Tapas

Tapas party! All muy yummy. The José Andres recipes are shockingly easy and very quick. Excited to try more.

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Some tried and true…

Manchego-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon (Epicurious)

Espinacas con Garbanzos [Spinach and Chickpeas] (Smitten Kitchen)

Potato Tortilla (Tortilla de Patatas) (Smitten Kitchen)

…and some new.

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Sautéed green beans with garlic and Spanish ham (José Andres)

Spanish cured ham, such as jamón serrano and the prized, luxurious jamón ibérico, impart a wonderful flavor to all kinds of vegetables. This dish works well with snap peas, broccoli and leafy greens.

Yield: Serves 4

6 ounces fresh green beans
2 ounces Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 thin slices jamon serrano (Spanish cured ham)

Cut the green beans in half, slicing them on a diagonal.
Put the olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan, then heat over medium heat until the garlic begins to turn light golden. Increase the heat to medium and add the green beans. Do not stir the green beans, you want them to sear on one side. Allow the beans to cook until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Season to taste with salt.

Remove the pan from the heat. Shred the pieces of jamon into large slices with your hands. Toss them with the green beans and serve.

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Traditional garlic shrimp (José Andres)

This is the ultimate tapa – there is no other dish with greater simplicity, speed of cooking, or reward for your taste buds. Be sure to include a lot of bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serves 4
4 tablespoons of Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
20 large shrimps (about 1 pound)
1 guindilla chili pepper (or your favorite dried chili pepper)
1 teaspoon brandy
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt to taste

In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-to-high flame. Sauté the garlic cloves until browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp along with the chili pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn over the shrimp and sauté for another 2 minutes. Pour in the brandy and cook for another minute. Sprinkle with the parsley, add salt to taste, and serve.

José’s tips
This tapa depends on great shrimp. You can use previously frozen shrimp, if that’s all that is available. But if you’re able to find fresh shrimp from North Carolina or the Gulf of Mexico, or even the small red Maine shrimp that are available for a short time around January, you’ll make a dish you’ll never forget.

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And one more just for me, devoured with leftovers. (The attractive nuisance doesn’t even know about this one. Until now.) If you don’t make this, you’re crazy.

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Tomato toast with Manchego (José Andres)

This classic Catalan pan con tomate can be topped with Spanish ham, anchovies, and a variety of cheeses, just be sure to use a great Spanish olive oil for drizzling

Yield: Serves 2 – 4

4 slices rustic sourdough bread
2 ripe tomatoes
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
3 ounces Manchego cheese, sliced

Toast the bread. Cut the tomatoes in half and rub the open face of the tomatoes into the bread slices until the flesh is gone. Discard the skins.

Drizzle the tomato toasts liberally with olive oil and season to taste with salt.

Lay slices of the cheese on top of the toasts and drizzle with more olive oil.

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Finally, one last dish from a few nights later (that’s right… the future!). I didn’t have sweet dessert wine, so I used regular ol’ red wine. I imagine it would be better to follow the recipe to the letter, but this was still tasty. Trust José, not me.

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Cauliflower with olives and dates (José Andres)

This is a quick and simple tapa that mixes sweet and savory. But the key ingredient here is the pimentón, Spain’s sweet smoked paprika. This amazing seasoning should always be in your pantry.

Yields: 4 servings

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces (1/2 pound) cauliflower, broken into pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
8 dates, cut into quarters
8 cured black olives
8 green olives
¼ cup sweet dessert white wine, such as Pedro Ximenez
2 teaspoons pimentón

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and thyme and cook until the cauliflower is brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the dates and olives and cook for about 1 more minute, until they are heated through. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, allowing the alcohol to burn off. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with pimentón.

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