It's Tapas-Friday again, and the competition is getting really serious. After P's fish&chips tapas success last week, I will have to keep up here with some damn good ideas... So having done my homework and researched the most popular Spanish tapas, I came across probably the most popular and simple idea of food Spain ever had, namely Tortilla de Patatas! Remembering my first Close Encounter of the Third Kind with tortilla during my college time in Barcelona, where my Catalan flatmate desperately tried to teach me how turn the pan in a smart and efficient way, here my attempt to reconstruct the perfect recipe:
Tortilla de Patatas with Smoked Paprika
I parboiled the potatoes, but it's optional. You can also add them straight to the pan, where onion, garlic and a bit of fresh thyme have already been simmering in a good splash of olive oil. Potatoes, cut in thin slices (some prefer them in cubes) should cook there for 10-15 min, seasoned and added 1-2 table spoons of smoked sweet paprika (the amount is totally á gusto, some might find smoked paprika very intense, I personally love it and can't get enough) permanently stirring. Beat 4 eggs á la 'scrambled', I added some milk and freshly ground nutmeg too. Season, and pour into the pan with potatoes. Give it a few minutes and then - the most difficult part - turn the pan into another one (same size), so the tortilla's bottom is on top. I coated the second pan with a bit of olive oil and pre-heated it. Another few minutes and then turn again, if potatoes are cooked and tortilla's sides are nice, brown and crispy, it's ready! Very enjoyable, either hot or cold. I served it with some Pecorino shavings.
Prawn-Tapas with Pickled Peppers
and Serrano Ham
Fresh prawns are a bit of a pain, as it's quite tricky to peel and de-vein them. It's possible to use some ready made frozen stuff, but I always prefer the fresh ones (for my part, P offered his peeling skills to help me out, so always look for somebody available to abuse ;)). I fried the prawns with a nice amount of sliced garlic and red hot chillies in rapeseed oil, they are done pretty quickly. Served on top of rolled Serrano ham and a piece of home pickled pepper on a piece of baguette. There was some home made mayo left from the week, so I topped the canapés with it. Pickling peppers yourself makes a lot of sense, as the good ones are usually very expensive to buy. I slowly roasted them with some good sea salt pepper, fresh thyme, garlic cloves, sprinkled with olive oil. Then skinned the peppers (pain, big time, especially the green ones!) and pickled them over night, adding some more olive oil and some lemon juice (white vinegar possible too).
Black Pudding Canapés with Spinach
and Spicy Chickpea-Puree
Yes, I know. Sounds a bit too much. Or are we saying now, so 'Dubai' ?? Well, it is indeed a kinda self-indulgence that dictates this recipe. As seen in a tapas bar in Dublin, I wanted to recreate this delicious black pudding-spinach-chickpeas dish, by taking it to a canapé level. For the spicy hummus, I roasted some cumin seeds, grounded and added them to a frying pan, where oil, onion, garlic and drained chickpeas were simmering away. After frying all together, adding some (again) smoked paprika and very hot chilli powder, I blitzed it, adding some of the drained chickpea water. Then simply fried slices of black pudding in some oil, as well as the baby spinach with some onion, raisins, salt and pepper, using a different pan. Arranged all together on a piece of baguette, and placed majestically a half of walnut on top of each. Finally I must say, the walnut could be easily replaced with a slice of an apple, the amount of cumin seeds in the hummus could be dramatically reduced and the slice of the black pudding could really go thinner... But all in all, it was a nice piece of exhibitionism!
Vegetables (fruit&veg shop) € 6,00
Prawns (fish monger) €4,00
Serrano Ham (deli shop) €1,60
Black pudding (butcher) €1,00
Can chickpeas (supermarket) €0,90
Baguette (Bakery) €1,90
Crémant de Loire, Cave M. Bonnamy, Brut, 12,5%
Beautiful, full-bodied, buttery sparkly with small bubbles and a great aftertaste. And it was half-prize reduced...!
Eternum Viti, Toro, Bodegas Abanico, 2007, 14,5%
Honestly, one of the best Spanish wines I've ever tasted. Full-bodied, but with an amazing smoothness, full of oak and vanilla. Makes you want MORE!
On the stereo: Joanna Newsom and Amiina