Tag Archives: The Food of Spain

Barcelona Style Cannelloni- Canalones a la Barcelonesa

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Barcelona Style Cannelloni- Canalones a la Barcelonesa

This is originally an Italian dish, but when migrants brought it to Spain, Barcelona adopted and adapted it.  I experienced this dish several years ago in Sabadell, a smaller city just 12 miles from Barcelona.  Choirs sang when I took that first bite.  This is my latest attempt to hear those choirs again.  The Recipe is from The Food of Spain- a journey for food lovers by Vicky Harris.  My changes are in red.  

Barcelona Style Cannelloni

2 tbsp olive oil

125 g (4 1/2 oz) ground beef

125 g (4 1/2 oz) ground pork

200g (7 oz) chicken livers, chopped

I know, I’m a disgrace.  I skipped the chicken livers (I’m not a chef!  I don’t know what to do with them!)

and I just used about a pound of ground chicken and a pound of ground pork.

1 brown onion, diced

1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise and chopped (get a leek if you can!  They are the BEST!)

2 1/2 tbsp fino sherry (I used vinegar)

1 tbsp chopped thyme

400 g (14 oz) canned chopped tomatoes

4 tbsp chopped flat leaf (italian) parsley

75 g (2 2/3 oz) butter

60 g (1/2 cup) all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)

1 litre (4 cups) milk

pinch of nutmeg (I used more than a pinch)

250 g (9oz) package dried cannelloni tubes

(I went to two Italian import stores- no cannelloni tubes!  I ended up using manicotti tubes, but they are much thicker.  Next time I think I’ll try making my own.)

100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) pureed tomato

100 g (1 cup) grated Manchego or parmesan cheese

(we splurged and got the Manchego- Mmmmmm!)

 

PREHEAT the oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy- based frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the beef, pork, chicken livers, onion and leek for 10 minutes, or until well browned, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the sherry, thyme, tomato and half the parsley and cook for 3 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and leave to cool.

 

TO MAKE the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1-2 minutes, or until pale yellow.  Remove from the heat and add the milk gradually, stirring constantly until blended.  Return to the heat and slowly bring the mixture to a boil, whisking for 15 minutes, or until thickened.  Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

 

FILL the cannelloni with the meat mixture using a wide-tip piping (icing) bag or a spoon.  Put the filled cannelloni side by side in a buttered ovenproof dish.  Pour the white sauce over the top and dot with the pureed tomato.  Top with the grated cheese and bake 40-45 minutes.  Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.

 

Sooooo Yummy!  Let me know what it’s like with chopped chicken livers!

 

Canelloni Barcelona recipe Canelloni Barcelona recipe Canelloni Barcelona recipe

 

 

 

Garden Tomato Gazpacho

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It’s harvesting time!  My corn and peppers this year are a little sparse, but the tomatoes and  zucchini are producing in abundance.  I thought I’d share a few of my favorite summertime recipes that will use a lot of that fresh garden veg.  Can’t let it go bad!

Today’s comes from an amazing cookbook called The Food of Spain I picked up from Borders a few years ago.  It not only has great recipes, but it’s full of the history of regional Spanish cuisine and beautiful photographs.  I don’t cook from it very often, but I do love sitting down and looking at the pictures from time to time.

Gazpacho is a Spanish chilled tomato soup- it’s easy to make and very refreshing.  A must have on a hot summer’s day!  Here’s a classic recipe with my own comments on the side.

Ingredients:

2 slices day-old white crusty bread, broken into pieces (I used fresh wheat bread.)

2 lbs 4 oz vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled*, seeded and chopped

1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small green chili, chopped (optional)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*(the secret to peeling tomatoes is to score the bottoms, put the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds and then immediately  plunge them into cold water and the peels should come right off.  Also, all of these ingredients that are going into the food processor don’t need to be chopped much.)

Garnish Ingredients:

1 cucumber, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

1/2 green pepper, finely diced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 ripe tomato, diced

Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out any excess liquid.  Put the bread in a food processor with the tomato, pepper, garlic, chili, sugar and vinegar and process until smooth.

With the motor running, gradually add the oil to make a smooth creamy mixture. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours.  Add a little of the extra vinegar, if desired.

To make the garnish, mix together the ingredients. Spoon the chilled gazpacho into soup bowls, top with a little of the garnish and serve the remaining garnish in separate bowls on the side.

I like to serve it with french bread or a baguette. Enjoy!