Lisbon: Mercado da Ribeira – Time Out

Last week we went to Lisbon to celebrate my B-day and even though we didn´t have dinner at the Ribeira Market, we had to check out this new place, at least for us, because last time we went to Lisbon was 2016, for the Adele Concert.

The Ribeira Market immediately reminded us of Mercado de San Miguel, in Madrid, but bigger, much bigger and more sophisticated, with chefs signing some of their creations specially for the Ribeira Market. I also checked out the store A Vida Portuguesa, and a Time Out super bar with a DJ that started playing music after 10:30pm… and some dancers exhibited their talent in front of the DJs. We tried some dancing too because it was a Brazilian song… We have to honor the mother country, right?

The magazine Time Out ventured out and won the concession of the Ribeira Market which became, as the magazine often refers to other cool places, an in-spot.

The space’s concept is simple: become the first magazine in the world that you can read, eat and drink. How do you make this possible? By inviting the spots that were highly recommended by its editorial staff to become a part of its physical space. This means you’ll find about 34 spaces in the Ribeira Market, each with a different concept but most of them with an identical principle – to promote Portuguese products and to work with the spaces within the market itself.

The market has a very special offer: top chef stands at low-cost prices (not really), where you can indulge in dishes signed by: Alexandre Silva (Bica do Sapato), Miguel Castro e Silva (Largo, DeCastro e DeCastro Elias), Henrique Sá Pessoa (Alma), Marlene Vieira (Avenue), Vítor Claro (Claro), Susana Felicidade (Restaurante Pharmácia, Taberna Ideal and Petiscaria Ideal) and Dieter Koschina (Vila Joya). Right alongside great names from Portuguese cuisine, you’ll also find the recent project Croqueteria, with its traditional croquette which includes, among other bold versions, a cuttlefish ink croquette.

The place that was crowded was serving a plate with asparagus, truffled mashed potatoes, jamon serrano and 64-degree egg… We couldn´t try the dish, but next time… for sure. But here is the recipe if you wanna try. We have this Sous-vide water bath equipament to control the temperature, but you can monitor the temperature yourself with a little bit of patience.

Good luck!!!

The 64-Degree Egg Recipe

  1. Place an egg in a 64 degree C water bath for 45 minutes.
  2. Monitor the temperature constantly – and adjust the water bath by adding hot water if the temperature drops, or scooping out water if it rises. Keeping the lid on helps conserve heat.
  3. Once the eggs are ready, crack the shell and remove it under a water bath to prevent stress to the delicate egg.
  4. Use a spoon to remove the egg
  5. Enjoy atop a sandwich, break it into a salad or pasta!

Back to the Ribeira Market. In the middle you’ll find beverage suggestions, namely Compal, which presents itself in a more handmade format with natural juices only; and Super Bock, that will teach you, with the aid of an interactive device, how to serve your own draft beer.

Besides those already mentioned, there are many other great concepts here, such as: Delta, Vista Alegre, Renova, Sea Me, Café de São Bento, Monte Mar, João Portugal Ramos, Cinco e Meio, Bar da Odete, Esporão, Casa da Ginja, O Prego da Peixaria, Asian Lab, Pizza a Pezzi, Confraria, Honorato, Manteigaria Silva, Arcádia, Conserveira de Lisboa, O Meu Amor é Verde, Folha do Cais, Santini, Nós é Mais Bolos, Garrafeira Nacional. And the terraces: Trincas (The Decadente), Aloma and Azul.

BTW. We went to As Salgadeiras for my birthday dinner…. Bacalhau ao Morro Alto!!!!!!!!!! Super duper delicious!!!!!!!

For more information:
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
Avenida 24 de Julho
1200 – 481
Lisbon+351 213 460 333

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Easter Celebration in Spain : Torrija

Locally known as Semana Santa (Holy Week), Easter is the most important celebration in Spain, and stands out for its epic brotherhoods’ processions and unique, age-old traditions specific to each region.

Srapallo, watercolor, Casa de las Torrijas, Madrid, 2018.
Srapallo, watercolor, Casa de las Torrijas, Madrid, 2018.

The atmosphere that characterizes the festivities is usually solemn, the picture spectacular, and everything seems fully immersed in emotion. Don’t let yourself be fooled, though – this is still Spain, which means neither the strong religious beliefs nor the somberness of the moment can hide the nation’s fervor for pomp and lively fiestas.

These being said, let’s take a closer look at the distinctive customs and traditions that accompany Semana Santa in various Spanish provinces.

Here, the most important Catholic holiday is commemorated with a week full of color, art, religious fervor, and extravagant processions. The most spectacular events take place in Malaga and Seville, where the streets are taken over by flamboyant parades and intricate religious displays depicting biblical scenes.

Like everywhere in Spain, the festivities begin on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and last until Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua), with the most dramatic and passionate parades held on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

While the Semana Santa festivities in Andalusia are the most spectacular, the ones in Castile and León are often regarded as some of the most authentic, solemn, and austere in the entire country. Among the cities that hold remarkable processions are León, Zamora, Salamanca, Toledo, Avila, Segovia, and Valladolid.

This scrumptious calorific treat is traditionally eaten in Spain over Easter.

Madrid-based food blogger Anneke Kooijmans shares a recipe for the classic Spanish Easter dish Torrijas with The Local which she describes as “like French toast, but different…”

Srapallo, watercolor, Torrijas, Madrid, 2018.
Srapallo, watercolor, Torrijas, Madrid, 2018.

TORRIJAS
(Serves two)

Torrijas are a Spanish Easter dessert, they are like French Toast, but different.

Ingredients:

250 milliliters milk
Zest of one lemon
¼ bar of French bread, in thick slices
1 egg, lightly beaten, in a shallow bowl
Good quality olive oil
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
1 tablespoon honey
Kitchen towels

I hope you enjoy and Happy Easter!!!!!

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Eremita de San Frutos (Saint Fructus) – Sepúlveda/Segovia

There are only reminiscing of the church itself. Saint Fructus (Spanish: San Fruitos, Frutos, Fructos) was a Castilian hermit of the eighth century venerated as a saint. Christian tradition states that he had two siblings, named Valentine (Valentín) and Engratia (Engracia). They all lived as hermits on a mountain in the region of Sepúlveda. Engratia should not be confused with the 4th-century Portuguese martyr of the same name.

Born in the 7th century to a noble family of Segovia, Fructus and his two siblings sold their family possessions after their parents’ death and gave the earnings to poor. Wishing to escape from the city and the turbulent times, they established themselves on the rocky terrain near the village of Sepulveda now known as the Hoces del Duratón, where they lived apart from one another in caves that ensured them complete solitude.

Tradition holds that Valentine and Engratia were later martyred around 715 by advancing Moorish forces, and that Fructus died of natural causes in the same year at the age of 73.

Legends

A legend states that some locals, wishing to join Fructus in his retreat to his death, traveled there, only to be pursued by Moorish forces to the very door of Fructus’ hermitage. Fructus attempted to convert the Muslim soldiers, but without success. The legend goes on to state that Fructus drew a line across the earth, asking that the Moorish forces not cross it. When they ignored him and attempted to cross, the earth miraculously opened up to swallow them up, at a crack in the rock now called La Cuchillada. From that point on, the Moors did not bother Fructus.[2]

Veneration

They are venerated as the patron saints of Segovia, where their relics are enshrined and are recognized as saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.

Fructus, Valentine and Engratia are commemorated on 25 October by Western Rite Orthodox communities, and in the Roman Catholic Church.

Their relics were conserved in the hermitage of San Frutos from the 8th century to the 11th, when they were translated to Segovia Cathedral. The area of Fructus’ hermitage suffered various political and military vicissitudes; this area was conquered by Fernán González before being annexed by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 984. It fell to Christian control once again in 1011 through the efforts of Sancho García of Castile, and in 1076 was repopulated by Alfonso VI of Castile. By the 1070s, the Benedictines had established a church in honor of Saint Fructus in the area, as well as an adjoining monastery.

On the night of October 24 is celebrated the procession in honor of Fructus known as the Paso de la Hoja (“Turn of the Page”). A sculpture of Fructus rests in a niche in this cathedral. This sculpture has Fructus holding a book; according to local legend, it is the “Book of Life”: when Fructus turns to the last page, the world will end.

Fructus’ feast day is celebrated with music and contests, and devotees also celebrate his feast day at the park of Hoces del Río Duratón, where they accompany a statue of Fructus.

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Sorolla, el pintor de la luz

One of my favorite´s  place to sketch  in Madrid. The Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla was born on February 27, 1863 in Valencia, Spain. The artist’s house and was converted into a museum after the death of his widow. It is situated at Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37 -Chamberí – Madrid.

Sorolla’s work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe, America, and in many private collections in Europe and America. In 1909 he made a successful debut in the United States in a solo exhibition at the Hispanic Society in New York City. The resulting critical acclaim won him a commission to paint President William Howard Taft in 1909. In 1933, J. Paul Getty purchased ten Impressionist beach scenes made by Sorolla, several of which are now housed in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

In 1960, Sorolla, el pintor de la luz, the master of depicting sun and water, a short documentary written and directed by Manuel Domínguez was presented at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2007 many of his works were exhibited at the Petit Palais in Paris. In 2009, there was a special exhibition of his works at the Prado in Madrid, and in 2010, the exhibition visited the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Brazil.

From 5 December 2011 to 10 March 2012, several of Sorolla’s works were exhibited in Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, in New York. This exhibition included pieces used during Sorolla’s eight-year research for The Vision of Spain. His style was a variant of Impressionism and whose best works, painted in the open air, vividly portray the sunny seacoast of Valencia. Sorolla was from a poor family and was orphaned at age two. He displayed an early talent and was admitted to the Academy of San Carlos in Valencia at age 15. After further studies in Rome and Paris, he returned to Valencia.

Upon his return to Spain, he purchased a beach house in Valencia, on the Mediterranean shore. For the rest of his career, he drew his inspiration from the dazzling light on the waters by his home, and his beach scenes are marked by sharp contrasts of light and shade, brilliant colours, and vigorous brushstrokes. That´s why he is called the ¨painter of the light¨ (el pintor de la luz).

The Museo Sorolla – The building was originally the artist’s house and was converted into a museum after the death of his widow. Designed by Enrique María Repullés. The principal rooms continue to be furnished as they were during the artist’s life, including Sorolla’s large, well-lit studio, where the walls are filled with his canvasses. Other rooms are used as galleries to display Sorolla’s paintings, while the upstairs rooms are a gallery for special exhibitions. In 2014, these rooms held an exhibition of David Palacin photographs of the ballet Sorolla produced by the Spanish National Dance Company.

It´s nice to see the actual place where he lived and produced so many of his artworks. There is also a nice entrance garden with a fountain where you can just seat there and make some sketches while admire the flowers and statues.

Don´t forget to visit this small museum if you have a chance on your next trip to Madrid. You won´t regret it!!

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Gin & Tonic: Spain’s Obsession, Despite the Recession

Gin and Tonic

SRapallo, Strawberry G&T II, watercolor, 2017
SRapallo, Strawberry G&T II, watercolor, 2017

You probably always thought Gin and Tonic was just another kind of drink, right? Just put gin, tonic and some lime, right? Yeah, me too, but not in Spain. You even may think that is definitely not the most exciting cocktail you ever tried, but once again, not in Spain. In Spain the casual G&T is practically an art form, as bartenders pays attention to which gins they use with which tonics, and add thoughtful garnishes and thick ice cubes, serving the drink in goblets. They have entire booklets for G&T on bars, you can even get lost trying to choose one recipe over the other. Literally every bar you go into, from a cocktail bar to a crappy little sports bar, had 25 to 30 gins.

To write this post I made a little research over the subject and found out they have 65 types of gins, but only 5 types of tonics. There are not a ton of different tonics on the market in Spain. They have a dozen or so different tonics and a lot of companies make them. But most bars make their own tonic syrup and carbonated it. They are also very picky about the ice too. Just not any type of ice… no, most fancy bars just use Kold-Draft. Because the idea is that you want larger, denser ice with less air trapped in there, so it melts slower. It keeps the drink colder longer and there’s less dilution, which is ideal for something you’ll be sipping on.

They also have special Gin Clubs where you can choose from more than 40 gin brands paired up with their own trimmings. You can take it into infinity and beyond. It is refreshing, not overly sweet, and easy to drink. But in my case, just one drink for the night, the second G&T normally gives me a brutal headache the day after. But like the Spanish after discovering that G&T is much more than a normal and even boring drink served in plastic cups, it’s safe to say I had never tasted the true potential of this glorious convergence of grain and bubbles. Sounds even poetic.

The recipes are endless, from juniper berries, verbena, edible flower, black pepper, strawberry, cucumber, lime and lemon of course, but also orange, herbs like rosemary, chili and quinine, rhubarb, celery, melon, raspberry and thyme. You can be insanely creative on Gin & Tonic. Enough talking, let´s have a drink!!!! Here a simple strawberry gin tonic I prepared. I must say it was a pleasure night, preparing the post, making the G&T, photographing it, drawing and painting it and sipping my G&T while listening nice music. Jazz, of course!

Strawberry G&T

SRapallo, Strawberry GT, watercolor, 2017
SRapallo, Strawberry GT, watercolor, 2017

Ingredients

3 strawberries
18 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 12 oz. navy-strength gin
4 oz. tonic
Cinnamon stick

Instructions

Muddle 2 strawberries and ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled goblet. Stir in 1½ oz. navy-strength gin. Top with 4 oz. tonic; garnish with a strawberry and cinnamon stick.
If life give you lemons, make a Gin & Tonic.

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Sublime Terrine

Sublime Terrine

 

I just love terrine and pates and… well, French Cuisine.  Last weekend we went to visit the Monastery of Uclés, located 98km from Madrid and I bought a bottle of Vermut by a local producer. Well, it was the excellent excuse to prepare another terrine. This time I put pork, veal and cow meat. Wrapped in bacon and also pistachios, mushrooms, rose pepper and  truffles.

We put in this terrine porcelain we bought on my last trip to Paris, at Au Bain Marie shop.  If you want to try it, below you can find the recipe.2 tbsp brandy, optional – Vermut in my case

SRapallo, Terrine, watercolor on Archer, 2017.
SRapallo, Terrine, watercolor on Archer, 2017.
    • 12 rashers bacon
    •  100 g pack pork mince
    • 100 g pack veal mince
    • 100 g pack cow meat mince
    • 50 g (2oz) pistachios, roughly chopped
    • 50 g mushrooms chopped and seasoned with truffles´s oil
    • Bay leaves to decorate
 Method
  1. In a large bowl let all the meats to macerate for 20-24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Put the 1 or 2 bay leaves in the loaf to decorate.  Use about the bacon to line the inside of a 900g (2lb) loaf, leaving excess hanging over the sides. Mix together the meats and put them on the food processor, but don´t let much time, just to cut in small pieces.
  3. Press the mixture into the loaf tin, leveling the surface. Fold any overhanging bacon over the filling; cover with remaining rashers. Press down again to make sure the surface is smooth. Lightly oil a small sheet of aluminum foil and press on top of the loaf tin. Wrap tin well in a further double layer of foil, then put into a roasting tin.
  4. Half-fill the roasting tin with boiling water from the kettle and carefully transfer to oven. Cook for 1½hr until the terrine feels solid when pressed. Leave to cool.
  5. Serve the terrine warm or at room temperature in slices with toast and salad.

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