lab: Quote from the TV show West Wing "We have a secret plan to fight inflation" (i have a cunning plan)
[personal profile] lab posting in [community profile] batchlunch
Hello everyone, I'm enjoying this community a lot, my lack of commenting/activity is due to a very stressful month. But I did eat, and here's what I was most pleased with.

This recipe is taken from The Spanish Table again. It's a bit of a hassle to make but I had it all over the week (6 workdays) and it's just delicious. The recipe itself is from Andalucía, according to the SP it was most likely invented by the large North African Community in/around Granada.

3 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup of chicken stock or broth
3 cups skinned chicken, torn into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon sweet (not-smoked) paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 plum tomatoes, chopped (I must confess that I have no idea what plum tomatoes are, I used the ones I got from the market)
1/3 cup dark raisins
coarse salt
All-purpose flour for dusting the work surface
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoon milk,
confectioners' sugar, for dusting the pie

1. heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add onion and cook until it begins to soften, 3-5 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook until onion is very soft but barely browned, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more olive oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of chicken stock if skillet looks dry. Add paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne and stir for a few seconds. Stir in chicken, cook for a few minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock, the tomatoes and the raisins, cover skillet and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. The filling should be soft and moist, if it seems too wet, increase heat to high until liquid reduces, season filling with salt to taste and let cool. Filling can be prepared ahead and kept in fridge (I freeze mine, for instance).

2. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 °F. Brush baking sheet with olive oil.

3. Flour work surface, roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry to a roughly 18- by 12- inch rectangle. transfer it to the oiled baking sheet. Roll out the ramaining sheet of puff pastry to a rectangle slightly smaller than the first. Spread filling evenly over the pastry on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch bare along each of the 4 edges. Springle the pine nuts and almonds evenly on top. Cover filling with second pastry rectangle. Fold the edges of the bottom crust up over the top and crimp them decoratively. (This is all a v. fancy way of saying that you're making a rectangular pie and the filling needs to be covered by the pastry dough.)

4. Place egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and whisk to mix, brush the top of the pie with this egg wash. Using a sharp knife, make slits all over the top crust to allow steam to escape.

5. Bake pie on center rack until golden brown and baked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the pie cool, dust very lightly with confectioners' sugar, cut into squares and nom.

This is one of the base recipe for Gazpacho, the variations are endless. Caveat: This will only work if you have a fridge at work where you can stash your food. Gazpacho is basically a salad-soup with a tomato base that I find imensly refreshing and just the right vitamine kick for slow days. Can be stored in fridge (though if you do, be sure to add the garlic the day you plan to eat it), frozen, etc.


2 cups of day-old country bread, crusts removed
2 medium sized garlic cloves, chopped
1 small pinch of cumin seeds or ground cumin
Coarse salt
2 small kirby (pickling) cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 large Italian (frying) pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 medium-sized red bell pepper
3 tablespoons of chopped red onion
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of chilled bottled spring water
3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar, preferably aged, more to taste

Eh, I used peppers, cucumbers and yellow onions, I think you can substitute sherry vinegar with a very mild balsamic vinegar, but I've never tried.

For the garnish

Finely diced cucumber
Finely diced Granny Smith apple
Finely diced slightly underripe tomato
Finely diced green bell pepper ...

1. place bread in a bowl, add cold water to cover, let soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain bread and squeeze out liquid.

2. Place garlic, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a mortar (or blender) and, using a pestle (or the on-switch), mash them to a paste.

2. Place tomatoes, cucumbers, Italian and red peppers, onion, soaked bred and the garlic paste in a large bowl and toss to mix. Let stand for about 15 minutes. Working in 2 batches, place vegetable mixturein food processor and process until smooth, adding half of the olive oil to each batch. Once each batch is finished, puree it finely in a blender, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

4. Whenn all the gazpacho has been pureed, whisk in the spring water and vinegar. It should have the consistency of a smoothie. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or vinegar if necessary. Refrigerate gazpacho, covered, until chilled, at least 2 hours.

5. Add garnish before eating. Nom.


Batch Lunches

May 2016


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