Musician’s Brittle~de musico~ and My Trip to Andalusia, Spain

 

Musician's Brittle / Patty's FoodI’m home from our 2 week trip to Spain and while I’m happy to be home there are so many things I enjoyed and remember about our trip.  I know my husband is missing his daily siesta and says that’s why he’s going to bed earlier at night.  I miss the daily adventure of seeing new places and having those experiences.  I miss the beauty of the countryside and the cities, also the friendly people and of course, the food.  I told my husband that Spanish food really agrees with me and he said, Patty all good food agrees with you.  Nice, but he’s right!

 I’ve spent hours organizing my Spain photos and enjoyed eating at home for a change after all the restaurants we tried on our trip.  There are so many good things to eat in Andalusia and each region has it’s own specialties.  I love to order fresh fish in restaurants because it’s something I don’t generally make for us at home and in Spain, just like a local, I ate seafood everyday on my trip.  We also enjoyed tapas and tried to eat a variety  that were new to us, like the Andalusian favorite Tortillitas de Camarones -crispy shrimp pancakes-that we discovered and loved for a lunch in Cádiz.

 We spent our day in Ronda walking everywhere as we did on most days of our trip so later that evening feeling a little tired after all that exercise we asked our hotel for a dinner recommendation at a place nearby.  They suggested we try Carmen la de Ronda, a small place that we noticed earlier in the day on the square behind our hotel.  At night from the outside it looks more like  a bar than a restaurant with a few empty outside tables, one small table inside with 2 couples having tapas and a few more people eating at the bar.  Anyway, it looked like a local spot close to a touristic area and we were happy to have found what turned out to be one of our best meals in Andalusia.  We were led upstairs to a nice comfortable small dining room where just one other couple was dining.  We ordered a large green salad filled with apples and goat cheese and a plate of creamy hummus topped with warm garlicky shrimp to share.  My husband had one of his favorites- a filet mignon ‘solomillo de buey’ and I enjoyed a perfectly cooked piece of fish ‘bacalao con camarones’ -just the right amount after the large first courses we shared.

I love salads and always try to serve a green salad with dinner so I was one happy camper with all the salads I ordered on our trip to Spain.  In Granada our hotel recommended we try Oliver in the Plaza Pescaderia behind the big cathedral and that is where I had my favorite salad of the trip.  Crisp hearts of romaine topped with olive oil marinated chunks of tuna and roasted strips of red peppers, so simple, fresh and good.  We mostly ate our lunches later, around 2pm, along with the locals who all seem to eat dinner late, around 10pm.  Anyway, having our lunch later in the afternoon outside in the square we were surrounded by people sharing great food and bottles of wine.  The black squid ink paella being shared at the table next to us was a beauty, it was fun to see all the dishes coming out of the kitchen.

It’s hard to say which of all the cities we visited in Andalusia was our favorite eating city but I’ll have to give Estrellas de San Nicolás in Granada and their lobster paella the vote for our favorite meal.  We treated ourselves to what felt like a birthday or anniversary dinner in the beautiful dining room complete with a great view of the Alhambra and the city of Granada.  The next morning we were up early exploring the city which included a hike up the hill to finally tour the Alhambra which like all of Andalusia had been a dream to visit.  I could have spent days exploring and taking pictures of the Alhambra but because so many people visit everyday they keep a strict schedule of the time of your visit including restricting the times you can enter the beautifully restored Nasrid Palace.

While I’m not going to share every detail of this trip I do want to briefly mention our short visit to Seville/Sevilla which is the largest city in Andalusia.  We ate the best tapas all over the city (Albarama), visited neighborhood bars (Bar Alfalfa), shopped for (cerámica), attended a flamenco show (Museo Del Baile Flamenco), checked out the Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcázar, stayed at our favorite hotel (Corral del Rey) and walked, walked (Barrio Santa Cruz).  Without hesitation I’m giving Seville my vote for favorite city on the trip.

We also tried traditional Spanish restaurant desserts -like flan, fried custard and churros dipped in chocolate. But isn’t part of vacation stopping in at least one bakery a day to pick up a small bag of something sweet you just can’t resist?  Thank goodness I have a good travel companion who helps me eat the bakery treats I love trying on vacation.  One afternoon on our trip, also in Cádiz, we polished off a few eye catching scrumptious anise cookies spied through a bakery window that were dripping in honey and while licking our finger tips we completed one of our many walking tours of the cities in Andalusia that we visited.

I have a sentimental recipe to share with you today.  I remembered making this mixed nut and dried fruit brittle a few years ago… I found the recipe in a Spanish cookbook given to me by a friend.  So, while we didn’t try this brittle in Spain, I wanted to share the recipe today because a small bag of Musician’s Brittle would make a nice nibble for yourself or as a gift to share with a friend and it reminds me of our wonderful trip to Spain.
Musician's Brittle / Patty's FoodI’ve never shared this many photos on a blog post and was wondering if I was going to overload the system but it worked just fine, so here there are a ton of pictures from our trip to Andalusia, Spain.  We flew from San Francisco to London and onto Málaga where we picked up a rental car.  We headed for Marbella where we spent a few nights in the old city.  We drove from Marbella to Ronda for a night and then onto Arcos de la Frontera, Jerez and Cádiz.  We spent 2 nights in Seville and then headed to Córdoba, Granada and back to Málaga before flying home to SF.  Since I visited Madrid and Barcelona about 10 years ago I dreamed of making this trip to the south of Spain.  We had such a great experience and I took so many photos of all the spectacular cities we visited.  I tried to show a few of the highlights in my photos of our trip to Spain.Cadiz Fountain / Patty's FoodFountain in Cadiz
Spainfood Patty's FoodTapas in Andalusia, SpainSpainwater Patty's FoodWater in Andalusia, SpainSpainmarbella Patty's FoodMarbella, SpainSpain bullfight Ronda Patty's FoodBullfighting and Ronda, SpainSpaincadiz Patty's FoodCádiz, SpainArcos, Spain / Patty's FoodArcos de la Frontera, SpainSpaincountry Patty's Food Views and Golf in Arcos de la Frontera
Spainseville Patty's FoodspaindetailsPatty's Foodspainblueorange Patty's FoodSpain seville Patty's Foodspaingarden Patty's Foodspaingarden Patty's Foodspain Patty's FoodRoyal Alcázar of Seville, SpainSpainarabbathPatty's FoodArab Baths, Arcos de la FronteraSpainmix Patty's FoodAndalusia, Spain
spaincordoba Patty's FoodMosque Cathedral, Cordoba, SpainMosque-Cathedral~the Mezquita of Córdoba, Spain
Alhambrafort Patty's Foodalhambra passageway Patty's FoodDSC01351Fig Tree, Alhambra, SpainLion Fountain, Alhambra, Spain / Patty's FoodAlhambrafountains Patty's FoodAlhambra, SpainAlhambralight Patty's Foodalhambraamazing Patty's FoodThe Alhambra of Granada, Spain

Musician’s Brittle~de musico (nut, dried fruit and seed brittle)

Adapted from World Food Spain by Bev LeBlanc.

Ingredients

  • 2 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the baking sheet
  • 2 cups mixed nuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews
  • 1/2 cup raisins and dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup trailmix made with dried fruit and nuts
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Place the sugar, water and vinegar in a heavy medium large size saucepan, stir to dissolve the sugar, bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Boil without stirring for about 20-25 minutes or until the caramel reaches at least 350F or turns a deep amber color.
  3. Meanwhile, generously grease a baking pan and set aside.
  4. Combine the nuts, dried fruits and pumpkin seeds in a bowl.
  5. When the sugar mixture is a deep amber color stir in the nut/fruit mixture and quickly pour into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet, using a greased rubber spatula and making sure the middle isn't too thick.
  7. Let the caramel stand for several minutes to cool and set up but not too long because it becomes difficult to cut or break up.
  8. Invert the entire slab onto a cutting board and cut or break up into pieces.
  9. Let the brittle cool entirely before wrapping in foil and storing for up to 1 week.
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ps. iphone food photos, Andalusia, Spain
spainfood Patty's Food

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Comments

  1. betty hatcher says:

    after looking at all the pictures you took…i feel like i took a short but special trip to spain…thank you…now about the recipe…looks great (you do take beautiful pictures) and with all the good things in the brittle…this will be a great addition to our festive thanksgiving table…we try to find something very special to add to our dinner…and with 4 grand-children, and 1 great grand daughter…we do have a house full…they come and go as they do have other families to visit…but my boys always make us their last stop…grandma (or nina…as the geat calls me) wants to just stay here all day…we will have to see about that…thank you for the beautiful recipe and pictures…betty

  2. Your photos are gorgeous. I didn’t realize that Spain is so temperate. I felt as though I was seeing the Middle East. Beautiful. I’m definitely trying your brittle too. I’m not a fan of the basic peanut kind, but I love all the fruit and variety of nuts packed in yours.

  3. Patty, I don’t know what I’m more entranced by – this beautiful, sticky brittle or your stunning photos of Spain! I’d love to see that part of the world for myself, but you totally transported me with your images. What a wonderful experience!

  4. Oh Patty, it sounds like you had a beautiful trip – just gorgeous.

  5. Wow Patty what lovely photos you took, looks and sounds like such a fun trip! I love that you posted this Spanish recipe as a fun memorial of your trip. Love the name too!

  6. Patty – I am SO happy you shared all of those photos of your trip! I feel like I just jetted to Spain and back in the matter of mere moments. What a fantastic trip and I can see why you and hubby miss it already. This brittle is quite a masterpiece and I bet it did not last long in your house!

  7. Wow, Patty. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I love Spanish architecture and can look at the tiles, doorways and fountains all day. I have yet to see that part of Spain but I can’t wait to, especially after seeing your experience. This brittle looks excellent, too.

  8. Andalusia is on my travel list and clearly you had such a wonderful time – now I wish I was headed out on the next flight! Your brittle looks like such a treat and a perfect holiday gift! :)

  9. Just printed this… found your blog via pintrest. This is a perfect football snack – totally healthy if you overlook the caramel, right? :) Usually trip photos are of no interest to me, but I really enjoyed yours. I haven’t ever been to Europe and have always wanted to go. Glad you had a good time.

  10. Beautiful photographs and what lovely adventures you shared! There is nothing like travel to make you connect with loved ones. It sounds like you two had a wonderful journey together. I loved hearing about all the foods you enjoyed. And this brittle sounds and looks just lovely. Thank you for sharing Patty!

  11. Gorgeous photos of Spain, Patty.
    The brittle look addictive!

  12. Absolutely stunning, Patty. Like you, we’ve seen Madrid and Barcelona, but I hope to get back to see the south someday. If I do, I’ll be coming back here for your recommendations. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos and memories!

  13. I appreciate the beautiful photos of Andalusia! I devoured each breathtaking image! I am also inspired to recreate memories in my kitchen adventures. The nut and seed brittle is a scrumptious tribute to the time spent in Spain and fitting for the ever present holiday season!

  14. This amazing brittle is so beautiful…much more simple to make than I would have ever guessed! it is perfect for the holidays, as you said for nibbling or as gifts.
    After reading about your trip to Spain and viewing these incredible photos, I feel like I just visited myself…thanks for sharing!

  15. Patty, fantastic photos of your trip! I love the architecture of Spain. The food looks fabulous as always. Your crunchy brittle looks yummy too.

  16. I’m so glad you shared so many pictures, Patty – the images are gorgeous and really give a sense of the places you visited. I can see why you had a hard time picking the best food town there – everything you described sounds fantastic!

  17. Suzanne Prael says:

    Gorgeous photos! We’ve been lucky enough to travel to many, many countries, but not Spain; adding to my list for sure! This brittle looks fabulous; I’m whipping up a batch or 2 and gifting in cute Christmas bags. Happy I found you!

  18. Patty, that must have taken you hours to put together all of those photos! And I’m sure glad you did. Loved them. So much of the food looks exactly how I imagine it to be in Spain. I’d love to go. And thanks for sharing this recipe. That cutting/serving board is gorgeous.

  19. Absolutely stunning photos, Patty! I love following your adventures on FB & IG and seeing your pro photos when you return. All good food agrees with me, too :) I’m crazy about nuts, so lovin’ this recipe :) Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Love this post, Patty! From the lovely Musicians Brittle, to your gorgeous photos, and description of your fabulous trip! It sounds like you and Scott had an amazing adventure! Thanks for letting me experience the beauty of Andalusia, through your lovely photos! Looks like a heavenly place!
    Have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving! : )

  21. I love all the pictures!! Your trip sounds spectacular! I love stopping at bakeries on our trips too. There is just something about vacation and having to try all the local sweets that makes me so happy!

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