Recipe: How to make Salmorejo
Watch the video to find out how easy it is to make this super quick and nourishing soup, that when combined with suggested ingredients makes a whole meal in itself.
Plus, find out the history of where it came from and the world that gave us this unique recipe. Read the entire chapter on Salmorejo in the book: Inside the Tortilla.
Who could fault the humble bean - providing us with a rich source of protein when combined with rice or bread and fulfilling a satisfying visual need for all things radical and red during these calamitous times.
The gazpachomOnk presents another radical red dish - popular amongst certain latin American and Caribbean countries, favoured for its colour, availability and of course its spiciness. The whole meal takes no more than about 10 mins to make, or the same time it takes to chant something accusatory outside your local Casta headquarters.
Times - they-are-a-changing - and as the world contemplates its devastating impact on mother earth and the consequences of a predominantly meaty diet - the mOnk counters this disastrous culinary cul-de-sac with a simple 10 minute solution to hunger, deforestation and the contemporary citizen's absence of fibre.
And so, to the humble bean - that although loved and cherished by many cultures across the globe - should be cooked and prepared with a warning: beans can be pretty toxic, especially red kidney beans. So you may want to play it safe and instead of soaking and cooking them, buy the jars in which they come already cooked. Here in Spain, these can be found in most supermarkets at a reasonable price. Obviously its cheaper to cook your own, but do take care in boiling them for the mandatory time periods.
You'll also need for this radical recipe:
In this great libertarian dish, we are going to be tossing in amongst the beans, any vegetables we have hanging around the kitchen. The great thing about this dish is that it will always taste a little different, according to the ingredients on hand. Like all good radical recipes, the outcome depends on the contributors. Today, I'm using carrots cut up into small chunks, onions, garlic and a few mushrooms that were hanging around, chatting amongst themselves and looking a little suspicious.
Whilst scouring for and preparing the veggies, open up the jar of beans and rinse them under the tap.
Leave the beans to one side to drip dry, then start frying up the onions and mushrooms, adding cumin and chilli's according to taste.
Once the onions start to go a toasty brown colour, throw in the garlic and carrots. If they complain, remind them its for the good of the people. When everything starts to go soft, add the beans and chopped lettuce or spinach. Now, whilst we are talking about green elements (of which globally we still don't talk about enough) prepare that green salad. Check on the rice too. Don't forget it sitting over there by itself looking lonely - and possibly by now - a little stuck to the pan.
We are almost done! If it's beginning to dry out, add a little fruit juice to sweeten the taste, or a little red wine if you prefer something a little stronger. Keep the movement alive!
There is nothing wrong with ingredients that revolt in a radical recipe...
Finally, get out the potato masher - or failing that a fork - and begin to mash everything into one gungy looking mess. It may begin to look revolting - but there is nothing wrong with ingredients that revolt in a radical recipe.
Now sit everyone down, serve them each a portion on a plate with salad/bread/rice as preferred - each according to their needs - and revel in the radicalness of red recipes.
Oh...and do make a lot, because despite appearances, its got a catchy taste and should there be any left tomorrow, it'll make a superb dip.
Radical Recipes and the Gazpachomonk present one of the most purple (Si Se Puede) dishes to ever arrive on your plate: Spicy Cabbage. Now this recipe, may not look so appetising when it's finished, but believe me when I tell you that in the last 17 years I've been cooking this dish, it's been one of the most scrumptious and requested dishes from relatives, friends, enemies and even customers. People just seem to love it.
Is it for the political connotations of the colour? Is it because of its Visigoth Roots (highly dubious) or maybe...just maybe because of the story behind the dish. Read on for a history and cooking instructions.
The Origins of Purple Spicy Cabbage
Today’s special purple dish comes from the very heart of Spain. And when I say heart, I mean the old Visigoth capital itself - Toledo. I was living there back in 97 when I met a guy called Cecilio who had spent much of his youth - as have so many youngsters today - outside the country in search of work.
Cecilo and family emigrated to Australia in the 50’s and it was there that he grew up. As an adult though, he returned to the family home town of Toledo, and he brought with him some of his most interesting recipes.One day, he took me out to his patch of land on the outskirts of Toledo - a spot reminiscent of films I'd seen of aborigines on their walkabout - bleak and featureless with little protection from wind or sun.
Out there, in the middle of no-where, and as part of our walk-a-about, Cecilio heaved a few rocks together and lit a fire. Then placing an old grill across the stones he started cooking...and this was the secret recipe he taught me: Spicy Cabbage a la Visigoth
Spicy Cabbage: Ingredients
Spicy Cabbage Recipe: Instructions
Spicy Cabbage: Serving Suggestions
Don't make too little of it! Cook it in abundance, because I guarantee that if its not all eaten up immediately, (make sure you keep what is left) because by the following day when the spices have been absorbed in more, it will disappear even quicker.
Remember too when serving the dish, that though people may turn up their nose when they first see it, (bah, they'll say, thats rabbit food) - they'll be asking for a second plate once they've tried it. I promise you.
More Radical Recipes from Spain
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Read more below for the 7 Basic Foods to Throw in Your Stove, plus , Pies and Bakes, Soups and liquids and finally: 4 Fire-Side Tips for ending that perfect evening with Orange Peel Candles, herbs and a warm something to round it off.
7 Basic Foods to Cook in the Stove
1: Buttered and Peppery Corns
Cut corns in half, smear with butter and black pepper, wrap in silver foil and throw in oven close to the burning embers for 25 mins. Turn. Remove when charred.
2: Boniato (Sweet Potatoes)
Poke through with a kebab metal stick-thingy, wrap in silver foil and throw in for at least 30 mins or until soft. Then open up, add butter, cream cheese, pineapple, salmon, beans or whatever you fancy. These sweet tasting veg are a delight on a cold winters night and very, very filling.
3: Rosted Woody Pizza
For a woody roasted tasting pizza - make or buy a base, decorate as to your tastes and slip into the top oven. Careful not to burn the bottom, you may want to use a tray or something to leave space for air to move around.
4: Baked Chestnuts
Graba a fork, make some holes, as per ususal. Lob in. Heat. Then Eat.
5: Veggie Heaven (How to use up those old veggies)
In a metal tray add sliced aubergines, peppers, onions and garlic in olive oil and herbs. Roast till the cows come home. Leave to cool and the following day serve driping over fresh bread with a fine cheese and wine.
6: Garlic and Soy Artichokes (Artichoke heaven)
Hmmm. You'll need to check out this recipe here for tasty artichokes done in the very center of the fire with garlic and soy sauce.
7: Baked Bananas (A final desert)
Wrapped in foil, heated and then served with honey or yoghurt.
Pies and Bakes in a Wood Oven
My favourite dishes include fish pies, vegetabe pies, feta bakes and soya pies. Rather yummy! All you need to have is a litte imagination as you scour what is in the larder. Throw it all in a baking tray, pour over with any liquids you have hanging around and cover with silver foil. Stick it in the oven and then pour yourself a little something, out your feet up and watch a Russell Brand video or two.
I like to throw in whatever veg I have, add a little juce, gravy or red wine. Crumble feta cheese over the top with breadcrumbs or very thinly sliced spuds. Then sit back and watch a couple more videos until you hear the sizzling begin.
Soups and Liquids Heated
A Final Winter's Touch for that Winter Evening
More recipes from Spain
October is a rather strange month in Andalusia. It's a transitional month where colds sneak out and attack you because you are still insist on wearing your flip-flops to the bank. It's a strange month because we often find ourselves tenaciously hanging onto the summer, resenting the chores of log purchasing, going back to a new cycle of work or study or simply resenting the inevitable digging out the duvet from under the stairs.
Thankfully the season change brings certain benefits, such as the abundance of pomegranates into our shops.
Flashback to the Early 1990's Seville
“They are from my Dad’s farm in Granada”, she grunted as a crate of yellow and red pomegranets were hauled into the kitchen.
“ I used to eat them as a kid” I added, thinking desperately of something to say to my new landlady. Perhaps Pomegranates were a popular subject between landlady and tenant. I volunteered a British perspective on the fruit: “Yes, we would eat the seeds using a pin whilst watching 'The Generation Game'.”
She stopped stacking the crates and turned to me. “What? A pin?”
“Yup. Pin them out, seed by seed, as the gifts were going by on the conveyer belt. 'Cuddly toy, Tea cosy...Pencil and rubber'..."
“Youre one weird guiri” she said, picking up a knife and one fruit and slicing the top off. Then carefully slitting the pomegranate into slices before breaking it open into quarters. Deftly using her thumbs to scrape the blood red seeds into a bowl of water, I watched as the fruit fell to the bottom and the yellow pulp floated to the top. She then turned and said, “Essential combination food" she said, "for women”.
“Of course” I nodded, wondering if it had been Generation Game or The Golden Shot?
“A great blood builder” she said as she took out a natural yoghurt from the fridge, scooped it into a bowl and added honey and the seeds. “Skin toner, stops osteoporosis and sagging breasts”.
“Of course” I said, unsure whether to mention she ought to up her dosage. Her... bones looked weak.
“Good for your eyes too, Pablo, reduces viral infections, blood pressure and teeth decay. And did you know its a symbol of fertility and abundance? It is why Granada was named after the fruit”.
“Not the British TV Channel then?” I replied trying to keep the subject consistent.
Pomegranates and Honey and Yoghurt
*Actually, I think I might have mis-translated number four.
Green Gazpacho: Instructions
Now, pay attention to the next step as it's rather complicated: Stick all the above in a big pan and whizz it around with a blender.
And - "Roberto es tu tio". There you have it. Stick it in the fridge for a bit, and enjoy an alternative to the red variety. Now, if you should make too much of it, or not enjoy the alternative flavour - I have a suggestion for you. Freeze it as small ice-lolly sticks and take them round to your neighbours. Tell them its a lime flavoured lolly and sit back, get out the mobile and send up the video of their faces to your YouTube channel. I'm sure it will go viral.
More Authentic Recipes from Spain
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This recipe has been provided by a friend who is known locally as Don Chilli, as he is an aficionado of everything picante (Spicy). Each year he grows crops of cayenne or Jalopeña peppers to add to almost every meal he consumes. He knows about every variety, their strength and where best to obtain the seeds
One dish in particular of Don Chilli´s caught my attention the other day and that was the stuffed Jalopeña pepper with cream cheese, wrapped in jamon or salmon and then deep fried in batter.
Although its not easy finding fresh peppers here in Spain, he grows them each year on a very small plot of land. If you do no want to consume up to 30 plus chillis a week - as Don Chilli does - then you can always grow a single plant or two in a pot on your terrace and reap a small, but fruitful crop each year.