Un espacio de cocina donde acceder a mis recetas más interesantes con trucos e ideas para cualquier ocasion. Daddy Rafa confía que disfruteis con ella y que creemos un espacio para aportar ideas culinarias.

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Categoría: Recipes in english

Seafood cabbage rolls

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hi Everybody!

I’m back with a new recipe. As you have probably realized by reading my blog, I am a more fish oriented person than meat, so for that reason today, I want to propose you a variation of the traditional meat stuffed cabbage rolls.

I love this dish because you have all the important nutrients in one meal: veggies, proteins and cereals. And the most important thing: the taste is amazing!

Ok, let’s go with the recipe.

Seafood cabbage rolls

Ingredients:

(for 4 persons)

  • Water
  • Salt
  • 8-10 Borecole or Green Cabbage leaves
  • ½ cup of basmati rice
  • 10 shrimps with head
  • 200 grs of salmon
  • 150 grs of fillet of sole
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 6 chopped green onions
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of flour
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 125 ml of white wine
  • 2 tablespoon of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking cream 15%
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Cheese

How to prepare:

In a big casserole bring water to boil. Add salt and put the cabbage leaves inside two by two. Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes and remove them from the water. Set aside and let them cool. Repeat the process until all the leaves are cooked.

When done, use the water to boil the basmati rice until tender. Drain the water and reserve the rice.

Clean the shrimps keeping the heads in a small bowl for later. Cut each shrimps in 3-4 small pieces and set aside. Clean the fish and cut it in small pieces. Set aside.

In a pan, put the olive oil and the butter and fry for a while (about 1 minute) the garlic with half of the chopped green onions. Add the shrimps, the salmon and the fillet of sole and let them cook together. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Add the flour and mix until the flour absorbs the liquids. Add milk and mix until you have a smooth fish béchamel. Remove from the heat and mix with the rice. At this moment, we have our filling ready to use.

Let’s make the cabbage rolls: Extend one cabbage leaf in a flat surface and put about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center (it depends on the size of the leaf). Flip the borders and roll the cabbage making a cabbage roll. Repeat the process with the rest of leaves and the filling.

Put the shrimp’s heads in a hot pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Let them cook until they change their color and become red. Add the white wine and smash the head with a mash potato to extract the juices. Remove from heat and remove the heads. Add the tomato sauce, the cooking cream and the lemon juice and heat gently to make the sauce. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Put the cabbage rolls in an oven recipient, pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, and cover with grated cheese. Preheat the oven to 190 C and let the cheese melt until the point of gratin.

That’s all! Serve on a plate, decorate with chopped green onions and…. enjoy!!

I hope you can try this recipe. Give me your opinion, it will welcome!

Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men.

See you soon,

Rafa

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Warm duck ham Pintxo (Pintxo templado de jamón de pato)

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hello Everybody!

Well… after practically 2 years without writing any recipes, I have decided to return to my blog and restart this old tradition. I’m not sure if someone is going to follow me after this long period of silence but… I’ll try to do my best.

I don’t want to justify myself with a bunch of excuses but the routine takes most of my time and it is hard to find the right moment to write recipes “just for fun”.

In order to compensate you for this long period of time, today I want to share with you a traditional recipe from the Basque country. As you probably know, the Basque country in Spain is well known for the “pintxos”, a two bite meal that you can eat with a nice glass of wine, cider or cold beer.

San Sebastian, Bilbao or Vitoria are cities where you can find a number of bars offering all kind of pintxos. The one I am going to explain today is one of my favorites because it’s a mix of three products that I love: Goat Cheese, caramelized onions and duck ham.

Ok, let’s go with the recipe.

Warm duck ham pintxo (Pintxo templado de jamón de pato)

Ingredients:

(for 4 persons)

  • 150 grs of smoked ham duck in slices
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 teaspoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of sandwich bread
  • 4 nice pieces of goat cheese (4 slices of 7cms of thick each)

How to prepare:

First step, simple but it is the key of this recipe. We need our ham at room temperature so, please, remove it from the fridge about one hour before you begin preparing the dish. Usually, this ham comes in a vacuum pack and you need to open it and let the ham “sweat” for a while.

Second step prepare the caramelized onions. For that, cut the onion in half and chop each half in fines slices and separate the “half rings” with your hand.

In a pan, melt the butter, add the onions and cook them in a medium heat until the onion becomes tender and transparent. Add the sugar and let it melt until caramelized. Remove from heat, add the balsamic vinegar and remove until mixed. Our caramelized onions are ready now. Set aside.

Now, we have to prepare the bread. Using a kitchen mold (or a knife if you don’t have one) cut the inside of each slice of bread (white part) doing the shape of a circle. Toast a little bit until you have nice pieces of warm and crispy bread.

Put a layer of caramelized onion on each piece of bread.

In a clean and very hot pan, put the slices of goat cheese for about 5 seconds on each side until the sides become toasted and the inside begins to be partially melted but firm.

Put the slice of goat cheese on top of the caramelized onions and cover all with 5 or 6 slices of duck ham. Serve and enjoy it warm!!

See the picture for presentation details

Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men. Take care. I will be back.

See you soon,

Papa Rafa

2 Comments

My mother-in-law Feli’s meat loaf

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hi Everybody!

Today I want to propose to you a traditional recipe of my mother- in-law. It’s a recipe from Montreal.

I have to be honest: I’m not a big fan of meat loaf because I find that it’s kind of a “survivor meal” and it is far from any culinary effort. Even with that, I want to publish this recipe today. The reason: If there is a good meat loaf, this is the one. This recipe makes a tasty and juicy meat loaf.

And… you know, sometimes when we don’t have much time and we want something simple, it can be a better option than a TV-dinner…

Ok, let’s go with the recipe.

My mother-in-law Feli’s Meat Loaf

Ingredients:

(for 8-10 portions of meat loaf)

  • ½ Kilo of ground pork meat
  • ½ Kilo of ground beef meat
  • 2 garlic gloves (chopped)
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • ½ cup of chopped Persil
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 1 pouch of Lipton onion soup (28 grams)
  • ½ cup of Ketchup
  • 1 egg

How to prepare:

As simple as mix all the ingredients until they have a uniform consistency. (I told you that you don’t need to be Ferrán Adriá to prepare this recipe).

Fill a cake mould with the mix. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake during 1h 30.

And… that’s all folks!. Serve with mash potatoes and a sauce (tomate or onion gravy).

Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men. Take care. I will be back.

See you soon,

Papa Rafa

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Goat cheese & coconut milk lentils millefeuille

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hi Everybody!

Wow! Times flies…

I didn’t realize how much time has passed since my last post. I thought that it was about a year ago but… it is almost two!!!.

Before I start with the recipe, I would like to apologize to all my followers for this long period of inactivity. I’m going to try to be back to doing my hobby and writing at least one post per month. It is one of my New Year resolutions for 2012. Will see if it gets done…..

The recipe that I am presenting today is a recipe discovered here in Montreal. One day we (my wife & I) went to have lunch to an amazing restaurant and we ordered this plate. As soon as I arrived at home, I tried my own version obtaining pretty much the same result.

Ok, let’s go with the recipe.

Goat Cheese & coconut milk lentils millefeuille

Ingredients:

(2 millefeuilles x 2 persons)

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger chopped
  • 2 Italian tomatoes (chopped in cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 1 cup of lentils
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of curry
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 pastry shell
  • 6 – 8 slices of goat cheese
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)

How to prepare:

The secret of this recipe is to prepare the lentils a little bit thicker than usual replacing 2/3 of water for the coconut milk.

Put the olive oil in a casserole and when it is hot add pepper, onion, garlic and ginger. Remove for a while until they become tender. Add tomatoes and coriander, remove and add the cup of lentils.

Remove and add salt, curry, ½ cup of water and the coconut milk.
Cover and leave boiling at medium heat 25 -30 minutes (or until the lentils are tender). Reserve.

Use a rolling pin to extend the pastry shell. Cut it in half.
Now, take one piece of pastry shell, put lentils in the middle, add 3-4 slices of goat cheese and fold over to close the pastry like an envelope. Repeat the process with the rest of the pastry shell.

Preheat oven to 200º C and bake them during 20-25 minutes (best option: follow the instructions of the pastry envelop because it depends on the brand)
If you want a nicer look and a crispy taste, you can paint the pastry with a beaten egg yolk before baking it.

And… that’s all!. This recipe is an exotic way to eat lentils. This plate is perfect for vegetarians.

Note: I use to do more than 2 (4-6) and freeze them. That way, if one day I have no time to cook or I’m tired the only thing to do is take one for the freezer and bake it for 20 minutes.

Ok guys, see you soon (I hope so). Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men.

Papa Rafa

3 Comments

Lobster Stew

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hi Everybody!

Sorry for the delay in writing but during these weeks I’ve been really busy. It’s funny because technically, we are in Easter week and I thought that I would have more time but I haven’t.

Today I want to show you a different way to prepare Lobster. This recipe is based in the traditional recipe of Menorca (Baleares Islands, Spain) called “Caldereta de Langosta” but I’ve changed some ingredients to make it easier and cheaper.

In fact, the real recipe uses “Mediterranean Lobster” which is different than the “Canadian Lobster”. In Spain we call it “Bogavante”. Canadian Lobster is cheaper, easier to find and as good as the Mediterranean’s one (at least for this recipe).

So…, taking advantage that I live in Canada were we have lots of good Lobster at a really good price, I think it’s a perfect recipe to talk about, isn’t it?

This recipe is better if you use fresh Lobster but, I have to confess that I buy some when they are on special (more less 4,99 $ /Pound) and then I freeze them for an special occasion. In the kitchen, like in the rest of our lives, it’s important to manage our money :-)

You can use this recipe as one complete meal, or maybe, combine it with a small starter but avoid combining it with a first dish because it’s going to be too much food.

Ok, let’s go with the recipe.

Lobster Stew

Ingredients:

(for 2 persons)

  • 2 Medium Lobsters
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 red dried sweet peppers (Ñoras)
  • 3 red fresh tomatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 2 Tablespoon of minced parsley
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 glasses (500 ml) of fish broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • One handful of almonds
  • One garlic clove
  • 1 Tablespoon of parsley
  • Toasted bread slices

How to prepare:

Separate the heads of the lobsters and reserve. With a knife cut the bodies in medallions.

Heat a pot with a little bit of olive oil and fry the medallions, legs and with the 3 garlic cloves minced during 2-3 minutes. Reserve them in a plate for after.

Wash, clean, peel and finely chop all the vegetables.

In the same pot that we fried the medallions, bring up the heat and add the lobster’s heads. Add the onion, dried peppers, tomatoes, leek and parsley and let them cook for a while (2 minutes). Add the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate (about 5 minutes more).

Add the fish broth and let cook for at least 20 minutes. With a blender, crush and mix all (heads and veggies) until you have a uniform paste. Filter to eliminate any remains of shells just until you have a smooth sauce.

Reheat the sauce and add the medallions. Cook during 20 minutes and add salt and pepper to your taste.

While we wait, in a mortar, prepare a paste with almonds, the garlic clove, the parsley and one toasted slice of bread. Add this to the sauce with the medallions and legs.

Let cook for 2 more minutes and serve in plates with 2 toasted bread slices rubbed with garlic.

And…. That’s it!. Enjoy!!

Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men. Take care. I will be back.
See you soon

Papa Rafa

4 Comments

Perfect Roasted Lamb

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hello everybody!

One more week, one more recipe :-) . This week it’s not exactly a recipe, it is a technique. I propose you the technique of how to prepare a perfect roasted lamb.

Now that I living in Montreal I miss some things of Spain. One is our weekend-excursion to Sepulveda, to eat one of the best roasted lambs in the world.

Sometimes, people think that the secret of a nice roasted lamb is to use spices, or a very complicated cooking process……Far from it. The simpler the better. That’s the secret. I’m sure some of you are going to think that I’m teasing you, but I am not. Believe me!!!

Here in Montreal, It’s easy to find nice lamb too. You can find lamb from Quebec that it is really tender and tasty. The problem is that it is pretty expensive but I found a nice place to buy fresh Quebec lamb at a very reasonable price. If somebody wants the address please, send me an email and I will give you more details (I don’t want make free publicity).

Ok let’s go with the recipe:

Perfect Roasted Lamb

Ingredients:

(for 3-4 persons)

  • 1 Leg of Lamb (about 1 – 1, 4 Kilos)
  • Water
  • Salt

How to prepare:

The secret (if there is one) is this: The first thing to do is soak the lamb in water during 2 hours. This is to “hydrate the lamb”. During this time, the lamb absorbs water and after, when we are cooking it, that water will make the lamb tender.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Put the lamb in a baking pot with salt and ¼ glass of water. Roast lamb during 2 hours and… ¡it’s ready!.

Easy & perfect!

Ok guys, see you soon. Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men.

Papa Rafa

4 Comments

Rioja style potatoes – Patatas a la riojana

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NOTA: Esta receta está disponible en español abajo

Hello everybody!

This week I want to publish one of the most traditional recipes that I used to prepare a lot in Spain. The other day, I received an email from Vir telling me that it was pretty strange that I’ve never published “las famosas patatas a la riojana que tanto comíamos en Pozuelo” (the famous Rioja style potatoes that we use to eat in Pozuelo).

This dish is a real typical dish from “La Rioja” (Region north of Spain and very close to Basque country). It is a winter dish and it’s perfect to combine with a nice red wine. Actually, La Rioja is one of the best areas of Spain for wines. There are some nice and great vineyards all around. Enjoy the month of September or October by having “patatas a la riojana” and drinking some nice wine like Montecillo, Muga, Marques de Riscal… or others. It’s a picture perfect day!

When I was living in Madrid with my friends (In “Esmeralda 14”, (the house that we were renting) I would prepare this plate for 2 reasons:
1. It’s Cheap
2. It’s sooooo good

Now, my life has changed but I still love to do this plate.

Here in Montreal it is not that easy to find nice chorizo. Here you can find chorizo, but normally it is Portuguese style or Quebec style and, both of them are really different to the Spanish one. I know one or two places to buy real Spanish chorizo but the price is ridiculous (very high compared to Spain). What I did? Simple: I made my own chorizo with the help of my mother-in-law. :-)

Here you can see some pictures of my own chorizo. I’m not going to explain how to make chorizo now (it is another recipe) but if someone wants the recipe send me an email ¿ok?.

Well, after this introduction, let’s go with the recipe:

Patatas a la Riojana – Rioja style potatoes

Ingredients:

(for 4 persons)

  • 6 big potatoes (or 8 medium)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 dried sweet red pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • 4 nice pieces of chorizo
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A little bit of thyme
  • A little bit of Rosemary
  • Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of Spanish Paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)

How to prepare:

Peel the potatoes and the garlic cloves. Rinse the potatoes and cut with a knife in pieces of 2-3 cms.

Attention!: The secret of this dish is how to cut the potato. You don’t have to cut, you have to “crack the potato” that means: Make a small cut in the potato with the knife and after crack the piece without finishing the regular cut. This is very important because, doing this, the fibre of the potatoes gets broken and when we boil them, the water gets all the starch and turns thicker.

In a heated casserole, put olive oil and add the potatoes, the garlic, the dried sweet pepper (cut in pieces), salt and the chorizo. Fry them for 5 minutes in a high temperature and then add all the spices expect the paprika. Stir for a few minutes and add water just to cover them.

Lower the temperature of the stove and cook for about 15 minutes. Now, add the paprika, mix well and cook again during 10 more minutes or until the potato is tender.

It’s an amazing stew for winter.

And… that’s all folks! I hope you like it.
Kisses for the ladies and hugs for the men. Take care. I will be back.
See you soon,

Papa Rafa

2 Comments

¿Como describirme?
Complicado. Además, siempre me ha parecido una horterada eso de hablar de uno mismo. Soy simplemente papi.

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