Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith, Cook Nook Columnist

 

Hi Amazing Kids!  Can you believe it is already July? Summer is here and is it hot!! I have been to Florida with my sisters, Mom and Dad at Treasure Island.  We were planning on being “beach slugs,” but the weather didn’t cooperate.  We still had a great time – I love traveling with my family.  There is never a dull moment. Earlier this Spring, my Dad, my sisters and I planted a GREAT garden in our backyard. My Dad is really the master of our garden, but we are happy to supply him labor. He did such a great job of preparing the soil that the plants are going crazy– acorn squash, cucumbers, beefsteak tomatoes, red and yellow onions, potatoes, bok choy, peppers X3 – jalapeno, yellow and green, lettuce and three types of heirloom tomatoes that are taller than me and as tall as my Dad (who is 6’4”).  As I read more about the food and cooking of the Mediterranean countries, the more I appreciate their way of cooking.  As long as they have they have the traditional food staples, they can cook anything.  And you can too!

You know how much I love to read about food history. Why?  You can’t read about food history without learning about the history of the area – the culture, the land, the location of the country, the occupation over the years by different governments, and the political history all influence the food of a  country.  I hope you enjoyed the series of Portuguese recipes I created and posted on the web site.  As we move along the Mediterranean coastline, this month will feature the country of Gibraltar.  I never really knew anything about Gibraltar, but I do now and what an interesting country!! It has been under British rule since 1713.  Gibraltar sits at the Southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula right across from Spain.  To the West is the Alboran Sea and to the East is the Bay of Gibraltar, so they eat a lot of seafood. I read the preparation, the spices, the presentation and the cooking equipment required to make their food is very sophisticated.  Spinach Pie is a typical dish enjoyed in the country and Calentita, a fried bread made with chickpea puree, is the national dish. Bread (Bolla de hornasso), pasta (Rosto), and meat (Rolitos) are all popular foods of Gibraltar.  And did you know…JOY is an important status to their lives and they have a lot of celebrations….with food of course!!!!.  So, I hope you find JOY x3 in the recipes I have created…..Let’s get cooking.

 

Remmi’s Favorite Gibraltarian Recipes

Gibraltar Canary Melon Gazpacho

Gibraltar Über Mixed Greens Omelette

Calentita Flat Bread

Gibraltar Canary Melon Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 8 to 10 plum tomatoes (cut into small pieces)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 melon-cantaloupe or honeydew (cut in half and flesh scooped into large bowl)
  • 1 small white onion (minced)
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T white Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T fresh ginger
  • ½ t coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ melon (medium cubes)
  • 1 green onion (sliced thin)
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Directions:

Prepare ingredients as directed. Using a food blender add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the last 3. Blend until you have the consistency of a thick soup. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. To serve, pour into soup bowl. Place cubed melon in each bowl and top with slivers of green onion and mint.

 

Gibraltar Über Mixed Greens Omelette

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb mixed greens wilted and drained (spinach, red and green chard, kale)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped and lightly fried in 1T olive oil)
  • 1½ t basil
  • 1 large tomato (chopped in small cubes)
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare ingredients as directed. Wilt the mixed greens on low heat in 2 T of olive oil. Drain and set aside.  Pour the eggs into the softened garlic and in a medium non-stick pan. On low heat, cook the eggs until you can lift the sides of the omelet off with a spatula.  Add the wilted greens. Place a plate over the pan and flip it. Place the omelet, uncooked side down and allow it to cook.  When done, place on plate, top with crumbled goat cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil.

 

Calentita Flat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1⅔ C brown flour
  • 1 ½ C all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2¼ C boiling water
  • ½ C cornmeal

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place either a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet in the oven.  Boil the water. Mix the brown flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add one cup of the water and mix thoroughly by stirring with a wooden spoon (commonly used in preparing flatbread dough).  Add the remaining water and stir the mixture well.  Be careful because the mixture will be hot.  Set the dough mixture aside.  When it is cool enough that you can handle it, add the all-purpose flour.  Using your hands, gently work the flour into the dough mixture.  Divide the dough in half and form two balls of dough.  Dust each ball of dough with the brown flour, and using both hands gently flatten the ball to ½ inch thick.  Sprinkle enough cornmeal on the pizza stone or in the cast iron skillet. (The cornmeal will prevent the dough from sticking).  Bake for 45 minutes at 450 degrees.  Before you remove it from the oven, make sure it is done.  It should have a rich brown crust.

 

NOW for some more fun facts…DID YOU KNOW?

  • That under the Gibraltar Museum is the remains of ancient stables used during the British Occupation
  • Private baths, similar to Roman Baths, exist under the Palace of the Governor of Gibraltar
  • The Rock of Gibraltar’s highest point stands 1,398 feet
  • Dark “Greens” like spinach, kale etc. are “Super Foods” which are foods you should eat everyday.
  •  Near the top of the Rock is the den of the Barbary Apes that are known to be very aggressive
  • Over time, weathered minerals have formed over 100 caves on the Rock
  • Cantaloupes are rich in vitamins and they taste great tossed in salads.
  • Underground passages exist in the Rock were built sometime between 1779 and 1783
  • Gibraltar and the Rock have survived many invasions- hence the saying “solid as the Rock of Gibraltar”
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the only way basil would grow is to scream and shout while they planted the seeds.
  • Various Mediterranean areas and countries including Portugal, Malta, Genoa, Britain and Adulasia influence Gibratarian cuisine.
  • “Sima” is a very popular dish made with veal breast (1½ lbs!!!) stuffed with a variety of ingredients.  I couldn’t find a grocery store that sells it or even stocks it!!

I hope you enjoy these dishes….the soup is awesome. Keep having a great summer!! <3 Remmi.