SPANISH MARINATED CHEESE
1lb Manchego cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 small shallot, peeled and diced
½ t Dijon mustard
¼ c white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar can be substituted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2t crushed red pepper
1 sprig thyme
½ c extra-virgin olive oil
½ c canola oil
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the cheese, cover, allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days. Stir beforeserving in a shallow dish with toothpicks.
LEEK FLAN Serves 8-10
4 leeks, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch slices
Butter for greasing
18 oz. whole milk
5oz cooked ham (preferably Serrano), chopped into small pieces
5 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pan of salted water to boil. Add the leeks and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until very tender. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously butter an oven-proof dish big enough to hold the egg mixture.
Drain the leeks well. Beat the eggs and mix with the milk. Add a small amount of this mixture with the cornstarch to make a paste. Mix the cornstarch into the egg/milk mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Add the ham, cheese and leeks and stir to mix well. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Cut into slices or small bite-sized squares.
Serve hot, cold or room temperature.
CHICKEN & PRUNE BROCHETTES Serves 4
16 prunes, pitted
3 ½ oz cognac or other brandy
1lb 2oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
5T olive oil
3 ½ oz pate, chicken, duck or your choice
8 crimini mushrooms
8 slices bacon, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Put the prunes in a bowl and pour half the cognac over them. Set aside and allow to marinate for a couple of hours. At the same time, put the chicken pieces in another bowl with the oil, remaining cognac, salt and pepper. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator. Remove 15minutes before you are ready to assemble.
Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms.
Preheat the broiler or grill to high.
Remove the prunes from the marinade, stuff each with the pate and seal them by wrapping them in bacon. Spear alternate pieces of chicken, prune and mushrooms on four skewers. Use a pastry brush to glaze them with the oil and cognac mixture.
Put the brochettes under the broiler or grill and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the bacon is cooked and the meat is tender and juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
CUCUMBER AND ROE TAPA Makes 24
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
12 slices of bread
Butter, softened for spreading
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 jar (3 ½ oz) lumpfish or mullet roe
Lemon juice, strained, to taste
2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and finely chopped
3T extra-virgin olive oil
1T white-wine vinegar
1t sea salt
Preheat broiler or grill to high. Make the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl. Add the cucumbers and set aside.
Using a 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 24 rounds from the bread slices. Toast each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Spread one side lightly with butter.
Drain the cucumbers. Top each toast circle with an onion slice, add a slice of cucumber. Place 1t of roe on top of each and sprinkle very lightly with lemon juice. Sprinkle the hard-boiled egg around the roe.
Serve immediately or toast will become soggy.
SPANISH MARINATED CHEESE