Posts Tagged ‘tapas

16
Nov
08

Tapas: Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil (Gambas al Ajillo)

gambascooking1

Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil (Gambas al Ajillo)

This recipe comes from La Casa del Abuelo, a nearly century-old taberna in Madrid, via Food and Wine.  Gambas al Ajillo is a classic tapas dish, and very quick and easy.  This took me all of 15 minutes to make, including food prep.  I reduced the quantities used in the recipe by about 2/3, but otherwise followed the directions exactly.  I served this with Herb and Antipasti Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette and lots of crusty bread to soak up the garlic oil.

Most wine pairings I checked out for Gambas al Ajillo suggested white or sparkling wine, but oh the horror, I felt like drinking red.  At least it was from the right country.  I opened a Jumilla, 1999 Mature Reserva Monastrell-Tempranillo 1999, from Bodegas San Dionisio in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain (yes, the home of Don Quijote).  And this probably was a quixotic choice to go with shrimp.  The best way to describe this wine was very ripe and plummy.  It really might be a better match for meats, but I enjoyed it anyway.  Just don’t call me Sancho Panza.

jumilla

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16
Nov
08

Antipasti and Herb Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

antipasti-herb-salad

Antipasti and Herb Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

This Food Network recipe for Antipasti Salad was my inspiration for this salad, but I revised it so much it should probably just be a new recipe.  I served this with as part of a tapas meal with Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil (Gambas al Ajillo).  The lemon-infused dressing was a really good contrast to the heavy garlic and olive-oil flavor of the shrimp – definitely a great combo.  The basis of this salad, pre-bagged herb salad, contains enough flavor with the inclusion of herbs such as dill, cilantro and parsley along with the lettuce that I kept the dressing very simple with just olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.

Antipasti and Herb Salad (2 servings)

½ 4 oz. bag of “Fresh Herb Salad” such as Earthbound Farms Organic

4 large artichoke hearts, drained well and chopped

1 small yellow heirloom tomato, chopped

½ orange pepper, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 oz. shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook chopped orange peppers over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, until they begin to brown and soften.  Add shallots and balsamic vinegar to the skillet.  Reduce heat and cook until shallots are softened and balsamic vinegar is reduced, approximately 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Toss herb mix salad with artichoke hearts, orange pepper mixture and lemon-garlic vinaigrette.  Top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together ingredients and adjust oil-to-lemon-juice ration to taste.

26
Sep
08

Chicken Flautas

Another Las Cruces, NM favorite, named after their flute-like shape —  “flauta” means flute in Spanish.  This is a pretty cheesy intro, but I’m trying to add some local flavor for all you non-New Mexicans out there. This is a great way to use chicken you already have cooked.  These make a good appetizer or finger food for parties, too.

1 large cooked chicken breast, chopped
8 corn tortillas
¼ cup chopped onions
1 cup vegetable oil
Shredded Mexican cheese
16 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400. Sautee onions until soft.  Add chicken breast and cook until warmed through.  Set aside a plate lined with paper towels for draining tortillas.  Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large pan until it bubbles when a tortilla is added.  Dip each tortilla in the hot oil until softened, about two seconds.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Remove oil from heat.

To make flautas, place tortillas flat and fill with about 2 tablespoons of chicken. Some people like to add cheese within the flautas, but I like to sprinkle it on top like they do at La Posta in Mesilla, NM, one of my family’s favorite restaurants.  After filling flautas, roll tightly and secure with two toothpicks each.

Reheat oil on medium-high. Set aside a plate lined with paper towels for draining.  Fry flautas for 1-2 minutes on each side, until crispy.  They should be done enough to hold their shape when the toothpicks are removed.  Remove from oil and drain.

When all flautas are done, remove toothpicks.  Place flautas in an oven-safe dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and place in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes.

Serve with salsa and garnish with sour cream and cilantro. These would be good served with Hot Mexican Rice.

I like to be efficient with ingredients I have on hand and left-overs.  Tonight I had a few items I wanted to use besides the chicken breast, including white rice, Tomatillo Salsa, and queso fresco.  I decided to serve the flautas with a couple other dishes as a buffet of Mexican (instead of Spanish) tapas, or small plates.  I made a chopped salad with lettuce, red peppers, apples, red onions and queso fresco, very similar to Chopped Salad with Zesty Lime-Dijon Dressing.  The other dish was white rice topped with tomatillo salsa (also known as salsa verde) and queso fresco.  To go put out some tortilla chips with Sadie’s salsa and tomatillo salsa.




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