Rick Stein’s Food Paradise Spain 1/4 Reply

Rick Stein Spain

British chef, restaurant owner and culinary media star presents the best series we have seen on authentic Spanish food. It might have been called “Spanish food without liquid nitrogen.” It’s four insightful and delightful hour-long chapters, so you’d be advised to mix yourself a drink, put your feet up and enjoy it to the full. Here’s the first one:


In Half an Hour: Asparagus “Revuelto” Reply


David Tanis writes for the NY Times.com–In Spain, wild asparagus is very popular, and it’s a sure sign of spring. Because the variety of wild asparagus there can be a slightly bitter, cooks blanch it in boiling water before sautéing in olive oil. (In North America, both wild and cultivated asparagus are sweet, so this step is unnecessary here.) This dish features typical Spanish ingredients — garlic, chorizo and bread crumbs — incorporated into soft scrambled eggs, for a hearty breakfast, or a simple lunch or first course.


NY Times Reviews Spain’s New Culinary Enfant Terrible Reply

David Muñoz DiverXO

Stephen Heyman writes from Madrid for the NY Times–Hidden at the end of a quiet street in Tetuan, a working-class quarter here that’s home to South American and Chinese immigrants, DiverXO looks more like an amateur art gallery than a Michelin three-star restaurant. The decor is playfully sinister: swarms of black butterflies cover the walls and ceiling; in the wine cellar are giant metallic ants; on the tables are sculptures of flying pigs.

The chef who founded it, David Muñoz, stands out, too, with his mohawk and wooden spike earrings. In an interview one recent afternoon, he described his food as “brutal,” a “gunshot to your head,” and “like porno TV.”

Mr. Muñoz specializes in hyperbole. A meal at his restaurant lasts up to four hours and is designed as much to shock as to delight the senses. Some of the surprises come from the unlikely combination of ingredients — strawberries, coffee grounds, whipped cream and baby squid, for instance.


Spain… On the Road Again, Part 8 – A Sultan’s View of Andalucia Reply

On Road AgainIn this chapter our pilgrims swing south into Andalucía, the part of Spain where the Muslim conquerors reigned for almost 800 years (711 till 1492). Gwyneth and Mark get a taste for Spain’s Moorish history at the majestic Alhambra, the legendary hilltop palace and fortress in Granada. Claudia joins the group for a scenic drive along the Andalucían coast and, with Mark chiming in from the back seat, the group stops in the town of Almuñecar in the province of Granada for local tropical fruit and a meal, after which Gwyneth proclaims, “This is the best day in terms of food.” She then embarks for England and Mark and Claudia push on to beautiful and historic Cordoba, where he teaches her a thing or two about Moorish architecture. More…

Spain… On the Road Again, Part 9 — Castillian Hog Heaven 2

On Road AgainFootloose Mark and Claudia are in hog heaven as the road trip winds through Castilla y León. They head for Salamanca’s amazing Plaza Mayor in search of a breakfast fix of ham for Claudia. “Ham is in the air here,” says Mark. Their interest perked, they decide to head right to the source — a traditional Salamanca farm that raises the famous black–footed pigs. Their porcine pilgrimage continues to Segovia–“one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” according to Mark Bittman– where Bitty and Bassols eat like emperors in the shadow of the city’s 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct. Feeling a little pigged–out, Mark and Claudia return to Basque country, unearthing a medieval cathedral and sampling Vitoria’s finest tapas or, in their own words, “pintxos to die for!” More…

Six Modern Spanish Cooking Techniques Reply

Spanish cooking gelification

The 21st Century Spanish Cuisine – Do It Yourself!

In this series of six brief videos (from one to two and a half minutes) Foods from Spain opens the door to the fascinating world of modern Spanish cuisine. In them we get a glimpse of the radical new techniques of deconstruction, gelification, foams, liquid nitrogen, spherification and Roner vacuum. Best of all, you can try these new tricks at home. With a sense of adventure and, in a few cases some specialized equipment, you can turn a Spanish omelette inside out and make it into a cocktail or create a foam from anything from fish to fruit. More…

Spain… On the Road Again–Part 5 Reply

Basking in Spanish Wine and Cuisine in the Basque Country

On Road AgainGwyneth and Mario greet the day at the astonishing Marqués de Riscal Hotel with a behind the scenes vineyard tour which includes a sublime bottle of 1958 vintage wine opened by breaking the neck of the bottle with red hot tongs. Mark joins Gwyneth for some vine-side grilling of fresh Rioja vegetables where they learn a valuable barbecue tip: to revive the waning coals, sprinkle salt on them. Both Mario and Gwyneth head home for the weekend, and Mark and Claudia set out for San Sebastián with the glee of two school kids playing hooky. More…

Traditional Spanish Cooking–Marinades Reply

anchoas vinagrePhoto courtesy of Sabor Gourment.com–This title says “marinades,” though it actually only deals with one: anchoas en vinagre (also known as boquerones en vinagre), fresh anchovies in vinegar. But this is such a simple and quick dish to make, and so delicious, that we’re offering it to you here. The only possible hitch is,  depending upon where you’re located, you might not be able to find fresh anchovies. The rest of the ingredients are easy to locate: white wine vinegar, finely sliced garlic, salt, parsley and, to finish off, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. These delightful pickled fish are omnipresent on Spanish bars and tables, often served on top of a couple of potato chips alongside a cold beer. More…

Spain… On the Road Again Reply

Spanish gastrotourSpain… on the road Again is a madcap American food and travel series produced by PBS in 2008. The show features Iron Chef Mario Batali, American actress Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Each episode covers a different region of Spain as the foursome explore the country’s culinary traditions and history. This is the introductory chapter, which sets the tone for the series. A lot of silliness laced with a lot of interesting information. The fact that all of the participants have extensive previous experience of Spain is a plus. It also helps that the girls are easy to look at. More…

New York Spanish Food Scene–“You’ve Opened a Topless Bar?” Reply

Tapas New York  Rufino Lopez opened his Solera restaurant 20 years ago in midtown New York. One of their main attractions from the beginning was the tapas served at the bar. But the Americans were new to Spanish food and there was confusion. “You’ve opened a topless bar?” “No, no, we’ve opened a tapas bar.” That was two decades ago and Rufino says much has changed. It’s easier to source authentic Spanish products both in national chain outlets like Whole Foods and in neighborhood specialty shops like Despaña, in the city. And the New Yorkers have become more sophisticated where Spanish cuisine is concerned. “Tapas suit their way of life,” says Rufino. More…