Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I am still in recovery mode after a pretty great drink and booze filled weekend. I just cannot hang like I once did, but I am here to tell you that I really gave it the old college try!

On Friday, we decided we wanted to have a big gang in for tapas. We're obsessed with them since our trip to Barcelona and many Saturday nights spent in Bar Ferdinand in Northern Liberties. We started cooking on Friday night and finished at about five on Saturday afternoon, producing ten kinds of tapas! We made the following:

  1. Spanish tortilla - basically the Spanish version of a frittata. Fabulously, simple, beautifully presented - this is a dish every cook ought to master.
  2. Albondigas - Spanish meatballs in an almond sauce - classic Spanish food, beyond belief delicious and one of those dishes which is even better when reheated the next day.
  3. Cannellini bean and rosemary dip - I made this up taking Tuscan food as my inspiration.
  4. Catalan spinach with golden raisins and pine nuts - Basically spinach which has been sauteed in olive oil, garlic and anchovies (which disappear and leave a magical taste behind)to which you add plumped raisins and toasted pine nuts.
  5. Lamb empanadas - I made this up myself and gave the empanadas a very Indian flavor using turmeric, ginger and garlic.
  6. Grilled Pork skewers - Pork tenderloin kebabs marinated in Middle Eastern type spices. Quite tasty and with a real bite to them.
  7. Grilled Chicken bites - morsels of breast meat marinated in saffron and garlic. Served with spicy tomato jam made with ginger and Jersey tomatoes.
  8. Pissaladiere - Classic French onion tart made with onions that have taken at least an hour to caramelize properly, anchobies and Nicoise olives as a garnish.
  9. Shrimp sauteed with fennel and hot red chilies. Easy peasy but really delectable.
  10. Mushrooms in a sherry sauce - Plain button mushrooms sliced and sauteed in butter and sherry. Finished with lemon juice and parsley.

We were joined by my sister Lisa, our new neighbors John and Jill. Melissa and Bill, Joanna, Catherine, Lisa and Mike and Tom and John. Mike and Chris both made incredible batches of sangria which, in addition to tons of beer, kept everyone in very high spirits!

It was a classic night - lots of really good laughs and camraderie and everyone in a great mood! I love it when everyone is up for a great time!