Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Un Pequeño Festival de Tapas

I cannot seem to get enough lately of the shows on PBS about the cuisine of Spain. Between "Spain - On the Road Again" and "Made in Spain", I have been immersing myself in the sights and sounds of various regions and their specialized dishes. Everything looks and sounds so delicious. The idea of a trip there to experience it all firsthand is enticing but not likely to happen any time soon.All this watching had me determined to do some cooking and eating a la España - right now, right here in Texas. It was the second weekend of Fall - the temperatures were decidedly cooler in the mornings, and strains of ACL Fest music were wafting in our open windows and doors. It was time, I decided, for un pequeño festival de tapas.
Here are the details:Pomodori al forno
A Spanish style salad with herbed honey, arugula, manchego cheese, pear and marcona almonds.
Warmed olives
Beef and lamb meat balls prepared with arugula pesto and lots of garlic, then browned in olive oil.
More manchego, sharp cheddar and brie, onion marmalade, more almonds, and bruschetta.

I enjoyed figuring out what I wanted to make, and had fun making it. When it came time to eat, I had tasted and tested so often I was nearly full before the feasting even officially began. I learned a few things, I have a new favorite way to make tomatoes  and that is, as they say in Spain, "bastante!".


Tiffany said...

I visited Spain for my honeymoon last year and absolutely loved eating tapas. It's so much fun! My husband and I have decided that there are no olives in the US that taste nearly as good as the ones we enjoyed in Spain.
Your feast looks delicious.

TexasDeb said...

Thank you Tiffany! Oooh - a honeymoon visit to Spain. What a delight that must have been.

I've often wondered if food is really that much better in the places I've visited or if it was more me basting my food memories with the warm feelings I had about those trips and the people I met.

Maybe it has everything to do with freshness and knowing how to love an ingredient. Maybe there the locals - whoever and wherever they are - will always have the advantage?