Saturday, August 27, 2011

Givry Le Bois Chevaux Grand Cru vs. La Casita: Emperor's new clothes

Givry Le Bois Chevaux Grand CruThe two bottles on the picture could not have come to me via more different routes. The left, Givry Le Bois Chevaux Grand Cru - from a bloomingly swell party in the City. No surprise, its estimated market value is around 50 quid.

The right one, the humble Spanish La Casita in a plastic bottle - from bmi's Cairo flight, economy class.

I was planning on quaffing the former for dinner and use the latter to deglaze a steak. In reality, it was the reverse that came to pass. The Givry turned out to taste like a very tannic Beaujolais Nouveau would have (cringe!), while La Casita proved very quaffable, if unpretentious, indeed.

What a case to demonstrate that most of human consumption is symbolic!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Patatas bravas: improved Spanish recipe

Fantasies can sometimes be better than real life. It happens to me very often that I come up with a better recipe than the original one when trying to recreate dishes I have tried (like my impoved jeyuk bokkeum) and especially those I never have.

I remember skimming through the Eyewitness Spain Guidebook before my first trip to Spain. The colourful page dedicated to "flavours fo Spain" got my attention for a while. Patatas bravas was described as potatoes in a tangy tomato sauce with parlsey and white wine. Wow, that description alone got my creative and stomach juices flowing.

Little knowing that in reality they are miserly French fries drizzled with bottled chili sauce, I got down to figuring out the recipe. Here is the fruit of my imagination that beats the orignal version hands down with a huge spiked stick.
  1. Sauté sliced garlic and red onions in olive oil until golden brown.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes with juice, one finely chopped chili pepper and a glug of white wine.
  3. Mix well and allow to simmer until the smell of alcohol evaporates.
  4. In the meantime, slice potatoes Pont-Neuf style (thicker and chunkier than usual) and cook in the microwave (or oven if you got time for that!) until almost ready with just a wee bit of crunch left.
  5. Fold the potatoes into the tomatoes and leave to soak in the juices.
  6. Serve with chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and grated extra mature cheddar or parmiggiano.
P.S. 01/09/2014 I just realised I actually re-invented a recipe for Arab batata kharra absolutely independently. Wow. Kudos to me.

Patatas Bravas: an improved recipe