Winter Recipes from Spain with Catalina Brennan


Hello all!! Welcome to this new page, where you will find lots to do with food and great gastro experiences!! Recipes, tips, places to go, where to buy ingredients, and a tribe of similar minded people who´ll meet every so often to discover Madrid and it´s gastronomy.

We´re in full swing of artichoke season, so, I will give you a recipe and a few tips.

I recommend you buy them in a local market or fruit store, rather than supermarkets. I bought these in my favourite fruit and veggie stall, Aurelio´s, in Mercado de las Ventas, puesto 140.

These are from Orihuela, Alicante, at the beginning of the season we´ll get them from this area and Murcia. Later on in the season we can find them from Tudela, Navarra, exquisite, firm and full of flavour.

Peeling suggestion: prepare a container with water and lemon juice or parsley, they will go brown easily from oxidation. If you wear gloves, you can avoid stains in your hands.

Cooking suggestions: boil them and sautée in pan with olive oil, garlic and bits of ham. If you have leftovers, mash the hearts with salt, olive oil virgen extra and a bit of black pepper, you will have a delicious paté to spread on bread!

BBQ: insert garlic, white wine and nice olive oil, opening the central leaves, and grill, you will get a beautiful result!! Typical from Cataluña, where they will grill them with calçots in early spring.

Raw: I discovered this in Sicily, it´s very popular there. You have to peel thoroughly, until you´re only left with the heart, rub with lemon, put upside down and cut thin slices of the heart. Season with lemon juice, salt, black pepper and pure olive oil, and eat as an appetizer with a glass of wine,or include in a meat carpaccio. Buon appetito!!

So here´s my recipe for 2, veery easy and yummy. You will need:

  • 6 artichokes
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Maldon salt
  • Ibérico ham

Peel thoroughly until you´re left with the heart, rub lemon juice, turn upside down and cut in slices, 2 cms wide.

Sautée in pan with a bit of olive oil until tender, add some drops of lemon juice. Plate, and while still hot, salt and cover with thin slices of ibérico ham.

I had these with Pago del Vicario Petit Verdot, very cold, a rich and cherry flavoured rosé wine from Castilla la Mancha. And, great price quality, around 5€!

As a Chef and foodie, I like to discover new restaurants, talk to Chefs and try out new dishes and ingredients. I will share with you my favourites!

Here´s my pick of the month, the best steak tartar in Madrid, for sure:

Askua Barra, Calle de Arlaban, 7, 28014 Madrid, 91 593 75 07

What I love about this place is the produce, great stuff!! And they list their suppliers in the menu, which is very helpful, you know what you will find. Please, try the grilled kokotxas and the anchovies, best quality.

Ask for Nacho, he´s co-owner with Jorge, his brother, the Chef and tell him you read the recommendation in Madrid Metropolitan 😊 , and book in advance!


Lastly, but not least, let me tell you about our Foodies Club, you might want to join us for a wine or travel with us. Meant for restless souls in search of discovering new gastronomic experiences and be part of a tribe of like-minded people.

In Madrid, we try out new places, abroad, we travel and meet Chefs, cook with them, accompany them to their markets or indulge in great wines and food.

Our next travels:

16th to 19th February, we are going to FEZ!!

Our hostess will be Chef Najat Kaanache We will enter her kitchen, eat a wonderful menu in her beautiful restaurant Nur in the medina, cook with her, and travel with her to the mountains, where we will discover the magic of Morocco.

March: Valencia!!! Learn to cook paellas with firewood in a huerta valenciana, with David Montero from winner of the prize for best Paella 2018, and much more.

April: Donosti!! We will cook in the oldest Sociedad gastronómica with Xabier Gutiérrez, from Arzak, and famous writer of #noirgastronomico

By Catalina Brennan – Personal chef & Gastro Experiences

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