17 March 2014

Cookbook Club - The Book of Tapas

There are a few lessons that I learned about tapas last month.  The first was that they often taste much better than the look.  The second that they can taste better the second day.  And the third is the lack of dessert tapas.

Kate hosted for February and wisely chose tapas.  She searched a few different books including the one by DC chef José Andrés but The Book of Tapas by Simone and Ines Ortega just seemed the most complete.

I loved looking through this book but it was too difficult to choose just one dish.  Many of us started picking multiple dishes also because they were pretty simple.

I promise you that the dishes tasted much better than the looked (see above in lessons learned).

Megan made the Serrano ham with Melon Mousse.  The mousse was more like a soup because the gelatin would not set but the flavors were still delicious.  It was more like a sweet gazpacho with ham.

Marissa made the Patatas Bravas with garlic mayonnaise on the side.  I could eat anything with that garlic mayonnaise.  I was using it as a condiment with all of the dishes.

She also made the Manchego cheese and fried onion.  The recipe calls for Idizabal cheese but she couldn't find any. Thank goodness for Manchego.

Jocelyn made toast with ground beef.  This is so simple but so good.

I made the carrot salad with orange and the lentils with sausage.  I made a really good carrot salad recently from the Rose Bakery cookbook and I wanted to compare it with another.  It called for Orange Blossom water which I could not find and I wonder how that would change the flavor.  It was a sweet dish with the oranges and a little powdered sugar but still nice.  I liked the lentil dish the night of but I loved it the next day.  It's so simple with garlic, onion, bay leaf and chorizo sausage but it has a very nice flavor.

In addition to the fancy drinks, Kate made the chicken brochettes with spices and honey.  This was another good dish.

Tara kept apologizing for this dish because of how it looked but don't let appearances fool you.  This is what fried asparagus with garlic, vinegar and paprika should look like and it tastes as good as it sounds.

Jenica doubled up as well and made fried zucchini which I loved with the garlic mayonnaise and the olive caviar. Delicious brown food could have been the theme of the night.

Julia recognized the need for dessert and made chocolate stuffed beignets from a non-tapas cookbook.  I could eat these everyday.

Consensus was it's a great cookbook and a few folks bought it.  I'm excited to make the lentils again.

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