I recently checked out Spain: A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali "with Gwyneth Paltrow." And the first three recipes were a smashing success.
I made the Tortilla Espanola* first, and it was simple beyond belief. I didn't change a thing from the recipe and, as it suggested, I served it with jamon and a salad for dinner:
The second dish I made was the empanada. This one surprised me a bit because I'm used to eating empanadas in restaurants where they come more individually packaged. This dish confused me as to the difference between calzone and empanada (is it just the difference between Italian and Spanish?). Either way, the flavor was rich and outstanding. I halved the recipe for Adam, Bug, and me and it was more than enough for the three of us: I had enough leftovers for two lunches. And be careful on the cooking time - I cooked it about 27 minutes and it was about 7-9 minutes too long - perhaps because I had halved the recipe. Anyway, watch the cooking time:
The last dish was the migas, and it was both unique and simple. The flavor was insane. I did modify the heck out of this one. Unfortunately, I don't have photos (my parents were here and I didn't want to be all weird and bloggy about our dinner)...but here is my version of the recipe:
4 c. bread crumbs (I used a baguette)
2 c. panko bread crumbs (I ran out of baguette)
1/3 c. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, not peeled
1/2 lb. Spanish chorizo, casings removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 lb. pancetta in one piece, cut into 1/2-inch dice
A large bunch of grapes
4 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, and cut into wide strips
Tear up approximately 1/2 a baguette into a food processor. Process until roughly ground.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the garlic and stir until lightly browned and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the chorizo and pancetta and cook, stirring, until the meat is lightly browned and starting to render its fat, about 8 minutes. Add the bread crumbs (baguette and panko), mix thoroughly, and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are lightly browned (the crumbs are going to soak up all the oil and pork fat - I told you it was insane). Serve with the grapes and roasted peppers (peel the cloves if you like, or let your guests do it...I peeled mine).
The only thing I would change about this one is I would double the garlic. Seriously. The garlic ends up getting roasted in its skin so it's incredibly soft and sweet. It takes each bite to the next level and we all ended up fighting over the measly 6 cloves in the recipe.
So this makes it official: this cookbook is a buyer! I'm looking forward to writing notes in the margins for posterity!
Eat, drink, and be okay with owning a book by Gwyneth Paltrow.
* Apologies for my lack of proper accents on the Spanish words. Does anyone know how to do this on Blogger? Normally I just import from Google Docs, but...