Tapas Redux: Olives, Oranges, Octopus, Eggs, Chorizo, Avocados, et al.

April 5, 2009

Now that the tapas ramble is behind us, I can devote more space to these Spanish delights. I humbly suggest that you dine al fresco preferably using your fingers and barefoot—it is the most delectable way to sup. Then again, a crowded congenial tapas bar echoing with lively discourse may be the spot. Either way, by all means do not forget tapas’ adored playmates, wine and sherry.

OLIVES WITH ORANGES & GARLIC

3 fresh oranges
6 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
3 T sherry vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 pinches sea salt
2/3 lbs high quality cured olives

Zest one half of each orange into a bowl. Cut the oranges in half crosswise, and juice them. Mix the orange zest, orange, juice, smashed garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, thyme, rosemary, salt and olives in the bowl until evenly coated. Marinate overnight, and preferably for a few days so the flavors marry fully.

EGGS WITH CHORIZO & POTATOES

3 fresh, plump garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Spanish chorizo sausages, cut into 1/2″ cubes
6 large, organic, free range eggs, room temperature

Baguette or rustic artisanal bread, sliced

Heat 3 T of olive oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and thyme sprigs, cook stirring until slightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add a pinch or two of sea salt, to taste. Add the chorizo to the pan and continue to saute until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.

In another sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Carefully slide the eggs, two by two, into the pan and fry until sunny side up. Salt and pepper lightly. Spread the potatoes and chorizo on a plater and top with fried eggs.

Serve with grilled bread.

AVOCADO TOAST (TOSTADA DE AGUACATE)

Baguette or rustic artisanal bread, sliced
Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise)—see Aïoli post, 01.25.09
Serrano ham, thinly sliced
1 fresh ripe avocado, seeded and peeled and sliced
Extra virgin olive oil

Toast bread on both sides, preferably on a charcoal grill. Thinly spread aïoli onto each toast. Add an slice of serrano ham and top with a slice or two of avocado. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the avocado.

OCTOPUS (PULPO GALLEGO)

1 1/2 lbs fresh octopus, cleaned with head removed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 fresh thyme sprigs
10 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Sea salt

4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Spanish paprika (pimentón)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place octopus, onion, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns in large heavy pot of boiling water and cook until soft enough to eat. This usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water, drain and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into rounds about 1/2″ thick.

Rinse potatoes and clean with a vegetable brush. Fill a medium size pot with water, salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until a fork pierces the potatoes easily. Remove from heat and place under cold running water in a colander. Allow to cool, then peel the potatoes. Slice into rounds approximately 1/3″ thick.

Arrange potato slices overlapping on a serving platter. Place octopus on top. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sweet paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Pourboire: even better, after cooking the octopus for about half of the time in water, remove, brush with olive oil and grill on the barbeque over medium heat for several minutes on each side before slicing and arranging with the potatoes.

ROASTED PEPPERS, ONIONS AND SHERRY VINEGAR

4 medium red peppers
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and medium thick sliced
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 C white wine
3 T sherry vinegar
Sea salt
Sprigs of rosemary, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F

Brush the peppers and onions with olive oil, then roast, turning occasionally until browned, about 30 minutes. Remove and allow peppers too cool. Peel, seed and cut peppers into narrow strips. Separate onions into rings.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy sauté pan and cook garlic until brown. Do not burn the garlic. Add the peppers, onions, and white wine to the garlic and oil. Cover the pan, cook on low heat until sauce thickens, about 25-30 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and salt.

Serve hot, room temp or chilled over grilled bread.

POTATO OMELET (TORTILLA DE PATATAS)

1 C extra virgin olive oil
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
2 t sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
8 organic, free range eggs

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy sauté pan. Once the oil is hot enough, add the potatoes and poach over medium heat until they are lightly browned and crisp. Remove the potates from the pan with a slotted spoon, cool to room temperature and season with a couple of pinches of salt. Reserve the oil in the pan.

Heat the reserved cooking oil, add the onions and cook over medium heat until slightly browned but not burned. As with the potatoes, strain, cool to room temperature and reserve the cooked onions and oil.

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add the potatoes and onions, some salt and ground pepper and stir until blended together. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil to an 8″ non stick saute pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the egg mixture. Shake the pan several times to bring the eggs together. Then cook for several minutes unto the edges are cooked but the center is not yet set. Invert onto a plate, then return to the pan, raw side down, cooking for another minute or so. Slide onto platter, slice and serve immediately.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: