PODCAST: Torrijas – Spain’s Classic Easter Treat

This great pastry has been a favorite in Spain for centuries!

Real Madrid 1 – Torrijas 0

Mixed results last night folks.  Real Madrid took the King’s Cup Tournament by defeating FC Barcelona in the final.   After two matches, that’s one victory for Madrid and one tie.  Last night’s game could have gone either way.  Barcelona as usual owned the ball and moved it pretty well, but Real’s defence did a good job of shutting it down.  In the first half, Madrid had a couple of excellent opportunities and in the second half it was Barça who could have taken the lead easily, had it not been for goalkeeper Iker Casillas (Saint Iker as he is known in Spain).   They went into overtime which was when Crisitano Ronaldo appeared and nailed a header in the net.  Great goal.  The game was a hard fought, not pretty.   It didn’t flow well but that was to be expected.   If you want to beat Barcelona you have to keep it from running the show.   Try playing against them wode open and they will rip you to pieces.  But there were plenty of moments of high quality football because these are high quality teams.   Well, it’s time to move on to the remaining two which form the semi-finals of the Champions League.   This is the real test, because the Champions League is the most coveted trophy of European club soccer.  See what happens.

          On the home front, I made the torrijas and while they had the look of the ones I buy in pastry shops, they fell short of expectations…mine at least.  They were all right…I’d say a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, but they need some improvement.   Here’s the basic recipe and sidenotes on where I probably went wrong:

         Day old French bread





         Oil oil

         1) First you cut the bread into thick slices.  (Got that right)

         2) The you heat the milk (about a liter) and add plenty of sugar.  (I didn’t heat it or add sugar.  Big mistake.)

        3)  Then you place the slices in a dish and add the warm milk so that it can be soaked up. (I did this but by skipping the previous step, the interior didn’t get the right sweetness.  Plus, I think I put too much milk)

        4) Let sit for an hour.  (Check)

        5) Beat a couple of eggs.   Put slices in them.  (Check)

        6) Fry in olive oil.  (Check)

        7) Remove from frying pan and add sugar and cinnamon.  (More or less)

        8) You can add a lot of things…powdered sugar instead of regular sugar, which was what we did.  Others include:  honey, liquid caramel, maple syrup, etc.

       So….they weren’t bad, probably better today than yesterday, but I’ll keep working on it!


Old and Crusty Bread…An Easter Treat

Hey…it wasn’t a bad game last night.  Pretty balanced throughout the evening.  I broke even and that should cover my urges for the next couple of months.  Now I’ve got a big day ahead.   The girls are coming and we’ll be heading out for a few days outside of Madrid, which is horrible timing because up to this point the weather has been great and now a thick stretch of clouds has blanketed the sky.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to get worse and by Friday, possibly our first full day in the country it’s supposed to rain.  I guess we’ll just have to “takes things with philosophy” as they say in Spanish.  On the up side, we won’t be leaving today which is a bonus because most people depart after midday and the highways become culture dishes for potential homicides.   The traffic is simply that bad.  We won’t head out until some time tomorrow afternoon.

            In the meantime, I’ll be getting things ready at home and preparing one of the great Easter time delicacies, torrijas, which somewhat resemble French toast.  I made them once, but that was years ago and, as usual, I forgot to write down the recipe, so I’ll just have to start over.    First thing I’m going to need is some old stale bread…and since my kitchen at times is a shelter for old and stale food, I’m sure I can find some there.  Let’s see…