Monday, October 31, 2011

10/26 - 10/29 - Palma de Mallorca


I escaped the cold weather in Switzerland to Palma de Mallorca where the Eurodrying 2011 takes places this year. It's a conference where I also will do a presentation to show the latest product of our company, a microwave tunnel oven which can used for drying, cooking, pasteurizing etc.

After my arrival on Wednesday evening I'd some time left to walk around and make some pix of the area which's close to the hotel before it got dark...

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Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

View on the Parc de la Mar



After this extended walk I wasn't in the mood to watch out for a location for dinner and due to this I found my way to the steakhouse which's next door to the hotel. Dry-aged Ribeye steak wasn't a bad choice to be honest. The Por Larranaga Petit Corona was a good apetizer and the Upmann Royal Corona was the perfect after-dinner-cigar.

Por Larranaga Petit Corona and Mahou beer

Dessert including some Espresso and Upmann Royal Robusto

Thursday was filled with presentations at the conference... some were really good, some strange and some... oh well... let's forget them. It's really scary if somebody just reads all the lines he's written on his slides and says nothing else. I just missed that he started every sentence with the word "bullet"... but he was soooo close to it.

I'd to do my presentation as well during the afternoon session and I've say that it went not too bad...

In the evening we'd a dinner at the Bahia Mediterráneo, a nice restaurant with a great view over the harbor area and the Cathedral of Palma...

It's a non-smoking place so I'd a cigar when I came back to the hotel....


Cava y puro


Harbor and Cathedral

Friday started with rain... luckily the temperature didn't drop, so you can still sit outside if the terrace is roofed.

The day started again with presentations about drying and ended with a lil sightseeing tour through the city of Palma. The most impressing part of it was the visit to the Cathedral, here are a view impressions.

Main entrance of the Cathedral

Impressing rosette window with an area of 97 qm / 116 square yards

Modern chapel inside the Cathedral designed by Miquel Barceló

Fantastic play of colors inside the Cathedral


Chapel of the Last Supper

One of the oldest Altar pieces

All that walkin made me hungry and luckily I made a reservation at the Tasca de Blanquerna before, not far away from my hotel. There I'd some tasty tapas, beer and a cigar.

Tapas bar

 Beer and cigar


 Lamb meat balls (left), different vegetable in Sherry and oil (right)

 Fresh octopus

After dinner I made another walk to the area of the Cathedral to take some nice shots at night... maybe the typical tourist pix, but it looks really nice.

The Cathedral of Palma at night

I'd a nice time here and on Saturday I flew back to Zurich...

Adéu, Mallorca...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Partagas cedar wrapped chicken


I like cigars... and I like good food... why not combining those two?

One variation of the plank grilling is to wrap the stuff into cedar wood... and I have a lot of those cedar wrappings because they´re in every cigar box.

The inside of this wrap consisted of: boneless chicken leg filled with a mixture of crumbled corn bread, red pepper, onions and shredded mozzarella. For seasoning the filling I used some Woodford Masters Reserve. I also put some bacon slices around the chicken roll before I wrapped it with the cedar wood.

An definitely interesting way of cooking, I'll do it again.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The journey through Belgium goes on...


I was in Belgium due to a business trip in summer and I took the chance to grab some bottles at a local shop with a fantastic range of different beers...


Rodenbach Grand Cru - a beer like a great wine

Completely different to the beers I'd before... you get some balsamic vinegar in the smell... yes, you're reading right.. it's vinegar. Takin a sip... crazy stuff... sour and fruity at the same time... vinegar at first (but not unpleasant), hints of malt, very complex and individual.... gettin mild and fruity with aromas of plum and pepper, some yeast... very long lastin at the palate... no beer for newbees...

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Gulden Draak - the Golden Dragon

Bottled with 10.5 %... it's one of the stronger beers... very malty in the beginnin but also some decent sweetness of grapes/raisins... pronounced bitterness of malt in the aftertaste... a nice beer after a good meal...



Augustijn Grand Cru - a blond Strong Beer

Blond and a lil somber in the glass... sweet smell like marzipan... takin a sip and realizin the high grade of carbonation... like a champagne... malty aromas... very fat in the mouth... very refreshing even though it has 9 % of alcohol.... a really good beer!




St. Bernardus Prior 8 - a dark Abbey Ale

Malty-fruity smell, very intensive... intensive malt aroma at the first sip, getting a bit fruity then... dried plums, raisins... caramell.... decent bitterness of the malt in the aftertaste... the alcohol level of 8% is embedded well.... very complex Dubbel.




Affligem Dubbel - Dark and fruity

Fruity smell, fruity taste: apple, grapes... very refreshing with some hins of caramel and malt. Decent citrus note paired with some bitterness of malt in the aftertaste... good and straight... not too complex.




Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pre-tasting some Nectar


In 2009 I held the first Whisky tasting in the Griffins Business Lounge in Kreuzlingen, a private tasting for a handful of invited people. 6 guys came and we'd a really good time... Now we're comin closer to the 6th event, this time I'd to stop the registration at a no. of 13 people.

The topic of this tasting in November will be: 1973, which means we'll have 4 whiskys being distilled in this year. The range is as follows:
  • Cragganmore 1973, OB
  • Glenrothes 1973, OB
  • Glen Moray 1973, Duncan Taylor
  • Highland Park 1973, Mackillop´s Choice

As all the times before I also pre-tasted the whiskys this time to take some notes that I can tell the guys durin our event.

Ok, let's go with the first in the row, the Cragganmore 1973.

Nose: Overwhelming fruitiness and very bloomy

Taste: White pepper, melon, vanilla, cinnamon, oak.

Aftertaste: Very long, still fruits and some pepper

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Second one is the Glenrothes 1973.

Nose: Almond, walnut, fruits, hints of eucalyptus, malt

Taste: Full and rich, citrus fruits like orange and lemon, notes of Sherry makin it very smooth and creamy, honey, caramel fudge, hints of spice

Aftertaste: Fruity and spicy, long and very complex



No. 3, Glen Moray from 1973.

Nose: Stewed fruit, exotical fruits, decent note of vanilla, hints of oak

Taste: Spices, pleasant earthiness, burnt wood, vanilla, oak, fruits, liquorice, decent bitterness

Aftertaste: Really long with pleasant notes of wood and orange



And last but not least the Highland Park from 1973.

Nose: Peanuts?, mint, herbs, like walkin through a forest

Taste: herbs and mint, dried fruits, hints of salt

Aftertaste: Not too long, decent vanilla and wood



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Upmann Royal Robusto


Those cigars are made exclusively for the LCdH's... Edmundo sized, packed in 10ct boxes... let's see, how it smokes.

The slightly shiny wrapper is colorado colored, the rollin is really tight (as for all the new releases I smoked recently)... a smell of tobacco, leather and spices is comin to my nose.

The first third start with intensive notes of leather and a very impressin spiciness... there are aromas of nuts (walnut? hazelnut?). This cigar is on the spot from the first draw...

Durin the second third some tannin is comin up, not very much, but you feel it... there is still leather, added by wood and some decent sweetness, which faints away quickly.

The last third's gettin rougher... more tannins, intensive tary aromas, burnt wood... it's obvious that this is a young cigar... but with a good potential imho.

The smokin time was app. 110 minutes, the ash was very firm, it burnt down ruler-straight and had a perfect draw all the time.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ramon Allones Allones Extra EL 2011


The second of this year's Edicion Limitada that I smoked... I have one single cigar of the Cohiba which I'll smoke soon...

The Ramon Allones also has a dark colorado colored wrapper... a lil bit oily with a slight shine... tight rolled with a smell of tobacco, espresso and wood...

Let's light it up... oh WOW!! This cigar is a real powerhouse... the first puffs are really impressin!! Intensive aromas of wood, leather and tobacco dominate the first third... decent sweetness and a pronounced earthiness...

Durin the second third some white pepper's comin up... I can feel it bitin while nose-exhalin... not unpleasent, but present. Wood and strong notes of tobacco are still there, added by dark roasted espresso, the sweetness fades slowly away...

In the last third the sweetness is gone completely... it's pure power now: leather, tar, some kinda peat, intensive earthiness miced with some ammonia...

The cigar lasted for 85 minutes, it had an always perfect draw but the ash was not as firm as it was for the Hoyo I smoked the other day.

In my humble opinion this cigar is real big-time with a great agin potential. I'm sure you'll regret it in a few years when didn't buy some for storage.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hoyo de Monterrey Short Hoyo Pyramide EL 2011


Another new release in 2011... one of the three Limitadas... here ya go...

As for all Limitadas the wrapper is dark, some kinda dark colorado, maybe a bit too light to call it maduro... the surface is fine and matt, the rolling is tight. A smell of tobacco, dark chocolate and wood hits the nose... let's fire it up and see how it tastes.

The first third starts with some very pleasant aromas of milk coffee and chocolate, some decent notes of wood and sweetness which reminds me of honey...

During the second third you can fell the youth of this cigar... on one hand it's still very creamy but also a little bit harsh... aromas of espresso, dark roasted cacao, some kinda tary...

The last third... dominated by woodyness, hints of leather and tar.... it's young, but with a lot of potential imho. I'd no high expectations to this cigar but it really surprised me in a positive way...

The draw was perfect over the smokin time of 80 minutes (not too bad for a cigar of that size), the ash was very stable.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

10/13 - Limitada Smoke


We didn't meet very often within the last few months so it was nice that it happened yesterday evening to meet Marcel, Ralf and John joined us later also... I did some experiments with b/w photos, I hope you like it.

Before we settled over to the lounge we took a seat at Urs´shop... havin a coffee and a first cigar... and some good conversation about the latest news and gossip.

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Coffee and Hoyo Short Pyramide EL 2011

Ramon Allones Especiales, ER Suiza 2011

Hoyo Short Pyramide EL 2011

After startin the evenin with the Hoyo I continued with the Ramon Allones... and for both cigars I got a confirmation of my first impression: both of those cigars are really good, both with a good agin potential... even though I´m not the biggest Hoyo fan I definitely like this cigar.... ok, I prefer the Ramon Allones... but anyhow, the Hoyo´s good too.



Ramon Allones Allones Extra EL 2011

While sitting in the lounge Urs and Marc also came in to sit together with us and smoke a bit... we´d interesting discussions and funny anecdotes... good times as always...

I´m lookin forward for our next get-together... beginning of November... the 6th Whisky tasting event... getting a tradition now...



Reviews of those two Limitadas will follow here within the next days...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Planked venison


Another recipe from my new beloved cookin book... one half of this dinner... the other half - Roesti - is a traditional Swiss thing, but I was sure it would go well with the venison.

The venison itself we bought on Saturday at the farmer´s shop, her brother shot it a few days ago, so it was as fresh as it could be.

I marinated it for app. 24 hours with a marinade consisting of a special (seafood) rub, mustard and redwine. Additionally I prepared a raspberry marple syrup glaze. To be honest I´m no big fan of fruit and meat but in this case it really surprised me in a positive way... it´s a perfect match!

While the potato was roastin in the pan I fired up the grill and put the venison with a plank on it. From time to time I glazed it and cooked to a core temperature of 60 °C / 140 F... it came out exactly like we wanted it: medium rare.

A Chateauneuf de Pape was the perfect beverage for that really tasty dinner... I thought the grillin season is over but it seems to start just now...

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Roesti in the pan

Glazed venison on the grill

Tasty dinner


Friday, October 07, 2011

The grillin goes on...


Two days ago I made a postin with some of the stuff I grilled durin that summer and I tought the grillin season is over more or less...

But yesterday evenin I tried something that was too good to keep it secret.

The Laphroaig Live event which was held in Sidney gave me some inspiration... they'd some recipes on the homepage where they worked with the help of Laproaig Single Malt Whisky...

At home I took me new cookin book and found a suitable recipe... instead of marinatin the onions with Jack Daniels, I used a Laphroaig 7 yo, Douglas Laing´s Premier Barrel Selection for the marinade.

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Whisky and steak - good combo

For the first try I took only one piece of entrecote, put it on the grill and seared it from each side. After that I put it on a water-soaked piece of cedar wood, covered it with the onions and put it back into the grill on medium heat to finish it to a core temperature of 58 °C / 136 F.

The smell which hit my face was incredible when I opened the lid of the grill....

It was the first time that I used some Single Malt for cookin but it'll definitely not the last...

A glass of Laphroaig was a good company for that dinner...

The smell's awesome

Ready to eat, looks perfect


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Let's grill - a culinary review


I like to grill and sometimes it's a pity that we can only use a gas grill on the balcony of our appartment... but I try to make the best outta it and in the end the result is not too bad at all....

Here is some of the stuff we had during this year's grill season... which is not really over, but it's gettin less now...

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Sheep cheese (in foil), chicken breast, kangaroo rump

Chicken drumsticks

Marinated goat gigot (used thyme, rosmarine, sage, olive oil, fresh milled herb salt and black pepper)

Goat gigot - ready to serve

Ćevapčići and steak on the grill

Let's have dinner

 Beef Entrecote on the grill

Entrecote and potatos - ready to eat

Marinated pork fillet

Should be ready soon

Yummy.... asparagus...

Lamb filet (left: marinated with fresh herbs, right: marinated with bear´s garlic pesto)

Lamb filet (left: marinated with fresh herbs, right: marinated with bear´s garlic pesto)

Grilled pork hock... it was delicious...

Here I started with the new grill... the Outdoorchef Ascona 570 MX... thx for the recommendation, Camillo!

Spareribs and grilled vegetable

 Pulled Pork after 9 hours

Ready to eat

Salads and homemade grilled Cevapcici

Bacon Explosion

Bacon Explosion

Butterfly chicken

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Startin with the 3-2-1 ribs

After three hours of heatin

After 2 hours in the aluminium foil

After 1 add. hour and glaced with BBQ sauce

Sometimes I need nothin more than a steak

Preparations for another Pulled Pork, 8.16 lbs

1 more hour

Pullin it into pieces

YUMMY!!

Preparin the first Pulled Beef

After 11 hours

Pulled Beef

Rabbit

 37 oz beef steak

37 oz beef steak

37 oz beef steak

Marinated chicken breast fillet grilled on a cedar wood plank

Marinated chicken breast fillet grilled on a cedar wood plank

Pizza on the grill

Pizza on the grill

Planked pork tenderloin with smoky mashed potatos

Planked pork tenderloin with smoky mashed potatos

 Grilled chicken nachos

 Grilled chicken nachos

At the end of this year's season I heard the first time about the plank grillin. I tried it and the result really convinced me. In the meantime a received an interestin book with many plank grillin recipes which I'll try out definintely next year.... stay tuned!

Also thx to Camillo who gave me a good consultin before I bought the new grill and gave me useful informations for the grillin itself, you should check out his blog... unfortunately (for many of my readers) it's only German: http://doncaruso.wordpress.com/