We have signed up for Abel & Cole again recently, I was with them when I lived in Leamington years ago and then again at our old house last year when I convinced them to stretch their postcode coverage by one village, but last year somehow the quality didn't seem to be the one I remembered from years ago so I stopped them. Now that I have the Thermomix I have been challenging myself more and remembered that, when I first started receiving organic vegetable boxes, what I loved most was finding out what to do with a lot of the vegetables, half of which I had never cooked before and some of which I had never even heard of before.
Last week our box included chard (acelgas in Spanish), I was a weird child and vegetables, kidneys, liver and other foods that would make other children run away screaming, were my friends. I liked everything and anything, I would eat everything and anything, all mums at the school gate wanted me round for lunch any day of the week as I was so easy to please and was always full of compliments for anyone who fed me something different. Acelgas were a favourite, so this was my chance to replicate my childhood easily in the Thermomix with: Paprika Chard and Potatoes.
Once it was cooked, I quickly remembered the smells of my childhood lunches, this would be a first course. Yes, we always had three course meals mid-week (well, first course of soup or vegetables like this and second course of fish or meat, then fruit) and I went to school from 9 to 13.15 every morning, then home for lunch and then back to school from 15.45 to 17.45. So everyday I went home for lunch and my father would try to meet us there whenever he could, despite working out of town about half an hour away. At home lunch was served at 14.15 on the dot. My grandma would invariably call at 15.00 on the dot to talk to my father, basically while my parents were having coffee (the famous Spanish sobremesa).
You see, that's why the relationship with food of the Spanish population is historically and intrinsically different to what I am now living in the UK, what my husband grew up with.
I would like to say that this is the Mediterranean diet but I grew up right by the Atlantic so: I give you the Atlantic diet. This is lovely for a light lunch for those of you who, like me, work from home or a delicious light meal.
Scroll down for the conventional method, without a Thermomix, very easy.
Don't forget you can find daily inspiration in my Facebook group, Thermo Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas, if you live in the UK with your Thermie or you are considering buying one.
Thermomix Paprika Chard and Potatoes
1. Place the chard in the Varoma and cover with the lid, then place the potatoes in the inners steaming basket. Pour the water (750 ml) in the bowl, insert the inner basket with the potatoes. Close the lid and place the Varoma on top: Varoma, 25 minutes, speed 1. Check that the potatoes are cooked, give them a few more minutes on Varoma, speed 1 if not.
2. Remove the Varoma and the basket. Dry the bowl quickly with a clean cloth (wash it first if you want but I didn't), it needs to be dry as you're about to add oil and it just doesn't mix well with water. Chop the garlic 7 seconds, speed 5. Use the spatula to lower the bits of garlic that may have travelled up the walls of the bowl and the lid.
3. Add the oil and paprika: 100ºC, 5 minutes, speed 1.
4. Leave the oil to cool down a bit (I set my phone's timer to 5 minutes for this). Put the butterfly in place (I have to confess that I don't always use the butterfly and it turns out fine but it's best if you do), add the chard, then the potatoes (this order is very important, the potatoes need to go on top): Varoma (TM5: 120º), 8 minutes, reverse, soft speed.
boil an egg per person and either serve it alongside the chard and
potatoes or chop 1 or 2 eggs and add at the end, for this I would do 1 minute, reverse, soft speed.
Paprika Chard and Potatoes (Conventional method)
Conventional cooking equipment:
2 pans OR 1 pan + 1 steamer
A frying pan
A chopping board
Conventional cooking method (loosely as there's a bit of guesswork involved):
- Steam or boil the chard and potatoes separately until they're ready.
- Chop the garlic and fry in oil, add the teaspoon of paprika, give it a stir.
- Add the chard and potatoes and let it all mix for about 8 minutes over a medium heat.
A lot more equipment to use but, as you can see, it's a very simple recipe and, if you like chard or would like to try the one in your veggie box, this is a delicious option.
My tip: boil an egg per person and either serve it alongside the chard and
potatoes or chop 1 or 2 eggs and add towards the end of step 3.
Serve with Spanish flair!