Foodie Friends: A Tapa Dish with Julio Carlos Perez Sanchez

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

IT’S always enjoyable to host a beloved family friend from overseas – especially when said friend is an accomplished cook raring to be let loose in your kitchen!

Salvelio’s best friend, Julio Carlos Perez Sanchez, is one such visitor – and in the past 10 days since his arrival from the province of Salamanca in Spain he has already prepared a host of exciting dishes that have had us all coming back for more.

Julio loves South Africa, its people and its wine, and whenever he visits we especially enjoy having tapa evenings, where the entire meal is comprised of a series of traditional specialities like tortilla de patata (Spanish potato omelette); stuffed olives; jamon or cured ham which his village near the city of Salamanca is famous for; and gazpacho or chilled tomato soup which is perhaps best known in the south, in regions like Andalusia.

Then there is paella which more often than not, and usually to South Africans’ surprise, is a very popular “primer plato” or “first plate”, and not necessarily a main course.

Egg dishes like the tortilla de patata always feature prominently on any tapa menu. Forget paella – for many Spaniards this is “the” national dish of their country.

Other egg dishes include huevos revueltos, which are scrambled eggs to which all sorts of ingredients, from wild mushrooms to garlic or asparagus, are added, or huevos a la flamenca, which are baked eggs served on a bed of tomatoes, bell peppers, peas and other vegetables, along with chorizo sausage or jamon.

Don’t miss today’s blog when Julio shares a recipe for huevos rellenos, or stuffed, deep-fried eggs. The eggs boiled, stuffed with tuna or chopped olives or mushrooms, and you then crumb them and deep-fry them till deliciously crisp and golden on the outside.

“It’s a very old-fashioned recipe which people don’t make very often nowadays,” says Julio. “I always remember my grandmother making this dish for us. Many tapa dishes from the olden days are now being re-invented and adapted in exciting new ways.”

Whenever hosting a tapa evening, a good guideline is to allow one dish per person, so that if you have six or seven guests, you’ll serve six or seven different dishes, which everyone then shares during the course of the evening.

Julio’s most recent tapas menu – of which many of the dishes have previously featured on The Global Table – was perfectly complemented first by some rose-tinged Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel sparkling wine and then by a few glasses of La Motte Millennium and Allesverloren cabernet sauvignon. We decided to save the premium Castilian wine he’d sneaked into his suitcase for another tapa evening – as good an excuse as any for celebrating friendship around fabulous food!\

To find previously featured dishes like gazpacho or tortilla de patata, simply use the Search function at the top right of this page and hit enter – the dish should come right up.

* Calling all chefs! Whether you are an upcoming or established chef, contact The Global Table at liebenbergl@avusa.co.za if you want to be featured on our blog. You will also need to share a recipe and some information about yourself and your culinary background. Wherever possible we will also photograph you and the dish you want to prepare.

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Huevos Rellenos or Stuffed, Deep-fried Eggs – The Recipe

For a tapa evening in which several other dishes will be served, allow one egg (two halves) per person. This recipe serves 7.

Ingredients

7 hard-boiled eggs, carefully halved; 3/4 of a 170g tin of solid tuna in vegetable oil; 60ml milk; salt to taste; beaten egg and dried crumbs for coating; sunflower oil for frying

Method

Carefully scoop out the yolk of each halved egg and mash the yolks together using a fork. Drain the tuna and flake with a fork. Mix the tuna into the egg yolks and add the milk and salt to taste, again mixing through thoroughly.

Take a spoonful of yolk and position over each eggwhite half, filling the space where the yolk was as well as the rest of the sliced surface (use the picture above as a guideline).

Now dip each half egg first in beaten egg and then in crumbs to form a coating. You can refrigerate the eggs till needed to allow the coating to adhere a bit better.

Deep-fry the eggs in hot sunflower oil; drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

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