What’s a Benjamin?
Mario and I saw ‘benjamin’ listed on the drinks menu at Ca’n Joan de S’aigo in Mallorca. We found out that a benjamin is a small bottle of cava, a single serving. Apparently in local slang the benjamin of the family is the smallest child, hence the smallest bottle. Great for sipping with breakfast!
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2014
What to Eat When Everyone’s Eating Jamón
Spain is known for its jamón, or dry– cured ham – many say it’s the best in the world. My travel companions regularly indulged their porcine affection. Claudia eats jamón every morning at breakfast, Mario and Mark both slipped slices onto their pan con tomate. I got a lot of slack for not succumbing to the jamón temptation, but there are a TON of special, particular Spanish foods that I’m thrilled to fill my plate with. After all, the more jamón they eat, the more anchoas (cured anchovies), berberechos (a type of clam), and Manchego (the renowned cheese) for me.
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Recipe of the Week: Caldo Gallego
This is the traditional, restorative soup of Galicia. With a little bread, you‘ve got a great meal on your hands. Maria‘s version was especially good and it‘s no coincidence that she grows her own greens.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 pound thickly sliced pancetta or slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight in water to cover
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, casings removed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound turnip greens (or other dark leafy green), stemmed and coarsely chopped
Cook the pancetta in a large heavy pot over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the beans, add them to the pot, along with enough water to cover them by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam, then lower the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are beginning to soften.
Add the onion, potatoes, and turnips and cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the chorizo and greens and cook for 10 minutes, or until the greens are tender.
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2014
All Natural Hand–Sliced Jamon Serrano!
Introducing a new, hand–sliced Jamon Serrano from Monte Nevado. It is the only all natural Spanish ham for purchase in the US right now. Please see the link below for more information.
Buy Here! www.latienda.com
Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Canned tuna isn’t held with particularly high esteem. It’s usually hidden under gobs of mayonnaise and sandwiched on bad white bread. Spanish canned tuna is a totally different story. It’s harvested in northern Spain, cooked in seawater, and packed in good quality olive oil. It’s not at all dry – in fact, its texture is almost silky. Best left in its olive oil with maybe just a bit of good salt and freshly ground pepper. Perhaps a piece of toast or some good sliced tomatoes, but a fork alone is just fine.
Buy Here! www.latienda.com
Posted Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Paella pans should be evenly heated if you want to make perfect paella. It’s worth investing in a special propane burner to ensure the best paella possible, especially if you’re using a pan big enough for a crowd! You can buy them here: http://www.tienda.com/paella/paella_burners.html.
Posted Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Boquerones are the great Spanish white anchovies pickled in vinegar and stored in olive oil. Since they’re not preserved in salt, like most anchovies, they don’t have the intense saltiness usually associated with anchovies. Instead, they’re mild and tender. Great on pan con tomate or just a toothpick!
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Recipe of the Week: Mushroom and Egg Yolk
Mark and Claudia ate these in a pintxo bar in San Sebastián with Juan Mari Arzak. This is one of the easiest ways to prepare mushrooms, but it is also decadent and impressive. The Basque Country is known for its mushrooms, and you find this dish in pintxo bars all around the region.
* 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra–virgin olive oil
* 1 pound porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, cut into 1/8 inch–thick slices
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 4 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium–high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nicely browned and softened. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Fry the eggs sunny–side up in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Transfer to a cutting board and cut away the whites from the yolks (discard the whites). Spoon the mushrooms onto four plates and sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and pepper. Make a little space in the center of each portion of mushrooms, and nestle the yolks in the mushrooms. As you eat, mix the yolk with the hot mushrooms to create a rich, silky sauce.
Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2014
One of the Best Breads in the World
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014
In Galicia, Mark and Mario found the bread from that particular regions very delicious and full of flavor. Give it a try in your own home with olive oil and a speckle of salt!
Buy it here: www.latienda.com
Mark Bittman: Spanish Seafood Pancakes
"A COUPLE of years ago, a friend took me to Taberna Toscana, in Madrid. "We don’t need a menu," he said. "We’ ll get the veal shoulder and the tomato salad, like everyone else." He was both right and wrong; those dishes were amazing, and I ate them the next couple of times I went there.
Then I took the time to explore the menu and found tortillitas. These cute little no–egg pancakes, originally from Andalusia, feature chickpea flour, shrimp or other seafood, onion, herbs and olive oil. Not much else. Yet they are a near–perfect appetizer or small meal, quickly and easily made.”
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Mario and I took a little side trip to Girona, a small, historic city north of Barcelona. Walking through its old Jewish Quarter was one of the most memorable parts of the trip for me.
Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Quimet y Quimet
Unfortunately we didn’t get to visit one of my favorite Barcelona spots on this road trip, but it’s worth visiting should you be in town. It’s called Quimet y Quimet and it’s roughly the size of a large walk–in closet. They prepare small bites, mostly interesting combinations of preserved and pickled food. It’s quirky, a little funny, and totally eccentric.
Click Here For My Article
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Some of the world’s best salt – huge crystals with a clean, round flavor – is harvested on Mallorca’s coasts. There’s a fun trend of grinding different flavors with the salts – hibiscus and black olives, for example. Mario and Claudia tried them at Felipe Jordi’s apartment in Mallorca with Chef Benet Vicens. The mixtures lend wonderful flavor to meats and fish, pastas and salads.
Buy Here! www.latienda.com
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014