So what’ya think?
I still cringe everytime I see myself on video but I’m passionate about this (so hopefully will have to get used to it).
If you’ve watched the video you’ll know that Magi was my neighbour for a part of my time living in Vejer de la Frontera. Magi’s a wonderful person: petite, wide-eyed and never failing to communicate well above the recommended decibel limit, but ultimately one of the warmest and fun-loving people I know. If Magi had a mantra it would be ‘Viva la Vida,’ (live your life) because she makes every moment an occasion. When planning who I was going to cook with during my brief return to Vejer, I was determined to work around Magi’s busy schedule to cook with her and her lovely family.
The way I pitched my idea to the 4 spectacular ladies in this series (not like I needed to pitch) was to explain how FeedTim works: ‘We cook together in your kitchen and we cook something that you love.’ Magi confirmed Boquerones en Adobo (fried anchovies), Gazpacho and Arroz con Tomate and it was a done deal.
The opening to this video also introduces a theme that became so ordinary to my Andalucían experience and something you will see over the course of the series. A large majority of the fishmongers and stalls at the market were run by women, often pretty beautiful ones at that. I am still unaware as to why this is the case, but it added a freshness and vibrancy to the already exciting market experience that I just love.
Since returning from the intense Andalucían sunshine back to Birmingham I have recreated both the Gazpacho and Arroz con Tomate (adapting the recipe with the latter). Ultimately in both recipes it’s the quality of the ingredients that make the dish, so really best prepared and devoured in Andalucía itself.
Thanks so much for watching Magi's kitchen. Next stop...María's place.
8 Ripe Tomatoes – roughly skinned and halved
1 Green Pepper – deseeded
1 Garlic Clove – peeled & stem removed
1 Cucumber – peeled and deseeded (with spoon)
White Bread – 1 slice, soaked in water
Sherry Vinegar OR White Wine Vinegar – 4 tablespoons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 8 tablespoons
Salt – good pinch
Water – splash
Fresh Mint – few leaves (stalks removed)
Following method may be done in batches if it doesn’t all fit in one
Using a hand blender or food processer:
Tomatoes, Green Pepper, Garlic, Cucumber – add to blender and begin to blend
Bread, Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt – add to blender and continue to blend
Once all ingredients are well blended, try your gazpacho and add further seasoning to taste
If the mixture is looking thick add a splash of water
Fresh Mint – add to blender and whiz one final time
Try again and once happy cover with cling film and cool in the fridge for min. 2 hours before eating. It must be served chilled
Decorate with a few mint leaves before serving
Arroz con Tomate
A wonderfully simple dish with its roots in a traditional paella that goes heavier on the smoked paprika. Unlike paella, it’s not served as the main dish but as an accompaniment.
In the original recipe, Magi added canned tuna to the rice and decorated the dish with slices of fried potato. In this recipe I replaced the tuna with a piece of fresh, pan-fried mackerel and ditched the potato
Prep Time – 15mins
Cooking Time – 1hr
Rest time – min. 30mins
Green Peppers – 3 (reserving 1 for decoration)
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 6 peeled and roughly chopped
Bay Leaves – 3
Pimentón (sweet or spicy smoked paprika) – 1 heaped tablespoon
Bomba (Paella) Rice – 300g / 1.5mugs
White Wine – 125ml / ½mug
Stock Cubes – 2 (dissolved in stock)
Saffron – good pinch (dissolved in stock)
Water – 1litre / 4mugs
Lemon Juice – squeeze (extra to serve)
Salt & Pepper
Pre heat your oven to 220°C
Green Pepper – add 1 to the oven on a sheet of foil for 45mins, turning over half way through. After set aside to cool
Prepare your sofrito:
Tomatoes – cover in a jug of boiling water while you prepare your other ingredients
Green Peppers and Onion – deseed peppers and dice both. Add to a pan of olive oil over a medium heat for 15mins, stirring occasionally
Tomatoes – remove from water, dry and peel skin. Once peeled, roughly chop and add to the pan with the onion and peppers
Bay Leaves, Pimentón, Black Pepper – add to pan after tomatoes and cook down for approx. 20mins
Rice – add to the pan and stir to coat in the juices
White Wine & Water – add to the pan (with stock cubes and saffron dissolved)
Salt & Lemon Juice – add and give it a good stir
Bring to the boil, stir for a final time and turn down the heat. Cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, shuffling the pan occasionally (approx. 20mins)
Make sure NOT ALL the liquid has been completely absorbed
In the meantime:
Green Pepper from oven – core, deseed, pat dry and thinly slice for decoration
Once most liquid has been absorbed and the rice tests slightly al dente, remove the pan from the heat, remove the bay leaves, decorate with the green pepper and cover tightly with foil. Leave to rest for min. 30mins before serving
As the rice rests:
Dry and salt your fresh mackerel fillet
Add fillet to a heated pan of olive oil. Fry skin side down for approx. 2mins (or until the fillet begins to inflate) then turn over and fry for 1min
Add further lemon juice to taste (or at least have some to hand at the table)