Monday, July 19, 2010

Viva España!

The night was marked by amazing people, spectacular wine, and delicious food. And for this very special dinner in lieu of Spain's amazing victory agains Holland in the Final for the World Cup, I give you the Spanish inspired dishes!

I also need to make a very special note to the wines of the night. We started the night with beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon vintage selection (1996) from the Burgess Vinyard in Napa. We then followed that with a delicious aromatic 2004 Chateu Redortier Beaumes-de-Venise. We then returned to the Cabs with an amazing full-bodied Rudd Crossroads. For the great finale we opened a very special bottle of Cabernet that is the creation of the Two Hands vineyard from Barossa Valley (Australia) but from their Napa Valley venture. This last wine was a beautiful complexity and definitely the highlight of the wines of the night.

And now for the recipes with the Spanish flavor:

Gazpacho Shooters
7 Peeled plum tomatos (remove the seeds)
1 tb spoon of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of diced cucumber
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1 t spoon of Tabasco sauce
1 t spoon of Worcestershire sauce

Begin by blending the plum tomatos, then begin to add all the ingredients one by one until liquified. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve place in wide shot glasses and garnish with one or two cucumber slices.

Asparagus & Jamon Serrano
12 Asparagus
12 slices of jamon serrano
3 tb spoons of olive oil

Preheat oven at 350° F. Wrap the asparagus with the Serrano until completely covered. Place asparagus on baking sheet and cover with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven for no more than 10 minutes, turning the asparagus around half way through. The Serrano should be almost crispy.

Jamon y Melon
12 pieces of cubed cantaloup
12 slices of Jamon Serrano

This is perhaps the most common Spanish dish, but its for a good reason, the combination in taste is spectacular. All you do to serve is take a piece of cantaloup and wrap it with the Serrano and serve. Very simple, very tasty.

Filet Mignon with Cabernet Reduction and Morel mushroom sauce
6 pieces of Filet Mignon (about 1 inch thick)
2 shallots
2 tb spoons of butter
1 750ml bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (if you won't drink it, don't cook with it, buy a decent bottle of wine)
2 tb spoons of fresh rosemary chopped
3 tb spoons of cream
30 morel mushrooms (medium sized)

For the sauce:
Chop up the shallots into very small pieces. Melt the butter in a saucepan at medium heat and add the chopped shallots and rosemary until soft. Add the bottle of wine and begin to reduce at medium to medium low flame. You want to reduce the bottle until you have about a third of the wine left, about 30 to 45 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the cream and a pinch of salt for consistency and taste. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. Once cooked (they cook quickly about 3 to 5 minutes) add to sauce.

For meat:
While cooking the sauce, pepper the meat and let sit. When ready to cook add salt to both sides and quickly sear each side of the steaks for no more than a minute to seal the flavors in. Then place into oven to broil. Since the meat is not too thick do not leave in there for long. about 3 to 4 minutes for medium.
Serve to plate and add sauce on top.

Saffron Rice
2 cups of long grain rice
2 cups of water
1 cup of chicken broth
1 t spoon of saffron threads
2 tb spoons of butter
1/4 cup fo chopped onions

Heat butter in medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. add the saffron and then the rice and stir. Cook rice thoroughly until covered in rice saffron and onions. Add water and broth and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes at low heat then turn off flame and leave semi uncovered for 5 minutes.

Green Beans and Almonds
1/2 lb of green beans
2 tb spoons of butter
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
pinch of salt

Cut the green beans into 2 inch long pieces and steam for about 2 minutes. Toast the almonds with a little bit of butter until golden brown. Add the beans and the additional butter and salt, lightly sauté for about 2 minutes and serve.

The presentation was a great part of this dinner. Please check out the pictures on the right and check it out.


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