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The province of Girona (North of Barcelona) in Spain is one of the world’s major food and wine destinations and a region at the forefront of culinary innovation – El Bulli (near the town of Roses, now closed but many local chefs trained here) was 5 times awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant and El Celler de Can Roca (in Girona city) has been awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant twice (in 2013 and 2015) and is the current Worlds Nº3 Restaurant.

The Emporda region of Spain is located within the province of Girona on the Costa Brava. Medieval villages, pine-clad hillsides sloping down to crystal clear bays and picturesque fishing villages make up this enchanting region; it’s a wonderful place to explore, enjoy the natural countryside and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

The gastronomy of the Emporda region is rich and varied with a cuisine classed as ‘sea and mountain’, as local produce comes from both the land and the sea.  You will surely enjoy indulging in the delicious star products such as:  Freshly caught Mediterranean fish, Prawns from Palamós, Anchovies from L’Escala, Rice from Pals , DOP Emporda Olive Oil and DO Emporda Wines to name a few. Dining here is not just about eating and drinking, it is a way of life!

Not surprising, therefore, that Michelin have dished out some stars here in the Emporda area of Girona with the likes of Michelin 2* Restaurant Miramar (Llançà) and Michelin 1* Restaurants: Castell Peralada (Peralada), Els Brancs (Platja de Canyelles Petites, Roses), Emporium (Castelló d’Empuries), Bo.Tic (Corça) and Casamar (Llafranc).

With such great standing and local produce the Emporda region is filled with great places to eat, making it difficult to single out the best!  Without a doubt the Michelin restaurants are all well worth a mention but here are just a few of our favorites,  that we should probably keep to ourselves, but we love to share :-)

Compartir, Cadaques

A great restaurant, opened in 2012, by 3 ex-Bulli chefs.  Modern well-presented small dishes to share (hence the name, as Compartir in Catalan means Share in English) are offered in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. The style is contemporary cuisine, based on the culinary tradition of the area. Booking is indispensable as it is the trendiest place in the area.

In 2014 Chefs Oriol, Eduard and Mateu opened another restaurant, but this time in Barcelona, Disfrutar (“Enjoy” in English) and it has already been awarded with its second Michelin Star (for the 2018 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal). Will Compartir soon be able to share a Michelin star status with Disfrutar? We think it is just a matter of time :-)
Compartir

Mas Pou, Palau-Sator

A wonderful local restaurant housed in a 16th-century stone farmhouse in a sleepy medieval village. This authentic and rustic restaurant is family run and serves truly Catalan food, all delicious, traditional and great value. If you’re stuck for a decision on a starter then try their “pica-pica” which is an array of small dishes and a great opportunity to taste various Catalan dishes and produce.  You will certainly not leave here hungry :-)

Mas Pou

Entre Dos Mons, Palamos

This fantastic little and elegant place is ideally located in the middle of the restaurant area of Palamos and only opened in spring 2016. Translating to English as “Between two worlds” the name refers to the young and talented owners and the cultures they were raised in – Peruvian and Catalan. The result is a cuisine that draws inspiration from their childhood memories as well as from influences acquired over the years. Beautifully presented dishes and sophisticated desserts alongside excellent service are guaranteed at this fabulous fusion restaurant.

Entre Dos Mons

 

Can Dolç, Sant Feliu de Boada

Located in a quiet and peaceful rural village, next to the stone-house-surrounded church, this old-fashioned restaurant literally translates as “The Sweet House”. This must surely refer to the delicious homemade desserts as their house specialty is Grilled Meats or “Carns a la Brasa”.  Nothing fancy, just authentic local dishes, quality meat, great variety of appetizers, homemade desserts and an extensive wine list, all accompanied by a charming rural atmosphere, will find you enjoying excellent Catalan cuisine.

Can Dolç

 

Villa Teresita Restaurant at Hostal Empuries , Empuries

This delightful restaurant is the gastronomic offering of a delightful and romantic little hotel just on the Empuries beach (near L’Escala), with a lovely terrace providing picturesque sea views. Chef focuses on eco-Mediterranean cuisine using local and home-grown produce to combine Mediterranean sea-fare and innovative recipes. Not surprisingly, due to its prime position in the bay of Roses next to the fishing port of L’Escala, the fish dishes are exceptional.

Hostal Empuries

 

We have many great dining opportunities for you all over Spain, Portugal and SW France.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance to sample all kinds of restaurants from fine-dining and Michelin stars to authentic haunts and tapas haunts – contact us for your personal quote!

We received a wonderful newspaper clipping in the post recently, from one of our lovely Australian guests, and we’d love to share it with you.

The article, published in print as “The Power of the Pig” and on-line as “Extract: My Year Without Meat” by “The Australian” newspaper,  includes the powerful Spanish custom of ham, and also talks about a visit to one of our favorite ham producers in Andalusia.

Here’s the website link to the “The Australian” on-line article:

Extract: My Year Without Meat

 

Join us on a Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour, like our Majestic Madrid and Authentic Andalucia Tour, and you too could be tasting the delicious jamon right at the source!

 

The results for the WORLD’S 1-50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2016 will be announced on Monday night!!!

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants NEW 2016 complete list will be presented, from it’s new home in New York, on the 13th of June and we’ll keep you updated …… oh we’re so anxious to know if:

El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain will remain at Nº 1?

Tickets, Barcelona, Spain rises from Nº 42?

If Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain, will return to the Top 10 from it’s current place at Nº 17 ?

If Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain, stays put at Nº 6?

If Quique Dacosta, Alicante, Spain, rises or falls from Nº 39?

If Azurmendi, Basque Country, Spain, climbs higher than Nº 19?

If the “Best BBQ in the World” Asador Etxebarri, Basque Country, Spain, enters the Top 10 from Nº 13?

ALL WILL BE REVEALED NEXT WEEK ……. Watch this space!

worlds best 50

In the meantime the results are already in for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 FULL LIST 51-100!!! And with this news we are delighted to report that there are 4 Spanish/Portuguese entries in the Top 51- 100 list for 2016:

Nº 55 NERUA, Michelin 1 star restaurant in the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Nº 59 MARTIN BERASATEGUI, Michelin 3 star restaurant in the Basque Country, Spain

Nº 78 BELCANTO, Michelin 2 star restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal

Nº 79 DiverXO, Michelin 3 star restaurant in Madrid, Spain

Worlds Best Top 3

Last year’s awards from London

We have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal. Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your personalized quote!.

 

Repsol recently announced their New Guide for Spain and Portugal Restaurants 2016! But! – I hear you say – “Didn’t we just have the New Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal 2016 announced?”

The answer is YES! The New Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal 2016 was presented in November and offers us 174 Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and 14 Michelin Starred Restaurants in Portugal for 2016.

Mugaritz Dish

So – you ask – “What is the Repsol Guide? and what do they award?”

Well, for over 35 years Repsol has been highlighting the best restaurants in Spain and Portugal, and similar to Michelin, every year, awards the best restaurants and publishes the New Guide.  While Michelin awards Stars, Repsol awards Suns.

The Repsol Suns, as the Michelin Stars, are prestigious distinctions, a symbol of culinary excellence awarded to the best restaurants and chefs in Spanish and Portuguese gastronomy. It is no surprise, therefore, to find lots of Michelin stars shining in the Repsol Guide. The highest accolade is 3 suns, then 2, then 1 – Just like Michelin.

However, Repsol is a little more generous than Michelin and offers a total of 476 restaurants in Spain (36 with Three Suns, 147 with Two Suns and 293 with One Sun) and 88 restaurants in Portugal (7 with Three Suns, 21 with Two Suns and 60 with One Sun)

As you can imagine, with 564 Repsol Sun Restaurants between Spain and Portugal 2016, that’s a looooooooog list. So here are the  REPSOL 3 SUN RESTAURANTS FOR SPAIN AND PORTUGAL 2016 (36 in Spain and 7 in Portugal compared with 8 Michelin Three Star restaurants in Spain 2016 and 0 Michelin Three Star Restaurants in Portugal 2016 ):

 

SPAIN 2016 – Three Soles “3 Suns” Restaurants

ABaC – Michelin 2* – Barcelona

Akelarre  – Michelin 3*- Donostia/San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa

Aponiente – Michelin 2* – El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz

Arzak  – Michelin 3* – Donostia/San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa

Atrio – Michelin 2* – Cáceres

Azurmendi  – Michelin 3* – Larrabetzu, Bizkaia

Cabaña Buenavista [NEW] –  Michelin 1* – El Palmar, Murcia

Can Jubany  – Michelin 1* – Calldetenes, Barcelona

Sant Pau – Michelin 3* – Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona

Casa Gerardo  – Michelin 1* – Prendes, Asturias

Cenador de Amós  – Michelin 1* – Villaverde de Pontones, Cantabria

Coque  – Michelin 2* – Humanes de Madrid, Madrid

Dani García – Michelin 2* – Marbella, Málaga

DiverXo – Michelin 3* – Madrid

Dos Cielos  – Michelin 1* – Barcelona

El Celler de Can Roca  –  Michelin 3* – Girona

El Portal – Michelin 2* – Ezcaray, La Rioja

Etxebarri (Asador) – Michelin 1* – Atxondo, Bizkaia

Hispània  – Arenys de Mar, Barcelona

Kabuki Wellington – Michelin 1* – Madrid

L’Escaleta – Michelin 1* – Cocentaina, Alicante

La Terraza del Casino – Michelin 2* – Madrid

Martín Berasategui – Michelin 3* – Lasarte-Oria, Gipuzkoa

Mugaritz – Michelin 2* – Errentería, Gipuzkoa

Nerua  – Michelin 1* – Bilbao, Bizkaia

O’Pazo – Madrid

Quique Dacosta Restaurante –  Michelin 3* – Dénia, Alicante

Ramón Freixa – Michelin 2* – Madrid,

Ricard Camarena – Michelin 1*- Valencia

Rodero – Michelin 1* – Pamplona, Navarra

Santceloni – Michelin 2* – Madrid

Sergi Arola – UPDATE: CLOSED in September 2016 – Sot (part of his restaurant which is Michelin 2*) – Madrid

Solla – Michelin 1* – San Salvador de Poio, Pontevedra

Vía Veneto – Michelin 1* – Barcelona

Zalacaín – Madrid

Zuberoa –  Michelin 1* – Oiartzun, Gipuzkoa

 

PORTUGAL – Three Soles “3 Suns” Restaurants

Belcanto – Michelin 2* – Lisbon

Feitoria – Michelin 1* – Lisbon

Fortaleza do Guincho – Michelin 1* – Cascais, Lisbon

Il Gallo D’Oro – Michelin 1* – Funchal, Madeira

Ocean – Michelin 2* – Armação de Pêra, Algarve

Sâo Gabriel – Michelin 1* – Almancil,  Algarve

Vila Joya – Michelin 2* – Albufeira, Algarve

 

Eurocore HiScan PM3

 

Experience Michelin Starred and Repsol Sunned Restaurant dining opportunities on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours .   You will have the chance to indulge in the best restaurants in Spain and Portugal!  Contact us for your personalized quote.

As temperatures are souring this summer,  cool down with a delicious chilled Gazpacho soup. This quick and easy traditional Gazpacho recipe is not only refreshing it’s packed full of vitamins too! Olé!!

Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS for Traditional Gazpacho recipe:

75 g stale bread (Spanish loaf, not packaged bread), crusts removed

1 kg ripe tomatoes (see note below ABOUT TOMATOES), peeled and seeded

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp salt and pepper

6 tbsp olive oil

5 tbsp vinegar

about 300 ml water

 

GARNISH for Traditional Gazpacho recipe:

100 g green peppers, finely chopped

100 g cucumber, peeled and finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small tomato, finely chopped

2 slices bread, toasted and diced like croutons

 

METHOD for Traditional Gazpacho recipe:

Put the bread to soak in enough water to cover it for around 10 minutes.

Squeeze out the excess water and put the bread in a blender or processor.

Cut the peeled tomatoes into chunks and add to the blender with the garlic, salt and pepper.

Blend until puréed and with the motor running add the oil in a slow stream, followed by the vinegar.  The mixture will thicken and change color as the oil blends in.

Add a little water and transfer to a serving bowl or pitcher. Stir in the water to the desired consistency and chill until serving time.

 

For the garnish:

Place the chopped peppers, cucumbers, onion, tomato and croutons in individual small bowls or in a divided dish and serve them as accompaniments.

Gazpacho may also be served in glasses or mugs for sipping but without the garnishes.

 

Note ABOUT TOMATOES: vine-ripened tomatoes are one of Spain’s treats.  If possible, buy the big, beefy ones.  Even if they are slightly green, they will ripen in a few days. Avoid the all-of-a-size and color long-life tomatoes. They’re bred for shipping long distances and don’t have the flavor of the local varieties. Tomatoes can be skinned before making the gazpacho by dipping them in boiling water or try running the blunt edge of a knife across the skin, then pulling it off.  Otherwise, crush the tomatoes, and then sieve them to remove the skin and seeds.

 

Gazpacho Ingredients

Learn to cook tasty local Spanish dishes with an excellent in situ chef as part of your Private Luxury Food, Wine and Cultural Tour in Spain.  Our  wonderful Spanish Cooking and Wine Tour takes you into the world of Spanish Cuisine, and Spanish Wine, the best way to learn about Spain!

Gastronomy in Andalusia is very location-specific – everyone knows that the best strawberries and jamon come from Huelva; sardines from Malaga; tuna from Barbate; mangoes from Granada; cucumbers and tomatoes from Almeria…..

Andalusia is the largest agricultural producer in Spain.  It leads the national production of table olives and the world’s largest producer of olive oil.  Jaen will say that they make the best olive oil, although in Cordoba, Granada and Seville they will dispute this.

Olives

Similar to Spanish wine, Spanish Olive Oils have strict standards and seals provided by the different “Denominaciones de Origen”, Designation of Origin, to ensure their unique taste and high quality.  The richness and variety of Andalusian oils is reflected in the recognition of 12 Protected Designation of Origin “PDO” areas, each with its own characteristics.The ratio by province is as follows: Cádiz,  (Sierra de Cádiz PDO); Córdoba (Baena PDO; Montoro-Adamuz PDO; Priego de Córdoba PDO and Aceite de Lucena PDO); Granada (Poniente de Granada PDO and Montes de Granada PDO); Jaén (Sierra de Cazorla PDO; Sierra Mágina PDO and Sierra de Segura PDO);  Málaga (Antequera PDO); and Seville (Estepa PDO).

Greenhouse cultivation predominates in Almería, producing noteworthy amounts of vegetables. Huelva and Granada are leaders in fruit production, cultivating strawberries and tropical fruit respectively.

Pigs are bred primarily in the mountains of Cádiz, Córdoba, Huelva, Málaga and Seville, where large herds of Ibérico pigs are raised.

Fishing is a chief industry in Cádiz, Huelva and Málaga, where fishermen specialise in catching tuna, prawns and sardines. The Andalusian fishing fleet consists of over 1,575 vessels and the captures reach 41,528 tons per year (2013).

Wine production is centered in the regions around Jerez (the area with the oldest and longest wine exporting tradition in Spain), Montilla-Moriles, Málaga and Huelva.

Andalucian cuisine

Andalusian gastronomy has deep roots within the Arabic cuisine of Al-Andalus (711-1492). Its refinement, unknown in Europe, transformed a wide range of customs. It was the andalusíes themselves who invented the dining room and the current order in which we eat dishes during a meal.

Gazpacho (a cold soup made of tomato, bread, onions, peppers, cucumbers, garlic, oil, vinegar and salt) is the typical Andalusian dish par excellence.

Tapas (small cold or hot dishes served in bars as aperitifs) attain their maximum expression in Andalusia (Cádiz, Málaga, Jerez…), where they are always served along with a glass of wine or beer.

Tapas hopping is part of Andalusian life and  Seville, for example, boasts around 4,000 tapas bars – roughly 1 for every 200 locals so you know they know what they’re talking about!  Plate after plate of hot and cold food comes freshly out of the kitchen to appear on the bar to tempt your palate. Try cold roasted pepper salad or anchovies in vinegar, a hot dish of meatballs in sauce or a slice of Potato Omelet ….. the choice is yours.  Of course, as is customary, accompany your mouth watering bites with a glass of dry Spanish Sherry, wine or draft beer.

Traditional Andalusian desserts are characterized by clear Arabic influence, like torta real de Motril, tocinos de cielo de Guadix, torrijas de Semana Santa or piononos de Santa Fe, exquisite sweet fillings cream. Other desserts  collect a long tradition of Andalusian cuisine convents, which is reflected in the famous St. Ursula yolks.

Here are just some of the typical Andalusian dishes you may like to try while you’re staying in Andalusia:

Gazpacho – a chilled tomato soup, served with diced vegetables.

Salmorejo – a thicker version of Gazpacho, from Cordoba, normally served with chopped boiled egg and jamon.

Pescaito Frito - a mix of fried fish, normally including calamares (squid), adobo (marinated dogfish), merluza (hake) and puntillitas (baby octopus).

Pescaito Frito – a mix of fried fish, normally including calamares (squid), adobo (marinated dogfish), merluza (hake) and puntillitas (baby octopus).

Solomillo al Whisky - Pork fillets cooked in whisky.

Solomillo al Whisky – Pork fillets cooked in whisky.

Rabo de toro - bull's tail stew - traditionally eaten after bullfights, using that day's toros.

Rabo de toro – bull’s tail stew – traditionally eaten after bullfights, using that day’s toros.

Arroz marinero - a succelent seafood rice, cooked in a cazuela (pot) usually including almejas (clams), mejillones (mussels) and shrimp (gambas).

Arroz marinero – a succelent seafood rice, cooked in a cazuela (pot) usually including almejas (clams), mejillones (mussels) and shrimp (gambas).

 

Join us on a personalized private tour of Spain, like the Majestic Madrid and Authentic Andalusia Tour, to experience the sights and delights of Andalusia in Southern Spain with the orange scented patios of Seville, Romantic Ronda, Grand Granada and Curios Cordoba!

Leaves are changing color, the nights are closing early, pumpkins are being carved and windows are being adorned with spiders webs and ghouls. But, Halloween, in Spain, won’t consist of “trick or treaters” knocking at your door! In fact only in recent years has Halloween started to dominate the shops in Spain and in a few more years will probably become as big as in the U.S and the U.K.

Halloween, October 31st,  is All Saint’s Eve and in Catalonia, Spain,  it is All Saints Day, November 1st, which is the day that is celebrated.

All Saints is a time to be with the family,  by the fire and recounting stories, eating chestnuts and sweet potatoes and a day to visit your departed ones in the cementery.  A traditional delicacy for All Saints Day are the sweet “panellets” and here below is a Traditional Spanish Recipe of step by step Panellets for you to try at home!

Various Panellets

Panellets, Catalan for “little breads,” are a traditional dessert served in Catalonia, Spain, on All Saints Day, November 1st.  To serve in traditional Catalan style, drink some Spanish cava (Spanish champagne) or moscatel with them.

Ingredients for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe (Servings: 32):

  • 1 lb. ground almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 -1 cup water
  • 1 small potato
  • grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 drops lemon juice

 

Topping for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe:
  • pine nuts (and egg whites if using)
  • sweetened cocoa powder
  • candied fruit

 

Flavourings for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe:
  • instant coffee powder
  • coconut flakes
  • cinnamon

 

Method for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe:

Blanch almonds, then grind in a food processor into a fine dust.

Peel potato, cut into quarters and boil until cooked. Drain the water and mash with a fork.

Place sugar in a medium saucepan with ½ cup of water and heat over a medium flame until sugar is dissolved (pour more water in if necessary). Then bring to a boil, stirring often.

Add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Lower heat and simmer until mixture is a thick syrup.

After removing the pan from the heat, use a large wooden spoon to gradually stir in the ground almonds, cooked potato and grated lemon peel. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 380 ºF  and grease cookie sheets. Spoon out the dough with a teaspoon and roll into small balls with your palms. Then roll the balls in powdered cocoa or whole pine nuts. Before using pine nuts, brush each with a bit of egg white. Put on greased cookie sheet.

You can add flavor to the mixture if you want by separating a portion of the dough with your hands and working in a bit of instant coffee flakes, candied fruit or cinnamon. Then roll back up into individual balls.

Bake just long enough to brown the pine nuts, usually about 4 minutes. Remove the panellets immediately using a spatula before they cool and stick to the cookie sheet.

Panellets

Not just for All Saint’s Day, these warm, squishy sweets are especially comforting during the cold and crisp days of fall – that’s why we always stop to try some in our favorite Barcelona pastry shops on our Barcelona food and Wine Weekend Tour.

Where do you go to get a real feel for for your destination? Somewhere to breathe the life and soul of the place you’re visiting and revel in the sights and delights of it’s everyday life? The Market of course! Every city has one (or more) and Barcelona is no different as it plays host to the largest marketplace in Spain – La Boqueria Market – Probably the Best Market in the World!

The ‘Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria’, most simply referred to as La Boqueria, is Spain’s most important market place offering the freshest and most diverse selection of produce from all over Europe, arriving by sea or from the nearby fertile farmlands. La Boqueria Market is an institutional icon of Barcelona and, not only a market to shop in, it’s a place to eat, drink, be merry, gossip and breathe in the life and soul of Barcelona.

Located in the mid Ramblas of Barcelona, this over 800 year-old icon is today a museum of the brightest, most curious and delectable foods that Europe has to offer.  In any season you can lose yourself in a wonderland of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, baked goods, nuts and sweets. But be warned: not only is it a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes and scents, it can also lead to taste-bud overload!

La Boqueria Market, in Barcelona, started life in the 13th century as an open-air, table-top,  market which, as La Rambla became an increasingly important pedestrian street, finally found it’s place in the best location to attract passers-by and locals. La Boqueria  Market was legally recognized in 1826 and construction of the official structure commenced in 1840.  A new fish market opened on site in 1911 and in 1914 the metal roof of La Boqueria, which still exists today, was inaugurated.

Today, through the maze of over 300 booths, the rainbow colors of local and exotic products will amaze you and your senses will heighten as you look from left to right and up and down.  An overwhelming feeling will envelope you and a sensation, as near as that of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, will not leave you disappointed!

At Gourmand Breaks we frequently include la Boqueria market private guided  tours, for our guests, followed by fun and informative cooking classes with our professional chef as well as tastings at all the most authentic ´foodie´ hot-spots in the city!

Join us on a Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour that includes Barcelona, like our Highlights of Spain, to see the delights of La Boqueria market.

A Cordovan specialty, Flamenquin, literally translates as “small flamenco dancer” but, this typical dish from Cordoba is, basically, a fried meat, ham and cheese roll.  Flamenquin can be served with salad, fries or even as a tasty Tapa bite to eat.  For this recipe we have chosen a delicious Home-made Tomato Sauce so here’s a traditional Spanish Flamenquin Recipe for you to try at home – Enjoy! 

flamenquin

Ingredients for Traditional Flamenquin Recipe:

4 x150g veal or pork escalopes

8 thin slices of Serrano ham

100g Queso de Grazalema or Gruyère cheese, cut into 8 long sticks about 1cm thick

Olive oil, for shallow-frying

Plain flour, for coating

2 large free-range eggs, beaten

100g white breadcrumbs

 

And,  for the Home-Made Tomato Sauce Recipe:

100ml olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

400g skinned, chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned

150ml chicken stock

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon chopped oregano or marjoram

2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed and drained

25g pitted black olives, cut lengthways into strips

Sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Method for Traditional Flamenquin Recipe:

Starting with the home-made tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium pan.

Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft and lightly golden.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaves and simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has reduced and thickened to a good consistency.

Meanwhile, flatten the meat escalopes by placing each one, in turn, between two sheets of cling film and with a rolling pin, gently flatten until uniformly thin.

Out of the cling film, cut each flattened meat escalope in half and season lightly on both sides.

Cover the pieces of meat with a slice of Serrano ham.

Lay the lengths of cheese across one short edge of each escalope and neatly roll them up to finally secure the rolls in place with a wooden cocktail stick.

Remove the bay leaves from the tomato sauce and discard, spoon half of the sauce into a mini food processor and blend until smooth, then stir it back into the pan with the oregano or marjoram, capers, olives and some sugar, salt and pepper to taste and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Keep hot.

Meanwhile, pour 2.5 cm of olive oil in a deep saute pan or wide-based saucepan and heat to 170°C (use a cooking thermometer).

Dip the rolls first into the flour, then the beaten eggs and finally the breadcrumbs, ensuring they are well coated.

Add the rolls to the hot oil and fry for 5-7 minutes, turning them over frequently, until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Drain briefly on kitchen paper, carefully remove the cocktail sticks and serve with the tomato sauce.

 

Join us on a personalized private tour of Spain to taste Flamenquin in it’s home land and to enjoy the sights and delights of Cordoba.  Our Majestic Madrid and Authentic Andalusia Tour, lets you experience Southern Spain with the orange scented patios of Seville, Romantic Ronda, Grand Granada and Curios Cordoba, as well as Spain’s Majestic Capital!

 

World’s Number 2 restaurant (last years Nº1), and Michelin 3 starred, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain will be closing it’s doors this summer 2014!  But not to worry, it’s only for 5 weeks as the Roca Brothers head West to the US.

Can we expect to see Joan, Josep and Jordi in cowboy boots and stetsons? Maybe, as after all the Roca brothers are hitting Texas!  El Celler de Can Roca is run by head chef Joan, sommelier Josep, and pastry chef Jordi, who was recently awarded the coveted title of World’s Best Pastry Chef 2014.    The tour is a fantastic opportunity for other parts of the World to experience the sublime dining offered in Girona, Spain, all year round.  All three brothers, along with 20 members of their staff will be recreating their Girona based restaurant in Houston and Dallas before heading South to Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

The tour is being sponsored by Spanish financial services group BBVA who  are transporting the soul of El Celler de Can Roca to the US to be recreated for clients of BBVA Compass, BBVA Group’s U.S. franchise.

A “somni” (dream) come true for many of our Gourmand Breaks clients and El Celler de Can Roca fans in Texas – “Bon profit” as the Catalans say!