Potato and Chorizo Frittata

This Potato and Chorizo Frittata is a combination of Italian techniques with Spanish ingredients. Potatoes and chorizo are always a winning combination. The topping of quick pickled shallots and parsley add a fresh finish. This is good for a lazy weekend breakfast or a light meal with a bit of salad.
The rice vinegar is optional, but it prevents the potatoes from overcooking. You want about one tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water.

1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
sprig of thyme
1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
splash of rice or white vinegar
olive oil
250 g/ 8 oz chorizo, sliced
6 large eggs, beaten
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 Tbsp parsley, chopped

To quick pickle the shallots, combine shallot with red wine vinegar, thyme, black peppercorns, a couple of pinches of salt, and 1/2 cup boiling hot water. Set aside to cool. Drain after 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, put potatoes in salted boiling water with a splash of rice vinegar. Boil until just cooked.
Preheat broiler.
Over high heat add a generous splash of olive oil to a large ovenproof frying pan. Add potatoes and chorizo. Cook, stirring often, until chorizo has released its juices and potatoes are golden. Remove from pan, leaving oil.
Beat eggs with a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Add to pan. Then return potatoes and chorizo to pan, spreading out evenly. Cook without stirring until bottom is just turning golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
Place pan under broiler until golden on tops of potatoes and at edges. Keep an eye on it as this will happen quickly.
Remove from pan. Top with parsley and shallot.

Wild Mushroom Stroganoff

Wild mushrooms are a delicious vegetarian substitution for the typical beef stroganoff. This recipe is based on the Brazilian version of stroganoff with the addition of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. There is vegan Worcestershire sauce if you want to avoid the anchovies. This can be made with dried noodles too; just parboil the noodles until they are a couple of minutes from being done before adding them to finish in the sauce. If you want to serve this with rice instead, boil down the sauce a few minutes to thicken it. I used white wine because it was handy, but if you prefer you can use the more traditional brandy. Making a slurry with the stock and flour keeps it from lumping.

4 Tbsp butter
½ onion, chopped
454 g/ 1 lb assorted mushrooms
5 Tbsp white wine
1 cup beef stock or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp flour
½ cup crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp paprika
½ Tbsp dijon mustard
½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
sprinkle of cayenne (optional)
½ cup creme fraiche
250 g/ 8 oz fresh egg noodles
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat. Add onions. Cook until softened. Add mushrooms. Cook until just softened. Push mushrooms to side and add white wine. Boil until syrupy. Mix stock and flour and add slurry to pan. Add crushed tomatoes, ketchup, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire,and cayenne. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened. Add creme fraiche and stir. Add noodles and stir. Add more liquid if necessary. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 3 minutes. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

Zucchini and Rice Filo Pie

Zucchini, rice, and a mixture of herbs encased in filo pastry makes a light summer pie. This recipe is inspired by Nigel Slater’s River Cottage Veg. It is a great book of vegetable dishes that you really should have. Add a salad for a great summer meal.

1 lb/ 500 g zucchini, grated
⅓ cup/ 75 g long grain rice
½ red onion, chopped
2 ½ oz/ 75 g hard cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp finely chopped mixed herbs (thyme, parsley, dill, basil)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz/ 250 g filo pastry
6 Tbsp/ 100 g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375F/ 190C.
Continue reading “Zucchini and Rice Filo Pie”

Squid and Rice Noodle Salad

This light salad is just what’s called for on hot days. Fish sauce adds depth while limes add an acidic kick. The herbs are refreshing. The peanuts and samphire add textural contrast. Samphire, also known as sea asparagus, grows along the rocky coastline. When it is young and delicate it can be eaten raw. It has a satisfying crunchy texture and nice salt bite.

Serves two hungry people

For the sauce:
3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar or Light Brown Sugar
4-5 limes, juiced
1 minced hot red pepper (I used piri piri)
1 garlic clove, minced

Continue reading “Squid and Rice Noodle Salad”

Beet and Poppy Seed Cake

A wholesome, not too sweet cake made with whole wheat flour, beets, and olive oil instead of butter. I think the combination of whole wheat and white flour is just the right balance. If want a lighter cake, substitute white flour for the whole wheat.

For the Cake:
butter, for greasing
168 g/ 6 oz eggs (3-4 depending on size)
200 g/ 7 oz light brown sugar
325 g/ 11 ½ oz olive oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
150 g/ 5 ⅓ oz whole wheat flour
60 g/ 2 oz all purpose white flour
pinch of salt
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
zest of one orange
2 Tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
227 g/ 8 oz grated raw beets

For the Candied Beets:
170 g/ 6 oz granulated sugar
2 small/ 1 large beet, sliced into 1/16″ rounds

For the Icing:
½ xl egg white
150 g/ 5 ⅓ oz confectioner’s sugar
squeeze of lemon juice


Continue reading “Beet and Poppy Seed Cake”