Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spain Inspired Dinner

Often times, after a wonderful food filled trip, I come back missing all the delicacies I've tried. This was just the case after my France and Spain trips. Besides, I tend to pack my suitcase with lots of food based treasures to bring back with me. Obviously, some things can't be taken back with me but I do what I can.
So after Spain with my dear friends, I missed those tapas that we shared and enjoyed together. We definitely ate very well on that trip. In fact, too well since I gained weight even when I walked 6-8 miles a day! Anyway, above are some of the dishes that I recreated in honor of my recent trip.

First up, the huevos rotos (broken eggs). This dish has crispy french fries topped with sunny side up eggs and thinly sliced ham. I chose chorizo for this dish. I double fried my potato to get it extra crispy, fried the eggs leaving them super runny, then topped it off with salty, fatty chorizo sausage. Oh man, what an incredible dish. I really loved this. Both on the trip and at home.
Since vegetables were hard to come by in Spain, I wanted to feature the few that I had tonight. On of my favorite was definitely the simple sauteed spinach and chickpeas. The key is very good olive oil and sea salt. Luckily, I was able to bring back a really wonderful can of olive oil back. It is incredible and possible the best I've ever tasted. Just incredible depth of flavor. And I bought it in a Spanish supermarket for about 3 Euros!
And special treats of the night were from cans. Yes, cans! Some of Spain's more famous bars serve delicious pintxos from cans. Seafood is a favorite there. They certainly know how to preserve food well. So in my luggage, I made sure to tuck away a can of baby eels and razor clams. With the eels, I mixed it with from mayo and served it on a toasted baguette. The razor clams were lightly dressed with lemon, oil, and paprika. I left them whole which was a mistake. I should have sliced then thinly and then dressed it. The baby eels, however, were excellent. Slightly sweet and very tender. They were definitely a delicacy. An expensive one too. One can was about 25 Euros. Don't be fooled by imitators. We went back and forth with Google translate and found that the cheaper brands made eel like shapes with fish. Think fake crab sticks. Yeah, that stuff. Go for the good stuff and spend the money. It's worth it.
You can't have a Spanish spread without from jamon. Here is some jamon iberico de bellota. A funky tasting meat that showcases the acorn diet of these hairy black footed pigs. It can be an acquired taste but I very much enjoyed it. Just the right amount of meat to fat.
But don't forget about the cheese! This is manchengo cheese that we sliced thinly to go with the jamon and sliced bread. Creamy and nutty. This mild cheese is a good compliment to the meat.
And finally, the gambas al ajillo. The sauteed shrimp in a bath of garlic and oil. The ceramic cazuela/bowl is a purchase I made in Spain. Perfect for oven to table serving. Oh and see that green liquid stuff? Yes, that's the Spanish olive oil that I used. Really fragrant stuff there.
Here's to good memories and to making more!

2 comments:

  1. Yum!! I actually brought back a ton of olives, marcona almonds, and olive oil from spain too. No pan con tomate with your spread? I actually often make it for breakfast :)
    Ttrockwood

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    1. I wish I had purchased more marcona almonds. I have bought some but gave them away as a gift.

      I didn't add pan con tomate because tomatoes weren't in season when I made this dinner which was around March/April. Out of season tomatoes here are pretty sad.

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