Friday, 27 January 2012

Winter Salads

Orange Salad with pomergranate
Salad is a must in our diet all the year around say nutritional experts, but in winter perhaps a cold salad of vegetables  is less common  or tempting to have regularly like in spring or summer given the cold temperatures of winter.
The secret of a good winter salad is to mix these vegetables with some warm ingredients, like pasta, chicken, fish or warm roast tomatoes like the following Butter bean salad.
More: Season Vegetables in Winter

Butter bean salad  Serves 4 Kcal 116

You need: 800g canned butter beans (drained and rinsed) – 400g cherry tomatoes – 1 garlic clove (crushed) – 150g salad bag of spinach and rocket and / or watercress – 1tbsp thyme leaves.
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp sherry vinegar for the vinaigrette
Rustic bread to serve - Oven at 200º C

1. Whisk the olive oil and sherry in a bowl, add the rinsed butterbeans, mix, season and set aside.
2. Arrange the tomatoes in a baking tray, and add 1tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle over the garlic and thymes leaves. Roast for 15 minutes. Let to cool down for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile while add the salad leaves to the butter beans bowl, then add the tomatoes.
4. Put in 2 slices of rustic or ciabatta bread on each plates and top with the salad.

Grape and chicken salad  Serves 4 - Kcal 570

You need: 4 chicken fillets – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar – 4 tbsp olive oil – 300g Sourdough bread – 200g grapes – 2tbsp honey – 2 tbsp tarragon (chopped) – 50g baby spinach leaves – 2tbsp flaked almonds.
1 tsp.  smoked paprika

1. Rub 1 tsp. of smoked paprika, salt and pepper all over the chicken fillet(s). If you have time cover with cling film for at least 30 minutes.
2.  Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large saucepan in a medium low heat. Cook slowly the chicken fillet until is done (about 10-15 minutes). Set aside and keep warm
3. In the same pan add the grapes, 2 tbsp of olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar, down the heat to a minimum.  Add a splash of water and with a wooden spoon scrape the saucepan bottom. Simmer for 1 minute. Turn off and add the tarragon.
4. Slice each of the chicken breast and serve on the plates, and then arrange the spinach leaves with the grapes and tarragon. Sprinkle over the flake almonds.

Also in winter salad can be a great side dish or a first dish for refresh our palate from stews and rich winter dishes.

Pomegranate and orange salad  Serves 4 -  Kcal 45

You need: 1 pomegranate - 4 medium oranges, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon – 1/4 tbsp. of chopped mint leaves, plus leaves to decorate.

1.Shell out the pomegranate keeping all the possible juices.  Then peel the oranges and slice them.
2.Set the oranges slices in individual plates, sprinkle over a bit of the ground cinnamon and then sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and some of the mint. Decorate with  mint leaves. Serve!

Bresaola with rocket and parmesan  Serves 4 Kcal 215

You need: 250g rocket salad bag – 350g bresaola ham (sliced) -  75g parmesan (grated) -  3tsp truffle oil – 4 tbsp olive oil – 3 tbsp lemon juice.

1. In a small bowl mix the olive oil with the lemon juice.  Season and set aside.
2. Already in the serving dishes, set the rocket leaves and gently mix in the bresaola slices.
3. Now whisk together the olive oil with the truffle oil, (taste first just in case the truffle oil is too strong) and pour over the rocket and bresaola.
4. Sprinkle over some parmesan in each plate. Serve!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ferran Adria Interview

Ferran Adriá is the special guest of Matador Ñ
Chef Ferran Adrià is coming back to the public eye after he is having a creativity gap. A few days ago he was on a morning talk show on one of the main public Spanish channels. The legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià is in a moment of transition, after the closure of his restaurant El Bulli, but in the interview he show us that his creative side is very much alive . I would like some of the thoughts and phrases in the program for those that can understand Spanish.

* Be successful is a mix between "liberty, passion and risk

* I have been traveling around the world to see how were the world affairs, in the gastronomic point of view and also in the social economic.

* I have around 400 interviews the last 5 months in Argentina, Peking or Peru and nobody asked me about the crisis"

* The fried egg is a masterpiece, the fried egg is the best liquid ravioli of the world, also a runny Spanish omelette is a masterpiece

* You can yourself reinvent every year, for that I need to have a gap with El Bulli

* El Bulli is not me, is the 2500 people that has worked.

* We need to validate the private sponsorship in the Spanish society

* With the Bulli foundation I would like to think that in 30- 50 years will be a place that comes up with world-wide talents.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Madrid Fusion 2012

Follow my tweets of the most interesting events of MadridFusion in English at @gertero 

Madrid Fusion once of the most important Gastro Festival in the world is celebrating 10 years, this year the Madrid local chefs are important part of the festival and like always the most important chef in the world, since top of the top like Ferran Adriá, British top chefs like Heston Blumenthal and also the imaginative and controversial American David Chang. Anyway the speaker list is countless and the best restaurants in the world are there, this year with special attention also to the Korean food with Yung Sik Yim like the best option.

Korean Winter Scene by chef Jung Sik Yim
The X edition of Madrid Fusion has the name of The gates of the Future and in just two day the young chefs have already revolutionized the festival. Miguel. A del la Cruz, has shown in their conference how to use, ingredients known for their medicinal properties like white beetroot and he also like to use birch and roots to bring to the table the real forest scents. He show a pine cone that after froze to break the strong fibre, the cook in the grill and serve in wedges with partridge where you squeeze the juices of the pine cone over the meat.
Angel Leon known as the “Sea chef” because he likes to work with plankton and discarded fishes spoke about sea-food sausages and finishes showing to the audience an exceptional dish that he is working that recreate the wave’s movement in a soup dish.
Even Madrid Fusion seems like a high-tech food laboratory they also have space for the trendy mobile food, sharing table restaurants and of course tapas. Enofusion is where the main Spanish vineyard will show the best wines that they can produce.

Honour to Martin Berasategui 
Also yesterday the three Michelin star chef Martin Berasategui got very emotional when their best student (Josean Alija from Nerua-Guggenheim, Íñigo Lavado , Pepe Rodríguez Rey, TV start David de Jorge, etc.) honour him.
Today Anna Balluard owner of the traditional Baluard bakery in Barcelona give something to thinks to the top restaurant “Why not offer a bread menu in the same way that you have a wine menu”

Madrid Fusion is only for professional and real food lovers, the ticket cost 400 euros, but also you can enjoy of the best food in the street of Madrid with the Gastrofestival where you can taste the food and tapas of the best restaurants, find food and art exhibitions and go to the cinema for watch food movies in the oldest Madrid Cinema.

Links: MadridFusion - Gastrofestival - Twitter @madridfusion  - elcomidista blogger in MadridFusion


Beetroot Benefits

Beetroot by ACJ1
Beetroot since II. A.C has been present in the Mediterranean kitchens, in times of the Roman imperium was very much appreciated, where it was reckoned to be worth its own weight in silver!, in those time the leaves were consumed and the properly beetroot was used to medicinal proposes. In the c. XVI start to be consume widely in German and England and in Victorian times was very popular, when its dramatic colour brightened up salads, soups and was use also in puddings.
Today beetroot is known like a winter vegetable, but in fact their season start with some summer verities in June and finish in January. In England is easy to find beetroot field around Cambridge.
I have never been a big beetroot lover, but since I discover all the beetroot nutritional properties I really started to add beetroot in my salad but I discovered that I really like beetroot in soups and juices.

Beetroot Health benefits
Beetroot Soup with goat cheese toast, healthy and tasty
One of the earliest known benefits of beetroot is its use as an aphrodisiac during the Roman times. And it wasn't all folklore as it has been found to contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
The beetroot is rich in carbohydrates with a moderate content in Kcal (Calories in beetroot = 30kcal x 100g) making the root vegetable rich in sugar content and fibre. Even is very poor in Vitamin C and A, has considerable folates  (Vitamin B2) that hep your body to create red blood cells, and  also helping to boost stamina and make muscles work more efficiently to reducing blood pressure. Also contain Vitamin B3 good for the digestive system, the skin and central nervous system.

Beetroot is one of the most environmentally friendly crops, rarely needing treatment with pesticides. The vegetable is best suited to the cooler growing conditions found in northern Europe.
In the fresh food market you should be pick those with most intense red and firm to the tact.
Once at home keep in the fridge, preferably in a plastic bag and use between 3 weeks. Is not recommended  to freeze unless cooked. Also in the supermarket you can find already cooked organic beetroot.

The best way to eat it is cooked in salty boiling water for at least one hour and not more than two with skin. Once cool down remove the skin. In the oven the best way to cooked is with skin and wrapped in foil paper in a temperature of 150ºC for about 1 hour, until the beetroot are soft. In the oven the beetroot going to lost the red colour but are very tasty in that way. Remember that also you can buy and eat the beetroot leaves.

Three beetroot juices for stamina your day 

Photo  by FotoosVanRobin
Beetroot with carrots and orange juice - Makes a 250ml glass

You need to juice 150g beetroot (cooked) – 200g carrots – 1 orange juice plus 120g strawberries (optional). Mix with ice and serve

Beetroot, Ginger and Carrots juice

Juice 2,5cm fresh ginger with 7 carrots and 4 beetroot (cooked). Serve with ice.

Beetroot smoothie with berries

Juice 1 large beetroot preferably already cooked (about 75g), pour in a blender the juice and add 100g frozen blueberries and 100g frozen raspberries. Blend and add 2-3 ice cubes.  Serve.

Note: For a real punch feel free to use raw beetroot's.

More: Beetroot Soup


Monday, 23 January 2012

Celebration Dragon Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, yesterday in Liverpool (UK) by Ruth_W
Happy Dragon Chinese New Year!! 

Today is celebrating the Year of the Dragon, and today we join to large Chinese community in England and other European countries because always is a good excuse gather together with family and friends where food is always the centre of the celebration. We went to celebrate to our favourite Chinese restaurant in Brighton,  fully packed with british Chinese food lovers and like always in China Garden with plenty of members of the Chinese community.

Read the KitchenVoyage Review of China Garden
Chinese New Year will be celebrated in London  the 29 of January. 
You can download our Seasonal and Food Festival Calendar

Sometimes Chinese food can be wrong associates as a very spicy food for the English taste, but really the essential of the Chinese traditional food is a mix between spicy, mild and sweet.
Today we went for a seafood selection of dishes with plenty of greens!
The back tables of China Garden don't offer you the Brighton sea front views, but are very cosy and very well attended

Our first dish were very crunchy deep fry prawns cooked in their own shell and with plenty of red chilli and spring onions. A smooth Chinese beer is the perfect drink for refresh the lively taste.

Steam fresh Scallops from Brighton and Hove fish market were sweet, juicy and tender served with a very crisp broccoli, adding extra crunchiness and freshness to the dish

To finish they offer us the option to have a whole Sea Bream a traditional and auspicious dish for the new Year or this fantastic mushroom topped with mince king prawns and white egg sauce and my favourite Chinese vegetable, Pak choi, stir fried Chinese vegetable are just real delicacies.

After this generous meal with a cost of 30 pounds each with drinks and service included, always is good idea stretch your legs in the Brighton Sea front, instead to go to central Brighton head to the Brighton City Hall and discover the architectural gems of the Brighton Sea front.Just opposite China Garden Restaurant is the famous Brighton West Pier.

Band Stand, Brighton 

Adelaide Crescent, Brighton

Read the KitchenVoyage Review of China Garden

Read the Best 10 Gourmet Brighton Shops