Impromptu salad

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This is a salad I made back when I was in Argentina a couple of years ago. I made all sort of delicious food there because I had the opportunity of cooking for a family with an unusually well-provided pantry and kitchen garden so, as you can imagine, I was in heaven!

This salad was born from playing with what was at hand on one particular day. Since I’ve twittered about it, I thought I might as well share it here. It had grilled peppers, blue cheese, croutons, toasted nuts, crispy bacon, boiled eggs, really good!

Pure goodness

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This is a quiche I made at my friend’s Alejandra. It was pretty much grab-what-you’ve-got-in-the-pantry kind of thing so I’m afraid there’s no precise recipe for it. Just your regular liaison of eggs and milk (again, nothing precise, just what you think it’s right) and whatever veggies you have at hand. I like to saute mine before they go into the quiche so that they give it a more interesting flavour. I don’t know if it is because we were all extremely hungry but it surely looked good!

Jubilee picnic food

 

 

Everybody seems to be in Jubilee picnic food mode. Nigella has come up with a whole bunch of Jubilee-themed ideas and so has Jamie.

I didn’t want to be any less (as if…) so I decided to make my humble contribution to the festivities…

Even though the weather is not with us this weekend apparently (translation: it is v. wet and rather chilly today) we can still celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with some tasty food.

 

Croquetitas de pollo © Gabriela R.

This is so typically Spanish, I am not even translating the title. It is a traditional component of the tapas where you would get a selection of both hot and cold nibbles. A relative of that would be what we in Argentina know as picada.

 

Ingredients:

 ¾ cup leftover roast chicken, chopped as finely as you can

½ cup thick béchamel sauce

1 tbsp grated onion

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped very finely

1 tbsp. red pepper, chopped very finely (optional)

1 egg yolk

Salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste

 

To coat:

 flour

1 or 2 eggs, whisked

Breadcrumbs, sifted

Vegetable oil for frying

 

 

Mix everything and shape them into small (golf sized) balls. Dust in flour, making sure to get rid of the excess, dunk them in the egg and roll them in the breadcrumbs. Put them on a tray and place them in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them. That way, you minimize the risk of them falling apart as they fry.

Fry them in hot oil and drain them on kitchen paper before you eat them. Nice hot or cold.

Scotch eggs © Gabriela R.

 

Scotch eggs are ideal for picnics as portable food. They are also a lot more interesting than a plain boiled egg, of which I have fond memories of eating at the beach in Miramar (if the weather was particularly windy, we would always invariably have it with a rather unwanted and sandy seasoning!). In Britain, it is traditionally made with sausage meat which is shop-bought (even Jamie uses it so if he condones it, it’s fine by me). In Argentina, however, this product is not commercially available (and I would be mad to make it from scratch just for this recipe).  I had, however, leftover mixture from the croquetitas (see above). So instead of turning the whole batch into croquetas, I had an eureka moment and wondered how it would taste if I used it in lieu of the sausage meat for an impromptu snack with a British vibe. It was spot on.

 

Ingredients:

 

Boiled eggs, as needed

Leftover chicken croquetitas mixture

 

To coat:

 

Flour

Egg, whisked

Breadcrumbs

 

 

Poach the eggs in boiling water for 5 or 6   minutes. You want them quite soft as this stage because they will continue to cook as they fry and cool down. The egg white has to be firm enough for you to be able to peel them but the yolk has to be very runny. That way, you will still get a runny yolk at the end.

Peel them under cold, running water and, once cold, wrap them in the chicken mixture. I simply used my hands to do this but a very handy trick can be to put the mixture on a piece of clingfilm and place it inside a cup (bigger than the egg, obviously). Then place the boiled egg inside and, using the clingfilm to help you, wrap the meat around it. It must cover it completely. Peel the clingfilm, dust each egg in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and then fry in vegetable oil.

 

 

French tomato salad © Gabriela R.

This is so simple it’s not even a recipe. I was told, however, that the traditional way of serving tomato salad in France is with some fresh, chopped garlic.

 Slice beef tomatoes into fine slices and arrange them nicely however you want. Chop some garlic and scatter it on top. You can finish it off with some fresh chopped parsley.