25 September 2010

Catalan Spinach´s Canneloni (Canelons d´espinacs a la catalana)

Canneloni is a traditional meal when there is something to celebrate. They are very common here the 26th of December, what we called, Sant Esteve. Normally, they are from meat, but spinach´s canneloni are also very common but maybe more common in summer time. Today there is something to celebrate, the Annual Festival of Barcelona (La Mercè). La Mercè is the patron saint (24th of September) of the city.  It lasts different days, and there is plenty of activities such as music concerts, theatre, free museum tickets and so. 
Canneloni were introduced in Catalonia in the XIX century by Italians. Catalan Spinach´s canneloni means that we will use pine nut and raisins. 

What we need for 10 canneloni:

For the canneloni:

350 gr spinach
1 onion
some pine nuts
1/2 clove of garlic
some raisins
black pepper
2 eggs (optional)
emmental grated cheese
unsalted butter
200 gr fried tomatoe sauce
50 ml double cream
provençal herbs (optional)
10 pieces of canneloni

For the Bechamel sauce:

500 ml good milk
4 tablespoons of flour
a pinch of nutmeg

Let´s start

1. Let´s boil the pieces of canneloni for about 15 minutes. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Use some oil and remove it from time to time.
2. Boil 2 eggs and cut them in small pieces.
3. Boil the spinachs for 5-8 min minutes. Cool them down with some water. Be sure to remove all the water and cut them.
4. In a frying pan, fry the onion (cut it in very small pieces) and the pine nuts, and when the onion gets a slight brown colour, add the sliced garlic and then the boiled spinachs. Remove.  Then add the double cream, 2 boiled eggs in pieces and the raisins (cut them in half).  Add salt, black pepper, some cinnamon (just a little) and some provençal herbs (a little).
5. When the pasta is done, remove the water and add some cold water. Remove the water.
6. In a non-sticky surface, put the pasta one by one. Distribute the mix of spinachs in these 10 portions. Wrap each of them. and put the open side backwards in a plate with some tomatoe at the bottom.
7. Prepare the bechamel sauce. In a saucepan, put a tablespoon of butter and let it melted.Add the milk and make it boiled. When is it boiling, reduce the fire and add the salt, and some nutmeg. Keep removing it all the time. Then add the sifted flour and beat it well every time between each tablespoon. Beat till it gets the consistency and it is homogenous.
8. Pour the bechamel on the top of the canneloni and add some cheese and butter.
9.Gratin it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Check it carefully.

Enjoy/Bon Profit

23 September 2010


Very popular in the middle east, now you can find it anywhere. Hummus is the taste of the Mediterranean.
As an appetizer or a dip, Hummus is scooped with flatbread (such as Pita).

What you need for 2 people:

200 gr of chickpeas
half clove of garlic
half lemon juice
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds paste)
2 teaspoons of paprika
5 cl of water ( a small coffee cup)
parsley or cumin

Let´s start

Just mix all the ingredients in a whisk. Start first with the garlic and lemon juice. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the parsley, oil and the paprika.
Serve it with some oil, paprika and parsley (or cumin) in the top.A little bit cold is better.
Eat it with some flatbread.

Enjoy/ Bon Profit

21 September 2010

Fritter or Culler ( Xurros )

Xurros are made by just deep frying a sweet bread dough. Cheap and old tradition meal here. Normally you eat them with a cup of chocolate. The shape is commonly a strip.

What you need for 2-4 people
1 big glass of flour
1 big glass of water and milk (2/3 water, 1/3 milk)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vinegar

you need also some tool to make this long strip shape. If you don´t have anything, you can do some small balls instead.

Let´s start
In a saucepan, boil the milk, water, vinegar and salt. When it is hot, mix it with the flour.
Then put the mix inside the recipient you will do the shape mentioned before. Be careful as they should be or thin strips or small balls, because if they are thick or big, then it is going to be not enough cooked inside and it can be dangerous to fry.
Deep fry them. You can cut them before hand or afterward.
When you have finished, remove the extra oil and add the sugar. Serve them warm.

Enjoy/Bon Profit!

Banana Tatin Tarte/ Tatin de plàtan

Looking for an easy and delicious recipe? This is the one. Tatin tarte normally comes with apple, but this takes even less time and it is as great as the other one.

What you need

60 gr unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
orange zest
puff pastry
4 bananas

Have a look at this recipe I found in youtube. It will help you to understand the recipe. I use less sugar but more butter, but it is up to you.

Let´s start

You should use a tray or any other recipient that you could then put inside the oven.
This is an upside down tarte, so we first prepare what it will go into the top of it.
Caramel is the most difficult part, but nothing to worry about, except that you should be a little bit careful not to hurt yourself. For the caramel, put the sugar, the unsalted butter, some orange zest and grounded cinnamon into the tray and cook it. You don´t need to remove it at the beginning (let the butter melt), till it starts to get light brown colour. Then remove it gently, and reduce the power in order to cook it more slowly. Add the bananas (you can cut them in advance the way you like), and let the banana be cooked for 2 minutes. Then add the puff pastry at the top of it, and prick it with a knife.
Then put it in the oven for about 20 minutes 200ºC.
Then find the right surface/recipient to flip it upside down. Be careful. And that is all.
Serve it with some cream or with vanille ice-cream if you feel like.

Enjoy/Bon Profit

15 September 2010

Meringue with Raspberry & thyme custard (Merenga amb crema de Gerds i farigola)

This recipe was done as a collateral output from another recipe in this blog (the Raspberry and thyme custard tart). So have a look at it before starting.

The truth is that the original recipe of the custard from Delicious magazine, the amount of ingredients needed are probably a little bit less in the reality, so I got extra custard. I kept the same amount in the post, so take that into account.

What can I do with the extra custard?
As you will see in the other recipe, there were 6 egg whites left (3 for the custard, and 3 for the pastry) that were not used in the recipe either, so the question was....and now..what I am going to do with these extra whites??!!

So here it come the recipe I am posting here (for 6 people).

Let´s start

With the custard left (about 1/3 of the total initial amount), I baked them for about 25 minutes in individual recipients (6 moulds) in the oven 180ºC. Be careful as they should have some kind of consistency, so be sure to bake it enough for all sides.

While this is in the oven I prepared the meringue.
Just whisk the room temperature whites (6) + a pinch of salt. Whisk them hard till it peaks. Add the sugar ( 270 gr ) and whisk it again until it holds very stiff peaks (better if you use caster sugar).
Depending on the texture you desire (Pavlova like), you can add 1 teaspoon white vinegar +1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour). Pavlova a crust that is dry and crisp, with a soft marshmallow-like interior.
For a regular meringue texture, this is not necessary

Then put it in 6 individual recipients (similar size as before) into the oven 150ºC for 20 min or till it gets the texture you feel like.

Serve it at room temperature like the pic.

Enjoy/ Bon Profit

Raspberry and thyme custard tart (Tartaleta de gerds i farigola)

This is not a catalan recipe, but thyme is a very common thing here. I learnt this recipe together with Trine, a girl from Denmark that I met in France during these holidays. It was a lovely experience. She got it from the Delicious magazine, but I have made just a few changes.
It tastes delicious, and it is not difficult if you have the right instrument to weigh up the ingredients!
There is another post that use the same filling, that I would like you to read before baking this one, just if you prefer the other way. Have a look.

You will need for 8 people:

2 large eggs + 3 yolks
125 g caster sugar
ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of cornflour
600 ml double cream
5 fresh thyme sprigs
120 g raspberries, plus extra to garnish

For the pastry:

100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
200g plain flour
pinch of salt

Let´s start

-Make the pastry. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks. Add the flour and salt and mix until you can form a dough. Knead briefly, shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 10 minutes.
-Preheat the oven to 200ºC. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a 50 p coin and use to line a deep (3 cm), 23 cm fluted tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and line with baking paper. Fill with  rice. Place on a baking sheet and blind-bakein the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the rice and paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden and crisp.
-Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, some cinnamon and cornflour together in a bowl. In a clean  pan, heat the cream with the thyme sprigs until almost boiling, then pour over the egg mixture. Stir to make a custard
-Reduce the oven temperature to 180C. Strain the custard into the pastry case and sprinkle over some  raspberries. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly set
-Leave to cool slightly, then remove from the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature with a few extra raspberries and some cinnamon.

In the original recipe: You can use vanilla pod with the seeds scraped instead of cinnamon . And you can also put some remaining thyme sprigs before baking it.

Enjoy/ Bon Profit