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Anchovy, Pepper, & Olive Skewer - (Serves 4)



8 pickled guindilla peppers

8 manzanilla olives, pitted

4 anchovy fillets in olive oil, preferably Cantabrian

Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish



1.  Cut the stems off the peppers.  Cut each pepper in half crosswise.


2.  With a long toothpick, prick one olive through its center, followed by two pieces of pepper.  Add an anchovy, threading it onto the toothpick in an "S" shape.  Add two more pieces of pepper.  Finish with another olive.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients  to make three more gildas.


3.  Serve at room temperature on a platter, drizzled generously with olive oil.



Spanish Omelet - (Serves 8)



3 large potatoes (Yukon Gold), peeled

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons kosher salt. plus more if needed

1 cup vegetable oil

10 large eggs



1.  Halve the potatoes lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise into quarters.  Chop into pieces about 1/2 inch thick; you should have 4 cups.  Put the potatoes in a bowl, add water to cover, and set aside.


2.  In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat.  Add the onions and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.  Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for ab40 minutes, until the onions are totally soft and have taken on a deep golden color.  Remove from the heat and set aside.


3.  Meanwhile, in a separate medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat to 250 degrees F.  Drain the pain potatoes and pat them dry.  Fry the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted into a larger piece comes out easily.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes from the oil.  Sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.


4.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.  Add the onions and potatoes and stir to combine.


5.  Heat a clean 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat (use largest stove burner for more even cooking).  Coat the skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the egg - potato mixture and immediately lower the heat to medium.  Stir quickly a few times, scraping along the bottom with a silicone spatula, then leave the skillet untouched, allowing the egg to cook.


6.  Move the spatula around the sides of the pan, slipping it under the omelet and loosening any stubborn stuck parts very gingerly, in an attempt to ensure the omelet is not adhering to any part of the skillet's surface.  Cook for 4 minutes, until the edges are fully cooked, but the center is still a bit liquid.


7.  Place a round plate with a diameter larger than the pan's upside down on the top of the pan.  With one hand on the plate and one hand holding the pan, quickly flip the pan and plate together in one motion so that the tortilla is on the plate.


8.  Slide the omelet onto a clean, dry plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 8 wedges and serving.



Croquettes - (Makes 30 croquettes)



3 1/4 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 ham bone (optional) or 3 slices Iberico or Serrano ham

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 onion, diced fine

3 cups all-purpose flour

Kosher salt

5 oz. Iberico or Serrano ham, finely chopped (1/3 cup)

3 large eggs

2 cups dry bread crumbs

Olive oil, for frying



1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and ham bone and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from the heat  and set aside to infuse for at least 15 minutes before straining out the solids.


2.  In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent and very tender, about 15 minutes.  Increase the heat to high.  Add 1 cup of the flour and stir with a whisk for 1 minute.  While whisking vigorously, add the milk-cream mixture, little by little at first, then working up to 1/2 cup increments, until all has been incorporated.  Add a generous pinch of salt.  Taste the béchamel and add a bit more salt, i desired.


3.  Mix the chopped ham into the béchamel.  Chilling the mixture in a roasting pan for at least 1 hour will make it easier to form a perfectly shaped croquette.


4.  Beat the eggs in a bowl.  Spread the bread crumbs over a rimmed baking sheet or a large plate.  Spread the remaining 2 cups flour on a separate plate.


5.  Scoop 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a small ball.  Dredge the ball in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip it in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, and finally roll it in the bread crumbs to coat.  Set the coated ball on a clean, dry plate or baking sheet until ready to fry.


NOTE:  If you aren't frying them immediately, the breaded croquettes can be refrigerated for p to 3 days.  They can also be frozen for up to 3 months, and can go straight from the freezer to fryer when desired.


6.  In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 to 2 inches of olive oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.  Working in batches to avoid crowding the pot, fry the croquettes until golden brown, turning them occasionally to cook evenly.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle immediately with salt.  Transfer to a platter and serve warm.



Potato Salad - (Serves 12)



Kosher salt

3 large potatoes (Yukon Gold or red), peeled

3 carrots, peeled

4 large eggs

1 cup stuffed green olives

1/2 cup frozen green peas, defrosted (or canned)

1/2 cup canned tuna, drained

2 cups mayonnaise, (preferably homemade - recipe follows)

Baguette slices, for serving

Olives, grated hard-boiled egg, and/or red bell pepper strips, for serving (optional)



1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the potatoes.  After 7 minutes, add the carrots.  After 4minutes more, add the eggs.  Boil for exactly 9 minutes more - 20 minutes total.  Use a slotted spoon or a spider to remove the eggs and run them under cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.  Pierce a potato with a fork; if it comes out easily, they are ready.  Drain the potatoes and carrots and let cool.  When the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel hem.


2.  Cut he cooked potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.  Cut the carrots and 3 of the eggs to the same size. Place in a large bowl.  Set aside 5 olives and coarse chop the remainder.  Add the chopped olives, peas, and tuna to the bowl.  Add 1 cup of the mayonnaise and stir gently.  Add the remaining mayonnaise a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture is creamy and smooth.


3.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  If you used homemade mayo, the potato salad will keep for up to 1 day; with store-bought mayo, it will keep for up to 3 days.


4.  To serve, scoop generous spoonfuls onto slices of baguette.  If desired, top each with an olive, a strip of pepper, or grated hard-boiled egg.



Homemade Mayonnaise



1 large egg

Apple cider vinegar

Kosher salt

2 cups light olive oil or vegetable oil



1.  Combine the egg, a splash of vinegar, a inch of salt, and a splash of the olive oil in a tall cylindrical container.  Insert an immersion blender and blend to emulsify the mixture.


2.  With the blender running, add the remaining oil in a steady stream, moving the blender stick slowly up and down.  (Alternatively, use a conventional blender and with the blender running, slowly stream the oil through the hole in the lid.)


3.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or vinegar if necessary.  If it is too thick, stir in a bit of water.


4.  Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 3 days.



Garlic Potatoes - (Serves 4)



Kosher salt

3 large potatoes (Yukon Gold), peeled, chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups olive or vegetable oil, for frying

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Baguette slices, for serving

Spicy paprika, for sprinkling



1.  Bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of salt added, to a boil.  Add the potatoes and boil for exactly 10 minutes.  Drain the potatoes in a colander.


2.  In a deep. heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the frying oil to 250 degrees F.  Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan add the potatoes  to the hot oil and fry for 6 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.  They should be crispy, with pieces barely beginning to color.


3.  In a large skillet, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic.  When the garlic starts to dance, add the potatoes.  Taste for seasoning.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the parsley, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.  Empty the contents of the pan onto a plate.


4.  Serve immediately with bread, toothpicks, and spicy paprika, to be sprinkled on to taste.



Shrimp Kebab with Pepper Vinaigrette - (Serves 4)



1 sweet Italian green pepper, such as Cubanelle

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 spring onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Kosher salt

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

12 medium shrimp, peeled & deveined

4 bacon slices, halved crosswise

1/2 baguette, sliced on an angle



1.  Mince the peppers and onion then transfer to a bowl,  Add half the minced garlic, the vinegar, and a pinch of salt, and soak for at least 10 minutes.  Slowly whisk in 2/3 cup of the olive oil.  Set aside.


2.  Poke a wooden skewer through a shrimp from bottom to top, then thread on a piece of folded bacon, followed by another shrimp, another piece of bacon, and a final shrimp.  Repeat to make three more skewers.  Season with salt.


3.  On a griddle or in a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over high heat.  When the oil very hot, add the remaining garlic and kebabs to the pan.  Sear for 1 minute, or until the shrimp takes on a golden color.  Flip the kebabs over and cook for about 30 seconds more.  Transfer the kebabs to a plate.


4.  Add the slices of bread to the hot pan in a single layer, toasting lightly.


5.  Transfer the bread to a platter, place kebabs on top, ladle a bit of the vinaigrette over, and serve.

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