Tapas Night

December 28, 2006
We’ve almost hit maximum holiday food saturation levels. The “pleasure-o-meter”  is listing towards overload. It takes truly dedicated souls to sit down to yet-another-meal.
As it turns out, the spirit was willing, but the flesh needed some air. Translation: I was left with some new cookbooks, the crew needed to go walkabout. It was all good. I raided Lauren’s Tapas Cookbook, Nanci’s Artisanal Cookbook. , went to the Spanish gourmet store, made some friends at the Chinese wholesale lobster store, came home and worked on dinner.

Fried almonds: these are way too good. Only make when you cannot resist the call for their oily-almondy-warm-crunchy-saltiness. Fried_almonds_1

Chorizo: warm, toasty rounds of sausagey (yes, that’s a word) goodness

Lime drizzled shrimp: sounded good, but the recipe needs some BUMP

Serrano ham wrapped shrimp: oh boy, this is one of those better than the sum of its parts recipes. A perfect marriage of soft shrimp, crispy ham, tomatoes and capers. Need I say more?

Feisty potatoes: I fell for the name. Roast potatoes served with a roasted garlic aioli sauce and coated in a paprika/chili oil. Hello!

Clams and Pork: This is something I’ve eaten in Portugal. A truly perfect combination of tiny pork bits and briny clams.

Salt crusted chicken in a Diablo sauce: This chicken is divine. It truly is silky. The flesh is pale, pale, unsullied virgin white, a delicate wisp of flavor that gets boinked on the head by the Diablo sauce.  Don’t get me wrong, Diablo sauce is good, but it was an unnecessary rape of the virgin chicken.
Plus its fun to make. The chicken gets encased in a sort of Play Doh mixture…flour, salt, water, pepper corns, sage and then roasted.

I’ve posted my variation on this recipe, its fun and a great technique for infusing flavors into the chicken. Salt Crust Chicken


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