Saint for all seasons

22 July 2016

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JULY: the schools’ exodus, and the feast of St James (25 July). The Cam­ino de Santiago is the pilgrim­age route leading to his shrine in Compostela, northern Spain. It is a timely reminder that our task in building and perfecting this “City of God” transcends borders and status. Celebrate with Paella. This is a meat one, but seafood also applies.

 

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
1 carrot
8 chicken thighs/drumsticks
2 peppers (red and yellow, deseeded and sliced)
70g (2 oz) chorizo, chopped
1 chicken stock cube
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
300g (10 oz) paella (short-grain) rice
1 small glass of dry sherry
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons frozen peas
1 lemon, quartered

 

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large casserole or paella pan. Peel and chop the onion, garlic, cel­ery, and carrot; add them and soften.

Add the chicken and brown off, removing to a plate once done. Tip in the peppers, chorizo, stock cube, tur­meric, and paprika with the pars­ley stalks. Mix together, then stir in the rice. Add the sherry and stir until absorbed. Add the tomatoes, then fill the can with warm water and stir in. Return the chicken to the pan with the peas, simmer, and stir reg­ularly. It should be done after half an hour, once the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed.

When ready to serve, chop the parsley leaves and sprinkle over, with lemon. Serve with mayonnaise.

As the Camino disregards na­­tional boundaries, so this Café con leche panna cotta with cherries has a Spanish flavour, Italian method, and seasonal English fruit. The slick red sauce calls to mind the martyr­dom of James, believed to be a decade after the crucifixion of our Lord.

 

600ml (1 pt) single cream
2 tablespoons Camp coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
1 sachet powdered gelatine

 

For the cherry sauce:
450g (1 lb cherries)
60g (2 oz) sugar

 

In a small pan, heat the cream with the Camp coffee and vanilla until close to boiling, stir well, then turn off the heat. Mix the gelatine with a little hot water until smooth, and stir into the cream mixture. Divide this between four large ramekins and chill, ideally over­night.

Prior to serving, halve and pit the cherries. Bring them to the boil in a saucepan with any juice and a splash of water, stir in the sugar, then simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, by which time they will have broken down. Leave this to cool.

Remove the ramekins from the fridge for an hour before serving, then run a knife around the edge, and turn out each one on to a small plate or bowl, and top with the cherry sauce.

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