I decided it was time to take action and start chipping away at 'the list' this week. I've definitely been keeping busy this year, but I haven't made much of a dent into the list of things I set out to accomplish and there are only a few months left. It makes sense. Most of the items on the list are things that I really want to do, but for one reason or another I find an excuse to put off doing them. When I wrote this list in the first place I figured that if I include a few of my challenges and see them over and over again throughout the year as I check on my list, it might be the extra incentive I need to actually tackle them. I guess now I'm starting to feel the pressure of time to tackle everything, which seems to be the missing ingredient that I've needed to get these items accomplished.
Yesterday Alex helped me out with #16 on my list and it made for an amazing evening!
We tackled 4 different tapas recipes and spent around 2 hrs total chopping and prepping, running to the store for missing ingredients, and of course sampling a delicious bottle of Spanish wine. One can't be expected to make tapas without sharing wine, in our case it was a Tempranillo generously given to us by my coworker and wine blogger extraordinaire Jeff Lefevere. Thanks Jeff! It was delicious!
Amazingly, everything timed out right so that all 4 tapas meals finished cooking at the same time and we ate like kings, with food to spare (even after halving all the recipes).
I am so happy to be one item closer to completing my list, but even more so, I'm so happy that the list required that we make time to spend an evening together experimenting in the kitchen and learning about some amazing foods.
So now for the menu. After looking through recipes here we decided to make the following:
Ceviche using salmon - Fish 'cooked' by the action of acidic lime juice
Patatas Bravas - Crisp Spiced potatoes
Bread with Mushrooms and Alioli
and Prawn and Bacon Brochettes
All of the recipes were delicious, and so different. The shrimp and bacon was by far the easiest, but it was incredibly flavorful, it felt just as special as the other recipes. The bread with mushrooms and alioli tasted so refined, and I loved the garlic and mushroom combination. Next time we'll add more mushrooms per bread slice. The patatas bravas were amazingly seasoned and pure comfort food. We decided that we could probably lessen the ketchup/mayo taste a little by adding more of the seasoning and it would feel a little more gormet. The light fresh flavors of the ceviche was a nice compliment to all of the other rich foods. It was amazing to see how the lime juice 'cooked' the outside of the fish. It's basically raw inside though, so if you dont like raw fish/sushi, this may not be the thing for you. The bed of avacado and tomato with the peppers were a fantastic combination with the fish.
If there are any Spanish readers out there that could share information about tapas in Spain, I would love to learn more or hear your thoughts!