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Croquetas de Jamón Serrano– Ham Croquettes

Croquetas de Jamón Serrano– Ham Croquettes

Croquetas de Jamón Serrano– Ham Croquettes

2 eggs, beaten with a little water

4 T. flour

A pinch of Spanish paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 cup of milk

1/2 lb. of jamón serrano, diced (Spanish Ham)

1/2 onion, minced

2 cups of bread crumbs

Olive oil for frying


Heat the oil in a pan and sauté minced onions until transparent. Stir in the flour and cook it briefly, then whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Stir in the jamón and spread the mixture into a dish. Refrigerate until solid.  Place the beaten eggs in one dish, the bread crumbs in another. With moistened hands, form the chilled mixture into balls or cylinders. Dip each croqueta first in bread crumbs, then in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs again, taking care that they are well covered. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.  Heat olive oil in deep fryer and fry the coquetas a few at a time, until golden, about 3 minutes.


From Easy Tapas

Pinchitos Morunos – Spicy Moorish Kabobs

Pinchitos Morunos – Spicy Moorish Kabobs

Pinchitos Morunos – Spicy Moorish Kabobs


2 qt. Cold Water

¼ C. Salt

1/8 C. Sugar

1 lb. Pork Tenderloin


2 cloves Garlic, crushed

1 dried Red Chile, crushed

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. ground Fennel

1 tsp. Spanish Paprika (pimenton dulce)

Juice from 1 Lemon

2 T. chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

1 T. Dry Sherry



To make the brine, whisk salt and sugar in cold water until completely dissolved. Place tenderloin in brine and place in refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours.  Meanwhile, mix all remaining ingredients in a large Ziploc bag, set aside while brining to allow flavors to mingle.  After brining, remove pork and cut into ¾” cubes.  Add pork to Ziploc bag with marinade.  Flip bag a few times, massage pork around to coat each piece in the marinade.   Place in refrigerator and allow to sit at least 1-2 hours to overnight.  When ready to cook, preheat broiler until very hot.  Thread pork on skewers and broil 10 minutes, turning often to prevent overcooking any one side.  Remove to serving dish and cool 10 minutes before serving.


From Easy Tapas

Gambas a la Gabardina – Shrimp in Overcoats

Gambas a la Gabardina – Shrimp in Overcoats

Gambas a la Gabardina – Shrimp in Overcoats


10oz. Raw Shrimp, shell on

¾ C. Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

Pinch salt

Pinch Spanish Paprika (Pimenton Dulce)

1 C. Beer

Oil for Frying

Lemon Wedges to serve


Electric Deep Fryer


Peel and clean shrimp, leaving tail fins intact.  Sift flour, baking powder, salt and paprika into a bowl, mix well, and then add the beer.  Let rest a few minutes.  Heat oil in fryer to 380 degrees.  Dip shrimp in batter, and then cook in oil until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with lemon wedges.


From Easy Tapas

Pimientos Picantes – Marinated Bell Peppers

Pimientos Picantes – Marinated Bell Peppers

Pimientos Picantes – Marinated Bell Peppers


3 small Red Bell Peppers

3 T. Olive Oil

¼ C. Sherry Vinegar

Sprig Thyme

Sprig Rosemary

2 cloves Garlic, slivced

½ tsp. Cayenne

1 T. drained Capers

1 T. chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

Salt and Pepper

Bread for Serving


Broil peppers until skins are blistered and black.  Transfer to plastic bag, seal, and let steam.  When cool, peel off skins and remove seeds and membrane.  Set seive over a bowl to catch juices, add peppers to seive.  Slice peppers into ½ inch strips, one a time, returning to seive after you slice each one.  Heat heavy skillet and add oil, sherry, thyme, rosemary, garlic, cayenne and the collected pepper juice.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes.  Add remaining peppers, capers, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring, for another minute.  Remove from heat and cool.  Cover and chill overnight.  To serve, return to room temperature and serve with thinly sliced bread for scooping.


From Easy Tapas

Delicias De Queso – Cheese Balls

Delicias De Queso – Cheese Balls

Delicias De Queso – Cheese Balls


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon oak-smoked sweet Spanish paprika (pimenton duice)

1 egg

1 garlic clove — crushed

6 oz. Manchego cheese — finely grated

6 oz. goat cheese

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped jamon serrano (Spanish ham)

Sea Salt & Freshly ground white Pepper

Oil — for frying

An Electric Deep-fryer


Put the flour and milk in a bowl. and stir until smooth. Add the paprika, salt, pepper, and the whole egg. Add the garlic and both cheeses and mix well. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk till stiff. Fold one-third into the flour mixture and mix well, then fold in the remaining egg whites making sure not to Lose all the air. Sprinkle with the thyme and jamon. Fill a deep-fryer with oil to the manufacturer’s recommended level and heat the oil to 380°F. Using a teaspoon, run the spoon through the mixture collecting an even amount of thyme and jamon and drop a heaped spoonful into the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with toothpicks.

Hyssop Baked Peppers

Hyssop Baked Peppers

Hyssop Baked Peppers


4 red bell peppers

3 cloves garlic


2 sprigs hyssop leaves, removed from the stems and finely chopped

Olive Oil

16 ripe cherry tomatoes

8 anchovy fillets



Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) Halve the peppers lengthways, remove and discard the white core and seeds, then lay the peppers, cut side up, in a greased baking dish. They should fit snugly. Peel the garlic, slice it finely and put a few slices in each halved pepper, together with a little salt, a pinch of hyssop leaves and 1 T. (15 ml) oil. (If you are using anchovies in olive oil, use this oil, as it adds extra flavor.) Halve the tomatoes — there’s no need to peel these small tomatoes — and tuck them into the peppers. Bake in the oven until the peppers have almost collapsed and are full of juice. Either drain the anchovies, if in oil, on paper towels, or if in brine, rinse and dry them. Roughly chop the anchovy fillets and stir 1 tsp. (5 ml) into each of the peppers. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, then serve.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves

No Greek meze table is complete without dolmades, the family of stuffed vine or cabbage leaves and vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini. These popular rice-filled grape leaves, known as dolmades, are usually served at room temperature with lemon wedges or yogurt. One 8-ounce jar of grape leaves should provide enough for filling and lining the pan.


1 C. long-grain white rice, preferably basmati rice

1/4 C. currants

1/4 C. pine nuts, optional

3/4 C. olive oil

2 C. finely chopped yellow onions

1 tsp. salt, plus salt to taste

1 C. finely chopped green onions

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 C. peeled, seeded, chopped and drained tomatoes (fresh or canned), optional

1/2 C. chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

1/4 C. chopped fresh mint or dill

3/4 C. hot water

Freshly ground pepper

36 grape leaves preserved in brine, plus grape leaves for lining pan, optional

2 C. boiling water

Fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving


Place the rice in a bowl, add cold water to cover and let stand for 30 minutes. At the same time, place the currants in a small bowl, add hot water to cover and let stand for 30 minutes until plumped. Drain the rice and currants and set aside. Meanwhile, if using the pine nuts, preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a small pan and place in the oven until toasted and fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1/2 C. of the olive oil. Add the yellow onion and the 1 tsp. salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes longer. Add the allspice, cinnamon and drained rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is opaque, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes (if using), parsley, mint or dill, currants and hot water and cook, uncovered, until the water is absorbed and the rice is about half cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool. Rinse the grape leaves in cool water and cut off the stems. Working in batches, lay them out on a table, shiny side down. Place a T.ful of the rice filling near the stem end of each leaf, fold the bottom end over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up. Do not roll too tightly, as the rice will expand during cooking. Set aside, seam side down. When all of the filling has been used, select a baking pan or large, deep frying pan that will hold the stuffed grape leaves in a single layer and line with more grape leaves, if using. Arrange the stuffed grape leaves in the pan, seam sides down. Place a heavy plate on top to keep the leaves from unrolling while cooking, then pour the boiling water and the remaining 1/4 C. olive oil around the leaves. Cover and simmer gently over very low heat until the rice and leaves are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the plate. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice, let cool, then serve with lemon wedges. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.








Roasted Sweet Onions with Cabrales Blue Cheese

Roasted Sweet Onions with Cabrales Blue Cheese

4 large Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices

1/4 C. olive oil

4 oz. Cabrales or other strong blue cheese, crumbled

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

2 T. Sherry wine vinegar

1/2 C. sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1/3 C. chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange onions in single layer on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle 1/4 C. olive oil over; turn onions to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Roast until soft and brown on edges, turning every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cool. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.) Sprinkle cheese over onions. Drizzle 1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil, then vinegar over cheese and onions. Sprinkle with almonds, then chives and serve.








Colifloren Adobo – Marinated, Pickled Cauliflower

Colifloren Adobo – Marinated, Pickled Cauliflower

1 pinch saffron threads

8 oz. cauliflower

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon oak-smoked sweet Spanish paprika (pimenton duke)

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 pinch sugar

1 sprig rosemary

2 slices lemon

Sea Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1 handful freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley — to serve


Put the saffron threads in a bowl with 2 tablespoons hot water. Break the cauliflower into florets and slice thinly through the head and stem. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds, strain, and transfer to a bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the whole garlic cloves, paprika, vinegar, sugar, rosemary, lemon, salt, and pepper. Let boil for 3 minutes. Add the saffron and its soaking water, then pour the mixture over the cauliflower and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 days.   Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped parsley.



From Easy Tapas






Talas Boregi (Puff Pastry Meat Pies)

Talas Boregi (Puff Pastry Meat Pies)

1 onion, chopped

2 T. olive oil

1 lb. ground lamb

Salt & pepper

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground allspice

3 T. pine nuts

2 T. currants or small black raisins

3-4 T. chopped parsley

1 c. frozen peas

14 oz. frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions

1 egg, separated


Fry onion in oil until soft and slightly caramelized.  Add lamb, salt, pepper and spices.  Break up pieces of meat with a fork or spatula.  Cook until meat is done and juices are absorbed.  Stir in pine nuts, currants, parsley and peas.  Let cool. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the thawed puff pastry into 8 pieces.  Roll out each piece a bit on a floured piece of wax paper with a floured rolling pin.  Flip a time or two, dusting each time with flour.  Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling onto one half of each piece of pastry (there will be filling left over, which is good to eat by itself).  Brush the edges of that half of pastry with egg white.  Fold pastry over to cover the filling.  Press edges with the tines of a fork.  Flip over and press the edges of the other side with the fork tines. Place the pastries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Whisk the egg yolk with a drop of water.  Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg yolk/water mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up.


Pinchos Jamon con Datil y Queso – Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese

Pinchos Jamon con Datil y Queso – Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese


16 Dates, seeds removed

16 pieces Goat Cheese, about 1.5 x 3/8 x 3/8 inches

16 strips Bacon, or raw ham like Serrano Ham


Olive Oil, for frying

Unless you live in Alaska, put all ingredients and plates etc. in the fridge to cool down before you start.  Cut a Date open lengthwise, remove the seed if there, and stuff the date with a piece of the Goat Cheese.  Roll a strip of the Streaky Bacon around the stuffed Date, and fix the whole thing tight with a toothpick.  If preparing ahead, place the Date and Bacon pinchos on a cold plate and store them in the fridge until you use them.    Before you fry these Bacon pinchos, take them out of the fridge and allow them to get to room temperature.   In this way the Cheese will melt more easily without having to fry the Bacon too much.   Fry the Bacon pinchos in a fair layer of Olive oil, turning them regularly, until the Cheese starts to melt.  Serve when still warm!!   ¡Buen Provecho!








Pinchos de Puré de Espárragos Blancos – Little Morsels with White Asparagus Puree

Pinchos de Puré de Espárragos Blancos – Little Morsels with White Asparagus Puree

2 T. Olive Oil

1 clove Garlic, crushed

½ tsp. Hot Red Chili Flakes

2 Sprigs Thyme, leaves only

4 oz. can or jar of White Asparagus

2 T. slivered Almonds, ground into paste with mortar and pestle

Salt & Pepper

8 slices white bread, toasted lightly

½ canned Pimiento, sliced into thin strips

Thyme Leaves for garnish


Add oil, garlic, chile flakes and thyme to a saucepan and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let cool.  Place asparagus in blender and pulse until smooth.  Pour oil into blender THROUGH a fine sieve; discard solids.  Blend again, then add ground almonds and salt and pepper to taste.  Cut rounds from the toasted bread.  Mound a little bit of asparagus mix on each bread circle.  Top with a slice of pimiento and a few thyme leaves and serve.


From Easy Tapas






Grape Leaves Stuffed with Bulgur or Cracked Wheat and Cumin

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Bulgur or Cracked Wheat and Cumin

1 1/2 C. cracked wheat

4 C. finely chopped green onion

3 large, extra-ripe tomatoes, grated (see Note)

1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 heaping tsp. ground cumin

1 C. snipped fresh dill

1/2 C. chopped fresh mint

One 10-oz. jar grape leaves in brine

Juice of 1 large lemon, plus more to taste


Combine the cracked wheat, onion, tomatoes, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and the cumin. Cover and let rest for 2 hours, then mix in the dill and mint. While the wheat mixture is resting, drain the grape leaves and rinse well in a colander. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the grape leaves, in batches if necessary, for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse under cold running water. Trim the tough stems off the leaves and set aside the ones that are either very small or torn. Place a heaping tsp. of filling in the bottom center of each leaf on the table. Fold the bottom over the filling, then fold the sides over it and roll up, tucking the sides in as you go. Place the grape leaves seam side down in the pot, snugly next to each other, in layers. Pour the lemon juice over them, then pour in enough water to barely cover the surface of the dolmathes. Cut a piece of parchment to the circumference of the pot and fit it over the leaves. Cover with a plate to keep the grape leaves in place and place the lid on the pot. Simmer until the leaves and cracked wheat are tender and the pot juices absorbed, about 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve. Note: How to Grate Tomatoes This is one of the great rustic techniques of the Greek kitchen. Have ready a hand grater, preferably one with coarse teeth. Make sure the tomatoes are washed and dried. Hold the grater over a plate or shallow bowl. Hold each tomato from the stem end and grate it along the coarse openings of the grater until all that remains is the tomato’s skin, flat and wide open. What you are left with are the pulp, the seeds, and the juice. As for the seeds, most traditional cooks aren’t bothered by them.







Artichokes with Lemonnaise

Artichokes with Lemonnaise

3 T. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. black peppercorns
4 artichokes (each about 4 in. wide; 3 lb. total)
1/2 C. drained extra firm, firm, or soft silken tofu
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Salt and fresh-ground pepper

Fill a 6- to 8-quart pan halfway with water. Add vinegar and peppercorns; bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, slice about 1 inch off tops of artichokes; discard tips. Trim stems flush with bottoms. Pull off and discard small leaves from bottoms. With scissors, cut thorny tips from remaining outer leaves. Add artichokes to water and simmer, covered, until bottoms pierce easily, 30 to 35 minutes; drain. While artichokes cook, make lemonnaise. In a blender or food processor (a blender produces the best results), whirl tofu, lemon juice, oil, and mustard until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (If making ahead, chill airtight up to 1 day; stir before using.) Serve artichokes with sauce for dipping.

Varying your dunk sauce: For variations on lemmonaise, add ingredients to the basic recipe and whirl in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Aioli: Add 1 clove minced garlic.
Caper-anchovy sauce: Add 2 tsp. drained capers and 1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste.
Chili-cilantro sauce: Instead of lemon juice, use 4 tsp. lime juice. Add 1/2 to 1 stemmed fresh serrano chili and 1/3 C. packed fresh cilantro.
Dried-tomato sauce: Add 1/4 C. dried tomato halves (not oil-packed).
Green sauce: Add 1 C. each lightly packed spinach leaves and parsley, and 1/2 C. chopped green onions.
Madeira sauce: Add 2 T. each madeira and minced chives.
Orange-coriander sauce: Use only 1 T. lemon juice. Add 4 tsp. orange juice and 1/2 tsp. each ground coriander and grated orange peel.
Tamari-sesame sauce: Substitute Asian (toasted) sesame oil for olive oil. Add 1 1/2 tsp. tamari.

Spring Aioli Feast

Spring Aioli Feast

1 1/2 to 2 lb. red thin-skinned potatoes (1 to 1 1/2 in. wide)
1 1/2 to 2 lb. asparagus
1 lb. sugar snap peas
2 T. lemon juice or vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
3 or 4 artichokes (12 to 14 oz. each)
1 dozen radishes (about 8 oz.), rinsed and trimmed
1 1/2 to 2 lb. cooked peeled, deveined shrimp (21 to 30 per lb.), rinsed
6 to 8 hard-cooked eggs (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 C. Classic Aioli
1 1/2 to 2 C. Green Aioli

Scrub potatoes and put in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add 2 quarts water. Cover pan and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift potatoes out and let cool. Meanwhile, rinse asparagus and peas. Snap off tough stem ends of asparagus. Remove strings from peas. Return water used for potatoes to a boil again over high heat. Add asparagus and cook just until barely tender when pierced, 3 to 5 minutes. Lift out with tongs and immerse in a bowl filled with ice water. When cool, drain. Add peas to the same boiling water and cook just until bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water until cool; drain again. Add about 3 quarts water and the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to the pan (no need to wash). Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, rinse artichokes. Trim about 1 inch off tops and discard. With scissors, trim remaining thorny tips off outer leaves. Trim off stems. Cut in half lengthwise. Immerse artichokes in the boiling water and cover. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until artichokes are tender when pierced in base, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool. Arrange potatoes, asparagus, peas, artichokes, radishes, shrimp, and eggs in a basket or on a platter. Serve with aioli.

Marinated Olives with Basil and Orange Peel

Marinated Olives with Basil and Orange Peel

1 small orange
1 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 heaping C. (about 1/2 pound) mixed olives
1/2 C. loosely packed basil leaves, julienned

Peel the orange zest using a vegetable peeler, removing as little of the white pith as possible. Slice the peel into thin strips. (Alternately, use a zester or stripper.) Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the orange zest and smashed garlic clove. Once the oil is warm, 2 to 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit until it comes to room temperature. Remove the garlic and stir in the basil. Add the olives to a pint-sized jar. Cover with the olive oil (leave the basil and orange in the oil). Refrigerate at least 24 hours. Bring to room temperature an hour before straining the oil and serving

Potato Skordalia (σκορδαλιά)

Potato Skordalia (σκορδαλιά)

1 1/2 pounds of potatoes for boiling
6-12 cloves of garlic, minced or grated (to taste) – firm, fresh, crisp garlic
1 C. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add the salt to a large pot of water. Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water until well done (easily pierced with a fork). While they are cooking, crush garlic cloves with salt using a mortar and pestle. Drain potatoes and pass through a ricer. Add pureed garlic and pour in lemon juice and olive oil. Beat briskly with wooden spoon until well mixed and smooth. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir in 3 tsp. or so of the cooking water (or hot fish broth if you have it). Serve with fried salt cod.

Mexican Beer Steamed Clams

Mexican Beer Steamed Clams

1 cup fresh cilantro
2 fresh jalapeno’s thinly sliced
1 lime zested and sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, small diced
2 cobs corn kernels, cut from the cob
2 pounds fresh clams
1 12 ounce gluten free beer

In a large bowl, place the cilantro, jalapeno’s and lime slices. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, sprinkle with kosher salt and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes more. Add the beer and cook until simmering, 3 minutes more. Add the clams and cover the pan.

Patatas Bravas (Spanish Spicy Potatoes Tapas)

Patatas Bravas (Spanish Spicy Potatoes Tapas)

For the sauce
3 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic clove, chopped
8oz. can chopped tomato
1 tsp. tomato puree
2 tsp. sweet paprika (pimenton)
good pinch chilli powder
pinch sugar
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

2 lb. potato
2 tsp. olive oil

Prepare ahead by heating the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika, chilli powder, sugar and salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes until pulpy. Set aside for up to 24 hours. To serve, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan oven 180C. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread over a roasting tin and toss in the oil, then season. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp and golden. Tip the potatoes into dishes and spoon over the reheated sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with cocktail sticks.

Chard and Ricotta Torta

Chard and Ricotta Torta

1 lb. frozen bread dough thawed (see notes)
3 lb. red or green chard (about 3 bunches)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 large eggs
3/4 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
6 T. whipping cream
1/4 C. chopped pitted calamata olives
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Cut off a third of the bread dough. With lightly floured hands, flatten both portions into disks. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand while preparing filling, about 30 minutes. Rinse chard and tear leaves form center ribs; discard center ribs and stems or save for another use. Pour oil into a 12-inch frying pan or a 14-inch wok over medium-high heat; when hot, add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, Add chard and stir frequently until evenly wilted, 12 to 15minutes. Transfer mixture to a strainer and let drain until cool enough to handle. Squeeze chard to remove all liquid, then coarsely chop. In a bowl, mix chard, 1 egg, ricotta, 1/4 C. cream, olives, lemon peel, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. With a lightly floured rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface, roll the larger portion of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Fit into a 10-inch cheesecake pan with removable rime and fold excess dough down so that edges come about halfway up sides of pan; press dough gently against sides of pan. Add chard mixture and spread level. Roll remaining dough into a 10-inch round. Center over filling and pinch with the sides to seal. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with remaining 2 T. cream to blend. Brush top crust with egg mixture; discard remainder. Bake in a 375º regular or convection oven until top is richly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes, then run a small sharp knife between tart and pan rim to loosen; remove rim. Use a serrated knife to slice into wedges. Serve warm or cool.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 314
Fat: 13g
Fiber: 3.8g

Moorish Kabob (Spanish Pork Belly Kabob Tapas)

Moorish Kabob (Spanish Pork Belly Kabob Tapas)

1-1-1/2 lbs. (about 3/4 kilo) fresh pork belly, cut into slim slices
6-10 cloves garlic, chopped
1 healthy tsp. ground cumin
1 heaped tsp. sweet or hot Spanish pimenton
1/2 tsp. dry thyme or 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
a couple of good jiggers of olive oil to coat
(optional) a splash or more of Spanish sherry vinegar

Note: you’ll also need about 10 pre-soaked bamboo skewers.

Heat a griddle pan or grill to medium high, not screaming hot as pork belly will burn. Brush off most of the garlic from the meat and load skewers so they’re tightly packed. Cook, turning every couple of minutes, until skewers are brown and crispy on all sides, 8-10 minutes total per skewer. Allow meat to rest for up to five minutes, as it will set and be easier to get off the skewers. Serve with patatas bravas or other typical tapas.  Try Mojo Picon for dipping.

Shallot Marmalade

Shallot Marmalade

This condiment goes great with pate or as a sweet counterpoint to anything rich and meaty. In Paris, there’s normally a gathering before dinner for drinks, such as a kir or a glass of Champagne. I’ve served this with slices of foie gras on toasted brioche, a perfect partnership. You can use large or small shallots. Feel free to another dried fruit (diced, if necessary), such as apricots, figs, dried cranberries, or cherries, in place of the raisons or prunes.

In place of the beer, you can use half white wine, half water, or water with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice in it.

1 pound (450g) shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp. unflavored vegetable oil
big pinch of coarse salt
a few turns of freshly-cracked black pepper
1/2 C. (125ml) beer
1/4 C. (50g) sugar
2 tsp. honey
3 tsp. apple cider or balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. (80g) raisins or dried currants

In a medium-sized saucepan, warm the oil and sauté the shallots over moderate heat with a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft and wilted, which should take about 10 minutes. Add the beer, sugar, honey, vinegar, and raisins or currants, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the shallots begin to caramelize. While cooking, continue stirring them just enough to keep them from burning. If the mixture seems to be very dry, add a small splash of water toward the end of cooking, to encourage a little juiciness. The jam is done when the shallots are nicely-caramelized, as shown in the picture in the post. Do not overcook; there should still be a bit of juices in the pot when it’s ready. Transfer to a jar. Storage: Store the jam in the refrigerator, where it will keep for at least 2 months.

Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

1 large ripe tomato
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 ñoras or New Mexico dried peppers
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (hot or mild, your choice)
1/2 C. water
3 tsp. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4-inch slice from a long crusty loaf of bread
10 blanched almonds
Kosher or sea salt
Ground black pepper

1-1/4 lb. medium (31-40 size) or large (26-30 size) shrimp, peeled and deveined

To make the sauce, roast the tomato and garlic in an ungreased roasting pan at 350°F for 30 minutes. Place the dried red peppers in a sauce pan with the water and 3 tsp. vinegar. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Heat 1 tsp. the oil in a small skillet and fry the bread until golden on both sides. Transfer to a food processor. In the same oil fry the almonds until golden and add to the processor, along with the boiled red peppers, crushed red pepper, garlic and tomato. With the motor running, pour in gradually the remaining 1/2 C. olive oil, plus the remaining vinegar, salt and pepper. Strain through a mesh strainer. Taste for seasoning, adjust as needed, and place in a serving bowl. Set aside. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a sauce pan, and cook shrimp for 2 minutes until just done. Cool, and serve with the sauce at room temperature. Or combine shrimp and sauce, and serve over pasta or rice.

Cherries as Olives

Cherries as Olives

Cherries as Olives1 lb. (4 C.) fresh cherries
1 orange
1 lemon
5 garlic cloves
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C. Spanish aged sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 C. Marcona almonds, optional

Stem and pit the cherries and put them in a medium bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, remove half the zest from the orange and lemon. Peel the garlic cloves and smash with the flat side of a kitchen knife. Add the zest, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves to the cherries in the bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, sherry vinegar and salt, and pour over cherries. Gently toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and marinate overnight. Allow cherries to come to room temperature before serving. Fold in almonds, if using, just prior to serving. This recipe works fabulous with fresh blueberries! Serve with toasted baguette slices, and brie or goat cheese.

Fried Padron Peppers

Fried Padron Peppers

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. Padron peppers
Coarse sea salt

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold all of the peppers in a single layer. Add the peppers. Fry over medium heat, turning often, until they are soft and blistered slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl. Discard the olive oil. Toss the peppers with salt and serve immediately.

Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper & Quick Remoulade Sauce

Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper & Quick Remoulade Sauce

Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper & Quick Remoulade Sauce

Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper:


2 T. olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1/2 medium red bell pepper, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg, beaten

1 (6 oz) can tuna, drained

1/4 C. breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Canola oil, for shallow frying


Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add onion and red pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently; cool.  Mix together the onion mixture, egg, tuna, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 patties.  Add canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the patties and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Serve with Quick Remoulade Sauce


Quick Remoulade Sauce


2 T. mayo

2 T. plain Greek yogurt

1 T. minced fresh parsley

2 tsp. ketchup

1 tsp. whole-grain mustard

1 tsp. hot sauce (more or less to taste)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. paprika

Pinch salt and pepper


Stir together all ingredients; store refrigerated until serving.