I’m back. Tanned, full of beautiful Spanish food and more than just a little depressed at the thought of going back to work tomorrow.
I have spent the whole day washing clothes, cleaning and getting even more depressed as my tan seems to be fading before my eyes. So to ease the pain, I thought I would share some foodie delights from my holiday. Hopefully, the lovely
food and scenery will bring some joy to you as well as me. I have decided to split this into two parts so you won’t have to endure too much if you start to feel pangs of jealousy.
For a number of years, my family have holidayed in the south of Spain. We spent most of our childhood holidays in Estepona which is just south of Marbella. We love the area but don’t fancy being extras in an episode of TOWIE so now spend our summer holidays in Mijas Pueblo which is about 30 minutes from Malaga. Mijas is a beautiful little village in the mountains which looks down on Fuengirola and out to the sea. The views, as you can see from above, are phenomenal and they never fail to amaze us each and every time.
Mijas is a typical Andalusian village with white buildings, cobbled streets, authentic squares and ornate churches. Despite the fact that it is a small village, it has lots of lovely restaurants and bars. The people are so friendly and that’s what makes it so special to us.
For us, a holiday wouldn’t be a holiday for us without my Mum’s famous sangria. It was the first thing I wanted when I arrived at midnight and deserves the first mention in this post. It is so delicious. We had it every lunchtime but it was even better at the pool just before 6pm when the sun was the most perfect temperature. My Mum has a unique way of measuring the alcohol that only a Glaswegian could have invented. I will share this and some other Spanish recipes in a later blog so you can look forward to an innovative new way of pouring drinks.
The second tell tale sign of a Wallace holiday is lunch. The supermarkets have such lovely fresh produce and each day the lunch table was filled with a selection of meats, cheeses, salad, fruit and olives. The plump red grapes with the nutty cheese, the salty ham with the juicy melon, the huge red tomatoes with the creamy mozzarella were all incredible. The wine was amazing too and it was all so cheap. As my Dad would say, you just can’t beat it.
The final characteristic of a Wallace family is an amaretto coffee and we found the best one around. As though we needed any more reasons to go to Restaurante El Romero…the staff were so kind and friendly, the food was amazing, the wine was delicious and, of course, they had the ultimate amaretto coffees. The restaurant is set in the upper part of the village so the view to the mountains above and the busy street below was great. As you enter the restaurant, there is a huge barbecue grill with delicious meats smoking over red hot coals. The fish brochette is incredible with huge chunks of red snapper and massive prawns along with tender onions and peppers. The mixed plate is everything and more. It had a chorizo sausage, a black pudding sausage, beef ribs, chicken, lamb chop and Iberico pork. It was a party on a plate and had to be shared out. The star of the show though had to be the fillet steak. It was perfectly cooked and up there with some of the nicest beef I have ever tasted. The shock was that it only cost EUR 18! The mixed plate was EUR 12.50. A glass of wine was EUR 2 and a bottle EUR 10. It was astonishing and you can imagine how happy my Dad was!
I am majorly digressing…so the coffee. Well the picture says it all. Amaretto coffee topped with light whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. The best bit about it was the amaretto foam that was created when the coffee mixed with the whipped cream. It was an absolute delight.
To start with, we didn’t eat out every night. I really enjoyed doing this because it gave me a chance to cook and also meant that we could have a nice relaxing night without having to worry about getting dressed for dinner and with such lovely views, it was a pleasure to eat on the balcony. By the end of the holiday we had eaten out five nights in a row and it meant that we were sick of the sight of food (albeit the food on the last night was my favourite of the whole holiday). Having meals in and out definitley made us enjoy the food so much more.
The meals in were anything but boring. As I have said, the food in the supermarket is so good. Bearing in mind that these are not large supermarkets by any stretch of the imagination, each one had a butchers with lovely meats and marinated chicken. That was the staple for most of our meals and to go with this, we would have salads or veg. The recipes for the baked feta with honey and toasted walnuts, grilled asparagus with parma ham and courgette salad with lemon, chilli and mozzarella in the pictures will follow along with the sangria recipe.
The final thing I will mention in this post was a lovely little cafe and patisserie which we discovered called Bella Vista. It does indeed have a beautiful view. Again the staff were lovely. The food is simple but delicious and so cheap. You can get a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a coffee and toast and tomato for EUR 2.50. You couldn’t even get the coffee for that price back here, let alone the orange juice or the toast. The real highlight were the pastries. The custard slice was unbelievable. The custard was the perfect consistency between the layers of flaky pastry and was topped with a spreading of slightly melted white chocolate. It was one of the nicest things I think I have ever tasted. The chocolate pastry had lashings of hazelnut chocolate spread inside. It was a chocoholic’s dream.
Well that’s all for now. Looking at these pictures has certainly eased my back-to-work blues. However, I fear that the pile of ironing that I am about to start may bring me crashing back down. Until next time…