Tag Archives: foie gras

Put a spring in your plate – with a Tortilla Sacramento…

A week end in Granada got me a whiff and a taste of spring, ahead of it really arriving here. Granada is a baking hot Andalusian town laying at the foot of a snow capped Sierra, the fire and the ice ; a cool arab paradise in gypsy flamenco dress, an oxymoron of a place that is hard to define and delicious to loose yourselves in…

In April, the gardens of the Generalife are bursting with roses and carnations, a riot of spring flowers everywhere and the lingering scent of orange blossom and heady climbing roses following you around like a music… I came back wanting more : Especially more colour, more taste, more fragrance! So I recreated one of the local dishes that encapsulated all of my longings: Tortilla Sacramento.

Sacramento is the gipsy quarter from which you have an incredible view over the red walls of the Alhambra palaces and gardens. A view immortalised by numerous painters and engravers over the centuries but still magic when you “recognise” it under the moonlight. Imagine a warm April night with a cool breeze and the towers of the palace of the last Moors of Spain in front of you… A palace full of legends, songs and poems…

Tortilla Sacramento for 4

Ingredients list:

  • Eggs, two per persons: 8 here
  • Steamed asparagus, 6/8
  • Shallot, 1 sliced finely
  • yellow pepper, sliced, 1
  • Petit pois or garden peas, 1 small handful
  • Olive oil to fry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley and chives, a few sprigs
  • Optional: shreds of spanish ham to top it and Pedro Jimenez reduction to decorate!

NOTE TO SELF: There is not one dish that can’t be improved with a swish of Pedro Jimenez wine reduction – Take my word for it… This is a delicacy I just brought back from Spain: a sticky, spicy and sweet wine reduction that goes with ab-so-lu-tely everything from fresh fruit to foie gras and beyond…

Here dishes without "Pedro" and with "Pedro"! See the difference?

Here dishes without “Pedro” and with “Pedro”!
See the difference? Salad in next post…

 

Steam and prepare the chosen vegetables. The idea is to go for seasonal, fresh and colourful! Fry the shallots in olive oil, fry the sweet peppers and quickly cook the peas (fresh or frozen). Break the eggs and proceed to make your omelette in the usual way but pile it high with vegetables and herbs and only cook it on one side. Serve warm IN THE PAN with a swish of Pedro Jimenez reduction – if you have any.

Rioting colours in my pan

Rioting colours in my pan

My address book in Granada:

The Alhambra Palace Hotel for its incredible balcony over the Sierra Nevada and its HUGE gin and tonic served in a large wine glass. Salud!

Los Italianos, for the best ice-cream ever – particularly the chestnut  and the orange flavours. An institution very near the cathedral. Expect long queues that nobody respects.

Try the tapas and also the wonderful “churros con chocolate” served in the many restaurants around the cathedral – Look out for “Churrerias” for a treat at any time of the day and night!

Enjoying breakfast at 3pm...

Enjoying breakfast at 3pm…

Restaurante Chikito  for the unique “Tortilla Sacramento de la case” that inspired this post and its cool outdoor space.

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Pan-flashed foie gras with dark chocolate sauce

Some pairings are unusual and some successful but this one is both and should make a brilliant start to the New Year! Let your New Year be exciting, successful, daring, memorable and full of surprises and tender love… Tonight, we will make edible lists of what we did not enjoy about last year and swallow them at midnight with Liz, Jamie, and a glass of happy bubbles!

Then I’ll sit down and write my New Year round robin letter and a long happy list of projects and objectives – as I do every year since I first became a mother … and maybe even before that … I am a list-addict and New Year Eve is yet another time for indulging in compulsive writing!

Our Christmas eve starter

Pan fried foie gras with dark chocolate sauce

Ingredients list for the sauce:

  • Dark chocolate 150g
  • Milk 100ml
  • Butter 25gr

Break the chocolate and add it to the melting butter in a saucepan.

Stir and add the milk over low heat.

Chocolate melts at 37∘ and should never get over 50∘. So keep it nice and slow.

Let it cool and keep at room temperature until serving. The left over can be stored in a jar in the fridge and used over ice cream or waffles.

Ingredients list:

  • One fresh “lobe” of foie gras, de-nerved
  • A large frying pan
  • Some sea salt flakes

Most fresh foie gras are sold under plastic film and have had the small nerves taken out already. But if yours has not, just follow the thin red nerves with a pairing knife and remove. Trying to break the fillet as little as possible.

Cut reasonably thick slices of foie ; the thickness of a small lady’s finger.

Heat the pan with no fat at all and fry on both sides as soon as the surface is hot enough. It only takes a couple of minutes both sides.

Serve immediately with a generous drizzle of the warm chocolate sauce and some thick slices of brioche (or any milk and butter based bread).

I had an interesting starter of foie gras terrine with a sliver of black chocolate at Sketch recently which gave me the inspiration for this New Year dish! We all loved this and it will remain a firm favourite for any festive menu from now on. I served the foie with a delicious Jurançon – a wine favoured by Henry the Fourth of France who was a natural “Bon vivant” and henceforth a very popular king. Who would not be, on this program?

“ Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu’il n’y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n’ait les moyens d’avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot!” Said he.
(If God keeps me, I will make sure that there is no working man in my kingdom who does not have the means to have a chicken in the pot every Sunday!)