Walk in the Park
Today I took a long walk in the park behind my house with a good friend. The park is quite large and has many different areas, each with their own characteristics. As this area is a former marsh area, there is fantastic wildlife to see, in particular in the spring when it all erupts into full action. We saw baby rabbits, ducklings, plants starting to blossom, and people jogging and walking. As we walked past the open park area where the new open river bed is being built to help prevent flooding and to encourage native birds and insects to come back, we caught up on our lives. We continued strolling to the woods and farmlands across the boulevard. This part of the park goes on for acres and acres with cows, horses, donkeys, sheep and other farm animals roaming in the prairies. The wooded area is quite spacious and has magnificent spaces inspiring you to commune with nature (except for the sound of the highway in the background).
Wild Garlic Fields
We especially enjoyed seeing the carpet of wild garlic spreading almost as far as our eyes could see. We gathered some wild garlic for a few meals next week as well as for freezing for future times when we want to evoke the memory of this beautiful spring day. If you have wild garlic near you, see the recipes I posted for Pasta with Salmon and Avocado and for Leek Quiche and Wild Garlic on this site and in previous posts on my Facebook page. You can also make a tasty wild garlic pesto basically by substituting the wild garlic for the basil and reducing the amount of garlic slightly. Wild garlic is much more subtle in flavor than ordinary garlic cloves.
Pollo al Ajillo
After 2 1/2 hours of walking in the park, we arrived back at my house where we were famished. We prepared Pollo al Ajillo (Chicken with Garlic) following the recipe from the Moro Cookbook by Samuel and Samantha Clark, who run the fabulous Moro restaurant in London. You can find the recipe for Pollo al Ajillo by following this link. I love this recipe because it is so easy to make, does not take more than an hour from start to finish (including side dishes) and always looks like you have slaved in the kitchen for hours to prepare it. In sum, the ideal dish when inviting company for supper. I follow the recipe faithfully, except at the end. After removing the cooked chicken from my cast iron pot, I spoon out all the garlic from the sauce, remove the garlic from their skins and then put the garlic cloves back into the pot with the sauce. I then cook the sauce down for a few minutes while using a wooden spoon to smash the garlic cloves and blend them into the sauce. I’ve even taken a hand mixer to get a smoother sauce, but this is not really necessary as the pieces of garlic left in the sauce give a more rustic look. It’s up to you however. I highly recommend this recipe as well as the Moro Cookbook.