Timbal de Vegetables

Hola!

With this dish, you can’t say that eating vegetables is boring or that vegetables are plain. I love this simple Timbal de Vegetables.(Timbal is Spanish for a drum, because this dish is in the shape of a drum.) Like a lot of my dishes, this one is so quick and easy to make. My top ingredients for this timbal are zucchini, eggplant and onion. You can easily change one or add another vegetable, such as a winter squash since its more seasonal and readily available.

I like to poach an egg on top of the timbal. The runny yolk mixed with the vegetables creates a unique flavor. Yuummy! Don’t forget a piece of bread, because you will need it.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 2 medium zucchini diced
  • 1 eggplant diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 small clove of garlic chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • salt, pepper and olive oil

On medium heat, cook the onion with a drizzle of olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini and the eggplant. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. The vegetables should be tender and a brownish color. Season with salt and pepper.

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While the vegetables are cooking, make the poached egg. An easy way to do this is to place the egg in plastic wrap and seal it with an elastic. Cook the egg for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Remove from the heat and cut the wrap.

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Place the egg on top of the vegetables.

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Serve warm and…

Bon profit!

 

Ensaladilla Rusa – Spanish Russian Salad

Hola!

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner. That usually means that summer is over and everyone is back to school, college and work. I hope you all can enjoy the holiday weekend and cook a little bit.

What I have for you today is something very popular in Spain. You will find it at many restaurants and cafés, sometimes served as a tapa. You will also find it at the supermarket, frozen or fresh.  It’s called Ensaladilla Rusa or Russian Salad.

This dish is a twist on potato salad. The twist is that you add different vegetables. This particular version belongs to my grandma. She always makes the best of everything, of course 🙂

Ensaladilla Rusa has its origins in Russia— in Moscow to be exact. It was there where the Belgian chef Lucien Olivier invented this version of a potato salad, while working in the Hermitage Restaurant. The dish was extremely popular but Olivier took the original recipe to his grave.

Due to its popularity, it continued to be made, sometimes with minor regional differences. Nowadays, Russian Salad is served all over the world, but it’s a little different than the one that Olivier first made. In Spain, potatoes, carrots and peas are always present, and it is also very common to add tuna as well. This  is a refreshing and hearty salad and can be served as a main dish, or a side.

Ingredients for 5-6 servings:

For the Salad;

  • 4 big potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 Ib peas
  • 1 big can of tuna or 2 smalls
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Optional; Chopped olives, anchovies, roasted red pepper, jamón serrano (if you want to add jamón serrano but can’t find it, you can always substitute prosciutto.
  • Mayonnaise (I made my own. You can use your own recipe, or follow mine. In a food processor, blend the egg yolk, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Then, while the food processor is still blending, slowly (very slow!) add the rest of the 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil. Mix until it has a nice thick consistency.)

Bring a big pot to boil on medium heat. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 20-25 minutes, until your desired doneness is reached. Meanwhile in another pot, boil the peas for a few minutes. Strain the vegetables in a colander and cool them with cold water.

Chop the boiled egg, add them to a bowl and mix with the other vegetables. Add the strained can of tuna and season with salt and pepper.

At this time, and only if desired, you can also add chopped olives, jamón, anchovies, roasted pepper, or something else you may desire.

Once everything is in the bowl, give it a good stir. Let it cool down in the refrigerator and serve cold.

(Some people mix the mayonnaise into the main salad, but in my family, we always let each person add their own desired amount at the table.)

A good alternative to your basic potato salad, which is always a summer staple.

Bon profit!

Ensaladilla russa

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 in spanish history. I think I prefer it with the tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumber!

Now that it is tomato season, it is the best time to start making this dish! It takes 10 minutes to make and it’s really worth it! Let’s do it!

Ingredients;

– 2.5 Ibs ripe tomatos (about 4 big tomatoes)

– 1 green bell pepper

– 2 to 2.5 oz bread without the crust (I used 1/2 of a left-over ciabatta roll.) – Optional

– 1 medium cucumber

– 1 clove of garlic

– 1/2 medium sweet onion

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

– 1/4 cup water

– salt and pepper to taste

Cut the cucumber, onion, pepper and tomatoes into chunks (reserve a little for later as a garnish.) In your blender add all the ingredients and blend it until smooth! If your ingredients are cold you can drink it right away, otherwise I would recommend leaving it in the fridge for a few hours until it’s cold. Then, you can enjoy it anytime you like. It will last in your refrigerator for about 5 days.

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Bon profit!