Groundhog Day Peperonata

21 May

If you haven’t seen the film Groundhog Day, you won’t know what I’m talking about. In summary, it’s about a man who wakes up each morning and experiences the same day over and over and over again. Of course, he learns from his experiences and it all ends well.

When we got back Up the Mountain we were dreaming of months of rest and long lazy days which did not involve DIY, house repairs or anything to do with a paintbrush. There was a slightly damp smell in the house which we put down to the very wet winter which Andalucía has experienced and the fact that our house has been unheated and unlived in for quite some time.

Alas, we were deluding ourselves and some damage caused a few years back by a leak in the roof plus the wet winter has caused a significant amount of damp, particularly in my beloved “despensa” or larder.  Today we had to remove everything, including the shelving, from the despensa.

Groundhog Day (2)

The house is in chaos and we are climbing over things to get from one place to another. It will all be put right soon, I know, but I think we both had a moment or two today of wanting to run away and hide from it all.

Groundhog Day (3)

Salvation lay in the freezer and with the arrival of Fish Man with fresh calamares.  Last summer’s produce was tucked into the freezer and there it awaits us.  I cooked a quick peperonata (for which there are quite possibly as many recipes as there are Italian Mammas) and served it with calamares cooked on the griddle pan and drizzled with our olive oil and some sweet balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients for the Peperonata (serves 4) Serve hot or cold

  • About 500g of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • About 4-6 large peppers (use a mix of colours if you can) cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2-3 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • A small glass of red wine (optional)
  • Fresh herbs (I used oregano but basil is also good)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning

Peperonata (3)

Simmer the garlic and onions in a little oil until soft, then add the peppers. Turn up the heat and fry until the edges of the peppers start to turn brown.  Add the tomatoes, herbs and wine (if using) season lightly and simmer for about 30 minutes until reduced and the sauce thick and the peppers starting to melt.

Squid with Balsamic (1)

Taste and adjust the seasoning and remove any large pieces of herbs. Great too stirred into pasta but I love it best eaten cold with a little squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of crusty bread.

For a quick lesson on how to clean squid (calamares) if you can’t find it ready prepared, take a look here.

Ok, lunch break over, back to work Chica!


56 Responses to “Groundhog Day Peperonata”

  1. Mad Dog May 21, 2013 at 15:59 #

    Ha ha – I equate Groundhog day with having to brush my teeth, shave my face and take a shower each morning…
    I hope the larder is OK now and I love the look of the peperonata and squid

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2013 at 16:38 #

      I think most men hate shaving! The larder will be ok, but right now as Big Man is scraping things off the wall and I am surrounded by shelving, it’s at that stage where it is at its very worst 😦 Hey ho, a good opportunity for a clean out!

  2. Ria May 21, 2013 at 16:02 #

    It’s a busman’s holiday for you two – but a little damp is nothing compared to the renovations you’ve just done in England! At least it’s a chance to sort out your dispensa for the summer, you may find a little treasure or two that you’d forgotten all about 😉 xx

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2013 at 16:28 #

      Well, I found my Christmas plates which will have to be packed for England..but honestly, I could have cried 😦

  3. TBM May 21, 2013 at 16:28 #

    Oh no! that sounds horrible. I was thinking on my walk today that my life never slows down. And I don’t have to deal with this. Sending you positive thoughts. And I know you will have many wonderful meals during this chaos. And i love the movie Groundhog day.

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2013 at 16:39 #

      Thank you, we need some positive thoughts right now as we’re both a bit fed up with it! I love the movie too, funny, sad, serious – a bit of everything in it 🙂

  4. thecompletecookbook May 21, 2013 at 16:29 #

    Oh dear Tanya! Wish I could pop over to help but alas! More importantly, I could help you eat this fabulous meal!
    Hope your despensa is sorted soon.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2013 at 16:40 #

      All will soon be well, I am sure of it…but I just wanted to get cooking and sewing and once more I am living in what looks like the ruins of a World War II bombing raid!

  5. PendleStitches May 21, 2013 at 17:10 #

    Oh that is just the last thing you needed. Hope it’s fixed very soon and Plan A can be put into action!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:46 #

      Plan A involves lots of sewing – hoping to make the Tiramisu dress soon!

  6. chaiselongue1 May 21, 2013 at 17:19 #

    What an awful discovery to come home to! But you seem to have managed to cook something delicious despite it all. Having fresh calamares delivered is a real treat and they must have been wonderful with the peperonata, which is a standard and often-enjoyed sauce chez nous, even though I’m not an Italian mamma!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:47 #

      A bit of a pain, but food always makes things better! With the lovely things you grow too, I can imagine you whipping up a peperonata in no time 🙂

  7. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 21, 2013 at 18:11 #

    Oh gosh, that really is kind of Groundhog Day for you and I’m sorry you had to come back to that. Hopefully this tasty looking peperonata and the calamari took a little of the sting out of the situation! I need to try making peperonata…I love it and have never made it, and yours looks so good and easy!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:48 #

      We hadn’t eaten squid like this for a long time, so we really enjoyed it. Do give making peperonata a go, simple and easy!

  8. Lynn May 21, 2013 at 18:11 #

    T – oh dear, poor you, you must have had enough of the wet and damp in England let alone back up the mountain. Will have to give the peperonata a go. Buena suerte con sus despensa – L x x

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:49 #

      Thanks Lynn, we did feel a bit desperate when we saw it, but hey…at least we’re clearing out and tidying up the larder and finding things we’d forgotten about!

  9. Florence May 21, 2013 at 18:41 #

    Hi T, I think going to the pub would be a good idea 🙂 Give me a shout if you need any help. Nice to know you are back down the road.
    Hugs, Florence x

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:49 #

      Sounds like a plan to me! See you very soon…market day on Friday!

  10. 76sanfermo May 21, 2013 at 19:14 #

    So sorry for your new problem!
    Your squids must have been incredible with that wonderful peperonata…..
    (I don’t know where you found the will to do all this , really…..)
    Che brava,sei!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:55 #

      I think we’re highly motivated by eating – and it cheered us up!

  11. narf77 May 21, 2013 at 22:32 #

    You should stop telling fibs…the truth is that you and The Big Man are TOTALLY and utterly addicted to D.I.Y. and just can’t stop…there is nothing wrong with your pantry, you are just indulging yourselves with more home reno’s 😉 (Narf7 just ducked by the way 😉 )

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:58 #

      Good thing I throw like a girl or that jar of fig jam would have clipped you on the side of the head 😉

  12. DianeT May 21, 2013 at 23:59 #

    Renovating because you want to is one thing …… Doing it because you “have” to is quite another. I can totally relate to your frustration. On the bright side – how much worse would it have been if you hadn’t come home for another month.
    At least you’re going into summer. Our winter has just started with rain, rain and more rain.

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:59 #

      Our thoughts exactly! Oh well, it has to be done, and we’re on the case today. At least the sun has finally come out and that always makes the world look a better place 🙂 Hope all is well with you and yours?

  13. ChgoJohn May 22, 2013 at 02:00 #

    So sorry, Tanya, to hear of this poor excuse for a welcome home party. I’m glad the damage was restricted to just one room. Good thing the water damage didn’t affect your cooking. This peperonata you made sounds so very good! And that calamari was grilled to perfection. I like how you respond to a crisis! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 09:59 #

      When the going gets tough…the tough get cooking (and eating, and drinking)!

  14. Michelle May 22, 2013 at 02:49 #

    Oh, dear. And, yes, that is one of my all-time favorite movies. But welcome home!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 10:00 #

      Thanks Michelle…I guess we all learn from the experiences life throws at us (it just seems to be throwing quite a lot right now)!

  15. Karen May 22, 2013 at 02:57 #

    Oh dear…I can see the two of you picking up tools again. At least you had a wonderful meal while you sat contemplating your next restoration job.

  16. Eha May 22, 2013 at 03:16 #

    I do hope you let loose with some choice ‘language’, then sat down, emptied a bottle of vino, had a laugh and decided you could conquer THAT also 🙂 ! Love the look of the squid: so gleaming squishy fresh. I usually can’t access such here in the country and I actually love cleaning the beasties: lovely to see the white tubes emerging from all the mess 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 10:01 #

      You could hear me from way over there I think! The air was blue (or green as they say in Spain) but hey…we’ve just got to get on with it 🙂

  17. Food,Photography & France May 22, 2013 at 08:55 #

    Wonderful food – perfect. What a nightmare to come back to more DIY after a whole winter of it in Bexhill. Venceremos!

  18. expatchef May 22, 2013 at 10:07 #

    Oh my gosh, poor you! I totally empathize. But….is’t it nice having things as simple like this make a huge delicious meal? Looks good chica!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 10:40 #

      Definitely, the simple pleasures of cooking, sharing and eating do make things better!

  19. Natalie Ward May 22, 2013 at 10:20 #

    I have one cupboard in my kitchen that always smells damp, it’s against the neighbours wall. My terracotta dishes are the worst, they seem to be the quickest to get mouldy! The perils of living in Spain and in houses built of stone & mud!!! We have had a very strange winter/spring but looks like today could be changing for the better. Peperonata sounds gorgeous, definitely one for the summer! x

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2013 at 10:42 #

      How funny – it was also my terracotta dishes that seemed to have grown fur coats. However, washing soon sorted them out. I wonder if because they are made of clay, they attract the most moisture? In Spain, people accept damp walls as a part of life…just paint over them each year. In England we’d be damp proofing it all! Hope all is well with you Natalie…will be catching up soon with your lovely posts.

  20. themateriallady May 22, 2013 at 12:13 #

    Oh dear Tanya. I bet you and the doggies could have quite happily turned round and come back to cold, wet, England. At least you have it sussed now, and there is a fighting chance of some sunshine up there on your mountain!
    Hope all is normal again soon.

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2013 at 08:35 #

      Have to confess we did feel like that but finally the sun seems to have come out here in Spain, so the world looks a better place!

  21. gardenfreshtomatoes May 22, 2013 at 13:08 #

    I’d have cried. Great big loud sobs, that could be heard all the way down at the bottom of the mountain…Lovly Cooking Cure you put on the table, though! 🙂

  22. Tammy May 22, 2013 at 14:43 #

    I am sorry that you came home to find a mess. Love the peperonata with squid idea! Cooking always makes me feel better.

  23. Tandy May 23, 2013 at 14:17 #

    I haven’t seen the movie but I really feel for you! Lovely dish to enjoy regardless 🙂

  24. Promenade Claire May 23, 2013 at 17:10 #

    I hear you! I know that feeling of wanting to rest and not go anywhere near a paintbrush let alone a sander !!!
    But your meal sounds and looks delicious, I hope you saved me some 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2013 at 17:42 #

      Oh it was grim 😦 But I’ve got a grip now and I’ll just go to the fridge and see if that little pot of leftovers is still there!

  25. ambrosiana May 25, 2013 at 15:29 #

    So sorry to hear that the welcome home was not that nice! Well, I bet that wonderful, comfort food made you guys forget all the trouble!! Baci

    • Chica Andaluza May 25, 2013 at 16:19 #

      Well, it wasn’t what we expected but we’re feeling much brighter now – especially now that we are back with old friends and family and eating our favourites from Up the Mountain! Hope all is well with you and the little one!

  26. The Seas Of Mintaka May 25, 2013 at 18:05 #

    Oh I know just how you feel! One of the best things I ever did was exchange English lessons for house cleaning with a Spanish lady. Now SHE does all that sorting through junk stuff for me!

    • Chica Andaluza May 25, 2013 at 20:51 #

      What a fantastic idea! I may have to steal that one 🙂

  27. kathryningrid May 28, 2013 at 07:08 #

    Despite the trials of your return, it seems you found a fine feast to comfort you was possible after all. Lovely.

    • Chica Andaluza May 28, 2013 at 09:05 #

      We did indeed, and everything is pretty much sorted now (thank goodness)!

  28. Maulana Angga February 20, 2015 at 08:19 #

    Perfect, thanks for sharing chica!

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