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Found 206 results

  1. Dear friends, I would like to list here clever gastronomic proposals out of the ordinary to innovate in the kitchen. As an initial example propose our own proposal of cooking our homegrown rice to make our paellas in "El Sequer de Tonica", Spain. Who said that everything is invented in the field of gastronomy. I wait for your suggestions!! Cheers,
  2. Hola egulleters! Those of you who know me know that I like to turn my hand at Charcuterie now and then. Nothing is more satisfying than breaking down a whole pig and turning it into delicious cured meats and sausages. I'm quite happy making a wide range of products but there's one thing that I just can't get right. Fresh Spanish cooking chorizo, in particular I want to try and recreate this wonderful stuff from Brindisa http://www.brindisa.com/store/fresh-chorizo-and-morcilla/all-fresh-chorizo-and-morcilla/brindisa-chorizo-picante/ They're wonderfully red, juicy and packed with deep pimenton flavour. Now when I make them I can get the flavour right but the texture is all wrong, very mealy, not at all juicy and the colour loses it's vibrancy too easily. What's the secret to them I wonder? Some kind of additive and/or food colouring? My recipe sees me mincing 2.3 kg fatty pork shoulder through a fine die, mixing with 80g pimenton, 50g salt, 30g sugar, 35g fresh garlic and stuffing into sheep casings. Here's a photo of them: I rest them overnight in the fridge before cooking with them. Maybe I should be putting some curing salt in there and hanging them for a couple of days? Does anyone have any experience making this kind of juicy fresh Spanish chorizo or even chistorra?
  3. So I was able to get my hands on the bones of two bellota jamon iberico legs. But being an at home chef, i dont have a stock pot that big. Will chopping it into pieces affect the stock because of the marrow? Any suggestions on using these bones? Thanks!
  4. In Cucina Paradiso the heavenly food of Sicily by Clifford Wright he discusses cucina arabo-sicula. Is there a similar sort of folklore about Arabic or Moorish influences in Spanish or Portuguese cooking? Are there any books on the subject? Tommaso d'Alba, a Sicilian writer wrote La Cucina Siciliana di Derivazione Araba. Are there any books or articles about the Moorish influences in Spain or Portugal? I consider Oran, Algeria to be very Spanish influenced. The Spaniards came in in various stages of history and of course many Moors and Moriscos settled there. We have Spanish loan words in our derja (dialect). Sometimes it gets a bit confusing because an Arab loan word into Spanish came back to Algeria in it's Spanish form and became part of the local derja rather than the original Arabic word. Oranian Rai music has Andalusian influences.
  5. During my junior year of college many many (16) years ago, I took a semester and attended school in Seville, Spain. The food, I can get here in the states, but the beer that I consumed by the bucketload in Seville was called Cruzcampo, and I have NEVER seen it in the United States. Does anyone know why it's so hard to find beers from Spain in the US? lack of interest? Surely it can't be from lack of quality.....I'd stack that Cruzcampo up against a Peroni any day of the week. I travel a lot with my job, so if anyone has seen it, let me know, I'll schedule a trip there.
  6. Turron is usually translated as "nougat," and some is very much like what I've come to know as nougat, or at least the hard nougat, but I've seen "turron" that appears to be more like nut brittle and "turron" that's more of a soft paste, although moister than halva to my thinking. I have also seen a whole range of other candies sold as turron that are variations of the ones I've described and some that seem unrelated. Butterfly mentions experimentation in his reply to the Christmas bounty thread, but it seems "turron" has long been a loosely used term. Are there any strict definitions and what is the range of products that carry this label?
  7. I just bought some queso valdeon cheese from the supermarket (although it was labelled queso valdon) . the cheese counter guy there couldn't tell me much about it. our exchange was as follows: me: wow, what kind of cheese it that? clerk: it's blue cheese. me: I can see that. what can you tell me about it? clerk: nothing. it's from spain, and it's wrapped in grape leaves *awkward silence* Anyways, I bought 100 grams and tried it as soon as I got home. I love it! It's very strong and complex, but not overpowering. Can anyone tell me anything about it (typical age, what sort of milk etc..)? Any other Spanish cheeses I'm missing (I'm sure there are lots)?
  8. I was reading some old threads and gather that El Navarrico and Rosara are the brands to buy for piquillo peppers and white asparagus. I would like some recommendations on good Spanish olive oil brands to look out for. What about brands for canned Basque tuna and anchovies from L'escala? Finally, any recommendations on shops in Barcelona where I can find all these products? Thanks!
  9. “In his conception of the world, the snails play a major role. They serve him as touchstone to classify people. Pau is a fifty snails. Pere, a hundred and fifty snails. Berenguer, a two hundred snails. His friends move around fifty snails. Those who don’t reach that quantity form the world of ruins – a kind of limbo without fire or light, neither ember nor smoke. - How many did you eat yesterday, Nuts? I told him. - Three hundreds. I’m a three hundreds snails, though it’s not right for me to say it. - Who is the most important person you’ve met? - Grandpa Rovira […]. He’s a five hundreds snails. - Have you seen him eating them? - Certainly.” Josep Pla, El Cuaderno Gris This is what Josep Pla wrote about a walk in a November afternoon at the Emporda, back in 1918. Truly, snails (Catalonian cargols, Spanish caracoles) are a customary part of traditional Catalonian (and many other Spanish regions) cooking. Their use in Catalonian cooking is recorded in documents dating back to 1357, as well as in cookbooks from the XVII and XVII centuries. Though Lleida is the Catalonian province where more snails are consumed, claiming to be the snail capital of the country and having a yearly event around them (L’Aplec del Caragol), snails are appreciated all over Catalonia and I’ve had a number of chances to sample them during the two weeks I’ve spent over there. As you all know, there are two main varieties of snails used for cooking: the country snail (caracol de campo) or helix aspersa and the vineyard snail (caracol de viña) or helix pomata, though I must say that in Spain probably under that denomination you’d get helix lactea. The latter, helix pomata, is also known as escargot de Bourgogne in France, being larger than the country snail. Which of these two varieties is actually better for food purposes is a continuous source of debate and discussion amongst connoisseurs alike. There’s a whole industry around the breeding of snails, which dates back to the ancient Romans as its name evokes: heliciculture. Since France is the largest consumer of snails, it’s no surprise that this industry is quite developed there. Nonetheless, it doesn’t cover the needs of the internal market since a lot of the snails consumed in France come from other countries. Cooking snails is an intensive work, which requires a lot of preparation in the restaurant unless it buys them precooked. I’ve came across contradictory sources regarding theoretic differences between the way of cooking the snails in Spain and that of cooking them in France. It seems clear that in Spain the snails go through a somewhat long period of fasting (several days when not a couple of weeks), whereas is not that clear that this is a prerequisite in France. If my memory serves me well, I recall Arturo Pardos from the missed Gastroteca de Arturo y Stephane closed some years ago, telling me that fasting was an aberration because the foam that the snails lose in the process have some properties not to be neglected from a gastronomic point of view. Naturally, other views on this point would be more than welcome. A consequence of the fasting process is that the meat of the snail gets dryer, perhaps giving more concentrated flavors. After this fasting period, snails are shortly boiled. Again, a cooking branch appears: though with larger snails it seems clear that it’s mandatory to remove them from the shell and eviscerate them, this evisceration is not “required” by the canon with the smaller snails (helix aspersa). Now is when the actual boiling takes place with the herbs commonly used to give them flavor, with farigola (tomillo in Spanish, thyme in English) taking a predominant place in Catalonia. Whether the shell is to be used or not is another decision to make, with the precaution of sterilizing them if they’re going to be finally used. I’m sure that when snails are used as a secondary (but decisive) ingredient in some dishes, quickly coming to my mind the rice with rabbit and snails, it should exist a shorter process precluding extracting them from their shells. Anyway, I had the opportunity to sample three different approaches to cooking snails while in Girona. At La Xicra (Palafrugell), they come as the shining ingredient in one of those vertiginous mar i muntanya dishes of which they’re so fond of in the Empordà. You find them surrounded by some mussels, Dublin Bay prawns (obviously not from Ireland) crabs and whatever other seafood they have at hand in the kitchen. All this is sauced with a marvelous sofrito of tomatoes, onions and peppers (?) where some all i oli is stirred at the end, leaving its trace among the snails’ shells. A mention has to be made to La Xicra providing with what in principle seems to be an instrument of torture, but which proves as a useful tool to avoid using your hands. More classic dishes were offered at Can Bech (Fontanillas) and Els Tinars (near Llagostera). Basically, both were versions of cargols a la llauna. This dish takes its name from the original llauna (metal sheet) where you put the snails bottom up with a sauce of, let’s say, oil, thyme, garlic, pepper and salt. Afterwards, you take the llauna and put it into a fire ideally made from wood. The oven is a common shortcut nowadays. Can Bech and Els Tinars differed in the sauce used to cook them: whereas Can Bech presented a more Spartan version of the snails with sauces (tomato and all i oli) on the side, having used a quite simple oil based sauce in the cooking, Els Tinars, without renouncing to give you some all i oli to complement the dish, used a more elaborated sauce which had almost a gratin aspect where all i oli was used in a similar La Xicra’s way. The possibility of having half portions of a dish in many Spanish restaurants has been cited more than once has a nice way to sample more dishes on a single visit. Well, I found another use for this: you can also order a dish and a half, as I did on my last visit to Can Bech of the several we made these two weeks, shortly before having to return to Madrid! Which, retrospectively, wasn’t the most sensible thing to do. I should have ordered two portions. Little I knew that when I was almost thinking to forget snails for about a year or so, the same day of my return to Madrid Viridiana’s chef, Abraham García, had his version of cargols a la llauna waiting for me. But that’s another thread. Or the famous snail porridge I was going to have at The Fat Duck. But that’s even another forum. And remember what a friend told to Josep Plà: “Are you a thirty snails? Stop kidding yourself! You’ll never achieve anything in your life, never, ever, … No matter what you do” Josep Plà, Lo que hemos comido
  10. This is a question for all the Spanish wine experts out there... I have a chance to swap a bottle of 2001 Bodegas Luberri Rioja Finca Los Merinos for a bottle of 2005 Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Priorat. I know that I can drink the Rioja now (and even if I trade it, I'll get to enjoy a glass!) but am wondering if the Priorat will be a better treat in a few years' time. Should I go for it?
  11. Currently, Spain has arguably the best seafood and pork products in the Western world. Yet when it comes to how vegetables are treated, it is a sad state of affairs. What breaks my heart is that walking through the markets in Spain one is confronted by some of the best produce in the world. But what gives you wonder at the market bears little resemblance to what is served at the table—bland, textureless vegetables that have been so overcooked that might as well have come from the freezer. Salads are lackluster—some lettuce, tomatoes, a few olives and onions. No interesting lettuce variety or inventive dressing. Peas and favas are almost always stewed with sausages to the point where the vegetable retains none of it delicate flavor. The most common way of cooking spinach, swiss chard, broad beans or cabbage is to boil for 20 plus minutes until it is mushy an textureless. Then it is often sautéed in pork fat as if the goal is to extract out the flavor of the vegetable so that you can cover it up with the taste of meat. I can understand how vegetables like eggplant, peppers and artichokes may benefit from being cooked in this slow-simmered approach but why would you do this to green vegetables? Am I missing something? My experience is mainly with Cataluña and Andalusia. Maybe vegetables are treated differently in the north. Are things different in the Basque country, Galicia, Asturias, or Cantabria? How can a cuisine reach such amazing heights in terms of its treatment of seafood and meat and simultaneously be so behind the times in its treatment of vegetables?
  12. I have a recipe for making romesco sauce and roasted chicken breasts. In the directions, it says the sauce can be made ahead and chilled for up to two days before serving. However, the directions don't specifically state the sauce should be reheated before serving with the roasted chicken. Soooo, is this type of sauce traditionally served cold, hot, room temperature or it just doesn't matter?
  13. My husband and I are staying in BCN for 2 months halfway between Boqueria and Santa Catarina markets - we're having a great time shopping and cooking but after 3 weeks we have decided we need to dive deeper into the markets and ingredients but lack the language facility to do so. Any recommended guides? Or any egullet/foodie BCN residents who could help (for a generous lunch??!!) Thanks
  14. Before the spring of 2003, I was a food and wine enthusiast like many others with a passion for travel, dining and fine wine. It was at that time due to an inopportune respiratory illness before a planned trip to SARS-filled China, that I discovered and became involved in eGullet, an episode of serendipity that changed my life and proved that the internet is indeed a land of opportunity. Over time, as a result of my involvement with this organization and the connections I have made through it, I have had the good fortune to develop a deep interest in culinaria into a true avocation. The result is that I have been conferred with press credentials for such culinary events as The Starchefs International Chefs Congress, The NY Fancy Foods Show and now the 2008 Madrid Fusión, something I would never have dreamed of five years ago. Though I am no more than a competent home cook, events like the Starchefs Congresses, the CIA's World of Flavors programs and Madrid Fusión, intrigue me because of the confluence of incredible creativity, especially in an area that appeals to me perhaps more than any other creative endeavor - the culinary arts. I relish the creative give and take that these programs foster as well as the opportunity to improve my personal understanding of what these creative icons are accomplishing. It doesn't hurt, either that these events often afford an opportunity to nourish the gustatory senses as well as the intellect and the soul! I arrived in Madrid on Sunday morning, taking the day to recover and re-orient myself to a city that I had not seen in person since 1974. Helping me do that was none other than eGullet Society member, Rogelio, who took me on a walking tour through old Madrid with stops for tapas before culminating in a fabulous lunch at Asturianos, however, that is material for another discussion. The rest of the day, I spent acclimating to the time change. The following morning I spent walking around Madrid taking in Picasso's Guernica at the Reina Sofia Museum and walking through the Retiro Park before taking the efficient and clean Metro to the Palacio Municipal de Congresos in northeastern Madrid where the conference would be held. Madrid Fusión is a large conference with a lot of coordination involved. Over 4100 people were involved with the event as either guests, speakers, journalists or staff. Speakers, mostly chefs, numbered 54. There were 140 members of the international press and over 500 from Spain, who provided daily newspaper and television coverage of the event. Given the complexity of the event and my relative inexperience as a first time participant, check-in to obtain my credentials prior to the 3:30 PM start time proved hectic and somewhat chaotic, although I did manage to complete the process and obtain a simultaneous translation transmitter/headphone set prior to the delayed start of the program. This year's Conference was billed as Gastronomy, Internet and New Technologies. Indeed there was a focus on these elements, where in years past according to what experienced Fusion goers told me, there had been none. Indeed, one would think that this would be a natural topic for this conference that celebrates all that is new and inventive in the world of food. Unfortunately, these elements when presented conflicted with other presentations and demonstrations and my involvement with these was minimal. Hopefully, others who were involved can relay their experiences here. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will do my best to convey a sense of what transpired at the conference as well as the flavor of the event.
  15. Happy New Year to All! I prepared cocotxas pil-pil for lunch today and they were UNBELIEVABLE!!! I would like to ask for recipes as the flavors and the flesh texture of the cheeks are extremely sensitive. In addition, what wine do you drink with the dish? Many thanks and Happy Eating!!!
  16. Does anybody have any experience with The Spanish Pavillion in Harrison, NJ? Thanks.
  17. Hello every one, Today, I want to share one of my favorite pastry recently: Portuguese Egg Tart. I first knew about this tart from KFC. One time, I went to our favorite KFC spot in HCMC when they were promoting these. They asked if I wanted to try. It looked so irresistible, so why not? Since then, I have been in love with this pastry. But it’s so expensive buying them from the shops, comparing to its easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-make nature; especially now I are studying in Finland. I decide to make them myself. So here is how I make Portuguese Egg Tart. (12 mini tarts) Ingredients Tart crust 500g store-bought puff pastry Filling 150g heavy whipping cream 200g whole milk ¼ tsp. vanilla extract 60g granulated white sugar 2 whole egg + 2 egg yolk Instructions Step 1: My puff pastry is already cut into rectangles like this, 125g per, so I use 4. Roll them in to tight cylinders. Stick layers of dough up at the end of the roll using a bit of water. Step 2: Cut each cylinder into 3 smaller ones. 3 multiplies by 4 is 12, that’s how I divide mine. If yours comes in bigger or smaller size, divide them accordingly to have 12 even balls of puff pastry. Step 3: Dip every ball into a dish of flour generously. Then roll them out into a thin round sheet with the cycle side facing up, like this. Here is where my mistake happened. I should have roll these a bit thin toward the edge, leave the inner thicker because the filling will make the puff pastry crust wet while baking and make the tart more fragile that usual egg tart. Step 4: Prepare your tart pans by grease the with melted butter, or put some cupcake paper cups in, like me. This is very important because if you don’t, the tart will stick heavily to your pan. Then adjust all the crust into your tart pan, in my case, cupcake pan. Step 5: Preheat your oven to 200 degree Celsius. Prepare a rack on the last level. Step 6: Separate your eggs. Put eggs and yolks into one bowl with all the sugar. Beat them lightly with your whisk until there is no string of egg white left. Step 7: Add heavy whipping cream and milk into the egg mixture above, whisk until everything combined. Add the vanilla extract. And you are done. Originally, the filling must be made by double boiling method, meaning the egg mixture must be cooked on a heatproof bowl that stay on top of a boiling pan, until it thicken up. Then let cool to room temperature for about almost 1 hour. I decide to go shortcut on this since Bear was OK with that the last time and I do not wish to prolong my baking time further. It totally depends on you to choice how you want to do in this situation. Step 8: Pour the filling into the prepared tart pans, through a strainer. Step 8: Put the tarts into the preheated oven, last rack. Step 9: Bake them for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top of the custard caramelize a bit. During the baking time, I see my tart fillings popping up like balloons. I just did a little sneak and my egg custard like of crack on the surface. Step 10: Take the tarts out of the pan. You can enjoy them now, as they are warm, some forks prefer that. Personally, I enjoy them cool, because by then, the crust will be settled and less fragile, and the filling is more enjoyable. If you prefer mine, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Eating these tarts are like having a Fandango dance on your tongue. The buttery flavor of puff pastry combines with the soft, rich custard. Uhhmm. My limited vocabulary cannot fully explain this. Hope you enjoy the recipe. I have some problems this time, for instant, my filling pop like balloons while being baked. Then it cracked on the surface, and my crust seem a bit too fragile after being bake. Here is its innards . How could I avoid these problems? Thank you so much in advance. Anyhow, Happy Baking! Rose,
  18. Does any one know of a bottle shop or licensed grocer that has a Spanish or Portuguese focus, in Melbourne?
  19. Please recommend some really good Spanish restaurants in Sydney. We're looking for places that cook excellent paella and have a decent tapas selection. Thanks!
  20. I am planning on moving to Spain soon, and am trying to decide on a place. I can live pretty much anywhere but there are a few things that I am particular about. Briefly about myself, I have a daughter with some health issues who is recovering nicely and the most significant intervention up until now has been food. My hope is that I would be able to improve this even further in Spain. I am looking for a place that is environmentally clean, away from industrial releases with good, clean air and water. Equally important is the availability of completely grassfed meat and dairy and produce grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Extremadura looks ideal on google, but is it really so? Is the kind of food I am looking for easily available there? I am also very keen on cooking freshwater fish which seems to be in abundance there. The waters in Extremadura sound marvelous. Also, very taken with the availability of wild game. Oh, I could live in other parts of Europe but my heart is set on Spain The only reason to go elsewhere would be better resources for food. I have been reading on this forum and realize that some of you are very knowledgeable, looking forward to hearing your opinions and any advice. Aargi
  21. I recently moved to Barcelona, and have scoured around searching for shop selling artisan oils and vinegars in the city, only to find very little. Is there specialty store in the city for this kind of thing, or perhaps it's at a dry-foods store at one of the markets? Also, artisan dairy products, do they exist in town? Fresh local butters and milks? I've found eggs at the market, so that's getting close, but I'm missing my dairy. Thanks for your help.
  22. Does anyone have a good fish escabeche link or recipe to share? Thanks
  23. I'm passing through Teruel in the first week of January and wondered if I would be able to get hold of some truffles. I won't be able to make it to the truffle market in Mora de Rubielos (sp.?) so wondered if there were any shops which might sell them. A long shot, I know... ps these truffles seem to be T. melanosporum - same as Perigord truffle - does anyone know if the are as good?
  24. I'm creating a recipe for a contest and I need to get my hands on some Spanish specialty food items. Anybody know a great source/store in Boston or suburban West Boston???? Thanks! -Mark-
  25. Hola Jose! I work in gastronomic tourism here in Barcelona, and most of our clients are Americans. So I was wondering if you had come to any conclusions about what the main appeal of Spanish (and, may I say, Catalan!) cuisine is for Americans? What are the characteristic flavours, textures and/or techniques that intrigue and entice them? What do you think they would like to know more about (or what do you think they SHOULD know more about?!) Thanks for doing my market research for me ;-} Kirsten
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