Pizza Tamalera: Gluten-Free Maize Crust Pizza


Polenta-based pizza is nothing new. And quite delicious, though many would argue whether it’s a pizza at all. The question seems to me academic. What is not academic is that nixtamal or lime-treated corn is not polenta! Nixtamalized corn has more protein, more vitamins – especially vit B3 (niacin), essentially unavailable in untreated corn – and of course exrtra calcium from the lime. It also has a more intense flavour – the flavour of maize. Continue reading “Pizza Tamalera: Gluten-Free Maize Crust Pizza”

Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo

courgette flowers on tomato sauce

The world knows salsa ranchera. That spicy tomato-jalapeño classic turning plain old eggs into huevos rancheros. Usually eaten at breakfast I’m equally happy to start, sustain or finish my day with this light but satisfying dish.

Ubiquitous in Mexico, caldillo is conspicouly absent in Europe. We introduce it here as a topping for pizza tamalera, subject of our next post.

Caldo means broth, soup or stock. Caldillo is a tomato sauce incrporating a big pot of of your favourite broth which has been slowly added and simmered off. Caldillo is typically served with stuffed poblano chillies but is heavenly with just about any dish using tomato sauce. Continue reading “Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo”

Basic Dough For Tamales

white-maize in a bowl


Getting tortillas right from raw ingredients took about 100 go’s. The process is labour intensive so Mexicans buy them ready-made or use masa-harina for instant results. Without the benefit of a personal tutor I had only trial-and-error to guide me. Of course I got there in the end!

Tamales are much easier. Mexican cooks make tamales, and I got that hands-on tutorial (thanks, Maria and Yolanda – you know who you are!). Continue reading “Basic Dough For Tamales”

Mexican Tamales

corn-husk and banana leaf wrapped Mexican corn tamales

The tamal is recorded at least as far back as 5000 BC. Tamales may have evolved from other nixtamal-based items, such as tortillas, out of the need for soldiers and warriors to have access to pre-perared food in the many wars between between pre-hispanic peoples.

Tamales are essentially corn dumplings, filled with meat, fish, vegetables, even insects or their eggs, wrapped in corn husks, or in more tropical regions plantain or avocado leaves, then cooked in a variety of ways. There are savoury and sweet tamales, filled and unfilled (blind), open (unwarapped) and closed, steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, even fermented tamales. the range is potentially endless Continue reading “Mexican Tamales”

Lunch: Full Indian

Indian thali

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus – 7

A new walk today to the old XIX century public laundry and on to ancient rocks where it is said there are Visigoth steps carved into one of the monoliths. We didn’t find them. But the view from the rocks was great. We’ll keep looking for the steps.

Today, a selection of veggie Indian dishes to round off a marvellous week of yoga, walking and eating Continue reading “Lunch: Full Indian”

Lunch: Mexican Tamal Pizza, Azteca Sides & Watermelon Granizada

Mexican flint maize

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus – 6

No guided walking today. We started with two and a half hours of flowing vinyasa settling into slower, deeper, then sustained yoga postures. After lunch a well deserved free afternoon. Debbie and Wendy are having none ot it. They’re off to Santa Cruz De La Sierra for a brisk climb up the 1200ft Saint Gregorio Peak. Continue reading “Lunch: Mexican Tamal Pizza, Azteca Sides & Watermelon Granizada”

Dinner: Korean Bibimbap With Turnip Kimchi

yoga and mindful walking in monfrague

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 5

Great day out in Monfrague Biosphere Reserve with a stiff walk up to the Castle. I chickened out just before the summit. Vertigo, don’t you know! Lots of fresh air, exercise – and vultures. Enough to give anyone a healthy appetite. We ate lunch out in the chiringito in the village. Finally, after an hour of gentle restorative yoga, SUPPER. Well, dinner, actually. Continue reading “Dinner: Korean Bibimbap With Turnip Kimchi”

Lunch: Tudor Pie On Gluten-Free Panko

sweet potato tart with panko base

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 4

The main course, a sweet potato tart, was introduced to the court of Henry VIII by Catherine of Aragon following the Spanish discovery of the Americas. The original recipe contained burdock root, with a flavour not unlike that of horseradish. We used (real) wasabe powder for a more unusual kick. Allspice was an essential part of the original recipe and we’ve stayed faithful to the fact.

I’m not always a fan of pastry: delicious, but I’m often rewarded with heartburn. Instead I used gluten-free panko breadcrumbs with hazlenuts and a little clarified butter. I thought the result was deliciously light and  – well – nutty. Continue reading “Lunch: Tudor Pie On Gluten-Free Panko”

Soup For Supper: Artichoke & Broad Bean Potage With Parsley, White Wine & Saffron

fresh globe artichokes

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 3

We all know supper is a lighter, more informal version of dinner. Both are evening meals, of course. But did you know: the words soup and supper are related?

We round off our first day with a quintessentially Spanish artichoke and broad-bean  stew. Distinguishable from a soup merely by the amount of liquid present, where’s the argument? Continue reading “Soup For Supper: Artichoke & Broad Bean Potage With Parsley, White Wine & Saffron”

Lunch: Ethiopian Injera With Three Stews

ethiopian injera with vegan side dishes

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 2

Our first day: lunch after walking around the Old City walls and Castle.

The “injera” we ate was a gluten-free version with sorghum and millet, plus buckwheat for colour and body. It was  naturally fermented as per teff injera and made by excactly the same method. Click here for classic injera recipe.

Other methods include the yeast-based lahoh and an instant injera

I used my amazing air-fryer / food dehydrator to dry the sweetest figs  I’ve ever tasted, courtesy of our dear frineds John Perring and Charmian Inman from their nearby finca  Lagar de La Señora.  John and Charmian also make excellent organic wines under the same name and the best ever olive oil: check them out at Lagar De la Señora.

The menu:

Continue reading “Lunch: Ethiopian Injera With Three Stews”