Taking it Spanish Style in Provo!

On the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 2011 all seven of the gourmet girls joined together in Andrea's new pad in Provo for a wonderful evening of Spanish-style Tapas and more!  Tapas is the name for a wide variety of appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine.  In many cases, tapas can evolve into an entire meal, which is exactly what happened with us!  Since we each have an assigned dish assignment to fill each month, we had tons of delicious food!  Lara was our official appetizer and made yummy Citrus Marinated Olives (Food Network).  LS made a delicious Grilled Bread and Marinated Tomato Salad (Food and Wine).  Bridget baked up some "Quick Wheat Bread " (Keeping Up Cookbook).  And for our official "main course" Andrea made FOUR different Tapas: Manchego Quince Skewers (Tyler Florence), Gambas al Ajillo (Recipe courtesy chef Jose Andres), Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates, and Wild Mushroom Fricassee (Rachel Ray).  It was a fantastic variety and they were all amazing!  Lynley was our "side dish", Jodi was "extra" and made Patatas Bravas with Chorizo - way to be official with the Spanish theme Jodi!  And our desert-maker extraordinaire, Raquel spoiled us with a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake!  The only dish we didn't get a picture of was the shrimp.  Oh, and Andrea also made Rosemary Lemonade!  Wow.  A wonderful evening was had by all with amazing food and fantastic friends in Andrea's beautiful new home.
It's a gourmet miracle!  
All seven gourmet girls together at last!
Chef Jodi helping out in the kitchen!
These were Lara's appetizer.  Great flavor!
 This was LS's delicious salad.  Her best salad creation yet!
  Quick Wheat Bread
Keeping Up Cookbook
Bridget was on "rolls/bread" this month.  
Though this did not remotely stick with our Spanish theme, 
this bread was easy, delicious and great with salad!

4 cups wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mix together dry ingredients.  
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 white vinegar
2 teaspoons baking soda

Whisk together milk, vinegar and baking soda until light and foamy, then add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into 2 greased bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.  Slice and serve warm with jam and butter.

Here is a picture of the plated salad with buttered bread on the side.  YUM!

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

  Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Figs
16 large Medjool dates, pitted
16 roasted almonds (Andrea used Marcona)
Scant 1/4 cup mild goat cheese, crumbled 
8 slices of bacon (about 7 ounces), halved crosswise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut a lengthwise slit in the dates.  Stuff each one with an almond and about 1/2 teaspoon of the goat cheese.  Pinch the dates closed.  Wrap each date securely in a piece of bacon and arrange the dates, seam side down, on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. Bake the stuffed dates for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and crisp; turn each date after 10 minutes.  Serve the stuffed dates warm or at room temperature.

Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar reduction if desired.

The stuffed dates can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for 1 day.

 Wild Mushroom Fricassee
Recipe courtesy Rachel Ray
This was one of our many tapas prepared by Andrea.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Andrea used less)
1 tablespoon butter (Andrea used less)
4 Portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced
16 fresh shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
coarse salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup beef stock or broth (Andrea used vegetable broth)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil and butter.  When butter melts into oil, add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until mushrooms are all dark and tender.  Add vinegar to the pan and stir to coat.  The vinegar will cook away in about 1 minute.  Add stock to the pan and scallions.  Toss to combine.  
Andrea served this over Brie cheese and the combination of the two flavors was delicious!
  Lynley was our "side dish" this month.

 This was our "extra" dish for the evening.  
Way to stick with the Spanish theme Jodi!

This was AMAZING.  I can't wait to make it for my family!

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