The Aigua Blava Cookbook #7: Squid with Romesco Sauce

Image of squid at the fishmongers

Is it me or does the squid look reproachful?

I dithered a bit about the title for this recipe. Should it be squid with romesco or romesco with squid? If this was a Hollywood musical (bear with me) the sauce would be Ginger Rogers and the cephalopod would be Squid Charisse. Continue reading

The Aigua Blava Cookbook #6: Revuelto de Espárragos

Image of Suffolk eggs and asparagus in Spain

My father-in-law would have been proud of me. When his children were young he would drive home from their holiday cottage to raid the garden for sweetcorn, runner beans, tomatoes, potatoes …

Admittedly he didn’t have far to go but I think he’d have been tickled that we took our home-grown asparagus and our hens’ eggs all the way to Spain last week.  Continue reading

The Aigua Blava Cookbook #4: Gazpacho

Image of a Valencian building

Sarah and the Valencian apartment where she worked as an au pair

Sarah, my sister-in-law, once worked as an au pair for a wealthy family in Valencia in Spain. She had her hands full looking after a gaggle of children, the eldest of whom sounded like a proper little madam, and found herself awkwardly placed between Upstairs and Downstairs.  Continue reading

The Aigua Blava Cookbook #3: Broad Beans with Ham

Image of beans tossed in pan with parsley and bacon

This is the simplest recipe going but oh-so-delicious and one of my favourite tapas nibbles. Try it with a fat wedge of tortilla and a few French beans tossed in olive oil and lemon juice – it’s not quite as good as getting on a Costa Brava plane but it’ll still make you want to sing “Y Viva España”. Well, maybe. Continue reading

The Aigua Blava Cookbook #2: Pollastre a l’ast with Saffron Allioli

Image of pollastre a l'ast

Picture courtesy of J.C. Gaudi

One of my favourite Catalan meals is a takeaway. Pollastre a l’ast is the Catalan take on spit-roasted chicken and it is sublimely good. The chickens sit side-by-side in tiers, each row dripping down and basting the burnished birds beneath. (See what I did there?) Continue reading

The Aigua Blava Cookbook #1

Image of the garden from the apartment's terrace

This blog has its genesis in a hand-written cookery book, now in its second volume, that I began 17 years ago in Aigua Blava in Catalonia.

I am fortunate enough to have married a man who, with his siblings, inherited an apartment in this lovely village on the Costa Brava. I’m even luckier to have married into a family who are as fond of food and cooking as I am. I am custodian of my late mother-in-law’s cookery books, one of them written in the back of the medical notes she made when she was training to be a doctor. Dissecting the inner ear on one page, paprika chicken on another. Continue reading