This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
Victor de la Serna http://elmundovino.elmundo.es

Chill Weekend with Friends and Family

It’s been awhile since we really blogged. You know the original blog post, a wrap up of the blogger’s life and ideas that pop in their heads. Usually we write in a more educational manner trying our best to educate. Today is different. This weekend we had a perfect storm of visitors. Our old roommates from the good old days when we lived in Madrid were in town for the long weekend, which inevitably meant lots of fun foods and some unexpected card games of Liar. A wonderful weekend, as well as an opportunity throw down on a few meals since I had such an attentive audience. First night, it was port brined pork loin (that’s a mouthfull), followed by Country chicken paired with roasted purple potatoes and green beans with walnuts and cured ham the following night. Both meals deserved pictures and descriptions, but alas, the food disappeared before I had a chance. For those of you with a grill and some gumption, however, here’s how to cook the the Pork(everyone’s favorite)!

Combine in a large pot, or bucket, the following: 1 x3lb-5lb piece of whole pork loin, 1 bottle cheap Port wine(ruby), a few cloves, a few sticks of cinnamon, 2 bay leafs, a cup and a half of rock salt, a cup of sugar and half a nutmeg nut chopped coarsely. Cover the meat with cold water and let sit for approximately 8 hours.

When the meat has finished brining, get a very hot two stage fire going in your grill. Remove the pork from the brine and dry throughly. Quickly blacken the pork on the hot side of the grill, turning it so that the entire piece is all nice and charred. Then move the pork to the other side of the grill and place a lid on the grill. It should take about 30 minutes to cook, though it depends on your grill. Just keep an eye on it! When it’s done, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into thick chops. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try it out!

Saturday, we woke late, and Gabriella and I headed to a meeting with a small port producer who is looking to explore the world of Web2.0. Had a nice lunch filled with great conversation and plates of grilled sardines and shrimp along the sea. After several hours of excited banter back and forth, we’re already excited to visit their property in the middle of the Douro valley!

Saying our goodbyes, we then wandered our way along the coast filled with pale German and British bathers in the for the weekend, and into the center of the city to meet up with both our friends and my sister and brother-in-law visiting who were visiting from out of town. Our goal was to meander through the streets and enjoy a range of Tapas, which we succeeded in tackling rather quickly. The first place we stopped at had some of the finest “Bombas” drenched in a slightly spicy white sauce. Bombas are slightly spicy potato filled croquettes with bits of meat inside a crispy, fried bread shell. YuM!

Our second stop was a disappointment, though the food was quite good. We ended up in a place where the owner became too big of an influence on the ambiance, hovering around us, making awkward jokes just to fit in. That’s always tough, especially when you’d rather focus on your company than the waiter. How do you tell him to bugger off and just feed us some good food? The restaurant, Mam i Teca, wasn’t all bad, as the food was pretty good, but it may not be worth your while. Too small, uncomfortable seats and pushy service doesn’t really make up for a decent meal.

We did have fun though, and I had some nice pics result from the evening. Oh, and one new piece of information on my quest for Iberian Beer! I have a place to review. La Cerveceria located in the Gothic quarter is a serious beer joint that goes out of their way to bring good beer to Spain. I will be doing a full review shortly, but I just wanted to let everyone who was feeling badly for me know that I now have a Titan IPA, a Snakedog IPA, and a new Beligum that beer claiming to the be the Hoppiest beer of the them all! We’ll see! :)

Ok, till soon,

Ryan