Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Traditional Spain Day 1

Todays lesson covered several traditional style Spanish dishes: Gazpacho, Tortilla Espagnola, and Paella.

Paella is a dish that most likely was developed in the region of Valencia, as did many other rice based dishes. Paella is the dish that served as inspiration for the Creole dish Jambalaya. Based on medium grain rice flavored and colored with the indigenous spice saffron and then garnished with a variety of proteins [chorizo sausage, chicken, various shellfish and vegetables]

The Tortilla in question here is far from what we first think of when we hear the word tortilla. This tortilla ("small cake") is more of a frittata, an open faced omelet, in this case filled with potatoes and onions.

Gazpacho began as a creamy white soup derived from almonds, garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar, but when the "New World" delivered tomatoes and bell peppers it was transformed into what we now sometimes label a salad in a soup bowl. A chilled puree of perfectly ripe vegetables is concentrated and strained and then served with cuts of those vegetables, and/or grapes or other creative garnish. Perfect for hot weather but well received anytime quality ingredients are available.

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