Showing posts with label Spanish Cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spanish Cuisine. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2016

Turkey & Rice Meatballs (Albondigas) – Perfect for Spanish Thanksgiving

Making delicious meatballs with fatty, flavorful beef is no great feat, but creating something as delectable using ground turkey is another story. As the old joke goes, it may be bland, but at least it’s dry. So, you’re going to need a very specialized strategy, and by “specialized strategy,” I mean some cold, leftover rice.

As these simmer in your sauce or soup, the grains of rice absorb moisture, swell up, and create a relatively tender, moist meatball. Above and beyond that, you’ll also want to look for ground turkey thigh meat (available at most of your higher-priced grocery chains).

By the way, like all meatball/meatloaf recipes, you can test your seasoning by cooking a small piece of the mixture before rolling your ball. Even though the meat hasn’t simmered in the sauce yet, at least you can see if it needs more salt. I’ll just fry up a little patty, and adjust if need be, and suggest you do the same.

I didn’t intend this recipe to be a Thanksgiving dinner alternative, but now that I think about it, these could actually work. Maybe you have a small group, or don’t like looking at a giant carcass on the table (hey, some people are weird like that), or your in-laws are Spanish, and you want to show them you can pronounce “albondigas.”  Whatever the occasion, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 20-24 small meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
1 packed cup cooked white long grain rice
3 cloves crushed garlic 
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce (I didn’t measure these ingredients, so these are just guesses)
2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chorizo Steamed Clams – How Do You Say “Ubiquitous” in Spanish?

I have always just called these chorizo steamed clams, "Spanish Clams," since it seems like there’s some variation of this on every Spanish restaurant menu I’ve ever seen.

What better evidence for a dishes’ deliciousness than that? Not to generalize about an entire culture, but the Spanish simply don’t put non-amazing things on every menu.

Sometimes they use beer, or white wine, or sherry; and many varieties of clams can be used; but the common denominator is the spicy, Spanish-style chorizo. Using such a flavorful sausage is sort of like cheating, and one of the main reasons the ingredient list is so short.

Speaking of which, you can really adapt this kind of thing to your tastes. Cilantro instead of parsley, leeks instead of onions, and mussels instead of clams, just to name a few. Just make sure you have plenty of grilled, or toasted bread around to soak up the glorious broth. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 appetizers, or 2 larger entrée size portions:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onions
3 ounces Spanish chorizo, quartered, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white wine
3 pounds Little Neck clams
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons butter
grilled bread to garnish
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Spring Vegetable Tartine with White Anchovies – Food Wishes and Little Fishes

It’s not unusual for me to borrow ideas from the various restaurants I visit, but they’re normally tweaked, altered, or otherwise adapted. This time, however, I just blatantly stole this spring vegetable tartine with white anchovies, as it. Why mess with perfection?

Yes, this spring vegetable tartine, featuring the awesomeness that is the white anchovy, was lifted almost verbatim from SHED, which is my current, “favorite place to eat.” If you’re ever anywhere near Healdsburg, CA (like within 500 miles), you simply must visit this amazing store/café/charcuterie/restaurant hybrid.

Now that I’ve offset some of my guilt for stealing this recipe with such a glowing recommendation, I can move on to this intensely tasty tartine. This would be incredibly delicious with just the aioli and vegetables, but when you add the “boquerones,” this goes from great sandwich, to memorable experience.

Even if you think you hate anchovies, which you really don’t, you may still love these, since they are so completely different. They are very mild in flavor, but still extremely savory. I was going to say they're a little bit like pickled herring, but that probably won’t help. Regardless, I hope you give this spring vegetable tartine a try very soon. Enjoy! 


Ingredients for 4 generous servings:

For the aioli:
1 or 2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of cayenne

The rest:
4 large thick slices day-old French bread, toasted
16 white anchovy fillets (aka boquerones)
* 2 cups thinly peeled, sliced, or shredded fresh vegetables, moistened with a splash of lemon juice, and drizzle of olive oil.
edible flowers, optional

* Carrots, fennel root, radishes, celery root, asparagus, artichoke hearts, peppers, endive, micro greens, and any/all kinds of sprouts would work beautifully here.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eggplant Escabeche – The Second Best Way to Eat Eggplant

The best way to eat eggplant is fried, which I’ll hopefully prove to you one day with a video recipe. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for the second best way, which is this eggplant escabeche. It’s cold, refreshing, vibrantly-flavored, and I’m guessing, very healthy. 

This was inspired by a visit to a restaurant in San Francisco called Lolinda, where Chef Alejandro Morgan serves a simple, but incredibly delicious Argentinian-style eggplant escabeche. I won’t go so far as to say it came out as good, but the noises of pleasure Michele made while eating this were very similar. 

If you didn’t get the #dotsnotslots reference, I explained how to tell a “male” from “female” eggplant in a old video, which involves looking for a dot shaped mark at the end, and not a slot shaped one. This indicates a “male,” which generally has less seeds.

By the way, “male” is in quotations because eggplants don’t actually have different genders, but apparently some are less pregnant than others. I’m certainly no expert when it comes to eggplant sex, but I’ll go with that until I hear otherwise. I really do hope you give this fabulous eggplant recipe a try soon. Enjoy! 

 
Ingredients for about 2 pints:
3/4 cup sliced roasted sweet and/or hot peppers

1 large eggplant, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
1 large zucchini, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
tossed with 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
1 cup white wine vinegar 
2/3 cup water 
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 cloves finely crushed garlic 
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1/4 cup reserved vinegar cooking liquid
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
.
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