Taste of Spain

Tichi's Gazpacho
Tapas A Taste of Spain in America by Jose Andres with Richard Wolffe

Serves 4

For the Gazpacho

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 10 plum tomatoes)
1/2 pound cucumber (about 1 cucumber)
3 ounces green bell pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

For the Garnish

3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice rustic white bread
8 plum tomatoes with the seeds prepared as "fillets"
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch segments
4 pearl onions, quartered and pulled apart into segments
1 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
sea salt to taste
4 chives, cut into long pieces

Cut out and discard the core at the top of the tomatoes and chop the tomatoes roughly into quarters.  Place in a blender.  Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks.  Add them to the blender.  Cut the bell pepper in half, and remove and discard the core and the seeds.  Chop the pepper into large pieces and place them in the blender.  Add the garlic, sherry vinegar, and 1/2 cup water and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid.  The red tomatoes will have turned a wonderful pink color.  Taste for acidity (this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes.)  If it's not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar.  Add the olive oil and salt, re-blend.  Then pour the gazpacho through a strainer (or a food mill) into a pitcher.  Refrigerate to cool for at least 30 minutes.

While the gazpacho is chilling, prepare the croutons by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium-high flame and fry bread until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes.  Break the bread into small pieces to form 16 croutons, and set aside.

When you are ready to serve the gazpacho, place 4 croutons, 2 "fillets" of tomato seeds, 6 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes, and 3 onion segments in each bowl.  Add a few drops of the remaining olive oil to each onion segment, and drizzle a little more olive oil around the bowl.  Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube, and drizzle a little more around the bowl.  Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes, and sprinkles chives over all.  Pour the chilled gazpacho over the garnish at the table.

(For a much more casual presentation, no need to count the garnishments, just put what your heart desires into the bowl and pour gazpacho over!)

Ajo Blanco Malagueno
(Almond, garlic and grapes gazpacho)
Tapas A Taste of Spain in America by Jose Andres with Richard Wolffe

Serves 4

7 ounces blanched almonds
1 garlic clove peeled
3 cups mineral water
3 ounces white bread torn into small pieces
½ cup Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons Spanish Sherry Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
16 seedless grapes, peeled
2 cups water (tap or filtered)

Combine 1 cup of water (tap or filtered), the almonds, and the garlic in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  When boiling, turn off and drain.

Return mixture to pan and add new cup of water to the pot and bring to boil again.  Drain mixture.

Place almond and garlic mixture into blender or food processor.  Add the mineral water, bread, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.  Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Place a colander or strainer over a large bowl and line with cheesecloth.  Pour the soup into the colander/strainer, and let liquid pass through.  When most of the liquid has passed through, gather the cheesecloth around remaining solid mixture and squeeze gently to release any remaining liquid.  Discard the remaining solid mixture.  Pour the soup into a pitcher and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

To serve, garnish with peeled halved grapes. 

Rivera Inspired Red Cabbage Salad
Inspired from Rivera Restaurant, Los Angeles

Serves 8

½ of a medium size red cabbage, with julienned leaves
1 green apple chopped into ¼ inch pieces
¼ pound Cabrales Blue Cheese crumbled
8 ounces crispy lardoons or dices pancetta

For Dressing:
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ tablespoons Spanish Sherry
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine ingredients into a bowl, toss with dressing and serve.  Garnish with flower if desired.

Paella Valenciana - Valencia
(Chicken, rabbit, and bean paella)
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

Serves 8

2/3 cup of olive oil
1 ½ pounds chicken thighs
1 whole rabbit
½ pound green beans, trimmed and a cut in half
1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon pimento dulce (sweet paprika)
9 cups water
12 small land snails, cleaned or canned snails
2 Springs of Rosemary
2 pinches saffron
1 cup canned lima beans, drained
2 cups Paella Rice

Heat the oil in an 18 inch paella pan and brown the chicken and rabbit pieces over high heat, turning to brown the pieces all over.  Add the green beans, tomato, pimento, and water and bring to a boil.  When at boil turn the heat down and season with salt, let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the meats are very tender.  Much of the water will have evaporated.

Take out about 2 cups of the liquid mixture from the paella pan and set aside.  Add the snails, rosemary, saffron and lima beans.  Turn up the heat and add the rice, making sure to spread the rice evenly through the pan.  (Do not stir rice again.)  If needed add some of the reserved liquid to cover the rice.  Cook for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the rice is tender by firm adding a little of the reserved water if the rice looks dry before it is done.  The best part is said to be the crunchy and slightly brown part at the bottom called socarrat.

Fideua or Fideuada – Catalonia and Valencia
(seafood pasta) \
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

Serves 8

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound langoustines cut into ¾ cubes
4 cleaned baby squid, cut into rings
12 jumbo peeled shrimp
12 small scallops
5 garlic cloves crushed to a paste or finely chopped
3 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon pimento dulce (sweet paprika)
Pinch of saffron threads
5 ½ cups of fish or chicken stock as needed

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a 16-18 in paella pan.  Add the langoustines, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium heat approximately 3-4 minutes turning pieces occasionally.  Add squid and cook for approximately 3 minutes.  Add shrimp and scallops and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until shrimp are pink and scallops just seared.  Transfer the seafood to a platter and pour the cooking liquid into a small bowl.  Reserve juice from fish to add to stock for extra flavor.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the paella pan and add garlic.  Cook stirring until you can smell the aroma from the garlic.  Add the tomatoes, pimento, saffron and a little salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until much of the liquid has evaporated and the oil is sizzling through.  (You can do this in advance.)

Fifteen minutes before serving, bring the stock with the liquid from the seafood to a boil.

Add pasta to the sauce in the paella pan and cook, stirring until the pasta is well coated.  Pour in the boiling stock and arrange the seafood on top.  Cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately 2 minutes.

Arnadi de Calabaza – Valencia
(pumpkin dessert)
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

Serves 8 to 10

2 pound slice of orange fleshed pumpkin (or 1 ½ pounds cleaned butternut squash or carnival squash – no seeds or strings)
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups ground almonds
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup blanched whole almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

(This method is slightly altered from book as book does not roast pumpkin in oven to remove the meat from skin)

Heat oven to 425.  Place pumpkin or squash in baking dish with about 1 inch of water.  Cook in preheated oven for approximately 50-55 minutes.  Let cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 375.

When pumpkin/squash has cooled, scoop meat into a dutch oven and mash with a potato masher or use immersion blender until mixture is consistency of mashed potato.  Using medium heat cook the mashed mixture another 15-25 minutes, stirring frequently so mixture does not burn, until nearly all the moisture has evaporated.

Add the ground almonds, eggs, lemon zest, and cinnamon to pumpkin/squash mixture and mix until it is combined.  Shape the pumpkin mixture into a pyramid in a small baking dish if possible.  Cover with blanched almond slivers or pieces.  Bake in a preheated oven 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  Let cool.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve at room temperature.

Crema de Manzana – Asturias
(apple cream)
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

Serves 8

2 pounds golden delicious or other apples
Juice of ½ lemon
1 to 1 ¼ cups sugar
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup heavy or light cream

Peel, core, and quarter the apples, dropping them into a bowl of water with the lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring.

Drain the apples, put them in a saucepan with about ½ cup water, cover, and cook over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are very soft.

Mash the apples.  Stir in 2/3 cup of the sugar and cook uncovered, stirring over medium-high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow most of the liquid to evaporate.

Beat the egg yolks with the cream in a bowl.  Add to the apple puree and cook, stirring vigorously, over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.  Pour into a serving bowl.  Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Before serving, dust the top of the apple cream with sugar and caramelize it with a mini blowtorch.  When it is cool it will form a thin, crisp sheet of caramel.

Manzanita Cocktail - Inspired by Julian Serrano Las Vegas
Serves 1

1 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc Chilled
1 1/2 oz Green Apple Puree

Place in a shaker and stir.  Add ice to shaker to chill while preparing glasses.  Prepare glasses with ice and a fresh thyme sprigs.  Pour mixture over ice and serve.

Green Apple Puree (enough for 8 drinks)

2 large Granny Smith Apples chopped with skin on
2 tablespoons water
4 ounces simple syrup

Place half the chopped apples, half the simple syrup, and water into blender and puree.  Add remaining apples and simple syrup and puree until consistency of a watered down applesauce.

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