Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tapas Flamenco and Cookbooks

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...What do these pictures have in common? They capture a moment in time that I want to share with you. On the way to meet a cook who had graciously agreed to walk us through the basics of Spanish home cooking, the Silver Fox and I came across a band of gypsy troubadours performing the flamenco for onlookers in the town square. These squares are usually ringed with tapas bars and today's recipe is for a tapa that was being served at the time we stopped to watch and listen to the flamenco performance. The recipe and a recommendation for the books came later that day. I ordered the books you see as soon a we got home, and following their delivery this morning, I spent the better part of the day paging through them. Wow! Jose Pizarro is a chef and a restaurateur, and if you are at all interested in Spanish cooking, do try to get these books. I was able to purchase mine on Amazon at bargain basement prices, and I've already put together a list of recipes that I want to try. They are easy to follow, made with readily available ingredients and the photography perfectly captures the vibrancy of Spanish cooking. You can almost taste these dishes as you turn the pages. It is hard to duplicate Anthony Bourdain's Spanish experience in tourist hotels and restaurants, but books like these make it possible to create that experience in your own kitchen should you want to try.  I hope you'll stay tuned. Tonight's recipes, which come from a home cook, are for two frequently served tapas. Either of them makes a delightful mouthful, if, and it is a big if, you assemble them just before serving. They get soggy quickly, so do be forewarned. I personally love the pepper and anchovy combination, while the Silver Fox, who loves Manchego cheese, prefers the tomato version. I do hope you'll give them a try. If you enjoy bruschetta, I know you'll like these Spanish tostadas. Here is how they are made.

Tostadas - Tomato and Pepper Toasts...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1 large loaf Italian bread
1/2 cup shaved manchego cheese
2 (2-oz.) tins anchovy fillets, drained
1/3 cup olive oil
Tomato Topping
5 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Pepper Topping
2 large roasted red peppers, skinned, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


1) Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices. Toast half of slices on both sides.
2) For tomato topping: Combine tomato, olive oil, garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Spread toasted bread slices with tomato mixture, then top with cheese.
3) For pepper topping: Combine peppers, oil and vinegar in a bowl. Cover un-toasted bread slices with pepper mixture, then top with an anchovy fillet.
4) Serve immediately. Yield: 40 tostadas

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Alicia Foodycat said...

How lovely! Jose Pizarro's Deep-fried chicken wings al ajillo is a recipe I keep going back to - the sauce is lovely on grilled or baked chicken too!

Susan Lindquist said...

I've enjoyed your latest tapas posts, Mary! Spanish food is wonderful isn't it? I do love the small plates approach to dining, sipping, and socializing!

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