Monday, December 9, 2013

Photo of the Week: Hippopotamus amphibius


Hippo or Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), which comes from the Greek "river horse" or "water horse" was, undoubtedly, the most respected animal by all rangers during our safari. This was the only time that, due to the with of the lake and the fact that he was alone, we were able to stay for a while observing him stopped in the boat...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Restaurant of the Week: Tokara


If you read the previous posts about our gastronomic experience in South Africa, you will know that in this post I will write about extreme quality meat and wine but, when you enter Tokara Restaurant something bigger is waiting for you: an excellent setting and an excellent chefRichard, a former EatOut SA Chef of the Year who brings your experience to another level...

We started with a Beef tartar and cured beef with sushi rice, lemon, kimchi, black garlic & spiced lemon emulsion and an exquisite tuna tartar also with sushi rice, watermelon and crispy biscuit. Then we had a Roasted duck with szechuan cucumber, sushi rice, pak choi, litchi & Cantonese sauce and an spectacular Pan-fried springbok with carrot ginger purée, croquettes, salted apricots, yoghurt sorbet & Japanese curry sauce...

This meal would't be so perfect without the excellent wines that we had: Tokara Walker bay Sauvignon Blanc and Tokara Director's reserve. If you are around Cape Town or Stellenbosch this is clearly a must go...

Where?
Helshoogte Road (R310), 7600 Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 21 885 2550
Web: http://www.tokararestaurant.co.za

How much?
Aprox: 30€ /pax



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wine of The Week: Tokara Director's Reserve 2009


This wine is one of the reasons why I still have clear in my memory the gastronomic experience in South Africa, and in this case in Stellenbosch, a paradise for any winelover in the world...
This excellent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, was perfectly with our meal at Tokara Restaurant which I will share with you on the next post, so perfect that when we finished we ordered some bottles which arrived Portugal on the same week of the rest of the group! 
I could not finish this short post without a very special dedication to Teresa, our amazing and tireless guide during these couple of days in Cape Town area...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Photo of the Week: Lion (Panthera leo)



This week, one of the lots of photos from our Safari in Botswana that I still have to share with you... Coming soon on fdgoodlife photos and stories from the rest of our trip to Victoria Falls and Botswana!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Recipe of the week: Pumpkin Soup


If you are looking for a quick, simple and tasty soup this is a very interesting option. 


You will need:
400 gr of pumpkin
200 gr of potatoes 
2 carrots 
1 leek 
Salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


Peel the pumpkin, the carrots and the potatoes and cut it into small cubes, Chop the white part of the leek, put everything in a small pan and add just the water needed to cover it. Season it with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil and let it cook for aprox. 25 minutes. Grind it and that's it! 
Serve it with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grounded black pepper.


Tip: this is a great option for a cocktail starter or amuse bouche... 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wine of The Week: Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2011


As you might be expecting, the wine of this week comes from South Africa, more precisely from western cape region. This was my first wine of this trip, at Grillhouse so it had to be the wine of this week...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pilanesberg National Park

We had our first contact with the African Wildlife in Pilanesberg National Park. If you are on a business travel to Johanesburg and you have a couple of days or a weekend free this may be an excellent option as it is not too big (about 550 km2) and is a bit less than three hours from Johannesburg the largest city in South Africa. 
It was an excellent appetizer before our trip to Botswana. It brought us the first emotions of watching some game that, till then, we’d just seen on TV or on the zoo just a couple of meters away from the car.
These were very special moments that I’ll never forget…

Please click the photos to enlarge 







Monday, November 18, 2013

The Grillhouse, You will never forget its meat...


Maybe due to the fact that I haven't really involved myself on our last holidays planning, I left Madrid thinking almost only on wildlife and on the safari experience I was about to live... 
And then, after 18 hours travelling and just a couple of hours in Johannesburg, this mindset completely changed... and I have now to correct the first sentence and add the amazing gastronomic experience we lived...

It may be difficult to explain, but if you are a meat lover like me, in the right moment you arrive the GrillHouse you feel that this is clearly a must go in South Africa and that you are about to experience an "another planet" meal... Just one tip for the next time you go to a Steakhouse: apart from the weight of the knife pick up the knife with one finger just in the middle between the blade and the handle. If it is heavy and it stays equilibrated you are dealing with a very special top quality knife, and it may mean you are about to taste same or better quality food...

In fact I was completely right! From the starters, of which I would highlight the snails to the main courses that, to be honest, were the best ribs and rump steak I've tasted the whole holidays and, no doubt, if not the best one of the best I've ever eaten!
If you sum to this a very correct staff attention a really interesting wine list, and most important a great group of friends, you get an excellent meal like we had.

After the meal I understood why our friend Juan made the dinner reservation in advance, we could not miss it! It is really a pity that it is so far away from Madrid... 

A tip If you live around: visit the amazing shop, just in front of the restaurant and try do this amazing steaks at home!

Where?
The Grillhouse, Corner of Oxford Road and Bierman Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg (+27 11 880 3945; www.thegrillhouse.co.za)
How Much?
Aprox. 25 - 35€

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My first African Experience


My first time in Africa has been a unforgettable gastronomic, photographic and, I would also say, life experience! In the next couple of weeks you can find here several posts about it! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Beef steak with Soya sauce and Asparagous


I was looking for a different recipe to use the asparagus I had in the fridge in order to avoid avoid it to spoil during my holidays, and I found this fabulous recipe from the Portuguese Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa , beef steaks with soy sauce and asparagus.

You will need :- Asparagus (1 per steak )- 4 beef sirloin steaks
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 75 ml light soya sauce (as I only had normal soya sauce I added about 5 ml of rice vinegar)
- Ginger ( a bit smaller than the thumb )
- Chives
- Olive oil and pepper

Cut the head of the asparagus and sauté in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Cut a sheet of cling film and place on the board , put the steaks over the sheet, cover with another sheet of cling film and flatten the meat with hand. Remove the cling film and set aside. In a bowl mix together the light soya sauce , 1 tablespoon sugar and the grated ginger.
Season the steaks with pepper and then brush them with the soya sauce, add the chopped chives and roll the steaks around the asparagus head . Brush again with the soya sauce and season with pepper.
Fry on a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil, brushing the meat again with the sauce. when it is ready dredge it with chopped chives and serve it immediately.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Photo of the Week: Pilansberg National Park

It has been really difficult to choose the photo of this week as it has been a fantastic holiday start in Pilansberg National Park...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wine of the Week: Finca La Emperatriz


Every time we go to the Restaurant Jota 5 in Madrid we don’t have to choose the wine we will drink because our friends immediately serve us Finca La Emperatriz Crianza 2009. This wine, from the Spanish Region of Rioja Alta e made with Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viura Grapes. As every special things the only problem is that it is not easy to find it in Madrid but finally after contacting the winery I was able to find it…  Well writing  about this wine is like writing about a friend… better meet it ;)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The photo of the week: Tamar Project, Brasil!


The photo of this week was shot in december 2006 in a base of Tamar Project in Praia do Forte, Brasil. This photo is dedicated to all who make possible this project, not only preserving 5 turtles species but also for its social reintegration importance!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A must use ingredient for your Barbecue: Chimichurri Sauce!


For those who are now entering the spring, a great suggestion for your weekend barbecues, and for those who have just left the summer, a chimichurri sauce is always a great choice for any grilled meat dish...

For approx. 1.5 kg of sauce, you will need:

75 gr. parsley
750g ripe tomato
zest of half a lemon
3 g of dried thyme
50 grams of Garlic
6 gr sweet chili
1 small chilli pepper
375 ml of extra virgin olive oil
75 ml sherry vinegar
18 gr of oregano
175 gr onion
1 g ground cumin
17 gr of salt
125 ml of white wine vinegar
375 ml water
250 ml Sunflower Oil

Peel and finely chop the onion, then the garlic, parsley, tomato, (remove the seeds). Remove seeds from peppers and chop. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Grate half a lemon peel and finally add preheated water. Mix and enjoy this delicious sauce ...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Aubergine with mozzarella and tomato sauce


You will need:
Tomato sauce, see the recipe here
1 Aubergine
Mozzarella Cheese
Aromathic herbs (Thyme, basil, oregano)
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Remove the stalk and cut the aubergine into 0,5 - 1cms slices. cover the slices with a pinch of salt and let it rest about 30 minutes in order to let it sweat. remove the excess of salt and dry it. season with freshly ground pepper and grill both sides on a hot griddle pan. In a tray add a splash of olive oil and put all the grilled aubergine slices, add the tomato sauce, then the mozzarella and finish with a mix of aromatic herbs. Put it in pre-heated oven for about five minutes, 190ºC and serve it immediately!

Quick and easy recipe, just what I was looking for today...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photo of the Week: Douro


The photo of this week is a preview of the fantastic weekend through Portuguese Douro Valley. Coming soon on fdgoodlife...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gordon Ramsay's Honey Mustard Pork chops


Last weekend I was on a cruise on Portuguese Douro Valley about which I will write soon. This was the reason why the recipe of the week only comes today... But as it is comonly said: better late than never...
The main tip for the recipe of this week is to prepare the marinate with few hours before of even the night before, basically the more time you have it, the more flavour you will get.

you will need:

Pork chops, (I used black Iberian pig chops)

Marinade
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
6 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons of light soy sauce

In a bowl mix all the marinade ingredients. Add the pork chops and turn it to coat well. Cover with cling film and marinate it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Grill it on a griddle pan or barbecue and for about five minutes each side brushing it with the marinade occasionally.  Let the chops rest about 5 minutes and serve it with a salad or a grilled vegetables couscous.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wine of the week: Quinta Edmun do Val Reserva 2009


I confess that I do not remember exactly the flavour of Quinta Edmun do Val, because I tasted it last february but What I cannot forget and is completly present in my memory: I Loved it! And i need to find it again...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My first interview!

Today is a very special day for me. After a hard and tough working day, this interview brought me the energy to pick up the computer and write... to continue feeding this hobby!

Follow the link below to read it!

Thank you guys for following and supporting this adventure and thanks Gourmandize for the interest and the oportunity
Please take a minute to read it, comment it and share it!



Photo of the week: Plitvice Lakes National Park



The photo of this week is one of several paradise landscapes that you can find at Plitvice Lakes National Park...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The best cheesecake of the world!


The recipe of this week is a trip to my childhood, from all the fantastic cakes that my mother made, this was always one of my favourites! I still remember that she put the leftover in a separate small casserole just for me! This recipe is a tribute to my mother who is simply the best in the world!

For the base :
· Almost an entire package of Maria Cookies ( 2/3 can make a whole and keep the rest for the next one! )
· 1 tablespoon of sugar ( the original recipe was two...)
· 2 tablespoons of melted butter
· Flour for dusting

For the dough and topping:
· 2 tablespoons of flour
· ½ cup of sugar
· Pinch of salt
· 2 packs of 200 grams of cheese philadelphia
· 4 eggs ( separate yolks from the whites that you must beat them till it is firm)
· 1 package of cream 200 ml
· Sweet berries ( here can give wings to your imagination and cover with the candy more like )
Start by grinding the cookies, add the sugar and stir, then add 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix everything well to get a dough. Spread evenly around the baking dish you use for the oven.
For the dough, add 2 tablespoons flour + ½ cup of sugar + a pinch of salt + 2 the cheese and mix it well, then add the egg yolks and mix again, then the cream and finally, gradually add little by little the egg whites previously beaten.  When it is well mixed pour  into the baking, over the cookies and bake in the preheated oven .

The oven temperature and time are extremely important. In our case we put at 160 ° C for one hour, then turn off the oven and keep it inside for one more hour. Finally add the topping and enjoy!

Like all friends who have eaten this pie know the main ingredient is : lots of love and affection !

This week recipe and post powered by Vanessa Paiva!

Anna Blume, the time will stop while you enjoy your breakfast


This is the kind of places where time seems to stop... so, If you particularly enjoy a good breakfast or brunch, Anna Blume is clearly a must go in the city of Berlin! 
When it is full the interior may get really noisy so I strongly advise you to get a table in the terrace, specially if you're looking for a romantic atmosphere. It has an exquisite menu that can go from a simple butter croissant or home-made crêpes to Anne blume specials for two, like the oleander that we tried or other three-tiered dishes... To complement this breakfast we had an orange and a carrot and orange juice, both excellent too!

Where?
Kollwitzstraße 83  
10435 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 30 44048641

How much?
10€ pax

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wine of the Week V3

Viñas Viejas Verdejo 2009, Terna Bodegas, Rueda - Spain
White wines potential and value is frequently underestimated, even more if we are talking about a white wine with barrel...
The wine of this week demonstrates that we shall not give too much importance to prejudices... V3, which in Spanish means old win yards and Verdejo the grapes type, is a great white to drink with more complex dishes. This was the perfect solution for our Sunday lunch starter an octopus ceviche, due to its high acidity.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tartare Duet!...


The recipe of the week is specially dedicated to our follower Esperanza,  who insistently asked me to post this tartare duet this week!

More than a duet, is a dish of contrasting flavours, ingredients and why not ... continents! Recommend starting the trip by the bittersweet taste of tuna tartar and finish with the stronger flavors of the steak tartare!

Remember here the recipe of steak tartare I published earlier

For the tuna tartar will need:
1 loin of almadraba tuna
Sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 avocado

Start by mixing the sauces and sesame seeds in a bowl and set aside. As for the steak tartare, pick your best knife to finely chop the tuna. Mix with the sauce and set aside.
To serve put a level of avocado slices, cover with the tuna tartare and it is ready!

Tip: As I've told you in the steak tartare recipe, before mixing the tuna taste the sauce and adjust the flavours acording to your preferences...

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!...

Restaurant of the Week: Miyama Castellana, Madrid, Spain



If you are a Japanese food addict like me, Miyama Castellana is a mandatory stop in Madrid. Considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in Spanish capital, this is our main destination when we go out to eat some sushi... The raw material and respective preparation are top quality, reason why despite it is not the cheapest, for me, this has the best price-quality relation among the japanese restaurants of Madrid.
The service is on the same level of the food, very gentle, professional and fast!
The only but of this restaurant, is the noise when it is full... so deeple recomend you to try to get a table closest to the entrance door as possible.

Where?
Paseo de la Castellana 45
Madrid
Spain
Metro: Gregorio Marañón 7 10
www.restaurantemiyama.com/miyama_castellana.html

How Much?
Aprox 40€/pax

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wine of the Week

LU&BE 2010, Dominio de Cair Winery, Douro, Spain

This blog is about sharing and live new experiences. The wine of this week is a good example of this. This was a great recommendation of Javi when we stayed @ Capitulo Trece in Maderuelo, Spain. (take a look at the previous post here
Try it!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Photo of the Week: Wine!

João Portugal Ramos Winery, Estremoz, Portugal

As we are in the grape harvest time, the photo of this week is specially dedicated to all the women and men who create this precious drink, from the vineyards till the glass... 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Tuna Tataki


Every time we go to the restaurant Miyama here in Madrid, about which I will write next Friday, one of the dishes we always order is tuna tataki. This is why, last week, when I went to the market and saw the quality and freshness of the Albacore, there is no doubt I'll try to do my first tataki at home!

Here is the result ...

You will need:

1 Albacore steak (Thunnus alalunga)
Soy sauce
1 handful of chives
1 leek
Juice of 1 lemon
Ginger
Bowl with water and ice

Due the risk of Anisakis, freeze the Albacore Steak for at least 24 hours at -20 ° C. Once defrosted immerse loins, in soy sauce. In a non-stick pan we sear the four sides of the albacore, remove from the pan and submerge in a bowl with water and ice in order to stop the cooking process. Submerge again in soy sauce and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the leek and chives finely chopped, the juice of a lemon and a piece of ginger grated. (If not a big fan of ginger go adding and tasting until you get the desired flavor, I used a piece the size of the thumb).

Cut the Albacore into slices, passing them again through the soy sauce and put it on a plate. Cover with the mixture prepared earlier and enjoy ...

Alternatives? Send us your recipe to fdgoodlife@gmail.com

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tree excellent wheels to travel... a lot!



One of the conversation topics that usually arise after the opening of a new space is the future you see for it, well, the title of this post is how to summarize my opinion: a team of three excellent cookers who, day by day bring the haute cuisine closer to their custumers.
Located in Barrio de las Letras in Madrid this restaurant brings us a mix of feelings, as if it was a book ... 

You will find a space and a team relaxed and informal, that practically makes you feel at home ... The Menu, divided into three parts, takes us traveling from flavors and freshness of the products on the market in the first part specially dedicated to extreme high quality raw material, with simple but exquisit dishes, to  second part with more complex and creative dishes and then a trip through the flavors of the world ...
We started by a green tomatoes Gazpacho with oysters and herb salad, ceviche, the tuna tataki salad with green beans and ... although everything was great the best came at the end with an awsome portion of cannelloni and the potatoes filled with oxtail. All irrigated by the wine we published this weekTo end up at the top a marvellous dessert of peaches with mint cream and lemon ice cream ...

Oh, and the most important before leaving the contacts, to come back again, and a again...

Where?

Calle Santa María 28
28014 Madrid
Metro: Antón Martín / Sevilla
Tel:910244798


 How much?

25-35€





Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wine of the Week

The wine of this week is:

Ponce Pie Franco 2011



One of the exciting things of this blog is that I get to know and discover new restaurants, new flavors and new wines!... Last week had a great surprise with this new nectar, which matched perfectly with our meal @ the restaurant Tricycle, about which I will write next Friday. I say surprised because until then, I didn’t knew anything about the wine region of Manchuela, a small young wine region between Cuenca and Albacete, Spain.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Photo of The week: Yes this is still summer!

Platja des Bot, Menorca, Spain

Summer is not only sun, beach, vacations! Generally people are happier in better mood... September is normally a month of changings and despite the summer has not ended yet you see that most of the people is already changing its wardrobes, leaving the beach till the next summer and also changing their humour... So keep the positive energy, spread it through your friends and family!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Oxtail Stew!



There is no doubt the summer is coming to its end... This week the rush and the traffic jams have returned to the city as well as the activity of Saturday mornings on the market which also means that the best raw materials are back too! This week recipe is an Oxtail Stew!

You will need:
- 1kg Tail Taurus
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 onions
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 3 carrots
- Salt
- a tea spoon Saffron
- a tea spoon of Sweet pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 black pepper grains
- Virgin olive oil
- 1 glass of Madeira wine 
- Potatoes

Start by sautéing the garlic in hot oil, add the onions, tomatoes, peppers and carrots, all grossly chopped, as we will use it for the garnish. Let it cook a bit and when the tomatoes start to get cooked add the meat, the madeira wine, bay leafs, saffron and sweet pepper, stir and add water to almost cover the meat. Cook on low heat for 2,5 hours. Be careful and check it periodically in case you need to add water. At the end of two hours to boil the potatoes until they begin to unravel. (This is an important aspect in order to absorb the flavour of the sauce).
Remove the oxtail from heat and separate the meat from the bones. Remove the part of the vegetables and set aside, grind the rest with the stew broth and bring back to the boil to reduce the sauce slightly.
Serve it putting a layer of potatoes over sauce, cover with the meat and again a bit of sauce. Serve with stewed vegetables!

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

O Dinis,The Fisherman Restaurant, Carvalhal Beach (Portugal)


The best way to describe my opinion about the restaurant O Dinis is that all summer Fridays that we go to Troia, we leave Madrid with the reservation for, 640 kilometers later, tasting the best fresh fish that you can eat...
Informal, relaxed and friendly, as its owner Dinis, this is one of the perfect places to end a summer afternoon, enjoying the fabulous sunset in front of the restaurant which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a great meal with your couple...

Yes, it is true! To all this you will still have to add the best grilled fish of the region, certainly one of the best we had the opportunity eat. The sea bass is the star of this restaurant where we also had this summer the opportunity to eat these wonderful sardines... Oh and you cannot leave without tasting the awesome chocolate mousse...

To be honest I cannot find more adjectives to describe this restaurant, just that I feel at home or at a friend's house...

Thank you Dinis! See you next weekend ...

How much?
25-30 €

Where?
Carvalhal beach
7570 - 779 Carvalhal
Tel. 265 497 023

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wine of the Week: Murganheira Vintage Brut Pinot Noir 06


After a long absence, the wine of the week is back! From now on every wednesday we will post a different wine...
We normally end our summer afternoons in Troia, a paradise beach located about 1.30H from Lisbon, with its cousin from the variety of Malmsey, "Malvasia Fina", also from Murganheira Winery. A few weeks ago, we finished our vacations with this very special nectar: Murganheira Vintage Brut Pinot Noir 06. Although I am tempted, I will not risk to say that it is the best Portuguese sparkling wine, Instead I will say it is undoubtedly the best I've ever tasted! 
If you are a fan of sparkling wine or Champagne, try it, I am sure It will worth each drop...