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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Roscos de Vino ~ A Christmas Family Favourite

Muscat wine is naturally sweet and derives from sun-ripened Muscat grapes. Their juice is only partially fermented. This sweet and fragrant wine possesses a floral aroma deriving from this variety of grape.

Malaga Muscat wine (Vino Moscatel de Malaga) is produced on the hills around the city of Malaga, the cherished birthplace of the Santiago and Martin family.
Roscos de Vino ~ A Christmas favourite

Roscos de Vino
(Muscat Wine Cookies)

4 1/2 cups plain flour
½ cup almond meal
½ cup corn flour
1 ½ cups sugar
30ml sweet Spanish aniseed liqueur (or 2 teaspoons aniseed essence)
300ml light olive oil
250ml Muscat grape wine
2 dessertspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon whole aniseed

Grated lemon rind of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups icing sugar

Pre-heat oven to 180º C.
Place olive oil in a frying pan and heat until sizzling. Add sesame seeds, aniseed and lemon rind. Heat the ingredients for about one minute. Set aside and allow cooling.
Sift flours into a large bowl and add other dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Slowly add cooled oil, wine and essences/liqueur, mixing gently until a soft dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly. Roll out to about 1 ½ cm thickness. Cut circles out of the dough using a round pastry cutter that is about 5cm in diameter. Then using another smaller cutter (about 2 cm in diameter) cut circles into the middle of the larger circles to resemble donut shapes.
Place in a moderate oven for 15 minutes. The Roscos will harden slightly as they cool. Toss generously with icing sugar when cool. Store in a cool place in an airtight container and theRoscos will last a couple of weeks.
Serve at room temperature with coffee and a shot of your favourite Spanish liqueur.
Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

PERFECT Meatballs in Tomato Sauce.

Alongside tapas, you will find 'raciones' which are often just a larger portion of the tapas of the day at a Spanish ‘bar’, big enough for two or three to share.

Raciones are most often on the bar menu and if you order something from this side of the menu you will get a basket of bread and often a side salad, plus enough forks for the party present at the table - you can specify whether the ‘racion’ is for two or ten! Of course, the main difference is that a ‘racion’, unlike a tapa is not complimentary. Yes! In the 'bares' of Granada, tapas are still complementary with the purchase of a drink!

Ordering a ‘racion’ is a fantastic way of socializing with friends around a table without the expense of paying for a formal meal. They are often the best way of sampling the best local cuisine as the most popular dishes make up the ‘racion’ menu. They can include everything from simple serrano ham and cheese with olives, to mini paella portions or even Albondigas con Tomate.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

(Albondigas Con Tomate)
500g veal and pork mince
1 slice white bread
¼ cup milk
2 tbsp. chopped Parsley
2 tbsp. chopped Oregano
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup flour
Olive oil for shallow frying 

Tomato Sauce:
700g pureed tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. chopped basil

Pre-heat oven to 150°C
To make the meatballs, soak slice of bread in milk until all the milk is absorbed and the bread soggy. Place the mince and all other meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge for about half hour.
With floured hands, form spoonfuls of meatball mixture into small spheres and lightly coat in seasoned flour.  
Place a generous amount of olive oil in the bottom of a frypan, enough to cover the base. When hot, fry the meatballs in small batches, turning as needed to brown all over. They don’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point, as they will finish cooking in the oven in the tomato sauce. Place in an earthenware dish and cover with alfoil.
To make the tomato sauce, place a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a frypan and sauté the diced onions until soft. Add the tomato puree and all other ingredients. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Check seasoning.
Finally, pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and place in the oven to warm through for about half hour.
Serve on warm plates with crusty bread and your favourite accompaniment. We love them with a creamy celeriac and potato mash and a tomato, red onion and feta salad. Yum!!
Serves 4-5

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tried and tested again and again. . .

Valencia Orange Cake is one of the favourites at my house.  It is a recipe that has been tried and tested over and over again in our kitchens.  This delicate yet moist orange flavoured sponge with it's gorgeous golden crust is simply to die for.

It is beautiful accompanied with fresh cream or ice cream and dusted with icing sugar.  Trust will not be able to stop at one.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Dulce y muy RICO.....

Sweet and very DELICIOUS!  What better way to end a beautiful Spanish main than with a delightful desert?

One thing that I noticed when I visited Spain, is that the Spanish LOVE their fruit.  It is bought fresh from the markets and the flavour, colour and sweetness is truly amazing.  They regularly eat fruit after their main meal as their 'dessert'.  

The Santiago family do enjoy their fruit but none more that my dear father, Manuel. He delighted in eating a plate of fruit any time of the day or night.  His love for fruit and gardening, compelled him to buy a 10 acre farm in the late 70's and he and my brother decided to plant strawberries.  What an adventure that turned out to be!!

In memory of our dad, we will be including several fruit based desserts in our cookbook.  One of which is seen in the picture below.  Pastel de Manzana (Apple Torte).

You will LOVE IT!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Our Journey

The Santiago and Martin family migrated to Brisbane, Queensland in 1974 from Malaga, Spain.  Malaga is one of the major cities in Andalucia and is situated on the Mediterranean coast in the south of Spain.  Having a similar climate to that of Andalucia in southern Spain, southern Queensland was an obvious choice for our young family to call 'Home'.

This transition, was a truly challenging one as everything we knew, had been left behind; far away in our Mother Land.  We could not speak English, we had no money, no job, no home of our own. . . but we had each other and a spirit of adventure!

My Mother would cook the beautiful, heart warming food she had grown up eating and was now recreating for her family.  We were familiar with it and we loved it!  

In the telling of our journey we hope to share our passion, for all that is dear to us: our culture, our family and our food.  Passion reminds us that life is good and good times around good food, creates priceless moments to remember for a lifetime.

Cheers or Salud (as we say in Spain) and Buen Apetito!!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Tasty Croquettes....mmmmmmm

There are many variations to croquettes. They can be made with tuna, serrano ham and potato. . .the variations are only limited by your imagination. The Santiago family, traditionally make them with chicken; and we LOVE them.  Our Chicken Croquettes recipe will be released in the cookbook.

Chicken Croquettes

Serrano Ham Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon Serrano)

1 cup full cream milk
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 peppercorns
1 spring of thyme
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
a pinch of Smoked Paprika
a pinch of nutmeg
280g Jamon Serrano, finelly chopped
(or 140g each of serrano ham & ham off the bone)
1/2 cup plain flour
2 cups dried bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Sunflower Oil for deep frying.
Salt to taste

Pour the milk into a saucepan together with the chopped onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme, and lightly simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the milk into a bowl (discarding onion and herbs) and allow to cool.
Put the butter in the saucepan and melt on medium-low heat. Add in the flour while stirring vigorously. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. When the flour begins to lightly brown, add the strained milk. Stir while adding the milk to ensure that lumps don't form. Then add the nutmeg and few pinches of smoked paprika. Continue to simmer under low heat.
Place the ham into a preheated, lightly greased frying pan and fry for two minutes, then remove from heat. Add ham to the to the milk-flour mixture and cook until it thickens (usually 2-3 minutes), and then remove from the stove. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until cool.
Shape the cooled mixture and shape into croquettes. With generously floured hands, shape large spoonfuls into the approximate length of a woman's index finger. Dip the croquettes into the beaten egg, and then coat with bread crumbs. Fry the croquettes in plenty of hot oil until golden brown, turning as needed.  A deep-fryer or a fry pan can be used, as long as it holds sufficient oil. ( If shallow frying, use about 3cm of oil.)
Serve warm with Aioli and a salad and enjoy!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sangria Recipe

(Fruit and Wine Punch)

350ml good quality red wine (i.e. Shiraz or Merlo)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 lemon
2 oranges
1 apple or 2 peaches peeled – depending on the season
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Fresh mint
30mls orange liqueur (i.e. Campari or Cointreau) – optional

Wash and cut lemon and one orange into slices. Wash and core apple (or peaches) and cut into thin wedges. Place fruit and cinnamon into a 2L jug. Pour wine, juice and liqueur over fruit. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Top with lemonade. Garnish with fresh mint. Pour over ice and decorate glass with an orange slice.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Here we are!!!

Welcome to our brand new Blog.  We are 
excited to be here and we are ready to share lots of wonderful recipes, cooking tips, photos, information on our beloved Spain, updates on the progress of our cookbook and much more.  We would love your interaction with us.  
So join us on our journey!