Monthly Archives: February 2015

A queen’s favorite dish, Pollo en Pepitoria!

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My food memories this weekend take me back to one of my favourite regions in Spain, Andalusia. If there’s a dish that represents a city well than Seville’s Pollo en Pepitoria is one of them. Pepitoria is a sauce technique introduced by the Arabs to the south of Spain. It combines crushed almonds, hard boiled egg yolks and saffron as a means of thickening a sauce and adding colour.

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I think Seville’s uplifting colours from the sky, passing horse carriages and orange trees may have been an Continue reading

So it’s Parmigiana Di Melanzane tonight!

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I love eggplant and while in season it’s the best time to buy them to make some old favourites. On this lazy Sunday night I wanted the oven do the cooking for me. So I could not think of a better recipe than a Parmigiana Di Melanzane. This iconic recipe has been claimed by the Sicilians in Catania, a town on the east coast of the island, dominated by the presence of Mount Etna, the tallest active European volcano. The eggplant locally known as petronciana forms the basis of many of Sicily’s dishes.

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It is said that the humble eggplant arrived with the Arabs but not fully accepted as edible until sixteenth century. I start by cooking eggplant slices in batches, until lightly browned. Then remove and drain them on a Continue reading

Cataplana, a real communal dish!

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I was contemplating all week about a communal dish I could make for my father. I was celebrating his belated birthday that was long overdue. I couldn’t go past a Cataplana, a Portuguese seafood dish, popular on the country’s Algarve coast. Like a paella it is named after the pan used to prepare the dish. Traditionally made of copper and shaped like two clamshells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp. The cooking concept of this impressive utensil is also much like a Tagine. The dish is a perfect centre piece on any table. It surely brings people together at social gatherings and I was looking forward to doing that with my family and a nice glass of white wine.

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While I was preparing the Cataplana my mother suggested the dish is similar to Chile’s seafood stew called Curanto. It may be as both iconic dishes include capsicum, onions and paprika as key ingredients.  I think Continue reading

Ndundari – ricotta dumplings in tomato and basil sauce!

I am always fascinated by traditional recipes. None more than this one from Minori, Italy. A town in the province of Salerno, on the Amalfi Coast. On Sundays I often dig through my recipe books to find something that inspires me and has a story behind it.

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These dumplings are served on the feast day of the town’s patron saint, Trofimena, a female saint. There are three feast days honouring Trofimena – 5 November, 27 November and in summer 13 July.

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A Ndundari is like a big gnocchi. Instead of using potatos they mix flour, egg yolks, ricotta and grated Continue reading

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