Tortilla has become a staple in our household, ever since I returned from the Basque country, tortilla has become an essential part of our Sunday morning breakfast.Indeed it wasn't until I lived in San Sebastian (Basque country) that I realised just how good tortilla could be and also how much the locals debate about how to cook the best tortilla. The Basques complain that the Spanish from the south put to much onion in it, while in the west they put to much salt in.Here is a recipe that a local Basque lady, Ainhara taught me (note the seaweed addition was me of course)!
7 medium sized potatoes
Lots of Olive oil
Handful of seaweed (I think it works best with Dulse and then you can have laverbread and oats on the side)
Best to use a heavy duty frying pan, place over a low to medium heat and pour in enough olive oil to cover the base.
While the pan is heating, peel and dice up finely your potatoes and onions and add to the frying pan.
Give the potatoes and onion a good mix in the frying pan and then add just enough olive oil to almost cover the potatoes. Don't be scared about how much olive oil your using, it tastes great and the olive can be used afterwards for salads or simply dipping bread into.
You now want the mixture to be gently frying away, stirring every now and then to make sure nothing is sticking to the base of the pan
Laverbread cakes - The Welsh Way
200g of Laverbread
4 x Bacon (Streaky bacon is the best)
2-3 Tbsp of Oatmeal (can also use porridge oats)
1. Firstly fry your bacon to get the bacon juices flowing (add a little butter to get more juices).
2. While your bacon is frying put your laverbread into a bowl and mix in the oatmeal, leave the oatmeal to soak up the moisture from the laverbread (4-5 min). You want to get the right consistency here so add more laverbread if the mixture is to dry or more oatmeal if the mixture is to wet.
3. Then make little laverbread cakes and put it in the frying pan to fry with the bacon. I usually make my cakes pretty thin so they get very crispy.
4. Once both sides are crispy and lovely, serve and enjoy
The old local fishmonger’s wife gave me the idea for this recipe; when she was younger, working on the boats, they used to have raw scallop sandwiches with just a bit of vinegar. However, times have moved on and perhaps only the most dedicated seafood lover would attempt a raw scallop vinegar sandwich. But it gave me the idea for this recipe, which is a bit more tailored to modern tastes.
3 Scallops (Hand dived as it is the sustainable choice)
1 Chorizo Sausage sliced (Spanish sausage, can use black pudding as an alternative)
Laverbread (A seaweed very popular in Wales – despite the name it is not a bread but a seaweed which has been boiled for a very long time and minced up, all supermarkets should sell this either at the fish mongers counter or tinned)
Wedge of Lemon
Wedge of Orange
Sea Salt and White Pepper
Crusty White Roll (or tortilla wrap)
Heat up a non stick frying pan and add a touch of olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the sliced chorizo and start cooking over a medium heat. Keep turning the chorizo over to make sure both sides are cooking.
When the chorizo starts crisping up add a big tablespoon of laverbread; while this is sizzling away check out your scallops. If they have come in the shell take them out and if you’ve got any big fat ones cut them in half and place them on a bit of kitchen roll. The scallops you buy have been prepared so you can eat the whole thing, including the coral (the orange bit on the side.
Right, now the laverbread is bubbling away, turn the heat up to high and add all the scallops to the pan. Scallops don’t need cooking for that long, around 2 mins depending on the thickness. As soon as they are warm to touch in the middle, they are ready.
When the scallops are cooked, take the pan off the heat add a pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon and orange juice and give it all a mix in the pan.
Slice your crusty roll in two, fill with all the goodness from the pan, and enjoy one of the finest butties in the land!
Discovered this combination accidently on a recent seashore picnic and forage day and works really well!Rock samphire* I have to say was not my favourite sea vegetable, in fact I remember trying it once and thought once would be enough.It has a really strong flavour, some liken it to salty carrots but I think it tastes more like kerosene.Anyway when cooking up different dishes on the beach one of the gang came up with this combination and now I like rock samphire.*Rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum): found on our cliff faces just above the splash zone.In the 17th century, Shakespeare referred to the dangerous practice of collecting rock samphire from cliffs. "Half-way down, Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!" In the 19th century, samphire was being shipped in casks of seawater from the Isle of Wight to market in London at the end of May each year. Rock samphire used to be cried in London streets as "Crest Marine". (Wikipedia)
Handful of rock samphire
Greek olive oil
Gather your rock samphire and give it a good wash and then either using a pair of scissors or a knife cut into little pieces and set to the side.
Slice all of you tomatoes and place in a bowl on top of a bed of rocket salad leaves.
Drizzle with olive oil and top with your rock samphire, sea salt and black pepper.
A very popular dish I make using classic Welsh ingredients of laverbread, cockles and bacon.
For the Pastry (Short crust)
200g of plain flour
50g of butter
50g of lard
Pinch of salt
For the filling
200g of laverbread
200g of cockles
200g of bacon
2 egg yolks
200ml of cream
Salt n pepper
(This is a very rich filling, if you prefer something plainer, just use 2 eggs, 200ml of whole milk and a drop of cream instead. Likewise the amount of cockles, laverbread and bacon you use is up to you but I like to pack these in)
There are a number of ways of making short crust pastry, the recipe here is one that we felt gave the best results in terms of taste and texture.
1. Make sure the fat is at room temperature and soft enough so that a knife can easily cut through it, this will help when it comes to mixing the flour and fats together.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt.
3. Cut the butter and lard into small lumps and add to the flour mix, keep using the knife to blend together the mixture, then use your finger tips to crumble the mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. A top tip from Delia is that when you are using your finger tips, lift the mixture high in the air and let it fall back into the bowl which helps keep the pastry light. This helps keep the mixture cool which is important because if the fat gets too warm it will cover more of the flour grains than it should, which results in the flour being able to absorb less water and therefore the pastry will be crumbly and difficult to handle. Thanks Delia!
However when cooking more than one quiche I find the food processor makes the above job much quicker.
5. Add a drop of cold water a little at a time to the mixture and use a knife to blend it in. Once the mixture starts coming together do not add anymore water, the mixture should come out of the bowl cleanly.
6. Rest the pastry in the fridge (for a minimum of 30 minutes), this helps the gluten in the flour react with the water and makes the pastry more elastic, which is good for when it comes to rolling it out.
7. Prepare your surface with flour and rub your rolling pin with flour before rolling out the pastry, to around 3mm thick.
8. Place your pastry in your cooking dish and blind bake by covering the pastry with greaseproof paper and add baking beans or dried pulses/ rice on top of the paper to keep the pastry down while cooking. Place the dish in an oven at around 180C for 15 mins, until the pastry is golden and lovely.
9. While you are blind baking your pastry, chop up your bacon into small pieces and add to a frying pan.
10. Once the juices from the bacon start flowing, add the laverbread and mix with the bacon and the juices.
11. Once the bacon and laverbread mixture has cooked (usually around 5mins) remove from the heat and let it cool.
12. When cooled mix in the cockles and add seasoning, taste until seasoned to your liking and then add a little more salt and pepper.
13. Mix your 4 eggs together in a jug and add the cream and mix again.
14. Place your laverbread, cockle and bacon mixture on top of your now golden pastry and pour the egg and cream mixture on top. Mix it together with a fork and then place in the oven at 180Cish and cook for around 30 - 40mins.
15. Serve hot or cold.
A vegetarian dish that won the Golden Focaccia Award from Prospect Books
500g short crust pastry filling
3 large eggs
100g Pantysgawn soft goat's cheese
100g lightly cooked chopped leek (or spring onion)
1-2 sprigs parsley chopped, or coriander, tarragon etc
Heat oven to 150C, 350F, gas mk 4.
Roll out pastry and line 1 large or 2 medium flan cases, or make 40 - 50 'mince pie' size.
Mix eggs, cheese, milk and laverbread in a bowl (or liquidiser) until well blended. Add leeks and herbs and mix in well. Season generously, then fill the flan cases three quarters full and bake in oven on a heated tray for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until the mixture is set and the flan golden on top. Serve hot, warm or cold.
This can be varied by adding other vegetables as artichokes, courgettes, sun dried tomato etc to expand the colours and flavours. Diced cooked bacon or ham, strips of prosciutto or Carmarthen ham, diced smoked salmon, flaked cooked salmon, cod or other fresh or smoked fish are among many possible variations on the theme.
A great dish to cook on the beach, fresh mussels, fresh badderwrack, bring some lemons, pan and tin foil with you and your away! Oh and some form of heat, beach fire or gas?
2 kg mussels
First thing is to check your mussels, most shop brought mussels have been prepared for you but always worth checking for dirt on the shell and that the beards have been pulled off.
Give your mussels a quick rinse in the sea and put to one side.
Now its time to collect your bladderwrack. Just enough to cover the base of your pan but make sure the bladderwrack is well washed in the sea (do not want any sand with the mussels).
Time to put the pan on the fire, put your bladderwrack in and then around an inch of seawater (enough so the bladderwrack is half covered) and then add your lemons, squeezing some juice into the pan.
Cover the pan with tin foil and bring the seawater to boil.
Once you have lots of steam coming out of the pan, put the mussels in the pan and cover again with tin foil.
Check the pan in approx 5 mins and as soon as the mussels have opened, take the pan off the fire and dish up.
Serve with fresh baguettes and salted butter.
Laverbread and cockle gratin
Fresh Bread Crumbs
Dry white wine
Wild Salmon cooked in a Fish Kettle
Beurre Blanc Sauce
"Best Fish Stew in the world Recipe"
Portuguese Man-of-War Recipe
Cup of rum!
Newspaper Trout recipe
La Bomba, also known as liquid paella, a popular street food in Colombia where they served the drink with raw oysters.
6 – 7 fresh tomatoes (washed)
2 tbsp of good honey
Dash of olive oil
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
Fresh shellfish (prawns, mussels, cockles) (can use sliced lobster for special occasions or raw oysters for the brave)
A drop of good quality vodka (optional)
Salt n Pepper
Dried Powdered Dulse or Sea Grass
Place the tomatoes into a blender and whizz up until you have smooth consistency.
Add the lime juice, honey, olive oil, Tabasco sauce (and Vodka if using) and whizz.
Adjust quantities according to your taste, but you want the sweetness of honey balanced with the lime juice and the kick of Tabasco
Season and pour into shot glasses
Top with fresh shellfish and sprinkle with Dulse or Sea Grass
Then slowly sip or down it in one!