Spring vegetables, punched up with a poached egg and ham

Gastro Experiences with Catalina Brennan

We are now in Spring! I love going to markets during this season, there’s an infinite display of vegetables and fruits.

For this number, I visited a small market in my area, Canillejas, at the end of our very looong calle Alcalá (11 km starting in Puerta del Sol!) These markets are smaller than the usual Ventas, Maravillas, Chamberí etc and are usually called “Galerías de alimentación”. Pretty sure you have one close to your house, great fresh produce.

This is Jesús (pictured, left), from Hnos. González Sanz, veggie stall number 51 in calle Boltaña market.

So here’s our spring recipe: Spring vegetables with a mellow base, punched up with a poached egg and Ibérico ham.

Fresh peas, white & green asparagus, celery root, butter, egg(s), Ibérico ham, extra virgin oil

My first tip for you is that all these veggies have different cooking times and techniques–all very easy–but it’s important to bear this in mind, or you will get vegetable mash 😀

Celery root (celeriac): Chop the root and boil until tender, blend with little boiling water, butter and salt (we need a puree, consistent, not liquid)

Asparagus: peel thoroughly white, and just the tip for green (as seen in photo) We’ll steam both tips or cook in boiling water for aprox 7 minutes, then stick in ice bath so they will maintain all their colour and texture. Slice the rest of asparagus in 3cms thick pieces and sautee for another 7 mins.

Boil fresh peas aprox 9 mins (depending on size) and ice bath.

Poach egg(s) tips: Crack the egg into a bowl, add some vinegar to the water, make a whirlpool and poach the egg for aprox 4 mins.

Let’s plate!

Celery root puree (great earthy and nutty flavour), veggies on top, and crown with eggs and ibérico ham (the more volume, the prettier!) Finish with some maldon salt and beautiful olive oil. Eat with a spoon!

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As a Chef and foodie, I like to discover new restaurants, talk to chefs and try out new dishes and ingredients.

My recommendation for this issue is a beautiful new place, which opened in March of this year and is located in the very centre or Madrid, in between Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor: Taberna el Clásico at calle Marqués Viudo de Pontejos, 9.

El Clásico is a traditional place, exquisitely decorated, with 3 different gastronomical atmospheres: There’s the informal tapas area on the ground floor; the arrocería (rice dishes) and selected products area upstairs. All the gastronomic creations are from Executive Chef Joaquín Felipe Peira, an outstanding cook who really knows his way around Spanish cuisine and how to source great produce.

You will find traditional tapas and cooking techniques from Madrid, such as homemade pickled mussels, “salazones” (tuna, mullet roes, incredible anchovies, cured in salt), great cheese and ibérico assortments, but also heavenly rice dishes!

After dinner you can have an exclusive cocktail in the basement, check out this amazing space.

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Take your taste buds on tour with the Travelling Foodies’ Club

We are like-minded people that try out new places, meet Chefs both from Madrid and elsewhere, and cook with them, shopping in their markets and generally indulging in great wines and food. Our last meeting was a wine, cheese & tapas tasting (go to our social pages and you will see the amazing pics!)

Join us on our next trip

… on 4th to 6th October: To Granada! For moreinformation on this and cookery workshops, corporate events, showcookings, or personal Chef experiences, visit my website

www.chefinhousecatalina.com or contact me at cbrennan@brasoc.com. Tel: + 34 606 99 1073

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