Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas tortilla

This afternoon was Christmas with family and friends in Edinburgh Gardens. Despite a week of wet, solid rain (which we love to have in a drought), today was a beautiful day. And didn't everyone make the most of it in Edinburgh Gardens? There were weddings and so many groups of people coming and going all day: eating, drinking, children and dogs playing, talking, reading the paper. There were so many groups: we were all part of a community, and yet all private and separate. How lucky am I to have this as my local park!

At this event we always take food. I had been asked to bring spanakopitta, but didn't fancy running down the street with a baking tray of hot spanakopitta in the full knowledge that by the time everyone came it would be cold. So I went back to an old stand-by, Spanish omelette or tortilla, and decided to give it a Christmas edge by adding some red and green pepper to the vegetables. Classic Spanish omelette is just eggs and potato, so the peppers added a Christmas touch.


4 large potatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
8 eggs
Olive oil


Heat enough oil in pan to coat potatoes
Peel and slice thinly the potatoes
Place in pan and toss to cover with oil
Cover pan and cook for about 10 minutes turning every now and again
Crush garlic and add
Seed and slice peppers and add to potatoes
Mix to coat with oil and cook for another few minutes
Meanwhile, quickly beat the eggs in a large bowl
When vegetables are soft, strain and add to eggs
Mix vegetables and eggs
Clean pan and add and heat more oil
When a haze shows on the oil, pour in egg and vegetable mixture
Cook until sides and bottom cooked, shaking regularly to stop sticking
Take pan from fire and cover with a plate
Quickly turn over the plate and pan and leaving the torilla on the plate
Add more oil to pan and heat
When a haze shows, slide the tortilla from the plate into the pan
Cook for a few minutes, shaking regularly
Take pan from the fire and cover with plate
Turn the plate and pan over allowing the tortilla to rest on plate
Serve hot or cold as tapas or main course with salad

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas salad - for Sue Gray

Last Sunday I was having a Christmas lunch at Sue's house. She asked me to bring insalata caprese. Hmm! I was happy to bring a salad but not one that I was going to slice and arrange and travel with. I know the end result of that: all the arranging slides all over the place and a mess ensues. In my view the best food to transport is in a bowl!

So I thought of an alternate insalata caprese that I sometimes do, essentially made with cherry tomatoes (not sliced normal ones) and cherry bocconcini (not the normal sized ones sliced). And as it was Christmas I added a couple of other red and green ingredients. When it came to dressing, I was just going to slosh on some olive oil when I remembered my piri piri oil. So I drizzled a bit of that over. If you don't have piri piri oil to hand just use straight olive oil or add a smidgin of sambal oelek or chopped fresh chili to the oil. But whatever you do, don't drown it either with oil or add vinegar as the great thing about this salad is the fresh, crisp taste.


20 cherry bocconcini
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
2 Lebanese cucumbers
1 red pepper
Piri piri oil


Drain the bocconcini and slice in half before adding to serving bowl
Slice the cherry tomatoes and add to bowl
Slice Lebanese cucumbers in half lengh-wise and them chop into chunks before adding to bowl
Seed and roughly chop red pepper and add to bowl
Detach basil leaves from stalks and tear up roughly while adding to vegetable and cheese mixture
Drizzle a small amount of piri piri oil over top
Toss and serve for a colourful Christmassy salad.



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