Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tapas @ Home

Some days, it's just hard to figure out what you want to cook at home. Picking up fish at the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market on Friday afternoon, the thought of tapas at home crossed my mind.
- Young Manchego and whole wheat bread from Amy's
- Pan Fried Whole Blue Shrimp
- Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
- Patatas Bravas

1st Course - Young Manchego
Young Manchego which was just the right cheese to start with since it is milder, fresh, and softer than more aged versions.

2nd Course - Pan Fried Whole Blue Shrimp
Coated in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, then pan fried in a non-stick saute pan until pink and perfectly cooked.

3rd Course -
Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
Small Cremini mushrooms, chopped into quarters, sauteed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and finished with dry vermouth and chopped flat leaf parsley.

4th Course - Patatas Bravas ("Fierce Potatoes")
At La Nacional, their menu has the translation of patatas bravas as "fierce potatoes" and it always makes me smile, so I included it here too. As always, I was hoping to make an authentic version of the spicy sauce which really makes the patatas bravas, but based on what I had bought from Chelsea Market and what I had at home, here's what I cobbled together.

For the spicy sauce:
In a saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, and add 1 crushed garlic clove to the oil. As the garlic starts to turn golden, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir everything together. Cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat. I separated the oil and the tomato paste mixture. The oil turned out to be a fantastic tomato, garlic dipping oil for some bread.

To the tomato, garlic paste mixture, stir in 3/4 tablespoon paprika, 3 dashes of Tabasco, 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne, 1/8 teaspoon thyme. In a separate bowl, blend together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of Ketchup (this is the ingredient that flagged this recipe as in-authentic, but what do I know). Blend the tomato spice mixture into the mayonnaise Ketchup mixture. Check for smokiness (paprika) and spiciness (Tabasco, cayenne).

For the potatoes:
In a medium saucepan, parboil two large Idaho potatoes with their skin on. When the potatoes have cooled, skin them, and chop into 3/4 inch cubes. In a saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and cook them in batches in the saute pan. Cook until golden brown, drain on paper towel, check for seasoning, and to serve, sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley.

I used the spicy sauce as a dipping sauce rather than covering the potatoes with it - personal preference.
Wine Pairing
Lopez de Heredia 1998
Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva. This is truly one of my favorite wine producers and this rosado is both unique and delicious. This is their latest release of rosado! Made from 30% Tempranillo, 60% Garnacho, and 10% Viura. This is an ideal food wine. It has a lovely salmon pink color, sherry tones, minerals, a brininess, smoky, orange peel.

The second wine of the evening was another one of my favorites: Do Fereiro 2007 Rias Baixas Rebisaca. This is just a sublime white wine and perfect with grilled or pan fried sardines. It's really briny with essence of limes and an underlying minerality.

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