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Archive for the ‘Spanish Recipes’ Category

One of our most memorable meals in Spain was at the beautiful One Star Michelin restaurant in Retama Restaurant within La Caminera Hotel. We should have stayed at the hotel, but we had already booked something in Valdepeñas, a short drive away. We chose The Traditional menu, without wine pairings (I react poorly to some heavier reds and whites aged in oak casks).

As part of a course, we were served a wonderful little bite of Atascaburras, a typical dish of the La Mancha Region. The story goes that two shepherds and their donkeys were isolated after a big snowfall, with only salt cod, potatoes, garlic, and olive oil at hand, and in their desperation, they created this dish to feed themselves and their donkeys over several days until they were rescued. This dish is often eaten during a snowfall and it is said that the water to boil the potatoes and cod in should be freshly fallen snow. Obviously, there was no snow in sight but the story and delicious flavour of these little cod fritters were definitely calling to me. They called them fritters in the restaurant but they were not deep-fried, I suspect the chef used a Takoyaki pan to sear the small balls. We were served one each. Traditionally, this dish is usually served on a platter with bread or crackers. Since I don’t have a Takoyaki pan, I chose to serve it as a dip. In modern times, a boiled egg is used to garnish the dip but it was not traditional. I chose to use a hard-boiled egg yolk, grated on top of the dish as a garnish.

The atascaburras was served as a round ‘fritter’

Atascaburras

Makes about 500 mL dip

Ingredients:

  • 300 g potato (I used Yukon Gold)
  • 300 g salt cod, soaked and rinsed several times over 48 hours
  • 130 mL olive oil
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg yolk, hard-boiled
  • Red pepper oil

Directions:

  1. Cook the cleaned but unpeeled potato in water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the prepared salt cod and cook an additional 10 minutes. Reserve the water.
  2. Add both the cod, potato and garlic to a blender (I used a magic bullet because it really emulsifies beautifully). Add the olive oil and emulsify, adding a little of the reserved water to make a smooth, creamy dip. Taste and salt if necessary.
  3. Place in an oven for 15-20 minutes on 250° F to just warm up. Serve in a low-sided dish with grated egg yolk as garnish and sprinkled with a little red pepper oil.

No, that is not cheese, it’s grated hard-boiled egg yolk.

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