At this time of year I am always asked the same question: do you know a good recipe for Roscón de Reyes?…
*Receta de Cogollos de lechuga con anchoas en español más abajo*
This Little gem lettuce with anchovies recipe is so easy that I shouldn’t even call it a recipe, if you look a the recipe I posted just before this one, it’s brilliant to serve as a side dish or as a tapas dish, try them with Chorizo and hummus pita pockets so that you have my special ingredient below ready made.
You can increase the number of lettuces and tins of anchovies as much as you want, making it fabulous for a party or when you have lots of people round and want to make something easy.
– 1 little gem lettuce, leaves separated, washed well and dried with a clean towel or in the salad spinner
– 1 tin of anchovies
– The juices of cooked chorizo (see the Chorizo and hummus pita pockets recipe for cooking instructions)
Distribute the clean lettuce leaves on a pretty (or practical) plate, place one or two anchovies on top of each one, drizzle with a bit of the oil left in the tin and then drizzle with the juices left in the frying pan after cooking the chorizo.
Have you seen my Easy Guide to Spanish Tapas?
Esta receta de Cogollos de lechuga con anchoas es tan fácil que ni la debería llamar receta. Mi truco es añadir la salsita que deja el chorizo frito así que está riquísima como acompañamiento del Pita con chorizo y humus que ya os deja ese juguito listo.
El número de lechugas y latas de anchoa se pueden aumentar ad infinitum, perfecto para fiestas o cuando teneis a un montón de gente en casa y necesitais algo fácil que está listo en dos minutos.
Cogollos de lechuga con anchoas
– 1 cogollos de lechuga, con las hojas separadas, bien lavadas y secadas
– 1 lata de anchoas
– Jugo de chorizo frito (en la receta de Pita con chorizo y humus teneis el modo de freírlo)
Distribuir las hojas de lechuga limpias y secas en una fuente, colocar una o dos anchoas sobre cada hoja, rociar con un poquito del aceite de la lata de anchoas y luego con la salsita que ha dejado el chorizo.
My poor country of origin isn’t doing fantastically at the moment, the
Spanish economy is suffering, a lot. However the Spanish gastronomy is
thriving more than ever. Fifteen years ago when I arrived to the UK to
do my masters degree it was absolutely impossible to find any Spanish
products in English supermarkets so for years after that I came back to
the UK with a suitcase loaded with goodies (remember those days when you
could get away with carrying 32kg in one big suitcase and no one would
say anything about per kilo surcharges?).
Things have got a lot
easier since then (not thanks to low-cost airlines), gradually and a
tad slowly standard-quality Spanish products started hitting the
supermarket shelves, with slightly higher quality items hitting deli
shelves. However, it’s all still a bit lacking. Prices for the good
stuff are still expensive and delivery charges prohibitive.
little while ago a company called Grey’s Fine Foods contacted me to send
me a hamper of their goods to review. From the name to the packaging,
to a Spaniard this company screams old British charm.
But inside I found a selection of Spanish products that complemented
each other rather well. We had our wedding anniversary coming up so I
saved them for a special meal. Here is my opinion (well, and husband’s) of each of the items I
Wine: López Cristóbal Roble 2012, Ribera del Duero, £11.90 per bottle
I know that outside of Spain wine equates Rioja but there are many other wine producing regions in Spain and Ribera del Duero is one of them. Fresh and light this is the perfect summer wine. It is priced more expensive than I tend to buy wine though, unless the name of that wine is Albariño, it would be a bottle for a special treat.
Villadiego Semi-cured Manchego cheese, £4.25 per 250 g
Milder than husband would like it, this semi-cured was just perfect for me and paired up rather deliciously with the anchovies included in the box.
Cantábrico Anchovies £3.50 per tin
Mr Tapas is a huge anchovy fan, I believe he discovered this love during his first trip to Spain with me but he was a bit disappointed by these. They are juicier and meatier than regular anchovies but about £2.75 more expensive. I reckon I would buy them for a special occasion but I agree they are a bit pricey for normal use.
Montanegra Ibérico Ham 100g / £5.50 per 100 g
This was really good and lasted a few days, you need good crusty bread for this and, if you want a decadent breakfast: good crusty bread slightly toasted drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped garlic, ripe tomatoes sliced open and their juice rubbed over the bread and this ham (preferably with an orange juice, fresh or not from concentrate, and good, non-instant, coffee). Breakfast of Spanish champions.
Fuenroble olive oil £10.95 per 500 ml bottle
Forget about dipping bread in your olive oil, grab a small spoon and taste a few drops. This cold pressed EVOO is strong and peppery, perfect for summer salads.
Martínez Somalo Barbecue Chorizo £4.50 per pack
This was the absolute star of the parcel. We would regularly have this chorizo in our fridge. We used it for, I believe, 3 meals in total so it is really good value for money, as well as much better quality than your standard cooking chorizo that you can get from UK supermarkets. For our Tapas anniversary we fried it in red wine and it went great with…
Querida Carmen Paella £12.50
Although the whole world believes paella to be “the” Spanish dish, it actually comes from just one of the 17 regions of Spain and I didn’t grow up in that region. I grew up in the land of fresh seafood though. I had never ever cooked paella and this was a really easy way of doing it. I think next time I would add a bit of white wine when cooking it and definitely add the chorizo while cooking it, after frying it in red wine, it acquired a fabulous depth of taste when mixed with the chorizo and, mainly, its juices. However, with the price it has I would think twice about buying it but I am fully aware that, was I to cook it from scratch with good quality ingredients, it would probably cost a small fortune.
As we ate this Spanish assortment husband and I were chatting about it (with a few interruptions from LittleT). This selection, as it is, is perfect for busy people who want to eat well (and by that I mean what is considered gourmet food), have guests and fancy something easy yet striking that is conducive to a good chat or (in my opinion) a British man who wants to impress a date.
I *may* have noticed that Grey’s Fine Foods also does whole legs of ham, husband and I had one at our wedding and you can’t imagine how successful it was and with a certain 40th birthday coming up in just over a month…
The best part: they offer free delivery for orders over £50. Also free if you live in North Yorkshire and can collect from them. If you don’t live in the UK, feel free to drop them an email to ask how much delivery would be to your chosen location.
Would I buy myself with my hard-earned money from Grey’s Fine Foods? Definitely. Their selection of products is rather good, I am a sucker for free delivery and, well, I am Spanish after all. I need a flavour fix here and there (not to mention that chorizo is a staple in this household).
Disclosure: Grey’s Fine Foods sent the Tapas family a box full of Spanish goodies free of charge for the purpose of this review. All reviews are 100% honest (and perhaps a tiny bit feisty).
I have been meaning to write this post for a while as I would like to start a surreptitious campaign to bring fideos to the UK. Fideos can be defined as extremely short and thin spaghetti (well, the ones I like are thin). You can make lovely soups with them and one hugely popular soup is the Spanish recipe this post is for: sopa de fideos (pasta soup).
This is a really simple recipe, in fact if you have good homemade chicken or vegetable stock at home you can just add the fideos and, within five minutes, you could be ready to sit down to steaming hot comforting soup, spoon in hand. My mother always has stock in the fridge or in the freezer precisely for this purpose.
It should always be cooked the moment you want to eat, that’s when it tastes best and it takes so little time to prepare that it is totally feasible. This is the soup you eat when you’re cold and need warming up, when you don’t feel so well, when you need cheering up… Ok, by you I mean me but let me tell you, that cup of tea that the British fix everything with…this is my Spanish-style cup of tea. And, yes, being me it includes chorizo (you didn’t expect anything else, did you?).
Now, I like my pasta soups to be very thick, without too much liquid
(otherwise I call them consommés and I’m done with it), so make sure you adapt it to
your taste (don’t panic, it’s easy to do). Fideos are designed for soups so they get soak in the stock in a delicious way.
|What I like to see in my cupboard|
Fideos are not easy to find in the UK. In Tesco you can find Lubella Filini no. 2 (a Polish brand), but they’re number 2 (hence much thicker and they don’t soak in the lovely flavours like my absolute favourite: Gallo no. 0 (it has to be, it’s the only fideo brand I’ve been able to find in the UK, there are other brands in Spain of course). You can find the Gallo brand in the Spanish London supermarket R Garcia and Sons (you can order online or pop in for a visit). I’m pretty sure my husband has bought them from the La Plaza Deli in Portobello too. Of course, try any local Spanish shops or market stalls you may pass on your travels and, should you see a Portuguese shop, ask for their pasta soup range, even if they don’t have fideos, you will find tiny pasta dots, stars or teardrops that tend to be really good and work rather well.
Substitutes: De Cecco Stellette nº75 (I’ve seen them in Waitrose), Orzo pasta (I get it from Waitrose and I have seen it in selected Tescos), Tesco’s Farfalline, Lubella’s Filini. You could also break vermicelli into short length cut-at-home fideos.
Sopa de fideos a la Feisty Tapas
- 1 litre of stock or however much you fancy having (I have to warn you that it is addictive so you will be going back for more).
- 1 chicken stock cube if using water (I use Kallo), depending on the amount of water you may need more or less stock.
- 250 g approx of fideos or substitute pasta (how I calculate is by checking the resistance of the pasta against the wooden spoon when stirring straight after adding them, if there’s a bit of resistance, that’s about right, if it stirs too easily, it needs more).
- 1 carrot (quartered lengthways and then sliced not too finely and not too thickly so that it cooks quickly).
- 25-50 g chorizo, peeled and “pierced” a couple of times with a fork (I tend to use either half a sausage or a whole one) peeled and (as you may know from previous posts I tend to use Tesco’s Cooking Chorizo nowadays, I should tell them that, shouldn’t I? That failing, get the Revilla’s Chorizo de Pueblo. If you’re really lucky ask your local Spanish shop/stockist/market stall).
1 medium pan, 1 chopping board for vegetables, one chopping board for hot food
- Place the water in a medium pan, when it’s boiling add the chicken stock and carrots. Let it bubble away.
- After a couple of minutes add the chorizo.
- When the carrots start feeling tender (it will only take a few minutes), add the fideos or pasta soup. Follow the pack instructions. If using number 0 fideos, try not to let them overcook, they are best al dente. Make sure you stir once in a while.
- If using fideos remove the chorizo and, with the help of a fork and a knife so not to burn your fingers, chop it (you know my method, cut lengthways first and then slice away) before you put them in, if using pasta that takes a bit longer to cook, you can leave the chorizo a bit longer.
HINT: Should it be too thick, add more stock. Should it be too watery, just make sure you make it thicker when serving it by removing some of the extra liquid. See? I told you it was easy. If you don’t eat it all straight away, make sure you remove it from the heat and leave the lid either off or only half covering the pan so that the pasta doesn’t go too soft.
TIP: When immediate comfort is required, skip the carrots, add the chorizo and stock cube (if not using your own stock) when the water starts to boil and add the fideos or similar pasta for soup. In 5-10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta you could have a fantastic warming and comforting soup.
EXTRA TIP: You can also make a sopicaldo by chopping any leftover chicken and vegetables you may have.
YET ANOTHER TIP: Try making it with quinoa for a gluten free version, in that case make sure the chorizo is gluten free too (many tend to be but I am of the “you never know” persuasion).
If you’re new to my blog, welcome! You can find out more about in my bio.
This is one recipe I have been wanting to share for ages. I love chorizo, it is one of my favourite ingredients. This is based on my grandma’s recipe, when I started cooking (or trying to) many years ago I asked her for three recipes: her chorizo pasta, her meat with olives and her “arroz con leche” (the Spanish version of the British rice pudding). Let’s just say that the woman could cook and not only good food but for hordes of people as it was never just her and my grandad for lunch or dinner around their kitchen table (one of the favourite spaces of my childhood).
When I don’t have access to a Spanish shop I buy Tesco’s cooking chorizo
(in fact there’s always some of it in our fridge), you could also try
Revilla Chorizo de Pueblo Puchero which you can find easily in
Sainsbury’s or Waitrose.
Thermomix version here.
Feel free to use more chorizo if you really like it or are making a bigger batch.
You can also use less chorizo if you want to be a bit healthier, yesterday I only used one and a half sausages of the Tesco cooking chorizo (I usually use two) and it turned out really tasty.
For the pasta: it will work with any type of pasta of course but the classic is with penne, you basically need a pasta shape with crevices where the tomato sauce can work its way in and fill them with flavour. Last night I made it with fusilli as you can see from the photos.
Spanish kids love this dish, my half Spanish-half English kid loves it so, if your kids like pasta, they’ll probably like it too!
Serves: 2-3 people.
Pasta with chorizo in a tomato sauce
- 100 g of chorizo
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely (optional)
- Pasta such as penne or fusilli (the amount you would usually cook for yourself or your household)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400 g each), add more tins as you need if cooking for more people
- Mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese to grate on top (optional), it’s really tasty without it too if you want to save the calories.
- Olive oil.
- Two large pans
- Two chopping boards, one for the onion and garlic and one for the chorizo
- A colander
- A healthy appetite
1. Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil over a gentle heat so that it sweats. Stirring occasionally.
2. Slice the chorizo in the meantime. To add extra flavour I half the chorizo sausage lengthways first and then cut into slices, you could even quarter it lengthways and then slice it. Or you could slice the sausage to end up with nice round slices. The choice is yours.
3. Add the chorizo to the pan and increase the heat a bit, give it a good stir, let all the juices mix with the onion.
4. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes (I mean the contents of the tins, of course!) and give it a good stir. Try not to let them boil. Add the herbs, some salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar (the sugar only if you think it will need it, I personall don’t tend to add sugar). Let it simmer for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally. You will know when the consistency is right.
5. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain (but not too much) and add to the sauce, stirring really well so that the sauce coats the pasta. Always listen to Jamie Oliver on this one and keep some of the magic liquid that is the water where the pasta boiled, just in case.
6. (Optional) If you have lots of time in your hands, put the grill on, spread it on an oven dish, add grated cheese all over the top, add a few knobs of butter and stick it in for 10 minutes or so until golden and crusty on top. You’ll thank me for it!
Serve with Spanish flair in individual plates or put it on the table so that everyone can help themselves, grate parmesan on top.
¡A la mesa!
NOTE: Once you are used to this basic recipe, adapt it to your taste with perhaps just oregano as a herb, or with fresh herbs from your garden that you think will go well, play with it.
BRILLIANT TIP: After adding the chorizo and giving it a good stir, add some red wine and let it bubble before adding the chopped tomatoes and turning the heat down to simmer. This gives the sauce a deeper flavour.
Hello, Maria here, welcome to my little corner of the Internet. I started Feisty Tapas in early 2011. Back then I was just starting to cook regularly (at the tender age of 37) as I had a baby to wean and a husband whose diabetes was getting worse.
In the summer of 2012 I bought my first major kitchen gadget: a Thermomix TM31. Overnight it changed the way I cooked. It is a bit like outsourcing the chopping, no more standing at the kitchen counter for half an hour chopping away, which is dangerous when you are as clumsy as I am. Then other kitchen gadgets like the Instant Pot came along, so did my fibromyalgia and the realisation that kitchen gadgets were allowing me to keep cooking, somewhere along the line I had learned to love cooking (and not just eating) and I wasn’t going to give it up.
Kitchen gadgets allow me to keep cooking delicious food with minimum effort and make my life as a working mummy with fibromyalgia so much easier. It’s no wonder I have ended up working for Instant Pot, is it?
My aim through Feisty Tapas is to make your life easier at every step. I want to prove to you that there is no shame in surrounding yourself by the things that make that happen, freeing your time for other things, like putting your feet up, your loved ones, reading a book or whatever it is that you fancy doing.
At first sight this blog might look like one that doesn’t get updated very often, just a record of a recipe here, a thought there and sure enough that’s what it was a few years ago. However, if you dig a bit deeper you will soon see that Feisty Tapas is a thriving community taking the shape of FOUR very chatty, interactive and supportive Facebook groups.
Some readers find the blog first and subsequently join the Feisty Tapas groups and others find (or are recommended) one or all four of my Facebook groups first and then discover the blog. Either way, what you will find behind the Feisty Tapas banner is a tight-knit community.
Feisty Tapas is me, Feisty Tapas is this blog and Feisty Tapas is four Facebook groups full of amazing people where you will find daily inspiration:
– Thermo Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas, with over 1,500 very chatty UK-based owners of machines such as the Thermomix, KitchenAid Cook Processor, Kenwood K Cook and Tefal Cuisine Companion, Lakeland Multichef or the Aldi and Lidl counter parts. This was my first group.
– Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas, for those of you with pressure cookers of any type, whether the stove-top variety or the new electric devices that also have other features. I personally have the Instant Pot but it’s not restricted to that.
– Feisty Tapas’ Health Warriors, a support group for the good and the bad
days. Reading suggestions, research, putting things into practice… Whatever type of health kick you’re in, you can kick it into shape here.
– Kitchen Gadgetry with Feisty Tapas, the place to unleash your inner kitchen gadget geek. A global group for people from all countries to talk all things kitchen gadget.
All groups are full of like-minded people and through them I (with their help) try to offer support and make sure that no kitchen gadget worth its salt is relegated to a kitchen cupboard.
It’s not all food though, I like to call my groups lifestyle communities for kitchen gadget lovers. We chat and we care.
Email: feistytapas gmail.com and at the top of the right hand side bar you have all my social media details.
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