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- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, halved lengthwise, center germ removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon light fruity olive oil
- 24 Padrón peppers or shishito peppers*
- 2 ounces (about) Tetilla cheese**
Mash garlic and salt in medium metal bowl with pestle or back of spoon until paste forms. Whisk in egg yolks, 3 tablespoons water, lemon juice, and mustard. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140°F for 3 minutes, 6 to 7 minutes total. Remove bowl from over water. Cool mixture to room temperature, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Gradually whisk 1 cup oil into yolk mixture in very thin slow stream, whisking until sauce is thick. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. Cover and chill.
Cut slit lengthwise down side of each pepper. Cut cheese into small rectangular pieces to fit inside peppers. Insert 1 piece cheese into each pepper; press to enclose. DO AHEAD Sauce and peppers can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers to skillet; cook until browned in spots and cheese melts (some cheese may ooze out of peppers), turning occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange peppers on platter. Serve with sauce for dipping.
If you can't find Padrón or shishito peppers and Tetilla cheese, use mini bell peppers and jalapeño Jack cheese.
What to Drink
Verdejo, a white wine from the Rueda region (southeast of Galicia), has enough acidity and body to stand up to the peppers and the cheese. José recommends the Bodegas Naia 2006 Naiades ($29). If you can't find that bottle, try the 2008 Vidal Soblechero 'Viña Clavidor' Verdejo ($13).
Nutritional Content1 serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 294.2 %Calories from Fat 94.3 Fat (g) 30.8 Saturated Fat (g) 5.3 Cholesterol (mg) 58.0 Carbohydrates (g) 2.0 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.4 Total Sugars (g) 0.7 Net Carbs (g) 1.5 Protein (g) 2.5Reviews Section
The use of Chillies in Spanish cooking
While Christopher Columbus’ 1492 misguided voyage to the West Indies had the result of Spain probably becoming the first country in Europe where Chillies were introduced, the Spanish people did not become immediate fans. Initially, Chillies were looked on as mere biological curiosities from the New World and found themselves being grown in monasteries and botanical gardens for their ornamental properties, rather than for their use as a culinary ingredient.
Slowly but surely, however, things began to change. The monks became more adventurous and started experimenting with using Chillies in their cooking. Spanish farmers also started growing them as a domestic crop - as an alternative to the (and very expensive) black pepper, we know today. In the 15 th /16 th century, when these changes were taking place, black pepper was the preserve of only the super-rich as it is said to have cost more than its weight in gold. To have something similar in the form of Chillies was to the poor farmers of the time, a taste of a lifestyle they could not afford
As time stepped on Chillies (particularly the milder varieties) gained popularity, it became more and more entrenched in Spanish cuisine, but even today they are still not used to the extent that they are, for example, in Asian and African cooking.
How Chillies are used in Spanish Cooking.
Whilst the tendency in Spanish cuisine is definitely towards milder varieties of Chillies like the Padron and Gernika peppers (from the Basque region), Spain has a wonderful climate for growing Chillies. A variety of the super-hot Naga family (think similar to Dorset Naga) is successfully grown in Spain in the form of the Spanish Naga (aka Gibraltar Naga).
The Gernika Chilli (also known as the Choricero Chilli) is used in different ways at its different stages of maturity. When young and still green it is fried and typically served as tapas or when allowed to mature and turn red, is dried and used as a flavouring and colourant in Chorizo sausages. The Choricero is the family of the famous Espelette Chilli, which is grown on the French side of the Basque region. Both have special protected status declaring them to be unique specifically to their regions and that they must have been produced and packed in the area to be sold commercially under these names (Cookapedia)
Other uses for the Chilli in Spain are for use in rice dishes, being grilled or stuffed with cheese, pickling, in Chilli sauces like that used for Albondigas (Spanish meatballs) and as in the case of when being used as a powder, Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes).
Padrón. A Chilli with a Scoville rating of 500 -2500 SHU from Padrón, Galicia, Spain. Whilst most are mild, a certain percentage at the upper end of the Scoville rating scale can be quite hot. Padróns grow to approximately 2 inches long and about 1 inch thick and can be found in colours ranging from green, yellow and sometimes red. Used in recipes like Pimientos de Padrón (Chillies blistered in Olive oil) and Pimientos de Padrón Rellenos de queso Tetilla (Padron chillies stuffed with Tetilla cheese)
Pimiento Choricero ( aka Gernika) A mild sweet Chilli with a Scoville rating of 0 to 1000 SHU from the Basque town of Gernika, Biscay, in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain. They are harvested while still young and green at a length of between 2 and 3 inches long with an approximately 1-inch width. In this format, it is prepared in a similar style to Pimentos de Padron (blistered in hot olive oil and served as Tapas). Another way of using these Chillies is allowing them to mature and turn red before drying them for use as in ingredient in making Chorizo sausages and flavouring dishes like Bacalao a la vizcaína (Salt cod in Biscay sauce)
Pimiento Ñora. A mild ball-shaped chilli with a Scoville rating of 0 -1000 SHU from Murcia, Southern Spain. It turns to a bright red colour when mature and is then dried. It is extensively used in Spanish kitchens in the form of Paprika. In the cuisine of the Valencian community (Alicante) of Murcia, it is fried when fresh to colour and flavour rice. In Catalonia, it is commonly used as an ingredient in Romesco sauce used to flavour Catalan recipes for rice, grilled meats, vegetables, and fish. A typical recipe in this region is Arroz Negro (black rice with squid and prawns)
Padron Peppers: How To Play Spicy, Spanish Tapas Roulette
Looking for a quick party snack? How about a quick party trick? Just to be safe, we've got both all at once. Padron peppers, or pimientos de padrón, are a thin-skinned, Spanish pepper from Galicia. They also happen to be one of our favorite things to eat on earth, not only because they are delicious, but because they are exciting.
Padron peppers have been called "Spanish roulette." Don't worry, they're not going to do you bodily harm, but they'll probably burn your mouth. The great thing about Padron peppers is that some of them are sweet, tart and verdant without any heat whatsoever, and then some of them contain the fire of hell. You never know which one you'll get, which makes eating them pretty fun at a party. Each of your guests will alternately ooh and aah over their flavor, texture and general deliciousness -- but then occasionally, one of their faces will change to abject panic, they'll wave their hand over their mouth futilely and everyone can enjoy the show. Sound like kind of a mean way to have fun? You must not love hot peppers then.
Hands-down, the best way to eat Padron peppers is to blister them quickly in a bit of very hot olive oil, just until the skin starts to turn dark brown. Then, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. That's it. Sometimes we like to squeeze a little lemon over, or sprinkle on a bit of smoked paprika. If you want to mellow the peppers just a little with some creamy cheese from their hometown, check out our Spanish foods spirit-guide, Jose Andres, stuff Padron peppers with Tetilla cheese.
Listen to Jose. For the love of all that is holy, do not try to de-seed these things. You'll go crazy. If you don't live in a place where you can find Padron peppers (they pop up in farmer's markets in late summer -- hot pepper season), you can pick some up on Spanish specialty food site, La Tienda.
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The cuisine of Galicia
Its cuisine is one of the main tourist attractions of Galicia: the exquisite delicacies of this region are based on the high quality and variety of the local products used in the preparation of dishes. Country, farm and sea products are unique in their characteristics and quality. Furthermore, it cannot be forgotten that one of the main pillars of Galician cooking is the professionalism of its experts. Galician chefs are found world-wide.
The importance of its gastronomy is manifested at the more than 300 gastronomic fiestas which are held in Galicia throughout the year. The origins of these exaltations to local produce, which arouse much interest in visitors, lie in the many local and regional traditional fiestas held during harvest time or religious holidays, such as the "romerías", where promises are made to the patron saint and then completed with a traditional meal. Some of these fiestas attract great crowds and have been recognised as of national tourist interest.
Traditionally Galicia, with its 1,200 kilometre coastline and countless sea ports and harbours, has always been a region where the sea is all important, one of the main activities of its inhabitants being that of fishing. Today, Vigo is the main fishing harbour in Europe and the Galician rias are the main producers of mussels in the world. Its exceptional coastline, formed of the highest cliffs in Europe, and the placid waters of the rias, together with the rich nutrients found in this part of the Atlantic Ocean, have given rise to a unique ecosystem which supplies the most exquisite culinary products. Barnacles from the coast which have been bashed by the strong Atlantic waves, crayfish, scallops, spider crabs, "nécoras" (small crabs), shrimps, "bueyes de mar" (large crabs) and lobster from the rias, together with the oysters, mussels, cockles, clams, octopus, cuttlefish, turbot, red bream, sardines, sargo (similar to bonito), sea bass and many other types of fish which populate the Galician waters. The centuries-old fishing tradition of Galicia has resulted in fish markets which offer the best variety of deep-sea fish, such as tuna, hake, cod, pollack and the delectable mackerel. Simple recipes for top quality products. This is the traditional cooking of Galicia: what really counts is the raw material.
If the coast is rich in produce, interior Galicia is no worse off Peppers with Denomination, such as those from Padrón, potatoes from Bergantiños, parsnip tops throughout the region "Pan de carballo" and "cea" and corn. Nuts such as chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds and we must not forget the wild and tasty mushrooms, the blueberries and forest honey. Vegetable dishes include Galician broth, made of green beans, chard, French beans, cabbage and parsnip tops, potatoes and haricot beans. The most important meat in Galicia is beef. It is eaten very young as veal, and the best animals bear the "ternera gallega" seal of quality. This meat is used to prepare hundreds of recipes, such as the exquisite sirloin steak, the popular "caldeiro" (type of stew) and "Galician cocido", made with potato and chickpeas. The visitor who prefers his meat well-done, must try Galician ox, which has crossed borders and been incorporated into the cuisine of other Spanish regions, such as the Basque Country. Another speciality is roast suckling kid, which is always present on the best tables and at celebrations. Furthermore, its poultry range includes the free-range cockerel and of course the famous capon, a free-range castrated cock which has been carefully raised and fed and is a speciality at Christmas. With regards its cheese, the majority are prepared using cow's milk. Galicia maintains Denominations for such cheeses as Tetilla, Ulloa, San Simón and O Cebreiro. Its cooked ham is used to prepare the typical ham with parsnip tops. Interior Galicia loves its sausages, the most important with regards originality being the "androlla" sausage and "botelo", which is smoked and then cooked. Its "chorizos" and "salchichones" (salami-type sausages) are of top-quality. Furthermore, other parts of the pig are used to make Galician stews such as streaky bacon, snout, the meat around the vertebrae, trotters, etc. Galicia also cultivates its own wine and boasts five different Denominations of Origin. The most famous of its liqueurs is the "aguardiente gallego", a high-proof distillate which is used to make the traditional mulled drink known as "queimada" (sugared "aguardiente" which is flamed). Coffee liqueur, cherry liqueur and herb liqueur.
EMPANADA: The dish, which must be one of the most versatile that has ever existed, that unites interior Galicia with its coast is called "empanada" (filled pastries). "Empanada" can be stuffed with pork rib, meat, pork loin, beef loin, sardines, octopus, cod with raisins, bonito…almost anything you can imagine.
Christmas food in Galicia
The seafood is a must, be in the form of a seafood platter or in dishes such as octopus a feira, stuffed scallops or clams prepared sailor style. For mains, we suggest a fish classic (cod with cauliflower) or a typical Galician meat based dish, lacón con grelos (pork shoulder with turnip tops). The most traditional Christmas desserts are the Santiago tart and the filloas (crepes), as well as a selection of marzipan and seasonal cakes made with chestnuts or apple.
Americans have fallen in love with Spanish food in recent years, and no one has done more to play matchmaker than the award-winning chef Jose Andres.
In this irresistible companion volume to his public television show Made in Spain, Jose reminds us - in the most alluring and delicious way--that the food of his native Spain is as varied and inventive as any of the world's great cuisines. To prove it, Jose takes us on a flavorful tour of his beloved homeland, from Andalucía to Aragón. Along the way, he shares recipes that reflect not just local traditions but also the heart and soul of Spain's distinctive cooking.
In the Basque Country, we discover great fish dishes and the haute cuisine of some of the finest restaurants in the world. In Cantabria, famous for its dairy products, we find wonderful artisanal cheeses. In Valencia, we learn why the secret to unforgettable paella is all in the rice. And in Castilla La Mancha, José shows us the land of the great Don Quixote, where a magical flower produces precious saffron.
The dishes of Made in Spain show the diversity of Spanish cooking today as it is prepared in homes and restaurants from north to south--from casual soups and sandwiches to soul-warming dishes of long-simmered beans and artfully composed salads. Many dishes showcase the fine Spanish products that are now widely available across America. Many more are prepared with the regular ingredients available in any good supermarket.
With more than one hundred simple, straightforward recipes that beautifully capture the flavors and essence of Spanish cooking, Made in Spain is an indispensable addition to any cookbook collection.
Websites for Spanish ingredients
Colorful photos by Thomas Schauer depict Spanish ingredients, like Pasamontes Oro cheese. Other images show José Andrés cooking Spanish dishes, such as paella, mouthwatering dishes, like shrimp fritters, as well as scenes from Spain (markets, vineyards, fishermen, etc.).
The Resources section provides websites for sources of authentic Spanish products, such as preserved tuna and sherry vinegar (The Spanish Table) as well as chorizo and morcilla sausages (Despana).
Gastronomy is one of Galicia’s main attractions: the quality and variety of local produce, the lasting traditions and evolution while respecting the past form the basis of Galician cuisine. Local products, whether crops or livestock or, especially, from the sea, have their own special characteristics and are cooked in ways that are traditional and thoughtful, home-made, unhurried, plentiful and varied, giving rise to a special, highly-renowned and much-appreciated cuisine.
The importance of gastronomy for Galicians can be seen in more than 300 food fairs that are held throughout the year all over the Autonomous Region. These celebrations of produce from the land, which generate so much interest among visitors, originated from local or regional celebrations commemorating typical traditions, friends’ meetings, or are held to coincide with harvests or religious festivals, like the pilgrimages, where fulfilment of a promise to the Saint is completed with a traditional meal.
From the sea
Traditionally, Galicia, with 1,300 kilometres of coastline and a huge number of fishing ports, has been a region that lived from the sea and from fishing, one of its inhabitants’ main activities. Accordingly, Vigo is now Europe’s main fishing port and Galicia’s rias are the world’s largest producers of mussels.
The coastline’ exceptional conditions, alternating the highest cliffs in Europe with the calm waters of the rias, along with abundant nutrients from the Atlantic Ocean at these latitudes, have formed a unique ecosystem, which supplies the most exquisite culinary markets. Goose barnacles from the coasts battered by the Atlantic waves, Norway lobsters, clams, spider crabs, sea crabs, shrimps and lobsters from the rias, together with oysters, mussels and cockles, among other species, form part of the Galician coast’s treasure, alongside octopus, squid, turbot, red and white sea bream, sardine, wolf-fish and other many species that populate Galicia’s coasts.
The vast experience of Galicia’s fishermen has also meant that the Autonomous Region’s fish markets are well supplied with deep-sea species, such as tuna, hake, cod, pollack or tasty mackerel, among others.
These fish have been incorporated into Galicia’s cooking recipes and have earned a name for the produce of the sea. Who has never heard of and tasted hake or cod a la Gallega? Or octopus á feira, or a la mugardesa?
Simple recipes for top-quality produce. This is traditional Galician cooking, where what really matters is the basic ingredients.
From the land
And if the coast is rich in culinary produce, inland Galicia is no less so. Galicia’s varied climate, where, although the oceanic climate prevails, Mediterranean and Continental climates can appear, allowing harvests of a wide variety of pulses, vegetables and other produce of the land.
Peppers with denomination of origin, such as the ones from Herbón (Padrón-A Coruña), potatoes from Bergantiños, grelos (a type of cabbage) all over the Autonomous Region bread from Carballo and Cea corn dried fruits like chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds not forgetting wild species like mushrooms, blueberries or forest honey, all stock an admirable larder. Galicia’s crop fields create such dishes as caldo gallego (Galician broth), based on vegetables, beets, cabbage or grelos, potatoes and beans.
This climate is also responsible for Galicia being permanently green, a large part of which corresponds to a vast extension of pastures that feed the region’s herds of cows, sheep and goats.
In Galicia, beef is the star product. It is cooked very young, as veal, and its maximum quality level is reached with the brand Ternera Gallega. This meat gives rise to hundreds of recipes, whether preparing the delicious sirloin, the popular carne or caldeiro or as part of cocido gallego (Galician stew). However, if you prefer your beef well done, don’t miss Galician ox, which has crossed frontiers and entered the recipe books of other Spanish regions, such as the Basque Country.
As for the cheeses, most of which are made with cow’s milk, Galicia protects its denominations or origin, including such marvels as Tetilla, San Simón and O Cebreiro cheese.
Among the meats, kid, the meat of a young, unweaned goat, is roasted and forms part of the finest dining tables and is used in celebrations.
Also, among the fowl, highlights include farm roosters and, of course, capons, free-range chickens reared with care and rigorous feeding for the finest meals, mainly at Christmas.
Pork, on the other hand, is prepared in Galicia in many different ways and no part of the pig goes unused. Lacón (cooked ham), is used to make the typical lacón con grelos (cooked ham with cabbage). In the inland provinces, sausages are highly appreciated, among which androlla and botelo are renowned for their originality, stuffed meats made from chopped pork ribs, marinated with paprika and spices, eaten cooked once they have been smoked. Chorizos and salchichones offer excellent quality. Other parts of the pig are also used for Galician stews (bacon, cheek, meat from around the vertebras, trotters…)
The diet of Galicia, an Atlantic, beautiful and enigmatic land, is a source of pleasure with a taste of the sea, which is now attracting attention from the world of nutrition thanks to its health-related qualities.
Galicians, along with other peoples on the Atlantic seaboard, such as Icelanders, are among the most long-lived, with lower rates of cholesterol and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
What these peoples have in common is being surrounded by the sea and their particular eating habits learned from childhood, based on a high fish consumption.
Such nutritional habits have been called the Atlantic diet. In the Spanish State as a whole, Galicia is the territory that consumes most fish.
One of the main advantages of this type of diet, or Atlantic diet, lies in the great variety of fish on offer, many of which have large concentrations of long-chain Omega 3 acids and high quality proteins, vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and iodine.
The Atlantic diet stands as one of the healthiest ways of eating, in which top-quality produce combine with simple culinary techniques as grilling, boiling or steam-cooking.
Its basis lies in the sea, the crop fields and the livestock farms, complemented with moderate consumption of excellent bread, wine and potatoes.
Spain may be best known for its reds, but Galicia’s most famous wine is white. Albariñois made with the indigenous Albariño grape, grown in the Rias Baixas, a series of four Atlantic inlets south of Santiago de Compostela. The wine is fruity and incredibly light and accompanies the seafood tremendously.
One of my favourite discoveries in Galicia was Nordés Gin. A relatively new gin, Nordés is made from an Albariño-grape-based spirit, making this a very Galician drink. Botanicals include lemon peel and hibiscus, and the resulting flavour is sweet and floral. It’s a light, summery, gin which would be perfect for cocktails.
Across Northern Spain, the local aguardiente(fire-water) is a pomace brandy known as orujo. It’s similar to grappa and probably originated in Cantabria, but Galician orujo tends to be better known. Many Galician families have their own secret recipe, and there are also several commercial producers in the region.
Galicia has strong Celtic roots which are still visible in many of the region’s customs and festivals. A good example is the Galician drink of queimada, which is a fiery punch. Orujo is mixed with coffee beans, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon zest whilst a spell is recited to ward off evil spirits, then the drink is set on fire. This traditional ritual is considered a vital part of Galician identity.
Grilled padron peppers and chorizo skewers with honey drizzle
These sticky grilled padron peppers and chorizo skewers with honey drizzle make the perfect starter or finger food to serve with drinks over the summer months. What's more, they're super quick and easy to make.
Published: May 27, 2015 at 9:32 am
- padron peppers 150g
- sliced chorizo or olive oil
- honey 1 tbsp
- flaked sea salt for sprinkling
- smoked paprika a pinch
Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. Thread the peppers and chorizo onto the skewers, folding up each slice of chorizo. Heat a large frying pan or an outdoor grill. If using a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Fry or grill the skewers in two batches for about 2 minutes, or until they’re charred on both sides. Remove and put them on a platter. When they’re all grilled, drizzle with honey, salt and smoked paprika.
- 1 pack Sainsbury's Padron Peppers 135g
- 80g chorizo sausage, sliced in to 0.5cm rounds
- 50g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Marcona Blanched Almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Coarse sea salt to taste
Place a large, shallow sided pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the almonds and cook on each side for 1 minute until lightly browned. Remove the almonds from the pan and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and when hot add the chorizo slices. Cook the slices for 2 minutes, turning halfway through.
Add the Padron peppers to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the peppers as necessary to allow all sides to darken and blister. The chroizo slices will brown and crisp.
Return the browned almonds to the pan, and add sea salt to taste. Give the pan a final stir and serve.