CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART

Street art in Malaga, Spain

In November, I featured some of the fabulous urban street art in the Soho district of Málaga – which proved to be a very popular post!

Since then, more murals have been commissioned by the city, including these two on the facade of the Colegio García Lorca.  The one the left is by British street artist D*Face whilst the other, (Peace and Liberty) comes from American contemporary street artist,  Shepard Fairey (aka OBEY).

There’s great street art in many cities around the world, so please share some with us in this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART.

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, meaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

Casa Az provides an online scrapbook of daily events in the life the Queen of Tapas!  Canadian by birth, Shawn is a cancer survivor now living with her little friends in the Andalucían capital of Seville, where she conducts tapas tours for visitors to the city.

Caroline Angus Baker is a self-professed Duende-loving Kiwi novelist, commentator on modern and historical Spain and Spanish Civil War nerd, full of bullfighting praise.  She’s had a busy 2013, too!

I’d love to you pop along and say HOLA to both of these ladies.  Tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for January, everyone!

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month´s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

Let’s Talk About Tapas: Boquerones

Tapas: Boquerones in vinegar

Last month, I started a new feature called Let’s Talk About Tapas, when I gave you a general overview of what to expect if you want to eat tapas in Spain.

Each month I will be telling you about different tapas, and often I will include a recipe so you can make them at home for yourself.

So, what are tapas and how did they originate?

Well, it’s thought that originally in the wine-making regions of Andalucía, a cover in the form of a small plate or lid was placed over glasses of wine to keep fruit flies away.  Titbits of food were later placed on the lid to be eaten with the wine.  Remember too, that the word “tapar” in Spanish means “to cover”, which is where we get the word “tapas” from.

Let’s get started with one of my favourite tapas – Boquerones en vinagre (anchovies in vinegar).

Boquerones whole

You can buy boquerones from fish merchants or any supermarket with a fish counter such as Mercadona, where a kilo costs around €3.

They are not very difficult to prepare and are absolutely delicious!   When we first arrived to live in Spain and rented a house for the first twelve months in Frigiliana, my Spanish next door neighbour showed me how she prepared them.

First you need to head and gut the fish.  Do this by holding each fish using two hands – with the tail in one hand and the head in the other.  Squeeze behind the head and pull it off.  Split open the fish with your fingers and take out the guts, backbone and pull off tail.

Boquerones filleted

Rinse in cold water until the water runs clear and place the filleted fish white-side up into dish.

Boquerones soaked in white vinegar and sprinkled with salt

Sprinkle with salt and cover with white wine vinegar.  Depending on how many fish you have, you can arrange them into layers – making sure you perform this same task with each layer.  The top layer of fish needs to be covered with vinegar.

The boquerones will start to turn white almost immediately as they “cook” in the vinegar.

I usually cover the dish with clingfilm and pop it into the fridge overnight to marinade.

Chopped garlic and flat-leaf parsley

Boquerones in olive oil with garlic and parsley

Next morning, drain the salty vinegar away and cover the boquerones with extra-virgin olive oil, lots of chopped garlic and a little freshly chopped parsley – and by lunchtime they will be ready to eat with freshly baked bread.

Eat your boquerones with a glass of chilled white wine or manzanilla (dry fino sherry).

What are your favourite tapas?

 

Whilst you’re here, you might also enjoy:

Let’s talk about tapas, shall we?

Spanish Omelette: Tortilla Española

A Celebration of Fried Breadcrumbs

 

Let’s talk about tapas, shall we?

Well stocked tapas bar in Spain

I’m going to be starting a new feature all about tapas soon, so let’s start by finding about what they are.

It’s thought that originally in the wine-making regions of Andalucia, a cover in the form of a small plate or lid was placed over glasses of wine to keep fruit flies away.  Titbits of food were later placed on the lid to be eaten with the wine.

The word “tapar” in Spanish means “to cover”, which is where we get the word “tapas” from.

How wonderful that Spaniards thought it unacceptable that a fly ends up in your drink, but it´s fine if it lands on the accompanying snack!

Other stories suggest that tapas were invented by a bar owner in Seville, who decided to put a cover (tapa) over his guests´ glasses of wine, using a slice of bread to keep out flies.  He later put a piece of ham or cheese on top, so that his customers could have a bite to eat with their drink.

Rioja and scrummy tapas!

Either way, the idea spread, so that nowadays the types of food served as tapas are limitless.  Most Spaniards don´t drink alcohol without a tapa and many bars, especially in southern Andalucia, provide them free of charge.

The original Spanish “fast food” is usually displayed in refrigerated glass cabinets on the bar and served in small terracotta glazed dishes. Some examples of the type of tapas normally available include gambas (whole cooked prawns in their shells), boquerones (fresh anchovies in olive oil, vinegar and garlic), chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage), albondigas (meatball…often in a creamy almond sauce), queso (cheese…often manchego), habas con jamon (broad beans with ham), ensalada rusa (Russian salad) or just a few olives.

Delicious tapas

Your choice of tapas is usually accompanied by a small piece of crusty bread which helps to counteract the adverse effects of the alcohol through drinking on an empty stomach.

What a sensible idea!

In many establishments, if you stand at the bar along with the locals you will be given one tapa free with each drink you buy.  

That’s right …. free food!

Tapas in Spain

Should you choose to sit away from the bar, you can pay for a tapas or two (usually about one euro in this part of Spain), or opt for a larger serving known as a ración (ration) or medio ración (half ration). This is a great way to eat a variety of dishes, and a pretty sociable activity as groups generally tend to share their dishes.

The food is generally very good, even in remote villages around the Axarquia.

Where is your favourite tapas bar?   Which tapa do you choose, time and time again?

 

You might also like to look at:

All at sea with the Virgen del Carmen

La Noche de San Juan: Families, fires and football!

Bus Services: East of Málaga

Food Glorious Food: Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan chicken marinating in citrus juice mixture

Following on from my rather sombre post yesterday, I thought I’d cheer everyone up again – by feeding you!

I’ve made this dish for just about everybody who has ever visited us in Spain, and it’s been a winner every time.  I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for some time, but for one reason or other I haven’t got round to it, but I’m not going to selfishly keep it to myself any longer.   This is for you, Cathy – as promised!

The beauty of this dish is that you can do the preparation in advance, so that when your guests arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to relax with them, (enjoying a glass of wine), before you knock their socks off with a delicious dinner!

I love cooking and make most of my meals from scratch.  For me, this dish is made all the sweeter by using lemons, oranges, almonds and mint growing in the garden.  I’m pretty confident that you’ll love it, too – even if you don’t have your own orange tree to hand!  :)

Let’s get cooking!

To make this tangy, lip-smacking, taste-bud-tingling treat for two people, you’ll need:

2 medium chicken breasts (skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces)

I medium onion (peeled and chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)

2 large oranges (juiced – I also use any bits of crushed fruit)

1 large lemon  (juiced – I also use any bits of crushed fruit)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of chopped dates (take out the stone and cut into thirds)

1 tablespoon of almond nuts (chopped in half, if you prefer)

1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon spice

Up to ¼ teaspoon of hot chilli powder (according to taste)

Handful of fresh mint leaves (chopped)

A few whole black peppercorns (optional)

Here’s what you do:

Put the diced chicken pieces and the chopped onion into a shallow dish.

In a plastic measuring jug, juice the oranges and lemon, adding any bits of crushed fruit.  Stir in the crushed garlic, olive oil, cinnamon, chilli powder and half of the chopped mint, to combine the ingredients together.  You should end up with between 300-400 mls of liquid.

Now, pour the juice mixture over the chicken and onions, add the chopped dates, nuts and whole black peppercorns.

Cover the dish with cling-film, pop in the fridge and leave the chicken to marinate for anything from 10 minutes to a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to start cooking, pick out the individual pieces of chicken with a pair on tongs, and gently fry them on a medium heat in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  (Make sure you have picked out every last piece of chicken from the marinade).  Turn the chicken pieces and when they are just starting to brown slightly, add all the citrus liquid mixture to the frying pan.

Your dinner is now less than ten minutes from being ready!

Turn up the heat under the pan, and bring the mixture to the boil.  Allow to simmer and as it does so, the mixture will begin to thicken, making the most delicious tangy sauce.  If you need to thicken the sauce a little more, just turn up the heat.

Stir in the remainder of the fresh chopped mint and serve immediately.

I usually serve Moroccan chicken with brown rice, but it’s just as delicious if you team it up with cous-cous.  There will be enough for two people using this quantity of ingredients.  I tend to use one medium chicken breast per person and adjust the amount of ingredients to personal taste.  It’s always best to have a spare orange or lemon to add to the juice mix, just in case you need a bit more liquid.  If you love dates, put a few more in – they go wonderfully sticky.  If you don’t have dates you can use sultanas instead.  When cooking for more than two people, I’ve been known to use the juice of a couple of limes, as well.

The main thing is, have the confidence to alter this dish to suit yourself.

Que aproveche!

If you enjoy cooking (or eating), you might like to try these recipes:

Classic Spanish Omelette: Tortilla Española

Easy No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon