Week 62. Andorra. Trinxat.

I love my son more than you could ever imagine, but we have just had 24 hours of bliss without him. Looking after a two year old is an intense job and slowly, slowly your energy levels drain. You don’t realize it’s happening as it’s so slow, but 6 hours sleep starts to reduce your personality. You talk less at social events, you don’t do much needed exercise, you forget how to relax and simple things like doing the ironing become enormous jobs. It took us about two years to realize that just a very occasional break does wonders. In the last 24 hours I have had a 2 hour rest, a 9 hour (wow) overnight sleep, had a run, been for lunch, been to the cinema and been out for dinner. I feel utterly revitalized and ready to take on the world. I hate to be the smug parent who thinks they know best, and this is far from the truth, but what I can say is that if you are a parent and you get the opportunity for a break and a rest it doesn’t make you a bad parent – it makes you a better parent for when you are back with them in your possession. Adults need looking after too sometimes.

I drew Andorra this week and one of the very smallest countries in the world. Sandwiched in between France and Spain it has the highest capital in Europe in Andorra la Vella and is a prosperous country, largely due to the ski fields. I decided, therefore, that I needed to do mountain food. I’ve only been skiing once (I can parallel turn one way but not the other) but what I do know is it makes you ravenous. When it got to lunch time I needed mulled wine and a lot of hot food. Trinxat would have been perfect.

In the UK we have a dish called Bubble & Squeak which is named after the sound it makes in the pan when cooked. It is usually a breakfast dish and is made with the leftovers from a Roast Dinner. We usually make it on Boxing Day and use mashed roast potatoes and sprouts. It’s delicious but doesn’t take much thought and it lazily flavoured, usually with just salt and pepper. Trinxat is a a restaurant quality version of Bubble & Squeak. Think about the texture you would get by mashing a tough sprout and a hard roast potato. It’s rough and chunky. Trinxat uses cabbage and mashed boiled potatoes. They blend together much better and you can infiltrate the flavours garlic and pepper much more evenly throughout. The streaky bacon adds smoke and makes it more of a meal. I would eat it with some chunky buttered bread. If you were tired from a morning’s skiing, this is the dish to order. It will fill you with carbohydrates and iron and give you the fuel for another afternoon of exercise.

Right – I’m off to pick up the little monkey and take him to the park and kick a rugby ball about. I’ve got so much energy you see!

Trinxat Recipe:

I don’t want to be too strict on this as like Bubble and Squeak it can be thrown together.

You will need:

  • Cabbage or Kale
  • 3 Large Potatoes
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 5 rashers of smokey bacon

Boil a large cabbage or kale or both. Boil the potatoes.

Drain the cabbage and potato thoroughly and pat dry. Mash together with a little oil and salt and pepper.

Turn on the grill and grill strips of bacon on high. You want them very crispy.

In a flying pan, fry 3 chopped cloves of garlic softly for five minutes.

Pour the garlic infused oil into the bowl you set aside for the mash and stir it all in.

Return the flying pan to the heat and add in the mixture in small patties, frying them on both sides until they are browned.

Plate up and add the bacon strips. Enjoy!

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