Thomas John’s Snapper with Saffron Broth

Serves: 4

This is such a delicate, Spanish, summer-lunch: a recipe my mother shared with me.

Seafood, saffron, fish stock and petite vegetables. How could you go wrong?

Open a white wine. Pour the wine. Tear some crusty bread.

Time is on your side.

Enjoy.

(And pour more wine! It’s summer!)

Ingredients

100ml olive oil
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 small leek (white only), thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
12 black mussels, cleaned
2 1/2 tbsp white wine
2 cup fish stock
1 tsp saffron threads
4 snapper fillets, skin scored
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 potato, peeled, cubed and cooked
20 asparagus spears, blanched
1 bunch English spinach, stalks trimmed
Sea salt and pepper
Parsley sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160c.
  2. Cook the celery, leek and shallots in half the olive oil for 1 minute, increase the heat to high, add the mussels and wine and cover for 3 minutes or until the mussels open.
  3. Strain the mixture and return the liquid to the pan and reduce by 1/3.
  4. Add the stock and saffron and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Sauté the fish skin side down in the remaining oil for 2 minutes, turn over and cook for 1 minute and then place in the oven for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the potato and tomato to the broth and heat through and season.
  7. Add the asparagus, spinach and mussels and simmer until the spinach is just wilted.
  8. Divide the spinach and asparagus among bowls and pour over the broth.
  9. Scatter the mussels, tomato and potato around and then top with the fish and garnish with parsley.

Andalusian-style Chicken

Serves: 2

A little while ago, I typed up an Andalusian-style pork recipe and wow was it is a cracker.

So fresh, so full of flavour, so simple to prepare and healthy as well.

Simple Spanish cooking at its best.

Well here you have another cracker Andalusian dish; again, unique, full of bold, fun flavours and easy to pull together on a Monday night.

Served with broccolini sautéed with chilli and garlic and this really was such a great way to start the week.

Pour yourself a wine, prep, cook… and this will be an equally great start to your week.

(Note the serving size and double for lunch the next day or if you have friends coming around.)

Ingredients

Large pinch of saffron
1/2 chicken stock cube, crumbled into 100ml boiling water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 large chicken breasts or 6 boneless, skinless thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
1 red chilli, reseeded and chopped
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp clear honey
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp raisins
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
25gm toasted pine nuts
Crusty bread to serve

Method

  1. Add the saffron to the hot stock to soak.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until it is soft and just beginning to turn golden. Add the chicken and cooked until the chicken is browned all over.
  3. Add the cinnamon and chilli and cook for a few minutes. Add the stock, vinegar, honey, tomato and raisins. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is cooked through.
  4. When ready, scatter with coriander and nuts and serve with bread on the side.

Spanish Potato Salad

Serves: 4 – 6 as a side

This is another Bobby Flay recipe and is a great and very colourful – thanks to the saffron, tomato and red onion – addition to my repertoire of potato salads.

I served it with Jamie Oliver’s spice crusted BBQ leg of lamb and it was fabulous.

Ingredients

¼ c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 pinch saffron threads
1 c good cup quality egg mayonnaise
1 tbsp minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1kg new potatoes
1 large tomato
½ c finely diced Spanish onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
¼ c coarsely chopped flatleaf parsley

Method

  1. Combine the vinegar, honey and saffron in a small pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat and immediate remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise and garlic with the saffron mixture in a medium mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and slice 1cm thick. Place in a large serving bowl and immediately fold in the mayonnaise mixture, tomatoes, onion, thyme and parsley. Season again and enjoy!

Andalusian Pork

Serves: 4

What a simple, gutsy dish!

The Spanish certainly do have some fun with their food and after a day marinating and then chargrilled on a really hot grill, this pork is sensational.

And it’s healthy. Ha!

I’ve cooked this and served this a few times over the years though last night it was with eggplant chips, some steamed sugar snaps and a great Bobby Flay Spanish Potato Salad.

A great end to the week and fuel for the start of the new working year. Here is to 2016!

Ingredients

2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
500g pork fillet, trimmed of any fat
2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Mix the paprika, oregano, garlic and salt with the olive oil to make a thick paste.
  2. Spread the paste evenly over the pork, cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
  3. Cut the meat on the diagonal, around 2cm thick.
  4. Heat a griddle, heavy frying pan or a grill until very hot. Cook the pork for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  5. Serve at once with the lemon wedges.