Culinary Anthropologist


  1. Sephardi orange & almond cake


    This recipe is adapted from Claudia Roden.  This cake has north African and Spanish roots.  According to Claudia, citrus cultivation and trade was particularly associated with Sephardi Jews around the Mediterranean, and there are any number of orange cake recipes in Sephardi culture. This cake is remarkable for its total lack of both butter and […]

  2. Membrillo

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    Aka quince cheese, membrillate (Spanish), cotognato (Italian), pate de coings (French) and marmelata (Portuguese), this has to be one of my favourite things to do with quinces.  It is the classic accompaniment for manchego cheese, but also very good with aged cheddar. The trick is to avoid graininess, a common flaw.  Quinces have tiny rock-hard […]

  3. Fabada Asturiana

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    This hearty stew hails from Asturias, in northern Spain, where they grow the best white beans.  The beans are dried and then used in this dish year-round. It really is the beans that make the dish – they are large, white and uniquely creamy and should be the most expensive ingredient in your stew since […]

  4. Beetroot gazpacho

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    I had this twist on the traditional Spanish tomato and bread soup at La Taberna del Pindal in Arenas de Cabrales in Asturias, Spain.  The trick, I discovered later, is to roast half the beetroot to bring out its lush sweetness, and grate the other half raw to keep its vibrant colour and fresh taste. […]

  5. Tortilla

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    This recipe is adapted from one by David Tanis, chef at Chez Panisse and author of ‘A Platter of Figs’, among other good things.  You can make it a few hours before serving, but do not refrigerate or it may go rubbery.

  6. Andalucian pinchitos morunos

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    These spicy kebabs are popular in Andalucia and originate from the era when the Moors occupied Spain.  It works superbly with pork, chicken or lamb.  Marinate the meat as far in advance as possible.  This recipe is adapted from one in the fantastic Moro restaurant cookbook. 

  7. Spanish chorizo, cherry tomato and butter bean salad

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    This week I bring you a more-ish warm salad, inspired by that Moorish London restaurant on Exmouth Market. This one’s for Tara, who has abandoned me at Chez Panisse to go and work at Moro for a while. Hopefully I’ll get some more yummy Spanish recipes from her as a result. All still goes well […]

  8. Classic crème caramel

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    This is a classic recipe, which we have practised at school.  It is based on one by Julia Child in ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ (1961).  It may not be trendy, but I like it.  Hope you do too. To make your water bath extra safe for your delicate custards, line it with a […]