Friday, 30 November 2012

FRUIT MARSHMALLOWS

After a few months away from my blog I will try to keep it updated.... Today's recipe is one of my favourite sweets in the world and really easy to do.

Ingredients:

500 g Caster sugar
100 g Glucose
200 g Water

11 Gelatine leaves

18 g egg white powder
175 g fruit purée

50 g Icing sugar
50 g Corn flour

Preparation:

First of all place the fruit purée with the egg whites into a kenwood or any similar mixer with the whisks on.
Bring the sugar, glucose and the water into boil, till reaches 130 degrees, at that point add the gelatine previously soaked in cold water.
By the time syrup has the right texture, fruit purée will have the right emulsion so pour the syrup slowly and keep whisking till the mix has cold down.
Prepare a baking tray with cling film inside, then seave a mix of icing sugar and corn flower 50/50 and cover the bottom of the tray. Pour the mix into the tray, top up with some more icing mix and cover again with cling film. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Once cold you can cut it in any shape you like. Make sure you pass all the marshmallows again in icing mix before to put away or they will stick together.



Friday, 25 May 2012

CHUTNEYS



Today I gonna talk a bit about Chutneys. What is a Chutney?
Well Chutney is a conserve originally from Asia and imported to countries like UK or France beginning of 17th Century as a delicatessen.
The traditional chutney is usually a mix of spices, fruit and vegetables. This days is very popular in all kind of cuisines due his amazing combination of texture, fruity flavour, spicy and the final touch of vinegar in your mouth.
Is been popular in the Spanish cuisines for the last 10 years but still not the same thing as the traditional Chutneys. The spanish way to do it is softening some shallots with butter, then adding chopped fruit, spices, touch of vinegar and sugar. That's all. The ending product is a very refreshing, very fruity chutney but far away from what it should be...some people even blend it giving it a texture of a sauce.

One of my favourite dishes is the Foie gras mi-cuit, mango chutney and toasted brioche.

This recipe was given to me from an Indian chef and it is very easy to prepare and it couldn't be more tasty.

Mango Chutney

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and cut is cubes
1 cm finally chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove finally chopped
1 shallot finally chopped
250 g demerara sugar
pinch of salt
1 fresh chilli finally chopped or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cardamom pod
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves

125 ml vinegar
touch of ground pepper

Preparation methode:

Mix all the top ingredients in a bowl and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for 8 hours aprox.
I leave it over the night, can be 6 or 10 hours...the important thing is sugar and salt soften the onion, garlic and releases all the mango flavour.
The day after put all the mix in a pot a cook in a medium gas for about 30 minutes, steering every 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and salt and leave cook for another 5 minutes. Have prepared 1 or 2 jam jars ready to pour in. Once the jars are filled close them and put the up side down. Leave it to cold down it self, then you can label it and keep it for a long time. I have some chutneys that I made 5 years a go and still perfect.
I like to finish my chutney before to serve with fresh chopped coriander.











Wednesday, 16 May 2012

FRESH HERBS

Today is sunny in London, so I wanted to make a little post about one of the most important things in the kitchen: fresh herbs.
Coming strawberries

Lemon thyme and sage

Mint

Growing tomatoes
Something so easy to grow, everyone can have their own little pots at home in the garden, kitchen,  balcony, even in the bathroom...
Herbs are in my opinion a very little ingredient but they make the difference between good and great.
As a chef thyme is my favourite one, great for any roast, vegetable stew, and even for ice cream, has many, many utilities in the kitchen.
 I have 2 different types of thyme, the plain one and the lemon thyme. Lemon thyme has a citrusy and very refreshing touch. Goes very well with any fish and infused in cream goes very well for many utilities in puddings.
Other herbs that I have in pots are rosemary, sage, mint, chives, 2 different basils, lavender, coriander, parsley and this year I also planted tomatoes, salad and strawberries.
Rosemary is another great herb to use in kitchen. Fantastic in breads, like the rosemary focaccia, goes also well with dishes like lamb, and combines well mixed with other herbs like thyme, mint, oregano, bay leaves and garlic.
Sage is another of the great herbs, very popular in Italian dishes I use it to marinate with fish, meat, sausages, pasta dishes, vegetables like carrots, peas...and is excellent with any pork dish.
Mint so refreshing is used for equal as a drink than for cooking. Who never had a Mojito before.. Or a mint tea? I use it a lot for dressing with yogurt, combined also with lemon, cumin, coriander...
Goes very well with salads, cous-cous, lamb dishes and vegetables like peas or broad beans.
In pastry has infinity of uses infused and made a sorbet, dried, mixed with sugar, I use it in fresh leaves covered in milk chocolate, and also very good mixed with fresh fruits strawberries, mango, kiwi, berries.
Chives I use it as a substitute of parsley when I don't have it but has his own particular flavour remembering the spring onions...great to add in tartars, salads, and as a final touch of decoration.
Basil is the herb number one in Italy, used in many pasta dishes and blended to elaborate the famous "pesto" where they add parmesan, garlic, salt, pine nuts and Extra Virgin olive oil. Goes very well in salads, like the avocado, mozzarella and tomato. Added also in tomato sauce, fish dishes and pizzas i personally prefer to use it in fresh, as once is cooked loose some of the flavour and loose in visual effect.
Lavender is a very interesting herb with unlimited uses, like mint when used in cooking you don't need to abuse of it otherwise food will taste bitter. Has a more powerful flavour when dried, is used in jellies, ice creams, pork dishes, fishes like salmon and tuna, cream brulees,....
Coriander is one of those herbs that you like it or hate it. Has a strong but fragrant flavour, I use this herb since I moved to London in 2005. Great and basic in elaborations like guacamole, ceviche, curry dishes...Is better to use it fresh as cooked looses most of the flavour. What I do I add half in the middle of the cooking and add the rest just at the end when I stop the gas. Finally chopped and mixed with chillies, garlic and lime juice is a great deep for some vegetable rolls, grilled meat or fish cakes very used in Thailand and South America.
Parsley is the most used herb in Spain, we usually put it every where, salads, finely chopped for topping dishes, elaborations like dishes in "salsa verde"(green sauce) not to confuse with the Italian "salsa verde" with the same name but quite different. The Spanish way is mainly used as a fish stew and basically is garlic, onion, the fish paned in flour, white wine, fish stock and chopped parsley.
The Italian salsa verde is made with just chopped parsley, capers, mustard, basil, mint, anchovies, olive oil, chilli is optional and a touch of salt and lemon juice. Very refreshing in salads, bruschettas and grilled fish like sardines or mackerel.
I also love tarragon but I don't have it yet so I will talk another day about it and hope my tomatoes, strawberries and salad grows well...

Monday, 23 April 2012

23RD OF APRIL: SANT JORDI(ST.GEORGE'S DAY) PATRON OF CATALONIA


Today is Sant Jordi so I will explain a bit about the Catalan tradition and an easy recipe with roses.
La Diada de Sant Jordi  Saint George's Day), also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday held on 23 April, with similarities to Valentine's Day and some unique twists that reflect the antiquity of the celebrations. The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever." In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary. Roses have been associated with this day since medieval times, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition originating in 1923, when a bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to commemorate the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616. Barcelona is the publishing capital of both Catalan and Spanish languages and the combination of love and literacy was quickly adopted.
In Barcelona's most visited street, La Rambla, and all over Catalonia, thousands of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls are hastily set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.
The sardana, the national dance of Catalonia, is performed throughout the day in the Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. Many book stores and cafes host readings by authors (including 24-hour marathon readings of Cervantes' "Don Quixote"). Street performers and musicians in public squares add to the day's atmosphere.
23 April is also the only day of the year when the Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona's principal government building, is open to the public. The interior is decorated with roses to honour Saint George.
Catalonia exported its tradition of the book and the rose to the rest of the world. In 1995, the UNESCO adopted 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day.




Today's recipe is a Rose and Lychee pannacotta.

Ingredients:
700 ml Double cream
100 ml Milk
1 vanilla pod
80 g sugar
6 gelatine leaves in cold water
50 ml rose water
70 g chopped lychees
Preparation: 
Bring to boil the cream, milk, rose water, sugar and vanilla. Place on a side and let infuse for a good half an hour. Remove the vanilla pod, warm up again and add the gelatine and lychees. Prepare a cold bain marie in a big bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Place the pan inside the cold bain marie and stir till start thickening. Place in the serving terrines, glasses, cups or glasses where you gonna serve it and put in the fridge for 3 more hours. Decorate with some fresh roses julienne or caramelised petals.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

El Bulli to Open a Restaurant, Compartir(Share) in Cadaques, Girona


elBulli Chefs to Open a Restaurant, Compartir, in Spain

oriol-mateu-eduard-elbulli-cadaques-eater.jpg
Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas, Eduard Xatruch [Photo: Jaume Andreu]
The website Gastroeconomy reports that the three chefs de cuisine of elBulli —Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch, and Mateu Casañas — will open an informal restaurant, Compartir, in the town of Cadaqués, Spain. The restaurant is about forty minutes from elBulli and is housed in a historic residence that boasts a terrace. It opens at the end of the month.

As the name suggests ("compartir" is the verb "to share" in Spanish), the menu will be made up of 35 to 40 items designed for sharing. According to Casañas, "It won't be creative or traditional cooking... it will be simple, easy to understand, and without pretension." Reservations can apparently be had here or at +34 972 258 482.
The three chefs, for years considered Ferran Adrià's right-hand men, have their boss' blessing and will continue to work on elBulli Foundation. "If you have the best, you have to give them those opportunities," said Adrià.

AIR BAGUETTE'S

Today I did some Air-baguette's for a Birthday party I'm working on tomorrow night.
Some of you are going to ask yourself, what is an Air-Baguette?
Air Baguette comes from El Bulli creation and they were looking for the lightest bread as possible having at the same time the crispest bread texture.
After years of research they came with this wonderful creation of bread, completely empty from inside and really crispy from outside. This bread has the advantage of being stuffed with a mousse, and usually just served with some Iberic charcuterie jamon, chorizo, pancetta, etc served with a touch of paprika, or grated tomato and Extra Virgin olive oil.

If you are adventurous and want to try this recipe, here it is:

480 g of plain flour
6 g of salt
280 g milk
15 g yeast
45 g mother dough

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients, and leave it one night to raise. Roll it very thin about 2mm of high. Then cut it with any cutter you have at home.
Bake at 210C for 4 minutes
Enjoy!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

MY STAGE @ CAN JUBANY

The week before Easter I went to work to this Best restaurant of Spain 2011and 1star Michelin Can Jubany situated at the heart of Catalonia. He is considered the king of all game and truffles in Catalonia. If he doesn't have woodcock, no one in Barcelona has woodcock....so imagine. I went there for dinner just before New Year's Eve and the Sous-Chef Quicu and right hand of Nandu Jubany invited me to go and work a few days with them. As I was going to Barcelona to visit Alimentaria, a food exhibition that happens in Barcelona every 2 years, I took advantage and I accepted the invitation of my friend Quicu.
A mix of techniques from El Bulli combined perfectly with the most pure, and traditional Catalan cuisine are mixed in this restaurant.
Canapes like the Mojito sorbet, the gorgonzola ball made in a ballon, all cooked in liquid nitrogen, the famous air-baguette with Iberico ham goes well with other canapes more traditional like the crispy suckling pig tuille, the mini fuet home made at the restaurant or the carrot and beetroot with herbs mayonnaise.
One favourite starter was the "Coca" made with puff pastry, caramelised apple and foie mi-cuit all made in the restaurant. Main courses like the Hake fillet cooked at low temperature with pumpkin liquid gnocchi, or the crispy suckling pig with chutney were some of my favourites.
My favourite pudding was the Catalan Cream foam. Here I attached the recipe.


Catalan Cream foam:

Ingredients:

500 g double cream
500 g milk
8 egg yolks
150 g caster sugar 
1 gelatin leave 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 lemon zest
1 orange zest

Prep:

Infuse the milk, cream, cinnamon and the zests. When is hot will pour over the yolks previously mixed with the sugar and will bring it back to cook till reach the first bobble. Then we'll add the gelatin previously soaked in cold water and we pass all together for a fine colander.Put inside a whipper gun with 2 charges and cold down in the fridge for about 12 hours. We can serve this with nuts, strawberries or a caramel ice cream.
                                                     Here with the chef Nandu Jubany

                                           Those are the liquid gnocchi made of pumpkin

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Palau Robert is dedicating a major exhibition to Ferran Adrià andelBulli throughout 2012

The Palau Robert presents the exhibition “Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity”, which will run from 2 February 2012 to 3 February 2013, showing the talent and comprehensive capacity to innovate that Ferran Adrià, the late 20th and early 21st centuries’ most influential chef, has applied to gastronomy.


Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity


The exhibition comes after elBulli closed its doors in July 2011, a decision that was taken so that it could undergo its transformation into elBullifoundation, a centre for gastronomic experimentation and innovation that plans to disseminate its creations on the Internet from 2014.

Over the years, Ferran Adrià has become a global icon of gastronomy. The work done at elBulli –considered the world’s best restaurant for five years running– has received global recognition and has set the direction for the future of cooking. The names of Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià and of elBulli’s entire creative team are associated with values such as reflection, talent, innovation, leadership, teamwork, a job well done, internationalisation and solidarity. Going far beyond the field of gastronomy, their work embraces areas such as art and technology.

The President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, will open the exhibition on 31 January at 7.30pm in the presence of a broad spectrum of representatives from the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Earlier the same day, Ferran Adrià, accompanied by the Director General for Citizen Attention and Communication, Ignasi Genovès, and the exhibition’s curator and Professor of Linguistics and Communication Theory, Sebastià Serrano, will visit the exhibition at 11am with journalists. Representing elBulli, Juli Soler and Albert Adrià will also be present.

The day after, 1 February, representatives of the gastronomy and tourism sectors will visit the exhibition between 6pm and 10pm. The Vice President of the Government, Joana Ortega, and Ferran Adrià will be present. The exhibition will be open to the public on 2 February.

The Government of Catalonia has produced the exhibition with the sponsorship of Estrella Damm, ”la Caixa” and Telefónica, and with the collaboration of Casa Tarradellas. By means of this formula, the Palau Robert has enabled the public and private sectors to join forces to develop ambitious, global-reach exhibition projects such as this one.

The exhibition is divided into the following areas: Acknowledgements; elBullifoundation; Origins; Evolutionary Map; The Search for a Style; The Time of Major Change; Moment 0; The Consolidation of a Style; elBullivirus; and The Spirit of elBulli.

Programme of Activities

Parallel to the exhibition, the Palau Robert will be running a programme of educational activities aimed at primary- and secondary-school pupils, catering schools and universities; guided tours for school pupils and the general public; an audiovisual cycle; a presentation of Designation of Origin (DO) agricultural products (PRODECA); and the “Thinking about Art Today” master’s degree module at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

PANCAKES DAY

Today is pancake's day for many English speaking countries. In other countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal or Brasil is the day after of the biggest night of Carnival party celebrations.
As I live in UK today I will share one of my best recipes to do a pancake mix.

Pancake recipe:

2 medium eggs
125 g plain flour
250 ml milk
20 g sugar
20 g butter
Pinch of salt
Orange/Lemon zest
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Ideally have all the ingredients room temperature.

Melt the butter in a Bain Marie, then bit the eggs with the sugar, add the milk and the butter in, add the flour gradually and constantly whisking. Add the rest of ingredients and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.
Cook in a nonstick pan for a minute in each side.

You can put anything inside the pancakes as they work the same way as crepes.
Some of the fillings can be:

- Crispy bacon and egg pancake
- Cheddar cheese and ham
- Cheddar cheese and Marmite
- Mushrooms, garlic and parsley

- Mixed berries and vanilla ice cream
- Blue berries, banana and maple syrup
- Banana and Nutella
- Strawberries and cream

Enjoy

Friday, 17 February 2012

Macarons or macaroons...

Today I want to talk about macaroons. This little French biscuits, originally from Italy and exported to France when Catherine De'Medici married the french king Henry II. In my own experience those are one of the most difficult desserts to elaborate. Today I tried to make some with this new book that I just bought called I love macaroons, but my first trial following the recipe step by step end up with a messy kitchen and not useful macaroons... So I went back to my recipe that I get from when I stage at the Michelin restaurant Can Bosch in Cambrils, Barcelona.

This is my best recipe:

150 g icing sugar
150 g ground almond
1 egg white

Mix till get a marzipan texture

150 g Caster sugar
50 g Water

Bring to boil till reach 115, then start whipping the egg whites during 4-5 minutes.

1egg white
15 g caster sugar

When it reaches 118 C pour inside the kenwood mixer or similar. You can also do it in a bowl with manual or electric whisks. Work the mix with a spatula till get get a smooth mix. Put into a pipping bag and pipe on a tray covering the base with parchment paper. Leave it rest for 15 minutes then put in the oven @ 140 C degrees for 6 minutes, then put it down to 130 C during another 8-10 minutes.

For the fillings you can use different stuff, Nutella is one of my favorites but you can always prepare a ganache (50/50 chocolate/cream). Also any sort of jams will do it. For other different flavors you can make a cream Patisserie and flavor it with any of your favorite ingredients.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and try it home...

Friday, 10 February 2012

A week at Untitled Restaurant by Robert Wright

This week I'm in Cornwall, south west of England, helping my friend Rob sorting out new tapas for his restaurant and swapping ideas on traditional British and some modern Spanish and Catalan cuisine. Tonight the restaurant is nearly fully booked so we'll have to be ready with the new ideas such as the smoked Cornish sardines with romesco sauce and croutons, the pork and chicken liver terrine with raisins and spices, and the poached pear in red wine, Cornish rocks and vanilla cream. They have also a good selection of traditional dishes with Rob's personal touch. A good selection of cheeses, mainly from Cornwall, are displayed in a big wooden board. The wine list is carefully selected for the sommelier to match with the tapas and the main menu.
This morning we visited the fish market in Newlyn, where the boats are back after a week fishing in deep sea water. Is incredible the fragrant smell of fresh sea water at the arrival where someone will think about other kind of smells.
Looking forward to be Sunday to visit around the area and have a big lunch surrounded by family and friends...