Thursday, February 14, 2008


Quite often when you research information into the various cultures and cuisines that make up countries it is quite possible to find a common theme common name for the food of that country. Such as Chinese Food, Thai Food etc but to be honest it could be argued that with regards to Spain there is no such thing as “Spanish” food as with the make up and historical heritage of Spain it is not quite that simple.

The Political and historical make up of Spain with the unification of its particular regions and collective cultural identities make it perfectly reasonable and logical to argue that there is no such thing really as overall Spanish cooking. These autonomous regions have been slowly amalgamated through a number of different processes throughout history but have all kept their own distinctive features.

The relative number of autonomous regions that combine to form modern day Spain is 17 and in the main, they all have their own language variants (if not separate languages) and entire cultural heritages. One of the more interesting and culturally diverse regions is that of Galicia which is situated in the North Western corner of mainland Spain.

Galicia is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and it is pretty understandable to think that for a region that has such an involvement with the sea, its cuisine would also be heavily influenced by the sea. Nothing in fact could be further than the truth and there are a whole host of interesting and delicious recipes based upon the agriculture and viniculture of the region.

The time for talk is over and let’s gets on with the serious business of cooking!

For this delicious Gazpacho recipe we are looking to take enough ingredients to serve four people and us such we would need the following:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small leaks, white parts and then chopped.
600 ml of water
1 potato peeled and diced
450 grams of fresh asparagus with the tougher parts of the stalks trimmed and chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 media makes
1 teaspoon vinegar
A pinch of sea salt flake’s
A few drops of truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil

Take the olive oil in a heat the oil in a saucepan and then add the leaks and stew slowly until the leaks are nice and soft.

Next add the water a little salt and pepper and potato if you are going to be using one. The reason for including a potato in anything like this is that it will slightly thicken the soup making the whole dish a lot more substantial.

However, if you are going to include potato in this recipe then you have to remember that the soup will need to cook for about 10 minutes longer than normal until the potato has softened. The next thing is to add the asparagus and boil for five minutes. Be careful at this stage because if you boil the asparagus for too long you lose the colour from the asparagus and the whole soup will lose a bit of the visual impact.

Take the soup and then purée the soup in whatever blender or food processor that you have and when the soup has been puréed, push the soup through a sieve. The reason for this is that you want to try and make the soup as much of a consommé as possible.

Let the finished soup cool and then keep the soup cool until you are ready to serve. When you’re almost ready to serve the soup poured into some nice wide rimmed bowls.

Now for the second stage of the recipe, the warm poached eggs.

Take a saucepan and add some water. Add the vinegar and bring the water to a simmer rather than a boil. Take the eggs and gently crack them and gently lower them into the water. Simmer a couple of the eggs at a time for about three minutes or until the white of the egg is set.

Remove the eggs and leave them to drain. If at this particular point in time you want to be totally obsessed with the display and appearance of the soup you could always try and trim the whites of the egg either with a knife or scissors. Take the poached egg and place one in the centre of each bowl of soup and sprinkle on top of the egg some flakes of your sea salt and add a couple of drops off the truffle oil. Be careful with the truffle oil in that the actual case can be extremely overpowering and is not necessary to everybody’s taste.

Then serve sit back and wait for the complements!

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