Posts tagged ‘Spanish’

June 2, 2015

Revisited: Gazpacho with Pea Shoots and Capers

Gazpacho Redux

With both the legislative session and school winding down, I’m making it a goal this summer to really explore one or two international cuisines. I realized recently that not really having the opportunity to cook for several months has left me in something of a culinary rut. I think a deep dive into the subtleties of a specific palette is just what the chef-doctor ordered.

And since a visit to Spain many years ago was what really piqued my interest in cooking, so it only seemed like a fitting place to return.

Almost four years ago (!) when I had just started this blog, I posted a recipe for one of the most ubiquitous of Spanish dishes – gazpacho. Here is what I wrote at the time:

There are hundreds of ways to spice up a gazpacho recipe – and believe me, I’ll be back here with some of my own takes down the road – but for a quick, refreshing dish on a hot day, you can’t beat the original.

Don’t say I’m not a man of my word.

Technically the addition of bread to this dish would make it salmorejo, the less famous cousin of gazpacho, but it’s largely the same concept. This recipe is a bit heartier – enough to be a light meal by itself – but still delightful for a warm summer day. The fried capers offer little bursts of salt and vinegar that help break up the flavor of the soup. The pea shoots, meanwhile, are a beautiful visual addition that also provide some diversity in texture.

Traditional? Not as much. Delicious? Sí.

Gazpacho with Pea Shoots and Capers

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup crusty bread, preferably a bit stale, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon pimentón or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for plating
  • 10-12 capers
  • 1/2 cup pea shoots

Instructions

  1. Place the cubed bread in a small bowl with the vinegar. Let it stand until all of the liquid has been absorbed so that the bread is slightly soggy.
  2. Roughly chop the red pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and garlic. Don’t worry about getting them too small or the same size.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables to food processor along with the bread, pimentón, cumin and quarter cup of olive oil. Blend to your desired consistency (there are all manner of opinions on how much you should blend your gazpacho. I’m a fan of almost completely smooth, but it’s up to you).
  4. Chill the soup for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Feel free to let it sit overnight, as the flavors only develop over time.
  5. To serve, fry your capers in a small sauce pan with a dash of oil until lightly crisped and beginning to lose their shape, about 2-3 minutes. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the gazpacho and top with a handful of capers and the pea shoots.
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June 12, 2014

Pinchitos Morunos

Pinchitos Morunos

Summertime is nearly (already?) upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for Spanish food!

Spanish food was meant for summer in the Pacific Northwest. It’s born out of a sunny and gorgeous climate, meant to be eaten at a leisurely pace with friends and family, and best accompanied by a tall glass of cool sangria. Good weather, good company, and good wine are all staples in Washington this time of year.

The only thing that could make Spanish more summer-suited would be to introduce some grilling into the equation. That’s exactly what this recipe does? Oh, perfect then.

These Pinchitos Morunos are a hallmark of Andalusian (southern Spain) cuisine. They combine more traditional Spanish ingredients – bright saffron and smoky paprika – with earthy cumin and tangy coriander that are hallmarks of Moorish influences from North Africa. The result is a uniquely flavorful and colorful kebab that is great by itself with some aioli, or serve alongside Patatas Bravas or Paella.

Make these and go enjoy some sunshine!

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May 26, 2012

Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco

I could never be a vegetarian. I certainly wouldn’t want to either. But every once in a while I make something that makes me think I could. A dish that makes me want to want to be a vegetarian.

This is one of those dishes.

The Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco (mushrooms with spicy potatoes and romesco) is a combination of two robust Spanish sauces, Romesco and Brava, along with two filling , mushrooms and potatoes, that create a vibrant, zesty, tangy and hearty dish.

Portabello mushrooms – all mushrooms, to some extent – are a classic vegetarian substitute for meat because of their flavor and texture. The real trick to the illusion though is to not fully cook the portabello. Doing so will prevent the mushrooms from turning rubbery and losing much of their delicious flavor. The fiery brava sauce in this recipe is a simplified version that uses readily available household ingredients (a full, authentic Spanish recipe can be found here). It pairs perfectly with the earthy, complex romesco sauce and quietly refreshing parsley.

These stuffed mushrooms are perfect served alongside crudités or a green salad. They’re a delicious vegetarian entrée that won’t leave you hungry!

Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco

  • 3 portabello mushrooms, cleaned and de-stemmed
  • 2 potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup Romesco sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray covered with aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes. They should still be quite firm to the touch.
  2. Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium-high. Saute the potatoes until golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through all the way.
  3. To create the brava sauce combine the ketchup, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and vinegar. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Switch the oven to a high broil. On the baking sheet, assemble the mushroom stacks by placing a mushroom cap upside down, then a layer of brava sauce, a pile of potatoes, and finally a generous helping of romesco sauce. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  5. To serve, plate and sprinkle with parsley.
July 26, 2011

Gazpacho

If you couldn’t tell, I’m on a bit of a Spanish kick.

First, with the rustic, tangy Romesco Sauce and now with this Spanish culinary classic, Gazpacho.  Although Spanish food doesn’t have quite the reputation of French or Italian, it’s a highly underrated cuisine worthy of far more attention than it receives.

Gazpacho is a vegetable soup that is a served chilled for lunch or as a starter or side during dinner.  It only has a few ingredients (it definitely qualifies as a cheat dish, one which is easy to make can still be impressive), but the flavors work marvelously together.  The vegetable medley creates a strong foundation that is paired with some light spice from the raw onion and finished with smoky paprika and cumin notes.

Chilled, as it is meant to be served, makes it the perfect dish for a warm summer day (sure to return to Seattle soon, right? Right?).  In addition, this lighter version omits the bread, making this a raw-vegan dish – for those of you who care about that sort of thing.

There are hundreds of ways to spice up a Gazpacho recipe – and believe me, I’ll be back here with some of my own takes down the road – but for a quick, refreshing dish on a hot day, you can’t beat the original.

Gazpacho

  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers, cored and seeded
  • 1 cucumber, seeded
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (either white wine or apple cider)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper

 

  1. Chop the tomatoes, red peppers, cucumber and onion into half inch cubes.  Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse on the lowest setting until lightly blended.
  2. Chill for at least one hour before serving.  (The longer you allow it to chill, however, the more the flavors will develop, so leave some leftovers!)
July 21, 2011

Patatas al Romesco

The other day I discovered Romesco sauce.  I’m never going back.

Romesco is a rustic sauce that hails from the Northeast Spanish region of Catalonia.  Originally created to serve with seafood, this versatile sauce has evolved to be served with nearly any dish from vegetables to red meats.

But the best part of this sauce is that there is no golden standard for the recipe.  It varies widely between regions and even from household to household, meaning an there are endless variations to taste and try.  My version forgoes one of the more common ingredients, roasted red peppers, to allow the more delicate flavors of tomato, paprika and almond to shine through in the dish.  The end result is a medium bodied, tangy, surprisingly refreshing sauce

This dish pairs the Romesco with a classic Spanish side that truly lets the sauce shine: fried potatoes.  The crispy, earthy potatoes provide the perfect contrast without distracting from this delightful sauce.  If you like this Romesco – and trust me, you will – don’t stop with potatoes; there’s no limit to the number of uses for this Spanish gem!

Patatas al Romesco

(Note: This recipe calls for blanched almonds.  If you don’t know how to blanch an almond, a how-to can be found here)

  • 1/4 cup almonds, blanched
  • 1 slice stale or toasted bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/3 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika (smoked preferably)
  • 1 small jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 medium russet potato
  • salt and pepper

 

  1. Before starting the Romesco sauce, preheat the oven to 350° and let the potatoes bake for 25 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  2. Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil and heat to medium.  Toast the almonds and stale bread until lightly browned, approximately five minutes.  Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño (if you’re so inclined) and continue to saute until cooked through and translucent.  Empty the contents of the pan into a food processor.
  3. Roast or broil the tomatoes whole until skin begins to crack, approximately eight to ten minutes.  Add the tomatoes to the food processor.
  4. Add the paprika, vinegar and olive oil to the food processor and blend on medium until a sauce-like consistency is reached.  If the mixture is too thick, add additional olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and empty the sauce into a serving container.
  5. Dice the potato into half-inch cubes and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil and fry the potatoes until golden brown, approximately eight to ten minutes.
  6. Serve the potatoes onto a place, drizzle lightly with Romesco sauce and serve.
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