RECIPE OF THE MONTH!

Osso Buco With Saffron Risotto Recipe

 

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 pieces veal shin on the bone, about 1 1/2 inches thick, hind-leg is best
  • seasoned flour, for coating
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary, roughly chopped
  • leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • flaky sea salt and ground black pepper
  • a glass of white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 8 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/4 cups risotto rice (carnaroli is best)
  • a glass of dry vermouth
  • good pinch of saffron
  • 1 handful grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large heavy-based pan, heat a couple of glugs of olive oil until hot. Cover the veal shins with enough seasoned flour to coat. Fry them in the oil until nice and brown on both flat sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. Pour a glug of olive oil into a separate heavy-based pan and add the chopped carrots, celery and one of the onions. Sweat these slowly and add the chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, garlic and a good pinch of salt and grind of pepper.
  3. When the vegetables are starting to stick, add the glass of white wine and allow to bubble away for 2 minutes, scraping all the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and a cup of water and bring to the boil. Now, transfer everything to a large roasting tray with the browned meat. Make sure all of it is covered with the tomato mix and cover with foil. Place in the preheated oven for around 2 hours, or until meat is almost falling off the bone.
  4. When there are about 30 minutes to go with the veal shins, you should make the risotto. Put a glug of oil and half the butter in a saucepan and in it slowly sauté the other chopped onion until it becomes translucent and glossy. This will take about 15 minutes on a low heat. Meanwhile, heat up the vegetable stock in another saucepan.
  5. Add the rice to the onion and stir for 2 minutes, coating every grain. Add the glass of vermouth. This will create a large cloud of steam and a wonderful smell as it evaporates. Add a large ladle of the hot stock and let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring all the while.
  6. At this point, delicately scatter the pinch of saffron into the rice. Add another ladle to cover the rice and repeat this process as the rice absorbs the stock and the grains release their starch and the whole mixture takes on a delightful creamy consistency. After 15 minutes or so, taste the rice – it should be creamy but still have a slight bite.
  7. When the rice is done, remove from the heat and carefully fold in the Parmesan and the remaining butter. Cover and let the whole thing rest for a few minutes.
  8. Take the veal from the oven and remove the foil. The meat should be practically falling off the bone. Serve the risotto onto each of the 6 plates and place a veal shin on top of each mound of yellow rice. Spoon the sauce onto the meat and serve.

APERITIVO!

The Ultimate Negroni Recipe

As Italian (and refreshing) as it gets.

Margaritas and mojitos may dominate the summer cocktail landscape, but when you’re looking for something a bit more continental, the Negroni is your move. Made with Campari—a bitter-sweet red liqueur that’s been around since the 1860s—the Negroni is an Italian cocktail that’s best enjoyed while lounging on a scenic, sun-dappled veranda in a linen suit. If you can squeeze a ride on a Vespa and La Dolce Vita in there, then all the better.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. London dry gin
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. vermouth rosso
  • cocktail glass

Directions

  1. Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well with cracked ice.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Two more drinks you can make with Campari that are both simple and refreshing are the Campari Soda, it is self-explanatory: Pour 3 ounces Campari into an ice-filled Collins glass and top off with soda; garnish with slice of lemon or orange, and An Americano is the same, except you replace half the Campari with sweet vermouth. Enjoy!

SITGES ANYTIME!

Sitges

Sitges is a precious and luxurious little town hidden away between the Mediterranean and the dark folds of the Garraf hills. There’s not a cobblestone out of place, not a restaurant door closed, nor is there debris on any one of the 20 beaches and very little open water between the moored yachts in the marina. In a town which has made its living from the sea, in good times and bad, Sitges has always known how to win the hearts of not only the people who live in the town, but its tourists who adore it.

Sitges unlike most other Mediterranean resorts within a short flying time of northern Europe is year-round busy organising a programme of cultural events. There’s Carnival, Gay Mardi Gras, the Vintage Car Rally and festivals for anything you can think of from – The Sitges Film Festival, Music, Tango, Art, Food and Winemaking.

You’ll be well to find a weekend when there isn’t a festival and you can just enjoy the immaculate beach and strollable streets.

Events 2017


June

17th – 25th Corpus Cristi Flower Carpets Festival
(18th Corpus – flower carpet competition)

The town of Sitges celebrates Corpus Christi every year with style! Sections of the major streets are closed to traffic for at least 24 hours. Then intricate templates are drawn on the road. Neighbours from each street gather into the small hours of morning, plucking the petals off Carnation flowers. These petals are then placed on the patterns on the road. The transformation is amazing. A must see!


8th – 12th Sitges Gay Pride (Mardi Gras)

Sitges Pride 2017, is set to become an even bigger event. This year the event celebrates its 8th anniversary with a bigger open air stage with celebrity guests, international djs, tribute acts, fashion shows and more. This year, the main bar in the Gay Village will be open for the five days of the festivities, from the Thursday to the Monday Night. The main pride parade will take place on Sunday from 5pm attracting several thousand visitors. More than 26 floats and thousands of participants are expected for the parade.Visit the GAY SITGES GUIDE for more information


August

5th – Feast of Our Lady of Vinyet (Mare de Deu del Vinyet)

On this day, people of Sitges visit the Ermita del Vinyet, a sanctuary dating back to 1727 that houses the 40cm tall statue of the Virgin, which according to legend was discovered under a vine in the local vineyards. A mass is held in the morning and another in the afternoon. People join in to dance sardanas (a folkloric circle-dance typical of Catalonia), there is a small fair and when it gets dark there is a little firework display.


15th – Assumption (Asumpcion). A national holiday.

The feast day of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the Christian belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven following her death It is celebrated on or around August 15 in many countries, particularly in parts of Europe and South America. It’s also called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (in the eastern countries), or the Feast of the Assumption.


18th – 26th Sitges’ ‘Fiesta Major’

The feast of Sant Bartomeu, the patron saint of Sitges. This is Sitges’ largest fiesta for a saint. Large fireworks displays take place and there are religious parades throughout the town: On the 23rd of August approximately 200,000 people come to Sitges for the event.


September

11th – National Day of Catalonia

The National Day of Catalonia (La Diada Nacional de Catalunya) or La Diada Nacional de Catalunya is celebrated every September 11th, a historic date in the Catalan calendar. The day commemorates the 14 month Siege of Barcelona, and when on the 11th September 1714, Catalan troops were forced to surrender to the Castilian forces of France and Philip V of Spain. It was unfortunately all pretty much downhill from there for the next 250 years. All institutions of Catalonia were destroyed and they became part of the Spanish kingdom.


22nd – 23rd Feast of Santa Tecla (with a small fireworks display on 22nd of September)

A smaller version of the Fiesta Mayor! This event is big for Sitgeans with the Church of Santa Tecla forming the backdrop, One can expect lots of noisey fireworks and more crazy castellers as they make taller and taller human towers. Each afternoon and evening, mythical Catalan characters dance their way through the town in a full traditional folkloric procession which includes the Bull, Dragon, Devil, Giant and Turk Dances. The festivities culminate in a large fireworks display on the beach front on the 22nd at 11pm


5th – 15th Sitges International Film Festival

One of the largest and most important events in Sitges’ calender year. This internationally renowned festival of cinema specialises in the categories of horror and fantasy film. Alive since 1968 often seeing the arrival of major celebrities to the town. The Film Festival is attended by the likes of Woody Harrelson and Quentin Tarantino and Antonia Banderas. Each year a jury awards prizes for film categories such as award for Best Director and Award for Best Screenplay. Keep an eye on the Sitges Film Festival official website for more details on the programme of events.


October

7th – 9th Sitges Wine Festival

The Festa de la Verema or wine harvest festival takes place in Sitges in October, right in the middle of the grape harvest season in the Penedes region – adding to the event’s appeal. People from around the world come to try out the wines from some of the top vineyards such as Torres. The Grape Harvest Festival of Sitges includes a dedicated wine tasting and food fair. Grape treading and barrel carrying contests take place on the Sunday of the event, recalling the essence the grape harvest’s origins, when the wine making ritual was a festival for both family and friends.


7th – Zombie Walk

The Sitges Zombie Walk is the highlight of the annual Sitges Film festival. The route begins at the Town Hall, at Plaça de l’Ajuntament. The date for the event is Saturday the 8th of October from 20.00. Entrance is free and you can have your make-up professionally applied at one of the many make up stands on C San Sebastian from 12pm, before the event. Spaces are limited (300 first come first served) and people being queuing from early morning to have their “Zombie-look” applied.

December

5th – Constitution’s Day

Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. On the days before Constitution Day, children and young people have extra lessons on the history, politics and constitution of Spain. Each year, a selection of high school students are invited to read the Constitution in the Lower House of the parliamentary buildings in Madrid a few days before December 6. The parliamentary buildings are open to the general public for one or two days. A cocktail party is held in the parliamentary buildings on December 6. Constitution Day is a quiet day off work for most people. They spend time at home relaxing with family members or close friends.


8th – Day of the Immaculate Conception

Many Christian communities around the world annually observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. This day is a holy day of obligation in which many Christians, particularly of the Catholic faith, attend special church services for this occasion.


25th – Christmas Day

The Christmas Spirit arrives in the town from the 5th of December and lasts right through until the 5th of January. Christmas Day and New Years Eve tends to be a glamorous affair with people dressing up for dinner. Many of the bars and restaurants are open for the run up to Christmas. Christmas Eve in Sitges is where many bars will close early and people head home for a late evening dinner.