Five top restaurant-quality recipes to try in the kitchen
Tapas is proof that you don’t need a lot of food to have a good time. Coming from the Spanish word tapa, meaning ‘cover’, the small dishes can tantalise taste buds and still leave room for more. The origin of tapas is believed to come from King Alfonso X of Spain who fell ill and had to eat small portions of food with a glass of grape between meals. Once he recovered he decreed that no grape should be served in the inns of Castile without being accompanied by a small dish of something to eat. Which has proven to be an excellent plan.
Gambas al ajillo (Bravo, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort) Serves: 4 Ingredients: 1kg cleaned shrimps 200g peeled garlic 100ml olive oil 1 baguette Sea salt and pepper
Method: 1 Sauté the shrimps with slices of garlic and olive oil for five minutes in a non-stick pan at a high heat. Set aside a plate with tissue on to absorb the excess oil.
2 Cut the baguette into 2cm thick slanted slices and reheat for one minute on each side in the pan.
3 Place the shrimp on the baguette and sprinkle some sea salt or pepper on top according to taste.
Pulpo a la Gallega (Bravo, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort) Serves: 4 Ingredients: 2kg frozen clean octopus 2ltr water 200g onion 2 bay leaves 100ml extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp paprika 1 baguette, sliced 1 tbsp sea salt
Method: 1 Defrost the octopus in the fridge the day before.
2 Add onion, bay leaves and salt to water and bring to boil. As it boils, take the octopus by the head and dip it three times into the water, then on the fourth keep it boiling for around one hour. To check it’s ready, pinch the thickest part of it and poke a wood skewer through. If it passes through the octopus like it’s going through butter then it’s cooked. Place in a container of water with ice to avoid overcooking.
3 Slice 1cm sections of the tentacles off then place on a plate, sprinkle a little olive oil, paprika and sea salt and serve with baguette bread.
Porra antequeranas (Ornina) Serves: 4 Ingredients: 1kg tomatoes 150g rustic white bread, cut into pieces 1 clove of garlic 1 tbsp vinegar 6 tbsp olive oil 2 boiled eggs Salt
Method: 1 Blanch the tomatoes for 10 seconds in boiling water, remove and place them in ice water to cool down. Once cool, peel and cut into pieces.
2 Blend tomatoes with the garlic and add the bread until a smooth paste. Pour in the vinegar and then slowly add olive oil to get an emulsion. Add salt to taste.
3 Keep it in the chiller. To serve, chop the boiled egg and put on the top of the puree and decorate with a touch of olive oil. Top with tuna and/or black olives if you fancy.
Prawns pil pil (Ornina) Serves: 4 Ingredients: 500g medium-sized prawns 100g olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced 2 small dried chilies 1 tsp of paprika Fresh chopped parsley Salt
Method: 1 Clean the prawns and place in a heat-proof clay cooking dish (a tagine could be used).
2 Pour the olive oil over the prawns and then add the rest of the ingredients.
3 Place the clay dish over a medium heat and cook the prawns through.
4 Remove from the heat and serve in the same dish with some bread on the side. For more spice add some cayenne pepper.
Frittata (Lemon Tree, Holiday Inn) Ingredients: 1 large potato 1 large white onion Fresh spinach (optional) 10 eggs ½ cup of Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper Virgin olive oil Method: 1 Peel and chop the potato into 1cm cubes, boil in seasoned water until just cooked, leave to drain well.
2 Peel and chop the onion into 1cm cubes, sauté in virgin olive oil and seasoning until they’re translucent, place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
3 Whisk the eggs and season well. Grate the Parmesan and de-stalk then finely shred the spinach, but don’t mix just yet.
4 Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Then add the still warm onions and potato, season well and stir.
5 Add the shredded spinach, the egg mix and the Parmesan and give a little mix, but do not stir or the eggs will catch and stick.
6 Use the spatula to tease the egg away from the sides. After 15 minutes of cooking, place a plate or flat pan lid on top of the pan and while holding the lid and pan securely, turn the whole thing over.
7 Slide the frittata back into the pan to cook the top for five minutes more. To check if cooked, insert a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean then it’s done. Eat directly or once cooled, place in the chiller for up to two days.