Friday, June 11, 2010

eating your way through spain...

Family members are in Madrid at present for some good food and the last days of the Feria de San Isidro, the best of the best bullfights at the Plaza de Toros on Madrid. Tomorrow’s spectacle features bulls from El Ventorillo, and no doubt plenty of wine will be flowing from leather wine bags shared amongst strangers. Shouts fall down on the bullfighters from the stands, cheers of approval or shouts of dismay at their performance.  It is a spectacle.

The vibrant colors of the bullfighters from the Feria de San Isidro inspired this collection of Cerulean must-haves. Bright fuchsia from the Matadors stockings, the red, orange and yellow of the capes, the gold trim of their elaborate costumes. The leather and fabrics and fanfare is all represented below.

I also asked these family members for their “must-eat” list when in Madrid (some of the travelers make Madrid a regular stop every year, so I trust their opinions on this).  Here are the tops:

Owned by a famous Spanish fishing company called Pescaderias Corunesas, O'pazo is the epitome of farm- erg, boat - to table.  A beautifully modern, minimal restaurant with just a touch of seaside décor to soften the look, the service is impeccable and the food divine. Visit their fishmonger in town if you are staying in a place where you can cook your own meal, or just stop by to see the spectacle of it all. They’ve shared the recipe for their house specialty with us- Rodaballo al Horno- a flat fish that seems a lot like flounder that is pan sautéed, finished in the oven, and topped with a garlic vinaigrette before bringing the entire fish to the table. Recipe follows (with my translation skills at work here, so be forgiving).

Recipe for Rodaballo al horno (serves four)
1- 4.5 lb rodaballa (flounder or turbot) (2kg)
10 ounces olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
6 ounces red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet or saute pan.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, lightly dredge  both sides of the fish in flour. Once the oil is very hot, put in the fish white side down (bottom of the fish down) and cook 2-3 minutes until the white skin has browned. Turn the fish over and put the pan in the oven for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a serving platter. Finely chop the garlic and combine with the vinegar in a small mixing bowl or jar. Add the oil and dripping juice leftover in the sauté pan. Mix well and pour over the fish. Serve immediately.

Asador Donastiarra
You juts need to know one thing- go for the meat (asador means grill).

El Sobrino de Botin
Affectionately referred to as just  ‘Botin’, the oldest restaurant in the world (founded 1725) serves up relevant and tasty fare behind the Plaza Mayor. Try the suckling pig- their specialty.

Check out this video of one of their chefs preparing the suckling pig. Squeamish stomachs need not apply. But you get a good sense of the place and a view of the original oven built when the restaurant first opened its doors 285 years ago…

1 comment:

  1. Neat! I dined alone on suckling pig at Botin 42 years ago while traveling around the world after college. Nice to see it again!