Here I am again. My apologies for my absence this month!
Even though I have just started this blog I am really happy that some of you guys appreciate this. Thanks to Vicky from Avocado Pesto, this blog has been nominated for this award:
Liebster Blog Award consists in make nominations to blogs which have 200 followers or less which deserved to be noticed. Thanks a lot!!!! I am really happy someone thinks this blog deserved to be noticed :) If you have this award, you should nominate yourself 5 other blogs. I list some blogs but I am not sure if they have less than 200 followers… I looked at their twitter in case they have or blogger followers in case they have, if not, I look at their number of comments per entry.
My Liebster Blog Awards go to:
- Kat of Our Adventures in Japan, one of my favourite blogs! I love Japan and I love everything Kat tells about her husband and her life there!
- Antonia of Swedish Love Affair. She runs a fantastic blog about her life in Sweden. She writes a bit about food but mostly about her daily life and Swedish culture. Lovely pictures, lovely blog.
- Karaimame of Acquiring Taste Blog, I have been following Karaimame for a short time, but I really like her pictures, blog. I love her background too, japanese roots but raised in Brazil and now living in Finland. A combination like that in a food blog can’t go wrong!
- Cate from Girl Cooks World, again, I love international lifes. Cate is from Hawaii but she cooks any sort of international dishes and she takes fantastic pictures!
- Vytran from Beyond Sweet and Savoury, vietnamese husband and wife, they make a blog with great pictures and for the short time I have been following them for a short time now, but I really like their blog which really deserves to be visited!
Thanks a lot again! Now let’s go and have something to eat ;)
Today I would like to introduce you to the savoury dish for the spainish Lent. Cuaresma (spanish word for Lent) started along with Shrove Day last week in some countries. However, we don’t celebrate Shrove Day (I do just because I love pancakes!!) in Spain. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday the day after Shrove Day.
I must say that although I am not a believer, Spain used to be a very catholic country. There are a couple of representative dishes of this religious season. My aim is to show you both. One is sweet and the other is savoury. The savoury is potaje.
According to Lent religious traditions, Potaje is eaten on fridays, because friday is the day when meat is not allowed to eat.
Nowadays if you travel to Spain in Lent, it’s very likely that you find potaje in the menú del día (menu of the day) every friday. You will also see meat, traditions are not that strictly followed anymore.
Potaje is made with 3 main ingredients: dried garbanzos (chickpeas), spinach and bacalao en salazón (cod cured with salt). But what really empowers these main ingredients are garlic and a paprika (they also give the color to this dish). To make this dish even richer, surface is garnished with chopped boiled egg.
Traditionally white beans are also added, but I prefer to keep it simple.
Potaje de garbanzos
Adapted from Recetas sencillas para novatos y cocinillas. Cocina Española
Ingredients for four servings
400 gr dried chickpeas (they should be in water the night before you cook them, to soft them a little bit, garbanzos are a hard legume)
200 gr spinach (I had frozen spinach, always better to have them fresh!)
250 gr cod cut into walnut sized pieces (I didn’t have a salt cured cod, aka bacalao en salazón. If you do, you need to have it in water the night before with chickpeas. Note that if you use fresh cod it will be spread all over the soup than if you were using salt cured cod. Salt cured cod will result more like chunks in the soup)
1 garlic bulb (don’t worry, it gives flavour but it’s not that much garlic flavour ;))
3 tbsp sweet paprika
1 onion quartered and chopped in slices
2 saffron threads mashed in a mortar / saffron podwer if you have it
Salt to taste
Boiled eggs (They are for garnishing the dish when serving. Therefore I just boil 1 egg because I use to freeze the rest of potaje)
0. The night before: put dried chickpeas and bacalao (in case is salt cured) in water (cold for both, but lukewarm if you only have dried chickpeas) until the next day. Drain them when you are about to use them.
0. You can also boil eggs in advance. One / half egg per person is fine.
1. Add chickpeas and garlic bulb in a pot with boiling water and let them simmer 60 minutes. Check if chickpeas are tender for your taste or not. Chickpeas are a very hard legume which calls for some patience, if you find them very hard yet to eat, let them simmer for a little bit longer, check, and so on.
2. While chickpeas are simmering, you can fry the chopped onion with a medium-slow heat until they are very tender, transparent. Then, add the paprika until is well spread all over the cooked onion. And then, add spinach again until paprika flavour is well distributed.
3. When chickpeas are ready, is the moment to add bacalao (remember, if it’s fresh it will “break” into bits, nice anyway! ;) if it’s cured, you will apreciate chunks in your potaje)
4. Then, spinach, onion and paprika mix. Stir the soup to distributed everything. Add saffron and stir again.
5. Wait for 5 minutes and it’s done!
* Potaje and other legume soups / stews are much better if you eat them the day after. The flavours improve with a day of rest.
* Vegetarian version of this dish is very simple to do. Just omit cod and boiled egg and that’s it!
* I always drizzle a bit extra virgin olive oil to empower potaje’s flavour ;)