A Spanish influence

After much deliberation we decided to have a Spanish tapas evening. I was thinking for a long time what I could use that is English but give it a “Spanish” twist, some things were slightly experimental but it worked out!

Not sure if all the food came in the “right” order”, or even if there is one so we just went for it!

The first thing we did was to head to the allotment, celebrating our good friends promotion!

Champagne in the setting sun and I also harvested one of my pet projects this year, my chillies! I have waited all summer and finally my first Satan’s Kiss chilli had turned red! And it smelled wonderful

Beforehand I have also bought Spanish meats, lomo, chorizo and jamon iberico – all waiting to be sliced and served. I went to a food market at Earls Court and found the most wonderful company specialised in authentic Spanish meats www.ibericofoods.com they always deliver top quality and fast as well!

The menu – we did make it through the lot but could not have done a breadcrumb more!

We started with salty chocolate toast, very interesting and a recipe from El Bulli, toast, bitter chocolate and flaky salt, it sounds odd but the bitter chocolate and the salty flakes are wonderful together.

We continued with quails eggs, cooked to perfection

After this we continued with a wonderful mix of chorizo, mushrooms and garlic crutons – mmm

This was followed by mushrooms on toast with alioli, mushrooms cooked in sherry, on toast. Alioli on top and grilled in the oven and served with tomato and pepper sauce.

 After this we had a bit of a break. We had finished the white rioja wines and moved on to red, we had a very gutsy red La Bascula from Turret Fields, a mix of monastrell and syrah grapes, perfect to stand up to the spanish foods.

We moved on to the cold cut meats, jamon Iberico, spanish salami and thinly cut lomo, served with a wonderful dish of roast peppers, capers, garlic and olives and a spanish tortilla, a perfect trio!

We had some wonderful crab tartlets

I had bought some very naughty foie gras to go with the jamon Iberico and onion marmalade, after much research I finally found a whole seller who would sell me some fresh one and it is most likely the most expensive thing I have ever cooked!

I did amend the recipe slightly, I added a cooking apple to the onions and caramelised them together, it was perfect with the foie gras. I also exchanged the jamon Iberico for lomo, slightly lighter. it was served on toast and I think we could all have had a slightly larger portion! But still lots to go!

Cod and caper crocetas next together with deep-fried manchego, we were getting very full but so yummy! Any other day I would have finished the crocetas myself!

The last dish was gambas pil pil, another favourite but by the time they arrived and after all that food we didn’t even manage to finnish a tiny portion between the four of us!

Then finally dessert! I had made caramel cream mousse, it didn’t quite set, it was very soft and after all that food and all that wine I had forgotten all about the jelly but it worked out fine anyway!

Today, the day after I feel the urge for veggies, a beef stew is cooking and will be served with lots and lots of veg, carrots, butternut squash, courgette, celery, onions, runner beans and curly kale, need an injection of veg and eating healthy foods! The prefect end to a lovely weekend!

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