Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

April 4, 2007

Tapas Ta Da!

So, I rushed home from Las Vegas because I won a seat at a Tapas Dinner. Way back in October, I went to a 1/2 silent and 1/2 live auction for a good cause, and I won a seat to this wonderful Tapas Dinner. This dinner was offered last year, at the same auction, but I did not get to go to the auction because I had twisted an ankle running the Race for the Cure earlier that day, and I had my ankle bandaged, on ice, and elevated. It was too painful to go anywhere, and I was crushed. The year before last, I was out of town, and unable to attend. So, for two years in a row, I heard my friends, who attended and won seats at fabulous dinners, talk about the hosts, the food, the wine, and great company! They were just gushing over the culinary talent of the hosts. Finally, this year was my year, I WON A SEAT at the TAPAS DINNER.

The table was set with lovely colors.

On the menu was shrimp with garlic sauce. There had to be a full bulb (not clove but BULB) of garlic that was crushed and put into this dish. How could you not love this simple and yummy dish?

Here is Spanish Chorizo. This is different from the raw Mexican Chorizo sausage. Spanish Chorizo is made in a similar tradition as salami, and sopressata, a dried aged meat that is preserved and able to store at room temperature. As you can see this Chorizo has a rope on it, as it could hang from a nail in the wall until it is time to eat it. Spanish Chorizo usually has smoky paprika in it, and that is what gives the lovely red color and flavor to the sausage.

Our host cut up the Chorizo and stir fried it. It was very good on top of a slice of French bread.

We had a cold gazpacho soup made with diced ingredients. The host told us that gazpacho is considered Mexican, but has become very popular in Spain.

This cold salad dish includes chickpeas, artichokes, and ham. The traditional way to make this dish is with Serrano ham, which is a salt cured ham that is air dried for at least a year at elevation in Spain. Because Serrano ham is nearly impossible to get in Nashville, our host substituted prosciutto, an Italian air dried ham.

This omlette looking thing is a room temperature omlette with potato in the middle. This dish is called a tortilla - Spanish omelette.

This dish is a roasted potato dish with a tomato, garlic and paprika sauce. The host roasted cubes of potatoes, and had the tomato paprika sauce stewing on the stove. When the potatoes were ready to plate, the host poured the sauce on the potatoes and gave them a little stir, and voila! This dish was really good! The host used sweet paprika instead of Smoked Spanish Paprika. I may try to make this creamy and rich dish at home with Smoked Spanish Paprika to add that special something that we don't normally get in the USA.

My favorite dish of the evening, yet for some reason I had very little competition to eat it, was the squid cooked in a squid ink sauce. The photo did not do this dish justice. It was much more richly brown and charcoal grey in color. It was like the color of a lovely good chocolate. Rice was served with this dish, and I just helped myself. The flavor was quite earthy, with a bit of a mushroomy flavor. It was delicious, and do I dare say umami? I would say it was umami because the flavor was that special something that I could not get enough of, kind of like truffles. I have had a different recipe with squid ink once in a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles, and I recall really enjoying it too. I think that anyone who likes earthy and strongly flavored mushrooms would enjoy this dish.

How would one end a Spanish Tapas dinner? With Flan of course. Here is the video of how one would un-pan the flan. Watch, and go AH!



At 4/4/07, 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum! That dinner had a few plates that I'd be a bit reluctant to try but I would have given it a go! I especially loved the video - when she flipped it over and the sauce all ran around the pan, it was mmmmm. :) Now I want some :D

At 4/5/07, 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the silent auction for where you won your seat? Looks fabulous.

I just got back from Washington DC and had great restaurant experiences. I am wondering why DC seems to have better food in the restaurants than my experience in Nashville so far.

Do you have a "Favorites" list of places here?

At 4/5/07, 4:32 PM, Blogger burekaboy — said...

hey lannae ... glad to hear you finally got to go :P a freebie too! (i NEVER win anything).

At 4/7/07, 5:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Katie, I bet if you tried the dishes, you would have liked them! They were all delicious. Thank you for liking the flan video. It was fun to see the sweet sauce ooze out!

NC, Ah, DC does have some better restaurants than Nashville for sure. It is amazing in DC around the old Chinatown and theatre district, the restaurants are all quite good. I did see where you were going to a TJ, but alas, I did not log onto the website until you were back. Boo hoo for me. So, what do you want to eat? My favorites are Margot Cafe and Radius 101. There are no good Chinese, or Japanese. The only Indian I really like a lot is Woodlands Vegetarian Indian in the highrise condo on the corner of 440 and West End (across from Tenno). Let me know what you want to eat, and I can tell you if there is some place 1/2 way decent.

Hello BB, Oh, I was so lucky to be able to go to this dinner! The company, and food was just delicious.

At 4/8/07, 4:55 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

That dinner is making me so hungry. Every single dish looks wonderful. Mmm, the artichokes, the potatoes, the shrimp, the chorizo. Oh and by the way, I had coppa ham again recently, it was made by Volpi and sold in the grocery store, and I think it's rather similar to serrano ham, probably more similar than prosciutto. But I'm sure the prosciutto did the job well!

At 4/9/07, 10:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Lisa, Thank you for the tip on Coppa Ham. When I try making it myself, I will try to Coppa! I have to say, the cook did a fantastic job!

At 4/10/07, 5:44 AM, Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That must have been a great meal! I love the flan...

At 4/10/07, 10:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Rosa, yes, this meal was great! The other guests and wine were nice too!


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