Around the Bowl

Soups of the world – Recipes from around the globe & some creations of my own


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Caldereta de pescado – Spanish Fish Stew

Calderetas are a kind of traditional stew all around Spain, originally cooked  with local ingredients: red meat inland or fish and seafood in the coasts along with in-season vegetables.

Fish caldereta is another delicious dish from Northern Spain, within the “Atlantic Diet” I first introduced in the Piperrada recipe. Of humble origin, the legend tells that it was traditionally prepared by fishermen on board of fisher vessels with whatever fish they had available, specially those that wouldn’t make the cut for sale and some other basic ingredients, generally potatoes. Although nowadays it can also be found in  fancy restaurants, cooked with expensive fish and seafood, it remains as a healthy, affordable and every-day option in many Spanish households.

Known as caldeirada in Galicia, caldereta or calderada in Asturias and Cantabria, marmitako in Basque Country (prepared with bonito), it is also a typical dish in Portugal. There are as many recipes as towns along the Cantabrian and Atlantic Spanish coast. Today I’m sharing my approach; simple and yet delicious, the trademark combination of Spanish Cuisine.

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Japanese Potato Salad

You may think that a potato salad is not a Japanese recipe, buy apparently it’s a very common every day bento and side dish. I have never heard of the Japanese version of the potato salad until I read the last Haruki Murakami book (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage), where the main character orders a potato salad in a restaurant, arising my curiosity. As usual, I did a little research and finally went for (and slightly adapted) the recipe from Just One Cookbook, a Japanese recipe blog that is in my blogroll and I’ve already introduced in this post, along with the fabulous H. Murakami book.

I instantly liked this recipe because: I love potatoes in every possible way (I think I might be addict to starch) + it’s a fresh salad ideal for a summer meal + it can be both a side dish or a complete meal + it’s quite easy to prepare + it’s an ideal dish to take to friends and family gatherings and finally, unlike other kind of potato salads, is packed with veggies!

Let’s cook and dig in!

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Irish Leek and Potato Soup

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Back in 2008 I went on holidays by myself  and I couldn’t have made a better choice for a solo trip than Dublin; besides being a very pleasant city, people is so friendly that I hardly ever had dinner on my own, I always ended up chatting with someone at the pubs or restaurants.  And locals might have had a contagious spirit, because visitors behaved extremely friendly as well.

One of those evenings I was sharing table with a lovely English couple at a very touristy nonetheless excellent Irish food restaurant (sorry, I did not record the name of this one!) when I had my first Leek and Potato Soup. Happiness! It still amazes me how something so simple can taste so good!

And you probably know the rest of the history if you have been reading any of my previous posts; back at home I made my homework and find myself a nice Leek and Potato Soup recipe to reproduce some of the holidays bliss at home. I served this one with sauté champignon mushrooms, traditionally you would serve it with bread and butter. Shall we share it?

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