A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘tapas’

Red is the Color of My True Love, Rioja

In Design, Drink, Food, Out of Town on May 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Back from a week in Rioja, Spain. I went for the wine—and more on that later—but fell in love with the place. And if there is one color that defines the region, it’s red. Everywhere you look. Painted flower pots, doors, windows, rooftops.

There were poppies sprinkled throughout the vineyards and barley fields.

And red pequillo peppers in tapas and tossed with morcilla blood sausage…

But yes. Best of all, the very heart of the region is its red wine. Like this pretty glass of 1942 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia—still so very vibrant and seductive after 69 years, and seduction after all is what Rioja does best.

The Spanish Affair

In Drink, Fashion, Food, Recipes on July 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I fell hard for Spanish cuisine four years ago when I tagged along on my then-boyfriend’s business trip to Barcelona. While Mr. Foodinista talked bandwidth with the Spaniards, I wandered the streets of El Born, popping into tapas bars and museums, falling in love with the smoky, sweet, sultry flavors—to say nothing of the people, who break at 11 am each day for a coupe of cava. I don’t know why we don’t cook Spanish more often. But last night—because I had snagged the last four bottles of the ’98 Lopez Heredia rosé from my local wine shop and knew exactly with whom to share them—we rolled out the alfombra roja. (That’s red carpet in Spanish, a language I don’t habla but one that is highly google-able.)

I wish I’d taken more pics last night—of HJ’s gorgeous graphic-print dress, of Booth’s flamenco-inspired Louboutins, Dudley’s palest lavender linen shirt or Anne’s hot pink Vivier sandals. But most of all of the food! Particularly of Adam’s homemade churros—dusted in cinnamon sugar—that are to die for. Here are the few pics I did manage to snap and the menu.

Bellota Iberico Lomo + Mahon Cow’s Milk Cheese (above)

Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Spanish Chorizo

Marcona Almonds

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Barcino Cava

Andalucian Gazpacho

Mixed Lettuces with Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Valdeon Blue Cheese and Sherry Vinaigrette

Fideos with Mussels, Clams and Shrimp (from Mario Batali’s Spain: A Culinary Road Trip)

1998 Lopez Heredia Rosado

Adam’s Churros & Spiced Hot Chocolate

And best of all? Check back tomorrow to find out what ranks as the very best hostess gift I’ve ever received. Ever. Thank you, HJ & Bill!!!

Spinach, Chickpea and Bacon Tapas

In Food, Recipes on February 9, 2009 at 8:37 am


A couple of years ago, I tagged along on one of my husband’s business trips to Barcelona. Two years later we’re still talking about the food (and hitting the cava). Perhaps our favorite dish was the chick pea, bacon and spinach tapas we ate at Cal Pep. Did I mention there’s BACON involved? It’s so simple, but a perfect use of its ingredients. We love this alongside a roasted chicken on a Sunday night, and though we’ll never be able to duplicate Cal Pep’s, we have fun trying. (For a truly decadent experience sub in pancetta for the bacon.)

3 slices thick-cut bacon, or pancetta

Olive oil

15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Pinch red pepper flakes

Pinch pimentón dulce (smoked Spanish paprika)

8 ounces spinach

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Parboil bacon for about a minute, to get rid of excess fat. Then chop and saute over medium heat in a heavy skillet until bacon begins to brown. Add chick peas, pepper flakes, and a couple tablespoons oil, and saute until chick peas begin to brown, about 4 minutes. If chick peas seem dry, drizzle a little more oil.

chick pea

Add spinach, pimentón, and garlic and sauté until spinach sweats down, 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.