White Mice for Breakfast

"O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!"

Iberian Indulgence! July 1, 2010

This week, scallops, I will be describing the delectation of:

That’s right, TAPAS. Or to be more precise, certain delicious southern Spanish foodstuffs, the ciruelas of Córdoba, the mariscos of Murcia, the limón of the Levante, the ajo of Andalucia, all steeped in the aceite of Olivar del Desierto in the Tabernas desert.

Yes, crumpeteers! Your favourite intrepid literary food writer has been gadding away from the green shores in search of new and noteworthy dishes! And I am delighted to announce that my success has been as resounding as a ladle in a le cruset! Not only does your devoted Esther have news of sumptuous SPANISH sustenance, I have also located a new ‘Cheese of the Week’; so flip to a free page on your E.C. memo pads and watch out for another post hurtling into the stratosphere!

FIRSTLY, langostinos, we shall discuss the initial repast of the day, and although the beginning is a very odd place to start in my opinion (Leavis is also of a mind about this; why not simply plunge in mid-way, crumps, avoiding preliminary dilly dally? That singing nun has misled a whole generation, I’m sad to say) we shall begin with BREAKFAST.

Indeed, the daily desayuno. No metropolitan, Madrileño chocolades con churros to be found here, beets! Rather, the fascinating tradition of TOSTADA. A cheap, nom-licious dish, made from toasted baguette halves ‘barra’, pricked with a fork and drizzled with olive oil, before being rubbed with crushed, de-skinned tomatos and light flourish of salt. (In my case, I should also request a cafe SOLO, a coffee as strong and dark as a power-lifted covered in tar. But do not let me sway you, I’m sure cafe con leche is acceptable).

But Esther! I hear you cry. Surely this provides the perfect canvas, the base, for tasty additions? If, dear eaters, you have visions of serrano HAM, CHEESE, other ethereal savouries wafting o’er your palates, do not be alarmed. For indeed, this was also explored most thoroughly! Myself, being a traditionalist, sampled a simple tostada con tomato, ajo y manchego:

My dear friend Miss Pamela Vartue, on the other hand, braving the Andalucian sun and risking her fair complexion with only a jaunty continental hat for protection, was most inquisitive and sampled a fascinating TOSTADA of tomate y ajo con jamón serrano y huevos de codorniz: (tomato, garlic, serrano ham and quail egg… these sound infinitely nicer in Spanish, no?)

My other dear travelling companions also performed admirably in the food-discovery objective; I do believe Miss Vartue and Geraldine discovered some delectable mejillones, whilst Ms North fed my ever-increasing love affair with manchego and queso curado (and semi-curado for that matter…) and we all four  lit upon a wondr’ous dish of patatas alioli, a garlicky romance to the cuisine of Córdoba.

Although Leavis preferred to stay behind and read up on salmon, Barthes did attempt to tag along. Luckily we gave him the slip at the aerodrome, by shouting ‘By God, is that Empson by the luggage carousel?’ and running away while he was distracted.

Keep a watch for that cheese, dumplings!

Más mantequilla!

Esther. xxx

Advertisements
 

Easy as a Piece of Cake March 9, 2010

Filed under: Savoury Delicacies — theotherhand @ 11:24 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This week,  I’m afraid I have been terribly:

+   =  

Yes that’s right, dear chitterlings. This week, I, along with several esteemed colleagues, have been rather preoccuPIEd. It began early last week, when, quite simultaneously, we all fell about ourselves over a Piemaker! Can you imagine our mutual chagrin when we discovered ourselves attempting to squeeze through the door of his quaint eatery ‘The Pie Hole’ at the very same time? Quelle Catastrophe! Miss Pamela, the first to have lain eyes on him, forgot all her virtue and began threatening to use her demure hair ribbon as a garotte! Geraldine, meanwhile, joined the fray by brandishing a weighty volume from her bag, suggesting a good pummeling. Not wanting to disarray the elaborate cornucopia I had balanced in my curls, I stepped back from the ruckus, and with the aid of a handy soda dispenser, quelled the warm spirits all round. Once we had all dried off, and were sat most peaceably in a booth with large malts, the following truce was agreed upon:

To LEAVE the most delectable pie-maker (who is, in any case, a work of fiction) to his travail, and revel in our own expertise by the creation of a CELEBRATORY PIE.

Ah, dear crumpetines, this is indeed Esther’s Advice to dispel strife and care on all occasions. The next time you are worn with grief and dismay, and are sitting on the floor surrounded by wrappings, sobbing and cramming cream buns into your mouth, raise yourself up, brush off that icing sugar, and shout gaudiloquently:

I WILL MAKE PIE!

If you are fortunate, and pray to St. Escoffier, your pie may even look a smidgeon like this:

(DELICIOUS FOOD DISCLAIMER: RETREAT A SAFE DISTANCE FROM KEYBOARD TO PREVENT DROOL DAMAGE. Esther Crumpet will be in no way held responsible for salivation based malfunctions.)

Delectable goats' cheese, spinach, pine nut and shallot, puff pastry PIE.

Of course, sweet readers, those will the skills of Esther Crumpet are few and far between, so YOURS may not look quite so glorious. It is of no matter, the important lesson learned is that you have CREATED a dish of which to be proud and SAVOUR, rather than weeping in a buttery mess into your empty packet of prozac.

Until next time, pikelets!

Esther xxx