Wednesday, 2 October 2013

BDK ANDALUSIAN TAPAS NIGHT

So here I am again, third time in a row with the Back Door Kitchen gang!
This time the theme veered away from their usual Italian roots, heading towards Southern Spain where Rob was inspired by their gastronomic delights during his travels there.

 

Chef Rob gave us a little background introduction to tapas, which originally comes from Sevilla. I'm sure all of us would have eaten tapas at some point in our life (I for one love the concept and never fail to indulge every so often), so here's just some bite-sized information as a refresher.

The word tapa means 'cover', originally used to refer to small plates used to cover food on bars to prevent flies from getting into them. In some places in Andalusia, you may even be given a free tapa with your drink.
The idea is that the tapa, and drink 'open up' the appetite, and having something to eat with each drink also helps to slow the effects of the alcohol.

Now on to the food...

THEME: ANDALUSIAN TAPAS NIGHT

Copa de tinto de Verano
- Special Andalusian summer wine served with some Andalusian breadsticks - 

A refreshing drink made with ice, red wine and soda/sparkling water - not to be confused with sangria, which is made with more fruit and heavier wine.

 

COURSE ONE
 Chocos
- Juicy squid strips marinated in Basil olive oil, cooked in squid ink and served on a bed of marinated red peppers -

 My Spanish has pretty much deteriorated over the months, but doing some background research, I think chocos refers to cuttlefish, similar to squid but with a flatter, thicker body.
Not that the different species matter much to me, because I love them both - eating them, that is. The marinate was really fragrant with a slight hint of spiciness from the peppers. Definitely one of my favourite dishes of the evening.



COURSE TWO
Almejas al Jerez
- Giant clams gently cooked in garlic, olive oil and dry sherry wine -

A more piquante variation to the Almejas salteadas (clams in white wine sauce). It had a nice sweetness to it, and were possibly the largest clams that I have eaten so far!



COURSE THREE
Merluza Adobada
- Hake parcels marinated in wine vinegar, laurel and Oregano, deep-fried with the traditional Andalusian flour used for frying fish -

Merluza is Spanish for hake, which is a popular fish in Spain - a light flaky texture with aromatic flavours and a slight bitterness from the herbs.
Fried fish is one of the gastronomic specialities in Andalusia - the fresh fish is coated in a thin layer of flour which forms a crust to avoid it from getting greasy, yet allowing heat to penetrate, which brings out the exact flavours of the dish.





COURSE FOUR
Atun de Los Dos Mundos
- Char-grilled tuna marinated in garlic, EVO oil, soy sauce, topped with sesame seeds laid on a bed of roasted aubergine caramelised in honey and miso -

Another one of my favourite fish selections, with its dense textured flesh - the 'meat lover's' fish, which resembles the texture of steak with no fishy taste. I did like the soy sauce/miso marinade with sesame seeds which gave it a bit of an Asian twist.



COURSE FIVE
Espinacas con Garbanzos
- A traditional spinach and chickpea salad sauteed in garlic and chilli pepper, topped with chorizo cooked in red wine and Cabrales blue cheese -

A hearty and smoky dish with a slight spicy kick from the chilli peppers and chorizo. I'm not usually a fan of blue cheese on it's own, but it's creamy piquant flavour worked amazingly well with the dish, and definitely had me craving for more.
Probably something that I would attempt to make at home, and introduce it to guests by the Spanish name, Espinacas con Garbanzos, just because it sounds much sexier than the English translation of spinach and chickpeas...




 
COURSE SIX
Judias con Jamon
- Artichoke hearts cooked in wine, parsley and garlic sauce sauteed with meaty parcels of Jamon Iberico -

If I'm not mistaken, green beans are usually used in this dish, but nonetheless I do love artichoke. The more tender, younger and smaller artichokes are often used in Spanish cuisine, cooked in a variety of ways.
This was cooked to perfection - nice and tender with a delicious burst of flavours. 



COURSE SEVEN
Montadito de Jamon y Huevos de Cordoniz
- Mini sandwich filled with Jamon Iberico de Bellota, quail egg and a sprinkle of sweet paprika -

A simple and tasty dish, and I especially liked the sweet strips of caramelised onions.



COURSE EIGHT
Pato Caramelisado
- Duck breast cooked in a reduction of Pedro Ximenez wine. Served with Patatas a la Ponte -

Duck, exactly what I've been waiting for all night -  succulent pieces of duck cooked medium rare with a juicy layer of fat. The potatoes were also very tasty.

 



COURSE NINE
Postre Secreto
- the Secret Dessert -

Keeping to their usual tradition of only revealing the dessert on the evening itself...we watched in anticipation as Chef Rob worked his magic in the kitchen.
It was Polea pudding - a sweet dessert made with flour, honey, milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon peel. A luscious creamy, custard texture, which we scooped up generously with the bread (usually served with fried bread croutons).



Andalusian food is all about simple pleasures, which was exactly what this evening was all about. Enjoying good food with good company in unpretentious settings.

A big thank you to Rob and Fabio once again for hosting another great evening - looking forward to the next supperclub!

Click the following links for previous BDK supperclub posts x

Backdoor Salon
BDK Sardinian Night

The Cheekster, signing out x

Read more about VAMOS A TAPEAR!- Andalusian tapas night on Edible Experiences

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