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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.






"Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent
turn of mind must like, I think, to read about them."
.~ William Makepeace Thackeray

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My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic
Regional Recipes









Tapas of Jamon Serrano and Olives at Taberna Coloniales in Seville
Tapas of Jamon Serrano...
Krista Rossow
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New Tapas: Culinary Travels with Spain's
Top Chefs










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

Brooks, Jean
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Tapas, Mercado De San Miguel, Madrid, Spain
Tapas, Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain
Walter Bibikow
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La Belle Cuisine


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


Toasted Blanched Almonds

1/2 pound natural almonds (with skins)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt to taste if desired

In a saucepan of boiling waster blanch the almonds for 15 seconds and
drain them. While the almonds are still warm press the large end of each
almond to pop the almond from its skin and pat the almonds dry.
In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot
and in it sauté the almonds, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until
they are golden. Transfer the almonds with a slotted spoon to paper towels
to drain, sprinkle them with the salt if desired, and let them cool completely before serving.
Although best served the day they are made, the almonds may be prepared
up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container, chilled. Serve
the almonds at room temperature. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


Marinated Black and Green Olives

1 1/2 cups green olives (preferably small),
pitted, stuffed, or unpitted as desired
1 1/2 cups brine-cured black olives,
preferably Niçoise or Kalamata
1/4 cup wine vinegar
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
8 sprigs of fresh oregano or
1 teaspoon crumbled dried
8 sprigs of fresh thyme or
1 teaspoon crumbled dried
About 1 1/2 cups olive oil

In 2 saucepans of boiling water blanch the green olives and the black olives separately for 1 minute each and drain them in 2 colanders. Pack the green and the black olives separately while they are still warm in two 2-cup glass jars and divide the vinegar, the garlic, the bay leaves, the oregano, and the thyme between the jars, pushing the garlic and herbs down the sides of the jars. Divide enough of the oil between the jars to cover the olives, seal the
jars with the lids and let them stand in a cool, dark place, shaking them
daily, for at least 3 days. Remove the olives with a fork from the marinade.
The olives keep, covered and chilled, indefinitely.
Makes about 3 cups olives.


Pork and Ham Meatballs in
Sherry Pepper Sauce

For the meatballs
1 pound lean ground pork
1/4 pound sliced smoked ham, chopped
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
Flour for dredging the meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2/3 cup medium-dry Sherry
1 cup canned chicken broth

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Make the meatballs: In a bowl combine well the pork, ham, onion, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme. (Test the seasoning
by cooking a small amount of the meat mixture.) Form level tablespoons
of the mixture into balls (about 40) and dredge the balls in batches in the
flour, shaking off the excess.
In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over  moderately high heat until it is
hot and in it brown the meatballs in batches, transferring them with a
slotted spoon as they are browned to a bowl.
Make the sauce:
Add the oil to the skillet in which the meatballs were browned, heat it over moderately low heat until it is hot, and in it cook
the onion and bell peppers, stirring, until the vegetables are softened.
Add the garlic and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the
paprika and cook the mixture, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the Sherry
and the broth, whisking, and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer mixture, covered, turning
the meatballs occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meatballs
are tender and the sauce is thickened slightly. Transfer the meatballs
with a slotted spoon to a heated serving dish. (If the sauce seems thin,
boil it, stirring, until it is thickened to the desired consistency.) Stir the
parsley into the sauce, season sauce with salt and pepper, and spoon
it over the meatballs. Makes about 40 meatballs.

More Tapas...

Featured Archive Recipes:
Almonds w/ Parmesan, Rosemary & Fennel
Baked Greek Olives (Eliés Sto Foúrno)
Gigi's Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
Goat Cheese Appetizers Two Ways
Greek Mezéthes
Lemon- and Herb-Spiced Olives
Pickled Shrimp (Commander's Palace)
Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

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