Tuesday, 27 January 2015

NEXT SUPPER CLUB 6th and 7th FEB

I'm running two Spanish Supper clubs in feb on the 6th and 7th 
To book your place.. http://www.edibleexperiences.com/p/451982055/Millis-Kitchen/10001/Millis-Kitchen-Spanish-Supperclub

or click HERE

Hope to see you there, come alone, or book as a group, I'll be here to welcome you!

Scroll down to see previous blog post on menu

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Cooking Paella for 1,300!

I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life yesterday. Tomas (left, friend) asked me and Cam (right, brother) if we could help cook Paella for the Town of Comares. Er... YEAH! Cam and I share a passion for food, I love cooking it, Cam loves eating it, nah, we both love eating it. 
Comares is the most beautiful white washed town high up on the mountain top, overlooking lush green hills down to the sea. Every Janurary they celebrate their Patron Saint, San Hilario with a sombre mass, a procession through the town, music, beers, dancing, rum and cokes and PAELLA! 
Cooking for 1,300 people struck a little fear into my heart. We met the team at a road side cafe, and although I felt we didn't have much time to prepare, we sat and had breakfast in the sunshine. Eating well is important in Andalucia, you don't miss breakfast because you have a busy morning ahead, you set yourself up properly, with pitufos and coffee. I'll be honest here and tell you I felt a little apprehensive being the English girl in a group of macho Spanish men. Turns out any friend of Tomas is a friend of his friends and when I raised my eyebrows at the steep snaking roads up the mountain, one chef dug a mint out his pocket and told me it would sort me out.
I couldn't believe the size of the paellera, Cam is over 6ft and was swamped by sheer size of it!
First things first, man make fire. Surround in sand.
Get all ingredients and prep out. That's over 100 kilos of rice!

Bread
Lemons!

The locals take a seat near the square, bringing sherry, bread and cured pork fat from home.
Set up of the bar, drinks and paella 1 euro each, 3 for a Rum and Coke

Views from the cemetery, a short walk from the square.

Cleaning the pan. A little grease is left on the pan, year to year to maintain its non stick. So now we have to get it hot, pour a litre of vinegar in and scrub away. Really gets up your nose.


Firs thing in is the olive oil and chicken, then garlic. It's already smelling good at this point.


We had to use oars to stir the paella. It's hard work and we took turns, the generosity and hospitality of the locals was overwhelming and if I didn't have an oar in my hand, I had a beer, a sweet wine or some tapas!

What is hard to describe is how much hard work it was. We had such a laugh but my god, your legs got so hot, one chef singed all the hair on his arm, and the SMOKE. The smoke in the eyes was unbearable and with one gust of wind you would be temporarily blinded, my eyes still sting a little today, from yesterday.
Eyes stinging...beer break.
The crowds gather! Check out one chef's son, in his little whites. This boy is going to be doing this for years to come, I just know it.

He got hot and weary too.



It took nearly an hour to serve the whole town and we were working at an incredible speed. I can't tell you how good it was to serve up the last bowls amongst the team and have a cold beer in the sunshine. As soon as I felt tipsy and the dancing began, we were whisked off to a nearby house for coffee and doughnuts before heading into the bars for a heroes welcome ;) and drinks on the house with Verdiales performing in the bar and in the square. Old and young, dancing, singing.. the Spanish know how to have a good time.





One more drink before home time. What a memorable day, we've been asked back next year, so couldn't have done a bad job. Thank you Tomas, and the team we're still on a high.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Milli's Kitchen Spanish Supper Club

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! The treats don't stop until the tree comes down, and when it does we can start celebrating the New Year! I'm going to pop over to Spain mid January, but before I do, I thought I would cook up another Spanish feast in London. My brother kindly bought me home some cracking cheese and Jamon from Malaga for my Supper Club.
Here are some pics from my instagram to whet your appetite, if you fancy coming along, alone or with friends, book here and I look forward to meeting you! 
 tortilla
 Roast pepper salad

Jamon Iberico de Bellota

Gaspacho and ajo blanco
 Quails egg and lomo
Croquetas
Cheese and membrillo
 Chorizo and chickpea stew
 Octopus!

 Pimientos de Padron, mushrooms


PAELLA!!!!!!


 
(Above, Helen Cathcart's beaut pic I pinched)

Flan

Chocolate mousse, with Malaga wine macerated prunes

Fig and almond tart

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Burnt Butter and Hazelnut Cake

Happy Birthday Mum! I took the day off on Friday, to cook a special lunch for my mum and the fam. We had fresh crab rolls and a Mexican seafood feast, it felt good splurging at the fishmonger knowing that lunch would still be less than eating out, so I picked up massive tiger prawns and juicy monkfish.
I wanted to make Mum a cake, but she's not keen on buttercream or sponge much so I had a flick through April's new book 'Decorated' and had my eyes fixed on her Burnt Butter Hazelnut cake with FRANGELICO, only my favourite liqueur.
Mum thought I had made her a massive cinnamon bun, as I didn't have a bundt tin, well I love cinnamon buns so, no offense taken. The cake is simply delicious, rich and nutty. I served it with creme fraiche, berries and or stewed pear. Thumbs up from us. I was lukcy enough to win April's book on instagram, but it's over on Amazon, and if you want to try your hand at some beautifully decorated cakes, it's a must have and everything is broken down in simple steps. Next on my list of things to try is her crystalised rosemary.

From 'Decorated' by April Carter (Hardie Grant, £20.00) Photography: Danielle Wood 
Burnt Butter Hazelnut Cake
The burnt butter in this cake contributes to the nutty flavour of the
toasted hazelnuts. Toasting nuts before baking with them is a great way to bring out their flavour. The rounded top that the bundt tin gives this cake is perfect for drizzling icing over and the pretty details mean that you don’t need to do too much in the way of decorating.
for the cake:
––
250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter
225 g (8 oz/scant 21⁄2 cups) soft light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for grinding the nuts
125 g (41⁄2 oz/scant cup) blanched hazelnuts
175 g (6 oz/scant 11⁄2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour 31⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
5 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the candied hazelnuts:
150 g (5 oz/2/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 300 ml (10 fl oz) water
50 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) blanched hazelnuts
––
for the icing:
––
250 g (9 oz/2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar 2–3 tablespoons Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (optional) 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
equipment \ 20 cm (8 inch) bundt tin or round, deep cake tin \ sugar thermometer
 
 
preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F/Gas 3) and grease the bundt or cake tin. Melt the butter over a medium heat and simmer until it turns a deep golden brown and starts to smell nutty. Pass the melted butter through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the sugar. Set aside to cool.
Spread the hazelnuts for the cake out on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5–8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly. Using a
food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts with
2 tablespoons of the soft light brown sugar – avoid over-processing as the mixture will become greasy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine. Gradually add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Finally, gently fold in the ground hazelnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the oven on for the candied hazelnuts. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the candied hazelnuts and the icing. To make the candied hazelnuts, gently heat the sugar and water in a medium pan with a
sugar thermometer attached and swirl until the
sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to 121°C (250°F) (this will take up to 10 minutes; remember to keep
an eye on the temperature as it will increase quite quickly towards the end). Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts out on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5–8 minutes until golden brown. Line another baking tray with baking parchment. As soon the sugar syrup has reached 121°C (250°F), turn off the heat and stir in the warm hazelnuts. Keep stirring until the clear syrup coats the nuts and turns crunchy and white.
Tip the hazelnuts onto the prepared baking tray and separate with fork.
To make the icing, beat the icing sugar, hazelnut liqueur or 2–3 tablespoons of water and butter in a bowl until smooth. The icing should be opaque but thin enough to run down the sides of the cake.
To assemble the cake, beat the icing until smooth again. With the cake on the wire rack, drizzle a generous amount of icing over the top. Decorate with the candied hazelnuts and transfer to a cake stand
or plate.