A Morning in Madrid

So I went walking in Madrid the other day. I had a few errands to attend to.

I'll skip one picture that would give too big a clue about something involving an upcoming birthday.

Dropped some shoes off to be fixed. Not in one of those keys, shoes, door openers franchise places - since that type of shop declined to attempt to fix these shoes (whose insides were shot). I had to find a real artisan type shoe repair store; of which there are not many remaining.

Stopped by to browse in a knife store (we chefs like/love knives)

They even have swords in the window & I obviously need a polarizing filter (it was a nice sunny day)

Stopped for a cafe con leche (coffee & milk) with a croissant in a typical cafe (most streets have 2 or 3 of them; I wonder how they all stay in business).

Cruised down to the Plaza Mayor. Passing by the spot where the Spanish Resistance stood up to Napolean's army (& failed - I believe). It was built in 1617 or so and restored in 1790. So sort of old. People actually live in the apartments overlooking the plaza.

This is/was the royal bakery.

This is the place where I first ate dinner and shared/split plates of food with my S.O. - before we knew that we were to become an "item". Founded in 1642; it's a newish place...

...compared to Botin (just up the street) which is the oldest restaurant in the world (since 1500 or thereabouts).

A little further down the street I ran across a ¡ cork shop ! Just cork.

This is a picture through the front glass (they were closed for lunch). All cork all the time.

I just love little (or big) specialty shops. There's usually someone behind the counter who's enthusiastic and knowledgable about their trade. Few and far between these days.

And finally a shot of part of the construction surrounding Madrid. Literally the town is circled by construction projects. This one is the south part of the ring road that circles the center of town. They're putting an 6 lane highway underground and are going to let the old river flow above - like it used to before they build the ring road back in the 60s. Yes, they're burying the road. A great idea - but has made quite a mess while they're doing it.

A Walk in Madrid

I was intending to post a few photos (!) of my walk in Madrid yesterday; just a normal day, cruising around with very little purpose. Just enjoying the day and the city.
But this program I am using to post the pics is going to take some getting used to / practice to get correct. It involves Picasa and Hello and synchronizing my iPaq to the ThinkPad and who knows what else (not me, that's obvious).
This post was supposed to have something like 9 pictures in it. It doesn't.

Zucchini Filling for Crepes

Was cruising pretty good the last couple of days. Last Friday evening and Saturday afternoon were lousy. But Saturday night and through to today (Monday) were just fine. I believe I'm getting the hang of the pizza station. The professional kitchen is about rhythm - and confidence - and not hesitating - and speed - and not making errors. And lots more. But that's at least the first few important things.

Things are so slow of Sunday night that we spent the shift cleaning stuff; Monday lunch was slow too so I was doing other prep for stuff on the menu. One item was the filling for the crepes.
This is exactly what I did


  • ¼ c olive oil (80 ml)
  • 1 onion - bruinoise (small diced or minced)
  • 5-6 zucchini (I should give this by weight) (cut in short julienne)
  • ½ liter (quart) cream (35% type)
  • 100 gr (3 oz) Emmental cheese
  • salt
  1. Put oil in pan
  2. Add onion
  3. Add zucchini
    • soften; don't let it brown
  4. Add cream (makes it soup-like)
    • Reduce until just about thick enough to use as a filling (not liquidy)
  5. Add emmental cheese
    • Stir in to blend
  6. Allow to cool
  1. Fill the crepes with ... the filling. Put 2-3 Tablespoons of filling on the lower ½ of the crepe and roll up.
  2. Place 2 (for example) per person in an ovenproof dish. Seam side down.
  3. Top with bechemal (store bought - until I post a recipe)
  4. Sprinkle with some more emmental cheese
  5. Brown the top

  1. Short julienne involves cutting flat slices of zucchini the long way; about ¼ inch (½ mm) thick (like long flat pickle slices) - - and then cutting crosswise into short sticks
    • A photo would be helpful 'round about here; wouldn't it?

Old Picture - not food related but good for a laugh

I ran across this old picture. Probably older than you are. Guess the year. Prizes.

The hairstyle is a dead giveaway.

A week Later: The Pizza Station

Still no photos.

Well I'm now doing the pizza station. & I Love pizza. Oddly enough they're rectangluar rather than round.

The list:

  • Ham
  • Gorgonzola (cheese), has apple slices and walnuts too
  • Four Cheeses
  • Four Seasons (mushroonms, green peppers, ham, anchovies)
  • Bolognese
  • Shrimp, (has Brie cheese for some unfathomable reason)
  • Spicy Chicken
  • Piorina (thin crusted)
  • Veggies
  • nope, no Hawaiian pizza here.
And now that I have the pizza dough press machine figured out I'm managing to survive the shifts; although apparently because the resto's somewhat less busy in September.

Goat Cheese Salad

No photo, but here's what we actually do...

  • Take an individual salad bowl
  • 1/2 fill it with prewashed mixed "gourmet" lettuces
  • 1/2 some (3) cherry tomatoes; place the 1/2s, cut-face down, around the edges of the salad. Use 5 halves and eat one half cherry tomato
  • walnuts (¡ surprise !) spread in a little circle in the center (some, not a lot, nor too few)
    • (optional) eat a piece of walnut
  • slightly warm a (large) slice of goat's cheese; not the dinky little 1" (2,5 cm) ones. Get the big suckers (or use 2-3 of the mini ones) - oh, use the microwave but don't melt the cheese.
  • pour Modena Vinagrette over the salad (before the cheese goes on) (1 part Modena vinegar to 2 parts very good olive oil)
    • don't overdo it or you'll have a "salad soup" when you reach the bottom of the bowl
  • plunk the cheese into center of the salad