The Cookbook Challenge No. 35: Spanish

Yum, yum, yum!

Who could possibly not like Spanish food! Little bowls of flavoursome dishes loaded with garlic....mmmmmm....

One of the things I discovered about Spanish food this week while flicking through my cookbooks looking for a recipe is that the recipes are all so simple with very few ingredients. I guess that's the reason they're strongly in favour of top quality ingredients. At first I thought I was just picking the really simple recipes, but they're all like that. Just another reason to love Spanish food!

For this weeks theme a few of us from the Cookbook Challenge got together for a Pot Luck Lunch (stay tuned for some photos of the feast), and below are the recipes I contributed to the day...

Chorizo and Pea Filo Parcels
Vogue Entertaining & Travel (Dec/Jan 08)

300g green peas
70g butter, melted
60ml puring cream
3 x 130g mild or spicy dry Spanish choirzo
9 sheets fresh filo pastry

Cook peas in boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain, then process with 1 tbsp butter and the cream in a food processor until smooth. Season, then refrigerate until chilled and firm.

Remove casings from chorizo, then process in a food processor to a paste.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Layer 3 sheets filo together, brushing with melted butter between each. Lay a line of chorizo along the long side of the pastry, then top with a line of pea mash. Gently roll up filo to form a long sausage shape, then cut in half. Place rolls on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Repeat with remaining ingredients, then bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Cut each roll diagonally into 6 and serve.

Catalan Marzipan Cakes
Vogue Entertaining & Travel (Dec/Jan 08)

500g caster sugar
500g ground almonds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 egg whites
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g pinenuts
100g slivered almonds, chopped
20g grated dark chocolate, plus extra chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Using your hands, combine sugar, ground almonds and lemon zest in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp water and egg whites and, using your hands, rub wet ingredients into dry until mixture is well combined and pliable. This forms the panellet base.

Divide base into three and flavour each as follows: for pinenut panellets, roll tbsps of mixture into balls; for almond ones, form into logs. Brush both with beaten egg and roll in pine nuts or almonds, pressing nuts to stick. Place on a baking paper-lined oven tray and brush again with beaten egg.

For chocolate panellets, add grated chocolate and shape into balls, pressing apiece of chocolate into the top.

Bake all panellets for 8-10 minutes, turning the nut ones halfway through cooking. Makes approximately 40.

I really enjoyed both dishes, in particular the savoury dish. I'd probably make them a little smaller (thinner) next time, and you really need to watch the cooking time as the bottoms cooked really quick - I wonder if it was due to the oil coming through from the chorizo.

The biscuits were sooooooo easy to make, although the pinenut ones took the longest purely due to the fact that the pinenuts wouldn't stick to the dough...little buggers! They're a really sweet biscuit so you can't eat too many at a time, and I recommend eating the chocolate ones crumbled ontop of some vanilla ice-cream....just because I can!

As mentioned - photos from our feast day to come...stay tuned....


  1. Loved the filo pastries & the one chocolate biscuit I managed to squeeze in. Now I wish i had all the leftovers in front of me so I could try more, Thanks!

  2. Ange - I got the leftovers and boy have I been enjoying them! Hehee.

    Leigh - thanks again for coming and bringing your tasty pastries and biscuits.

  3. Thanks Ange - glad you enjoyed. I don't know about you but I'm still full from Sunday. Hasn't stopped me eating though..hehehe

    Your welcome Agnes and thanks for letting us into your home - it was wonderful meeting you all!

  4. It was so lovely to finally meet you! Thanks for all the beautiful food. I really liked the filo parcels!


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