One of the stupidest commercials I've seen in the past year comes from Panera - or is it Olive Garden? In any case, it features a chef talking about how soup "brings people together." It seemed like the most arbitrary statement - doesn't food in general bring people together? What about soup inspires a sense of comradery? Is it the part where everyone huddles over their bowl soaking in their individual portion of fragrant steam? Or how the bowl covers their face as they lift it to their lips to drain the last drops? (Sorry, soup, this really isn't an assault on you, just that stupid commercial. You're great - keep doing what you're doing there, champ.)
You know what does bring people together? Tapas! Small plates of portioned deliciousness passed around the table and shared amongst friends who are most likely going to wind up sneaking bites of each other's plates anyway. It doesn't just break personal bubble barriers (you can't share small plates if you're afraid of cooties...), it gives everyone in your party something in common - an entire table of dishes to discuss, personal tastes to compare, stories to tell, and eventually brings the entire table together in a hippie-dippie lovefest of food and conversation.
This is why I love tapas. Small plates: bringing people together one delicious morsel at at time.
Now - we have three recipes to get through, so - enjoy my:
Three Tapas Recipes!
Potatoes Bravas with Lemon Garlic Aioli Ingredients3 Yukon Potatoes, skinned and cubed
Oil for cooking
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 clove garlic
1 tbs lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup olive oil
Scallion for garnish, chopped
1. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on high until oil shimmers. Make sure the oil is good an hot so the potatoes don't soak up too much.
2. Add the potatoes and cook until golden brown, then place on paper towel to drain
3. AS SOON AS YOU MOVE THEM OVER, add salt, pepper and smoked paprika and toss
4. Take all the aioli ingredients EXCEPT THE OIL, and throw in a food processor (or wisk it if your forearm needs a good workout)
5. Pulse in short bursts. Once the ingredients are well mixed, slowly add the oil inbetween pulses. Keep going until aioli is smooth
6. Put the aioli in a small plastic bag, cut the corner out of the bag, and squeeze lightly while zigzagging over the poatoes. Sprinkle scallions over the potatoes bravas for garnish.
Garlic & White Wine Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients(This is basically the same process as the braised drumsticks I posted a week or so ago, just different flavors)
1.5-2 lbs of chicken wings or drumsticks
2 tbs thyme
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup white wine, plus another 1/2 cup
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
About 2 tbs cooking oil
1. Rub down that chicken with the herbs. Use your hands. Get in there!
2. Heat the cooking oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, and preheat oven to 400.
3. When skillet is about 3/4 heat, add onions and mushrooms - cook for about 2 minutes
4. On high heat, add chicken and sear the exterior on all sides as best you can - DO NOT COOK THROUGH
6. Add 1/2 cup of white wine to the pan, and scrape with a wooden spoon to delgaze. Reduce liquid by half.
7. Place chicken back in pan, coat with sauce, and toss in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until it looks like this.
Lemon Chorizo & Shrimp IngredientsThis one is incredibly easy - the sausage flavors the shrimp, the shrimp flavors the sausage, and the lemon juice gives it a little TANG. You just need about:
3/4 lb of shrimp, shelled and deveined (you see here I didn't do that, which was a mistake - only leave the shells on if you're placing the shrimp directly on the pan)
1 link of chorizo or similar sausage, chopped
2tbs lemon juice
1. Heat a pan to 3/4
2. Add the chorizo, cook until starting to brown
3. Add the shrimp on top of the chorizo, cook until chorizo darkens and shrimp turns bright pink
4. With the range on high, add the lemon juice on tbs at a time - then turn the range off, toss the mixture, and let sit for a bout 5 minutes.
And our tapas recipe hat trick is complete! Do you have any small plates you'd love to share? If so, bring'em on down to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cutseveryday!