Culinary and Wine Tours of Spain

We ended our five week class touring, metaphorically speaking, the food and wines of Spain. We learnt a lot: how religion (Arabs, Jews, and Christians) played in the development of Spanish cuisine; how the explorers to South Americas brought home red fruit (tomatoes!) and spices; and of course how the terroir provides for certain foods. Whilst snacking on Spanish cheeses, almonds, tortas, olives and stews, we also sipped on ciders and wines around Spain.

What fun! Especially the last class, where everyone contributed a dish picked out from our textbook. We brought the cheeses; others made raisin ice cream cake drenched in PX sherry; almond cake and walnut cake soaked in brandy; slow roasted tomatoes; romancesco sauce; potato omelette; and two kinds of lamb stews.

We had such a lovely time that we decided to recreate it, sort of, on Friday at home with our close wine buddies. Everyone brought a couple bottles from Spain, and we provided the food, which was partly inspired by Tuesday’s class.

Food
Slow roasted tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, pepper and sugar. Loved the intensity of flavors

Marcona almonds roasted with rosemary. From Trader’s Joes. Mmm.

Marinated olives. From Pastoral.

Chicken liver pate. Not Spanish, but made by my aunt and so effing good.

Cheeses. Mahon Curado, Manchego, and Cana De Cabra Goat Cheese Jumilla Spain

Deep fried eggplant drizzled with honey. This is a Cordoba specialty that we were keen to try, given that our group is crazy over the crispy Szechuan eggplant that we always have to order whenever we see it on the menu. According to the recipe, soaking the thin slices of eggplant for an hour or two beforehand in milk helps prevent it from soaking up too much of the oil.

Lamb stew with tomatoes and roasted pepper. The recipe called for a half cup of dry white wine, but I’d filled the pot with so much stuff that it wasn’t enough to cover the browned lamb. So, I emptied the entire bottle. Turned out delicious though. 🙂

We didn’t have enough time to make dessert that Friday night (although we made up for it Saturday evening, with a deliciously fluffy, moist and citrusy almond cake that we brought over to the Rs’ for hot pot). The Rs though bought a scrumptious heart-shaped chocolate cake (Friday being Valentine’s Day after all) from Bittersweet to share.

Wines
2009 Muga Reserva Rioja
2005 Finaco Villacreces Ribera Del Duero
2010 Alaya 2010 D.O.P. Almansa
2011 Clio Jumilla Spain
2011 Granbazan Albarino Etiqueta Verde Rias Baixas
Plus a half bottle of leftover Priorat and a half bottle of leftover Oloroso sherry from Tuesday

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