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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel gerrydawesspain.com

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019

9/27/2020

Jewish Spain: Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia, Restored Jewish Quarter (Active from the XII-XVI Centuries) with La Tafona de Herminia, A Bakery with Pastries from Recovered Sephardic Recipes Plus Galician Octopus Cookers


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(All Text & Photos by Gerry Dawes©2019.)


Herminia and her selection of pastries made from Sephardic recipes from the 15th & 16th centuries, A Tafona da Herminia, Barrio Judio, Ribadavia (Ourense province), Galicia, Spain. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019, Canon M3
 
Gerry Dawes with Herminia at la Tafona da Herminia, Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia.
 


 

Descriptions of pastries at La Tafona da Herminia, Barrio Judio, Ribadavia (Ourense province), Galicia, Spain. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019, Canon M3



Descriptions of pastries at La Tafona da Herminia, Barrio Judio, Ribadavia (Ourense province), Galicia, Spain.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019, Canon M3.

 
La Tafona da Herminia, Barrio Judio, Ribadavia (Ourense province), Galicia, Spain.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019.
 

 Jewish Spain: Scenes from el Barrio Judio, Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia, Restored Jewish Quarter, active from the XII-XVI Centuries, a century after the expulsion order. 

Hebrew stylized "Sheparad" inscription on a map of Spain symbol embedded in the pavement of a street the old Jewish quarter of Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia.  These symbols are embedded in pavements and walls of all the former Jewish quarters in Spain. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019; gerrydawes@aol.com

Jewish Spain: Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia, Restored Jewish Quarter, active from the XII-XVI Centuries, one century after the expulsion order in 1492, the Jews remained in this barrio off and on.
 

Star of David on a doorway grill in the restored Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.



Menorah artisan crafts shop in the restored Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.



Menorah on the grillwork of a Menorah artisan crafts shop in the restored Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.
 
Emblems on a building in the restored Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.
 
Jewish Torah oratory Menorah artisan crafts shop in the restored Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.


 Cat in Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia, restored Jewish Quarter. 


Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia, former Jewish Quarter. 
 
Houses in the former Jewish quarter of Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia. 
 
Houses in the former Jewish quarter of Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia. 

 Sefirót, a café-bar in Ribadavia's restored Jewish Quarter.
 
 
The Great Women Octopus Cookers of Inland Galicia
 
Polbo a feira, pulpo a feria, steamed octopus being prepared in front of a local bar-restaraunt in Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia.  The women in this inland area of Galicia, near the town of Ribadavia, are champion octopus cookers; they win the competitions every year.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com

 
Polbo a feira, steamed octopus dressed with olive oil, paprika and sea salt, accompanied by a coarse red wine (to which sweet sparkling water is sometimes added) served in white china bowls.  At a restaurant in Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com


Polbo a feira, steamed octopus dressed with olive oil, paprika and sea salt, accompanied by a coarse red wine (to which sweet sparkling water is sometimes added) served in white china bowls.  At a restaurant in Ribadavia (Ourense), Galicia. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com


Kay Balun tries polbo a feira at a restaurant open only on fiesta days in Ribadavia.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com

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 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019

Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on WPWL 103.7 FM Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York.

Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

9/21/2020

Divine Torrijas, the Spanish Equivalent of French Toast

 
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Jose Colinas at his Xokoreto Confiteria in Castronuño (Valladolid) demonstrating how he makes torrijas.
 
Gerry´s Dishes: Torrijas, inspired by a  trip in 2019 to Xokoreto, owner-baker José Colinas's confiteria in Castronuño (Valladolid) in the Rueda wine district (and by experiences in several other places on previous trips such as la Balconada in Chinchón, at Casa Elias in Xinorlet (Alicante) and El Crucero in Corella (Navarra).   
 
Jose Colinas at his Xokoreto Confiteria in Castronuño (Valladolid) demonstrating how he makes torrijas.  The milk bath to soak the bread followed by an egg wash before frying.
 
Torrijas, the Spanish equivalent of French toast, is a traditional Semana Santa (Holy Week) dish, but can be found on many traditional cuisine restaurants' dessert menus.  Torrijas can insanely good when done by maestros and especially maestras such as Manoli Nieto at la Balconada in Chinchón (Madrid), Antonia Abad at Casa Elias in Xinorlet (Alicante) and Nabor Jiménez at El Crucero in Corella (Navarra).

Now retired Antonia Abad, wife of Elias Rodríguez and co-owner of Casa Elias in Xinorlet (Alicante) still comes in once in awhile, especially during Semana Santa, when she makes her traditional torrijas for the family and on this marvelous day for me and Kay as well.
 
 
 Antonia Abad's torrijas with almond turron ice cream,
Casa Elias 4-19-2019. 
 
  
Chef Manuela Nieto and her husband Isidro Olivar, owners of La Balconada, one of the best restaraurants in Madrid province, Chinchón (Madrid). 
 

La Balconada Chef Manuela Nieto's torrijas.
 

José Colinas demonstrated how to make torrijas and then let each of make our own.  At Xokoreto, I used local honey on my torrijas
 
The torrijas I made at Xokoreto. 
 
I came home and repeated it, using Trader Joe's day-old sourdough bread, soaked in a mixture of milk, cinnamon and Sugar-in-the-Raw, then dipped in a beaten egg wash and fried in canola oil (José used sunflower oil, saying that olive oil gives too strong a flavor). I topped mine with a bit of butter and Taconic Distillery´s Maple Syrup.

 
Milk with cinnamon for soaking the bread.
 
 
 
 Egg wash for coating the milk-soaked bread.
 

Torrijas cooking in canola oil.

My torrijas draining on paper towels.

______________________________________________________________________________________  
 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on WPWL 103.7 FM Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York.

  Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

9/11/2020

Romesco: One of Spanish Catalunya's Greatest and Most Addictive Sauces

 
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Romesco Sauce 9-6-2020 Gerry Dawes Recipe 

With Kay Balun and our guest former New York Times Restaurant Reviewer Bryan Miller

1 roasted red pepper (jarred)

3 dried ñora peppers, soak until soft, remove the seeds and stems, save the soaking water

1 Tbs. ñora pepper paste

3 medium tomatoes (3/4 lb.)

2-3 peeled ajo morado (purple garlic, if available) cloves, cut into pieces

1 Tbs. chopped parsley

Sea salt to taste

2 Tbs. Sherry vinegar

1 Tbs. Red wine vinegar

2 Tbs. Badia Naranja Agria

¼ - ½ cup water from the ñora peppers soak

1 thick slice of sourdough bread

1 Tsp. Spanish sweet or smoked paprika

½ cup toasted almonds

½ cup toasted hazelnuts

½  cup Spanish Extra Virgen Olive oil

Put all the ingredients except the bread, almonds and hazelnuts, and olive oil into a blender and blend on high until it forms a thick mixture and all the ingredients are chopped and blended in, then add the almonds and hazelnuts and blend.  With the blender running add the olive oil until the mixture oil is emulsified into the other ingredients.   

Put in a dish and refrigerate until read to use, then take out the desired amount of romesco and let it come to room temperature.   

Serve with grilled vegetables, fish, lamb and meat.  In Catalunya, they also use romesco on frissee lettuce as a salad dressing.

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on WPWL 103.7 FM Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York.

  Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 
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