Tag Archives: Spanish

Spanish-Style Chicken, Morcilla, and Sherry One-Pot

Spanish-Style Chicken, Morcilla, and Sherry One-Pot

So of course you all know that I used to be a horrifically picky eater as a child, and that only began to change about ten years ago. Not only did I expand my horizons to embrace formerly icky mainstream ingredients like say, broccoli, or cabbage, I’ve also become quite an adventurous eater as well. I’ve tried, and liked, some weird stuff over the past decade – veal brains, grasshoppers, duck tongue, kangaroo meat, shrimp heads, Rocky Mountain oysters (Google it if you think it’s seafood)…

Spanish-style Chicken, Morcilla, and Sherry One Pot

And yet, there are still lines I have trouble crossing. Like raw oysters. If you cook or fry the oyster, fine, I’ll eat it. But raw oysters are essentially loogies of the sea, and I just can’t do it. Blood sausage, politely known as morcilla, is another one I have real trouble with. I first tasted it about eighteen months ago, when Matt and I vacationed for a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One night we dressed up to the nines and dined at an authentic Argentine steakhouse, where our appetizers were Provoleta (best thing ever) and a link of blood sausage. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, “blood sausage” is not a euphemism. It’s exactly what you think it is.

Spanish-Style Chicken, Morcilla, and Sherry One Pot

I gave it the ol’ college try, but it just weirded me out so much. Gave me the willies, even though it really doesn’t taste bad at all. It was purely a mental thing. So imagine my surprise when we move from Queens to Hoboken, NJ, only to find that our local Shop Rite, of all grocery stores, regularly stocks morcilla. I promised Matt, who doesn’t share my squeamishness on this issue, that I’d cook it eventually. Nine months after we settled in, I delivered.

Spanish Style Chicken, Morcilla and Sherry One Pot

This chicken dish is quite lovely, rich and light at the same time, creamy and flavorful; I’m happy to report that Matt loved it! And I happily ate the chicken and did eat a few bites of the sausage. I tried, people, I tried. If you are like me and just can’t do it, I’d sub in some Spanish chorizo. Enjoy!

Spanish-Style Chicken, Morcilla, and Sherry One Pot

Source: A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry

1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
8 slices of morcilla (blood sausage), or Spanish chorizo
½ large onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
¾ cup dry sherry, plus more if needed
3 ½ tbs heavy cream
1 tbs toasted pine nuts
1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet that can hold the chicken and sausage pieces in a snug, even layer. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown in the skillet on both sides for color. Don’t cook it through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the sausage pieces to the pan and cook in the chicken drippings lightly on both sides, then remove it and set it aside with the chicken. Discard all but 1 tbs fat in the pan, if necessary, but don’t dislodge any brown bits stuck on the bottom.
Add the onion to the pan and brown it lightly. Lower the heat if it’s browning too fast. You don’t need it to soften. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to get those flavorful browned bits off and into the sauce. Return the chicken and sausage to the pan in a snug, even layer and place the skillet into the oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a chicken thigh registers 165 F.
There should still be sherry left in the pan mixing with the juices, but if not, add up to 4 tbs more and stir it into the juices. Put the skillet over medium heat and pour in the cream. Heat until it bubbles, then shut off the heat, scatter in the pine nuts and parsley, and serve immediately.
Serves 2.

Marcona Almond Blondies

Marcona Almond Blondies 235

Welcome to another themed week on the blog! This week will feature Blondies and Brownies! I realized that in all this time blogging I’ve posted ONE blondie recipe and ONE brownie recipe. Ouch. I think we need a little more diversification, so hopefully this week will be a good step forward in correcting that.

Marcona almond blondies 215

I’ve never been secretive about the fact that I prefer blondies over brownies, so we’ll start with perhaps some of the best blondies I’ve ever tasted. Marcona almonds are these amazing little Spanish almonds that are pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, what with the whole Spanish cuisine craze that took over maybe eight to ten years ago, and they are really incredible tasty.

marcona almond blondies 219

I had some left over from this oh so delicious salad, and knew I wasn’t going to waste even one almond; so big thanks to Food & Wine for coming to my rescue and alerting me to the fact that Marcona almonds are a perfect addition to blondies! And thanks to Iron Chef Jose Garces for creating and submitting the recipe.

Marcona Almond blondies 232

You could certainly sub in regular almonds for the Marconas, but I highly recommend tracking the Marcona almonds down. They’re just…. better. The end. Enjoy!

Marcona Almond Blondies 241

{One Year Ago: Double Crust Strawberry Pie, Cantaloupe Sorbet}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine

10 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced or slivered regular almonds
Drizzle of canola oil
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/2 large eggs, lightly beaten (to get the right amount, crack 1 egg into a small bowl, beat until uniform, then pour half out; then crack the remaining 2 eggs into the bowl and beat all together)
1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup marcona almonds, chopped
3/4 cups plus 2 tbs chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325º. Grease an 8×8″ metal baker and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, 30 minutes.
Add the regular almonds and a drizzle of canola oil to a mini food processor. Process until you have almond butter (alternately, if you can find almond butter in your grocery store, use 1/4 cup of that and skip this step.)
Add the sugar, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon to the butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour, then fold in the Marcona almonds and the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with an offset or a nonstick spatula.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the blondies cool completely before cutting.

Spanish Caesar Salad

Spanish Caesar Salad 116

Y’all know I love me some Caesar salad, it was one of few salads I ate willingly growing up. And the classic will never die, because it’s comforting and outrageously good and I would bawl like a baby if it ever did somehow die. However…. that doesn’t mean we can’t play around with the concept.

spanish caesar salad 122

Last summer I purchased Bobby Flay’s book, Barbecue Addiction, and immediately flagged this recipe as a must-try. And then, as often happens, life gets in the way, and before you know it, months have gone by and you still haven’t made it, and then it’s winter and you’re not feeling salads, and then when the weather first warms up a little, you shop for ingredients and can’t find any white anchovies that don’t look like your cat chewed them up and then spit them back in the jar, and well, yeah. It happens.

Spanish caesar salad 145

But a few weeks ago, I noticed my grocery store, the incomparable Fairway Market, started carrying these beautiful, plump, imported white anchovies, displayed over ice near the fish monger. I snapped them up, anchovy fiend that I am, and immediately knew what I’d be making with them.

So, if I may pause for a moment here, and give an ode to a good white anchovy. Most people *think* they hate anchovies (although if you use Worcestershire sauce, your objections are suspect at best); and most people seem to revolt from their very presence because they’ve had really bad quality anchovies dumped on a commercially made cheese pizza. And yes, that is nasty for so many reasons.

Spanish Caesar salad 126

I do love the commonplace red anchovies, but I rarely eat them whole. Mostly, they are thrown into a skillet with hot oil where they melt away and lend a wonderful nutty, salty and not fishy flavor to something. But, ohhhhh, these white anchovies…. These are so amazing, and it might actually be a crime against food to cook them or pulverize them in any way. They are PERFECT. Not fishy, not too salty, plump yet slightly chewy texture; basically they will make you swoon.

And this salad is beyond delicious. Matt and I simply couldn’t get enough. The recipe replaces most of the traditional ingredients of a Caesar salad with Spanish fare, like Manchego cheese for the parmesan, and Marcona almonds for croutons, and then adds a healthy dose of smoked Spanish paprika. I’m not sure what else I can even say, it’s just amazingly ridiculous. Enjoy!

Spanish Caesar Salad 148

{One Year Ago: Skirt Steak with Green and Red Chimuchurris, Summer Squash Enchiladas}

Source: adapted ever so slightly from Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay


1 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbs fresh orange juice
2 tbs sherry vinegar
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika, plus more for garnish
½ tsp hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup olive oil

1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup Marcona almonds
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, hand torn
2 oz. Manchego cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
10 white anchovy fillets, either brined OR packed in oil, patted dry

First, make the dressing. Combine the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, hot sauce and garlic in a blender. Puree until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. With the motor running, remove the lid insert and slowly add the oil. Blend until the dressing is very smooth.
Now assemble the salad. Toss the lettuce and chickpeas together in a bowl and then add about 3/4 of the dressing. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the salad with the almonds and parsley. Lay the anchovies across the top of the salad decoratively, and then top with the cheese shavings. To serve, mound some salad on a dinner plate, then drizzle a touch more dressing over top. Garnish each serving with a pinch of extra smoked paprika. Serve immediately.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas #SundaySupper

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

It’s time for another Sunday Supper!! Is it just me, or does it feel like I *just* posted last week’s SS recipe? What a week!

Anyways, our theme this week is Tapas Party, which makes me all kinds of happy, seeing as visiting Spain is quite high on my bucket list. I haven’t gotten myself over there quite yet, but I very much hope to within another year or two.

link of Spanish chorizo

I’m dying to stroll into a Barcelona tapas bar and encounter bartenders and servers who speak not a word of English (and I do not speak any Spanish, mind you) and just let them bring me small plate after small plate of tapas and sangria. I imagine noshing and sipping the night away with my significant other, basking in the romance of being in a foreign land, and then of course returning to a lovely hotel to sleep that deep sleep that magically cures jet lag. I love the flavors of Spain, and have yet to hear of a tapas type dish that doesn’t sound appealing.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

I kept it simple for today. We all know Spaniards love their shrimp, as well as their chorizo, so when I found a recipe that was basically just sautéed shrimp and chorizo, with some onion,  a lot of garlic, and some smoked paprika, I jumped at it. As expected, it’s simple, clean, wonderfully fatty, and delicious.

shrimp and chorizo tapas

Now, usually when I post a recipe calling for chorizo, I will caution you to use Mexican chorizo. I explain that’s the raw kind in the refrigerated meat case or butcher counter, and then I say don’t use the cured Spanish kind. Well, guess what? Today you must use the Spanish chorizo! Today I am telling you, do not get the raw Mexican stuff from the meat case; you must get the cured, firm Spanish kind of chorizo. You’ll probably find it near the deli, and as you saw from the picture, it’s a U-shaped cured sausage usually with a rope attaching its ends together. You can peel the casing away if the casing wants to cooperate and is easy to peel off. But if it’s being all stubborn, I say let it and leave it on there. It’s not going to hurt anything.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

Enjoy this one, guys! Pour some wine or sangria, serve it on a tiny little plate and pretend you’re in Barcelona or Madrid!

{One year ago: Cotija Rice}

Source: slightly adapted from 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse

1 tbs plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 lb. firm, cured Spanish chorizo, cut into ½-inch slices on the diagonal
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
½ dry white wine or sherry
1 ½ lbs. medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbs minced fresh parsley
Sliced baguette, for serving

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tbs olive oil, then the chorizo slices. Sauté, turning as necessary, until they start to brown and crisp at the edges, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. I found you really need to time the onions, because the chorizo fat turns the oil a delicious orange-red color, which does make it hard to tell by sight when the onions are cooked.
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of the wine or sherry and cook 1 minute.
Add the shrimp, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Again, the shrimp will turn that lovely orange-red color from the chorizo fat, so you can’t really tell when they’re done by sight. Tap them with your finger or the back of your cooking spoon to determine doneness – they should be firm and springy, not mushy.
Now add the remaining ¼ cup wine or sherry, the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Serve immediately on small plates, with the accumulated cooking juices poured over top. Pass the bread at the table, and may I just say that dunking the bread into the pan juices is one of the best things you’ll do all year.

Be sure to check out the rest of the fabulous Sunday Supper team!

Here’s what’s on the Table:
Stuffed Green Queen Olives with Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
Cheesy, Tortellini Tapas & Spicy Bacon Ranch Dip from Daily Dish Recipes
Black-Eyed Pea Cowboy Caviar from Shockingly Delicious
Goan Beef Croquettes from Masala Herb
Giardiniera Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Bacon Wrapped Calamari from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Patatas Bravas from Supper for a Steal
Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Bites from The Foodie Army Wife
Agave Truffles from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Pear, Brie, and Honey Crostini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Tomato Bread from girlichef
Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde) from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Roasted Tomato-Basil Flatbread from Take A Bite Out of Boca
Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives from Magnolia Days
Smoky Paprika Peppers from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Gambas al Ajillo from Manu’s Menu
Squid in Garlic Chili Olive Oil from Food Lust People Love
Tortilla Española from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Croquetas de Pollo from Cookin’ Mimi
Low-Carb Salmon Croquettes from Yours And Mine Are Ours
Bruschetta Topping from What Smells So Good?
Herb Roasted Almonds from Curious Cuisiniere
Artichoke Heart and Manchego Spread on Fried Garlic Bread from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Tortillita de Camarones from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Patatas A La Riojana (Rioja-Style Potato & Chorizo Stew) from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Gambas al Ajillo y Clementina (Shrimp with Garlic and Clementines) from FoodieTots
Tortillas De Papa y Atun (Tuna and Potatoes Tortilla) from Basic N Delicious
Pocky Cake Pops from NinjaBaking.com
Chorizo Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon from I Run For Wine
Manchego-Stuffed Spanish Meatballs from The Weekend Gourmet
Roast Onions with Blue Cheese and Pine Nuts from Healthy. Delicious.
Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas from The Texan New Yorker
Blueberry and Lemon Yogurt Quesada from In The Kitchen With KP
Chorizo with Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas from Soni’s Food
Chorizo and Manchego Toast Tapas from Family Foodie
Roasted Bone Marrow with Citrus Salad from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Mushroom Chevre Crostini from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli from My Other City By The Bay
Krab Filled Avocado Tapas from from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Polenta Crostini Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms: Cicchetti – A Venetian Tapas Tradition from La Bella Vita Cucina

And you know you can’t have a party without wine ~ at least you certainly can’t in my house. Martin Redmond is here to give you the perfect recommendations: Best Wines To Pair With Tapas from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Fish, Fennel and Saffron Stew

fish, fennel and saffron stew

Happy No-It’s-Not-Quite-Friday-Yet, where we continue our theme of Winter Stew! Today is a seafood stew, a somewhat new concoction according to Julie’s unadventurous childhood palate. We just didn’t eat much seafood, and I always, repeat always, associated stew with beef. But, I think I’m at least a little bit validated, because in researching seafood stews, they seem to mostly hail from Mediterranean Europe. I, on the other hand, did not.

fish, fennel and saffron stew

In fact, the stew I made for today has some Spanish inspiration, for sure. Saffron. Smoked paprika. Which of course made for an extremely flavorful pot of stew. After making this and eating off it for several days, I’m quite convinced that if you relegate stew to beef, as I did growing up, then you’re really missing out. Seafood stew is healthy, light, and the best part? It cooks quickly while tasting like it slow cooked all day.

Fish, Fennel and Saffron Stew

And, as with most soups and stews, leftovers only get better. And since my dear husband is of the firm belief that there’s a special place in hell for people who reheat fish in corporate break room microwaves, I’ve gotten to enjoy most of the leftovers! Yea for me! I hope y’all enjoy this one, we sure did. It’s especially wonderful with a cold glass of chardonnay to accompany it. Check back tomorrow – we’ll be concluding Winter Stew Week by eating our vegetables, like mom said we should!

Fish Fennel Saffron Stew

{One year ago: Homemade Old Bay Seasoning}

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March 2010

2 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, tops removed, cored, and chopped (reserve a few fennel fronds for garnish, if desired)
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbs tomato paste
½ cup dry white wine
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
¼ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 pinches saffron
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. skinless thick white fish, such as cod or halibut, cut into 1-inch chunks

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 3 ½ cups water, the beans, thyme, paprika, saffron, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes.
Add the fish and stir to combine. Let the fish cook through; this only takes 2-4 minutes, so don’t walk away.
When the fish has cooked through, which you’ll know because it will start flaking apart, shut off the heat and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in bowls immediately.

Squid Ink Fettuccine with Shrimp and Chorizo

Pasta has always been a favorite of mine, since before I can accurately remember things.  There are pictures of me as a toddler in a high chair making a horrid mess of spaghetti with meat sauce (which, incidentally, is the first meal I ever learned to make!).  I’ve always loved pasta, no matter its shape and size, and I think I was one of the few that refused to get on the low-carb bandwagon when that rolled around in the late 1990’s.  Give up my beloved pasta?  Never!

Since moving to New York, pasta has been one of my best palate expanding experiments.  I’ve tried all manner of the different shapes, of course, but more importantly, it’s become a vehicle for eating my vegetables on a consistent basis.  Sure, I’ll always love the rich sauces of tomato, meat and/or cream.  But I’ve come to appreciate lighter sauces with less cheese and more greens, and occasionally seafood.

I’ve mentioned the endless variety of toppings, but what about the pasta itself?  I would say until about a year ago, I had tried what I’ll call the big three: regular semolina, whole wheat, and spinach.  I like them all, and I do try to incorporate more whole what pasta into our diet.  But every time I walked past the artisanal pasta section of my grocery store, I saw a black pasta: squid ink.  It looked intriguing, but I had no idea what to do with it.

Enter Jeffrey Saad, the cook and TV personality who, in my humble opinion, should have won his season of “The Next Food Network Star” (more on that in another post).  He released a cookbook earlier this year and offers a recipe for squid ink fettuccine.  It was the first recipe I made from the book.

I was very excited to try this black pasta with which childhood Julie wouldn’t have even shared a room.  The shrimp-chorizo sauce was fantastic, but I am not sure what the pasta is all about.  I couldn’t really taste anything definitive about it that differentiated it from regular semolina pasta.  Now it’s true that I’ve never tasted squid ink, so maybe I just didn’t know what to look for in flavor.  It also could be that the strong flavor of the chorizo overwhelmed it.  But I was a tad unimpressed.  It was still an enjoyable dish overall, but I’m left scratching my head over the squid ink part.

Question: have you ever tasted squid ink pasta?  Do you think it has a distinct flavor?  How did you prepare it?  Thanks!

Source: Global Kitchen, by Jeffrey Saad

20 jumbo shrimp, with their shells
3 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup shredded carrots (I just thin sliced mine)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 pound squid ink fettuccine (I could only find 12 oz packages, so I scaled the recipe accordingly)
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 pound raw chorizo, casings removed if necessary
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Peel and devein the shrimp. Reserve the shells.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbs olive oil. Add the shrimp shells, carrots, shallots and salt. Cook until deep golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the white wine and simmer over high heat until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to do this. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and reserve the liquid. Made sure to press on the solids in the strainer to get all the juices out. Discard the solids.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tbs olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches between the shrimp so they don’t over crowd and steam. Cook in two separate batches if necessary. Pull the shrimp out when they are firm and cooked through. To the same pan, add the garlic and chorizo. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes to reduce and thicken.
Pull the pasta once it is al dente and drop it directly into the sauce. Add a little pasta cooking water and simmer the past in the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and toss in the shrimp and butter. Stir until the butter is evenly melted. Top with parsley and serve immediately.