What a weekend, ‘the boss’ is another year older, and its our Silver Wedding Anniversary, having just booked a holiday we decided to have a lazy weekend, and I would cook some nice food for us to munch through.
Omar Allibhoy runs ‘The Tapas Revolution’, Spanish Tapas at its best and was the protégé of El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, considered one of the best chefs in the world.
I recently purchased Omar’s just released book, and this weekend was the perfect excuse to have a go at some Tapas. The plan was to try a range of dishes some from the book and one inspired by my visit to Polpo, earlier in the week. Heres what I did…….
Caprese Salad – On a Stick
Baby Plumb tomatoes where halved and sandwiched a mini mozzarella ball, with a couple of Basil Leaves added for good measure, Caprese Salad on a cocktail stick. Drizzle with your finest Extra Virgin Oil, some cracked black pepper and sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt before serving. Simple but delicious….
Carrilleras Estofadas – Braised Pork Cheeks
I’ve never had Pork Cheeks before but I wish I had, they are STUNNING……..
Whilst ‘the boss’ was sorting house stuff out I had gone shopping, ‘Casey Fields Farm Shop’, where I normally get most of our meat from and Waitrose for some fish. With a list of ingredients and recipes planned I stumbled across the Pig Cheeks in Waitrose in the fresh meat section, dead cheap at £1.78 for the 4 in the picture, so I bought them, they were not on my list but I recalled seeing the recipe in my head.
You can see the other ingredients in the picture above, plus you need some beef stock for the slow cooking.
At this stage, I am reducing after Red Wine etc. has been added. Next stage is to add the beef stock and continue for 30 mins. The total cooking time is about 3 1/2 hours but well worth the effort.
At the end of the cooking process, you should end up with something like the above. The Pork Cheeks could be cut with a spoon they were so soft and tender, an amazing recipe and tasted just AWESOME………
The final dish, yummy scrummy……. You have to try these they are just beautiful……………..
Pinchos Morunos Con Mojo Picon
One of Casey Fields Farm Shop specialities is Pork, they seem to sell the best Pork ever, it’s always stunning so the ideal choice for the Pinchos Morunos I was intending to cook. These marinated Pork Kebabs take up the flavours of Garlic, fresh Thyme, Cumin, Pimenton (I used 50% Sweet/50%Hot) and some Olive Oil. I used Pork Tenderloin cut into approx. 1cm pieces, again this is a cheap cut of meat so great value for money.
Placed onto Skewers after marinating for few hours and cooked quickly, they were delicious and very tender, you can see how juicy there were after resting for 1 minute in the picture below. I had some Mojo Picon, a Canarian Pepper Sauce in the Cupboard that I had bought whilst on holiday so used this instead of making from scratch.
Caballa En Escabeche
Pickling is a great way to cook fish and popular in both Spain and Mexico. I have eaten Escabeche a few times but never done so myself so here was a chance to have a go. I had managed to get some Mackerel Fillets so these would form the basis of another Tapas Dish.
You need to flash fry the Mackerel and make a marinade using the Wine, Sherry Vinegar, Onion, Carrot, Garlic, Thyme etc. The process is quite straight forward and does not take long. Mackerel is also really good value for money and can be bought from most supermarket fish counters during the summer months when the fish is in abundance in UK shores.
Served simple, with some crusty bread to mop up the juices this was another delicious course for the tapas Event.
I also cooked Padron Peppers, renowned for their russian roulette heat, 1 in 3 or 4 are scorching, and a Tortilla which was also delicious. We enjoyed the various dishes over a couple of hours or so, and loved the recipes of Omar Allibhoy, the guy is pure genius..