Monthly Archives: April 2012
Did you know that Spanish tapas can be divided into different categories? Cosas de picar is usually something simple like nuts, olives or cheese. Pinchos is food served on wooden sticks that is supposed to symbolize the darts used in bullfighting. Bocadillos are sandwiches with fillings. (There are many other categories described in the cookbook A passion for tapas). Regional specialities also vary across the country. The Canary Islands is for example known for its great selection of various Mojo sauces (made of red or green peppers, vinegar and garlic) and “wrinkly potatoes” Papas Arrugadas (boiled in salted water and baked in their skin). While staying in Gran Canaria we decided to try experimenting a bit and come up with a couple of new, or slightly revised, tapas recipes. So far, we have only made oven baked fish with olives and Camembert (which we thought turned out very well) but today we can share with you two more recipes that don’t take long to prepare: Spicy almonds and Carrot salad with a taste of fresh mint and lemon.
Carrot salad with a taste of fresh mint and lemon
Ingredients (2 persons)
1 handful fresh mint
1 lemon (juice)
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
Dry roast the cumin seeds in a frying pan. Peel and slice the carrots and place them in a bowl. Chop the fresh mint and mix together with the carrots. Add cumin, salt, lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Toss before serving.
This is the perfect pre-dinner snack that goes exceptionally well with a cold beer. Blanch the almonds for 2-3 minutes. Take off the skin and let them dry. Place the almonds on a baking tray and coat them in olive oil. Roast them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius. Toss the almonds from time to time so they don’t burn. Drain the nuts on kitchen paper, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.
OK, I admit. It was me. Yes, it was me (Hanna) who ate everything that was on that breakfast tray yesterday. Coffee, juice, egg, bread…bread crumbs. I felt so bad I even blamed Sam for insisting on having yogurt with strawberries. That wasn’t true of course. Here is the truth: I ate it all. So today I had the same morning procedure: swim, brisk walk with Sam and then, when we finally approached the house I saw it. That
delicate bloody bread bag hanging on the door knob again. The mental strength you need to resist this warm and freshly baked bread you have to pass by to get into your own house. You need willpower made of steel for god’s sake. In fact, I have changed my mind. I don’t know if I am THAT enthusiastic about having bread rolls delivered at your doorstep every day. It doesn’t matter if I go for ten power walks a day, there is no way I can get rid of all those calories. ”-Shall we go for a run, Sam?”
While Alex is doing his round-the-world-birthday-tour (and some business of course), the rest of the team, myself (Hanna) and Sam are staying in the vacation paradise Gran Canaria for a month. What I enjoy most while staying here are the mornings. Usually I am quite lazy and I only have enough energy to drag myself out of bed and prepare a cup of coffee. But here the routines are very different. First thing I do is taking Sam out for a brisk walk. When we get back to the house (here comes the best part) the bread delivery company has put fresh bread in a little bag on the door knob
After a small breakfast (ehum, don’t even THINK I eat all of this by myself, Sam was of course insisting on having yogurt with strawberries) I listen to some music or radio and pass out on the sun bed before I take a morning swim in the heated pool. This is not as relaxing as it sounds since Sam runs around the pool in circles while barking hysterically. I think he is convinced that I am drowning every time I get into the water. Actually, I’m not THAT bad at swimming…I hope.
La Chinata has some amazing gourmet products (olive oil, jam ,marmalade, vinegar, etc.) and we use them a lot in our recipes. We are very happy that this company saw one of our postings, Sam’s grilled peppers with mango salsa and wrote about us on their blog http://lachinata.es/blog/?p=758
We will definitely try to come up with more recipes that involves their products in the future.
Being frequent visitors to Spain we suddenly realized we actually never tried making our own Sangria. Why, why, WHY? It’s the perfect party punch for hot summer days and refreshing when you desperately need something chilly (preferable with alcohol) to drink while lying by the pool. So, tadaaa, today we came up with this super delicious Sangria recipe.
Remember that you don’t have to use the most fancy of wines but we recommend that you don’t go for the cheapest one either.
1 bottle of white wine (a semi dry Rioja works perfectly well)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 bottle (275 ml) Vodka Orange Mix
Pour the chilled wine into a pitcher. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon until dissolved. Cut the orange, lemon and strawberries and add the fruit into the pitcher together with one bottle of Vodka Orange Mix. Use slices of fruit as garnish and serve with ice.
What is your best Sangria recipe? Pls share with us.
Meloneras (Gran Canaria) is known for its many spa facilities. Chocolate Fancy, Aroma-Therapy and Hydro-Massage is just a few examples of the many treatments you can get here. But sometimes you may just want to get that spa-feeling at home without the hassle of making an appointment days in advance, without that painful deep tissue massage or lying wrapped in Dead Sea mud for hours. Instead, here are a few products that will make you feel fabulous, energized and healthy in a jiffy.
1. DKNY beauty bag
2. Biotherm apricot oil therapy
3. Biotherm anti-fatigue moisturizer
4. Dior nail polish
5. Straw hat and scarf from Ralph Lauren (don’t know the exact connection to spa treatments but WTF it looks great anyway)
Located in the ultra-chic and ultra-expensive New York Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Asiate offers gourmet cuisine and arguably one of the best views, being situated on the 35th floor overlooking Central Park. Designed by Tony Chi who has dazzled with his contemporary and cool designs of hotels and restaurants worldwide, Asiate is grand without being overbearing; fun-looking without being kitschy. Don’t forget to check out their impressive wine wall with over 1,000 bottles to pick from.
The food is fabulous and can be best described as fusion with Asian influences. Try their Prix Fixe three-course menu with a nice selection of starters and main courses. If you are into shellfish, we would highly recommend the prawns as a starter and poached lobster as a main, you won’t be sorry – they are cooked to perfection and served with subtle sauces. To make a long story short, we loved Asiate, the food and the view will make us come over again. We hope that by then Asiate would be given a Michelin Star, we find it hard to understand why it yet doesn’t have one.