Meals from Spain

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I’m reaching back into my memory here, because most of the Spanish food I made was made a few months ago now, but I do remember how tasty they were.

I focused mostly on Tapas, because I love tiny food, but I also included paella (kinda), mashed potato, stew, stuffed eggplant and polenta in my foray into Spanish cooking.

The Stew

I based my stew on a recipe for rabbit stew that I found in a cookbook I borrowed from the Newcastle library. The recipe called for herbs such as parsley, thyme, and bay, as well as red wine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, red capsicum and paprika.

I changed it from a Rabbit Stew to a Rabbit-food Stew by subbing carrots, chickpeas, cannellini beans, a little vegan sausage and mushrooms the rabbit and bacon.

I cooked the onion, garlic, dried herbs, veggies and beans in the wine for about 45 minutes, and added the fried sausage, fresh herbs and paprika at the end. I served it up with a basic olive-oil mash, using potatoes, 0live oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Rabbit-food stew and olive oil mash

The Polenta

While I was trying to cook Spanish food I had another bout of gastritis, so I had to go back to bland food for a week or so. During this time I made some carrot polenta, based on a Spanish recipe. It was very easy, and quite a tasty side dish for everyone else, although it was the main for me.

It consists of grated carrot, polenta, a little margarine, a little salt, and some vegan plain yoghurt to serve. I made the polenta as per the package instructions, adding sauted, grated carrot and some smooshed, boiled potato before cooking.

Carrot Polenta

The Paella

My attempt at Paella was pretty far from the original, as I don’t have a paella pan, and wasn’t able to present it in a big pan covered in pretty veggies. I made mine in my Mum’s electric frying pan, and presented it in bowls. Easy, yummy, but probably not actually recognisable as paella.

I added capsicum, cherry tomatoes, carrot, celery, zucchini, chickpeas, onions, herbs and a little bit of fried vegan sausage (I like Sanitarium’s hot dogs for Spanish food). I used a bit of brown rice and a bit of basmati rice.

(An aside, I was under the impression that Basmati was a whole grain. It isn’t. That makes me a little sad, because I was really enjoying the moral superiority of eating whole grains that tasted so white-ricey.)

Vegan Paella

 

The Eggplant

I made the eggplant in my second go at Spanish food, after we moved back to Melbourne.

I found the recipe in The Mediterranean Cookbook by Joanna Farrow and Jaqueline Clarke, which I actually bought for someone else, but ended up with, and use frequently.

I used baby or Japanese eggplants, and stuffed them with toasted pine nuts, sultanas, dried cranberries (my addition), fresh thyme from my garden and caramelised onion. I boiled the eggplant rather than baking it, for a quicker and less oily result. These were very tasty, and much better than I expected. I think the cranberry addition is a winner – so much nicer than sultanas.

Stuffed eggplant, the Spanish variety
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