Been making lots of vegetable slaw lately, using my spiralizer instead of a grater, so I decided to put up a recipe for it on Azahar’s Kitchen. I mean, it’s pretty basic, but what the heck. Since temps are unseasonably warm lately it’s a nice dish to have on hand (good for at least 3 meals).
Coldest day of the 2018-2019 winter so far – overnight temps 2º, daytime high of just 14º. Brrrrrrrrr…. and so while I do have the luxury of functioning central heating here at Casa Azahar, it’s also nice to feel warmed up from the inside. Hence this spicy chicken garam masala, chock full of veg (red & green peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, courgette, parsley, cilantro) which is making the house smell amazing. Will add yoghurt when it’s served. Only problemita is that I’ve made enough for at least 8 people. Who’s coming over? 😉
… improvise! Last week I tried some nice spinach and garbanzo albóndigas at my friend Ana’s new bar Lama La Uva al Sol, and so the other day I decided I wanted to try making some. I looked up a few recipes for inspiration and then came up with my own. Everything was going fine until I made the fatal flaw of adding an egg to the spinach and garbanzo mixture. I thought it would help it bind, but it had the opposite effect, as you can see below…
I tried a few as “albóndigas”, dipping them in a mayo-greek-yoghurt coriander sauce, and they just kept falling apart. But they were very tasty! So undaunted, the next day I decided to try them in a different way. After reheating I crumbled them over some basmati rice and had them with the sauce on the side and … delicious!
I’ve always been a bit of a reckless cook, basically self-taught since I left home at age 15 and discovered a whole new world of fresh vegetables and other food items that hadn’t been a part of my growing up. And I have always been keen to try making new dishes, without worrying too much about the outcome. I guess that’s what I mean by reckless. I reckon that if you start with great ingredients, and as long as you don’t, say, burn the shit out of something, then the dish will probably turn out just fine, if not perhaps what you’d first envisioned. Anyhow, this new breaded spinach and garbanzo crumble is going into my repertoire. But I still want to ace the albóndigas. 😉
So the first (and to be honest ONLY) time I had labneh was on a visit to Ronda in July 2012 and stayed at a small guesthouse run by a Lebanese woman called Anahid. She prepared breakfast for us which included fresh coffee and toasted rolls, gorgeous tomatoes with basil and olive oil… and labneh! I was so taken with it that I vowed to make it some day. And well, better late than never. 🙂
The inspiration came when I finally bought a Melitta coffee cone the other day, as I remembered it was very handy for straining yoghurt when I used to make tzatziki back in Toronto. I have since heard from friends on Instagram that paper towels in a colander @panepanna or a bra cup (!!!) @sledpress work just as well as the more standard cheesecloth method, but I like my little coffee cone.
After a couple of days in the cone, today the yoghurt looked ready for the marinade (olive oil, chopped parsley, lemon zest, s&p) and now it will spend another couple days in the fridge. I’m so excited! If it turns out I’ll put the recipe up on Azahar’s Kitchen (though I kind of just gave it to you already). Stay tuned!
So this morning I did a trial run – going to the supermarket and back – to see how The Leg is doing. Because after a couple of housebound days it was actually feeling better, though of course shuffling from room to room isn’t the same as actually WALKING. Anyhow, after about ten minutes the pain was back, but more localized, basically in the AAAAARRRGH area that the doc found on Tuesday, rather than random shooting pain all over the place.
Luckily Peter did my Triana Tour today, so I didn’t have to cancel it. Because it was clear that there was no way I could have (or should have) spent five hours walking around town. And I got so sad because DAMN it felt good to be outside again.
Anyhow, I picked up a few things to make a nice comfort food lunch. It started off as pollo al ajillo, but then I added some baby spinach leaves and made some peppercorn basmati to go with it, and then topped it all off with some chopped toasted almonds. Bit of a mash-up, but a delicious one.
What did you do today?