Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spanish dinner recipes - and more!

I'm now on Twitter. Check me out

And starting with the "more" - I have sent out 33 query letters to literary agents, received only six rejections, and a whopping SEVEN requests for either a full or partial manuscript. So I still have 20 left to hear from him. Crossing fingers and toes.

While I wait, tonight I'm having my annual Spanish dinner party,trying to duplicate fantastic meals I enjoyed in Spain. Here you go. Don't forget the Sangria!

Salmorejo (world's best cold soup)
(serves 4 to 6)
2 lbs. red, ripe, meaty, juicy tomatoes
3 cups cubed stale crustless bread
1 large garlic clove
coarse salt
pinch of sugar
1/3 cup cubed green or red pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsps aged sherry wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Optional: 1/3 cup thin slivered ham, preferably Serrano and 2 hard-cooked egg whites, finely sliced
1. One at a time, pierce stem of tomato with long fork and hold over high flame to char all over till skin blisters, or sear in dry cast-iron skillet. Cool, then peel, scoop out water seeds and strain over a bowl to collect juices. Discard seeds and cut up tomatoes.
2. In large bowl, mix tomatoes with bread and let stand at least 20 minutes.
3. Crush garlic to paste with 1 tsp coarse salt. Add tomatoes and bread, sugar and bell pepper to food processor. With machine on, add olive oil to form thick soup. Soup must be thick and smooth, add water if you like. Add vinegar. puree again until foamy, about 2 minutes. Return to bowl,cover, refrigerate at least 12 hours.
3. If you wish, garnish with ham and egg whites. Serve cold.

Spanish Tortilla
5 big potatoes
5 eggs
Spinach or broad beans, optional
Fresh herbs (thyme,basil, dill, whichever you prefer)

1. Chop onions finely.
2. Peel and slice potatoes thinly and unevenly.
3. Heat oil to hot, add potatoes, onions, and salt to pan and cover pan. Stir occasionally till soft.
4. Add salt and herbs to eggs, beat lightly.
5. Add potato and onion mixture to eggs.
6. Put more oil in pan. Mix everything well, add more salt and return to pan. Cook till firm, then turn over onto plate and slide tortilla back into pan. Cook till done.
Hint: To ensure that tortilla doesn't fall apart when you turn it onto the plate, be sure to use lots of oil and loosen the bottom with a spatula, making sure it's pretty firm.