Cooking in Spain
Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain


For My Babies and Theirs
Through all the seasons in Spain, the weather invites parties and celebrations. Here are a few ideas for feeding everyone.
Baked Stuffed Squash Cheesy Veg Fish Casserole
Fruit Salad Gravy You Love Hob Cooked Poultry (Whole)
Kir Cranberry Moroccan Lamb Roasting Oil
Salad Dressing Salad Dressing - Thai Style Squash Soup
Vegetable Stock  
Baked Stuffed Squash:
Serves any number
Suitable for vegetarians

One small squash (Onion squash, Butternut squash etc.) per 2 people
1/4 onion per person/half squash - chopped or sliced
Ginger - strips
Cumin, Paprika and Cinnamon to taste
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

1) Cut the squash in half and discard pulp and seeds. Cut lengthways if Butternut.
2) Drizzle with oil (or smear with butter if preferred) and bake in oven for 1 hour.
3) Fry onions, ginger, sultanas, paprika and cinnamon together in oil for a couple of minutes.
4) Place the fried ingredients inside the hollow of each squash half.
5) Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
6) Serve and eat!

Quick Tip - Alternatively, prepare filling as above but cook squash in microwave for 2 to 5 minutes.

Cheesy Veg:
Serves any number you wish
Can be prepared a day in advance and kept in fridge before stage 7.
Any mix and number of vegetables. You can just use 1 or 2 different vegetables, but my favourites for about 12 people are:

A large Cauliflour separated into florets
2 large stalks of Calabrese (Brocoli) separated into florets
12 Shallots or small Onions, pealed and whole
A large Squash cut into approx 3cm chunks
6 Leeks in 2-3cm lengths
6 Carrots, peeled and cut in half
3 large Parsnips, peeled and quartered
12 baby Sweetcorn
A couple of chopped Chillis (optional)
200g shelled Walnuts
400-600g grated Cheese(s)

1) Place the vegetables in a large pan with water.
2) Bring to the boil then simmer for just a couple of minutes.
3) Remove the veg from the water and place in a large baking tray. (Set the water aside for stock).
4) Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, according to taste. Include the chillis if using.
5) Crumble the walnuts over the top.
6) Sprinkle the cheese over.
7) Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to brown.
Fish Casserole:
Serves any number you wish.
200-300g Fresh Fish per person (any white fish or a mix of white, salmon, tuna, swordfish or similar)
Ginger, chopped
Hot Radishes, sliced
Horse Radish Sauce
Fresh Tomatoes (Whole Cherry or quartered Large)
White Wine
Vegetable or Fish Stock to almost cover
Sukiyaki Sauce
Herbs - fresh or dried
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in Casserole Dish and cook gently on hob or in oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve alone or with rice or hot bread.

Fruit Salad:
Serves 12
A large handful of Sultanas
1 cup Local Wine
Cinnamon to taste
1 Apple (Granny Smiths work well) - peeled, sliced then cubed
1 Pear - peeled, sliced then cubed
4 Kiwi Fruit - peeled, halfed lengthways, sliced
3 Clementines - peeled, de-pipped, and each segment cut into 2 or 3
1/4 Pineapple - peeled, sliced, cubed
300g Strawberries - cut lengthways then sliced
Juice of a large Lemon

1) Place the sultanas and wine in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove it from heat, add cinnamon and leave to cool down.
2) Place all other prepared fruit in a bowl.
3) Pour the lemon juice over.
4) Add the sultana mix and gently stir in.

Gravy You Love:
My husband, children and friends adore this very basic, easy and "secret" gravy recipe.
Multiply ingredients according to number of people. For 4-6 people:

1/4 litre good red or local wine
1/4 litre vegetable stock
2 vegetable stock cubes
75ml Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried Garlic
Fresh ground Pepper

Initially warm, later heat, the above ingredients together in a pan and people declare they adore it!!
Optionally thicken with a teaspoon of Bisto or add a bit of heat with some chilli

Mix with Redcurrant Jelly for Lamb
Mix with Port (instead of wine) and Stilton for Beef.

Hob Cooked Poultry (Whole):
Serves 6 to 12 people depending on size of bird(s). (Can double or treble up with more pans - easier than in a limited space oven).
Recommended for Guinea Fowl, Turkey, Cockerel or Chicken
Choose from 3 to all of the following vegetables and fruit

1-4 red onions, sliced
1-2 bulbs of Garlic, finely chopped
6-10 Carrots, sliced
2-6 hot Radishes, sliced
1-2 Leeks, sliced
300g dried Apricots or Peaches, sliced
100-200g Sultanas
1-3 Red and/or Green Peppers, sliced
2-3 Courgettes
2-8 Potatoes
1-3 Parsnips
Pealed and chopped Ginger

1) Take a deep glass-topped baking dish and cover bottom with Olive Oil.
2) Place vegetables in pan and cook on a low hob for 15-20 minutes.
3) Stir vegetables and place one or two birds on top.
4) Pour half to a litre of local wine over the birds.
5) Sprinkle Sukiyaki or Teriyaki Sauce over the birds.
6) Cook on a low hob for 2 hours or more, turning birds at each hourly interval.
7) Serve alone or with Roast Potatoes cooked in Roasting Oil

Kir Cranberry:
In France we used to drink Kir Royale (champagne and blackcurrant) as an aperitif. This is better!
Mix Cava with Cranberry Juice!
Moroccan Lamb:
Serves 6 to 8 people.
Large Leg of Lamb
1/2 bottle of red wine
Juice of 2 Oranges
2-4 Onions, sliced
1-2 bulbs of Garlic, finely chopped
6-10 Carrots, sliced
3-4 Leeks, sliced
1-2 Aubergines, semi-peeled lengthways and sliced
400g dried Prunes, quartered
2-3 Courgettes, sliced
2-8 Potatoes, sliced
Pealed and chopped Ginger
400g pre-prepared and rinsed Chick Peas
100g Ras El Hanout (mixed Moroccan spices)

1) Prepare and mix preferred ingredients, except lamb, wine and orange juice, in large baking tray.
2) Pre-cook on hob for 10 minutes.
3) Flood with red wine.
4) Place lamb on top of vegetable mix, pour orange juice over top and cook in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat falls off the bone.

Roasting Oil:
Suitable for vegetarians
Can be prepared in advance and kept in fridge.

Olive Oil
Chopped Garlic
Maple Syrup
Chopped Fresh Chilli(s), incuding seeds, to taste

Mix ingredients in a glass jar with top and store in fridge. Use with any roasted root vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, carrots etc.).

Salad Dressing:
Suitable for vegetarians
Can be prepared in advance and kept in fridge.

Olive Oil
Mustard (recommend French grained)
Vinegar (recommend white Balsamic)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Pepper (to taste)
Sea Salt (if you must)

Mix all ingredients except vinegar in a glass jar with top. When thoroughly blended by shaking, add vinegar (use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar) and store in fridge. Mix with any salad. Particularly gorgeous with young Spinach Leaves on ther own.

Salad Dressing - Thai Style:
Suitable for vegetarians
Can be prepared in advance and kept in fridge.

Brown Rice Vinegar
Equal quantity of Soy Sauce
Brown Sugar
Sesame Oil
Small amount of Vegetable Oil
Grated Ginger
Chopped Spring Onions

Mix and shake all ingredients in a glass jar with top. Use as a dressing on salads, prawns, beef etc.

Squash Soup:
Serves 50 to 70 people
Suitable for vegetarians
Recommended for Halloween, Firework Night, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Three Kings or any winter get-together.
Can be prepared in advance and frozen.

4 to 6 red onions - diced
2 large bulbs (not cloves) garlic - chopped
Olive oil
2 to 3kg of Squash(es) - diced
1 to 2kg of sweet potatoes (red) - diced
200 to 300g dried apricots - chop each into 4 to 6 pieces
200 to 300g sun-dried tomatos - chopped
200 to 300g courgette - chopped
6 to 10 sticks celery + attached leaves - chopped
4 to 6 red peppers - chopped
4 to 6 carrots - chopped
500g tomato frito OR a tube of tomato paste
1/4 litre local wine or Sherry
3 to 4 litres vegetable stock
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Chilli (chopped fresh, powder or paste ...) to taste

Allow an hour plus for preparation:
1) Splatter oil in bottom of BIG pan and add onions and garlic. Sweat for 5 minutes on low heat hob.
2) Dice vegetables and add to pan. Best to chop into large bowls and add a bowl at a time.
3) Cook until veggies are soft.
4) Add wine or sherry, tomato frito or paste, vegetable stock, seasoning.
5) Steep - 5 minutes to overnight.
6) Blitz to rough smooth with blender.

Vegetable Stock:
Simply save the water that was used to cook your vegetables in, in plastic water bottles and freeze until needed.
In-Site Links:
Food & Drink Top Directory
Other Links:

Click here to email us! Direct to Axarquia!