Posts Tagged With: Valentina’s Cocina

Valentina’s Cocina: Patatas Bravas

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of announcing the publication of Roots: Where Food Comes From & Where It Takes Us. Today I bring you the second of my recipes from the famed Senora Valentina. This simple recipe is delicious for veg*ns and meat eaters alike. It can be served as a tapas with toothpicks for spearing or as a nice side dish.

Ingredients:

Spanish Olive Oil

1 finely chopped onion

2 crushed garlic cloves

Salt to taste

1/2 cup Spanish Sherry (dry white wine will also work)

4 tomatoes, chopped and seeded (or 1 14 ounce can)

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp crushed dried chilis

2 tsp Spanish paprika

2 lbs. potatoes

Preparation:

  1. Heat about 1 TBS of olive oil in the pan until smoking and then add the onions, cooking roughly 5 minutes. When the onions are soft, but not browned, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring continuously.
  2. Add the wine and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Then add the tomatoes, chiles, paprika, salt, and vinegar, reducing the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for roughly 10 minutes. Your sauce should have a thick consistency. OPTIONAL: Put the sauce in a food processor and pulse until smooth. (Valentina would smack you with her cane for this, but some people don’t care for a chunky texture.)
  3. Cut the potatoes into rough chunks. In a skillet, heat about 1 inch of olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are a pretty golden brown. Make sure to turn the pieces several times to cook evenly.
  4. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel, blotting gently to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  5. Warm up the sauce and combine with the potatoes.

Senora Valentina Tip: Prepare the sauce the morning before you plan to serve it (you can actually make it up to 24 hours in advance). Allow it to sit, either covered on the stove, or in the refrigerator, until you have finished the potatoes. This will give the sauce stronger, more melded flavor.

For a healthier version, check out this recipe test from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Fire and Spice.

XO

A

Advertisements
Categories: Feed the Belly | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Published! BlogHer’s Roots: Where Food Comes From and Where It Takes Us

There is something uniquely thrilling about the day a piece of your work is published. Today is such a day for me as BlogHer and Open Road Media release the ebook culinary anthology Roots: Where Food Comes From and Where It Takes Us. From the Open Road Media website:

A BlogHer anthology about food—and the warmth, nostalgia, and sense of belonging it inspires in all of us

Roots is a love story about food—an exploration of its rich interconnectedness with culture, memory, and discovery, penned by over forty authors and personalities from the culinary blogosphere. The anthology’s deeply personal essays serve up family history, local lore, and tantalizing stories of worlds newly discovered through food, accompanied by original photography and a collection of recipes that, no matter how far flung, taste like home.

My story, “The Saffron Rabbit” is about learning to cook in Madrid. For those interested in reading the 35 essays featured from culinary bloggers (and me), check out any of the following links:

BlogHer is also featuring a mini-site where readers can further enjoy the experience. On my end, I’ll be reading along, exploring the other journeys I’m lucky enough to be featured with. Stop by this coming Thursday for another addition to Valentina’s Cocina.

 

Categories: Feed the Belly, Write On | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

V is for Valentina’s Cocina

I’m pleased to announce that in the next few months two separate publications will feature different versions of “The Saffron Rabbit,” a story about how I learned to cook when I lived in Madrid. I won’t give too much away, but I’ll say that it involved my landlady, an elderly woman named Valentina who brought her granddaughter to translate and was a little too happy to use her cane as a correction tool for poor knife skills. In honor of those publications, and of Senora Valentina, I will be presenting a new series where several times a month I post Valentina’s recipes (along with a vegetarian/vegan adaptation).  Please visit in the coming months for more Spanish recipes straight from Valentina’s Cocina (kitchen). As this is the first post, I’ll start where she did, with a simple Gazpacho.

Authentic Madrid Gazpacho

 Many households in Madrid keep the concentrated version of this in the fridge, adding water to serve to drop-in guests on scorching afternoons. I’ve seen variations of Gazpacho recipes, but if you don’t include the bread, it’s not Gazpacho. Or so sayeth Valentina. It’s a great use for stale bread.

Ingredients:

2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBS olive oil (Spanish if at all possible!!)

1 tsp coarse salt

1 cucumber, seeded and chopped, with some of the skin removed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

4 to 5 ripe red tomatoes, skinned and seeded

2 TBS sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar will work if you don’t have sherry)

scant 3 cups ice water

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of cumin (This was my landlady’s secret tip)

Preparation:

  1. Soak the bread in water, then squeeze it out. Put it in a blender or food processor with the onion, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Puree.
  2. Add the cucumber to the mixture and puree. Add red bell pepper and puree. Finally, add the tomatoes and vinegar and puree. Chill mixture for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight. (You can put it in the freezer, but I think it doesn’t taste as good this way.)
  3. When you are ready to serve, dilute the mixture with ice water (don’t use ice cubes!!) and season to taste with cayenne pepper and cumin (I like mine hot). Arrange a selection of the garnishes listed below for people to add to the basic soup.

Garnish Ideas:

4 TBS fried croutons

2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped

4 TBS chopped red, green, or yellow bell pepper

4 TBS chopped onion or green onion

Green or black olives, pitted and chopped (Spanish if possible!!)

Vegan/Vegetarian Options: This recipe is already fundamentally veg*n friendly. Just make sure that you are using vegan bread (or make your own) and omit serving the eggs as a topping choice.

Categories: Feed the Belly, Life and Other Nonsense, Objects de Art, Write On | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: