Tapas cooking class follow-up
Pulpo a la Gallega
Artichoke Flower Salad
My clients were looking for the recipe of artichoke flower they loved when visiting Madrid. I tried different cooking methods with locally available artichokes and couldn’t come close to the soft texture they described. Using low-acidity marinated artichoke hearts became the best solution for now. We sprayed them with olive oil and broiled for a few minutes to caramelize the tops. Look for Fancy Whole Artichoke Hearts by Native Forest, product of Peru at Central Market and Whole Foods.
Gilda | Anchovy, Olive, and Pepper Skewers
The idea is to combine these three ingredients the way they all work together without overpowering each other and the wine they are served with. We tasted many different olives and used two milder varieties: Castelvetrano (darker green, pitted) and Picholine (lighter, stuffed with sweet peppers). These olives are available at Central Market.
We found commonly used for this tapa Fefferoni peppers overwhelmingly hot and added only tiny strips of them for piquant notes. Roasted Piquillo peppers took their place.
Butterflied white marinated anchovies, Boquerones by Martel are available at Central Market. Ask for them in deli meats and seafood section, they are sold in bulk and you can get the exact amount you need to serve.
pa amb tomàquet | Pan Con Tomate | Grilled Bread with TomatoThis Catalonian dish is often referred as the simplest tapa to recreate. The truth is the opposite: you need the right kind of these down-to-earth ingredients to make it truly exciting. Connoisseurs of Pa amb tomàquet tapa only make them with a special variety of tomatoes — Tomates de Colgar, sweet and meaty. Grilled slice of white crusty bread is used a grating tool. First, add garlic flavor, and then grate halved tomato. Soaked with thick tomato pure slice of bread is then seasoned and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. It is simple when you have ripe and delicious tomatoes handy. We learned how to manipulate tomato flavor with what we have available — fresh organic heirloom and canned Manzano varieties. One of the ingredients we used for seasoning was sun-dried tomato powder available at Savory Spice Shop.
Angulas | Baby Eel
Baby eels are part of traditional Basque cuisine. There are canned angulas available at Specs (headquarters, Brodie Lane). All my guests were adventurous and open minded to appreciate this tapa with very delicate flavor and amusing firm texture. Pairs well with rounded and balanced Tempranillo.
Queso con Membrillo | Cheese and Quince Paste
Spanish cheese I served is available at Central Market, Whole Foods, and partially at Specs (headquarters, Brodie Lane). Curled Petit Basque was part of the artichoke flower salad. At the end of the dinner, we paid respect to other three great kinds of cheese, traditionally paired with a quince paste called membrillo: 2 month aged Tronchon, 4 month aged (by Don Juan) Manchego, and 3 month aged Majorero.