A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tapas Bar

As announced a few posts ago the tapas bar project is in the hands of the solicitors.
I have been researching the project for the last 3 years. So the menu I have decided on is made up of the most popular dishes served in typical tapas bars from around the world with a few additions from countries other than Spain.
The name, however is definitely Spanish: Casa del Mar!

I have been to many tapas bars in our area within a 30-mile radius, testing dishes and taking note of decor and music.
I have eaten many kinds of olives, from the boring pitted, tastless ones to the larges greens flavoured with garlic and cardamom seeds. Chorizo in cider, in red wine. Baked aubergines, aubergines with sesame oil and seeds, meatballs in tomato sauce, fried breaded squid, grilled squid with sweet chilli sauce, squid in tomato sauce, Pil-pil prawns, prawns in garlic and wine...
White walls, red walls, yellow walls... Hanging hams... Soft leather couches, bean bags, hard wooden chairs...
Gypsy Kings, Julio Iglesias (!), Bob Dylan, Jose Feliciano...
Too much to take in! Too much to sift through!
I need a gallon of Sangria... and a packetful of headache tablets.


Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

That pic. is lush and wild!

Oh, this is too much, too much, I'm hungryyyy.

Cream...remember, no hard wooden chairs.

17/11/05 12:09 AM  
Blogger cream said...

GG, I wooden dare!

17/11/05 12:35 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

cream, what a wonderful cover for the menu! Love it!!! Plus I am salivating over the descriptions of these gastronomical delites! I love olives!!!Yummm

17/11/05 12:47 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

I'm hungry now and I just ate!

17/11/05 2:11 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Sooooo hungry!! It's 2 am and now I'm going to have to eat something. The menu looks awesome. It's going to be great.

17/11/05 7:11 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Val, I completely forgot about the menu cover! What a good idea! I will titivate it and that's it. In 94, we got the town Arts College to do us a cover. 17 students produced 17 different designs. We chose one of them for our 2nd place. Great!

Andrea, tapas are my kind of food...All the grazing! Ahhhh!

Penny, late night eating, eh? Don't forget to go for a long run this morning!

17/11/05 8:34 AM  
Blogger isis said...

Great picture! Awesome colors!

So you got me completely HUNGRY. "Garlic" is the magic word;)

17/11/05 9:56 AM  
Blogger cream said...

I was just messing about with the mouse because my tablet died on me the other day.

GARLIC! I pity people who don't like it! And we do get them at the restaurants!
I tell them there is "garlic in the air!"

17/11/05 10:20 AM  
Blogger Chill Daddy said...

Forgive my ignorance once again, but what's 'tapas'? Whenever you've talked about it before I just nodded my head and pretended to understand, -and I still don't understand 'busker', either.

What language do they speak in the UK?

17/11/05 10:28 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Nice collage of Painter tools and effects - I like it a lot!

About 18 months ago I went off olives. Big time. The smell made me naseous. Couldn't stand to be in the same room as them... especially green ones... at first I thought I was pregnant but I wasn't (I'd have found out by now wouldn't I?) and although its not quite such a strong revulsion as I had at the beginning my body is still clear that I must not eat olives any more... :-( Olive oil is still okay - or I'd have real trouble!

Imagine how it feels to go from really liking something to this!

17/11/05 11:20 AM  
Blogger cream said...

CD, Tapas are small portions of food served in Spain (as described in my post of 25/10/05.
A Busker is a street artist
In the UK, I speak English, French, Arabic, a little Italian, Spanish, Greek and Rubbish!

Caro, a few years ago I had the same thing with Avocadoes. (I wasn't pregnant at the time) I think it was triggered by an avocado mousse that I had made and hated. I was off them for about 5 years but they got the better of me and I am in love with them again.

You never know you might like them again one day!

17/11/05 2:42 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Mmmmmmmm! lovely menu. Can I put in a request for pimientos del padrón (and positively no Gypsy Kings!)

17/11/05 7:29 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Annie, what's in the pimientos del padrón, then? Does he grow them in his back garden?
What do suggest instead of the Gypsy Kings?

17/11/05 7:43 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Cream, as far as I remember they are just these little green peppers, not very hot, and you just roast them in the oven with a little bit of sea salt. But I have to stick this recipe below, translated by Babelfish, because I just love the translation (especially the "tooth of garlic" and the "spurt of wine").

Instead of Gypsy Kings, hmmm - Ojos de Brujo? I don't believe for a minute that the Gypsy Kings are real gypsies (or kings for that matter);-)

* 200 gr.. of register peppers, * 200 gr.. of angulas, * 1 tooth of garlic, * 1/2 guindilla sharp, * 1 dl olive oil, * 1/2 medium onion, * 1 medium tomato, * 1 spurt of white wine, * 30 gr.. of flour, * 1 dl fumet of fish. Method: We fried the peppers in half of the oil, cut the rabitos and salamos a little, we jumped angulas with picadito garlic and guindilla and filled up the peppers. Aside we will make a sailor with the fine perforated onion and the perforated tomato and without seeds. All sofrito good, we added one picks of flour and we dunked with the white wine, we let reduce and we threw fumet of fish. Finally, we put the stuffed sauce of bottom and, peppers marine and served.

17/11/05 9:15 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Haha, Cream, I'm glad you wooden :-D

My best friend once told me he was sorry for the gal that the Gypsy Kings were singing to, hahaha...

I can't wait for your tapas place to open. Oh, but then you'll be too busy to blog :-(

17/11/05 9:38 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Annie, thanks for the recipe! I love the translation! If I manage to decipher it, I will try them! I think I've had them before. Sweet peppers stuffed with either tuna or saltcod. Mmmm! Ojos de Bruja!(Eyes of a witch!) Love them! I just missed them last year in Murcia! You're right, the Gypsy Kings are neither gypsies(They're from South West France and the band members are from all over} nor Kings...I have to confess that I like that kind of music but more genuine like Manitas de Plata.

GG, I thought you'd like the pun! I will try to keep the blogging going even after we get going with the tapas bar!

17/11/05 10:31 PM  
Blogger Caribbean Colors said...

Here are my music suggestions:
Tito Puente
De Phaaz
Pink Martini
Nicola Conte

19/11/05 3:35 AM  
Blogger Caribbean Colors said...

BTW, love the menu and it goes withoput saying that you're making me hungry again.

19/11/05 3:35 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Lee, I love Tito Puente! The others, I will have to research!
I am still working on the menu and the cover! I am sure your Coco Loco stuff is marvelous too, especially the setting!

19/11/05 9:12 AM  
Blogger wandering-woman said...

I miss your blog for a few days and look, you´re opening a tapas bar!! I do not believe I will ever go back to eating meals, even if I live Spain. Just a grazer at heart. I always want to taste everybody else´s dishes, anyway, and with tapas I can.

Hey I suspect the recipe annie sent you in comments here is pimiento piquillos stuffed with something (they'll stuff them with anything! - bacalao is my personal favorite) but she's right on with the pimientos de padrón. Little green peppers, I cook them fast in a cast iron pan on HIGH heat, in olive oil, this being Spain, and then you MUST serve them with sal gordo - fat sea salt. Incredible! My absolute favorite Spanish dish. And they come with a famous saying - unos pican, otros no, because now and then you hit a hot one. They're grown in Galicia, a cool, rainy place by Spanish standards. I bet you could grow them in the UK. Ok, I have to run out to my local bar for a pincho now. Hungry.

19/11/05 5:22 PM  
Blogger cream said...

I love the ones stuffed with bacalao! But I also love the Verduras a la Plancha! The whole lot, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, etc... grilled and then drizzled with olive oil and sea salt! Ahhhhh!
Can't wait to go back to the Costa Blanca!

19/11/05 7:58 PM  
Blogger wandering-woman said...

Or you could skip the Costa Blanca and come to Spain. :-)

Ahem. Sorry, a little opinion snuck in there, but really, they do say the best Spanish food is up North - check out Asturias and Galicia, and man, do they know how to eat in Catalunia....Or just hit Sevilla or Cádiz for pescaitos fritos...

20/11/05 8:53 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Yes, I agree the Costa Blanca is full of British tourists and retirees! It is the Med that attracted me there. But whenever we go, we always drive inland.
And I am aware that the best food is to be found in Catalunia (After all Ferran Adria's El Bulli is one of the best restaurants in the world) and the north!
One day, when the stays are much longer.
Went to Seville as a student but can't remember much! El vino era demasiado barato!

20/11/05 11:04 PM  

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