Volver Roundup for June’s Food ‘n Flix

Who needs a drink? I smell blood and salivate over every delicious dish for the Volver Roundup with Food ‘n Flix. Like in the movie, this is a powerhouse recipe roundup by amazing women.

Wow where did June go? I mean really what happened to this month. It is already time for me to post the Volver Roundup. I was hosting the latest Food ‘n Flix event with the movie Volver. Thanks to all who participated! Please take the time to visit the blogs below to get the recipes from the Volver Roundup.

Volver Roundup

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Tortilla de Morcilla | Spanish Omelette with Blood Sausage

This Tortilla de Morcilla, or Spanish Omelette with Blood Sausage, is a delicious revelation with each new bite. In Spain omelettes are always made with potatoes, and the secret to success is sweating them in a lot of olive oil before adding the eggs.

Yes, yes, I am again hosting Food ‘n Flix for June. I went the subtitled route once more by picking the Spanish masterpiece Volver. With pen and paper in hand, I soon realized there was a lot more food in this movie than I remembered.  Picking a recipe was hard but I chose one marked on a restaurant menu: a Tortilla de Morcilla, or Spanish Omelette with Blood Sausage.

Tortilla de Morcilla

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An Andalusian Polea Porridge with Roasted Celery Root

Imagine yourself poor and starving, making the best with what you have to feed your family. This is exactly how the Andalusian Polea Porridge was created, a common dish consumed during the Spanish Civil War.

Sometimes you come across a recipe that is quite plain. But your evil mind wants to accompany the dish with a playful, forbidden and magical ingredient. Such was the case with my Andalusian Polea Porridge with Roasted Celery Root which was inspired by the mandrake root seen (and scene) in the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Celery root was a safer alternative!

Andalusian Polea porridge recipe

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Sopa de Ajo (Spanish Garlic Soup)

Garlic lovers rejoice! Enjoy a beautiful bowl of Sopa de Ajo, a rustic Spanish garlic soup accompanied by poached eggs and grilled bread.

The traditional Sopa de Ajo is said to have been created by Castillian shepherds looking for a way to stay extra warm during colder nights out in the pasture. Many recipes cook the bread right into the soup but my garlic soup is served more as a broth with the bread on the side. A chunky and earthy broth rich with crispy chorizo, fragrant thyme, smoked paprika, and large pieces of caramelized garlic cloves.

Sopa de Ajo top

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Chorizo in Red Wine Tapas

Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guest by hosting a Spanish tapas night, with quick recipes like this Chorizo in Red Wine recipe.

Tapas are a small portioned appetizers typically served in Spanish bars. There is a huge variety of tapas and many local specialties. When I was in Madrid (way too long ago) I did like the locals and enjoyed a full diner by traveling from bar to bar and trying various tapas with a little glass of wine. A really fun night! And in many cities around the world, Spanish restaurants flourish with this concept. The tapas meal is perfect to socialize and encourage conversation when with friends and family. Having a tapas night at home can be lots of fun too. One great tapas recipe to try is the one in today’s post, Chorizo in Red Wine.

Chorizo in Red Wine Tapas

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Caldo de Papas y Cilantro: Potatoes and Coriander Soup from the Canary Islands

When I discuss ethnic food with people there are always the usual suspects that come up: Italian, Asian, Middle-Eastern and the occasionally more exotics fares like African for example. But sometime I love to research really small destinations to see if they have a typical dish, an unusual herb, or a unique specialty. This time my searches lead me to the Canary Islands.

These Spanish islands are located on the west coast of Africa, near Morocco. The landscape is African, the culture all European. The most mystifying island to me is Lanzarote. All the Canary Islands are of volcanic origin but Lanzarote is mystical with its incredible rock formations from created by solidifies lava streams, craters and caves, best seen in the Timanfaya National Park. Surprisingly there are a few gorgeous beaches amidst the rugged coastline. Even more unexpected are the Lanzarote vineyards. The vines are planted in rock pits and covered with soil and volcanic ash. The ash retains the morning dew, keeping the vines perfectly humidified.

Canarian cuisine includes plentiful fish, stews, potato dishes and mojo sauces. Today I bring you a wonderful potato soup which is topped off with a poached egg that is cooked right into the soup. Play around with the amount of potatoes and vegetables, as well as the seasoning. It looks like  very simple soup but it is very nourishing. I thought the flavor really developed overnight and it was even better the next day when I added leftover chicken to the broth.

Ξ Caldo de Papas y Cilantro Ξ

1 onion
2 pounds of peeled potatoes (mix different kinds)
2 tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
8 to 10 cups water
2 cube vegetable or chicken stock
A few sprigs of coriander
salt
2 oz olive oil
saffron
4 eggs

Chop onion normally and all other all vegetables in chunky pieces.

Heat a little bit of oil in a large stock pot, and sautee onion until translucent.

Add potatoes, tomatoes and the bell peppers. Add water, stock cubes, olive oil, saffron, salt, and coriander.

Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Adjust seasoning.

Keeping the pot on the heat, crack the raw eggs into it and leave it some minutes until the eggs are cooked.

Olive Oils from Sicily, Spain and Israel plus a Lemon Olive Oil Mousse

Funny how coincidences happen sometimes! Can you believe in a 2-day period I received 3 completely different bottles of exquisite Extra-Virgin Olive Oil? I have to admit I have never invested in expensive olive oils myself but all three were an eye opener. But for now I think I am set for a while. Each oil was very unique and each came from a different exotic location: Sicily, Spain and Israel.

To be fair, I will describe them a bit in the order I received them. I had a spoonful of each olive oil and appreciated it like a wine tasting, which is the basic, yet simple,  right way.

The first one I got was the Olive & Olives 8 Hojiblanca, a lovely olive oil from the Seville region of Spain. The the Phoenicians and the Greeks brought the Olive tree to Spain and every since then it has always been considered a high quality olive oil. But up to a few years back it was not a know fact internationally. This one is a wonderful example of a fruity olive oil. It is said to have fresh tomato aromas and a note of young artichoke. I am no expert so this comment goes a bit above my head, but it was light, fruity and wonderful for sure.

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The second bottle, the Mimo Ultra premium Olive Oil, came from a Sicilian friend of mine who has been promising me a bottle since Christmas. He told he was going to start exporting the olive oil his family makes. He assured me that the olives are hand picked by his aunts and uncles right on their ancestral land which they have had for over 150 years in Sicily. The Russa family cultivates and bottles pure unfiltered first press extra-virgin olive oil.

May the Roman Gods strike me down if I lie, this is the most phenomenal and incredible oil I have ever tasted in my life. I never thought an olive oil could taste like this. This may sound weird but if I had to describe the taste I would say it tastes like the whole olive tree. You taste the bark, the leaves, the olives, the pit. I had 3 friends look at me in with confusion when I said this but after tasting the olive oil they knew exactly what I meant. This one falls under the bitter flavor but in the world of olives it is considered a positive attribute because it is indicative of fresh olive fruit. The Mimo Olive Oil  is a limited production so order directly through the family.

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This last olive oil bottle, Teamim, was a gift from my friend Raquel who just got back from a trip to Israel. She surprised me with this gift indeed, I had not expected it. Describing this one is a bit more of a challenge as all the words on the bottle are in Hebrew, as is the company’s website. I do know it has one medals.  This one had a bit more of a grassy taste on top of the fruitiness but it was on par with the Spanish one.

Any of the above mentioned oils would be perfect for the following recipe. Yes, yes is is a dessert, a sweet and tangy treat. I am warning you it does have an olive oil taste, BUT it totallyworks.

Ξ Lemon Mousse with Olive Oil Ξ
recipe from Very Easy…Kitchen

Fine zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon and half
2 egg yolks and 3 egg whites
5 tablespoons of good olive oil
2 tablespoons of sweet honey
50 g powdered sugar

– In a saucepan, heat on low temperature the egg yolks with the lemon juice and blanched zest.

– When the mixture has thickened, which will not take very long, add olive oil and honey. Chill the mixture (you can prepare the day before).

– Prior to serving, beat your egg whites until stiff while incorporating the powdered sugar.

– Mix your egg whites with the lemon cream. You get an airy foam. Pour in 4 serving cups and garnish if you like. Serve immediately or keep no longer then one hour in the fridge or the mousse will slowly collapse.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil comes from virgin oil production only and contains no more than 0.8% acidity. No two olive oils are the same because, as with wine, the olives are influenced by the variety of the olives, weather, soil conditions, and harvesting. Just like wine, no two olive oils are created equal. One should keep extra-virgin oils for salads, cooked veggie, dressings, stews, drizzling over slices of crusty bread, baked potatoes and vinaigrettes.  Heating such an superior olive oil is considered an etiquette crime.