We had an interesting combo of tapas for our last ‘Spanish Tapas’ class with Chef Eric.
The first tapa on offer was Fried Manchego Cheese, which sounded so odd that no one put up their hands. Chef Eric shrugged, “Okay, so we won’t do that one…
Now who wants to make ‘Salad on Bread’?” Despite also sounding odd that recipe was quickly scooped, as were the ‘Prawns Wrapped in Serrano Ham’. Chef Eric commented, “Well, that won’t take much time, so you can also do the ‘Fried Manchego Cheese’!”
“And now who wants to make ‘Pork Brochettes’?” Several hands went up, but happily I managed to get that one. Other recipes up for grabs were ‘Chicken Livers in Sherry Glaze’, ‘Broiled Sardines’ and last but not least ‘Almond Tart’.
My choice, Pork Brochettes (puerco a la plancha), were made from pork tenderloin, something that I’m always on the lookout for recipes for. This was marinated in an interesting mix of garlic, lemon and ‘Ras el Hanout’, a Moorish-influenced spice mixture, and then grilled on a ‘plancha’ or stove-top grill. The result was tasty but a little dry. I think perhaps I overcooked them, but a squeeze of lemon certainly perked them up.
Prawns wrapped in Serrano Ham (gambas con jamón serrano). Most of the class judged this particular Serrano ham as being a little too salty, but I liked the way the salt accented the prawns. Salsa cruda, a quick uncooked salsa of purple onion, green onion, tomato, cilantro and lemon juice, accompanied the dish.
Prepping the Fried Manchego Cheese (queso frito) consisted of dipping the quarter-inch cheese slices into an egg wash and then into breadcrumbs & parsley, repeating the process (double dipping) and finally frying them in grape seed oil for about half a minute on each side.
Served with Romesco Sauce, a tomato/almond salsa they were my surprise favourite dish of the evening!
The sherry for the chicken livers was actually a ‘Vinaigre de Jerez Dulce‘. I never got a chance to taste it so I don’t know if it is sweet or vinegary, however I would probably just use sherry. As for the ‘Chicken Livers in Sherry Glaze‘ (hígados de pollo en jerez), the sauce was tasty, but I’m not that fond of chicken livers, sorry…