Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spanish Entrees

And on we go to the Entrees...there were, two, mainly.

Paella Valenciana (Valencia)
This is a link to The Splendid Table by Lynne Rosetto Casper. It’s a most authentic recipe. For our purposes today, I am sticking to a seafood/chorizo/chicken paella based on a paella valenciana because there’s always SO MUCH FOOD! If we were making nothing else, I’d do this one hands down:

Tortilla Española (all over Spain- a national dish)
Tortilla Española is essentially the national dish of Spain. You can eat it as a tapa, for breakfast, in a bocadillo (sandwich), or for dinner with salad and a bit of jamón. Basically anytime, anywhere. We had a great one at Valdubón and I think it’s because they weren’t afraid to use A LOT of olive oil. No fear!

Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa or appetizer
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/4 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 extra-large eggs
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high until very hot but not smoking. Add the potatoes and onion, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat if necessary so that the vegetables do not brown, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
Beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Combine the potatoes with the eggs in the bowl; add to the skillet, spreading the potatoes evenly in the pan, and cook for about 1 minute, just to set the bottom of the egg mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, or until quite set. Carefully flip the tortilla over (invert it onto a plate if you must, then slide it back into the pan, bottom side up) and cook for 5 minutes longer, until set. Flip out onto a clean plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

La tortilla esta tambien servido con Crema de ajo (Cataluna)
This sauce originated in Cataluna and has spread all over Spain. The name comes from the Catalan words for the two main ingredients all (garlic) and oli (oil). It is quick, easy and very flavorful, so it is easy to understand why it is so popular in Spain. Serve it with meats, fish, or vegetables - or just spread it on bread. The Spanish also use it as an ingredient in main course recipes. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups and uses 2 egg yolks.
Crema de ajo
Ingredients (yield 1.5 cups):
• 4 medium to large garlic cloves
• salt to taste
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
Preparation: Peel and mince the garlic. Using the flat side of a large knife, crush the garlic. Place in a small mortar and pestle and add ½ tsp salt and smash into a paste.An alternative to save time is to use a good garlic press that peels and mashes the garlic in one step. Either way, you can use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic into a paste.

A close up of the Paella, just so you can appreciate it's beauty:

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