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Rogelio

Casa José and Chirón

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Madrileños seem to be reluctant to go dining out of the city limits, especially at night. Last weekend I made the short trip to Aranjuez and Valdemoro, two neighbour villages in southern Madrid, no more than 45minutes drive to visit two of the best restaurants not only in the outskirts but in the whole province including the City.

Last Friday we made the short trip down to Casa José in Aranjuez to sample the new dishes that Fernando del Cerro has just added to the menu. Fernando is very committed with local vegetable producers in the area trying to save the, in other time, very famous products from the Aranjuez orchard so he deals with it as if it were Grand Crus from Burgundy, pointing every single plot and naming the producer of every vegetable. The results are stunning making this a truly destination restaurant for vegetable lovers.

Due to the short and changing season Casa José changes its menu seven times a year depending on the vegetables available.

So, this is what we had:

Asparagus

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Softly pan fried so powerful that they were like exploding in your mouth.

Sliced raw asparagus with pine nut cream

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Beet in different textures with its leaves and ice-cream

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Raw artichokes with curry and pig's ear

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Faba beans with cuttlefish cheese and spring onion

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Braised lettuce with morels and ...

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Peas with pig's trotters

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Red snapper with bone marrow

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White veal with spring onion

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And finally the desserts with the wonderful local cherries and strawberries:

Cherries with almond milk

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Strawberries

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Strawberries and cream

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In the end, a wonderful meal with top products barely cooked just to enhance their natural flavours. Truly revealing.

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Chirón in Veldemoro a neighbour village, between Aranjuez and Madrid, where the young and promising Muñoz brothers -Ivan, the cook is still 24- are starting to develop a personal approach to traditional dishes with modern touches, great technique and superb product (the vegetables and fruits like the ones at casa Jose come from the best plots of Aranjuez). As in every young cook there are a lot of influences from other great chefs, but the talent is there.

This is the menu that they are serving right now which at 50€ is a bargain.

Oyster with gin and tonic

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Marinated sardines with mujol caviar

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and strawberry gazpacho

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A walk in the garden

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this was a great dish an iberic fat canneloni containing st georges mushroom, asparagus, peas, criadillas de tierra (?) and an a low teperature cooked egg. Outstanding.

Pan fried paella with scallop

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Mero (Koon?) with thai soup and cappers

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Roasted lamb with honey

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Strawberries and cream

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A restaurant to follow.

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Who said they don't eat vegetables in Spain?! :laugh: Thanks for the reports, Rogelio. Casa Jose has been on my radar since Madrid Fusión, but Chirón is a new one to me. It looks and sounds fabulous!

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Very interesting to hear that Chirón has now reached such a fine level, Rogelio!

Two brief notes on English terms:

"Criadilla de tierra" is the common Spanish name for Terfezia arenaria, the "desert truffle", common in the sands of Extremadura. It's a poor man's white truffle, with good consistency but not much flavor.

Mero, Epinephelus marginatus, is the European dusky grouper (sometimes known as sea perch). One of the tastiest types of fish around!

mero.jpg

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Rogelio, these look wonderful.

Also, please tell me you have been to Rodrigo de la Calle in Aranjuez. If not, you must go there immediately, if not sooner. Ideally, take me. :raz:

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Victor, thank you very much for the translation. And Indeed, Chiron has improved a lot since my last visit a couple of years ago. It's worth a visit now.

Rodrigo de la Calle is one of my gaps in Southern Madrid, we should go sooner than later.

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