migas

migas

Traditionally migas (literally: bread crumbs) was a peasant’s or shepherd’s dish, a tasty way to use up stale bread using little more than some garlic, olive oil, and whatever bits of meat or charcuterie happened to be about. At casa az, migas has turned out to be a great way to use up the bread scooped out of crusty loaves when making pan cristal (more on that later) and then fed to skinny flatmate who always needs to “carb up”. Obviously there are loads of variations on what can go into migas, as well as various ways of preparing it. What I’ve done, as usual, is look up a few different recipes and then make something that looks good to me, though on this occasion I *almost* burnt the garlic and onions… so try not to do that.

Ingredients and instructions below…

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sausage sarnie

sausage sarnie
So there I was with a sudden craving for a meatball sandwich (something I haven’t had in YEARS) and all I had was some chorizo criollo in the fridge. It was time to improvise! The addition of spinach meant (to me) that there wasn’t any need for a side veg or salad, making it a super-simple all-in-one kind of dish, which I served open-faced as I prefer more filling/topping than bread. It also had a whack of parmesan sprinkled on top but was more photogentic without it. Makes 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

Ingredients and instructions below…

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huevos rotos


Huevos rotos (literally “broken eggs” in Spanish) is a very traditional dish with many variations, but all including perfectly crispy fried eggs with soft yolks and fried potatoes. The ones you see below include jamón and chorizo Ibérico, caramalised onions and shaved truffle. The one you see above is my first attempt at making this at home. I used chorizo criollo and added some pimentón piquante as my favourite version so far (from Vineria San Telmo) includes spicy chorizo with lots of pimentón inside, which blends perfectly with the hot egg yolk and fried potatoes.

I served it with a tomato and spring onion salad, both of which are just coming into season now, and it was a great side dish that added a fresh touch and balanced the meal out quite nicely.

[huevos rotos at Gusto Ristobar, Vineria San Telmo & El Gallinero de Sandra]

Ingredients and instructions below…

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potato “raclette” casserole

Just so you know, this has nothing to do with a proper raclette, nor does it use raclette cheese. But as it does involve mostly potatoes and melted cheese this is what came to mind as I was making it. It all started yesterday when I realised that the very special Swedish Vasterbottensost Cheese that my friend Karin had brought for me in October was about to reach its expiry date. I’d been saving it for a special occasion…

Anyhow, it was such a miserable wet and cold day that some comfort food was definitely required and, after trying a bit of the Vasterbottensost (delicious!) decided it needed to be eaten as simply as possible. And so I came up with this. It was a perfect rainy day meal … and also made for great leftovers!

Ingredients and instructions below…

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triple grilled mac & cheese

Another fab recipe from guest contributor, fellow foodie & friend WeeRascal
(previous contribution was his angus beef & coriander casserole)

[click to enlarge]

 

What’s your favourite part of Mac and cheese? For me, a slightly burnt, crispy, extra cheesy top when it pops out of the oven is heaven. So I had an idea: why not make a Mac and cheese that has this sort of texture all the way through? The recipe is actually very similar to the way my grandmother used to make it. It’s not at all like the over-rich, creamy, liquid dish you’ll get from a tin, or from a restaurant – I find that a couple of mouthfuls of this “white lava” can be far too sickly. On the other hand, because of the layering and grilling process used here, the cheese adheres to the pasta like iron filings to a magnet and it’s very addictive. From a culinary point of view, this is about as easy as it gets, but it’s not exactly healthy. It’s perfect for the odd comfort food fix and I will say from experience that it is a superb hangover cure – served cold. Incidentally, you may think that there’s far too much mustard power in this, but bear with me – it really does turbo charge the sharpness of the cheese.

Recipe and instructions below…

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bacony leek & potato bake


Yesterday I saw some lovely looking leeks at the market and bought them without any idea of what I’d end up doing with them. In the end this is what I came up with – something autumny that included bacon, garlic and cheese. It was very tasty and easy to make, and quite nice comfort food…

Recipe and instructions below the links.

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chorizo & gambas risotto

Since making my first ever risotto a couple of months ago they have become a staple dish here at casa az. Until now I’ve been sticking with mushroom & veg versions … that is, until my pal WeeRascal boasted of having a chorizo & lobster risotto a while ago. And well, I just had to try it out for myself, though I substituted giant prawns (gambon gordo) for lobster. I made it pretty much following the same recipe as the mushroom risotto, but I added the heads and shells of the gambas to the chicken broth – and wow! – the broth turned out gorgeous. In fact, I think this is one of the most delicious meals I have ever made. I was a bit unsure about adding too many ingredients, so I tried it first without and then with the broccoli. They were both great, and I liked having some green stuff in there, making it a more complete “one dish” meal.

Revised recipe and instructions below the links:
(as well as “close up” shots of both versions)

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