Velvet Crab and Guacamole Salad. Noodles with Oxtail and Prawns. Cod Confit with Roast Peppers. Banana Parcels with Lemon Ice Cream.
It is Friday
Few lucky souls can ride whenever the urge takers them, be it a Monday, Wednesday or Sunday. Even fewer are those who can just get on the bike and go, with nary a thought of which direction to head, or for how long. Fortunate they may be, leaving us envious knowing that at this exact moment, they are on the road, wind in their face, and we are not. This article is not for them. It is instead dedicated to those who must be happy with their lot of snatching a few hours here and there each week, juggling family, friends, and work commitments, and often finding themselves in this very situation.
It is Friday. A call comes through, – it’s Maria, – the secretary tells me. She’s ringing to let me know that tonight, like many Fridays, we’ve got dinner with friends. At our place. Damn. Tomorrow I need to ride, and of course fuel properly for six hours. Yet I realise that without her, or my friends, nothing I do would make sense. Who would I share my exploits with?
I need inspiration for a meal
Searching for a solution, I call chef Iñigo Lavado (to introduce him properly would require another article). Iñigo, I need inspiration for a meal which will impress and sate even the most demanding foodies, and at the same time get me around a 165km loop tomorrow. Help me!
When he finally stops laughing, the answer is yes and the result of our conversation is a step-by-step guide to preparing a quality menu indispensable for those of us carefully balancing sport with family or social engagements, sacrificing nothing in the way of flavour.
Of course, we won’t go into calories and all the rest. Here, we’re seeking flavours, experiences and above all enjoying a mouthwatering meal where cycling itself is both reason and reward!
For 4 persons
VELVET CRAB AND GUACAMOLE SALAD
For the Guacamole
250 g avocado (3 or 4 fruits). One small tomato. Two small onions. A few drops of tabasco (to taste). A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Olive oil. Salt. Pepper.
Peel and mash the avocado. Finely chop the tomato and onion. Mix and season the rest of the ingredients to taste.
For the Velvet Crab
Three onions. 250 g prepared crab meat. 100 g tomato sauce (home made or bought). Brandy.
Chop and sweat the onions over low heat. Add the crab and flambé in the brandy. Add the tomato, allow to stew and season with a pinch of salt
NOODLES WITH OXTAIL AND PRAWNS
Fresh prawns. Noodles (asian wheat noodles). Cook the noodles according to the packet.
For the Oxtail Stew
Oxtail. Leeks. Onions. Carrots. Red wine. Pepper.
Season and cover the oxtail with flour, fry until golden. Set aside and brown the vegetables. Add the oxtail and add the red wine until halfway. Allow to reduce by half, cover with water. Cook gently for 2.5 to 3 hours.
Heat the oxtail and add noodles. At the last moment, add the raw prawns, dress with toasted sesame seeds and coriander.
COD CONFIT WITH ROAST PEPPER
4 cod fillets. Olive oil. Garlic and parsley. Red bell peppers..
Wrap the oiled and seasoned peppers in kitchen foil and bake for 40 minutes at 180ºC. Confit the cod in olive oil at 70ºC for 12 minutes. The oil must be previously flavoured with garlic cloves and parsley 30 minutes at 80ºC
BANANA PARCELS WITH LEMON ICE CREAM
For the vanilla filling
500ml cream. 5 yolks. 75 g sugar. 1 vanilla pod. 2 sheets gelatine.
Heat the cream with vanilla seeds. Mix in sugar and yolks. Before reaching a boil, strain and allow to cool. Add gelatine. Once cooled, whip with cream and leave in freeze until the cream can be formed into cubes. Wrap in thinly sliced banana. Caramelise with a blowtorch, serve with a good lemon ice cream.