Ingredients

250ml sparkling rosé wine (Txakoli)

8 tbsp. sugar

6 large basil leaves

9 leaves gelatine

250ml cold water, to soften the gelatine

500ml very cold rosé (Txakoli)

1 large orange, zest only

2 peaches peeled and sliced

Small sprigs of basil to decorate

Instructions

Place 6-10 champagne or small glasses on a tray and in the fridge to chill. Heat the rosé and sugar in a medium saucepan.

Add some zest of orange and 3 basil leaves to the wine mix and boil. Place the gelatin leaves in the cold water and leave to soften, once soft squeeze out the excess water.

Dissolve the gelatin in the warm rosé and stir until melted. Strain to remove the basil and orange. Pour into a jug and add 500ml cold rosé.

Refrigerate and stir frequently until the mix just begins to set (this will stop the fruit from floating to the top). Blanch the peaches, cool off in iced water and peel, then cut into small slices. Flash cook 3 basil leaves in boiling water and cool off in ice water.

Cut basil leaves into fine strips. Divide peach slices and basil between the chilled glasses, add in some orange zest and pour over the partially set jelly mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. To serve, place a sprig of basil on the edge of each glass.

Spicy Chorizo Sausage with Rioja & Honey

Serves 4 as part of tapas
350g spicy cooking chorizo 
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 bay leaf
350ml Rioja 
1½ tbsp honey 
Black pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, to garnish 
Crusty bread, to serve

Slice the chorizo into bite-size pieces, then heat the oil in a frying pan and fry them until golden on all sides. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Lower the heat and add the onion and sauté slowly until softened for about 4 to 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Return the chorizo pieces into the pan, increase the heat and pour in the red wine. Bring this to the boil and leave to reduce by two-thirds. Stir in the honey and reduce the liquid further by simmering it slowly for 5 minutes. 

To serve, sprinkle over the parsley and serve with crusty bread. 

Pintxos – San Sebastian

Pintxos are the regional version of Tapas that San Sebastian is famous for. Available at nearly every bar and restaurant, these delectable small portions range from simple bites of anchovy and olives to more decadent and involved offerings such as grilled foie gras. 

Fiona and Catherine toured a few of the many pintxo bars, sampling some of the tasty delicacies available.

Pisto Con Huevos (Spanish version of ratatouille)

1 large ripe aubergine 
2 small courgettes diced
1 red pepper diced
2 cloves of garlic grated or crushed
1 large onion peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes or one half long red chilli chopped
330gm of Passata or 1 tin of pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 fried egg p/person eating it on top
1 heaped tsp fresh oregano
4 bay leaves

 

Method

Dice and sort aubergine leave to rest for 20 minutes to remove excess moisture. In a heavy-based pan on medium heat add a splash of olive oil with peppers onions garlic and chilli cook for 15 minutes until soft
In a separate pan cook the aubergine or a medium to high heat until lightly browned all over remove the other add the courgette to the pan and gently cook until soft. Add all ingredients to the pan with the pepper mixture, add the tomato & bay leaves and cook gently for 30 

minutes. Carefully crack the eggs over the pisto – try not to break the yolks. Cook in the sauce on medium heat for 5-6 mins until the eggs are cooked through but still a little soft.

To Garnish 

Scatter with parsley before serving and drizzle with olive oil

Gastronomic Society – San Sebastian

Gastronomic societies are a very important part of the social fabric of San Sebastian. Originally conceived as informal gentlemans clubs, they have evolved into meeting places where members can prepare food, reconnect and enjoy each others company. They also serve an important cultural purpose as many of the traditional festival activities are organised over a meal at these societies.

Gabriella of Tenedor Tours brought Catherine to one of these societies and prepared a beautiful lunch of local dishes, a real treat and a priviliged glimpse of local life in San Sebastian.

Chicken Fricassee Recipe

Serves 4 

For the Fricassee

2 onions
2 tins of tomatoes
350 ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4tsp dried chili flakes
2 carrots cut into batons
1 pkt sugar snap peas,
2 stalks celery
 

For the Marinade

Juice of 1 lemon

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

pinch of salt

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

4 chicken breast

Method

Chop chicken breasts and rub with the juice of a lemon. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a plastic food bag, add chicken pieces. Make sure the pieces are coated fully, tie the bag and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Check the marinade is coating the chicken from time to time. Drain off the marinade but keep to one side. Begin to brown the chicken pieces in a wok, a few pieces at a time set all the browned chicken aside. Chop the onions and add to the same pan and leave to soften. Add the tins of tomatoes & cook down to a thick sauce. Add back the chicken together with chicken stock & the remaining marinade. Bring back to boil & then simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Add vegetables (small florets of broccoli, batons of carrots, sugar snap peas, peas, celery, or whatever is in the fridge) into the sauce to cook

Serve with basmati rice

Mercado de la Bretxa – San Sebastian

When Catherine needed to pick up some ingredients for dinner, the only place to go in San Sebastian was the historic Mercado de la Bretxa. Operating since 1870, the market offers an array of fresh and artisan products of the very highest standard and is used by the both the locals of San Sebastian and the chefs of its many Michelin starred establishments.

La Sagrada Familia

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família, also known as the Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by Spanish/Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, his work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Montjuïc

Catherine and Michael take a trip to Montjuïc Castle which sits at the top of the hill. It is an old military fortress that has always been linked closely to the city. It is now used as an observation deck from which visitors can get a fantastic view over Barcelona. You can either walk up to the Castle or take the cable car.