About Natacha Sanz Caballero

http://www.natachasanzcaballero.com

Writer, mother, cook, photographer and lover of all things Spain. In a previous life I was a pharmacist, and in my dreams I play piano, write novels and travel in time to all periods of Spain's history, where I gather all the recipes cooked by my ancestors and invite them for a timeless feast. The gathering will be in Spain, of course, even though Indiana has been my home for the last —many years.

Posts by Natacha Sanz Caballero:

Banana nut bundt, Mama ía blog

Banana Nut Bundt, and a Christmas Family Reunion

Banana nut bundt, Mama ía blogI know what my children will say when they see this post: banana nut bread (in any of its forms, like the banana nut bundt recipe I’m sharing today) is not Spanish. I’ll have to remind them then that this blog includes the recipes that I make at home, most of which are Spanish, but some of which are not. If I make it often enough and is part of my repertoire, chances are, it’ll make it to Mama Ía blog. I’ve been living in North America for over two decades, after all!

Christmas 2017, Mama ía blogChristmas 2017, Mama ia blog

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Lentil butternut squash soup, Mama ía blog

Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup, ‘Tis the Season

Lentil and butternut squash soup, Mama ía blogDo you have the feeling that the Christmas and winter holiday season was ages ago? I certainly do, not so much because a long time has passed, but because so many events and activities have happened since. And I’m not talking about out of the ordinary or amazing events. In fact, January is probably one of those months (September would be another one) when everything goes back to normal —the restart of old routines, the beginning of new projects; but more than anything, a month of inwardness, of restarts, of cleaning and organizing, in literal and figurative terms. In one word, January is a month of resetting. This lentil and butternut squash soup, that I make often during winter, seemed appropriate for this time of year (a particularly cold January).

Lentil and butternut squash, Mama ía blogLentil and butternut squash soup, Mama ía blog (more…)

Tiramisu, Mama ía blog

Tiramisu, an Italian Dessert for a very Spanish American Christmas

Tiramisu, Mama ía blogIt is true that this blog is dedicated to Spanish cuisine in America; it is also true that some dishes have been made on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, for many years. Just like sangría is now made in many countries, with different variations on the original Spanish recipe (which you can find here, on this blog), I would think another of those dishes is tiramisu, an Italian dessert that has become, like many others, almost international. I make it often at home, so it has become part of my repertoire of recipes. As Christmas, and the festive days ahead, approach, with many of us hosting family and friends, this is one dessert that will not disappoint, and that can be made in large sheets and refrigerated, ready to feed a crowd. With coffee and some liquor in it, it is a crowd pleaser (and I don’t let the coffee and liquor part stop me from sharing it with my children, ha!)

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Meatballs in wine sauce, albóndigas en salsa, Mama Ía blog

Meatballs in Wine Sauce, Albóndigas en Salsa, a Classic

Meatballs in wine sauce, albóndigas, Mama Ía blogMeatballs in wine sauce, albóndigas en salsa, are a classic Spanish dish. Growing up, they were a favorite, and I think it’s safe to say children and adults alike love them. At home, and at most homes in Spain, they are accompanied by potatoes, that marry so well with the sauce they’re cooked in. My mom made them with cubed (more…)

Dinner rolls three ways, Mama ía blog

Dinner Rolls Three Ways, and an Autumnal Tablescape

Dinner rolls three ways, Mama ía blogI hope I get to your table in time for you to make these tasty dinner rolls three ways, because they should be on your Thanksgiving menu. I’m serious! They will be a hit. If you can’t fit them into your cooking and baking schedule for the day, plan on making them the day before, freeze them in freezer bags (I vacuum pack them) and defrost outside of the bags a couple of hours before your Thanksgiving dinner. That’s exactly what I am doing.

Autumn tablescape, Mama ía blog (more…)

Rhubarb almond cake, Mama ía blog

Rhubarb Almond Cake, and Preparing for Thanksgiving

Rhubarb almond tart, Mama ía blogI made this rhubarb almond cake a while ago, and I was hesitating whether this was the right time to post the recipe, given that rhubarb is not in season, at least where I live. I decided that this was perfect timing: with Thanksgiving next week, pie and cake are words that are dancing in my head, and this rhubarb almond cake is so versatile, you could swap the fruit and obtain the same wonderful result. The traditional ones, pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies, will be on many tables next Thursday, but alongside those, I always like to have something different. My friend Shelby makes coconut cream pie, and I absolutely love it. This rhubarb almond cake could become a pear almond cake, or a plum almond cake, and be a new addition to your Thanksgiving menu. I love it with rhubarb, so if you can find it, by all means, make it! Rhubarb gives the cake a certain tartness that I love, much like I think plums would.

Rhubarb almond cake, Mama ía blog (more…)

Braised cod with white beans, Mama ía blog

Braised Cod with White Beans, and a Year of Lasts and Firsts (Hint: Video Recipe)

 

Braised cod with white beans, Mama ía blogThis is not the first time I post a recipe for cod, and it will certainly not be the last. You know that cod is one of my favorite kinds of fish, and I like it in any way and manner: baked, seared, in soups (click here), in fritters (croquetas or buñuelos, click here ), in green sauce, pil-pil style, with roasted vegetables or esgarraet, you name it. The recipe I am sharing today is delicious, but what can I say! The cod is first salted for ten minutes and then rinsed and seasoned with Spanish flavors, pepper and pimentón de la Vera, garlic, thyme. It’s then baked in a cocotte, and laid over a bed of black-eyed peas simmered in a butter, olive oil, and lemon sauce (you could use almost any kind of legume or dry bean of your liking). Serve the braised cod with white beans with fresh crusty bread and you have a fantastic meal.

Senior Night, Mama ía blog (more…)

Pear tart, Mama ía blog

Pear Tart, Fruit Trees, and Bougainvilleas

Pear tart, Mama ía blogA pear tree grows in the woods next to my house, and I made a pear tart (actually two!) with its fruit. This pear tree is just one of the wonderful discoveries in my garden this summer and fall. Another one, that I’ve mentioned before, was the “resurrection” of the fig tree I planted last year. And it came out in force. It’s now almost taller than me! The weather is still summer-like, we are having a beautiful, beautiful autumn, but I start to worry about how I will protect it for the winter. I think replanting it in a pot and bringing it indoors is out of the question, the tree is too big. What should I do? Do you have any suggestions? If you do, please tell me! I’d love to see the tree alive and well next spring, and I’m afraid much of it will depend on the kind of winter, less or more harsh, that we have. If there’s a special way of wrapping the tree that will protect it better, I’d love to know.

Pear tart, Mama ía blogPorche del Taron, Mama ía blog (more…)

Slow baked baby back ribs, Mama ía blog

Slow Baked Baby Back Ribs and Grilled Corn with Ñora Allioli

Slow baked baby back ribs, Mama ía blogI like ribs, but never loved them (I can hear you gasping). Of all the different pork cuts, I never found ribs to be tender enough, instead, I always found them kind of chewy, a cut of meat that was too much bone and not enough meat. In Valencia I had them mostly in rice dishes, like in hearty baked rice, arroz al horno. I love hearty baked rice, it’s one of my favorite rice dishes, but I would eat the chorizo, blood sausage, vegetables and rice before I ate the ribs (sometimes I even pushed them aside). So much so that I don’t even add pork ribs to my hearty baked rice recipe (find it here), even though they’re part of it.

Josph Decuis Farm, Mama ía blog (more…)

Grilled corn with ñora allioli, Mama ía blog

Grilled Corn with Ñora Allioli, on a Warm Fall Day

Grilled corn with ñora allioli, Mama ía blogThis might be the tail end of the corn season, but to go with the slow baked baby back ribs I made, I knew I had to make corn. Don’t ask me why, but I associate ribs with corn. And grilled corn with ñora allioli was the answer.

We are a divided house when it comes to corn, some of us like it grilled and some like it boiled. For this recipe I decided to grill it in its husk, and there were no complaints. The sun was shining, it was unusually warm for this time of year, and I was itching to go outside. I wonder, too, if the allioli I made to spread on the charred kernels had something to do with its success at the table. It wasn’t my regular traditional allioli (find that recipe here). The Spanish Tin had sent me a small batch of ground ñora peppers. Ñora peppers! I had never been able to find them in the US, and now I know where to go for them. Ñora is a small, round pepper that grows in the region of Murcia, just south of the Comunidad Valenciana, where I come from. It has a characteristic flavor and medium heat. To know that I can now source them through The Spanish Tin makes me very happy.

Grilled corn with ñora allioli, Mama ía blog (more…)