Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tapas for two: a taste of Spain at home

I'm a Food Network junkie. I admit it. I love those shows - some of them at least. My new favorite is Chef Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I first became familiar with Burrell in her role a sous chef to Mario Batali on Iron Chef America. On Secrets, she makes a wide range of restaurant dishes at home. Her energy is great and the flavors are phenomenal - and things anyone can try at home. I caught an episode on tapas a few weeks ago and as I watched, I knew I had to make this meal.

My husband and I went to Spain last year and more recently to Mario Batali's Casa Mono (twice). So we have tapas-fever. As I watched Chef Burrell make Eggs Flamenco, Catalan Toasts and Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, I was whisked away to Barcelona. The ingredients and recipes are easy and the flavors big and bold. I've put the recipe for the eggs below as well as the method for the bread, and you can find the recipe for the shrimp on the FN website. (note, I added some smoked hot paprika to mine for added flavor and color).

Last Saturday, I decided to turn our home into Spain. As Jeff worked in the yard, I turned the kitchen into tapas-central. To make this meal, start the sauce for the eggs first. As it simmers, prep the shrimp and set the table. Then, while the eggs are in the oven, grill the bread and cook the shrimp. Perfect-o!

And who heard of Tapas without Spanish wine??? We had some 2006 Quiteria Loma Gorda - this is a Spanish Granache Syrah that we got a the Wine Library and I've bought it repeatedly. (At $11.98 a bottle, why not??) Or try your favorite Rioja or a glass of cool sangria!

Eggs Flamenco
Recipes from Chef Anne Burrell, on Foodnetwork.com

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) diced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice or passed through a food mill
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated aged manchego
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Special Equipment: 4 (6-inch wide) flat ovenproof dishes such as terra cotta cazuelas

Coat a saucepan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium heat. Season the onions with salt and sweat for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are soft and very aromatic. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the chorizo and pimenton and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Oil the cazuelas. Fill each dish about halfway with the tomato sauce. Break 2 eggs into each dish and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place the cazuelas into the preheated oven and bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes.
When the eggs are done, sprinkle with chives and serve.

Catalan Toasts

  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 6 thick, bias cut, slices baguette
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 slices serrano ham (you can sub prosciutto if you can't get Serrano).

Preheat the grill to medium.
Cut the tomato in half and grate it on the coarse side of a box grater. Reserve the tomato pulp.
Grill the bread slices on both sides until they are slightly charred. When the bread comes off the grill rub each slice with a garlic clove and drizzle generously with olive oil. Top each toast with tomato pulp and a tiny sprinkle of salt. Cover tomato with a slice of ham and serve.


Koekkener said...

This kitchen is my appetizer. Its really waking up my hungry stomach. Thank you for sharing...

Melpy said...

Oh the cuisine of Spain! I didn't appreciate it enough while I was there. (I don't feel I got much of a chance to do so with my host family) I'll just have to recreate everything here at home.

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