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La Belle Cuisine - More Lagniappe * Recipes

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."

*Lagniappe (lan-yap)  - a little something extra,
that little unexpected pleasant surprise.


Tapas (cont.)



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.~ William Makepeace Thackeray

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New Tapas: Culinary Travels with Spain's
Top Chefs








Vino y Tapas
Vino y Tapas
Art Print

Manning, Ruane
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Tapas Bar, Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville, Andalucia, Spain
Tapas Bar, Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville, Andalucia, Spain
Photographic Print

Brooks, Jean
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Sunset Over the Costa Del Sol and the Ancient Watchtower at Estepona, Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Sunset Over the Costa Del Sol and the Ancient Watchtower at Estepona,
Malaga, Andalucia, Spain Photographic Print

Tomlinson, David
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Recipe Source
The Best of Gourmet, Vol. 1

from the Editors of Gourmet, 1986,
Condé Nast Books, Random House

 Buy new, used, and hard-to-find books at Alibris!


What are tapas? Here is the “official” version, courtesy of the
Tourist Office of Spain:

“Walk into a Spanish tapas bar worthy of its name and the first thing that hits you
is the variety: Pickles on cocktail sticks, cheeses and hams, homely omelettes, baby earthenware casseroles with sizzling hot dishes and elegant mayonnaise-topped mouthfuls. It's the chance to dip into so many tastes, as well as the visual spread
of tapas that make them universally appealing.
But behind the apparently bewildering variety are certain clear principles. Originally a mouthful of food included in the bar-price of a fino [Sherry], wine
or beer, a tapa is designed to accompany drink and good conversation. Or as journalist Pedro Soleras put it in the newspaper El País last year, 'The tapa, invented in an age less obsessed with productivity, is a trick for spinning out
your drinks without getting drunk'. And whether thirst provoking or absorbent,
they should be easy to eat so they don't interrupt the flow of conversation.
Another point is clear too. Even though they are now to be found in homes and smart restaurants, tapas have kept an informal spirit through their popular
origins as street-food. So don't hold back. There's always room for improvisation around the ingredients that come to hand and the cook's personality...”

Toasted Blanched Almonds
Marinated Black and Green Olives
Pork and Ham Meatballs in Sherry Pepper Sauce
Squid and Celery Salad
Garlic Shrimp
Mussels with Ham, Peppers, and Tomatoes


Squid and Celery Salad

2 pounds squid, cleaned *, the bodies cut
crosswise into 1/4-inch rings, the flaps
cut into 1/4-inch strips, and the tentacles
halved lengthwise
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 stalks of celery, sliced thin diagonally

* Pull the head and body of the squid apart, cut off the tentacles just below the eyes,
and reserve the tentacles and body sac. Discard the transparent quill from inside the
body sac, rinse the body sac well, and peel off the purple membrane covering it. Pull
off the flaps gently from the body sac to avoid tearing the sac and reserve them.

In a large saucepan combine the squid, the wine, the salt, the bay leaf,
and enough water to cover the squid by 2 inches, bring the liquid to a boil,
and simmer the squid, covered, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it is tender.
Drain the squid in a colander, discarding the bay leaf, rinse it under cold
water, and pat it dry.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste, add the
oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.
In a bowl combine the squid and the celery, drizzle the mixture with the
dressing, and toss the salad with salt and pepper to taste. The salad may
be made up to 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Serve the salad at room temperature. Makes 4 cups.


Garlic Shrimp

1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound unshelled shrimp
(26 to 32 shrimp per pound)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Fresh lemon juice to taste

In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is
hot, add the garlic, and cook it, stirring, until it is pale golden. Add the
red pepper flakes and the shrimp and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1
minute, or until the shrimp are pink and just firm to the touch. Sprinkle
the shrimp with the paprika and cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the Sherry, boil the mixture for 30 seconds, and sprinkle it with the parsley. Season the mixture with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to
taste and transfer it to a bowl. The shrimp may be made up to 1 day in
advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes 26 to 32 shrimp.


Mussels with Ham, Peppers and Tomatoes

1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and steamed open *
1 onion, minced
2 ounces thickly sliced smoked ham, chopped fine
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped fine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
A 1-pound can tomatoes, drained well and chopped

* To clean mussels: Scrub the mussels well in several changes of water. Scrape
off the beards, and rinse the mussels. If the mussels are exceptionally dirty, let
them soak in cold water to cover, with 1/3 cup salt and 1 tablespoon cornmeal
per gallon water, for 2 hours to help them disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels
and rinse them well under cold water.
To Steam Open Mussels: In a kettle steam the mussels, covered, over high
heat, shaking the kettle once or twice, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the shells
have opened. Discard any unopened shells.

In a small bowl let the saffron soak in the wine for 15 minutes. Transfer
the mussels with a slotted spoon to a bowl, reserving the liquid, and strain
the liquid through a fine sieve into another small bowl. In a large heavy
skillet cook the onion, the ham, and the bell peppers in the oil over
moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, add the garlic,
and cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and
cook the mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until it is thickened. Add
the saffron mixture and the reserved mussel liquid and boil the mixture
until most of the liquid is evaporated. Season the sauce with salt and
pepper and let it cool to room temperature. While the sauce is cooling
remove the top shell from each mussel and loosen the mussels from
the bottom shells. Spoon the sauce over the mussels on the half shell
and arrange the mussels on a platter. Makes about 30 mussels.

Tapas, page 1

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