My favourite olive oil…

olie 1

Spain is the world largest producer of olive oil and Andalucia produces 80% of  the Spanish total productionOlive oil is used in abundance here, – it is included in almost all dishes. Even at breakfast; the typical Andalusia breakfast is toasted white bread dripped with olive oil and tomate puree, served with a fresh orange juice and coffee(app. 4,00€). During the years we have tried many different olive oils, believe me; A LOT! But my favorite is still a virgin olive oil from Alicante. I tried it first time about five-six years and from that day we have bought many boxes to the restaurant. It is addictive and we use it in great amount.

We buy it directly from the relatively young olive farm Masia el Altet in Alicante. It consists of 60% Picual and 20% Arbequina olives. The remaining 20% is made up of three local varieties: Genovesa, Blanqueta and Alfafarenca. The result is a very fruity olive oil with lots of banana, apple, freshly cut grass, tomato, artichoke and herbs. In a very short space of time this olive oil has won a string of international awards – and with good reason.

If you can get hold on the olive oil Masia el Altet, you won’t be disappointed.

http://www.masia-el-altet.com/

   

Cold avocado soup with Norwegian lobster

Here is a great suggestion for a nice summer Salad.

avokado cream

Cold avocado soup with Norwegian lobster (serves 4)

Soup:

2 avocados

3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

1 lime

1 garlic clove

2 drops good quality sesame oil

100ml water or cold vegetable stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad:

A couple of handfuls fresh, crispy mixed lettuce

20 Norwegian lobster

olive oil

2 garlic cloves (unpeeled)

12 ripe cherry tomatoes

1 spring onion

2 limes

2 tablespoons toasted pine kernels

½ tablespoon good virgin olive oil

6 sprigs coriander

Soup:

Blend the avocado, yoghurt, lime juice and zest, grated garlic clove, water, sesame oil and olive oil in a blender until smooth, and season with salt and pepper. Divide the cold soup into 4 deep plates.

Accompaniments:

Mix the lettuce leaves together, having rinsed and patted them dry. Deshell and devein the lobsters without removing the heads. Fry in oil with 2 unpeeled garlic cloves. Halve the tomatoes, finely slice the spring onion and slice the limes into boats.

To serve:

Spread the tomatoes, spring onion, lime, pine kernels and prawns over the soup and lettuces. Drizzle with virgin olive oil and sprinkle torn coriander on top.

This ideal summer dish also tastes great with king prawns or scallops.

(Photo: Lykke Rump)

   

School’s out!!

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A good indication of the summer holiday is soon here, are all the beautiful sunflower fields…

“We don’t have school tomorrow!” David proclaims as he enters the room. WHAT?? Why not? It is not usual that a school holiday ambushes us and suddenly, we need to change plans. There are quite a few of them, and we still struggle to keep track. First of all; the National Holidays we  pretty much have gotten used to. But the small local ones.?!! It is a jungle! And I know that we are not the only foreign parents who have been standing in front of the school gates on a day off…
The single bank holidays are spread out during the school year and differs from village to village, according to their saints, parties, carnival and so on. One tradition, I find cool though, is that if 1st of May falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the kids will get Friday or Monday off instead. (Public offices, too) The Summer Holidays is loooong, and this year it starts TODAY!! (We got the note about that a couple of weeks ago!) The children returns to school the…hmmmm…(mid september?!) Again I don’t have a clue. And probably won’t have until two weeks before it happens. It is the same every year and as the years go by, you get used to it. In the end of August you start asking around. Have the neighbours heard any date? Nope, well then; I’ll just ask again in a couple of days time! Thank God, that we work and live in the same house. I don’t understand how parents, who don’t work at home, manage to live with this casualness.

It could be nice with a piece of paper in the beginning of the school year, where all the dates of the holidays were listed. But then again, that everything is more relaxed, is one of the reasons why it is nice living in Spain. It is just my Danish “everything-has-to-be-planned-to-the-very-last-minute-at-least-3-months-ahead” that has to be ajusted a bit!

   

CopaJerez 2015

indgang

A couple of days ago I was so lucky to be invited to CopaJerez 2015, which is a food & sherry pairing competition in Jerez de la Frontera. It is a very interesting event, where restaurant teams from 8 different countries compete to achieve the perfect combinations of a 3 course menu and sherries. The countries represented were Spain, Germany, Denmark, Russia, The Netherlands, USA, Belgium and England.

The representative from Denmark is a highly recognized restaurant; Kiin Kiin. It is the only Thai restaurant in the world with a Michelin star, so I was very excited to see them here in Jerez. All the teams, led by a chef and a sommelier, were very inspiring. The competition was won by USA, Restaurant 15 Romolo from San Francisco. But the team from Kiin Kiin did take home the prize for creativity, which they truly deserved.  I was especially intrigued by a small spicy sausage flavoured with lemon grass, which I later had the opportunity to taste. It was served on plate covered with a lid and inside filled with smoke. When the lids were lifted up by the chef and sommelier in front of the four judges, we; the audience, were for the first time given an insight to the flavours, which these lucky judges were indulging. The room was filled with wonderful scents that immediately sent me back to Bangkok in my back-packing days many, many years ago. Thank you for that experience.

lifting the lids

Thanyakarn & Simon from Kiin Kiin lifting the lids from the plates and the room is filled with wonderful aromas..

Besides the cooking event, over 40 sherry wineries were there to present their wines, with tastings. Producers of Spanish cheese, sardines and black foot ham were giving out samples of their products.  And on a stage, different Spanish chefs showed their skills in show cooking. The show cooking was a bit difficult to follow because of the chefs was performing on a stage. The sound and image on a big screen didn’t reach the audience well, and it would probably be better to do the happening on the floor, where people could take better be a part of it, ask questions to the chefs etc.

It is such an interesting event, that I could only wish for it to be open to the public. To let all sherry lovers in, make it a world- known event to promote the sherry, let the wineries and food producers be able to sell their products at the event instead of just handing out business cards. I like the small size of CopaJerez now, but only because I’m lucky enough to be invited. Make it bigger, so everybody has the opportunity to join and enjoy.

But all in all; I had a perfect Tuesday afternoon, where my taste buds were in paradise!!!!!

CJerez

Food & sherry pairing competition. (Photo by: Shawn Hennessey)

 

   

Football and Spain

David fodbold 2010-11

David and his team, 2010-2011.

It is CL* night tonight!!!…  –  and the restaurant is really quiet, due to we do not have a television in the bar. It was a decision we made from day one…. No television in our restaurant, even though the Spanish electrician looked very doubtful at us we told him: ”No, we don’t want an antenna connector for a TV over by the bar!”

Now, 9 years and Spain winning two European Championships & one World Cup later, we kind of understand why!! Football is BIG here. Not just the national but also the club football can empty the streets for an evening. As you probably sense right now, I am not that much into football (even though I did play it as a girl…) I like watching my son’s matches, but I don’t like a quiet restaurant!

For David, our son, football is BIG! He always has a football by his side. When he was 6, he started playing in Vejer, where the kids practice three times a week and play a match every other weekend. That is really serious compared to Danish standards. Up to the first match David came in doubt!!!

  • “When we come to Chiclana to play, which club do I actually play for??? Spain, Madrid or Barcelona???”
  • “Well, not yet, darling! You play for Vejer!”
  • “ Ahhhhh, all right” (Did I notice a slight disappointment in his voice!!?)

After the interesting match he proclaimed, that as grown up he wanted to play on the national team!

  • “Which one, we asked him; the Danish or the Spanish team?”
  • “Spain, of course ….”(after a pause)” but if I’m not good enough, I’ll just play for Denmark!!”

 

*CL= Champions League