Monday, June 12, 2006


Last night Joy and Mike made a tapas dinner for Elaine, Don, Lisette and I. Mike and Joy recently returned from a vacation in France and Spain, and they had hand-carried gourmet goodies and much inspiration for our meal. As the pictures and menu suggest, we were treated to quite a feast. A description of what we enjoyed follows.

fried marcona almonds (I didn’t know these existed – addictive!)
marinated green olives (they looked flavorful, but I don’t like olives)

pimientos de Padrón (padron peppers – the salt helps bring out the flavor)
pan catalan (tomato & garlic-rubbed bread, Mike made this - a traditional start to a tapas meal)

gazpacho andaluz (andalucian gazpacho – so refreshing)
ajo blanco de Málaga (traditional ajo blanco from Málaga, garnished with green apple – amazing flavor)

embutidos de bellota (chorizo & sausage – mmm, meat)
jamón serrano, Ibérico ( a wonderfully marbled ham)
jamón de bellota (perhaps the finest of the hams, from pata negra pigs fed on a diet of acorns)

Warm plates
berenjena con miel de caña (perfectly fried eggplant with sugar cane honey)
tortilla espanola con patate (a tasty spanish tortilla with potatoes)
gambas al ajillo (perfectly cooked garlic shrimp)
almejas a la marinera (clams in flavor-packed white wine sauce)
setas con piñones y jamón (mushrooms sauteed with Ibérico ham and pine nuts)
albóndigas con salsa de azafrán (fantastic mini meatballs in saffron garlic sauce)
escolanets (literally, "altar boys" – delicious bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with marcona almonds)

queso Idiazábal marinado al romero (a Basque sheep’s milk cheese marinated in oil with garlic, black peppercorns, bay leaf, & fresh rosemary and thyme)
manchego con membrillo (manchego cheese with quince paste – I love quince paste!)

higas (fresh figs – it’s the start of fig season!)
crema catalana (a show stopper, wonderful custard with carmelized sugar)
arroz con leche, como hacen en mieres (rice & milk, mieres-style – cinnamon makes everything better)
pan con chocolate, sal "Maldon", y aceite de oliva (toasts with Michel Cluizel "
Concepcion" chocolate, Maldon salt, and olive oil – I could eat this all day)

Thank you, Mike and Joy. Almost every dish above could be its own cool thing.


At 9:52 AM, Blogger lerjia said...

Yes, an inspiring meal... the chocolate-covered pop rocks, corn nuts and peppercorns at the end also left intriguing flavors on the palette. Thanks for a fantastic meal, Joy & Mike (and all the associated reorganization of Mike's pad), and for a wonderful 2003 Turley Zin, Paul!

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that looks freaking awesome. i'm jealous. i wish i had better friends ...


At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

Your friends rock. We just don't like you all that much.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, they say things like tall men...


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