Showing posts with label Gran Canaria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gran Canaria. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Recipe: Canarian Curry

A hotty but a goody!

I brought back a bottle of Mojo Picon (canary chili sauce) from Gran Canaria earlier this year as lots of dishes in the restaurants we went to contained it and it gave a nice kick in a kind of fruity way! Whilst on holiday we cooked a chicken smothered in it one night in our apartment (I think in the microwave if I recall correctly!!) and had it with salad and rice and it was absolutely delicious! On the last night of the holiday we ate at a fantastic restaurant on the little square off the harbour in Puerto de Mogan. It was very traditional and rustic, with friendly staff, authentic embroidered table cloths and wall hangings, and little maritime artefacts and lanterns hanging around our heads. "La Bodega" served us a tapas selection of traditional Canarian Delights - including potatoes cooked in canarian sauce and also succulent rabbit in the picon sauce - plenty of chili, garlic, peppers and a warming fruity sauce.

Last week we experimented with the last few dollops of sauce, having only used it on unoriginal things like chips and pizza until now, and created this curry. We used beef but I think chicken would be fab with it.


Beef or chicken
Red onion, chopped
Garlic, pressed
Celery, chopped
Jalapeno or similar chili, in rings
Chopped tinned tomatoes
Tomato puree
Chickpeas, drained
Red wine
Canary chili sauce
Fresh coriander leaf, roughly chopped
Lemon juice

I really did chuck it all together and guess quantities, to taste, but here are some rough instructions:

1. Fry the cubed meat off in a large, deep frying pan in olive oil until no pink bits remain - I squeezed half a lemon over the meat before I started cooking

2. Add chopped onions, garlic and celery and soften on a fairly low heat

3. Squeeze a generous amount of tomato puree over the meat and veg and add the canary chili sauce according to your spice threshold - I dribbled over about a tablespoon altogether

4. Coat everything with the sauce, and use like a paste

5. Once coated and frying nicely, add the tin of tomatoes, allow to boil, season, stir and pop a lid on, leaving to simmer on a very low heat for as long as you like

6. When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce and that your meat is cooked through / tender enough according to your liking, remove the lid and reduce down slightly whilst you cook the rice

7. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with haricots verts or similar, and lemon wedges if you desire

Photo to follow next time I make it - I didn't expect it to be nice enough to blog about :D

Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Gran Canaria is apparently not all concrete and clubbing!

Rather sceptically I decided to venture to Gran Canaria for a bit of winter sun. I'm a bit of a fan of getting back to nature on holidays, experiencing a bit of culture, discovering the history of a place, you know what I'm talking about. So I hadn't heard much about Gran Canaria, or indeed any of the Canary Islands, that seemed attractive to me. Much internet research took place before I committed to booking the week long break. Even though I selected Puerto de Mogan very carefully, scanning all images online and reading every possible travel blog and review site, I was still sure that I would find a built up, ugly resort and a black sand beach full of English people roasting themselves by day and scoffing McDonald's by night. I'm English so I feel I'm allowed to make such a sweeping generalisation.

Puerto de Mogan could not be further from the concrete and culture-free Canaries that I had conjured up and filed away in my "never going there" holiday scrap book. However, it was fortunate for me that we arrived and drove through the rest of Gran Canaria at night - on the way back to the airport after a week in heavenly and delightful Mogan, I saw exactly the kinds of resorts that I had dreaded. But that's another blog-post.

Back to Puerto de Mogan. We stayed in a huge complex of apartments built into the side of the valley. We had everything we could possibly need in our self catering apartment, including peace and quiet, views, and a touch of luxury. Check them out here. The town itself was a charming and unique little place, with a modern harbour and colonial style painted buildings and bridges that would have been tacky anywhere else. The relaxing atmosphere and beautiful beach, sea, and sunny weather made us forget about everything back in icy Britain. For a completely chilled out break, I recommend a few days sunning, eating and drinking on the seafront in Puerto de Mogan.

So, things to do. Aside from enjoying and indulging in Doing Nothing, there seemed to be loads of water sports / boat trips / fishing type excursions going on. The white sandy beach and swimming bay are really beautiful, if a little crowded. The sand is imported from the Sahara apparently! There are lots of cafes and bars for coffees, drinks and ice creams. We also went for an amazing walk up the side of the valley opposite the apartments. Many people, including some locals, did the same first thing in the morning before it got too hot but the paths weren't at all signposted or advertised (in fact, there was one sign saying private and no entry, but everyone was ignoring it so we followed suit). One crazy woman ventured off the track for a little "run" up a near vertical path - more like a stagger or climb but her leg muscles must have been like rocks afterwards! Once over the top of the mountain we had the most incredible views of lush greenery against red rock. The flowers and cacti dotted around the edges of the cliffs and roadside were so beautiful. The best thing, however, was the breathtaking view of the bright blue sea for miles around and the absolute silence and isolation. It was bizarre that ten minutes walk from Mogan could take you to an idyllic haven with no trace of civilisation. We walked on much farther than most other people out for a stroll and would have gone on to the next resort quite easily if we had taken some food and water with us :-).

That leads me to the best part of the holiday - the food. The restaurants and food in Puerto de Mogan were fantastic. I did not have a single bad (or even slightly poor) meal during the whole week - even the supermarket food is good there! If you don't want to take my word for it, see my restaurant diary blogs for photos and links.



Coming soon: Canarian Feasts Part 1 - tapas delights and rabbit

Final night of the holiday - dinner in a traditional Canarian restaurant on the square at Puerto de Mogan's harbour.

Photos and details to follow!