Memories of Spain have me dreaming of Spanish food lately. The paella, churros, gazpacho and turrones that I’ve had on previous trips were unlike any I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve tried since then to recreate some of these dishes in my own kitchen.
As if by coincidence, there’s a Tapas Night that will take place on April 11 at the Green Sun Hotel, where seven of the best Spanish chefs based in Manila will prepare traditional as well as more contemporary versions of the Spanish pick-me-ups known as tapas.
These chefs include José Luis “Chele” Gonzalez and Ivan Saiz of Vask Gallery and ArroZeria, Juan Carlos de Terry (of Terry’s Selection), Pepe López (of Ramblas), Carlos Garcia (of The Black Pig), Nicolas Diaz (of Barcino) and Pablo López (of Donosti).
Representing different regions of Spain, these tapas will be served with Spanish wines, cava and other Spanish drinks. The event will actually be a preview of Madrid Fusion Manila, a gastronomic festival slated to take place on April 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
During this event, renowned Spanish and Asian chefs will discuss the latest culinary trends and techniques. In addition, a trade exhibition will showcase Spanish and Filipino food products such as hams, cheeses, olive oils, wines, fruits and sweets. There will be tasting seminars and degustacion as well.
Though the trade exhibit will be open only to professionals the first two days, the general public may participate on the last day. (Prior registration is required. Visit www.madridfusionmanila.com for more information.)
Meantime, while waiting for these exciting events to unfold, I tried cooking one of my favorite Spanish tapas at home: Tortilla Española con Patatas y Chorizo. It makes a delicious first course or appetizer if you’re serving it at a party, but it’s good for a weeknight dinner as well. You can find very good-quality Spanish ingredients such as olive oil and chorizo in specialty delis such as Terry’s and Barcino.
To make a complete meal, serve the tortilla with bread and Spanish olives. My favorite drink to go with this? A cold glass of fruity sangria.
Spanish tortilla with potatoes and chorizo
5 large potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups water
1-2 whole Spanish chorizo, cut into cubes
6 large eggs
Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin wedges. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions over low heat for about two minutes.
Add the garlic and continue sautéing over low heat for about one more minute (use low heat, and keep stirring the onions and garlic so they don’t burn). Add the potatoes and pour in the water. Simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the chorizo and continue simmering for about one to two more minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined and fluffy. Season with salt. Blend in the potato mixture. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg mixture. Let cook over medium heat until the bottom is set.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Place a large plate over the skillet, then flip the plate and skillet over to transfer the tortilla to the plate, so that the bottom side of the tortilla is now on top. Slide the tortilla back into the skillet so that the previously top side now becomes the bottom. Cook the tortilla in the skillet until the eggs are fully set. (See tips on this page.)
Transfer to a serving plate and cut into wedges. If desired, serve with bread and Spanish olives.
For more tips, recipes and stories, visit the author’s blog, www.normachikiamco.com, and Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/normachikiamco. Follow on [email protected]
Make sure the eggs have set fully at the bottom and partially on top before inverting the tortilla onto a plate. Otherwise, the eggs might spill.
Instead of inverting the tortilla onto a plate, you can invert it onto another skillet of equal size to the first skillet. Brush the second skillet first with olive oil to keep the tortilla from sticking.