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Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres


pedro
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Well, it looks like chorizo has got its fair share of attention in this thread. A few days ago, Rogelio and I met at my place to cook the potatoes Rioja-style from Tapas. Ok, Rogelio was the chef and I just a poor stager.

Anyway, this recipe is very simple and it’s a good example of how certain Spanish preparations achieve impressive results with a handful of common products. You just need olive oil –should I add extra-virgin?--, garlic, onion, potatoes –we couldn’t get Idaho potatoes as specified in the recipe :wink:--, pimentón, salt and, of course, chorizo.

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The bottle of Ostatu Reserva 1999 is not required though it’s advisable to get one if possible.

To make things more interesting we had two types of chorizo -- one smoked, which you can see in the front, and another non-smoked, behind the garlic.

As you have already guessed, the first step it to chop the ingredients. The only trick here is that the potatoes shouldn’t be sliced all the way through. You have to partly cut them, and then break them to allow a larger release of starch:

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Then in low heat, you have to cook in olive oil the garlic until it gets golden and add the onion later until it's brown -- or as chef Abraham García says, they lose all sense of shame (pierdan la vergüenza):

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The goal here is to get caramelized onion. One of the puzzling things of the book is that the time to get the onions to the caramelization point varies from recipe to recipe.

Once you reach that point, you add the chorizo to fry it until it’s browned too, let’s say a couple of minutes:

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Notice the different color of the first two pics and the last two. The former are non-smoked and the latter, which are darker, are smoked chorizo.

Now, we have to add the potatoes ant let them cook around ten minutes or so:

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Now, the final step. Add pimentón, salt and water enough to cover all the ingredients, bring to a boil and let it reduce at least by half:

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We decided to add a couple of bay leaves:

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Serve and eat:

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This is where the bottle of Ostatu --to begin with-- comes in handy.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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What's the oil you used, Pedro?

I use the Goya EVOO widely available here in the US--it's Spanish, easily accessible, affordable, and--oh yeah--delicious. I'm sure there are better oils available in US markets, and I'm curious about your choices in Spain. Olive oil is obviously essential to many of the recipes in the cookbook.

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I love Spanish olive oils, but as long as good oils are used I think one will still get great results with non-Spanish olive oils. They may make the final dish taste slightly different, but can anyone really say that good Italian oils, for example, wouldn't work? I like to have good Spanish oils in my pantry, but I wouldn't not make any of these dishes if I didn't have any.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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We used a blend of 50% arbequina, 40% hojiblanca and 10% picual bottled by Abraham García (Viridiana chef and owner). It's very fruity thanks to the arbequina variety whose trend to quickly oxidized is counter-balanced with the other two, hojiblanca given the backbone to the oil and picual some nice acidity

Albeit, I don't think that oil, as long as it's a good quality, plays a determinant role in this dish. It'd be a completely story were we talking of gazpacho, for instance.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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pedro--thanks for the pictorial---these look like they would make a fabulous sunday breakfast! how long, approximately, would you say it took to simmer the potatoes and chorizo once the liquid was added? thanks! (i may do it tonight, and make extra for tomorrow's breakfast--with a few eggs fresh from the coop, it sounds like heaven!)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Albeit, I don't think that oil, as long as it's a good quality, plays a determinant role in this dish. It'd be a completely story were we talking of gazpacho, for instance.

Somehow, it had not occurred to me that gazpacho would require superior EVOO. Why is that? Not that I use crap olive oil in mine (I don't ever buy crap olive oil), but I think of the vinegar and vegetables as the important components of the gazpacho--not the oil.

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Albeit, I don't think that oil, as long as it's a good quality, plays a determinant role in this dish. It'd be a completely story were we talking of gazpacho, for instance.

Somehow, it had not occurred to me that gazpacho would require superior EVOO. Why is that? Not that I use crap olive oil in mine (I don't ever buy crap olive oil), but I think of the vinegar and vegetables as the important components of the gazpacho--not the oil.

Superior oil makes all the difference with a good gazpacho so long as all the other ingredients are superior as well. While top-flight Spanish oil is as good as any, I have made and eaten great gazpachos made with other oils as well. While the final flavor may be subtly different it remains delicious.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 2 weeks later...
I think that part of the confusion in the US about Spanish chorizo is due to the fact that, as far as I know, only one brand of chorizo is allowed into the country from Spain. That's Palacios brand, which comes in regular and hot versions. There are, however, at least a couple of producers in the US that market Spanish-style sausage of a variety of types, and all I have had have been good, though I assume still different than the real article.

The Palacios brand may be more available in some parts of the US than others. Here in Dallas it is sold in most main stream grocery stores, as well as specialty markets. I always keep a couple of rings hanging in the kitchen.

Cantimpalos is my favorite. I wish it were available in the US!

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I'm not really surprised that therre are so many different styles, although I am surprised that the styles are so widely divergent. In the US at least I think it is fair to say that "Spanish-style chorizo" means a cured chorizo, while "Mexican-style" means a fresh pork sausage. Of course, that is not to say that all "mexican chorizo" is all of the same style or flavoring either.

It's also about the spicing, the flavor.

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For part of a dinner tonight, I made the gambas al ajillo--garlic shrimp. This is such a simple recipe, I think it should be a part of everybody's repertoire. It's fast and doesn't heat up the kitchen, too, which is more than I can say for the other things I cooked tonight. (Heh.) My favorite aspect of this recipe is the use of brandy--until I got this cookbook it never occurred to me to add some brandy to my garlic shrimp. It adds a certain depth of flavor and I prefer it to the acidity of white wine, which I used to add to my garlic shrimp before seeing the light.

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Been wanting to try Fabada for a while now. Finally got hold of the vital granja beans and some good-quality chorizo and morcilla and set to work - ie, stuck it in a pot and did very little else beyond make some bread to mop up the juices.

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It's not the prettiest dish, but by god it was one of the best tasting things I've ever made. Or eaten. The way little more than three types of pork and some beans transform into something so good really seems to sum up what cooking is all about. Even if my eating several bowlfuls didn't exactly sum up the spirit of tapas.

restaurant, private catering, consultancy
feast for the senses / blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

Recently came across the book, from which I made:

Squid with Caramelized Onions (pg 146) - simple, yet soo delicious

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great on a slice of toasted bagget

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Rack of Lamb with Honey Allioli (pg 244) - sprinkled with Fennel Fleur de Sel. Mixing the allioli with honey produces a great sauce with can be used on meats or sandwiches

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Percy, what kind of onions did you use for the squid dish? Did you buy the squid in a special seafood market or a regular supermarket?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Next up on my list was...

Fried Egg with Chorizo and Potatoes (pg 171)

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Yolk ... Yummm....

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I did not use a cup of olive oil to fry the egg as suggested. Instead, I used the left over oil from the garlic, potatoes and chorizo. Turned out great !!

Ah, butif you use that cup of olive oil you get the Spanish texture to the egg! The crisp edges and runny yolk... Joy on a plate!

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It would appear that he did get the crisp whites and runny yolk. That is my favorite way of eating fried eggs. That texture can be had with any number of different cooking fats. I usually use butter, but my favorite is with duck fat. Where the olive oil or other fat choice makes a difference is with flavor rather than texture, IMO.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The egg had a crisp edge and runny yolk. One could argue that a cup of olive oil would have yeilded crispier edges, but this was enjoyable nonetheless.

Doc, my favorite way to make fried eggs is with some duck fat too, but I have been trying to avoid it based on my "other" Dr's advice.

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A trick to get puntillas --crispy edges-- in the fried egg is to separate the yolk from the whites and cook the whites first, until you get the crispness you want, and add the yolk then for just a few seconds.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Seeing this thread again has me excited as I am on the way to the store to buy the ingredients for my dinner tonight - a "non-traditional" steak dinner - all with recipes from the book (except the salad).

Frisee au lardons with chorizo replacing the lardons and sherry vinaigrette (my own creation)

Gazpacho

Route 11 Tortilla

Slow roasted tenderloin with Cabrales

Toasted bread with chocolate, olive oil and sea salt

Pictures tonight.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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A trick to get puntillas --crispy edges-- in the fried egg is to separate the yolk from the whites and cook the whites first, until you get the crispness you want, and add the yolk then for just a few seconds.

The way I do it is to fry the egg on high heat in the fat of one's choice and cover the pan while it is cooking. The bottom white gets fried crisp, while the top white steams. Unless cooked too long the yolk remains nice and runny. By the way, Percy, your egg looks perfect. I'm not sure duck fat is any worse than any other fat healthwise.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Here are the results of my non-traditional steak dinner:

Frisee au lardons with chorizo replacing the lardons and sherry vinaigrette:

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Gazpacho:

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Route 11 Tortilla:

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Slow roasted tenderloin with Cabrales:

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Even barkrus the dog enjoyed a bite of the beef with his kibble:

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Toasted bread with chocolate, olive oil and sea salt:

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Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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Most excellent, Bill. How did you like the chocolate-bread-olive oil dessert? What kind of chocolate did you use?

I love the frisee salad idea.

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