Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Trio from Spain

Its been far too long since I've posted here. Between Nyls' arrival on the scene and a new role, time has been tight. That said, a couple of recent events have changed that.

First, we had a chance encounter with old friends at the Brickworks farmers market Saturday. not only was it a chance to catch up withDonna and Mel, we got to meet their son Ashton and niece Megan for the first time. Donna commented how much she's enjoyed the blog. Roberta from the Withrow Park market also commented on the hiatus recently. So, how can I disappoint my audience?

I have a long backlog of photos from the past year and half, and could easily dig into them for material. that would be too easy though, and to get things started off I.m going to stay current. With the cold winter months we've been trying a Spanish theme of late to mix things up and remind us of the sun. We've also been using a slow cooker fairly frequently, and enjoying time shifting our cooking efforts to the morning.

Two Sunday's ago it was a Spanish style beef stew, with tomatoes, black olives, and some different seasonings. To make this we reduced down some of Ben Sosnicki's tomatoes we put into stores last summer to make our own tomato paste, and let it simmer away all day. The mix of dry cured black olives and tomatoes gave the stew a distinctive flavour and richness that we haven't tried before, but will definitely try again.

Last week was Arozzo con Pollo. The otherworldly scent of fine saffron from the Spice Trader on Queen West filled the house and haunted our taste buds. Even Aija, who at times can be less than adventuresome, ate her fill of this delightful dish. That said, green olives are one of her favorite treats, and this dish had a fair number of them in it to keep her coming back for more.

Finally, today a boneless cross rib roast slowly cooked to tender perfection in a blend of good Madeira, some left over tomato sauce from the Arozzo con Pollo, rosemary, and thyme with a mix of vegetables to add flavour to the sauce. Once the roast was cooked, we removed it and the vegetables. Once the fat was skimmed a portion of the vegetables were returned and puréed into the sauce, which was poured over the lot on a Maiolica platter.

Nyls devoured all three. He's never met meat and vegetables in sauce he didn't like.

I hope you have enjoyed the reboot, and as usual recipes will follow at an erratic pace.


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