Who ever thought little plates of food could be soooo good!
We returned from our cruise and time in Spain a few weeks ago. A couple of days in Amsterdam, cruising for 8 days and 9 days in Spain and I only gained 2 pounds. Didn’t think I would ever be glad to say I gained weight, but after the way we ate and drank for 19 days, I’m surprised my husband could fit me through the door.
My last entry had pictures of many of the tapas we had while in Spain. We had a Pork in Whiskey Sauce at this one tapas bar in Seville and I have tried to recreate that recipe and I must say, it was almost exactly like the one we had there.
A little more about our trip. We had some great Indonesian food in Amsterdam and were able to visit Van Gogh and Reich museum. Ann Frank’s house was a very interesting tour and we toured Heinken Brewery — who doesn’t like beer (me). In Brugge we tried steamed mussels and frites, Belgium chocolates (DELICIOUS), Belgium waffles with chocolate and a cup of coffee that was half chocolate, 2 shots of espresso and topped with a creamy hot chocolate.
Our food on the ship was wonderful and I got a lot of great ideas for tapas and things I might want to try for dinner parties. Our port calls were Brugge, Cherborg (did Normandy tour there), Lisbon, Gibratar, Vigo and the cruise ended in Barcelona. Then it was time to hit all those tapas bars I had been reading about. We spent two days in Barcelona making the Mori and Picasso museums and Gaudi cathedral and lots of shopping and walking, walking, walking (guess that is why I only gained 2 pounds). We flew from Barcelona to Sevilla (my favorite of all our Spain cities). Very cool city with streets just wide enough for a taxi to race down causing people to jump up on the curb (no sidewalk to escape to, so watch out).
We loved walking the streets of Sevilla and exploring all the shops and the tapas bars. One of our favorite tapas places was Bodega Santa Cruz (see the last picture and the little man in the black glasses). That little guy was our favorite waiter of all the tapas bars we visited. No menus, no English, everything just written on blackboards for two non speaking Spanish Americans to ponder. So we decided to order things that we had no idea what they were. Now, that was just about everything but potatoes bravas. After the first night there, I copied down some of the words and looked them up when we got back to the hotel, then the next night we would order some new and different tapas.
One night a funny thing that happened, we were sitting next to this couple and I asked the girl what she was eating and she told me and then asked me if I would like her to order it for me. So, we belly up to the bar and she told our waiter what we wanted. He thought that was so funny. He started laughing and waving his arms in the air. The waiter kept track of our tab by writing it in chalk on the wooden bar top. Another time he was pouring me my third glass of wine (now these were little glasses, probably a 2 oz. pour $1.20) and it was the end of a bottle and he kept pouring until the glass was overflowing and then he laughs really big again waiving his arms and smiling like, “hey, look what you got”. We went to this place two nights and each night with 3 beer, 3 glasses of wine and 5 tapas plates each night we never spent of 16 euros. What a bargain.
I bought a wonderful looking tapas cookbook with pictures of lots of foods we had tasted on our trip — and I can’t wait to try some of them — BUT, first I need to learn to read Spanish. I will probably be getting my kids to translate or try translating off the Internet myself.
We traveled with 16 other people (old friends and new friends) and had a wonderful time experiencing all these new places together.
So, finally, on with the tapas. I managed to bring back a few menus so they will be inspiration for new tapas recipes.
(For carb friendly: Skip the potatoes and add in some whole mushrooms.)
These ingredients plus a little lemon and demi glaze and you have a wonderful tapa or entree.
Pork marinading in the cognac (I would use whiskey next time), just didn’t have any on hand at the time I was making this.
Parboil the potatoes for about 10 minutes.
This was a delicious sauce. Next time I would 4x the recipe as it kept evaporating away to almost nothing.
I added the parboiled potatoes to the skillet with the pork and browned them a little also. Pour the whiskey sauce over the pork and the potatoes and plate. Add some crusty bread to sop up all the great juice.
Pork in Whiskey Sauce Tapas
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. whiskey
1 Tbsp. beef stock (I used a veal demi glaze)
2 small potatoes, sliced 1/4″
5-6 slices pork tenderloin, flatten a little
Parboil the potato slices until almost tender. Set aside.
Put the olive oil in a pan and gently cook the garlic until tender but do not brown it. Add in potatoes and brown a little until they are tender. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside. Add in the butter, lemon juice, whiskey and stock. Stir it so the garlic is mashed up and gives the sauce a bit of thickness. Keep the heat fairly low and cook it for 15 minutes until it’s reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked potatoes back into the sauce.
While the sauce is reducing heat a frying pan add in a little more olive oil and heat really hot. Saute the pork pieces for 30 seconds, then add it to the sauce. If you prepare the sauce ahead of time, add it and pork and heat for 1 minute. On small plates (for individual tapas) put a few slices of pork, a few potatoes and spoon sauce over the dish. Add bread and serve. If you want to do this as a main dish, just put in serving dish and let everyone serve themselves. This makes a great entree or tapas.
**Note: I love having a lot of sauce for the bread. When I do this again, I will probably 4 times the recipe for the sauce.