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 :
2 onions
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.

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

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?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Restaurant of the Week: São Rosas, Estremoz, Portugal

Located next to Estremoz Castle, São Rosas name refers to the legend of the miracle of roses awarded to Queen Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, who turned the bread into flowers. 
São Rosas opened 20 years ago by Margarida Cabaço, mother of Tiago Cabaço, the produce of the wine of this week is undoubtedly a temple of Portuguese cuisine and an essential reference for getting the best out of the best raw products...

This temple was one of the main reasons for our passion for Estremoz. In October last year it was here that we had the first contact with the cuisine and wines of the city and, since then, it is a regular stop when we drive from Madrid to Portugal .

As starters we usually delight us with delicious scrambled eggs with asparagus or mushrooms filled with prawns and as main course an out of this world partridge that you should not miss. And obviously accompanied by Estremoz wines .

Important tips :
As you are in Alentejo doses are really generous for what should be taken into account when ordering.

Book in advance if you wish to avoid the heartbreak of having to choose an alternative if it is full...

Where ?
Largo D. Dinis # 11
7100-509 Estremoz
Tel : +351 268 33 33 45

How much?
20-30 €

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

As some of you may be wondering , there is a reason behind the choice of these two wines for the new year's eve, I wanted to celebrate with my friends this project called fdgoodlife that I've started about one year and a half ago. This event preparation started about a month ago when in one of the trips Madrid-Lisbon I've stopped in Estremoz, a portuguese city that I have a special feelling for its people, its flavours and for its wines... Objective: To taste blog because in my New Year's Eve I wanted toast with friends, wine included .
by mid-morning we started by visiting the cellar of Tiago Cabaço and then we tasted four of their wines including two blog 2010. We were with my parents and with the lovely Maria, sharing stories, tasting and discovering these two great wines that share the name but have very different personalities... The Blog 10 always elegant from beginning to end and the bi-varietal (Alicante Bouchet and Sirah) more irreverent and I would say fun as was completely changing throughout the conversation .
These were such magical moments of sharing around the wine that I had no doubts that much more than because of the name these had to be in my new year's eve...