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  1. I will be in Barcelona and elBulli in the end of this month. Of course I would like to bring a few food items back with me. What should I bring back? Cheeses, chocolates, wine,...? What shops are a must-visit? Thanks Elie
  2. After spending Christmas in the UK and being reminded how good real, hung, organic beef can be and after reading Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Meat Book" I'm determined to seek out the best carniceria in town. I know that first-rate, free-range chicken is widely available so that's not a problem. I have also seen exorbitantly-priced organic pork, chicken and beef in El Corte Ingles. What I am looking for, however (if such a thing exists) is a carniceria where they know the origins or their meat and can provide: properly-hung, mature beef from bred-for-meat not dairy herds; non-intensively-reared pork and also a good shop for caza (game). I have seen that some organic farms offer meat by mail-order but I'd rather shop locally if possible. Does anyone here know where I should be shopping? I'd rather not have to interview every stallholder in the boqueria
  3. Does anyone have a good recommendation for traditional spanish cooking anywhere in the seattle area?
  4. Anyone know of any good Spanish (not Hispanic) restaurants in Bergen County area, other than El Cid and Meson Madrid? Thanks.
  5. I'm thinking of having a dinner party based around tapas. The recipe books I've seen haven't been that inspiring and a search on the internet hasn't thrown much up. One guest is vegetarian so any suggestions would be great....
  6. With your permission I will post several tastings together. After carefully looking into my Spanish wine stock with a far from easy self0debating I picked several Hombres and Senioritas to suffer through a 4 hour wine tasting of this great country. Spanish wine tasting Special Reserve, Haifa. August 7th 2003 Vino blanco: Valdemar vino blanco rioja cosecha 2001 Light crystal clear greenish toward yellowish color. Citrus fruit is apparent with hints of sour apples and spices. Med. Bodied Viura with some Malvasia. Quite consistent on the palate, citrus fruits with a spicy finish A good wine very well balanced . Marques de riscal rueda 2000 Yellowish almost goldish color. Ripe tropical fruits rise gently from the glass with some herbs in the back. A dry med. To full bodied wine with a slightly bitter oaky mixed with mineral finish. Impressive dry that will be great with grilled cold water sea fish. Vino tinto: Merlot Navarra Nekeas 1998. Dark red Bordeaux color. Full bodied nose rich with ripe raspberries and black cherries with a toasted oak finish. Jammy on the entry and well balanced with the heavy toasting in the back. A very well made new world wine. Try with grilled steaks. I picked the Melot as an axample of a new world wine. Rioja Faustino 7, 2000. Red light cherry color. A rather sweet nose of strawberries and red forest berries with a slightly peppery finish. Med. to light bodied wine; sour red berries and sweet tobacco mingle nicely on the tongue, fairly simple and not complex with a balanced fruit and soft tannins texture. Well made yet short and not impressive. Nothing to write home about. Rioja Conde de Valdemar Crianza, 2000. Dark red toward chocolate color. A rather closed nose with hints of dark chocolate and coffee with some red berries signaling in between. Med. bodied dry wine with an excellent balance between plums, dry chocolate, spices and oak. Tres bien eleve ! A job well done and an excellent value for the money! Rioja Conde de Valdemar reserva 1997 Red dark toward dark brow color. Massive spicy nose with dried forest fruit aroma, spices and horse saddle. Big on the entry with chewy spices and tannins mingling perfectly with dried plums and blueberries. Will continue to evolve in the coming 2-5 years. A Star at its group. Very impressive value for the money. Rioja Marques de Caceres Reserva 1992 Brownish toward red color Over the hill nose with over ripe fruits, green coffee and spices. Slightly oxidized flavors, dry fruits, spices and chocolate disappearing in the back. Drink now or never. Alion, Ribera del Duero 1996. Dark red with lots of depth. A rather young and still closed nose rich in Blue berries, black cherries and spices. A full-bodied wine with a massive amount of soft tannins red fruits and excellent balance with new oak. Full bodied and chewy. Drinkable now though I would wait for this wine to open up 2-3 more years. Excellent. * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** In the modern world that will live in today, there is little room for old people, The rat race is a spartan reflection of George Orwell's world with no place for the weak. We pay little respect for old age unless very influencial. I would term this as the biggest loss of our time. The older part of our society is exiled by the know all modern computer age. They are other thrown in solitude or are driven to share a complex with "their own kind". The Arabs say: Ask the experienced not the knowledgable. We tend to ignore a very wise sentence. This choice of wines requires a step to the road less travelled to be enjoyed. Real Irache Gran Reserva, Navarra, 1983. Light red toward pinkish color with hints of golden brown. A pleasantly light fruity nose with hints of tobacco, vanilla and spices. Very smooth very well balanced lightly elegant wine. A pleasure to drink now, no more acidity or tannins to allow further development. Down hill from here. Rioja 890. La Rioja Alta 1982. Brownish toward red goldish color. A great older Rioja nose with lots of spices, herbs, balanced oak and dry fruits. Very impressive complexity in the mouth with still firm tannins and a fairly good acidity. Dried fruits, spices and herbs deliver a unique balance between harmony and complexity. A great wine to be enjoyed now or in the coming 2 years. Thanks for reading.
  7. GordonCooks

    Spanish Wines

    Other than a few dalliances with Vega Sicilia Unico and sherry - my knowledge of Spanish wine is weak. I'm attending a dinner featuring wines by "Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana" (CUNE) - Does anyone have any info?? Specifically vintages or special bottlings to look for? Thanks
  8. We've just come from 4 days in Madrid and an evening in Toledo. In Madrid we ate at Casa Salvador where my wife's oxtails were superb but I can only rate the flavor of my tripe as good, though it was cooked perfectly. I thought Barbara was going to swoon over the roasted marrow bone and beef at Sacha. She started with a fresh tomato salad in a very light balsamic vinaigrette that was perfection. I had the fried artichokes - paper thin slices of baby artichokes fried in olive oil that had the texture of potato chips but were pure artichoke flavor. I followed that with brains that were superb - lightly battered and fried, slightly crunchy on the outside, milky soft inside. Barbara had a chocolate thing for desert and she flipped. I had something akin to creme caramel, but I have no idea what it was, other than outrageously good. I think it had cielo in the name, but since I asked the maitre d' to just pick out deserts for us I'm not sure what we had. Then on Tuesday we went to David Muñoz's Diverxo. Extraordinary. And that's saying something because we got off to a really bad start. Twenty minutes to get a glass of wine ordered from the time we were seated. Then, when asked if I'd like chopsticks to which I replied in the affirmative, none ever arrived, but the food transcended all. An amuse bouche of edamame seasoned, perhaps with sumac and something else with a buttermilk-like garlic dipping sauce. Then we both had the seven course tasting menu (the other choice being the thirteen course menu). The seven courses were actually around eleven since a course would often be divided into two halves served sequentially, like the poached prawn (it was called something else) that arrived followed by the grilled, seasoned, head and body with the juices from the body drizzled over the poached tail. Somewhere in the middle were white asparagus wrapped in the skin of red mullet - actually the meal involved parts of red mullet in several of the dishes, such as a pate of red mullet liver on a thin crisp. The courses that I sort of remember include the soup served in a young coconut shell where eating the coconut meat was a desired part of the experience, a steamed roll with a quail's egg yolk barely poached on top, an extraordinary piece of tuna cheek that tasted like a sous-vide cooked short rib, and a piece of ox cheek that had been slow roasted for 112 hours, a small piece of hake served sauced accompanied by a horseradish cream and spherified lime, and a desert which I no longer remember. Very, very highly recommended. Yesterday, we made our way to Toledo, where completely by chance we went for lunch to Adolfo. It turns out that the chef, Adolfo Muñoz, is David Muñoz's uncle. And he cooks like it. Not modernist, but brilliantly. Barbara had a simple "small" salad ordered off the menu which was beautiful and then a scallops and artichokes starter with fresh baby artichokes and incredibly dense scallops barely accented with maldon salt flakes that were perfect. I had a risotto of black rice cooked with squid ink and baby calamari and manchego cheese that was off the charts followed by red partridge that was excellent, but paled in comparison to the risotto. Excellent. Now we're off to Lisbon.
  9. A friend from out of town is planning on opening a Spanish restaurant (not in NYC) He is visiting NYC next week to get a sampling of the restaurants for inspiration. I need to narrow down the options to 3 or 4 places. From random internet reading, i have the following list: Alta Casa Mono Socarrat and Nacional Boqueria Txikito Euzkadi Can anyone suggest some other places that are not to be missed? Also, please comment on these.
  10. Hi everyone, I just had to re-sign up since it's been awhile I wanted to let you all know the awesome news that I will be releasing a book at the end of the year about my time learning the charcuterie and butchery of Spain. It's called Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, and will have a foreword by James Beard award-winning chef José Andrés. The book is going to have a bunch of traditional techniques and recipes for Spanish charcuterie and pork butchery, as well as recipes and other little tricks I picked up working with the folks in the Extremaduran countryside. My photog and I just got back from visiting Spain for the photoshoot and the guys up in Asturias did a little video about it. Here's the link to the video: http://www.whereisasturias.com/?p=6602 And a link to our FB page (Lots more photos... please like!): https://www.facebook.com/charcuteriaspain?ref=ts&fref=ts Please feel free to write me if you have any requests or questions for the book--really trying to make something that my fellow meatheads and sausage nerds can get into. Ciao, jeff PS: As a little offering to my hopefully-new eGullet pals here's a sexy photo from the Jamón slicing shoot. Tatoos and meat...
  11. Seems like Portugese style linguica is hard to find across the center of the US, but prevalent in every grocery store on both coasts. Here in Central Texas its nowhere. So what is one to do? Make your own!! I think I got it fairly authentic with coarse chopped pork butt and chunks of creamy fat. The meat was marinaded in Port wine, garlic and marjoram. Cured and cold smoked with a good amount of pepper mixed in. I love Linguica and grew up on it as a youth in Northern California. Not the easiest sausage to make, but worth the effort.
  12. Does anybody have a description of Turron Candy? I googled it, and got Spanish Turron Candy, but got no real descriptions, just places to buy it. Does anybody have a recipe??
  13. Hi, I'm an architect researching spaces and buildings related to food consumption and production, and am currently in Barcelona and later Madrid, for a week each. Can anyone reccomend a range of high and low endemic restaurants types in and around these two cities you think are worth visitng for their architecture/design as well as traditional cuisine/practices?
  14. I cant find the name of that lovely canned seafood from northen spain that appeared on tonys show no reservations. i believe he said it was about 230 euros a can.... but where to get it? the name begins with an E. does anyone have any information on this? and can it be ordered? thanx
  15. ok, having just come back from a phenomenal food trip to bilbao/rioja, im totally hooked on the aged ox steaks. is there anywhere in spain where its possible to buy this at retail? i tried a number of butchers in the area as i walked around, but i got nowhere. im sure my nonexistent spanish didnt help but it seemed that it wasnt possible to find any. do the asadors do their own sourcing/aging? surely there is somewhere to buy retail. if anyone knows please let me know... im happy to do the pilgrimmage.
  16. I've long been a huge fan of José Andrés, the Spanish chef who is an old friend of Ferran Adrià's and serves dazzling tasting menus at the tiny Minibar in Washington D.C. Here's a full report of my last meal there. Some of his specialties are the deconstructed guacamole, foie gras cotton candy and an amuse of caipirinha nitro (a solid and smoke-filled version of the traditional Brazilian cocktail). It's not just me that loves this chef, in fact: many egulleters have raved about his ultra-inventive cooking in the D.C. forum. The link to the Minibar topic is here For those who have never heard of him, here's a quick recap, quoted from the press release: "Born in Asturias and raised in Barcelona (...) His popular Washington, DC restaurant, Jaleo, was one of the first critically and commercially successful tapas restaurants in America(...) José has also been credited with introducing Americans to both traditional and avant-garde Spanish cooking, particularly with his exclusive Washington, DC-based restaurant, minibar by josé andrés. Food & Wine hailed José as the “hero of the Spanish revolution,” who “helped create the Spanish food boom in America.” And the late R.W. Apple of the New York Times called him “the boy wonder of culinary Washington.” José is also a television star in Spain." It turns out he's just opened (or is about to open, I am not sure) his first West Coast restaurant, Bazaar, at the SLS hotel, which by the way has a very funky website The p.r. team sent me a release and photos (below) of the dishes but I was wondering... have any of you tried it yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts... WATERMELON CUBES WITH TOMATO SEEDS TROUT ROE CONES WATERMELON WITH FETA LOBSTER SALAD
  17. Just picked up two interesting-looking bottles of Anis Liqueur from Spain called "Chinchon", one labeled "Dulce" (sweet) and bottled at 70 proof, the other "Seco" (dry) at 86 proof. Anyone ever heard of this stuff and/or tried it? I suppose I'm feeling sorry for myself for missing out on the last bottles of White Label Ojen sold in the last year or so at Martin Wine Cellar in New Orleans, and I'm looking for something a bit closer to Ojen than, say, MB Anisette (not that there's anything wrong with MB Anisette) for use in Ojen Frappes....
  18. Hello everybody. This is my first post and the reason why I stumbled upon this wonderful site. Since I tried jamon iberico bellota I have been hooked to it. Since I can't buy it locally where I live, I have to get it online. While searching online, I found this on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/JAMON-IBERICO-100-EXTREMADURA-BELLOTA-8KG-PATA-NEGRA-/230519034723?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_186&hash=item35ac015363 This is 176 euros for 8kgr jamon including P&P to Greece. This is almost half price from all the other online retailers like http://www.ibergour.co.uk/en/productos/ficha_producto.html?id_prod=jmcex who sell for 350 euros for 7 kilos including P&P. How can there be such a big price difference? Is it because the ebay one is direct from the manufacturer? Is this price possible? Or is there any kind of scam involved? Anyone who lives in Spain close to the manufacturing regions can confirm these prices possible?
  19. I've noticed in looking through historic Iberian sources that there seems to be a number of recipes for cat. As the recipes are from general recipe collections, I assume this doesn't represent a response to famine or invading Prussians. Was this a widespread practice and how long did it continue for I wonder?
  20. Leftover turkey meat loaf, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy: 2006 Abad dom Bueno, Bierzo Joven: This may be young vines mencia but this is good; very appealing nose of blackberry hard candy, earth and some red fruit hints; smooth and medium weight with a touch of grip, solid flavors that follow the nose, nice intensity and yet still supple; a medium length, clean finish. A new winery to me but one I‘ll keep an eye on. 13.5% alcohol, imported by Frontier Wines and about $12; I’ll buy more. Excellent with the meal. Chips, hummus and cheese: 2006 Dom. de la Fruitière, Muscadet Petit “M”: Fresh, clean, varietally correct with ripeness and cut; everything a Muscadet should be if its ready to drink young – and this is. 12% alcohol, imported by Jon-David Hedrick and about $9; a great price. Very good with the dish but even better without it. With no food: N/V Zardetto, Proseco Brut: Way to easy to drink and I have learned to buy them two at a time because everyone wants more. Not fancy but just delicious. 11% alcohol, imported by Locascio and about $12; I’ll buy more. With lobster risotto: 2006 J. Drouhin, Chablis: Fragrant with apples, lemon, seashore and flowers; fleshy but good cut with similar flavors that add licorice at the end, lovely balance, good depth, and extremely long. Unmistakably Chablis, ready to drink now and more a premier cru in quality than a simple village wine. 12.5% alcohol, imported by Dreyfus Ashby and about $20; I’ll buy more. Pasta with veggies, cheese, pine nuts and EVOO: 2005 Brunus, Montsant: 60% carignan, 35% grenache, 5% syrah; smoky, earthy, red fruit nose with spice accents, somewhat torrefied; rustic, big and somewhat alcoholic in the mouth but also ripe and deep with delicious, old-vine flavors that follow the nose, concentrated, grippy and intense; medium length. I’m not usually a fan of wines this big or from this region but this was better balanced then my description may indicate and had a visceral appeal. 14% alcohol, imported by Frontier Wines and about $20; I’d buy it again. Good with the meal. Best, Jim
  21. Has anyone tried them? This is one of the most famous pastry items here in Portugal. Feel free to check my recipe and tell me what you thought of them.
  22. As tapas becomes more popular in the US, I've also noticed the rise of numerous non-Spanish cuisine restaurants that serve typically American cuisine in the format of tapas: small dishes often accompanied with wine. Here in Austin, we have 219 West, which you can see their menus online. I would guess that there are similar establishments in DC with which you are familar. Do you think this movement embracing smaller dishes is a positive change for the US dining scene? Are there fundamental elements of the tapas format that these American restaurant are failing to consider when designing their dishes -- or in other words, what criticism would you offer to these restaurants?
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