Wednesday, December 11, 2013

From Spain With Love: Royal Delights


Traveling to Spain is almost like coming home for us.
We speak the language, are familiar with the mentality, love the culture, climate and the glorious food this country has to offer.
We have visited several places like Sevilla, Granada and Barcelona among others before but of Madrid we've only seen the airport Barajas so far.
Unrightfully, as I must admit.
Madrid is a lovely, vibrant city that hosts several of the worlds most beautiful museums of fine art.
Close to Madrid is the city of Toledo, once the country's capital.
Toledos Cathedral, castles, monasteries and churches are true marvels and we were fascinated by the architecture and beautiful location.
Though I have to confess that the only thing I didn't expect at all was that the city is so bitter cold in winter.
Coming from a country with long,  cold winters and being a fan of skiing and ice skating, I never thought  that in sunny Spain we would literally every hour longing to go to a place that offers hot beverages :) 


 A matter of national pride: Gorgeous hams and chorizos  at display at a shop in Madrid

A wonderful tasting seafood salad at a little restaurant in the neighborhood of hour hotel that offers lunch menus at very reasonable prices. Find the recipe at the end of the post.

A herald, bearing the kings code of arms, is looking contemplative since centuries at the visitors of Toledos' Cathedral.

A seven-branched candelabrum on the road  to the Jewish quarter, Toledo

View of one of the breathtaking beautiful churches of Toledo

Another breathtaking beauty: Manuscript of the bible of Saint Luis from the 13th Century

Cute marketing: Vitrine of a pastry shop showing nuns preparing delicate sweets  which you can buy in the same shop.


Sweets on display at the same shop

A small shop selling the famous Spanish Saffron, Toledo

Entrance to the Cathedral, Toledo

Colorful, handmade ceramics, Toledo

A Gothic style window in one of the monasteries with a view at a gorgeous orange tree bearing fruits in December despite of the cold in Toledo 

Historic Chef : Portrait of George Washington's cook by Stuart Gilbert 1755-1828, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid





A delicious selection of typical appetizers, Madrid


 Selection of tapas on display at the market hall, Madrid

Visitors crowding at the market hall in Madrid, enjoying  wine and tapas (the typical Spanish appetizers)


Mediterranean prawn salad

We had this wonderful tasting seafood salad at a little restaurant in the neighborhood of our hotel that offers lunch menus at very reasonable prices.
After coming back to Vienna, I tried to recreate this amazing salad and, according to my fiercest critics (best husband of all & sons :) ), it was a total success.

Mediterranean Shrimp Salad
1 1/2 ripe but firm finely chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 spoonful finely chopped spring onions (only the green part)
1/2kg unpeeled shrimps
1/2 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
 (best quality guarantees best results)
1 spoonful mild white vinegar
2 spoonful of prawn stock for the dressing
11/2 cup prawn stock to simmer the shrimps
1 spoonful freshly squeezed orange juice
Method:
Peel and devein shrimps.
Prepare shrimp stock:
1/4 cup canola oil
Shrimp shells from 1/2 kg shrimps
Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook shells until toasted, stirring frequently ( you want them to release their flavor only, not to brown them too much)
Add about 2 cups cup of water or until shells are covered.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. 
Press shells down with a spatula to extract the flavor.
Cook about 7-8 minutes.
Strain stock, season with salt and pepper, discard solids and let cool down. 

Apart, bring shrimp stock to a simmer in a large saucepan.
Add peeled shrimps and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
During the last 30 seconds add spring onions.
Strain, set apart and let cool down..
Mix shrimps and spring onions with the tomatoes.
Apart, prepare the dressing:
Mix shrimp stock,olive oil. vinegar and orange juice until creamy.
Pour over the salad, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix well and let rest at least for 10 minutes before serving.
Bon appétit!

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39 comments:

  1. Damn, i really love cured meats and other chattaturie!
    i think i'm gonna spent almost of my travelling bugget on it once i visiting Spain

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've only been to southern Spain, never to Madrid. It sounds wonderful! Certainly that shrimp salad is awfully tempting. Wonderful pictures - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,
      hope you can make it once to Madrid too, it's a lovely city.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. What a delicious post! The shrimp salad looks marvelous. Those handmade ceramics are so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can almost smell those hanging prosciuttos...I mean, what do they call those in Spain? Delicious post. I love Spain :) ela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elzbieta,
      They call them jamon and they are truly delicious :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. such delicious aromas from the shrimp salad...extremely tempting...it is always great to read your travel posts...so interesting and fun...those pastry shop creations look scrumptious,thanks for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much my friends for keeping me company at my trips, I truly appreciate it!
      The shrimp salad they served was heavenly and I hope I could recreate it at least to some point:)
      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Madrid is amazing, such a vibrant city and the food, oh the food, so good. And I have a particulat sweet spot for Jamon Serrano (not to mention Patanegra).
    Beautiful pictures Daniela, so glad you guys had a great time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike,
      OMG, jamon Serrano and Pata Negra, they taste heavenly with a glass of Rioja!
      Thank so much for accompanying me at this virtual trip :)

      Delete
  7. Your shrimp salad looks really delicious! I'd love to visit Spain -- someday I hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy,
      Hope you can make this trip once, I'm sure you would enjoy it enormously!
      And of course not to mention the shrimp salad :)

      Delete
  8. I was in Spain for the first time a year ago, and I can't wait for an opportunity to go again. The prawn salad looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,
      Isn't it a marvelous country? No wonder you want to come back.
      Glad you liked the prawn salad!

      Delete
  9. Could you please just pack me in your suitcase? Next trip-I think Spain will be close to the top of my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abbe,
      your very welcome, would be fun to travel together :)
      Havea great weekend ahead !

      Delete
  10. I'm sneaking on with you next time---too delicious to pass up!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angela,
      just do it,would be fun :)
      Thanks for joining me at this trip!

      Delete
  11. I love Madrid, but have never visited Toledo. I must go back to Spain someday to see it! And I had no idea it would get that cold in the winter either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      Toledo is definitely worth a trip, I'm sure you would enjoy it.
      Thanks for stopping by !

      Delete
  12. Lovely shrimp salad...full of flavour. Your travel stories are so interesting...wish I could visit Spain sometime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sonali, hope you will visit soon!

      Delete
  13. Wow!!!!!!!! Spain is more beautiful than I thought...The ceramics, food, sites, everything is to stun one!!! I hope I can visit it in a near future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining me at this trip, Denise!
      Glad you enjoyed it:)

      Delete
  14. So many lovely things to take in!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Spain is on my bucket list. Did you buy any of this pretty plates for your kitchen? I also love a good shrimp and seafood dish while you are in the Mediterranean. Take care, BAM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bam,
      Such a pitty but I didn't buy anyof those gorgeous plates, next time I 'll bring a bigger suitcase and then... :-)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  16. Hi Daniela, wow... thanks for the wonderful tour. Enjoyed looking at each and every wonderful pictures. The little nuns look so cute and adorable. And that plate of shrimp salad look so mouthwatering, great recipe! Love it.

    Have a lovely Sunday.regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia,thanks for joining me at this trip to Spain, so glad to hear that you enjoyed the virtual tour!
      Have a great week ahead.

      Delete
  17. Absolutely gorgeous photos! I love visiting Spain, but when it comes to Madrid area I've seen only the airport, in fact I remember having to run through that whole, incredibly long thing to catch the connecting flight, but perhaps next time I'll get a chance to look around more :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too I had seen only Madrid's airport so far but I didn't know what I had been missing.
      It's absolutely worth while to make a stop over!
      Cheers.

      Delete
  18. We had a wonderful time wandering the streets of Toledo. Glad you had some fun too. Shame the weather was so cold! I much prefer a bit of warmth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it a fantastic city?
      Thanks for joining me at this virtual trip!
      Cheers.

      Delete
  19. Amazing pics and wow what a gorgeous and tasty salad. How odd it was cold indeed. Spain is so magical, one of my favorite places in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyn,
      I couldn't agree more, it's really a magic city!
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
    2. Interesting portrait of George Washington's chef - looks like the traditional chef's uniform hasn't changed over the centuries. I've never been to Spain, but looking at all the delicious foods, I'll definitely have to visit!

      Delete

 
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