Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stuffed Cucumber, Morcilla and Leek & Sweet Potato Tart

A new year and a new post! It was about this time last year since the rent-a-brain duo of Salty Squid had the great idea to start a blog. And oh how great it has been! Salty Squid has had a great year cooking chorizo in various ways a disguising it as a new dish each week. We were also busy finding random reasons to deep fry anything that could fit into the pan. And yes, we did buy a particularly big pan.

As mentioned at the start of this post, it is a new year, 2011 in fact. And around this time of year we all get a bit caught up in 'food trends' and 'what will be big for 2011'. After browsing many (1ish) blogs on this subject they all seem to concur that tapas or 'tapas style' (real words used on this very blog in like, 2010!!!) will be big in 2011! Rock on we say! That means that Salty Squid has in fact been ahead of the trend by about a year! Look no further dear reader (thanks Ma x), the future of Irish food is right here at Salty Squid!

So sit back, stand up and tuck in to our new post. Just remember, at least you will be able to say you read this blog when nobody else did!

Stuffed Cucumber with a) Tomato-Feta, b) Kale-Feta Pesto

Ingredients: A cucumber; block of feta; 2tbsp cream cheese; 2tbsp tomato paste; smoked paprika; squeeze of lemon juice; bunch of Kale; nutmeg; s&p

This is really straight forward. Mix about a cup of feta or maybe just over a cup, or perhaps just a little less, depends really, with the cream cheese. Take half of this mixture and combine with the tomato paste and paprika. Give a squeeze of lemon juice - but make sure to do this from a height. As that's what they do on TV. Stand on the counter and place the mix on the floor if necessary to achieve a good height. Although not in that order. As in, place the mix on the floor first THEN climb atop of the counter. Unless of course you have really long arms, then you should be able to climb on top of the counter and then place the mix on the floor. Although, if you have really long arms you probably wont need to stand on the counter and place the mix on the floor, you could probably just raise your arms to a sufficient height to achieve the desired effect. Season to taste.

For the kale pesto, simply fry of the kale in a little stock or water, season and set aside to cool. Mix the cooled kale with the other half of the cheese mix, a little nutmeg here will make it taste like a little nutmeg was added.

Using a peeler, peel strips of cucumber. Place some filling at one end of the cucumber and roll. Perfect as a food when hungry.

Morcilla with Kale, Chickpeas and Pine nuts

Ingredients: Morcilla, casing removed; 1x tin of chickpeas; 2tbsp pine nuts, toasted or 'tewsted' if from a posh neighbourhood; large bunch of kale, chopped; white wine; chicken stock; 3x cloves of garlic, sliced

Heat some rapeseed oil in a pan, add the morcilla and cook for a few mins. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the drained chickpeas and pine nuts. Add the white wine and reduce, followed by about a cup of stock. Cook for a min or two, just to reduce, you don't want it too wet, it's not a stew. Season well with lots of black pepper.

Leek & Sweet Potato Tart

Ingredients: 3x leeks, cleaned and trimmed and chopped; 1x large sweet potato, peeled, diced and blanched; 1x clove of garlic, chopped; feta and any left over fillings from the cucumbers above;

For the pastry: 150g flour and butter, pinch of salt, nutmeg, some cold water.

Roll out the pastry and line your tart mould or moulds

Sweat the leeks and in some butter and oil until soft, add the sweet potatoes that you cooked earlier to the pan and toss. Season it well, lots of s&p. Remove from the heat and add to the tart moulds. Dot with feta and bake fir about 25mins at 180c

In the glass:
Marques de Caceres, Rioja, Crianza 2006, 13%

On the stereo:
Tina Dico, Telegraph

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