Monthly Archives: March 2014

My eggs Benedict crusade, chapter III: the Barking frog

Eggs Benedict The Barking Frog

Elena Fernandez

A disgraceful row of events, a torn ACL in a ski accident that doctors can´t fix yet because they have found two blood clots in the injury leg, are taking me off for a while of two of my passions: doing exercise and… drinking wine. But as I´m a really optimistic girl, I decided that time for a little indulgence had come. And when I indulge, eggs Benedict are on the top of my list. After having tasted Maltby Cafe ones, huge tasty plate, and Hotel Davenport in Seattle last Christmas, a bit disappointing, I decided to follow 425 Magazine suggestion and visiting The Barking Frog yesterday.

This is the restaurant of The Willows Lodge in Woodinville, one of my favorites cities in town. In fact I´ve decided to try for the first time Huevos Rancheros, but I couldn´t help ordering the Dungeness crab cakes eggs Benedict… again. And oh! perfection! I finally found a comforting and delicious dish not too salty, not too greasy, not spicy at all, perfect seasoning not to hide but to enjoy the quality of the crab and the amazing Yukon potatoes roasted with herbs. They rank 1st in my particular Washington eggs Benedict crusade since now.

Beautiful place, nice ambience and service too, really friendly with my 6 year old that went tradicional and chose burger slides with fries. Perfectly grilled. The tomato in my plate came from my son´s burger, but I have to say It fits perfectly with the eggs and the potatoes, giving a lighty touch to the plate. Little personal suggestion for the chef… Unluckily I couldn´t enjoy none of the cocktails and wines due to my Health condition, but I promise I´ll go back to enjoy dinner later on when I recover 100%. The Barking Frog and the Willows Lodge, a perfect place to find this sense of pretended isolation and relaxation in a beautiful spring Sunday.

Sherry vinegar: a vinegar with the essence of Jerez

bodega vinagre e

Just a few drops of sherry vinegar can provide great personality to a plate  But … why is this vinegar so special?

With a first deep aroma and a powerful and balanced flavor, reflecting its long aging in the cellars of Jerez, Sherry vinegar is made of varieties of  Palomino , Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel grapes . Its origin is what determines its quality and personality and make it an irreplaceable condiment. Sherry vinegar is aged following a unique method called “solera” and “criadera”

The older vinegars are extracted  for being bottled  from the closest to the ground barrels . The amount of extracted vinegar is replaced by an equivalent amount from the upper row of barrels, called first criadera,  containing younger vinegar , and this mix is cooled by younger vinegar from the second row of barrels (  second criadera ) , and so on.

Its this aging process which allows  to provide us with an exceptional quality product. Some sherry vinegars are 10 or 20 years old. Moreover, this long aging explains the great complexity of flavors and above all , the high concentration that characterizes these vinegars and that becomes a stimulus for the senses.

Sherry vinegars are classified based on two factors: the degree of aging and the degree of sweetness. In the first case , The different age is classified in three varieties :  Sherry Vinegar Sherry Vinegar Reserva and Sherry Vinegar Gran Reserva. Based on the sweetness sherry vinegar can be classified as Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel sherry vinegar.

DO Sherry Vinegar was created in 1995.  It was a real milestone as it was the creation of the First Appellation of Origin of Vinegar in Spain . There are currently only three designations of origin for such products in Europe: Sherry Vinegar, Modena (Italy) and Condado de Huelva (Spain).

The history of these vinegars goes back to Sherry ‘s own history , around 3000 BC , when the Phoenicians arrived in this Andalusian region and planted the first vines. Some of these wines acidity level began to rise above desired for a wine. In some wineries , this extra acid wine was  confined to not hurt the pride of the producer.

However, they soon began to use the same system that was used for making wines with these barrels of vinegar and what began as a fault of nature , soon became one of the finest products of the wineries that had kept them in secret as a condiment for the family.

In the nineteenth century , many French merchants who had tried these vinegars began exporting them to France where their reputation grew stronger. Today is a unique dressing , acclaimed by top chefs from around the world .

Etiqueta vinagre de JerezIf you want to buy authentic Sherry Vinegar you´ll need to find the DO Jerez label in the bottle as shown.

Tasting Notes
Sherry Vinegar : Its features come from a breeding between six months and two years in wooden barrels. This variety has an intense taste and scent suggests acetic fine brushstrokes reminiscent of nuts. It has a mahogany amber tones splashed .

Sherry Vinegar Reserva: mahogany amber with bright reflections are closely related to its aging in wood, which is between two and ten years. It Emphasizes its powerful nuanced of great diversity, such as vanilla , nuts and wood  aroma . The palate also has a blotter acid and flavor that recalls its origin from Jerez .

Gran Reserva Sherry Vinegar : Its more than ten years in wood barrels gives it a distinctive aroma of deep acidity also contains notes of old wine . It is a very round , large , dry and well balanced , with a post- acid taste and prolonged and notes of dried fruits and spices flavor. Its color is a deep mahogany and It has very silky texture.

•  Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinegar : This is a semi – sweet, smooth and creamy vinegar flavor. Its aroma of sherry from which it inherits its name , featuring the evocation of dried fruits , licorice and roasted . It has a deep dark mahogany color that accentuates your body and density.

Moscatel Sherry Vinegar : From the variety of Moscatel wine , this is also a semi – sweet vinegar with a vivid mahogany color. Like the previous variety , aroma recalls its origin Muscat, scented dried fruits . It is very sweet and has a velvety texture.

botellas vinagre

Our favorite and “yummiest” cooking books (English version)

There are cookbooks that should be in any foodie library. For sure Internet is a great tool and tons of recipes can be viewed online, but there is nothing like a good cookbook to see, learn and love. The Yummy Bull team has selected our favorite ones for you.

Menú del día

A book to learn Spanish Gastronomy

Rohan Daft is a culinary experte and British , in that order . Lover and connoisseur of Spanish culinary restaurants, bars  and cafés  all around Spain, pays homage to them in this book written with precision and humor . ‘Menu of the Day (Simon & Schuster) collects the best of traditional Spanish cuisine through 100 authentic and classic recipes , many of them chosen from the set menus of restaurants who keep according to Daft ,the true essence and richness of food in this country . And not without reason. It describes the ingredients in English and tricks to make a real salmorejo a cocido madrileño , beans with clams, garlic chicken or tocinillo de cielo , among other dishes . An entertaining and funny book written by a lover of our gastronomy.

Pies&Tarts

Pies&Tarts 2

Authentic cakes and pastries

For someone who likes to cook cakes and pies , this book will be their bible. ‘ Pies & Tarts ‘  written by Pastry guru Martha Stewart, delights with  more than 150 recipes for traditional and modern cakes, with all the flavor of fresh American cuisine, delights with Rustic or polished look, but full of color and flavor. Amazing Panna Cotta cheese tartlets and raspberry , authentic lemon meringue pies , scones and strawberry rhubarb , plum or pumpkin pies …  A ‘ must- have’ for every sweet teeth foodie and chef.

Burguers

Burguers 2

 

The most amazing (veggie) burgers 

I do not know if fashion burgers of all kinds has been born to stay or they will be old fashioned soon. In any case, it is always a good solution for a casual lunch or dinner, especially if they are homemade and prepared with high quality ingredients. ‘The best veggie burgers on the planet’, from Joni Marie Newman, contains 101 recipes for veggie burgers around the globe. It is a curious compendium, not only because It´s always challenging to prepare many types of burgers without meatt, but because you can find here exotic ingredients, sauces and different breads, so you can always findideas for your own creations. The recipes are simple and the veggie burgers look really appealing on the photos. A healthy and fun option!

Libro El Bulli 1

Libro El Bulli 2

 

The family meal 

This is a great book of Adria factory, recommended for home and professionals chefs. ‘ The Family Meal ‘ is a collection of menus that El Bulli staff ate before the evening service from 6:30 to 7:00 pm (a brigade of 75 people) . These recipes are much closer to the Earth than to the El Bulli creative cooking sky .  Remarkable for being a basic guide to the preparation of bases, such as stocks, funds and sauces that can be made in bulk and stored frozen to save time and money. It also gives the keys to those engaged in cooking professionally. An example : the recipe for a pork loin rescued grilled with roasted peppers . The book details the ingredients , whether it’s for two, and six , and for 20 and 75 people. Illustrated with step by step photos and giving to you the time frame that you´ll need to prepare the whole menu It´s a real cooking jewel! And the edition is so beautiful that I won´t dare to scrap on it as I usually do with my cookbooks.

Yesterday I could grab a dedicated one at Town Hall Ferrán Adriá conference organized by Fremont cookbook store Book Larder. But you´ll find more copies in this bookshop too.