Taking ideas forward – a personal view
I could see that colours, textures and flavours come easily when you select from good quality fresh ingredients. Regular shopping is the way to achieve this and something that I believe is part of the way of life for people in Madrid whether it be purchasing from markets or shops.
During my visit the weather was balmy, not too hot, and at that temperature I felt comfortable when picking from a range of small portions of food. Not only was it a nice way to relax and take a break but also it was not over-facing. I wondered if perhaps portion size was something the ’Brits’ need to consider for improving health and weight in the long term. Certainly I enjoyed smaller and tasty morsels of food and going through the process of choosing from tantalizing selections.
I loved the simple dishes such as Tostas. These ’on toast’ snacks looked so beautiful and tasted good too. I could imagine making them slightly larger for a mid-day light snack and dressing them with tapenade (olive pate) let down with olive oil. I suppose what impressed me was just how good simple ingredients can be when served this way.
I noticed the use of garlic, pimento and saffron to enrich the flavour of ‘bland’ products like rice, bread and some potatoes. I think I could be more liberal in my use of these products and also with the addition of splendid olive oil. I vow to spend more on good oil.
My use of some of the spices may increase. I tasted smoked paprika that worked in ‘unison’ with pork in the tiny Chorizo and rather enjoyed the oil that oozed from the sausages when they were warmed. I began to think of using Chorizo to replace bacon in some dishes or using finely diced Chorizo with peas or Brussells sprouts as a way to introduce more flavour and colour.
I recognised the value of the egg, from its use in mayonnaise, cakes and pastries to dishes
based on hard-boiled egg, omelettes (tortilla) and set puddings (caramel crème). Long live the egg.
In a hot country using cream to decorate cakes and pastries is not really possible and therefore they use more icing, glazes, coatings and nuts to make their products look really special.
These are my thoughts. Do let me know yours via my Facebook page