TUESDAY, APRIL 4TH AT 7PM — A SPANISH SERENADE
Mallorcan Coca (freshly made Spanish flatbread) with Honeyed Onions, Pine Nuts and Currants
Pan-Roast of Cod with Tomatoes and Chorizo
Fragrant Rice and Vermicelli Saffron-Citrus Pilau
Mixed Chicories with Green Apple, Marcona Almonds, Manchego and Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette
Bittersweet Chocolate-Orange-Almond Turron with Lightly Whipped Cream
A number of you have begged me to teach a Spanish class. Aiming to please, I’ve combined a few of my favorite Iberian dishes into a single, very Spanish menu for early spring. The first course is a coca, the closest thing Spain has to pizza. Cocas are often served as part of a tapas selection though I also like to pair a coca with a salad for a light lunch main. In class, we’ll be serving the onion coca as a rustic starter.
The dough for this particular coca is not yeast-based and thus requires no rising and is a snap to make. By partially baking the dough before the onion topping is added, we’ll reduce sogginess and end up with something somewhat closer to flatbread than pizza. Those of you who prefer a more savory starter can omit the honey and top the onions with sausage, salami, sardines or anchovies before baking. Cocas can handily be served hot, warm or at room temperature.
The following cod and chorizo course is both easy and delicious, its heady flavors coming primarily from the chorizo. Thin slices of sausage are warmed and then pieces of fish and cherry tomatoes are browned in the rendered fat. That’s all there is to it other than a squeeze of lemon and lots of fresh parsley, mint and marjoram.
A rice and vermicelli pilaf — fragrant with cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, anise and citrus — provides an ideal side dish to serve with the tasty pan sauce created by the rendered juices. The less traditionally minded can serve this cod dish with grits or crispy polenta cakes instead of with rice.
A fresh salad of mixed chicories, endive, Spanish Marcona almonds, and Manchego served alongside beautifully balances out the rich flavors of sausage and fish while the tangy lemon-caper vinaigrette lightens and brightens the entire plate.
And a bit of lightness is not a bad thing as dessert is very rich (but also utterly divine). Though I became acquainted with Spanish Turrons more recently, they are almost identical to the Italian Torrones that I’ve been making ( and loving) for years. This Chocolate-Orange Turron is a folding together of chocolate, Grand Marnier, sugar, orange zest, whipped egg whites, ground almonds and crunchy cookies. The mixture is poured into a loaf pan, chilled, unmolded and served cold with whipped cream. Food for the gods.
To register for this class: http://bit.ly/CocaMenu