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Telephone: 968 145 572

the Mar Menor FOCUS

A Chef’s Eye View Hi my name is Andy Taylor and I am Chef/Proprietor at Dia y Noche Restaurant, La Manga. Over the next few months I will be sharing some tips and secrets with you and also giving you an insight into the life of a restraunter, “warts an all”.

Well, here we are, Christmas already, I don’t know about you, but it seems to come around quicker each year, which is a bit of a stupid statement when its still 12 months between, must be an age thing! seems only yesterday it was summer. Anyway, for those of you who are preparing for a traditional Christmas at home, here is a recipe for a shortcrust pastry, perfect for mince pies that will melt in your mouth,

Vinegar pastry

3 cups plain flour 1 cup shortening (1/2 butter and 1/2 lard is a good mix) 1/2 teaspoon salt - 1 egg 5 tablespoons cold water 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar (this won’t change the flavour, but will make the pastry short and flaky) Mix flour, shortening and salt until fine crumbs about the size of small peas. Beat in egg. Add cold water and vinegar. Combine with flour and shortening mixture. This recipe makes three single 9-inch pastries. Bake at 425 degrees F. If this mix is wrapped in plastic wrap, dough will keep in refrigerator two weeks. It can also be frozen. If you fancy having a go at making your own mincemeat try this recipe: Note: If possible, this mincemeat needs to mature for at least two weeks before using. Once sealed, it can keep for at least a year. Preparation time overnight - Cooking time 2 hours

Ingredients: For 6lb mincemeat:

12oz (350g) seedless raisins 8oz (225g) sultanas 8oz (225g) currants 4oz (110g) cut mixed peel 4oz (110g) chopped dried prunes 12oz (350g) soft brown sugar 1lb (450g) cooking apples - peeled, cored and grated 8oz (225g) shredded suet grated rind and juice of 2 oranges grated rind and juice of 2 lemons 2oz (50g) chopped almonds 2oz (50g) chopped pecan nuts 1 tbsp (15g) mixed spice 1 tsp (5g) freshly grated nutmeg 5fl oz (150ml) brandy


1. Mix all the ingredients together, except half the brandy, in a large ovenproof bowl and cover and leave to stand overnight. 2. The next day, preheat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas ¼, cover the bowl with foil and place in the oven for about 3 hours. 3. Allow to cool, then mix in the rest of the brandy and put into sterilised jars. If you can’t be bothered to make these for yourselves but still want to try them, then come down to our Carol Service on Christmas Eve for mince pies and mulled wine, full details can be found at As usual, heres a bit of festive humour to finish with, Have a great Christmas folks and dont forget, we at Dia y Noche are open all over the Christmas period so please pop in and see us. It was coming up to Christmas and Sammy asked his mum if he could have a new bike. So, she told him that the best idea would be to write to Santa Claus. But Sam, having just played a vital role in the school nativity play, said he would prefer to write to the baby Jesus. His mum told him that would be fine. Sam went to his room and wrote ' Dear Jesus, I have been a very good boy and would like to have a bike for Christmas.' But he wasn't very happy when he read it over. So he decided to try again and this time he wrote 'Dear Jesus, I'm a good boy most of the time and would like a bike for Christmas.' He read it back and wasn't happy with that one either. He tried a third version. 'Dear Jesus, I could be a good boy if I tried hard and especially if I had a new bike.' He read that one too, but he still wasn't satisfied. So, he decided to go out for a walk while he thought about a better approach. After a short time he passed a house with a small statue of the Virgin Mary in the front garden. He crept in, stuffed the statue under his coat, hurried home and hid it under the bed. Then he wrote this letter. 'Dear Jesus, If you want to see your mother again, you'd better send me a new bike.' See you soon folks, and for those of you who "over indulge" over the Christmas period and need a surefire hangover cure, email me at Merry Christmas

Mar Menor Focus Edition 4, Costa Calida  

Free monthly magazine with news and useful information for residents and visitors to the Mar Menor area, on the Costa Calida