A couple of months ago, I got a sudden desire to try my hand at cooking Spanish food. The problem is I don’t know how to cook Spanish food! And aside from some tapas and paella, I don’t really know any Spanish dishes. Most of my search just led me to more tapas and paella recipes. I needed to try something new, but where to turn?
Fortunately, I stumble upon a video on Jamie Oliver’s YouTube cooking channel. The video features a guest chef by the name of Omar Allibhoy, and he was cooking a dish called Patatas a la Riojana. It had everything I love – potatoes, meat, and garlic. I ended up making it that night, and despite a few missteps, the dish was a winner. I bought Omar’s cookbook Tapas Revolution that evening. I’ve made a few dishes since then, and like the first, all have been winners.
What I love about this cookbook (aside from the delicious food) is that it has tons of home meals, not just appetizers or small bites, as “tapas” would imply. Reading the reviews from other customers, it appears that these dishes are authentic home-style meals you’d find in many Spanish kitchens. Obviously, I can’t vouch for it in that regard. But I can say it’s been a hit in my home.
Tonight I gave Costilla de Cerdo a la Cervazas a shot. I had to improvise a little bit — I ran out of fresh thyme and lager, so instead used ground thyme and IPA — and I didn’t caramelize the ingredients as much as I would’ve like to, but I’m very pleased with the result anyway. I don’t know if what I made is even close to authentic, but I enjoyed making it and Jess and I enjoyed eating it. That’s what matters!
Pick up Tapas Revolution on Amazon – you won’t regret it.
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