Sunday, October 30, 2011

Twisted Tapas Tales

Modern spins and travel inspired variations of Catalan flavours was the spirit behind Twisted Tapas Tales, our most recent secret gathering.

Our 16 guests were warmly welcomed into the brightly decorated casa of our hosts Ben & Kerri with a refreshing Sangria Blanco - an Asian spin of nasi pear and lychee meddled with white wine and softly topped with cava. As people got acquainted we served nibbles of warm homemade pan con tomate (bread with fresh tomato) and Jamon Iberico - yes, we managed to get the real deal!

First up, the lighter tapas. These plates were paired with an exquisite 2006 Letras, Rioja Alavesa. Enter the deconstructed Spanish omelet - or the 21st Century Spanish Omelett. A beautiful combination of caramelised onion topped in a martini glass with an egg sabayon and potato foam. Carpassion Peruvian Tiraditos left guests intrigued with layers of texture and unusual flavour combinations of wafer thin raw salmon, drizzled with passion fruit and lemon syrup finished with fine filo pastry crisps.

The menu took a turn to the slightly heavier dishes with Calamares Rellenos con Morcilla - tender baby squid stuffed with a hearty blood sausage. Following the more traditional but equally moreish Gambas al Ajilo. These flavours beautifully balanced with a 2007 Cathar Crianza, Ribera del Duero.

Onto the more travel-inspired creations we hit Barcelona and Bombay in a combination of Pani Puri con Patatas Bravas and then headed to New York for Fatty Lollipops - delectable skewers of grilled watermelon and pork belly. Guests were delighted to discover an unusual wine in the 2005 Morayama, Priorat - a surprisingly smooth red which worked beautifully to enhance the richness of these flavours.

Our last round of tapas was more meaty as we served a perfectly seared bife of sirloin drizzled with a fresh Chimmichurri and toasted almonds, and a homely Chorizo and Garbanzo bean stew.

The final sweet highlight of the evening was the home-made Churros con Chocolate Naranja - the churros perfectly light and crispy served with a rich, warm chocolate sauce.

This was one fabulous fiesta - an ambitious menu of 14 tapas plates each a surprise in itself served with rare Spanish wines courtesy of Platinum Wines.

Check out the photographs below!

Our hosts Kerri & Ben hide behind the homemade menu-fans
Beautiful handmade decorations made by Kerri. Welcome bags for guests - each containing everything needed to devour the feast!
Bags of fun
What's on the menu?
Argha preparing the Iberico and sampling it's deliciousness
And this was just for starters....
Ready to welcome our guests

Just before guests arrive, Angie pulls her warm bread out of the oven ....yum!
The fiesta is underway as guest take their seats
Busy in the kitchen
21st Century Spanish Omelette - egg sabayon, potato foam and caramalised onion

Peruvian Carpassion - wafer thin salmon drizzled with passionfruit and lemon syrup served with filo crisps
Calamares Ruenos con Morcilla - baby squid stuffed with blood sausage
Ensalada Naranja Acettuna - Refreshing orange and black olive salad served with a fresh cumin and orange dressing and cilantro

Barcelona meets Bombay in pani puri stuffed with patatas bravas
The best gambas al ajilo this side of Barcelona!
Sampling the vino
Elisa serves the New York Fatty Lollipops - grilled pork and watermelon skewers
Perfectly seared sirloin topped with zingy chimmichuri and toasted almonds

A hearty chorizo and garbanzo bean stew flavoured with pimento rojo (fleshy red peppers)

Churros a la Angie

Churros orgasmico! Served alongside a chocolate-orange pot

Bravo! Once Upon A Table

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