Saturday, 19 April 2014

Holiday Wining and Dining

I was lucky enough to go on holiday to La Palma last week, one of the Canary islands. I absolutely love going to new places, particularly looking forward to sampling local delicacies, indulging in lots of good food and wine! I enjoy nothing more than a pre-dinner ice cold gin and tonic and of course, a few tasty snacks with it, watching the sunset over the sea. Holiday food has to be simple and stress-free. When you've got such great fresh produce, why mess with it- just a simple marinade of olive oil, salt pepper and maybe some fresh herbs and garlic, and whack it on the barbie. I love the Mediterranean diet of lovely clean salads, lots of olive oil, and grilled meat and fish- heaven!

Sunset G & T in the garden, overlooking the Atlantic

Eating out

The Canary Islands are techincally part of Spain, and this really shows in the food they eat. Paella is big, seafood too, and of course bacalao (salt cod). Things I always enjoy in the Canary's are Croquettes (bechamel mixed with fish or chicken, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried till crispy), Pimientos de Padron (Padron peppers- small green peppers, which although mainly mild, 20% are very hot- it's always fun to gamble with your taste buds...), and Papas Arrugadas (wrinkled, salt baked baby potatoes) served with Mojo Rojo, a red pepper based sauce/dip made with garlic, paprika, and cumin, and Mojo Verde, similar, but made with coriander. All these together + a mixed salad, make for a perfect tapas style lunch.

Pimientos de Padron- lovely gleaming salty peppers. Brindisa in London sell these (uncooked)- I bought my brother some for Christmas (don't say I'm not a generous sister).

Freshly baked herby rolls with Mojo Rojo and Aioli- this was served to us in a brewery we visited.

A classic- crispy and salty Calamari with tons of fresh lemon squeezed over it. We always order a big plate to share and then fight over it.

Funny little raspberry sugary shots served after a meal

No holiday's complete without a Belgian waffle smothered in ice cream, cream, chocolate sauce and jam!

Cooking in

In the evenings, we tended to barbecue at home a lot- why wouldn't we with a view like that? I have to say the boys do the barbecuing in our family (rightly so), and they tend to do an alright job, although the first BBQ of the holiday almost always involves a fire that won't light, Dad getting hot and bothered, and us eating chicken wings that have been cooking for two hours late into the night...! But it's all part of the holiday...

Squid rings fried in paprkia and spices, served with lemon and sweet chilli sauce

Chicken kebabs on the BBQ, marinated in olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper.

A holiday favourite- giant prawns baked in tin foil with butter. Served with bread for dunking.

Great setup: chicken kebabs, mixed salad with olives and artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and Papas Arrugadas.

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