July & August
Spanish tapas (small bites) are the perfect accompaniment to summer wines. Commonly served in bars in Spain, almost anything small can be a tapas, from bowls of olives to smoked fish. Here are two recipes that could be served with Sandhill Crane’s Sangria (recipe on home page), or Serenade, or Overture, or a dry red like Moulin Rouge…there are so many!
Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound raw shrimp (25 count),
peeled & deveined if desired
juice of 1 lemon, about 2 1/2 Tbl.
2-3 oz. cognac or dry sherry
1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
In a large, heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauteing for about 1 minute. Don’t let the garlic burn! Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac, and paprika, stirring briskly until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp with sauce and oil into a bowl and serve with bread.
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Potato Omelet)
This is the most common tapas in Spain, served both hot and cold. It’s a bit of a process but authentic and fabulous.
1 cup olive oil
2 pounds (@ 4 med) starchy potatoes, like russets,
peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, red or white, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt & pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large, cast iron skillet over moderate heat. Place the potato slices one at a time (so they don’t stick together) on the bottom of the skillet. Add a layer of onions and garlic, continuing to layer potatoes and onions alternately, salting each potato layer well. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook for about 10-12 minutes, lifting and turning the potatoes occassionally until tender but not browned. When mixture is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate with paper towels to drain. There should still be separate slices of potato. Pour oil out of skillet into a cup; with a paper towel carefully wipe the pan clean.
In a large bowl beat the eggs until light and a little foamy. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Carefully add the potatoes and onions, gently pressing them down so they’re completely covered by the eggs. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Add 3 Tbsp reserved oil back to skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add egg & potato mixture, spreading evenly in pan. Reduce heat to low and shake pan often, running a knife around the sides and bottom to keep from sticking. After 8-10 minutes (top is no longer liquid and bottom is browning) carefully invert the omelet onto a plate and add a bit more reserved oil to the pan. Turn fire up briefly to heat the oil, and slide omelet (cooked side up) back into pan. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 5 more minutes or until bottom is browned. Remove from heat and transfer to a large plate. Let come to room temp and serve.