Charles’ Ajiaco

Ajiaco is a hearty soup from the cold mountains near Bogotá, Colombia. Charles learnt this recipe from his wife’s sisters during one of his visits, and shared it with us in the office.

Ajiaco
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Colombian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 small starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 small red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 8 small yellow or white potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 onions
  • 1 chicken cut into eighths
  • 1 liter water
  • 2 maize, cut into thick slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 avocados as a complement, diced
  • 400 ml cream
  • coriander
  • guascas (or bay leaf)
  • capers (alcaparras)
  • rice on the side
  • oil for cooking
Instructions
  1. Heat a bit of oil on a casserole and fry chicken, onions and garlic until golden.
  2. Add potatoes and guascas to taste, fry for 5 min, stirring so it doesn't get stick.
  3. Add the maize, coriander to taste and water until covered. Cook for 40 min. The starchy potatoes should disintegrate but the other ones should be well-cooked without disintegrating.
  4. When cooked, serve on soup bowls and add 100ml of cream, half avocado, and capers to taste.
  5. Enjoy with some rice on the side!

 

Over-Mura Moving Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica)

Premurska Gibanica (Over-Mura Moving Cake)

This is supposed to be a big thing in the region above the Mura river in north-east Slovenia —”the head of the chicken.” This is Tina’s grandmother’s recipe.

Prekmurska Gibanica
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Bakery
Cuisine: Slovenian
Ingredients
BASE DOUGH
  • 200g white flour
  • 100g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • cold water
“PULLED” DOUGH
  • 450g white flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 ts grated lemon peal or acid
  • lukewarm water
FILLING
  • 250g ground poppy seeds
  • 300g ground walnuts
  • 5 larger mildly acidic apples
  • 1kg fresh cottage cheese
  • cinnamon
TOPPING
  • around 150g of liquid butter
  • 6dcl sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • sugar
Instructions
BASE DOUGH
  1. Mix all of the ingredients but rather quickly as not to make the dough too warm and soft, refrigirate it before use.
“PULLED” DOUGH
  1. Be careful to use warm water so the ingredients bond more firmly and make the dough softer.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients into a firm ball and rest for 30 minutes under a kitchen cloth (you can halve the dough so it will be easier to strech it thinly later on). Then role out the dough into about a fingers width of a sheet and spread oil over the surface to prevent tearing.
  3. Strech the dough over the surface of the table as thinly as you can (make sure you put a cloth underneath with lots of flower so it wont stick to the table). Cut the dough into about ten sheets that are slightly larger than the base of the baking dish.
CAKE
  1. Role out the base dough into a thin sheet and spread it over the bottom of the baking dish, fold and lift the ends of the dough and press them against the walls of the dish making a bowl.
  2. Then put a sheet of “pulled” dough over it and spread your first filling - the poppy seeds. Spread a modest amount of the sour cream topping and sugar.
  3. Then come the next sheet and the grated apples which you season with cinnamon (grandma used to have a heavy hand when it came to this but use as much as you see fit) and sugar.
  4. Now comes another layer with the walnuts and then cottage cheese. You cover both with the cream topping but don’t hold back with the cottage cheese, make sure that bad boy is nice and moist. Also you can mix the walnuts with the cream beforehand so they’ll be easier to spread.
  5. Repeat all four layers and cover the whole thing with two sheets (spread the butter and some cream carefully between the layers so they won’t get stuck into a single hard sheet).
  6. Before putting it in the oven generously cover the top with, you guessed it, more cream.
  7. Slowly bake for about an hour (this part is really vague so I guess at around 180 degrees).
  8. Serve warm or cold.

Dober tek

Irish Apple Pie

This pie is Irish because it’s how Seán does it.

Irish Apple Pie
 
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Recipe type: Bakery
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 8 people
Ingredients
  • 350 g. plain flour
  • 200 g. butter at room temperature
  • 4 big cooking apples
  • 30 ml. (2 tbsp) cold water
  • milk
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • whipped cream to serve
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a big bowl, then, using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add enough of the cold water to mix to a firm dough. Let rest in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Roll out three-quarters of the pastry on lightly floured surface. Grease a 20 cm pie dish with butter and fill in the pastry.
  4. Fill with the apples peeled and cut to dices and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
  5. Roll out the remaining of the pastry and use to cover the pie, moistening the edges of the pastry base to seal on the lid. Cut a vent or pinch the top and brush with milk.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200º C for about 30 minutes until pastry is golden.
  7. Serve with whipped cream.
  8. Pro tip: use brown muscovado sugar instead of brown sugar, and add all spice besides the cinnamon, just a hint.

 

Tom Kha Gai

So this is one of the recipes Erick learnt while traveling Southeast Asia, and he has mastered this particular one to perfection!

Tom Kha Gai
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2-3 red Thai bird's eye chilis
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal
  • 1-2 pieces of lemongrass
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • a handful of small white mushrooms
  • a lime
  • 7-8 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • 500ml of chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Deseed and chop the chillies into very thin rings. Slice galangal into paper-thin pieces.
  2. Chop lemongrass into 10cm long pieces and crush with the butt-end of a knife. Add lime leaves,
  3. chili, lemongrass and galangal to pot with the coconut milk.
  4. Slice chicken into thin strips, quarter the mushrooms and half the cherry-tomatoes.
  5. Bring the coconut milk almost to a boil and add the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook on high
  6. heat for a good 5 minutes.
  7. Add broth, tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Flavor with the juice from a squeezed lime and fish sauce.

 

Ladislav’s Mother’s Sweet Dumplings

Ladislav’s sweet dumplings from childhood…

Ladislav's Mother's Sweet Dumplings
 
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Author:
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 300g to 1kg flour
  • fruits
  • 4 or 5 (500g) boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg
Topping
  • Butter
  • Vanilla Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins. Then, peel and press or grate.
  2. Fruits thoroughly wash and cut into medium-sized pieces.
  3. Potatoes and salt in a bowl, mix the flour, egg and prepare dough from which we associate roller. This, in turn, cut into equal pieces and carefully wrap each plum. Cook for in a boiling lightly salted water. Cook until the dumplings rise to the surface.
  4. Potato dumplings with fruit split plate, slice of butter and sprinkle with sugar (even vanilla) or cocoa powder.

 

Ladislav’s mother secret pro tip: boil the potatoes and let cool overnight so the dough doesn’t become sticky.

 

Dema’s Mother’s Baklava

Dema’s mother, who is Palestinian, learnt this baklava recipe from a Lebanese woman while living in New York city, whereupon Dema learnt it already living in Hamburg, and came all the way down to Barcelona to share it with us. The world of food is simply amazing.

Baklava
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: a lot
Ingredients
  • 400 gr of peeled natural walnuts
  • 400 gr of peeled natural almonds
  • 1kg white sugar
  • 2 liters water
  • 250 gr of butter
  • 12 layers of filo pastry
  • cinnamon
Instructions
  1. (Coming soon…)

 

Mel’s Famous Cheesecake

You can go to Big Al’s in Sitges to try this delicacy… or you can follow this recipe and become the life and soul of the party.

Mel's Famous Cheesecake
 
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Equipment: 23 cm cake pan with removable sides
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Digestive biscuits 250g
  • Butter 125g + a little more to butter the cake pan
  • Sugar 200g
  • Queso para untar or philadelphia 750g
  • Eggs 4
  • Vanilla 1 tsp
Optional Berry Topping
  • 25g sugar
  • Grated lemon rind
  • Berries 400g (I use frozen)
  • Cornstarch 2 tsp
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 c
  2. Butter the pan
  3. Melt the butter
  4. Crush the biscuits until they are crumbs
  5. Mix the melted butter with the biscuits until it is like wet sand.
  6. Spread the biscuit mix ⅔ up the sides of the cake pan and on the bottom. Put in fridge to chill.
  7. Beat the sugar and cheese until smooth.
  8. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Each time beat the egg in.
  9. Add in the vanilla.
  10. Pour into the cake pan.
  11. Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes. You want it to be only slightly brown on top. And still have a wobble.
  12. Turn off the oven and open the oven door. And let it cool until room temperature.
  13. Let it chill in the fridge for another 4 hours.
  14. Remove the cake from the tin.
  15. Eat and enjoy!
Berry Topping
  1. Mix cornstarch with a Tablespoon of water until smooth.
  2. Heat a small saucepan and add all the ingredients.
  3. Cook until it thickens but berries should still have some shape.
  4. Let cool and serve with cheesecake.

 

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken legs, jointed
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Generous splashes of soy sauce
  • Splash of vinegar (optional)
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, mix together all the ingredients until the chicken is coated. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook about 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Preheat the oven grill to super high. Place the chicken pieces skin side up on an oven tray and cook under the grill until the skin gets crispy.
  3. Simmer the leftover cooking sauce until thickened.
  4. Serve with steamed white rice. Drizzle the sauce all over the rice and chicken.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Pictures coming soon…

Arròs Negre (or Black Paella for the uninitiated)

The first thing that comes to mind when foreigners think about Spanish food is the almighty paella, but, while arguably a perfect dish, my favorites are variations like the fideuà or arròs negre, which pass under the radar and so keep the quality of well-kept secrets. This recipe is taken from a book from the most famous Catalan cook, Ferran Adrià.

Arròs Negre (Black Paella)
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • A big squid
  • 5 cups of rice for paella
  • 12 cups of fish broth
  • 2 tbsp of squid ink, diluted in a bit of warm water
For the sauté
  • 420 gr. of grated tomato
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • Thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the “green paste”
  • 3 or 4 parsley branches
  • A handful of hazelnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
Preparation of the sauté
  1. Chop garlic and onion and sauté for 10 min. in olive oil.
  2. Add a tsp of thyme, a tsp of rosemary and 2 bay leafs. Stir carefully.
  3. Finally add the tomato and salt and cook on low fire for 20 min.
  4. Let cool and process to obtain an homogeneous paste.
Preparation of the paste
  1. Hand-blend the parsley and hazelnuts together.
  2. Add olive oil while you blend to create a green thick paste.
Preparation of the paella
  1. Cut the squid into small squares and stir-fry in a paella at medium heat for 1 or 2 min.
  2. Add 6 tbps of the sauté, stir and cook for 10 min. Add water if necessary so it doesn’t get stick.
  3. Slowly add the rice whitout ceasing to stir. Cover with broth and bring up to a boil, then let it simmer at medium heat for 8 min.
  4. Add 3 tbsp of the green paste, salt to taste, the ink and mix.
  5. Let cook at medium-low heat for 20 min without stiring. Add a bit of broth if it dries out too soon.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Enjoy with a bit of allioli on the side!

 

Fast shiitake and soba miso soup

Fast shiitake and soba miso soup
 
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Fast and easy way to preparea a soba soup with few ingredients.
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 200 gr. of fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 150 gr. of soba (or any kind) noodles
  • 1 big garlic clove
  • 2 green onions
  • Miso paste
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cut the clove of garlic in slices and throw them into a pan with a bit of olive oil. Heat up the pan so the oil absorbs the flavour of the garlic.
  2. Cut the mushrooms in quarters and once the garlic starts to jump, add them to the pan and sauté them for about 1 min, then reserve.
  3. Put about a bowl and a half of water to boil in a small pot with a pinch of salt. Once it starts to boil put in the noodles.
  4. Boil the noodles for the time suggested in the package. Once done do not rinse, just add in a tablespoon of miso paste, the sautéed mushrooms and garlic, and the green onions cut into fine slices, and mix until the miso paste dissolves.
  5. Enjoy!