July 14th, 2012
I had dinner at Amaia’s house this week and was thrilled and delighted when she served mojama as a starter.
Mojama is salted tuna loin. Using a traditional Spanish method for curing and preserving fish, the tuna is salted for two or three days before being washed and left to dry under the sun. The result is a hard red block that’s sliced and eaten like ham. We ate it with bread, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Mojama smells like tuna, has a dry, ham like texture and is a little reminiscent of smoked salmon, though less salty. I loved it and could have eaten the whole piece!
The main course was a large piece of pork, marinated overnight in a mixture of five spice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper to give it a Chinese flavour. The skin was left untouched so that it would turn to crackling. Amaia roasted the pork slowly for a couple of hours in a medium oven. When it was cooked, the crackling hadn’t come to much, so I put the grill on and watched it patiently, until it had blistered perfectly. Making crackling just right under the grill, is very quick and simple, but it can change from perfect to burnt within 30 seconds, so you can’t take your eye off it for a moment.
To go with the pork, Amaia made a delicious fennel gratin
Above is the stir fry finished off with soy sauce.
The pork was beautifully tender and had absorbed the Chinese seasoning throughout.
For pudding, Adam (another guest) brought an apple and cherry pie
and Amaia baked a rhubarb crumble! I got very lucky and was allowed to take home the tiny remaining portion of crumble at the end of the evening. I’m not normally a pudding fan, but I do love sharp things like rhubarb. We had some ginger ice cream, on the side.