So what? I hear you muttering at the back. Simple, my foodie posts are among the most popular these days, so as long as I’m still able to cook occasionally, there will be (hopefully original), recipes.
Well, it’s 04.10 and here I am back online as sleep is even more elusive than usual, so I thought I’d tell you about a new recipe I’m working on.
Those with good memories might recall that I tweeted it from hospital, at the time when I thought I’d be out in a few days. The tweet was intended as an aide memoir, but I was in so long it just vanished down my timeline beyond all hope of retrieval. Should have favourited it – ah well.
Anyway, I’m going to make a bean, rice and fish stew, inspired by the cuisine of Spain. I say “inspired by” since, like my Fabada Wirraliana, I’m not remotely aiming for authenticity – just a dish that says Damn! Eat me – now! with a Spanish accent.
There will be the large Spanish butter beans Judion de la Granja and risotto rice, in a paprika-heavy sauce based on sliced Echalion shallots, sweated off in olive oil and butter until soft but not coloured, with a touch of garlic and freighted with fresh tomatoes, red peppers – the long, pointed kind – and mined with bite-size chunks of hake. At the moment I’m undecided whether or not to fry the hake first. On the whole I rather think not.
If you’re a veggie, just omit the fish and add tofu, sliced and fried, to give it a texture beyond that of boiled snot.
I find that beans take an awfully long time to cook in a tomato sauce (I suspect the acidity retards softening), and the large Spanish beans can take 3 to 4 hours in an acidic dish, so I’ll cook those first, with shallots, onions, carrots, and garlic, retaining the liquid to use as stock – cut the veg in large chunks so it can be removed – cooks’ treat. Squash the garlic cloves with a knife blade,
The beans can be set aside until needed.
The paprika I use is Hungarian and isn’t smoked – another move away from Spanish authenticity but smoked paprika is terrible stuff, tasting like a bonfire and totally dominating the rest of the ingredients. Mine, though, is possessed of a little heat so if you’re tempted to add chilli I suggest you familiarise yourself with it first.
The tomatoes will be added in two batches, the second towards the end to add a sprightliness to the sauce that would be lacking if you bunged them all in at the start.
The rice can absorb up to 3 or 4 times its own volume of stock, so don’t use too much unless you want to be able to cut it into slices.
And now it’s almost 05.30, I haven’t had a millisecond of sleep, nor am I unduly tired. The recipe, unless I sleep through the day, will follow shortly, complete with links for the ingredients.
Watch this space…