Today was Spain day. Spain has won two bronze medals during the games this year, one in men's figure skating and one in snowboarding. My oldest is in her 2nd year of Spanish and was given an extra credit assignment to go to a restaurant and try four tapas. She cleared it with her teacher that we could make the four tapas at home, so this meal was a double whammy! Our Spanish tapas menu consisted of Croquetas de Pollo Con Curcuma, Rollos de Pepino, Pan Con Tomate, and Manchego Dulce de Manzana. The original recipe for theCroquetas de Pollo Con Curcuma and the Rollos de Pepino are found on the Spanish Recipes by Nuria blog, the Pan Con Tomate is from the Mutt and Chops blog and the Manchego Dulce de Manzana recipe is from the Honest Cooking blog.
The Verdict: Honestly, I probably won't make any of them again. The Croquetas de Pollo were rather bland and none of us particularly liked them. They reminded me a lot of the Coxhina from Brazil we made during the last Olympics. We didn't particularly care for those either! The Rollos de Pepino were good, but I'm not a huge salmon fan. I would eat them again, but I'm not sure that I'd make it as a roll versus chopping everything up as a salad. The Pan Con Tomate was pretty good. We enjoyed it, but thought we would enjoy it more if it were crispy on top. Lastly, the dulce de manzana was almost too sweet. It was toned down a little bit by the manchego cheese, but none of us are fancy cheese lovers, so we could live without this. Overall, it was a good experience to try a lot of foods at once like this, but we aren't huge fans of these particular tapas.

Croquetas de Pollo Con Curcuma


chicken breast - either roasted or boiled.
3 TBSP of wheat flour
2 medium size onions
2 cups of milk
ground nutmeg
½ tsp turmeric powder
olive oil
1 egg


Cut the chicken breast in very small pieces. Peel and dice the onion into small pieces.

Saute the onions in olive oil in a large pan over low heat until translucent, then add the chicken. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the flour. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes, then slowly add the milk little by little while stirring. Add nutmeg to taste and the turmeric. Stir some more.

When you get a thick dough that doesn't get stick to the pan's wall, it means that it's done. Taste and add some salt, if needed.

Remove from heat, cover with a towel or cloth and allow to cool. Once pan has cooled to touch, place in the fridge and allow to completely cool (this might take up to two hours, depending on how large your pan is).

Once is completely cold, heat olive oil in the bottom of a pan to fry the croquettes.

Put egg in a bowl and beat it. Fill another bowl with breadcrumbs.

Shape the croquettes with your hands, dredge though the egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. Fry until golden, remove from oil and place on paper towel to absorb extra oil. Serve warm.


2 boiled eggs
2 medium kumatos
1 green onion,
1/2 package of smoked salmon
1 green pepper
2 Spanish Cucumbers
some poppy seeds
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic aka modena vinegar
sea salt


Dice the vegetables and marinate them with the vinegar and olive oil.  While marinating, dice the eggs. Cut the cucumber into thin strips with a mandolin.  Layer the cucumber, salmon and a spoonful of the vegetables/egg, roll it up and hold in place with a toothpick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pan Con Tomate


1 fresh loaf ciabatta bread
2 large, ripe quality tomatoes 2 TBSP olive oil
1 clove large garlic, cut in half, divided
Fresh cracked pepper


Start by grating two large, ripe tomatoes, cut into halves, into a small-mesh strainer, placed over a bowl for draining. Rotate the tomato halves every so many sweeps while grating, shredding all the flesh down to the skin. Then discard the skin.

Allow the tomato pulp to drain for about 30 minutes or so.

The drainage bowl will collect a relatively large amount of tomato water. About 6-8 ounces. Discard it, reserve it for a different use, or drink it.

Once drained, season the tomato pulp with olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper to taste.

Add half the garlic to the tomato paste using a microplane.

After the tomato pulp is seasoned, cut the ciabatta loaf into two long halves and place it on a grill or in the oven in broiler mode. Grill until the bread achieves a beautifully charred look, without developing a black, burned aspect. About 1 minute or so under the broiler.

Then brush one half of the garlic over the grilled top of the bread halves, covering the entire surfaces.

Spread the seasoned tomato paste over the garlic-rubbed grilled bread.

Cut it into 2-inch or so strips, garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.

Manchego Dulce de Manzana


1.25 lbs apples (tart or tangy variety to offset sweetness of sugar)
1 lemon
0.4 cup apple cider
1 lb sugar
manchego cheese


Peel the lemon and get rid of as much pith as you can. Cut in half and extract the pips. Juice the lemon.

Peel and core the apples. Cut into large chunks and sprinkle with some of the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Add the cider and sugar, stir to mix. Process the mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Put the pureed fruit in a heavy saucepan. Turn on the heat to low and simmer 35-40 minutes uncovered, stirring often.

To determine if it is done, take a teaspoonful of the mixture and drop it on a plate. Wait until it's cold. If the drop is firm enough to the touch and detaches from the plate in one piece when pushed with your finger (a lot more solid than jam consistency), then it's done. If the pureƩ is too soft, just proceed with the simmering 2-5 minutes longer or as long as needed.

When it is ready, pour the paste into a shallow container large or small enough to form it into the shape of a thin ingot and let it cool completely. We cooled it overnight.

Slice the cheese and slice similarly sized pieces of the apple paste. Top the cheese with the dulce de manzana.

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