Beautiful Bavette from Boulogne

Our recent whistle stop trip to France to stock up on wine and food goodies gave me the chance to buy a cut of meat which is not widely used in England. I think it’s also known as Flank or Skirt steak but is more typically used for slow cooking, usually being cut into larger chunks. It’s not an expensive cut of meat and can be simply flash fried. Adding a marinade helps to tenderise it (it’s very flavoursome but not a meltingly tender cut like sirloin or fillet). It also reminded me of the Spanish Secreto Iberico.

Bavette (3)

This is a delicious treat which I served with pan fried mushrooms and a glass of red wine. Well, maybe it was two glasses!

Taken from a BBC Good Food Recipe

Ingredients

  • Two bavette Steaks
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 rosemary sprig, bruised

Mix all the marinade ingredients together, pour over the meat and cover. Leave for a couple of hours at least, overnight if possible.

When you are ready to eat, get your griddle pan searingly hot and scrape the marinade off the meat. And rub a little olive oil onto both sides of each steak. Cook to your liking (although this meat is not so good well done) about 2 minutes on each side for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium rare.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Broad Bean and Potato Soup

So, regular readers of this blog (and I thank you!) will know that here in Andalucía we tend not to waste much when it comes to food. All the unsual bits get used from the meat we eat, and even our broad beans shells, when they´re young and tender, get used in tortillas, scrambled eggs and cooked with jamon.

Another Andalucían dish using broad beans is called Cazulea de Habas which translates as a broad bean stew. As ever, I asked around for recipes and this time I tended to get pretty much the same replies from everyone.  An exceedingly simple and humble dish. Well, a little dull if I´m being truly honest, but that is just my opinion. I asked Big Man if he was sure he wanted me to make it, as it had been his idea in the first place. Well, he said, maybe you can give it a little Chica Andaluza touch to make it more exciting. So I did.

It´s still a simple and humble dish, but with some nice flavours going on and more filling than its ancestor. I also have some suggestions for making it your own, so here goes.

Ingredients to serve 4

  • 500g of thinly sliced tender broad bean shells (save the beautiful beans for something more glamorous)
  • One medium potato per person, peeled and cut into rough 2cm chunks (this is not included in the original recipe)
  • One medium onion finely chopped
  • A large spring of fresh mint and a bay leaf
  • Water
  • Pinch of saffron or half a teaspoon of turmeric (here they use colouring…eek!)
  • ½ teaspoon of sweet pimentón
  • ½ teaspoon of hot pimentón (optional, not in the original recipe, but I used it)
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic peeled and halved lengthways
  • About 10 peeled, raw almonds
  • A large slice of day old bread (something like sourdough or ciabatta)
  • Olive oil for shallow frying
  • Seasoning

Put the bean shells, onion, mint and bay leaf in a pot and cover well with water. Boil until the shells are really tender (this can take about 30 minutes, so be patient). About 20 minutes into the cooking add the potato. Meanwhile fry the garlic and almonds until browned, put into a blender jug. Now fry the slice of bread on both sides until browned and also add to the blender jug. Add the saffron and pimentón and a large ladleful of the cooking water from the beans. Blend (I use a stick blender) until you have a smooth sauce. Add to the beans and season. I found it needed quite a lot of salt.

Now, you´re done! However, you could serve it with a softly poached egg on top or some pieces of grilled chorizo or morcilla (blood pudding), although it will obviously no longer be a vegetarian dish.

It´s a simple dish, but a lovely starter using seasonal vegetables or with a few additions could be a hearty main dish for two.

Big Man approved the changes, and we agreed that the Chica Andaluza version was much more tasty than the original!

Lechuga con anchoas – Lettuce hearts with anchovies

Oh so simple...

This one is so quick and simple, it doesn´t even need a recipe!  Perhaps just a quick explanation, though.  This is served in Andalucía as a pre meal appetiser in the summer or when unexpected guests pop round and it´s drink time.  Add a plate of slice Spanish cheese, some jamon or salchichon (salami), a cool drink of your choice and you´ve served a super speedy tapas selection without even really trying!

Wash and cut a lettuce heart into eighths, open a tin of anchovies (in olive oil if possible) and lay an anchovy over each slice, pour the oil from the tin over, add a squeeze of lemon or white wine vinegar and serve.  These are picked up with the fingers, or little cocktail forks if you´re feeling refined, then just munched and crunched.

If you can´t stomach anchovies, replace with a strip of roasted red pepper.