Monday, December 15, 2014

Recipe of The week: Onion soup, perfect to raise you temperature...


After almost a couple of months we are back with an excellent recipe for this freezing days, at least here in Madrid: an onion soup. This time a version that I've picked from Portuguese Chef. Henrique Sá Pessoa program secret ingredient. (Please click here to read the other version we've published a couple of years ago)

You will need (for 3 persons):
3 onions
a generous knob of butter
1 bay leaf 
olive oil
2 spoons of flour
salt & pepper
thyme
6 bread slices
Gruyere cheese 


Start by slicing the onions as thin as you can, (this will make all the difference on your soup final result), then, in a pan with a splash of olive oil, add a generous knob of butter and a bay leaf. When the butter is melted add the onions and let it cook. This is the second most important step, the best cooked the onions better soup you will obtain. Add a bit of thyme and season it with salt and pepper, being careful with the salt as you will add chicken stock.
Add two spoons of flour and stir it well. Add part of the chicken stock and mix it well. Add the rest of the stock and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile put in a tray 6 bread slices, add a drizzle of olive oil to avoid it to dry and cover with a slice of Gruyere cheese. take it to the oven at 200ºC for about 5 minutes.

Serve it as it is shown on the picture and enjoy it!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Belcanto, a meal in Chef Jose Avillez Lab

Belcanto - Suckling pig revisited credits Paulo Barata



In the week that this restaurant was recognized with the second Michelin star, the return of the Restaurant of the week could not have another protagonist: Belcanto, much more than a restaurant, a box of sensory experiences that made me travel through a world of different textures, aromas and flavors that I had never lived before ...


Since I was a little kid I lived the ilusion of christmas, the family celebration, food and gifts... The story of this post begins precisely on last Christmas Eve, when I received a postcard with one that was "The Gift," a dinner at Belcanto, the lab of Chef José Avillez, a Portuguese chef I really admire among other things by the way it treats many of ingredients of Portuguese traditional gastronomy and gives them an innovative twist putting our cuisine in the panorama of international haute cuisine.

Last January 18, just a couple of hours before our reservation anxiety started to rise, my extremely high expectations started to cause me a real fear of disappointment.  Yes, was completely wrong and I had no idea of what was about to happen .. .

As it was the first time I visited the restaurant and we wanted to taste the classics. This was not only because I wanted to taste the dishes that have been kept in the menu from season to season but also because what I've mentioned earlier, the connection to the flavors and products typical Portuguese cuisine, as can be the sea bass, shellfish and piglet.

Our experience started with several amuse-bouches from which I would like to highlight two: the trilogy of false olives that made me think of the times of José Avillez in the kitchens of El Bulli: A black olive tempura, explosive olive and a spectacular inverted Dry Martini, instead of the usual gin soaked with olive, this time we had the olive juice with a gin bubble in the middle and the other which made travel to my childhood to a chocolate called Ferrero Rocher, in this case made of foie gras with a butter cover with a gold leaf.

The garden of the goose that laid the golden eggs started the menu, an egg cooked at low temperature covered with a gold leaf, crispy bread and mushrooms. A fantastic game of textures and flavors that have radically changed my expectations of having a great meal and took me to the field of sensory experiences, that kind of life experiences will always remain in our memory.
Belcanto - The garden of the goose that laid the golden eggs
Credits Nuno Correia

Followed by the dip in the sea, the name says it all, a perfect cocktail of products, textures and flavours that I can only describe as pure sea... This was the dish that most impacted me, as it made travel several years ago to my biology and zoology classes where we visited the beach Avencas in the outskirts of Lisbon (in Parede, Portugal).
Belcanto - Dip in the sea
Credits Nuno Correia

To end the main courses the reinvention of a typical Portuguese dish, Suckling pig revisited  with fried potatoes orange and salad. amazingly executed, with an extremely crispy skin of the sukling pig, which is achieved by a long cooking at low temperatures.
As a dessert the Mandarin a complex and refreshing dessert, which for me was clearly the least positive aspect of this meal.
Belcanto - Mandarin
credits Paulo Barata
More than negative opinion, as an opportunity for improvement It would be also important to have a wine pairing menu for this tasting menu of classics, as it already exists for the others.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog you have noticed that for the first time the photos were not shot by me, I confess that I was taken over by the emotions and left the mobile phone and notepad aside... so this whole post is based on memories of this magnificent experience that I lived there 11 months ago ...

Where?
Address: Largo de São Carlos, 10
Lisbon, Portugal
Telephone: +351213420607

How much?
See the tasting menus and prices on the web page.









Monday, October 27, 2014

2 islands, 1 photo and so much to imagine...


The photo of this week comes from a very special and magic place "lost" in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: The Horta Marina in Faial Island, Azores.
With Pico Island as wallpaper this is the perfect place to loose yourself across the sailors' paintings increase in this unique connection point between Americas and Europe... 

Thanks again Pacheco for the excellent organization!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The cod that never fails!


This recipe is a classic at our home... I've shared today's recipe in many occasions with friends (parties/dinners/new year's eve). As many of the recipes I used, today's recipe is  my mom's receipe of codfish with cream, a cooker that deserve all the michelin stars

You will need: (for 4/6 people, for more o less portions just keep the proportions...)

- 400 g of codfish (soaked and shredded)
- 3 onions
- 1/2 L of béchamel sauce
- 250 ml of cream
- Extra virgin Olive oil q.b.
- Garlic q.b.
- Breadcrumbs 
- potato sticks

Start by putting a pan with water in the heat till it boil, add the codfish, and when it starts to boil again take it out from the heat, throw the water away and reserve. In a pan with a splash of olive oil sauté the chopped onions with garlic till it is completely cooked. Then, in medium heat, put the codfish in a pan, add the potatoes and, without stopping to stir it let it cook for 5/7 minutes. Take it off the heat and mix it with the béchamel sauce, the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Put the moisture on a pirex with butter and, before putting it in the oven, cover with a thin layer of breadcrumbs. 

put it on the oven, preheated at 180 ºC, and leave it until the bread is crispy. We normally put it to leave 5 minutes with the oven, then 5 with the grill.

Before the oven you could freeze it for another time! The best tip of this receipe is to do it with a lot of love and affection, the only way I know how to cook...

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wine of the Week: Camins del Priorat 2012


Despite its simplicity, Camins del Priorat is a  fresh and soft red wine from the  interesting the Spanish region of Priorat. In the nose is very interesting and I would even say funny...

This was the perfect ending to an totally unexpected afternoon and evening of laughs, talks and fun with friends...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My first time in African soil


One year after my first time in Africa all that colours, flavours, aromas, landscapes still remain as I had just come back yesterday...

Monday, October 20, 2014

The easiest and quickest Hot sauce!


Last week I was asked to prepare a simple recipe to help one of our readers start cooking at home. So the recipe of this week is the easiest chili sauce, even easier than buy it!

You will need:
Hot pepper, (depending on your taste you can choose softer or hotter)
Whiskey 
Extra virgin olive oil

In a jar, add the chopped hot pepper, and add 1/2 of whiskey and 1/2 of extra virgin olive oil, and that's it!

 I prefer like this as it stays less greasy and more aromathic but, as an alternative, you can also add 1/3 of whiskey and 2/3 of extra virgin olive oil...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I guess this will be a great year ...


Wine is much more than just a drink, it is a way of sharing and socialize, I would even dare to say it is a way of living. This is one of the explanations of the election of this wine for a very special moment: my birthday lunch...

This wine made from Antão Vaz, Arinto and Verdelho Grapes, had the perfect intensity and harmony to go with the John Dory fillets with roe panada from Dona Bia Restaurant.


Because I guess (Palpite) this will be a great year 

Note: Palpite means guess in Portuguese...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Photo of the week: Vineyards


The photo of the week is dedicated to all those women and men who dedicate their lives to taking care of the vineyards along the whole year, to those who take part on the tough harvest process worldwide and to those who put all their knowledge to create wines with soul, to all, Thank you very much!
Last but not least some special words to a great friend Pedro Jerónimo who is dedicating all his mind, body and soul to bring up a project with history the Vinho da Ordem.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recipe of the week: Boletus mushroom Risotto


Last friday I was with some stomach problems so I only had white rice for lunch and dinner. Despite what you may think this was not a really big effort, why? because I really love rice!!! So the recipe of this week had to be a rice dish...

You will need: (4 pax)
300 g of Carnoli rice
200 g Boletus (the original recipe of José Avillez he uses Portobello mushrooms)
1 dl White wine 
1 tablespoon of chopped onion
1 coffe spoon of chopped garlic
1 coffe spoon of chopped parsley
hot Chicken stock as needed
50 g of butter
Freshly grated parmesan
Parmesan slivers 
Basil leaves 
Extra virgin Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Cut the boletus in not very thin slices. Sauté the boletus in a non-stick frying pan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, a bit more of olive oil and then the chopped garlic. Season with a little more salt and add the chopped parsley, stir it well and reserve.

In a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, fry the onion in low heat without letting it brown. As soon as the onion is translucent, add the rice, mix it well with the olive oil and refresh with the white wine. Let it evaporate and add a little of the hot chicken stock and when the rice absorbs the stock add a little more.

The most important tip is to keep stirring constantly, Repeat the operation of adding a little of the hot chicken stock until the rice is cooked.

After aprox. 12 minutes, add the mushrooms and continue the previous cooking process till the rice is cooked.

When the risotto is ready add the butter and the greated parmesan, stir well and cover for 30 seconds

Serve it immediately with some Parmesan slivers and basil leaves.

* Recipe from Chef José Avillez book Cantinho do Avillez

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recipe of the week: Gooseneck Barnacle 100% sea flavour!


Specially in Madrid, autumn decided to arrive earlier this year and forced us to anticipate the end of the beach season... To compensate this trauma, this week I decided to share a recipe that allows you to feel the sea during the whole year, Gooseneck Barnacles are 100% pure sea flavour and aroma and one of the best ways to feel the summer during the rest of the year...

You will just need:
- Gooseneck barnacles
- sea water or water and salt 

This may be the easiest and the quickest recipe I've ever shared on this blog. If you cannot use sea water add 70 gr of salt per liter of water and heat till it starts boiling. At the same time, wash very well the Gooseneck Barnacles, taking out the rocks, algae and sand. Put the seafood in the boiling water and let it cook till it starts to boil again. you may serve it immediately or serve it cold, depending on your personal taste.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wine of The week, Cepa 21 2009


If you asked me to define the wine of this week in one word I would imediately say Elegance. This is a very well balanced wine or, instead I should say harmony, between the fruit the barrel and the alcohol. This is undoubtedly a must taste in the Ribera del Duero Region (more info at http://www.cepa21.com/en/wine/cepa-21-2009).

Thanks Miguel!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Photo of the week: Carrapateira


As the summer is almost reaching its end, this week another photo from this year's holidays in Portuguese Southern Coast, Carrapateira Beach.

If you are a Surf lover this is a beach to take into account...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Recipe of the week: Fried noodles with chicken


A good way to remember those unforgettable holidays in Bali, the paradise and relaxing Indonesian island,  is the recipe of this week... 
The biggest tip about this recipe is not be keen on follow it strictly as this may vary significantly according to the vegetables you have in the fridge. So, the main rule to follow is using equal parts of vegetables and chicken breast  

You will need: 
1 chicken breast 
red/ green sweet pepper 
8 spring onions
two garlic cloves 
1 carrot 
Salt and pepper 
soy sauce 
rice vinegar 
ginger 
Hot Sauce 
2 eggs 

As the cooking times are not so long it is easier if you start by chopping/prepare all ingredients: Start by cutting the carrot into small strips, sweet peppers into small cubes, chop the spring onions and slice the garlic cloves. Also cut the chicken breast into small strips and set aside. 
Then in a wok or a deep frying pan and with a drizzle of olive oil start by putting the garlic, then the carrots and a bit later the rest of the vegetables. let it cook for about 5 minutes and add the chicken. At the same time, in a pan with boiling water and let the noodles boil according to the instructions (in my case for 3 minutes). Add soy sauce and the like in my case I normally add rice vinegar (both 25ml), a bit of grated ginger (about the size of a thumb). If you are comfortable with hot sauce add it to the mixture, and you will see that your noodles will raise to another level... 
In a hot frying pan with a little olive oil, add the two scrambled eggs, stir and add the noodles, mix it well and add to the vegetables. 

Mix well and enjoy ... 

Tip: as mentioned above taste it and adjust the intensity to your personal taste playing with ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar like, I started to use this for sushi and now I use it frequently for lots of other dishes...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Restaurant of the Week Pont' a Pé, Aljezur, Portugal

After spending a whole day looking for accommodation for our second week of vacations in the Southern coast of Portugal, we finally discovered an apartment in Aljezur and after several hours inside the car we only wanted to go to the beach as soon as possible and then have dinner in one of the village's restaurants.

We normally don't go to restaurants that don't make reservation, but we decided to wait, to be honest less than 10 minutes ...

Despite it had nothing to do with it, it might seem a revenge for each one of the minutes that we waited for a table, as a sudden uncertainty absorbed us and after asking Marta to bring a couple of fishes we decided to change completely our order...

We started with a dish of freshly cooked barnacles, a wonderful shooter of sea flavours and aromas, then some of the best razor clams I've ever tasted, really amazing and then we shared some little squids at Algarvian style. This fabulous meal was perfectly paired with the wine of this week here on the blog: Barranco Longo Grande Escolha 2013 one of the magnificent suggestions of Marta. I say one of, because the last one was a spectacular dish of typical deserts of the region, made of sweet potatoes. 

Summing it up, a simple, typical and informal Algarve restaurant, with premium quality raw materials and an even better service from the Marta... what more can you ask for on holidays? 

How much? 
approx. € 25 / pax. 

Where? 
Restaurante Pont' a Pé
Largo da Liberdade 12 
8670-066 Aljezur, Portugal 
GPS coordinates W08 ° 48'.12 "- N37 ° 19'.01" 
Tel: +351282998104 
E-mail: contact@pontape.pt

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wine of the Week: Barranco Longo White Grande Escolha 2013


O vinho desta semana foi a minha estreia nos vinhos do Algarve e deixou-me uma curiosidade tremenda de conhecer os nectares desta região. Equilibrado, persistente e com aromas a frutas tropicais.

Uma Grande sugestão da Marta, que nos serviu no restaurante Pont' a Pé, sobre o qual vos contaremos a nossa experiência no proximo post.

The wine of this week was my first time in tasting Algarve wines, and it was a really good starting poing for future discoveries. With 6 months on french oak this wine has tropical aromas and is well-balanced and persistent in the mouth.

An excellent suggestion of Marta on our visit to restaurant Pont' a Pé in Aljezur...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Photo of the week: Arrifana beach


The photo of this week is one of the images of some amazing Portuguese beaches that I cannot erase from my last holidays memories... 
This one shot in Arrifana beach, just a few minutes away from Aljezur, is one the favourites of my friend Ana, so today this post is specially dedicated to you...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Recipe of the week: Smoked salmon wrap


This week a very quick, easy and fresh recipe for you to enjoy each of the remaining minutes of this summer...

You will need:
Tortitas
Smoked salmon
Avocado
Cream cheese (philadelphia light)
Lettuce
lemon 
freshly ground pepper

Spread the cream cheese over all the area of the tortita, put the smoked salmon, then the avocado and season with some drops of lemon juice and freshly ground pepper, add the lettuce, roll it and in the middle of the tortita apply a diagonally cut...

This is such an easy and quick recipe that you may take more time to read this recipe than preparing this marvellous wrap...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Photo of the Week: Carrapateira


It seems that the summer in the Iberian Peninsula is starting in September... So, after a summer pause the photo of this week comes from Carrapateira beach in the southwestern coast of Portugal...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Recipe of the week: Cauliflower Soup


This was one of the recipes that made me very curious when I saw Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa preparing it. The reasons were simple: one of the quickest and simplest recipes I've ever saw and with the interesting option of allowing you to eat it cold or hot, depending on season and on your taste ... 

You will need: 
1/2 Cauliflower 
1 shallot 
25 g butter 
milk 
Sesame seed 
1 bay leaf 
salt 
olive oil 
Truffle oil to taste 

Cut the cauliflower into pieces, add the shallot and bay leaf and sauté it slowly,  in butter and a splash of olive oil for about 5 minutes. 
Add the milk till covering the cauliflower and let it cook for about 4 minutes. 
In a skillet toast sesame seeds carefully. 
Grind it well and serve with the toasted sesame seeds and truffle oil to taste. 

Tip: Depending on the season try to serve it hot or cold...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Photo of the week: São Salvador da Baía



In a month that the whole world is focused on this marvelous country, the photo of this week is a colorful memory of my first time in Brasil and in the Northeast city of São Salvador da Baía...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Recipe of this week is... a Cocktail: Primo Basilico


This week another recipe from Chef José Avillez book: O Cantinho do Avillez. A cocktail that my friends loved on the last cocktail party we did at home...

You will need:
75 ml gin
35 ml lemon juice
25 ml simple syrup
8 basil leaves
3 drops of Pernod
20 ml egg white
ice cubes
Lemon zest


Simple syrup:

100 gr sugar
60 ml water


For the simple syrup, bring the sugar and the water to boil in a pan. Let it boil for 30 seconds, remove from the heat and let it cool.


Put the basil leaves in a shaker and pound well. Add the Pernod, the lemon juice, the gin, the syrup, the egg white, close the close it and shake. Open the shaker, add a few ice cubes and shake again until the shaker is very cold. Open the shaker and, with the help of a strainer drain the cocktail into the glass. Squeeze the lemon zest over the cocktail to give extra freshness, to release the oil. Finally, run the zest around the rim of the glass and serve it immediately.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wine of the Week: Coto de Hayas Garnacha Centenaria 2012




We found the Wine of this week, a 100% Garnacha, on an unexpected trip to the Valle de la Fuenfría, in the surroundings of Cercedilha in Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid
Undoubtedly a great Spanish wine to try... 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cherry and Avocado Gaspacho


Because we cannot change everything at the same time, sometimes we need a pause to adapt the new reality and stabilize before going on with our own projects. In the last couple of months I took this pause in order to take all the small steps I needed and to feel all the reasons that made me create this blog still make sense! 

Today I would like to share a Chef José Avillez version of Gaspacho, a recipe that I had to use one of my most recent gadgets a fruit stone extractor...

You will need:

500 g pitted cherrie
7 small plum tomatoes on the vine
1 medium onion 
1 1/2 red peppers
1 small cucumber
1 large slice of rustic bread
1/2 tin of tomato juice
1 dl of sherry vinegar
6-10 ice cubes
1 avocado
lemon juice
40 g red onions
olive oil 
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, add the bread diced without the crust, the chopped tomato, the diced onion, the cucumber (peeled , sliced and without seeds), and the pepper (diced and without seeds). Add the tomato juice, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt & pepper. Mix it well. Cover with the ice cubes and then with film and chill for 12 hours.

Cut the avocado in halves, remove the stone and peel it and put it into a bowl. Season with lemon juice, mash with a fork and add a bit of chopped red onion. Mix well, add a drizzle of olive oil and mix again. Refrigerate.

Remove the stone of the cherries, blend it well, drain and reserve. Take the gaspacho and blend it well. For each liter of gaspacho add 4 dl of cherry puree. Mix well. In the center of each dish put a little of avocado cream and add the gaspacho. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately with basil.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Photo of The week: Spring is back!


The sun is back to Madrid latitude and to celebrate it the photo of this week is a flower, the icon of this season of the year. One of the images of our Safari in Botswana that I cannot erase from my memory...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ribs with Barbecue Sauce


If you love bbq ribs but have never tried to prepare it at home, you'll need to try it as soon as you can because it is so simple that you won't believe it... 

You will need:

- Ribs 
- Jack Daniels Barbecue sauce
- Salt

Preheat the oven at 170ºC. Season the ribs with salt, brush it with Jack Daniels barbecue sauce, put it in a tray and cover it with aluminium foil.  Put it in the oven for 1.30 hours to 2.00H hours, remove the aluminium foil and place it in again in the oven switching on the grill for 30 minutes and thats it!

Simply marvellous, hope you enjoy it!




Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wine of the week: Lagar de Cervera 2012


If you follow us on twitter or instagram you should already be waiting for this to be  Wine of the Week, unfortunately I am writing this post just after finishing the last bottle we had at home...
I had the pleasure to discover this wine two years ago in a wine tasting in Wellington Hotel in Madrid and since then this is a must have at home. 
This wine will go perfectly with seafood, fish, rice dishes or also with appetizers.
2012 was not only its 25th birthday but an excellent year for this wine which makes it an excellent price-quality wine.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Photo of the week: Water is life!


Two days after the International Water Day, the picture of this week, reminds me the moment when we saved this animal that was about to die dehydrated, an example of solidarity and harmony between species... 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Mushrooms Tagliatelle


Today a recipe of Gennaro Contaldo, this fabulous pasta that I've prepared for today's dinner...

You will need:
- Blend of Mushrooms
- Tagliatelle
- Parsley
- chilli
- 1 clove of garlic
- Vegetable stock
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan
- Salt and pepper

In a frying pan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, add the finelly chopped garlic, the chilli, and then the mixture of mushrooms you have at home (in this case I used portobello mushrooms and Agrocybe aegerita). Add a bit of vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and cook the mushrooms. Simultaneously bake the pasta into boiling water.
Mix the pasta with mushrooms, if you need add a bit of the pasta cooking water, and mix well.
Serve on a platter and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photo of the week: How I miss this marvelous place called: beach!


This week spring days in Madrid remembered me how I miss one of the things that I'm completely addicted: the beach! 
This photo is just one of those spring days in the Madeiro Beach, Pipa, Brazil ...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

One of the easiest desserts in the world: Baked Apples with Port wine


Sometimes we focus on learning and trying new techniques and we end up complicating too much... it happens in our daily life and also in the kitchen... So today I decided to share with you one of the easiest desserts that you can cook but full of flavour...

You will need: 
1 Pippin apple 
1 cinnamon stick 
Sugar qs (I use raw cane sugar) 
Port Wine qs 

Remove the centre of the apple with and replace it with the cinnamon stick. dredge it with sugar and drizzle with the port wine, due to my surname, and not for any commercial reason always use Porto Ferreira ... 
Bake it at 180 º C until the apple is soft and it's done!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wine of the Week: Crochet 2011


Winemakers Sandra Tavares and Susana Esteban clearly selected their best needles to produce this Crochet 2011, a very harmonious wine in terms of aromas and flavours, which leds us to feel also a great relation between both producers. 
A great return from the Douro Susana Esteban from whom, till now, I only knew the excellent work on in Alentejo region (Solar dos Lobos and Tiago Cabaço wineries) 
If you didnt taste it yet, don't take too long as there were only 3300 bottles ...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Photo of the Week: Fallas, Valencia


In a week that Valencia is literally a continuous explosion of art, sound and joy, a photo of the beatiful Valencian Fallas!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Photo of the Week: Lagoas Empadadas


One of the most magic powers of photography is the ability to travel and feel new or past experiences in just a few seconds. 
Last Friday when I saw a photo from Jose Luis Gonzalez-Redondo on twitter, I immediately travelled to this beautiful place in Azores, and remembered all the emotions of this great trip through São Miguel also known as the green island...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wine of the Week: Crasto Superior 2011


Last weekend Iwas going home for lunch at John's, and I decided to challenge him to choose two wines I had not tried before to share with you here on the blog. 
This wine owes its name to the region where its grapes come from, Quinta da Cabreira, located next to Castelo Maior, in the upper Douro region (Douro Superior).
Made of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Rouriz, Sousão and Old Vines, Crasto Superior 2011 seemed fairly balanced, although for my personal taste it seemed something sweet and over-ripe fruit. 
I am curious to follow its evolution and to taste it in a few more years when it gets older...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cream of Asparagus Soup


I discovered this recipe from Portuguese Chef. Henrique Sá Pessoa on youtube and as it seemed to be quick, easy and incredibly tasty I said: I must cook it!

You will need :
asparagus
2 onions
spinach
butter
olive oil
extra virgin olive oil

Start by peeling the asparagus. Enjoy scrap and stalks of asparagus and boil with the chicken broth. Boil the asparagus with a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes. Peel and chop the onion, in a pan, add a splash of olive oil, two knobs of butter and let the onions cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the water from the asparagus, put it in cold water and set aside.
When the onion is cooked, add the asparagus cuted in pieces, cover it with chicken stock and let it boil.
Remove from heat and mash, add one knob of butter to turn it more creamy. Add a few leaves of baby spinach, which will give a little more green to the soup without overpowering the flavor of asparagus . Add 5 tablespoons of cream mix well and it's ready.

Tips: 
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper...
You can also serve it in a shooter glass

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wine of The week: Tomás Postigo Crianza 2010


Tomás Postigo who,between 1988 and 2008, created and directed one of the most iconic wines from Ribera del Duero Region, Pago de Carroviejas, launched in 2008 his own project.
After tasting this precious nectar that our friends Emily and Caesar brought us from their weekend in Ribera del Duero, Spain, I would risk to say that this wine will give much to talk about in the near future of this region and of Spanish wines...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Salad to recover from any excess...


In the northern hemisphere, January is incredibly similar to the late spring months. Despite the different reasons almost everyone is willing for more light meals or even diets...

The recipe this week is a typical example of what I've just wrote . Although we are in the middle of winter in Spain a salad was the perfect way to start recovering from the festive season that just ended and, not least important, to take a few ingredients that were about to go off...
Despite being very similar to a recipe I shared with you before, this week I bring you this salad because this is an example that salads should not be boring, totally the opposite a salad is a perfect way to work your creativity and have fun in the kitchen. Do not forget that sometimes just a small detail may transform your plate and give it a totally different personality. In this case the anchovy brougt that taste of the sea adding more rock & roll than on the previous version .

You will need ( 2 pax ) :
2 diced avocados 
2 diced tomatoes
10 diced anchovy fillets 
a bit of red onion, finely chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
basil

In a cup make a basil vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice (3:1), salt and some basil leaves, and set aside.
With the help of a mould, place the diced avocado in the bottom , followed by tomatoes, finally the anchovy fillets and roughly chopped onion. Top it with the grated parmesan , season , and after little more than 5 minutes is ready !

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Stage with many stories to tell...



Located in the Hotel Teatro (theatre), in Oporto, the Restaurant Palco (Stage) will take you into the world of arts and theatre . All details are carefully designed and in harmony , from the décor of the room and tables , the mix of lights to the suits of the staff. All conditions are thought so that actors, the best ingredients, will shine on perfect theatre masterpieces that are each of the dishes that you can taste in this restaurant .

Because sometimes the best plan is when you have no plan, this was one of those occasions... We were tired from the trip and the next day we had scheduled an early departure on our cruise through the waters of the Douro river, so we decided to look for something close to dinner. When we passed by Hotel Teatro door the michelin guide logo was a good indication about the masterpiece that we were about to taste .

We started by Braised Tuna in a pistachio bed with cauliflower puree and scallop (in the picture), then Maronese veal with foie, low temperature cooked eggs with potato cream and manchego cheese and semi-cured codfish with rice all accompanied by a wine from the Douro region , as it should be , Cottas red 2011

If you are looking for a modern and elegant restaurant with really good food in Oporto, this is the place...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wine of The week: Petalos del Bierzo 2011


This week a wine from D.O. Bierzo, locaten in the northwest region of Spain. Petalos del Bierzo is a mono-varietal made from Mencía Grapes, a tipe I'd never tasted before. An excellent suggestion from Jorge Trifón that was a perfect match with our amazing meal on his restaurant, el Fogón de Trifón (Madrid).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Duck Breast with Chimichurri Sauce


Last Friday I was just starting to prepare a couple of duck breasts to prepare the recipe I shared earlier here on the blog - remember here magret of duck with sweet potato and basil purée, and suddenly I had to improvise ... I had just put the two duck breasts in the honey and orange juice sauce to marinade when I was told that our visit had just cancelled the dinner ...
It was when we thougt why not surprising some friends with a mini catering at their home? the time to get there was just the time that the magrets needed to rest in the recipe I had previously read on the Ferran Adrià app...

You will need :
Magret of Duck
Chimichurri Sauce , (remember the recipe here )
Salt and Pepper

Start by making a few cuts in the grease of duck breast , being careful not to cut the meat, forming a grid format , this will help the duck to cook on its own fat. In my case I marinated the duck in orange juice and honey sauce as in the previous recipe, but as we will use chimichurri sauce you may just season it with salt and freshly ground pepper. In a pan, brown the duck breast with the fat side down for about 3 minutes, turn and mark the meat for about 30 seconds. Wrap in aluminium foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
cut it in thin slices, season with salt and pepper and cover with chimichurri sauce ...

Hope you enjoy, how do you prepare it?