Sunshine on a plate, call your mates and set a date…
If I think about eating in Spain, I’m instantly transported to a cobblestoned square where a clock is bonging from a tower in one corner, elderly waiters expertly dance around with laden trays of drinks, well-dressed children eat ice creams, and I sip something icy cold from a frosty glass. Sensual, celebratory, simple and profound: that’s Spain, and you can have it on a plate.
Olé, what wonderful music there is on my Spanish music playlist! The flutter of flamenco, a bit of bossa nova, some crooning of course (hello Julio!) and beautiful rolled Rs throughout. Pick up some castanets and play along! Fun fact: did you know that a pair of castanets includes ‘male’ and ‘female’ instruments?
Spain is the third most productive wine producing country in the world, and many of their wines are cheaper then their French and Italian counterparts. Tempranillo is a Spanish red wine that will carry you through most of this menu; you’ll usually see it blended with other varieties to create easily drinkable wines that work well with food.
To me, this menu feels like that half-hour just before dusk, all rusty reds and happy gleams. Think timber, terracotta, a warm and spicy timbre – red napkins, earthy crockery, rumpled linen, coloured tiles and a can’t-go-wrong relaxed feeling.
Shall we start with dessert? The Steamed Orange Puddings with Almond Milk Ice Cream are a subtle and fragrant Varoma treat. Let’s leap back to the Sunny Gazpacho, made with yellow tomatoes but just as gorgeous with rosy red toms. The Herb-Salted Chicken and Chickpea Casserole is an impressive dinner party dish but it’s a lovely, hearty family meal too – make the crumb and herb salt ahead of time to make life even easier.
There are lots of other Spanish dishes right here on the site, thanks mostly to chef Jesse Gerner who came and cooked with me for the day. You’ll definitely want to make his Casa Daiquiri (available to subscribers and registered users). I’m also a big fan of his Mackerel with Pil Pil on Olive Oil Rice.
Steamed Orange Puddings with Almond Milk Ice Cream star in my Spanish menu of Entertaining and the video is available here on the site. These delicious puddingsround off a Spanish-themed dinner party with sophistication but you can also serve them with other cuisines.
And you may have heard about my mega popular Basque Cheesecake, discovered during a trip to San Sebastian in the Spanish Basque country. I made a video with a couple of chefs there too. Find out more about the site here and subscribe for access to all recipes and videos.
I love seeing the dishes you’re making from this menu. Make sure you tag them #ewdv so I can see them. That’s ‘entertaining with Dani Valent’ of course :)