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.
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Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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, September 18, 2012
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, September 11, 2012
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, September 4, 2012
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012
One of the Best Breads in the World
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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, August 7, 2012
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, July 31, 2012
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.
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Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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.
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Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Vichy Catalan Water
Vichy Catalan is mineral water from Catalunya that some people adore, some not so much. It’ s got a bit of salinity to it, and a full, mineral—y flavor. The best way to drink it is probably with a slice of lemon and a splash of vodka.
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Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012
RECIPE OF THE WEEK: PAN CON TOMATE
Mario and Gwyneth prepared pan con tomate (bread with tomato), perhaps the most emblematic of all Catalan food, at the Rene Barbier vineyard. It is served everywhere with everything and is more a method than a recipe. Gwyneth especially loves it when it’s topped with a few boquerones (anchovies).
A few slices of Catalan or peasant bread
A garlic clove, halved, Buy Here! www.latienda.com
Extra-virgin olive oil, Buy Here! www.latienda.com
A really ripe tomato, cut in half
Coarse sea salt, Buy Here! www.latienda.com
Grill the bread or toast it under the broiler until browned on both sides. Rub with the garlic and drizzle with as much olive oil as you like. Rub and smash the tomato against the bread so that the pulp saturates the toast. Sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012
RECIPE OF THE WEEK: GRILLED VEGETABLES
While in wine country, Gwyneth and Mark met up with a local chef named Nino. He arranged for a wonderful lunch consisting of vegetables fresh from the lush Basque landscape. He put a metal grate on the ground, piled grape vines on top, and set them on fire. When the vines burned down, he threw some salt on the fire “to give it a little life,” then grilled endive, carrots, leeks, eggplant, onions, and peppers. He served the grilled vegetables with boiled potatoes and borage, all doused with coarse salt and olive oil. And that’ s the recipe, folks. Fire, vegetables, good salt and olive oil.
Recommended Olive Oil www.latienda.com
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Recommended Salt www.latienda.com
Navaja is the Spanish word for both a fighting knife and a razor clam. I’m more interested in the clams, which look like knives— about five inches long and very thin. Cook them as you would any other clam. They’re especially great prepared on a hot plancha!
Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012