Social media snacks

Log on to any of your social media pages and you’ll be tripping over links to fast food recipes, many of them are healthy and nutritious, we’ve had a fair bit of success replicating some of those BuzzFeed quick recipes. I’m unsure whether we are generally losing our attention span for reading recipes, but those fast how-to videos are fun to watch and full of great ideas for lunchtime.

Facebook friend Matthew Hirtes (The Hon Mr Gran Canaria) highlighted one yesterday, a veggie burger using red beans, so I gave it a go today with moderate success, and a little frustration!

Basically, my error lay in changing a few of the ingredients, that old problem of available pantry stock and living in the middle of fecking nowhere. Here’s what we did: (in brackets are my added extras)

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Blend a jar of cooked red beans, soaked Quinoa (I used Bulgur Wheat) seasoning, herbs, chopped onion, (garlic, chili flakes and a drop or 4 of hot sauce) sesame seeds, lemon juice. Shape into patty rounds and fry in a little olive oil.

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BUT…My mix was too wet, so I also rolled them in dried breadcrumbs.

Fry in a shallow griddle pan in olive oil with a little more patience than I had 🙂

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Basically, then eat as you would with a burger and the usual relish, toppings and whatnot. Thanks Matthew. I think. 🙂

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© carol m byrne

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Habas for homely Spanish comfort food

Every country has its comfort food. A shepherd’s pie with creamy, soft mashed potato, a good old chicken and leek pie lifted from the oven with wonky pastry and juices everywhere, or a bowl of steaming Irish stew fit for a soft day.

For us here in the Alpujarra region of Spain, it’s a springtime thing, and the arrival of the first carrier bag of crackingly fresh habas kindly offered by our neighbours, who grow the stuff on a Jack and the Beanstalk scale.

Usually with a few fresh pea-pods thrown in, I open the bag with pleasure, and we sit side by side, our backs warmed by the sunshine, podding and separating the little green jewels from their furred homes. The peas are popped into our mouths as we go, the habas mostly make it to the colander.

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Habas con Jamón

Heat some Olive Oil. Gently sautée some finely chopped onion and garlic. Add some Jamón offcuts, or a packet of Jamón tacos to the pan to fill the kitchen and the street with a mouthwatering scent. A splash of white wine or that Fino in the fridge door added to sizzle. Add the newly liberated habas, a litre of stock, and simmer, covered, until the sauce is thick and silky, and one testing taste leads to another. Add freshly milled pepper but no salt. Hey, lunch is ready, did you get the bread? A slather of salty butter and we’re ready to eat! Sit down there, won’t you?…

Leftover magic under the Spanish sun

I was working hard this past week, travel articles and organic beauty were in fierce competition with the upcoming Mijas Rocks Málaga Music Festival, which I’m promoting like a dervish, as well as looking forward to!  My Twitter feed has swelled to incorporate tweets from movers and shakers, and a few head-bangers – all good!  I’m just waiting for Jon Bon Jovi to ask my advice on his leather trousers. Ahem.

So, meanwhile, Stan cleaned and washed and he’s a pretty good ‘housewife’ – well, basically I’m pretty crap at it, probably the most disorganised one you should ever meet…

And he cooked. He’s pretty inventive too. Some leftover Keema mix from his delicious Samosas were transformed into this, hmmm, let’s give it a Spanish angle and call it Picante Picada con Huevo.  That’s what it is, and it would be just as easy to use up some Bolognaise or Shepherd’s Pie filling – but we do like a bit of spice at our house… 🙂

A couple of flatbread strips on the side for dipping.  (Flour and water, griddle, hey presto)

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He added some home-made Triturate (cooked and sieved tomatoes) to the Keema mixture. Then added a couple of sheets of Filo, or Brick, as layers, and in a centre hollow dropped in an egg to each cazuela.  Baked until the egg whites were set but yolks still runny  – and we ate lunch in the little tat-filled courtyard we grandly call our garden.  The simple pleasures of leftovers and sunshine!  And a glass of vino too of course!  Ah, the rock star life…lol.

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