Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ireland. Halloween Potato Apple Cake.

The most important religious festival in Ireland marks the end of the harvest on October 31. All Hallows Eve is better known as Halloween. In this day eating meat was forbidden and the traditional Halloween dishes don't contain meat. Between them are potato apple cake, boxty pancakes and pudding or colcannon, barm and blackberry pies.

Potato Apple Cake

  • 500 g potatoes, freshly boiled in skins
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 apples
  • flakes of butter
  • sugar granulated
Peel and mush potatoes, add salt and butter. Add flour and make a smooth dough. Shape the potato dough into a round disc and cut into quarters.
Peel apples and remove the core. Slice thinly and cover two quarters of the potato dough with slices of apple. Then take and cover with the remaining two quarters. Press the edges down firmly. Cook 10 minutes on both sides on low flame in a large heavy skillet or pancake pan. Carefully remove the tops of the potato cakes and sprinkle apples with butter flakes and sugar. Then return the tops to the skillet so the butter and sugar melt.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Spain Popular Fish. Zarzuela , the "Operetta of the Ocean".

Spain owns the largest fishing fleet after Japan and Norway. Since the ancient time the Spanish's have lived on whatever they could get from the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean. And so they have an extraordinary skills in the cooking of fish and seafood.

The Basques eat the most popular fish in Spain hake and also cod al pil pil, in olive oil with garlic and , of coarse, their stew marmitako. In marmitako Spaniards use tuna fish, peppers and tomatoes- traditional fish accompany for Mediterranean cooking.
In Asturias like to cook their fish soups only with white flesh fish and add mussels and crustaceans cooked in sea water.
In Catalonia the famous zarzuela requires not only angler fish and squid but a great variety of fishes and shrimps.
Only in Andalusia peaple know to deep fry fiah in olive oil and reach such unforgettable flavor.
But the most popular way of cooking fish is to broil it and in this field the Spanish are masters!

The famous Catalonia "Operetta of the Ocean" zarzuela:


  • 5 slices angler fish
  • 1 1/2 kg mussels
  • 8 spiny lobsters
  • 3 medium sized squid or 4 small
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 slices bread
  • 10 ml brandy
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 500 g tomatoes (remove skin and seeds and chop well)
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 70n g almonds
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash and prepare fish and lobsters. In a saucepan put olive oil and lightly fry the fish and lobsters for about 10 minutes. Brush and wash the mussels and remove their beards. Put them in a pan and simmer with a little water over low flame until their shells open. Drain and remove the mussels from their shells.
In a different large saucepan fry onion with 20 ml olive oil until transparent and add fish, lobsters, mussels, 2 crushed garlic, saffron and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add brandy. Cook at low flame 15 minutes, add white wine. Leave to reduce wine and add almonds. The remaining 2 garlic cloves rub into the bread slices and toast in olive oil till golden. Place the bread on soup plates and pour the Zarzuela over it. Serve with parsley.

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