I loved everything about our trip to Barcelona in May but one of the things that I enjoyed the most was the oh so delicious Catalan cuisine. This soiree is inspired by the incredible food of both Catalonia and Spain and is a relaxed evening of friends, good food and spirits. This menu is intended to be light and is designed to all be eaten without the use of utensils.
Gazpacho shooters (see Wednesday's post for Gazpacho recipe). Top shooters with chopped hard boiled egg or cucumber sticks. Prepare this at least a day in advance, to ensure proper flavor and less stress for you on the day of the soiree.
Pa amb Tomaquet- This is basically the Spanish bruschetta and can be found at nearly every restaurant in Barcelona.Recipe:
4 garlic cloves, halved
4 small ripe tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat grill or broiler. Slice ciabatta crosswise into 4-6 pieces, then cut each slice horizontally. Place the bread on grill rack or on a baking sheet. Grill or broil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about two minutes on each side.
While toasts are still warm, rub them on one side with cut garlic halves. Cut each tomato in half. Rub the cut sides of tomato on top of the toasts until only skins are left, then discard skins. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Selection of Spanish cheese, meat and quince (membrillo in Spanish). I would use Manchego, thinly sliced Serrano ham, and quince. Also serve salty Spanish almonds on tray. Fear not- you can buy all of these items at your local gourmet store.
Gambes a la Planxa (griddled shrimp with garlic and parsley)
24 lg. fresh prawns in the shell
Salt and fresh ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
Season shrimp with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil. Place a griddle over high heat until hot. The griddle is ready when a drop of water flicked on the surface evaporates instantly. Place the shrimp on a hot surface and cook, turning once, until they are opaque throughout and the shells begin to brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with garlic and parsley; cook, without stirring, for about 30 seconds; and then turn shrimp one last time. Transfer to a warm platter and serve at once. Makes 4 servings.
Drink: Sangria (for recipe, click here ), Cava and sparkling water.
Decor: Think simple, colorful and soft lighting. Use an abundance of tea lights to create a twinkling effect. My sunflowers are in bloom, so for flowers, I would make bouquets out of the them and place in various locations. Small plates are best for this night. Why not use a collection of brightly colored salad plates for a fun look.
Music: Spanish classical guitar. If your budget allows, hire a classical guitarist to come to the party and play. If not, a cd is perfect!
I would wear something along these lines. All three dresses can be found at edressme.com. I would wear flats of some sort to allow for easy mobility and miles of gold bangles for a bit more relaxed look. What more information about one or all of these fabulous dresses? Just click on the image for the scoop.
*Images from ohhappyday,find.myrecipes.com, avaxhome.ws, rienzie.com, amazon.com,ithforum.com, artecermanica.com, edressme.com
*Recipes from Williams-Sonoma