A Night in Spain

Last night, my family threw a taste of Spain party to show off some of the great wines and food we learned about in Spain. It was somewhat of a potluck, with most guests bringing either a dish or wine. Here are the details of the party so you can do it yourself:

On the Menu: (what was made/brought)                                                                                              -Pulpo (octopus) with a white bean puree. The octopus was simmered for four hours, marinated for two, and finally heated up on a charcoal grill to get extra flavoring. By far the best dish of the night.

-Calamari seasoned with lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and garlic. The calamari marinated for several hours before they were dipped into flour and fried. The garlic, pepper flakes, and zest were sprinkled on top right after they were removed from the frier.

-Gambas al ajillo. Went faster than I ever could have imagined. Slivered garlic was sautéed in olive oil for thirty seconds before the shrimp was added in. Salt and some red pepper flakes were added while the shrimp were cooking for some extra flavor. (The recipe will be under the food section of my blog, including my individual notes)

-Empanadas with chicken and pepper filling. They were prepared by our neighbor who is originally from Argentina. They were delicious and better than the empanada I ate in Spain!

-Manchego and jamón ibérico, the perfect combination. Bread was also available for those who wanted to add to the combination.

-Marinated olives. The marinade was more work than it was worth. I think plain olives would have been so much better.

-Marinated manchego. The cheese was soaked in olive oil, black peppercorns, fresh thyme, and white wine vinegar. It was good, but not necessarily a winner.

-Marinated mushrooms cooked with garlic, sherry vinegar, and capers. A lot of people commented on how fantastic they were. I used a recipe from the New York Times and I would highly recommend it. (I warmed some up and added them to my eggs this morning and they were just as good)

-Gazpacho from the New York Times. The article said it was the worlds best gazpacho and I must say it was not far from it. Be sure to make this gazpacho before summer ends, you will not regret it.

Obviously, we had a lot of food but it was all delicious when paired with txakoli, Spanish reservas, and albariños.

*The New York Times, The Cuisines of Spain cookbook by Teresa Barrenechea, and Basque by Jose Pizarro are all great references.

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