Tag Archives: Spanish

Mediterranean baked breakfast eggs

15 Jan

This is a breakfast for when you really want breakfast. For when you really need a big old feed in the morning and may or may not intend to eat anything else for the rest of the day. I mean for when you wake up pained and startled by your own hunger, wondering whether perhaps somewhere in the depths of sleep, some strange person has entered your house wielding a contraption of their own invention, the sole purpose of which is to suck out the entire contents of your stomach and use the half-digested contents as some sort of magical fuel source.

It’s also the breakfast Man Woman has after Woman has had the fortitude to wake up on a Saturday morning and do a double class at the gym, and Man has exhibited a similar level of strength in remaining in bed while one’s partner is kitting up for (and boasting about) some serious cardio-vascular exercise.

Baked eggs for brekkie is a great idea. Often the Frenchie version involves double cream and a bain marie, but this is far easier and pretty much contains your daily recommended intake of veg in one hit.

Adjust the spices for your own taste, but the below mix is a pretty darn good one.

Mediterranean baked breakfast eggs

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 C spinach, chopped (about 1/3 bunch)
  • 1 tin tomatoes (chopped or whole)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • Parsley
  • Feta (optional)
  • Bread (optional)

In a fry pan, heat some oil. Then add onions and garlic, sautee until softened. Add spices, spinach and tomatoes and cook until the mix has stopped being watery, but the spinach is reduced down (probably about 5-10 minutes).

Either divide the mix into a couple of heat-proof dishes, or just leave as is. Crack two eggs into each heat-proof dish (or four into the fry pan). The eggs should cover most of the mix.

Put the pans/dishes under the grill for a few minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking. Throw a couple of pieces of pita bread under the grill too while you’re at it.

Top with crumbled feta and chopped parsley.

(I realise that by grilling this, it’s not technically ‘baked eggs’, but really it’s so satisfying that semantics lose their power)

Estimated cost: £4 (if you go for cheese and bread)

Musical accompaniment: Peaches



25 May

We’ve very hopefully created a new tag called ‘summer recipes’. I feel this could be tempting fate, but gazpacho kinda forces summer into your kitchen. You can’t fight it.

This recipe is adapted from the totally fabulous – but not very veggie friendly – the New Spanish Table.


  • 5 tomatoes (3 cups)
  • 1 cucumber (about 150g – smallish)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2/3 C bread crumbs (or stale bread, cubed and soaked in water)
  • 3 large spring onions
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 TBSP sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 ysp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Throw all the veg, breadcrumbs and spices into a blender and blitz for all you’re worth. Add vinegar to taste.


Estimated cost: £2.30

Musical accompaniment: The Cave Singers

Spanish-style lemon marinated olives

6 Feb

Back in the glory days, when Man Woman ate fish as well as veg (jest! we jest!), we used to very much enjoy sojourns to Meson don Felipe, on The Cut in Waterloo. Aside from the steamed octopus coated in paprika and rock salt (sweet jaysus), we also went for the olives. We were obsessed with these olives. As it so happens, they are deadly simple to imitate thus making the world an infinitely fairer, more amazing place in which to exist.

Lemon-marinated olives

  • 250g green olives
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red (Spanish) onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • olive oil

Mix all together. You may leave to marinate for days, but it should be ‘right after an hour. Also, don’t discard the lemon rind or raw onion. They turn out really quite yum in their own right.

Estimated cost: £3.20

Musical accompaniment: Hawk and Hacksaw

Partly-pickled paprika-spiced celery and red onion

14 Dec

This light little half-pickle was the result of a specific request for celery from a dinner guest. Man Woman doesn’t do celery, usually, unless it’s sticking out of a bloody Mary. So we had to get creative. This is half-salad, half-pickle, really, and makes a nice little side dish to heavier foods – perfect, in fact, as a Christmas side if you live in warmer climes or, indeed, if you need a break from the Stilton and potatoes in cooler ones.


The almost pickle

  • 2.5 – 3 sticks of celery, very thinly sliced (no more than 2mm)
  • 1/2 medium red onion very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced to fit in)
  • 2 TBSP aged sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp hot sweet paprika
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • cracked pepper

Mix all ingredients. Feel free to eat immediately or let steep in fridge for a few hours. When adding paprika, put half the amount you imagine it needs at first and then adjust – paprika can have a tipping point which could spell ruin for this dish.

Makes a nice accompaniment to rich, Spanish type dishes like Romesco-baked eggplant.

Estimated cost: 70p

Romesco-baked eggplant

10 Oct

It is very likely you have not had romesco sauce. This is an opportunity to address that major oversight in your life.

We discovered romesco via a fabulous Spanish cookbook, The New Spanish Table, which has very little in the way of dishes without ham or fish. We used to whip out a dish of seabass and potatoes, baked in this sauce and alioli when we had friends to dinner, and this is our first attempt at making it veggie. Trying to think of what veg simulates seabass is a good way to accidentally lose 3 hours. In the end I’m thinking these flavours will go well with asparagus, eggplant and artichoke – nice absorbent veg and all rather Spanishy. But eggplant is the cheapest of the three, so thus it is.

This is my version of romesco with what we had in the house on a wet Sunday afternoon when I didn’t want to go outside.  You can use this as a dip, or a bit of a chutney. Also, it’s best prepared a day before eating.

Romesco sauce

  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes (properly dry, not in oil)
  • 1 dried ancho chili (this gives it the ‘proper’ flavour, but if you can’t find a Spanish chili, opt for a mild Indian one)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons oatmeal (or use breadcrumbs)
  • 1.5 tsp sherry vinegar (very much not optional)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of hot paprika (I did without this, but I think it would be better with)

Soak the chili and sun-dried tomatoes in about 1/2 C hot water.

Heat oil in a pan. Add oatmeal, ground almonds and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, until they start to go a bit brown.

Add canned tomatoes, paprika and cayenne. Throw in sherry vinegar, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and de-seeded & chopped chili. Cook for about 15 minutes over low heat.

Romesco baked eggplant

  • 1 large potato, parboiled and sliced lengthwise into 1cm slices
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 2cm slices – lightly fried and oil drained off.
  • 1 portion of vegan mayonnaise (with an extra garlic clove crushed in)
  • 1/2 above portion of romesco sauce

In a 20cm diameter dish (just guessing, seems about right), layer potato, then eggplant. Top with romesco sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes in an oven at 200c.

Serve with vegan mayonnaise (turned alioli by an extra garlic clove crushed in) and/or with dressed green salad.

Estimated cost: £3.30

Musical accompaniment: Freelance Whales

Breakfast tortilla with bravas sauce

15 Aug

This might seem like a bit of effort for a breakfast, but it’s really not – particularly if you, in some moment of divine inspiration, remember to parboil the potatoes when you have 2 minutes the day before. Luckily for Man Woman, Man possessed this foresight so breakfast only took about 20 minutes.

Tortilla is something we took a fancy to when in Madrid, when the only other breakfast option was a disturbingly glazed croissant or stale bread with tomato and sherry vinegar rubbed on it. We managed to get one place to serve the tortilla with bravas sauce, which makes it far more tasty, but only once or twice – when the waitstaff were prepared to understand our attempts at Spanish.

Tortilla Espanol (via London and Australia)

  • 8 small new potatoes, par boiled and smashed up a bit
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1-2 sliced garlic cloves
  • small handful of green beans
  • 4 eggs
  • salt (note: be generous with the this, the Spanish are)
  • olive oil (see ‘salt’ note)

In a non-stick pan about 20cm in diameter cook the onions and garlic in plentiful olive oil. Add potatoes, crush them a bit in the pan (we leave the skin on new potatoes), and add just another little glug of olive oil and salt. Meanwhile, roughly mix up the eggs – make sure yolks and whites are combined. Mix cut green beans in with the potato onion mix, make sure the sides of the pan are well oiled, then pour in the egg mix.

Cook on the stovetop for about 5 minutes, then finish under the grill. The best tortillas are just a bit runny in the centre – but this is a fairly thin one, so not quite so possible.

Serve with bravas sauce.

Estimated cost: £2.40

Musical accompaniment: Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes

Bravas sauce

15 Aug

Really, this sauce isn’t all that ‘bravas’ –  unless you’re a Spaniard, in which case it’s probably as hot as the fires of the hell that you will be condemned to if you don’t confess your sins to the nearest Roman patriarch.

But, nevertheless, the bravas part of the patatas bravas is a good sauce, and one which goes rather very well on burgers or, in this particular instance, on a breakfast tortilla Espanol.

Bravas sauce

  • Can of tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 red capsicum (pepper)
  • 3 cloves garlic,  finely sliced
  • 1 TBSP (generous) sherry vinegar
  • pinch of saffron
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Cook the garlic, onions and capsicum down in a pan until soft. Add the spices, cook for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and sherry vinegar. Let cook down for about 15 minutes.

Can refrigerate for later use for probably a week.

Estimated cost: 80p

Musical accompaniment: The Low Anthem

%d bloggers like this: