Iberian tapas feast

Gazpacho

As I didn’t actually get the June holiday in Spain I had planned, on account of the lockdown, I’m planning to bring a little bit of Spain to my garden instead this year. Most of these recipes have been published already over the years (and I’ll add some more soon that I just haven’t had time to write yet), but it helps to have them in a collection so that you can either just put on a massive tapas feast, or select a couple as a starter and then go main course and dessert if you really want to push the boat out.  Whilst we’re still all trying to work out the etiquette of entertaining in the post-COVID world, tapas is quite a nice way to go because you can serve them in separate little dishes for e.g. each couple or household group.

For the tapas

Some or all of these ideas…

For the main event

Either of these easy make-ahead dishes makes for a delicious main course. If you haven’t seen your friends or family for a while, no need to waste time in the kitchen whilst they’re visiting!

For dessert

There are few nicer desserts than either of these on a warm summer’s day – also easy to make ahead of time.

 

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes, Summer recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Padron peppers tapas – 3 ways!

These tiny little green Padron peppers are a popular tapas dish served all over Spain but funnily enough, the first time I tried them was in a fantastic little SoHo bar in New York. It was love at first bite! Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets stock them now and I like to serve them with a glass of cold beer, fino or rosé on sunny garden BBQ days before the main event is served or as part of a tapas feast. This is hardly a recipe really but as lots of people have asked me how to prepare them, I thought I’d oblige with 3 different options: classic, cumin and chorizo-style.

Padron peppers

To make…

  • You will need one or two 135g packs of Padron peppers depending on how many people you have at your feast.
  • Wash and then dry the peppers with a clean tea towel and put them in a large mixing bowl. Pour in a few drops of olive oil and coat them all thoroughly with just a light film.
  • Cook them on the BBQ or quickly pan fry them. The BBQ or pan must be very hot as the peppers take just a few moments to blister on each side and they should still have some bite to them.
  • Classic: serve them in a warm bowl with a scattering of coarse sea salt. Eat them whole – all but the stalk. They are usually quite mild in flavour but every now and again you get a really spicy hot one. It’s a kind of culinary Russian Roulette – all part of the fun of the dish!
  • Cumin: quickly pan-fry them in some flavoured oil (garlic or chilli works well) with a dessertspoon of cumin seeds. Serve on a board scattered with coarse sea salt and some finely grated lemon zest.
  • Chorizo: slice 80g of chorizo sausage into 0.5cm rounds, fry quickly and then add the peppers for a few minutes until blistered. Serve in a warm bowl.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in eat to beat diabetes, Summer recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lockdown lunches – cheeky cheese on toast!

Lockdown may be easing but if you’re still going to be working from home for the foreseeable future and you need a quick and comforting lockdown snack lunch, you just can’t beat a cheeky bit of cheese on toast. It’s often a snack I forget about and then when I have it again, I just can’t understand why I don’t have it more often. I tend to use hard cheeses like Cheddar or Red Leicester but you can mix it up with any leftover bits you have in the fridge. Sourdough or bloomer loaves are my favourites for toasting bread, thickly-cut. Welsh rarebit, chutney cheese, chilli cheese or pizza cheese on toast – all delicious!  You can make up the cheese mix for the first three recipes and keep it for two or three days in the fridge; that way you’re always good to go as long as you’ve got a decent slice or two of bread to hand. Enjoy!

Chilli cheese toast

Chilli cheese toast (enough for 4 slices)

200g grated Cheddar, 6 finely chopped spring onions, 1 large fresh green chilli, finely chopped and half a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, toasting bread.

Preheat the grill to 220°C. Mix the grated Cheddar, finely sliced spring onion, chilli and pepper together in a bowl. Work it into a kind of paste to make it easier to cover the toast right up to the edges. Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast lightly on both sides. Spread generously with the chilli cheese paste.  Grill until bubbling and golden. Serve on its own or topped with a fried egg like they do at Dishoom. Crisp bacon also works a treat.

Welsh rarebit (enough for 6 slices)

2 egg yolks (save the whites for omelettes or meringues), 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 225 gms of grated hard cheese (I use a mixture of mature Cheddar and Red Leicester but plain Cheddar is also perfect), 50ml of double cream, 2 tablespoons of dark beer, 6 large slices of bread from a good quality cut loaf. 

  1. Preheat the grill to 220°C.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil in a non-stick saucepan.
  3. Whisk in the beer once the cream has thickened.
  4. Take it off the heat and whisk in the grated cheese, egg yolks, mustard and Worcester sauce.
  5. Once melted and thoroughly incorporated, leave the rarebit mixture to one side for at least an hour for the flavours to mingle. You can make a batch to use over 2 or 3 days provided it’s refrigerated.
  6. Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast the bread lightly on both sides and then spread generously with the rarebit mixture.
  7. Put the toast under the grill and leave it until it is bubbling and golden.
  8. Serve on its own or with a side of crispy bacon.

Chutney or tomato and chive cheese toast (enough for 4 slices)

200g grated Cheddar or Red Leicester/ chutney or fresh tomatoes, toasting bread

Grate a generous amount of your favourite hard cheese into a bowl – Cheddar and/or Red \Leicester. Cover any you don’t use and store in the fridge for another time. Preheat the grill to 220°C, toast the bread lightly on both sides, spread with your favourite chutney or sliced tomatoes and snipped chives. Top liberally with the grated cheese. Grill until bubbling and golden.

Pizza cheese on toast (makes 2 slices)

150g ball of mozzarella cheese (not Buffalo mozzarella, it’s too watery), 2 fresh tomatoes, 2 dessertspoons of basil pesto, 6 thin slices of salami, 2 large slices of thick-cut toasting bread. Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle. 

Preheat your grill to 220°C. Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast it lightly on both sides. Spread with a thick layer of pesto, cover with salami, then thinly sliced tomato and finally the mozzarella – torn into pieces to cover the bread evenly; it will spread as it melts. Grill until bubbling and golden. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment