Category Archives: Portugal
March 25, 2016
Easter, or Pascuas, is a major holiday in Catholic Spain. The week before Easter is Semana Santa (Holy Week), when many towns close down and hold religious processions throughout the streets. The arrival of Pascuas ends the fasting of Lent, and special sweets such as torrijas (similar to French toast) are widely enjoyed.
For Easter brunch or other meals, using hearty Spanish ingredients will enhance any recipe. For example, using roasted Piquillo Peppers from a jar, scrambling or baking them with eggs and chorizo makes an easy and crowd-pleasing brunch dish. Or make a Tortilla Espanola in advance, and grill a side dish ofchistorra (breakfast sausage). Accompany these dishes with our Easter Brunch Bread (recipe below), which delights with Spanish flavors of orange blossom honey, orange zest and pine nuts (ingredients are available at The Spanish Table).
A timely shipment of cured meats arrived yesterday, including favorite chorizos for paella, the semi-cured Bilbao and Riojana.
New: Despana chorizo – a semi-cured sausage, with smoky and mild flavors of garlic and spices.
Dacsa Valencian paella rice is back in stock, again available in 1 kg and 5 kg bags.
Customer favorite Miguel and Valentino Arbequina extra virgin olive oil arrived this week. Fruity, buttery and flavorful!
New cut: The uncured, raw Iberico Bellota meats are melt-in-the-mouth tender. In addition to the Solomillo (tenderloin) cut, we now have a limited supply of Carrilleras (cheeks).
Easter basket treats:
From Portugal, pastel colored, sugar coated, egg shaped almonds.
Spanish hot chocolate mix. Extra thick style to cling to churros or anything sweet that is dipped into it.
We’ve got churro mix and churreras (extruders for making churros), too.
WHAT TO DRINK WITH THIS FABULOUS MEAL?
ROSÉ SANGRIA is refreshing and gorgeous, and perfect at Easter brunch.
INGREDIENTS: (substitute frozen fruit if necessary)
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups hulled strawberries
2 cups mixed red and golden raspberries
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
5 ounces Framboise or Cassis
1 bottle chilled Abadia de la Oliva rose wine
1 1/3 cups white cranberry juice
In a pitcher, combine fruit. Stir in sugar. Add Framboise; let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in wine and juice. Serve chilled.
EASTER BRUNCH BREAD
Bread is relatively inexpensive and there are many great bakeries, so why bother? Because making bread is a chance to participate in the almost mystical experience that occurs as the yeast springs to life and loaves of bread puff up, rising before your eyes. So once in a while, I make some off-beat bread that is not like store bought bread at all. This is one, a fluffy loaf with a sprinkling of flavors I associate with Spain. Steve Winston
½ cup Flour
½ cup Warm water
1 package Dry yeast
1 tablespoon Orange blossom honey
1 cup Milk, room temperature
¼ pound Butter, melted (we recommend using French butter, available at Paris Grocery)
½ teaspoon Salt
2 large eggs
1/8 c cup minced orange zest
1/8 c cup Poppy seeds
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3½ cups all-purpose flour
Sponge: Combine first four ingredients and proof for 30 minutes until bubbles form.
Dough: Mix in the remaining ingredients, adding flour ½ cup at a time.
Turn out onto a board and knead until elastic, 15-20 minutes. The dough will be quite wet so keep your hand floured and work the dough with a pastry scraper. Oil a large bowl and turn the dough into it, turning it over so the oiled side is up. Let rise until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 350º
Form into a loaf. It is very flexible. I make a U shape and twist the two arms over each other. Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Let rise again, 40 minutes. Bake for 40 minutes.
IBERIAN COMFORT FOOD INGREDIENTS
Chicken, simply roasted with just a few sprinkles of salt and herbs, is one of life’s great comfort foods. Make it immeasurably better by serving it with a glass of Rioja, particularly 2007 Viña Cubillo Crianza!
Shiitake mushrooms are superb, and in season now. I’ve been sautéing them in garlic, fresh thyme and fino sherry, and tossing them with everything from lentils to pasta. For a superb comfort food dish, however, combine shiitakes, chorizo and Madeira with chicken.
See The Spanish Table’s recipe below.
New! Basque Meat Marinade. Basque Norte Restaurant in Chico, CA created this popular sauce in 1975 and has been serving it ever since. Now made commercially for them by Mooney Farms in Chico, the restaurant immerses their steaks in the marinade for 10 minutes, then cooks them on a hot grill. For more intense flavor, the meat can be marinated longer, even overnight. Also excellent on chicken, pork or lamb. Try it!
New Supplier, better flavor! Medjool dates from California. Naturally processed with no added sugar, these dates have a caramel flavor with a balanced, not overwhelming, sweetness. Excellent for snacking or serving with cheese; also used in North African tagine recipes.
Dried limes are back in stock: A relatively new ingredient on our shores, dried limes are a staple of Iranian and Persian Gulf cuisines. With a sour and musky-fermented flavor, they are made by boiling fresh limes in a salt and water brine, then drying them in the sun. They can be used whole, in soups or stews (poke the limes with a knife so the liquid can seep through and absorb the maximum flavor).
Or break up the lime and make a seasoning powder, using a spice grinder. It is excellent sprinkled on seafood, meat and especially lentils to punch up the flavor.
2013 Barco del Corneta Verdejo, Castilla y Leon $29.99) ORGANIC 100% Verdejo, made from organically grown grapes. Barrel fermented using local yeasts and aged on its lees for 8 months. With aromas of citrus and toast, this a creamy white wine. Rich, generous and weighty with concentrated and nuanced fruit flavors, this is a perfect winter white. The finish is refreshing and lifted, leaving a clean citrus note on the palate.
2013 La Cartuja Priorat ($15.99) ” (70% garnacha and 30% carinena; aged for six months in French oak): Bright violet color. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark berries and fresh flowers, with a spicy nuance gaining strength with air. Juicy and energetic on the palate, showing a silky texture and juicy blackberry and cassis flavors. The smooth, smoky finish shows very good clarity and a whisper of fine-grained tannins.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer
2011 Herdade de Rocim Mariana, Alentejano ($16.99) My trip to Portugal last July revealed the explosion of talented winemakers and profusion of superb wines coming out of this country right now. Herdade de Rocim fits squarely in this realm, producing excellent wines in the value-driven Alentejo region. A blend of 30% Aragonez, 20% Syrah, 15% Alicante Bouschet and 15% Trincadeira, this is a medium-bodied red that delivers an intensity of bright red fruit. With aromas of violets,dusty graphite notes, 2011 Mariana is precise, with a satiny finish. Tasty! 91 points Wine Enthusist.
2011 Viña Almate, Castilla y Leon ($20.99) Natural winemaker Alfredo Maestro seeks out neglected, high altitude vineyards around Castilla y León and works them organically, using indigenous yeasts. In the cellar, Alfredo eschews all winemaking additives, including sulfur, so that his wines simply offer up a purity of fruit and a sense of place. 2011 Viña Almate is 100% tinto fino (Tempranillo), 75% from Ribera del Duero and 25% from just outside Ribera’s boundary. Aged in neutral French oak for 2-4 months, the wine is unfined and unfiltered. Aromas of smoke and dust are balanced by lifted black currant and marionberry fruit. Earthy mushroom nuances have savory notes of wild herbs. Fresh, precise and mineral driven, it has excellent structure with fine grained tannins. This is a wine with character; savor it with jamon serrano.
CHICKEN AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS COOKED IN CATAPLANA
In this case, you are using the enclosed environment of the Cataplana to make a stew. (Cataplanas are available at The Spanish Table; their shell-like form clamps shut and holds in the moisture as ingredients cook). That means you will have to be a little patient while is stews, hidden out of sight, under the lid. While it stews away is a good time to sip some of the Madeira and a good excuse to buy something a little better than Rainwater Madeira. A 5 year old Bual or a Malmsey would be a good selection.
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 choriço (or Spanish chorizo), diced
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Potato, diced
1 Bay Leaf
½ pound Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
½ pound Chicken breast, cut into strips
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
½ cup Madeira
½ cup Half-and-half
Heat oil in a large Cataplana. Cook choriço until just starts to brown. Stir in onions and potato and cook until onions are limp. Stir in mushrooms and cook until soften. Stir in chicken and salt. Pour in Madeira, clamp down cover and cook twenty minutes. Open cataplana and stir in half-and-half just before serving.
Like stilettos, skinny jeans, and high-protein diets, wines go in and out of fashion. Eulogized one moment by a respected critic, a bottle, varietal, or region will often soar in popularity so that the industry must scramble to keep up with demand. Out of the spot light, anther wine will just as frequently lie untouched, collecting dust in a corner. Deservedly or not, this bottle has no buzz, no clamoring paparazzi or tweeting masses to sing its praise. Even though it may be a genuinely good wine, this forlorn tipple might wait decades until rediscovery by a new, unprejudiced generation. I believe that Madeira is one such viticultural victim. And I also think, for myriad reasons, it is due for a second coming.
Firstly, of the so-called ‘sweet wine’ category, Madeira is unique. Aged in a hot solera system, Madeira is the only wine that is subjected to significant heat and ‘cooked’ in the winemaking process. This gives it deep caramel-rich and nougat laden notes and contributes to the wine’s phenomenal ability to age. In fact, Madeira’s requires up to fifty years maturation. Furthermore, due to its high level of acidity and cask aging—which oxidizes the wine—a good specimen of its class retains stunning brightness and life, even when it is 150 years old.
Secondly, these factors of wine-making also make Madeira an eminently user-friendly wine. Once a bottle is uncorked, it can be enjoyed for months—a virtue indeed for a sweet wine! Buy a bottle of Madeira now and enjoy it all winter long.
Thirdly, Madeira deserves a place on the American table since the history of this wine is inexorably linked to our history. The island of Madeira is located west of Morocco and was first settled by the Portuguese in the early 1400s. They lost no time in establishing vineyards and by the 1600s—while European settlement of America was still in its infancy—wine making was well established on Madeira. In 1665 British authorities banned the importation of products made or grown in Europe, unless shipped on British vessels from British ports. Goods from Madeira, however, were specifically exempted and British merchants on the island took full advantage, establishing close ties with merchants down the length of the Eastern seaboard. A steady trade developed in which wine from Madeira was traded for such American products as indigo, corn, and cotton. This trade continued unabated until the 1800s, apart from a brief interruption during the American Revolution. For two hundred years, Madeira was the wine of choice for the elite in America.
With the current revival of American bourbons, ryes, and bitters, not to mention our adoration for evoking Prohibition era aesthetics, Madeira is ripe for a renaissance. It is increasingly being sipped at table, shaken into cocktails, and used in the kitchen (try a splash with sautéed wild mushrooms—gorgeous). With a flavor profile that includes toasted almonds and hazelnuts, butterscotch and burnt caramel, turrón, nougat, cocoa and coffee, it is also startlingly bright, leaving the palate clean and fresh—the perfect finale to a good meal.
Within our diverse selection of Madeiras, some of my favorites are The Rare Wine Company’s Historic Series which highlights the four Madeira varietals and four major historical import cities. From driest to sweetest we have Charleston Sercial, Savannah Verdelho, Boston Bual, and New York Malmsy ($50). We also carry the limited edition New Orleans Special Reserve. Inspired by a now extinct 19th century varietal, this wine relies on a blend of classic Madeira grapes to recreate the rich yet dry style of the historical Terrantez ($75). Whether you swoon for a dry, iridescent Sercial or if Malmsy’s more your style, we got many fantastic bottles in stock.
– Rachel Adams
Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter December 8, 2011
Two Hours FREE PARKING at the Market from December 1 – 15, 2011, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.! To qualify, PARK in the Public Market Parking Garage at 1531 Western Avenue from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. SPEND at least $30 at Market businesses and VALIDATE your parking ticket and receipts at the Market Information Booth at 1st & Pike prior to returning to your car, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Our first trip to Iberia in September 1985 took us through southern Portugal’s Algarve region. Populated by fishing villages with expansive sandy beaches, it is paradise for both beach goers and seafood lovers. This is where we first ate Clams Cataplana, a dish made with pork and clams in a copper steamer that latches shut to keep all of the juices inside.
We have our own cataplana at home that we experiment with, and the shop just received a new shipment of them in four sizes. Last week we made a fantastic combination by sautéing 1/2 an onion, one clove garlic and 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Then we added 1 pound of fresh clams in the shell, 1 pound of large prawns, 1/4 cup of sliced jamon serrano and 1/4 cup sherry, stirred it all together and latched shut the cataplana. In 10 minutes it was ready. We sprinkled some parsley on top and served with crusty bread to soak up the juices. Yum!
New shipments of holiday foods and gifts keep rolling in! Yesterday, 11 pallets from Spain were delivered. We now have Peces Mazapán Figures, Tarta de Santiago (almond cake turrón), Spanish Judión beans (giant, creamy white beans that are excellent in a broth with chorizo). New cazuelas with handles in red or black; Churro Mix and churro makers; Quijote brand chorizo and salchichón, sold individually or packaged with a cazuela and 5 new styles of green glassware.
SPECTACULAR NEW WINES
2010 La Cana Albarino, Rias Baixas ($16.99) “Pungent aromas of citrus pith, beeswax and minerals, with a deeper note of pear skin coming out with air. Taut and spicy, with very good density and a distinct pungency to its flavors of candied citrus fruits, pear and lemon zest. A suggestion of licorice builds with air and carries through the broad, supple, energetic finish.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer
2007 Muga Reserva Rioja in 375 ml bottles ($14.99) Great stocking stuffer! The full bottles of 2007 Muga Reserva will appear as soon as the distributor sells out of the 2006 vintage. The 2007 Muga Reserva has “powerful cherry and blackberry on the nose, with alluring smoked meat and licorice notes and a suggestion of candied rose. Full, fleshy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors are lifted by a gentle mineral note and are supported by silky tannins. Gains sweetness on the persistent finish, which features an exotic note of resiny, cured tobacco. This is the only wine that Muga commercialized from the 2007 vintage.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer
Arriving Friday Dec 9th: 2008 Cautivo Rioja ($11.99) This tastyand value-priced Rioja was a customer favorite in October and quickly sold out. Fortunately we were able to get another 5 cases that are arriving tomorrow. 2008 Cautivo Rioja is versatile, balanced and clean. Loaded with bright and juicy red fruit, it has a hint of smoke and tobacco. It’s paired well with everything we’ve thrown at it, especially cured meats and cheeses. This would be an excellent party wine!
2009 Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero ($90.00) “The 2009 Flor de Pingus (3000 cases produced) is 100% Tempranillo and spends 14 months in a mix of new and used French oak… a primary perfume of pain grille, mineral, spice box, incense, and blackberry. Locked and loaded with remarkable concentration and depth, this mouth-coating lengthy offering manages to incorporate some elegance into its powerful physique. It will drink well for 30-40 years. … there is no doubting that the 2004 and the 2009’s are the greatest wines of [owner] Sisseck’s career. Flor de Pingus is one of the great values in winedom.” 95-98 points Wine Advocate
El Maestro Sierra VORS Amontillado 1830 ($90.00) The exact age of this solera is impossible to determine as the wines have been here for as long as the bodega owners can remember. The barrels themselves were built in 1830 and have been used for aging sherry ever since; what is known is that the freshest 14 butts of this wine have spent at least 50 years aging in the solera system. This wine is ethereally light and profound with a seemingly never-ending finish. Medium bodied, very dry, with notes of butterscotch and pungent green olives, “…Vinos Viejos Amontillado is racy and intense and would work well with lobster bisque.” 92 points Wine Advocate
We now have 375 ml bottles of Rare Wine Madeiras ($32.00). Choose from Charleston Sercial, New York Malmsey, Boston Bual or Savannah Verdelho.
Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter June 30, 2011
Millions of people will serve perritos calientes (hot dogs) on the 4th of July. Why not take your dogs up a notch by serving an assortment of grilled embutidos? Our favorite Iberian style sausages include Despana brand Chorizo, La Española Butifarra, and Barcelos Linguiça. All told we offer 16 different grilling sausages between The Spanish Table and our Paris Grocery store, just two doors away. An excellent side dish with perritos calientes is my own “Spanglished” Potato Salad (see recipe below).
BEVERAGES FOR THE 4TH
I simply can’t get enough fresh rosé in the summer and that’s what I’ll be sipping on the 4th of July. Admittedly, I’ve gone a bit crazy ordering them because each one tastes better than the last! Here at Spanish Table, we’ve got 17 different dry rosados to choose from and two doors away at Paris Grocery, there are (gasp!) an astounding 34 French rosés. Visit us to pick up the pink stuff!
If beer is your beverage of choice, we’ve got the best selection of Portuguese and Spanish cervezas in the city, especially since a few new brands came on the market. From Spain, we currently stock Estrella Damm, Estrella Daura (gluten free beer), Estrella Galicia, Estrella Inedit, Alhambra Lager, Alhambra Negra, Ambar (NEW). We also carry Sagres and Sagres Bohemia, Mikate Lager and Tagus (NEW) from Portugal, Casa Beer from Morocco, Jerome Beer from Argentina, and Laziza non alcoholic beer.
|NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Plancha, 150 Great Recipes for Spanish-Style Grilling by Liliane Otal ($21.00) This is simple cooking at its best, with grilled vegetable and seafood recipes that take only 5 to 10 minutes to prepare.
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden ($39.99) 588 pages of pictures, vignettes and recipes, both classics and little-known dishes. My next must-try recipe is the pork loin cooked in milk with caramel.
Turkish Bakery Delight by Deniz Göktürk Akçakanat ($24.95) The food in Turkey is all-around magnificent and the savory baked goods such as Filo rolls filled with Spinach and Feta made an excellent breakfast. The assortment of sweet cakes and breads filled with nuts, fruit and honey were not bad either.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentices by Lisa Abend ($26.00) details Ferran Adriá’s unique system of running the kitchen at elBulli using apprentice chefs who sometimes camp on the doorstep until they are hired.
“Spanglished” Potato Salad
One day we were headed to a party where The Spanish Table’s reputation for producing Spanish flavored foods would be at stake. I updated Mom’s potato salad recipe by substituting alioli for mayo, pimentón for black pepper and by adding piquillo pepper strips. In a dire emergency, you can actually gussy up store-bought potato salad by mixing in the pinch of pimentón and chopped piquillo peppers.
3 cups Potatoes, boiled and cubed
1 tablespoon Minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon Fine ground Spanish sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Sweet, smoked pimentón
¾ cup Alioli
½ cup Piquillo pepper strips, roughly chopped
½ dozen Caperberries, sliced, for garnish (optional)
Mix ingredients. Taste and adjust ingredients to your personal preference.