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Cuisine from Spain Podcast Spanish Food and Drink

Cuisine from Spain Podcast no.3 – Pure de Verduras and Lubina al Horno


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Pure de Verduras (Vegetable Soup)

This is a very basic soup called "Pure de Verduras”. It is very easy to cook and it is the most comforting food for when its cold or you are feeling tired.

Ingredients (4 people)

1/2 Zuchinni/Courgette
4 Carrots
1 Onion
3 leeks (or 4 small)
1 big potato or two small ones
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Optional: 1/2 tomato or a stick of celery or a few green beans
For the picatostes (croutons): Bread and olive oil

Preparation

Place all the vegetables and salt in a saucepan and just cover them with water. Let them boil for about 30 minutes or until the vegetabes are soft. Turn the hobb off and add the olive oil, be generous as this will give lots of flavour to the soup. Finally puree it with a hand mixer. If you wish you can add croutons.

Picatostes (croutons) preparation: Cut a slice of bread for each person and then cut it into small cubes. Place 2cm of oil in a frying pan and when the oil starts to smoke add the bread cubes for a couple of minutes or until they are brown. Take them out of the frying pan before they burn and place them in a plate with a piece of kitchen roll to get rid of the excess grease. Finally serve the soup in bowls and add the picatostes to each bowl.

Lubina al Horno (Sea Bass)

This is a delicious white fish. The recipie is very easy and quick to prepare, the secret really lies in the quality of the fish.

Ingredients (2 people)

1 Sea bass (500g)
3 Potatoes
1 Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1/2 Lemon
Parsley
Olive oil
Salt

Preparation

Start by preheating the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) for 30 minutes. Then peel and slice both the potatoes and the onions, place them in an oven-proof dish, drizzle some olive oil on top and place the dish in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked.

I ask the fishmonger to open the fish in half, cutting from the bottom of the belly up to the spine, but he also cleans the insides and gets rid of the scales. I prefer to keep the main backbone as it adds taste while the fish is cooking and it can easily be removed afterwards.

While the potato and onion are cooking, place the fish, opened out like a book, on a big plate, then peel and slice the garlic cloves and put them on top of the fish, as well as 3 or 4 lemon slices and a few parsley leaves that have previously been washed and chopped up. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and drizzle on a little more olive oil. When the potatos are ready, transfer the fish to the oven dish by placing it on the top of the potatoes and onions, open side up.

Cook the fish in the oven for only 10 minutes. I know that it might sound like a short time, but if you leave it longer it will get dry, and if the oven was propely preheated it won’t need more time (unless you use a bigger fish).

Tips: Place the fish in the oven when you are more or less ready to eat it, otherwise if you leave it in the oven for a while with the oven off, the fish will get very dry. You can use the same recipie with other fish like hake, gilthead bream or even salmon.

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