Waaahoooo! Could it be any more exciting?! Spain made it to the finals! Needless to say, I'm routing for Spain. I've even taught Ollie ( He's sitting on the couch, waiting for the game to start)
to cheer when they score. He even does a little dance!
Okay, on to the snacks for the game. We're doing a tribute to the two countries. We'll start with some Dutch cheese and beer. Then we'll move on to some Spanish tapas and beer. For the main course I'm grilling spring onions or leeks (whichever I can get) in place of the calcots which are the native onions, like small leeks from the Catalan region of Spain. They are traditionally served with romesco sauce and bread. I've actually seen the festival, the Calcotada, when the calcots are ready for harvesting. The Spaniards get a big fire going and grill huge batches of the calcots. They have big pots of sauce ready to go and everyone enjoys a meal with red wine or cava, Spanish sparkling wine. While the Calcotada is usually held at the end of winter when the calcots are ready for harvesting, grilling small onions or leeks is perfect anytime in the summer here in Canada.
- Bavaria, Heineken or Grolsch Beer
- Gouda and Edam Cheese
- Crusty Bread
- Cherry tomatoes cut in half and sprinkled with garlic and thyme and grilled
- Asparagus and green beans wrapped in serrano ham and grilled
- Shrimp tossed with chopped dried or fresh red chilies, minced garlic and olive oil and grilled
- Mixed nuts
- Estrella Lager
Grilled Leeks with Romesco Sauce
- 1 dried red chili
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 slices bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- salt to taste
- 3 lbs, about 12 leeks
- Soak the red chili in the vinegar
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat
- Toast the almonds in the pan, remove and place on a towel to drain
- Toast garlic in the pan until golden, remove and place on towel to drain
- Toast the bread crumbs in the pan, remove and place on a towel to drain.
- Cook onions in the pan until golden.
- Add almonds, bread crumbs, garlic, tomato and paprika to the pan and heat through for 2 minutes. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
- Place everything, including chili and vinegar, in a food processor or bowl and use a stick blender to puree until finely ground.
- Salt to taste and set aside
- Heat the grill to high.
- Thoroughly clean the leeks or spring onions by cutting halfway down but not all the way through the root end. Then you can get between the layers quite well.
- Brush the leeks with olive oil and grill until tender and charred a bit.
- Serve the leeks with some sauce poured over and some bread on the side for scooping up the leftover sauce
- Enjoy with a glass of cava!
Hmmm, seems to be considerably more food with a Spanish twist here.... Could it be that I'm biased?! You betcha!!! GO SPAIN!!!!!!!!!