and the vanilla extract.

In a separate large mixing bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything gets in.

Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

The frosting: Combine the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add the maple syrup and the Bacon Jam. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is mixed in.

Using a paring knife, make a 1-inch-deep hole from the top of each cupcake (you can eat the tiny piece). Fill each hole with 1 teaspoon of bacon jam. çFinally, pipe (or spread) the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Bon profit!

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Gazpacho Andaluz

Hola!!!

Summer is just around the corner! We’ve had a lot of hot days here, hot days when you don’t want to cook and you are just craving a light and cold dish. I love to go to the beach or spend a few hours on the water kayaking, then come home and have something cold and refreshing. It’s days like this when I enjoy a nice, cold bowl of gazpacho. Oh my! I love gazpacho. It’s so easy to make, super healthy and super refreshing!

This dish is very popular in Spain, in fact the origin of gazpacho can be traced to the VIII century! Crazy! It wasn’t the gazpacho that we know now, because they didn’t have some of the ingredients such as tomato or pepper. Gazpacho back then was made primarily with bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and water. It not until 1726 that the first recipe for the modern gazpacho is recorded…

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Cheese Balls topped with Pecans & Cranberries

Hola!!!

Wow. Those are the words that I have for these mini cheese balls topped with chopped pecans and cranberries. Eat one, and you will want another. And perhaps …. another! This tapa is perfect. It can be made ahead of time, and served small (bite-sized!) or as a two-biter. It can also be served with crackers.
Trust me, I couldn’t stop eating them!

Ingredients for about 25 cheese balls:

1 large log of goat cheese (about 11oz)

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup of cranberries

In a food processor, add the pecans and the cranberries. Blend them up, but be careful, you don’t want them to look like crumbs. Transfer onto a plate.
Shape the goat cheese into bite-sized balls and roll each ball into the pecan-cranberry mixture. Transfer the balls into the refrigerator to harden and take them out after about 30 minutes before serving.

Cheese balls

Bon profit!

Brie Bite

Hola!!!

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A bar advertising tapas and beer.

Tapas tapas!! Oh! I love them, I love jumping from bar to bar in Spain for tapas. You can have a beer or a glass of wine with a tapa for about $3. Fantastic right? Yes! That’s why I love it. And in the spring and summer, it’s even better! You can sit outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of Spain. Every tapas restaurant advertises their tapas on a blackboard outside so you can see before you go in.

I love cheese, any kind of cheese. They really make any dish a little bit more tasty! There are many tapas with cheese in them.

One cheese I like is brie. You can bake it, put it in salads, make brie croquettes (see my croquette recipe) or brie pinchos ( I’ll post more about pinchos later). Today, I thought you would like to taste fried brie… It’s so good. The ones I make are about a 2-bite size. Perfect size for tapas.  You get a nice taste of the melted brie, and a nice crunch. A great contrast of textures.

Ingredients:

– Brie

– Egg

– Bread crumbs

– 2 cups vegetable or canola oil

Slice the brie in small squares (or into the size you desire). About one inch thick, if  they are too thin, they will melt while you´re cooking.

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Preheat the oil on medium high heat. Beat the egg and place the brie into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs.

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After

Place them into the pan for a few minutes until they’re golden brown, flip, and cook the other side. Remove and place onto a plate with paper towel.

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Bon profit!

Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam!

Ingredients for the tomato jam (makes  about 1/2 pint):

–  2 large, ripe tomatoes (use as many as you want)

– 1 cup sugar

– 1/2 fresh lemon juice

– Bunch of Mint (optional but recommended)

Place the tomatoes in a boiling pot for a few minutes. Place them immediately into a cold water bath and then peel them.

Place them into a blender for a minute.

In a sauce pan, combine the sugar, lemon juice, mint and tomatoes that were already blended. Stir on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes. Place a lid on the sauce pan and leave it on a low heat for 35- 45 minutes. Let it cool down. Remove the mint and then place into a jar.

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After

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You can make as much as you want and store it fIf you want to make more than 1 jar,  I would recommend to place the…

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Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic)

Holaaa!!!

Seafood… I love it!! We have a lot of it in Spain, and a large variety. And we have a lot of ways to cook it. Some seafood is more unique to Spain and Europe, and is difficult to find in the U.S., such as langoustines, (escamarlas in Catalan), or cuttlefish (sepia).   But one type of seafood that is not difficult to find and is common around the world is shrimp, or gambas in Español.

While the shrimp in both countries may be similar, we have different ways to prepare them and different ways to eat them. For one, in Spain, we always buy the shrimp, and cook them, with the heads attached. Here in the U.S., it is very difficult to find the shrimp with the heads on. It´s too bad because the head of the shrimp is super yummy!!! It adds a whole new dimension of flavor. Whenever I find them here, I buy them!

My family loves seafood too. One of our favorite shrimp is from Palamós. Palamos is a town on the Costa Brava on the Mediterranean Sea. Costa Brava translates to rugged coast, and is a beautiful part of Spain. Originally a fishing village, Palamos is famous for a shrimp that is very red in color. Seriously, just looking at the picture my mouth is watering.

Gamba de Palamos

I am so lucky to have grown up living so close to the Costa Brava. Last summer, I took this picture while I was walking in the Cami de Ronda, a footpath built along the Costa Brava. The picture below is between Platja d’Aro and Palamós (both are small towns along  La Costa Brava).

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So for today, you guessed it, I’m cooking…  shrimp. The dish is called Gambas al ajillo (Pronounced gaam-baahs al ah-heelo, literally shrimp with garlic). Something very easy and simple. If you can’t find fresh shrimp, you can always make it with frozen shrimp. It’s great as an appetizer or you can simply make it for dinner! Just increase the recipe! 🙂

This recipe takes 10 minutes!

Ingredients:

– 1/2 Ib shrimp

– 4 garlic cloves

– 1 tsp paprika

– 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

– salt

– pepper

– olive oil

Prepare the shrimp like you would like to cook them. You can either peel the skins from the shrimp, to incorporate more flavor into the shrimp, or you can leave them on. It’s a personal preference.

Drizzle some olive oil in a large pan and heat on medium. Mince the garlic and add it to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the shrimp, the paprika, red pepper flakes and increase the heat to medium high. Sauté for about 3 minutes until the the shrimp turn pink and are cooked. It doesn’t take long! If you overcook them, they can get tough and chewy.

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Transfer to a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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It has a mild spice profile. Vary the amount of paprika and garlic to increase or decrease the level of spiciness. As you can see, this is an easy and delicious way to bring the flavors of the Mediterranean Coast into your home.

Bon profit!

Canelones de espinacas y champiñones

Canelones with spinach, mushrooms and pine nuts with white sauce. A delicious , and a good way to make it if you have someone that doesn’t like to eat vegetables. Bon Profit!

Hola!

I love canelones and they are a good holiday dish. In the USA, you would call them cannelloni, after the Italian version. My Grandma is the best at making them. She usually makes canelones with meat for our big and important family meal in January. To celebrate the Three Kings (the three wise men). She usually makes about 90 canelones!! She has a lot of patience and she is good at it. (She’s also had a lot more practice than me!) I will make these canelones with her when I go to Spain this Christmas. Like my Grandma always says, “It’s very healthy to be able to be with family, drinking and eating.” And that’s true.

Today, I made canelones with spinach, mushrooms and pine nuts. Delicious ,and a good way to make it if you have someone that doesn’t like to eat vegetables.

For the dough, I used that classic canelones dough that we use in Spain…

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Greenish smoothie

Hola hola!

Today something super healthy, and not necessarily Spanish.

Every morning when I wake up, I make coffee. I need it so bad! It’s a daily process  that I do, but one that I like. Coffee and news, and let the day begin! My breakfast or snack is usually a smoothie. I love them, and in a few sips you can consume many of the vitamins and minerals you need for the whole day. They say we need at least 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables every day!  I usually eat more than that, but it’s a great way to start the day fresh and with energy.

I make a different smoothie every day. I try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season for different reasons.  The first is that fresh fruits and vegetables taste better.  So, the fresher the tastier. Second is that very fresh fruits and vegetables retain their vitamins and nutrients better. Third, I like to support the local farmers when I can.  It´s nice to know exactly where your produce comes from. And last, seasonal produce is usually less expensive because it is more abundant and more readily available.  So eat fresh and local whenever you can!

So, depending on the season I will make one or another smoothie.  But since you can´t always find fresh, you can always buy frozen. Frozen is a great alternative because it retains the flavors, is easy to store, and makes it so easy for smoothies because all of the preparation work is done!

For this delicious smoothie I used;

– 2 leaves of swiss chard

– 1 cup kale

 1/2 cup pineapple

– 1/3 cup blueberries

– 5 strawberries

– 1 cup almond milk

Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix away!

Before

Before

After!

After!

You can change any of these fruits or vegetables. Enjoy it!

Bon profit!!

I am happy to share this recipe with Fiesta Friday!