Mediterranean Poutine

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For those of you who have not come across it, Poutine is french Canadian fast food made with french fries and topped with cheese curd and gravy.

I am told that this Mediterranean version which is topped with a gazpachio instead of gravy would be classed as a ‘Gourmet Poutine’

For this dish I used prepacked Parisienne potatoes
1 local soft fresh fresh cheese
1 local sausage and if you do not live on the island use continental sausage
Some oil for shallow frying the potatoes

A loose bottomed oven dish

For the Gazpacho

4 medium tomatoes
1/4 cucumber
1/4 red bell pepper
1/2 slice bread
1 spoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
light grating of a garlic clove
2 spoons water
Salt for seasoning if desired

Place all the ingredients together in a blender and turn on full speed until it is smooth.
Pour into a jar and refridgerate for at least a couple of hours.

For the poutine, shallow fry the potatoes.

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Place on kitchen towel to absorb oil them arrange them in a loose bottomed oven dish that has been greased very lightly with oilive oil.

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Top with sausage meet and then with the crumbled soft fresh cheese.

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Place in a preheated oven 200C until the sausage cooks. Mine took 20 minutes.

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To serve, lift the base out of the container. Pour the desired amount of gazpacho and serve immediately.

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Pink sky at night sailor’s delight: Vegetarian Spanish Tortilla

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A thick omlette cooked in lots of olive oil with chunky soft potatoes, and it will be delicious eaten cold the next day. I think this must be the most popular dish in Spain with tapas or cut up into small squares and served with drinks in most bars. You can clear out any left-overs in your fridge, chop and add them in.  Use the quantities that suit you and take your fancy.

The cooked tortilla

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After cooking it on the stove top, place it under the grill for the surface to brown, without having the need to flip it over.

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Cook the potatoes in the microwave with skin on, leave to cool and chop up

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Chop up some mushrooms, sauté them in a drizzle of olive oil, keep aside.

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Mature cheddar roughly sliced

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Sauté a chopped onion and some bell peppers until they are soft

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And don’t forget a bit of chilli if you like spicy, otherwise leave it out !

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You will need:

800g potatoes, cooked in the microwave with skin on and chopped
1 onion, chopped and cooked
150ml virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped flatleaf parsley or fresh herbs of your choice or simply leave out
10 eggs, beaten
Vegetables of your choice, chopped up and cooked, Ari uses mushrooms and bell peppers
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chilli, optional, if you do not like it simply leave out

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the cooked potatoes and onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are even softer. Add the vegetables and chili if you choose to use it and stir.

Add the beaten eggs and arrange the cheddar cheese all around the top. Cook on gentle heat,

When almost set, place the pan under a grill on gentle heat until the surface cooks and becomes golden brown.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes, slide on to a serving plate and we like to slice ours at table. Refrigerate any left overs, it is so delicious the day after cut into cubes, Spanish style !

My vegetables and eggs come from Big Fresh Mosta Cheeses from Experia The Deli and P J Sutters, Kitchenware by Tescoma, appliances by Kitchenaid at Forestals

 

Mediterranean Ploughmans with homemade Grape Port and Fennel Jelly

I picked grapes this week and could not help noticing that fresh fennel grows all around the grapes. This inspired me to create a grape and fennel jelly with port that is delicious served with cheese and I am sure it will also be great with meats like lamb. I served the jelly yesterday with Manchego and local sourdough, a good Mediterranean Ploughman’s.

The local grapes are delicious, a wonderful flavor, not particularly large … they are not seedless and have been left to grow naturally, with no pesticide, in the wilderness of the open countryside. I find the flavor and texture quite unique.

And what makes this jelly so good ? I believe in using only very fresh ingredients, literally from the tree straight into the pan. I picked the grapes and fennel early in the morning and they were cooking in my large preserve kettle within two hours. Right at the end of the cooking process, I added some good port wine and wow ! The freshness and full flavors are captured and stored in a jar….

Here are some beautiful photos of the process and you will see how easy it is to make it at home. I hope that you will be as lucky as I am and able to experience using your local fruits as there is nothing better than fresh and locally sourced. The fruits of this tiny island have been nurtured by the Mediterranean sun and soil and remain unique !

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Freshly cut local grapes and fennel

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The grapes are washed and destemmed

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With a hand held blender

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Breaking up the grapes without overdoing it, but leaving a lot of texture

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Bringing the grapes to a boil

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Adding the fresh fennel

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Mediterranean Ploughmans with local Sourdough bread, roasted almonds and grape fennel and port jelly