#ThirstyThursday Recipe: Sitges Sidecar

A Sidecar with a Catlaonian twist!



The Sitges Sidecar:

  • 2 oz Torres Brandy
  • 1 oz torres orange liqueur
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • shake and strain into martini glass with sugared rim

Why Torres Brandy? Because it’s made in the heart of Catalonia and from the same grapes used to make Cava: Macabeu, Parellada, Xarel·lo. The warm hints of spice, cinnamon and vanilla riff nicely with the sweetness of the orange liquor and the acidity of the lemon.

¡Buen Provecho!

See these and more pictures on our Instagram!
http://instagram.com/boqueria

The 1040EZ

Your taxes are filed and we have the perfect drink to help you
celebrate your big return or drown your tax debt woes!

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The 1040EZ Tequila-Lime Shot
The best part?…It arrives free with your check!

Visit us on 4.15.14 and regale us with your story of success (or misfortune) to receive! Soho, Flatiron & DC

National Paella Day

Just south of the city of Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain, lies a 52,000 acre freshwater lagoon and estuary known as the l’Albufera, part of the Parc Natural de l’Albufera (Albufera Nature Reserve).  The reserve, in addition to being a paradise for migratory birds and a hotspot for local fishing, is the home of an immense rice field that feeds the local gastronomic culture. 
It’s no wonder that this was the birthplace of Paella.

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Lake l’Albufera by Salvador del Saz via Flickr

The beauty and magic of l’Albufera was captured by photographer Lucia Herrero in a photo series titled “Species”.  It’s not a Photoshop trick, but an elaborate portrait setup where she has her subjects stand on submerged fruit crates.

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See the complete shoot here

A true version of Paella Valenciana often includes chicken, rabbit and snails but no seafood.
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Recipe and Photo via Saveur

Another popular version, and one of our favorites is Paella a la Marinera or Paella de Mariscos, a seafood variety from coastal regions.
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Recipe and photo via Saveur

Our version of Paella de Mariscos (you can get the recipe here) includes squid, mussels, clams, monkfish and head-on shrimp as well as these essential ingredients:

Bomba Rice: a short grain rice from Valencia with a great capacity for absorption. It will remain firm, absorb all of the flavors of your broth and is the only rice we recommend to cook paella.
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We use Cebolla Bomba Rice from Despaña

Saffron: a powerful ingredient that lends Paella it’s beautiful color
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Photo by Krzysztof Ziolkowski via 500px

Pimentón: See why the NY times says:
It’s Spanish for ‘Better Than Paprika’
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Photo via Pinterest

You could gather the necessary ingredients and tools from your local kitchen and Spanish specialty stores….or you could order one of these handy Paella Kits from Martha Stewart, Gilt.com, or Sur la Table :

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Or skip the cooking and celebrate National Paella Day with us!

¡buen provecho! ~ Boqueria

GREEN SPAIN

More than a millennium ago, a Celtic tribe known as the Gallaeci settled in an area north of the Douro River. The region became modern day Galicia, which is in northwest Spain and is today considered the seventh of the original Celtic nations, along with Eire (Ireland), Kernow (Cornwall), Mannin (Isle of Mann), Breizh (Brittany), Alba (Scotland) and Cymru (Wales). ~ BBC America

In the spirit of St Patrick’s day here is a quick trip through “Green Spain” the most forgotten of the Seven Celtic Nations!

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Pradeiras das Agra, a prairie grass area where they have placed dolmens in tribute to the Celtic heritage of Galicia.

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Coastal Pastures of Cantabria, Northern Spain

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Galicia, Spain

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Grande Parade des Nations Celtes (Galicia)

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Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedrals Beach)

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Celtic well in a park in Lugo (Spain)

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Valle del Pisuena, Cantabria, Spain

Valentine’s Day in Spain

La Dia de Sant Jordi (celebrated on the day of Sant Jordi’s death, April 23rd) is Spain’s version of Valentine’s Day. The origins of the holiday come from a medieval story that took place in the village of Montblac.

According to Catalan tradition, a terrible and ferocious dragon wreaked havoc on the town and was only appeased by a daily human sacrifice. The sacrifice was decided upon by a lottery - the only fair way to decide the horrible fate of a fellow townsman.

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via “Llibreria Efora” on Pinterest: http://ow.ly/tBdyG

One day, as chance would have it, the name of the kings daughter was chosen. Though her fairness and beauty were unparalleled, and though it filled the King’s heart with despair, he agreed to the sacrifice as it was the only just thing to do.

Fortunately, as most fairy tales go, the princess was saved by a brave and noble knight who slayed the dragon, freeing the princess and the town of the hideous beast.

Before leaving, the knight plucked a red rose for the princess from a bush, which had sprouted at the exact spot where the dragon’s red blood had spilled. And thus the tradition of giving roses was born!

Years later, on April 23rd 1616, both William Shakespeare and famed Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes died. The tradition of exchanging books for roses began in 1923 to commemorate the death of these great authors.

Feliz Dia de Sant Jordi (in advance) and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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photo by Victor Sebastian Lopez via 500px http://ow.ly/tBfCr

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Barcelona storefront celebrating the tradition from M.P Escaparatistas
via Pinterest: http://ow.ly/tBg0O

Eat. Drink. Barcelona.

an evening at the James Beard House

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For the full gallery: http://ow.ly/t4Oem

Coca de Vidre

This week Chef Vidal made a special breakfast for the staff, Coca de Vidre (Glass Flatbread), a treat he used to have every morning from a rustic bakery he lived above while working at Can Jubany in Vic near Barcelona.

Delicate and sweet, it was the perfect kick-starter to get us moving on a busy day.

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Recipe
1. Roll out a thin layer of coca dough*
2. Brush the coca with oil
3. Sprinkle liberally with sugar and pine nuts
4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes at 440ºF
5. Remove from the oven and pour Anisette directly over the coca crystalizing the sugar

*You can use a basic pizza dough but if making your own, replace half the amount of water indicated with milk for a sweeter effect!

Feliz Día de Los Tres Reyes

Roscòn de Reyes, Three King’s Bread, is a dessert served the night before or the morning of January 6th (the Feast of the Epiphany) commemorating the arrival of the 3 Kings.

Tradition
Made in the shape of a wreath and decorated with candied fruit - this dessert is a time honored Spanish tradition. Here are some photos of classic renditions you’ll find throughout Spain:

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85538667@N08/)

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anamlasheras/)

Modern Times Call For Modern Cakes
Here are a few inspirational confections for the contemporary cook!

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandeea/)

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/javiermarca/)

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(Flikr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carmemv/)

Thinking BIG this year?
Check out the efforts of these very serious ladies in Andalucía, looking to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Roscón de Reyes, measuring in at 240 meters long and made with 800 hundred eggs.

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sula113/)

The Lucky One
Buried deep within the, cake, cream, or sometimes chocolate center is a small porcelain doll. The tradition of every household differs but the guest that finds the figure is usually coined the king of the party and is privy to certain rights, treats and privileges. But should you be unlucky and find a bean, you’ll be paying for or cooking next year’s Roscòn de Reyes, or worse - doing this year’s dishes!

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/serchswitch/)

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martius/)

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myprofe/)

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(Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85538667@N08/)

Boqueria wishes everyone a Happy Three Kings Day.
Here is Chef Vidal’s recipe for Roscón de Reyes - Enjoy!

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2/3 cup milk (90-100 F)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 eggs
2 TBSP orange-flower water
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sifted AP flour
Olive oil
1/2 cup candied dried fruit, roughly chopped

Directions
In a food processor combine sugar, and citrus zests and set aside. Dissolve yeast in warm milk and set aside to bloom for 5 minutes. Add sugar and zest to milk. Add the butter, 2 of the eggs, orange flower water and salt and mix with a wooden spoon to evenly incorporate.

Add half the flour and mix well by hand, then add the remaining flour a little at a time and knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it’s no longer sticky. Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size. 

Preheat oven to it’s lowest setting, punch down the dough and working on a floured work service roll into a log about 30” long.  Place it into a rimmed baking sheet greased with olive oil and form into a large ring with a hole in the middle about 4” in diameter.  Place an oven proof bowl with water in the bottom of the oven and place the Roscón in the oven to rise a second time until doubled in size, about another hour.

Remove the pan from the oven and increase the heat to 400. Break the last egg into a bowl and beat it, then brush the surface of the Roscón with the egg, scatter it with the candied fruit and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and remove and set aside to cool.

12 Things To Know Before Devouring 12 Grapes (In 12 Seconds)

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1. Know The History

The Twelve Grapes tradition in Spain originated in 1909 when some local vine growers from Alicante came up with the idea in order to sell huge amounts of grapes from an excellent harvest.

 2. Know Why It’s Done

Spaniards eat their Doce Uvas de la Suerte every New Year’s Eve because of superstition. It’s believed that if each of the 12 grapes is not eaten, the person who fails to follow tradition will have bad luck during the next 12 months. Now that’s a sour deal!

3. Know How To Count To 12

The 12 grapes are eaten during the first 12 seconds of the New Year. Don’t count too fast, but don’t count too slow either and if you need help pacing yourself, there’s an app for that!

4. Know What To Wear

Okay, so this is a more recent tradition but it’s just as festive and involves wearing underwear (which you already should be doing). Pull on some red boxers (for love, passion, happiness), yellow panties (for prosperity), or any piece of yellow or red fabric. The important part is that the underwear or fabric be given to you by a loved one. If you wear your underwear backwards, you’ll receive lots of new clothes in the coming year! 

5. Know What Grapes To Eat

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In Spain, it’s traditional to eat the Vinalopé grape, a white table grape grown in the province of Alicante. The budding clusters of grapes are wrapped in paper bags in June and July and kept covered as they ripen. This ensures a skin that’s much finer and easier to swallow during the countdown. But, if you can’t manage to fly to Spain and back AND get through customs with a bunch of foreign produce, any domestic white grape will do. Just make sure the grapes are seeded for a choke-free holiday.

6. Know What Type Of Grape Eater You Should And Should Not Be

7. Know What to Drink

A lesser-known Spanish tradition on New Year’s Eve is dropping a gold ring into a glass of cava and then downing the entire glass. Just don’t swallow the ring!

8. Know The Heimlich Maneuver

You should already know this life-saving technique and hopefully you won’t have to use it. Chew before you swallow!

9. Know How To Arrange Your Grapes

There are so many ways to arrange them! Get creative!

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10. Know Your Wishes

Some people believe that the 12 grapes signify the 12 months to come in the New Year while others believe each grape eaten will make a wish come true. If the latter sounds more appealing to you, make sure you’ve written down your 12 wishes before the countdown begins!

11. Know What To Do With The Leftovers

If you were way too optimistic about how many of your friends and family would celebrate this tradition with you and therefore have bunches of leftover grapes, fret not! Here are some sweet and savory recipes to reduce grape waste. Grape marshmallows anyone?

12. Know This

A Visit to Greenhook Ginsmiths

Early Thursday morning (well, 9am…that’s early for restaurant folk) we made our way through the industrial buildings of Greenpoint Brooklyn to find an obscurely marked door leading to the modest, 2 room artisan distillery at Greenhook Ginsmiths. 

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Founder Steven DeAngelo, who was pulled from Wall Street to pursue his true passion, greeted us each with a glass of his Beach Plum Gin, a seasonal treat made from local New York Beach Plums (native type of wild plum closely related to Sloes). This is a complex gin with flavors of plums and brilliant acidity. Our Flatiron location mixes it with Kas Limón for a fizzy treat.

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(Local Prunus Maritima, aka Beach Plums)

And for those that were ready for a 2nd glass, he shared his 94 proof American Dry Gin, a mix of Tuscan Juniper, organic elderflowers, organic chamomile and Ceylon cinnamon.

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Steven, and his right hand man Joe, utilize a 300 liter copper Alembic still, engineered to work with a Mercury Vacuum to reduce atmospheric pressure allowing them to distill their gin at a lower temperature.This lower temperature is perfect for extracting the flavors of the botanicals with out destroying their delicate nuances.

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As they share their story and their process it is clear the passion Steven and Joe have for their product. Judging by the array of curious Gin bottles that adorn their shelves, it’s also clear they’ve done their research.

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In the mood for a Gin and Tonic? Stop by our Flatiron location where GM Ron Morgan pairs Greenhook Ginsmith’s American Dry Gin with Q Tonic, lime and basil in a version he calls the Albahaca.

¡Salud!

p.s.
check out this recent edition of Snap Magazine featuring our G&T program!
http://snapm.ag/issues/14-nomnomnom/22-23

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