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Archive for the ‘España’ Category
25 Mar

Torrijas 2013

Torrijas because we are almost in Easter. There is nothing I miss more (besides my family) than eating torrijas in Spain in these days. Everybody cooks their own version, so the best way to cope is make mine too.

This year I decided to make them in a mini version, using milk bread. They are so nice. You can use any other bread you like or have anyway. I used the same torrijas recipe as last year.

Before I get into the recipe, I want to say a big SORRY. School is taking most of my time. I love it because I learn so much and it feels right that I am there. But it also feels exhausting and I miss posting more often in here. I wish and hope I can catch up here again soon. Therefore, I am going to chance a little bit my posting schedule as it doesn’t sound realistic anymore. Anyhow, I have plans to publish in here, to improve the design of this site… ooooh, I just need TIME. Why is it not unlimited??

Recipe for torrijas

Ingredients for 10-12 torrijas:

– 1 or 2 days old bread or brioche / milk bread.

– Milk infused with the peel of a lemon and a stick of cinnamon and 2 tbps of (vanilla – optional) sugar.

– 2 eggs beaten

– 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1tpsp of cinnammon

Steps

0. Start heating oil in a frying pan. Oil should cover well the whole surface of the pan. It must not be super hot, torrijas are quite delicate.

1. When milk has cooled down (less than 104ºF/40ºC), soak bread in. You must pay attention to how much milk the bread has absorbed, if it’s too much, you won’t be able to handle bread well.

2. Immediately after soak the slice of bread in the beaten eggs.

3. Right after, fry them in olive oil, both sides. Transfer to a plate when they are golden as in the picture.

4. Repeat this action with all the slices.

5. As soon as you can, coat into the sugar + cinnammon mixture every torrija and let them cool down.

Notes:

The cinnammon and sugar coating will melt with the heat of the fried torrija while it cools down. That coating will give torrijas a nice brightness as you see in the pictures.

Don’t soak too many slices of bread at the same time, just the slices you can put right after in the frying pan. Thus, you will avoid the risk if disintegrating bread  ;)

Enjoy torrijas and Easter!!

26 Sep

Tapa #21 Bocadillo de calamares

Bocadillo de calamares (pronounced /boh-kah-dee-yo — deh — kah-lah-mah-reh-s/) is basically a deep battered fried squid sandwich. And you would say: is that a sandwich? There is no good translation for bocadillo in English, because we use a different bread, similar (just similar, not as good as…) to a french baguette.

This picture was taken in the Bar Brillante of Madrid. A classic place, very authentic. They claim to serve the best bocatas de calamares of Madrid. They are really good, and their people is even greater, that’s why it’s one of my favorites.

In strict sense, this is not a tapa. It isnt’t because I payed for the bocata and the drink separately. As I have mentioned in previous tapa’s entries, tapas are served in a bar, and bars are best to eat out in Spain. I still call it tapa because it was a quick bite with a cold drink before having real lunch.

Have a nice tapa Wednesday!!

Categories: Bocatas, Madrid, Tapa
17 Aug

Violetas

Violetas. One of my favorite candies. I would say from Madrid, but I am not sure who used them first, French or Spanish, I guess the firsts.

You may be remembering this post I publish a few months ago (already!). I was in such a mess, too many things to summit and edit, too much housework… I made a small break here leaving this picture, so I will explain about the image at my return. I think It’s time.

A few years ago, I started participating in an event called AIG in Spain. AIG is a Foodie Secret Santa basicly. One of the participant’s conditions was to send something genuine from you were. In my case, something genuinely from Madrid. It was a quite difficult choice, in fact. There are a few things from only Madrid, but nothing beautiful to pack and send that I recalled. Then, I had an insight: violetitas!

Violetas (pronounced /bee-oh-leht-ahs/) are violet flavored candies. I would say these candies are not that common in other regions of Spain, or at least, it’s what I’ve been told. Actually, you can find in Madrid *the* shop: La Violeta, where they sell all violet related candies.

If you are in Madrid, don’t forget to take the chance to try violetas, from La Violeta shop or another. They have a very special flavor.

I would love to say their shop assistants are super nice with people, but they’re usually not (you might get lucky!!). Anyway, I really like this shop plus it’s location and even though their people are not as nice as I would like, I always go there and buy some violetas. Afterwards, I walk around the city centre and enjoy Madrid…

If you want to visit, La Violeta directions are:

La Violeta

Plaza de Canalejas, 6

Madrid

Categories: Madrid, Sweets
23 May

Tapa #13 Real Life Tapas in Madrid

Do you remember this entry? Does the former picture sound familiar to you? ;)

I wanted to show you some real life tapas I had while I was in Madrid 2 weeks ago.

Actually, today more than repeating the same tapa again, I wanted to speak about beers. This blog is not intended to be an alcoholic blog, but it won’t be completely accurate if I don’t introduce Spaniards favorite drinks (and yes, most of them are alcoholic…). I am not a superfan or beer, but I have learnt to appreciate a good fresh beer with some tapas and friends around.

There are 2 main groups of beer orders in a Spanish bar: cañas or claras con limón. Cañas (/kah-nyah-s/) are simply small glases of taped beer. Claras (/klah-rah-s/) con limón (/kon– lee-moh-n/) consist in 50% of the same taped beer of a caña and 50% of lemon soda (lemon fanta normally). I also remember my grandfather ordering clara con casera (casera is the traditional Spanish plain soda) a long while ago.

Actually, let me come again with some messy terms, but caña means small glass of beer too.

Ok, let me tell you the next messy term: In Madrid it’s fairly common to say vámonos de cañas, which means let’s go to grab some beers! which equals to say having some tapas too. Depends on the place they will say a different expression about having a drink with your friends. Excuse me for the mess again.

Oh, last mess with spanish words and translations: clara means light (referring to the color of the beer).

By the way, my favorite kind is clara con limón. I like the soft lemony taste they have. Beer lovers look at me like if I were an alien when I order a clara. It’s very common though.

A funny fact I wanted to tell you: Can you believe I wanted to recreate a clara con limón here in The Netherlands, but I can’t!!!!?? Why? Because lemon soda is not sold here. For real. I still can’t believe it. Well, I am not a soda super fan anyway, but I like beer with it.

Here you can see clearly the difference in appearance between a clara con limón (left) and a caña (right). They are both very refreshing and also, guilty of some of my extra pounds… I must say it’s been a while since I haven’t drink them ;)

Oh, about the size of the glasses, the ones you see in these pictures are double size of a caña, that’s why they are called dobles (/doh-bleh-s/), literally translated the word double.

Categories: Madrid, Tapa
15 May

15th May: Rosquillas de San Isidro

Today is San Isidro Labrador’s holiday. San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and some other cities of Spain.

This week there a lot of parties in Madrid’s streets, normally concerts and some other activities such as traditional dances and other performances. If you’re in Madrid today, I would have suggested you to go to Plaza Mayor. But giving this year’s circumstances, maybe it’s better to avoid it or at least to get informed beforehand. The reason: because today is the first anniversary of Spanish Revoution, and that zone might be too crowdy (and full of not very nice policemen, be careful…)

Going to a much more delicious topic, of course, food always have a seat in any Spanish holiday. In San Isidro’s case, we talk about rosquillas. Rosquillas (/rohs-kee-yahs/) are the translation of the word doughnut, even though they have nothing to do with american doughnuts.

Although I have been living almost my entire life in Madrid, I tried them last year. There are 4 types:

1) yellow color are called “listas” (/leestah-s/), which means smart doughnuts. That yellow icing uses to taste like lemon and the dough is also soaked in some syrup. These are my favourites.

2) tontas (/tohn-tah-s/), which means silly doughnuts. They have no icing on top and they are not soaked in any syrup either.

3) de almendras (/deh-al-meh-n-drah-s/), which are topped with chopped toasted almods (almendras) and icing sugar. Nice but too dry for me, because they are not soaked in syrup.

4) Santa Clara (/Sahn-tah–Clah-rah/), is the name of another Saint, and I have no idea how it’s related to that meringue icing they have. They are also soaked in syrup. These are my second choice.

Happy San Isidro’s Day!!

Categories: San Isidro
06 Apr

Torrijas in Madrid

These torrijas, or better called mini torrijas were bought last year at one of my favorite pastry shops of Madrid, Nunos. Last year they wan the Best Torrijas Award, and I understood the reason why when I tried them (these are the pictures from last year, but I think they are worth to look at anyway). As you can see, torrijas don’t look as traditional ones, they had different flavors and breads (such as croissants, chocolate, lemon… Yum!)

I must say I miss Nunos. A lot. They were close to my place and always have something new to try. They have a humble local in a fantastic neighborhood in Madrid (Retiro, which was my neighborhood!!), and indoors they have such great sweets… and some savory food as well.

If you are in Madrid, believe me, give them a try :)

You will understand why I miss this place so much.

I am sorry I have not been on time this weeks with tapas and all that. It’s holly week around here too and I’m in holiday mood ;)

See you next week!!

P.S.: By the way, if you are in Madrid but (unfortunately) not in the mood to go to Retiro and find Nunos. You can also head to Horno de San Onofre, also a place well known for their torrijas.  It’s placed in the heart of the city center, but also, more tourist oriented…

Their locations:

Nunos Pastelería

c/ Narváez, 63

28009 Madrid

Horno de San Onofre

c/ San Onofre, 3

28004 Madrid

Categories: Pastelerías
23 Mar

Torrijas

If you have a spaniard around and you want to make them happy during Easter time, torrijas are the answer for that. Torrijas (pronounced /to-rree-has/) are in every spaniard’s sweet and good memories of this season. If you go to Spain right now (I wish I could myself), you are about to see torrijas in almost every pastry shop. Since about now until the end of Semana Santa (The spanish Holly Week).

Torrijas are very close to the french pain perdu, but there are some differences between them. The pain perdu or french toast is a slice of bread soaked in a milk + eggs mixture. Torrijas are traditionally old bread soaked in milk, and then, in beaten eggs. Torrijas are fried in olive oil and french toast is fried with some butter.

Torrijas have only a few varieties to be served with while french toasts have a wider repertoire, either sweet or savory.

Traditionally, there are 3 kinds of torrijas: most popular of milk (the ones you see in this post), sweet wine and honey. Last year I went on a little crusade in Madrid in order to try new torrijas and different flavors. I think that “short tour” deserves a different entry, you’ll see.

My mother has always made torrijas with milk, and she used to pour over a syrup I didn’t like at all. I always thought torrijas weren’t that great because of that syrup until I tried one friend’s grandma’s torrijas, they didn’t have that syrup, they were either dry (no syrup) or floating in more milk (delicious!). After I tried them that year (remember, we only eat torrijas in Semana Santa (Easter time)), I suggested her to separate some torrijas without syrup for me next time. She did so and they were great! Everybody loved them.

My first batch of torrijas were cooked in 2006. It was a bit of a mess because I was studying in UK and didn’t have the normal spanish bread around, so they looked like this (yes, those were my photographic skills at that time). The resultant flavor was nice anyway.  After coming back from UK, I think I didn’t dare to do them again, I had my mother there, and some pastry shops selling them too (at a very expensive price, but I was buying time for me, too).

This year I decided that I am making torrijas again. I even made torrijas bread myself. There is no need to make the bread yourself if you have nice baguete bread near you. The traditional torrija is made from 1 day (or 2) days old bread, so it soaks milk easily. Therefore I made torrijas bread (it is also sold in Spain in bakeries) which is nothing else but a brioche bread, yeasted bread with butter basically. It is a very close recipe to Roscón de Reyes but without any blossom orange water.

Ingredients for 10-12 torrijas:

– 1 or 2 days old bread or brioche bread.

– Milk infused with the peel of a lemon and a stick of cinnamon and 2 tbps of sugar.

– 2 eggs beaten

– 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1tpsp of cinnammon

Steps

0. Start heating oil in a frying pan. Oil should cover well the whole surface of the pan. It must not be super hot, torrijas are quite delicate.

1. When milk has cooled down (less than 104ºF/40ºC), soak bread in. You must pay attention to how much milk the bread has absorbed, if it’s too much, you won’t be able to handle bread well.

2. Immediately after soak the slice of bread in the beaten eggs.

3. Right after, fry them in olive oil, both sides. Transfer to a plate when they are golden as in the picture.

4. Repeat this action with all the slices.

5. As soon as you can, coat into the sugar + cinnammon mixture every torrija and let them cool down.

Notes:

The cinnammon and sugar coating will melt with the heat of the fried torrija while it cools down. That coating will give torrijas a nice brightness.

Don’t soak too many slices of bread at the same time, just the slices you can put right after in the frying pan. Thus, you will avoid the risk if disintegrating bread  ;)

Torrijas are good for breakfast, dessert, merienda (mid afternoon time), before going to bed… summing up: They are always great!

I hope you like them.

Have you ever heard about torrijas? Have you ever tried them?

Have a nice weekend!!

19 Mar

Cádiz – A restaurant and things you should try there

I love Cádiz. It’s located in the southern coast of Spain and it’s one of the most magical cities of the country. Cádiz have too many outstanding things: gorgeous beaches with amazing dusks, outgoing people, lovely weather and great food.

Verónica from Muy Bueno Cookbook told me in a comment that she and her family are going to Cádiz in April. I couldn’t resist to bring back here my memories about this city.

Summer 2009, quite a while, right? My Somebody’s parents had a rented house in Puerto de Santa María and invited us. One of my colleagues at work is from Cádiz. She told me that I would love going to Aponiente, a very promising restaurant owned by one of her brother’s friends at school. Of course My Somebody and I went there. We liked it a lot. Aponiente has a Michelin Star since 2011. The way they treat you and the food they serve make Aponiente a well deserved Michelin Star.

Their cooking is based on sea products. You can find from seaweed to sand in their degustation menu, but also have place for some meat. Ángel León, Aponiente’s Chef has created fish chorizo and some other cold meats with fish. Nowadays these cold fish meat products are pending for being commercialized.

I’d like to show you the dishes I had the opportunity to capture with my camera that night (I must tell you I don’t remember exactly what I ate… lucky me I have the pictures!):

We had some appetizers at the beginning. Don’t you find lovely the table decoration?
I remember this was sardine, smoked with… something. Delicious.
Mussel with something, with something foam. Lovely too, that I remember ;)
Squids, sea weed, something else…
Nice meat too
I have always loved desserts! And I like very much this presentation.
I think it was coconut somewhere in this dish and chocolate…
We loved this one, soft flavour ice cream with a crunchy dried apple slice
Some tea and coffee for ending dinner. 

Also, if you go to Cadiz, you must try some other things:

– Pescaíto frito (fried fish assortments, very typical in all Andalusia)

– Churros for breakfast (in Cadiz they are special)

– Have breakfast in front if the beach (if possible, a tostada con tomate y aceite or if you are brave enough, their manteca colorá or their zurrapa. For the record, I don’t dare yet!). This is one of my favorite pleasures!

– If you go to Cadiz, you may want to try paella. You can order paella there, Andalusians cook terrific food! But, just so you know, paella is not an Andalusian specialty ;)

14 Mar

Tapa #5 Tigres

Here you have one of my favourite tapas. Los tigres, which literally means: “the tigers”. I have no idea of why they are called like that, maybe it is because of the combination of orange plus black colours they have. I have no more ideas of why tigre. It is just weird why a mussel based food has the name of a jungle animal… right?

As you can see, this a deep fried tapa, we have a lot of deep fried food in Spain (we love it!). It is a creamy dough filling a mussel’s shell, then breaded and deep fried. This creamy dough consist in a mix of vegetables (sofrito) plus cooked mussels and langostines all cooked in a bechamel sauce. Believe when I say it is absolutely delicious.

They are not difficult at all to make (actually these are my first), they just call for a bit of method and time. But if you have a foody friend around, this is fun to do together! I had my sister around and we enjoyed making them. I will post the recipe and tutorial on friday. This recipe deserves a proper step by step.

I’ve put 2 shells in my tapa plate (pictures). It should be only one. The reason why is that the mussels I cooked were veeeery tiny compared to the ones I used to eat in Spain. Therefore, if you just have one tigre as a tapa, that is normal, you will see it is much bigger than these ones ;)

With a glass of cold white wine they are just fantastic!

P.S.: FYI I have recently discovered that tigres have two very different cooking versions in Spain. Just in case you’ve only seen the other version so you don’t get confused. The one is shown here comes from the “my” region (the center of the peninsula, Madrid and surroundings), but in northern regions they make tigres and the dish consists in mussels with a spicy tomato sauce (which I have to try because they seem delicious!).

P.S2.: FYI2 In my last post from Madrid, there is a Bar mentioned in the commentaries called “El Tigre”!! It has nothing to do with this tapa, it is a great place, but I have never eaten tigres there, they have other specialties.

Update: You can find the recipe here.

Categories: Regions, Salado, Seafood, Tapa
06 Mar

I miss Madrid sometimes…

I know, croissants are not typically spanish, but these are my favourite croissants in Madrid (French people, beware they have nothing to do with french croissants, but they taste great!!).

I love living abroad, but sometimes I can’t help thinking about how much I enjoyed my life in my home city. All the city walks, all the food I tried… Then, it’s when I recall the small amount of time to spare I had. That’s how I remember why I am not in Madrid anymore ;) I love it, but it seems very difficult to find a good work-life balance there…

Anyway, I visit Madrid a few times a year. Since the last time I was there, I have been making a list of the places I want to go for the next visit. One place for sure will be Puerta del Sol and La Mallorquina.

This square is THE city center of Madrid. It’s the place we celebrate New Year’s Eve and where I used to meet my friends. It’s the place you start from a saturday evening, to go shopping, to have dinner, to have a walk… It amazes every madrileño, you never get tired of this square.

La Mallorquina is a Pastelería located in La puerta del Sol. It is quite antique and still very crowdy (full of madrilians!!) nowadays. Some people have coffee with a pastry inside, I use to only take away pastries. Mostly croissants.

And there you go a bit homesick entry…

Have you ever been in Madrid? Did you like Puerta del Sol?

Categories: Pastelerías

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