My husband recently returned from a trip to Rioja, Spain and proceeded to tell me about the amazing food he had while he was there. The next week I walked into the Bookshop and we had our new “theme table” setup with books all about Spain. I decided that I needed to take a little culinary trip myself and try out a few recipes so I picked upRustica – A Return to Spanish Home Cooking by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish.
This is a beautiful cookbook filled with stories and amazing photography. Even better it is filled with delicious recipes! If you are a vegetarian it is definitely not the book for you as Spanish cooking has a lot of ham and pork. If you are a carnivore then it is definitely the book for you.
I started my culinary adventure with a simple dinner of Green Beans with Garlic Confit. The texture and flavor of this simple dish was delicious. Don’t let the word “confit” scare you away, it is just olive oil and garlic cooked over low heat for a few minutes. To go with my beans I made Marinated Mussels. I know, mussels are one of those foods that people either like or don’t like. They are weird looking, they come in a shell, blah blah blah. My 4 year old eats them, you can give them a try. The recipe calls for you to make the mussels and then marinate them in the fridge over night. We ate half hot and the rest the next day as a cold sandwich on an Amoroso roll (Philly people know what I’m talking about). They were fantastic. If you are a little squeamish still the recipe calls for you to steam the mussels in a cup of dry white wine (I used a Spanish albarino) and then use another cup to make the marinade. That leaves you half a bottle to drink while cooking which should bolster your confidence for trying the recipe!
My next test was a bit more straight forward. Chicken Skewers Marinated with Paprika and Oregano. This was so simple and the flavors were just perfect. Served with simple veggies or a salad it is a quick (although you have to marinate over night so a bit of planning is involved) and simple meal.