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