Onward to my next stop of culinary apprenticeship…El Portal del Echaurren in beautiful, I mean breathtaking Ezcaray. 

   
  

 
A small Town of 2000 nesseled between the Sierra de la Demanda Mountains and the Oja river valley, Ezcaray is home to Chef Francis Paniego’s award winning El Portal del Echaurren Restaurant.

With a daily schedule of 10am-5pm and back from 9pm-12:30am, there is plenty of time for learning!  One of my favorite dishes is a red shrimp with wine “caviar” and poached grapes with a shrimp stock reduction. 

First, special Spanish red shrimp are cleaned, shelled and deveined… 

  

Then red wine “caviar” is made with the help of a thickening agent suspended in cold oil….

   

Red wine rings are painted on a plate…

  

Shrimp are placed, poached grape segments are positioned along with the caviar and shellfish stock reduction…

              

 And Aja!

  

A delicate but not fussy plate. Well, a little fussy but sometimes that’s a good thing. 

More to come…