Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spanish Night!

A week or so ago I had the pleasure of getting together with my two sisters (and one brother-in-law) for dinner. We had a fabulous time cooking up a Spanish feast fact, there was so much to do that it ended up being a very authentic Spanish meal, seeing as we didn't eat until 9:30 p.m.!

A Spanish Feast!

I do wish everybody lived closer together so that we could have these little dinner parties more often, but I suppose if that was the case I would weigh in at a comfortable 400 pounds before the year ended.

Serrano Ham, Olives, Cadiz Pepper Salad, Spanish Tortilla, Marinated Carrots, Jalapeno Jam Toasts, Paella!

This whole experience has inspired me to do a bit more cultural cooking, so stay tuned for that bit of fun. Until then, enjoy some Spanish dishes at your next meal!

A big thank you to Katie C. for taking the time to send me all of these recipes!

Marinated Carrots, Cadiz Pepper Salad, Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms (serves 4) 
from Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 TB minced onion
  • 1 minced clove garlic
Saute until wilted; a few minutes. Then stir in:
  • 1 TB tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 whole cloves or a pinch ground
  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • salt and pepper
Once added, simmer, covered, 45 minutes over low heat. Add more water if needed.
Then add:
  • 1/2 pound small mushrooms; cleaned, stems removed
Simmer 5 minutes more, covered. Remove from heat, let cool, then chill overnight. Bring to room temp before serving.

Finish with a bit of sherry or red wine vinegar.

Marinated Carrots (serves - 4)
  • 6-7 large carrots; peeled and chopped into 1-2" pieces.
Boil in salted water until just tender. A fork should pierce through with some resistance. Cool immediately in icy water. You want them to stay firm.
Marinate with:
  • 2-4 cloves minced garlic (start with 2)
  • 1 TB dried oregano (yes, that's right)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar + 1/3 cup water, or to cover
Let sit several hours or overnight. Drain off liquid and add good olive oil and some coarse salt, to your liking, when ready to serve.

Cadiz Pepper Salad (6-8)
from Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain

  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 green peppers
Roast at 375 on an ungreased, foil lined pan, 17 minutes. Flip and roast 17-20 minutes more. Skin, seed, and chop into strips or dice. I did strips, but would probably dice next time.
Put in a bowl.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 TB good olive oil
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Combine. Chill at least 1 hour and adjust seasonings. Can be eaten on its own or on toasts, maybe with a nice creamy white cheese. Or on pizza! Or subs!

Salmorejo- Chilled Tomato Soup (serves 4-6)
  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled (cut an X at the base and dunk in boiling water until you see the skins peeling a little) OR 2 lbs whole peeled canned tomatoes, with juice
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (2 if the cloves are small and the garlic is young, 1 if it is very strong garlic)
Puree in a blender. Add to blender:
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed out
Blend 3 minutes. Open blender and add:
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TB cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
Chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, taste for salt and vinegar, adding more of either if it tastes bland or flat. Serve with croutons, chopped ham and/or chopped hard boil eggs.

Spanish tortilla (serves 6 or so)
As remembered from a cooking class in Spain by my sister, Katie.
  • 500g potatoes and maybe 1/2 a yellow onion, if you'd like
  • 6 eggs (7 if you have the onion in there)
  • 200 mL. olive oil
  • salt

In a deep skillet, let the oil heat up. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into small squares. Finely quarter and slice the onion, if using.
Put potatoes and onions in skillet for 20 minutes at medium heat, or until quite tender. You don't really want the to brown, just soften.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat eggs with some salt and set aside.
Drain potatoes of excess oil and add the bowl with the eggs. 
Put a nonstick skillet over high heat with a little olive oil. I used a large skillet, but would recommend a small skillet (8-9") with rounded sides. You'll probably need to make it in 2 batches, but it will be easier to flip and the tortilla will be taller. Otherwise, a 10"-12" skillet is okay, too.
When oil is hot, add potato/egg mixture and keep pan moving in a circular motion after the eggs have set a minute. Use a plate to slide off the tortilla, then put the pan to the plate and carefully flip it over to cook the other side. Needless to say, the eggs should be decently set when you attempt this. Let a cook a bit more, though not too long, before sliding onto a serving platter. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. I recommend it with garlic aioli. 

Quick Garlic aioli
Whisk 1 cup good mayonnaise, 2-3 minced garlic cloves, and lemon juice to taste.

Anchovy Toast (6-8 servings)
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 2 TB minced parsley 
  • 2 TB minced red onion or shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • pepper
  • 1/4" oil or butter in a skillet, for frying
  • 12-16  1/4" slices crusty bread
  • 3   2-oz tins anchovy fillets in oil

Combine olive oil through pepper in a bowl and set aside. Can be made ahead.
Fry bread on both sides in hot oil, until well browned all over. Set on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Can be made ahead.
Just before serving, put 1 tsp oil on each toast and top with 2 anchovy fillets, pulling out any large bones. 

Toasts with cream cheese, jam, and jalapenos (serves as many as you want)
(Recipe concocted by my sister, Katie and Allison. Not Spanish, but tasty enough anyway.)

  • Toasts fried in oil and/or butter, as in previous recipe
  • Softened cream cheese
  • Peach jam
  • Chopped jalapenos, with or without ribs and seeds, depending how you like your spice

Spread each toast with some cream cheese, a  dollop of jam, and some diced jalapenos. May add a sprinkling of pepper.

Fabulous Sangria
America's Test Kitchen

  • 750ml bottle inexpensive red wine (Merlot works well)
  • 2 large, juicy oranges (one sliced, one juiced)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • 1/4 cup sugar
In a large pitcher, gently muddle the sliced orange, sliced lemon, and sugar together until some juice has been released and the sugar has begun to dissolve. 

Stir in the freshly squeezed orange juice, the triple sec and the wine- making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. 

Chill 2-8 hours. Stir once again before serving over ice. 

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