Foods and Wines

Valentine’s Day Menu

Starters
– Persimmon salad accompanied with arugula leaves, fine-chopped tomatoes, grated carrot and salty peanuts, everything dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and Sherry vinegar.

– Toasted heart-shaped bread with three different toppings: black olive pâté, tomato and olive oil sauce and Spanish ham and olive oil.

Main course
– Chicken covered with chocolate sauce and accompanied with slow-roasted potatoes and hearts made from braised carrot with leeks and onion.

Spanish cheeses
– A varied assortment of Spanish cheeses such as Manchego, Murcia al vino, Cabrales and Idiazábal.

Desserts
– Vanilla persimmon sorbet.

Wine
– Spanish Cava.

Recipes

Starters

• Persimmon salad


Picture: Ana Rocío Navarro Ruiz

o Ingredients

– 300 gr. tender arugula leaves
– 2 Roman tomatoes
– 100 gr. grated carrot
– A handful of salty peanuts
– 2 vanilla persimmons
– Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
– Sherry vinegar from Spain
– Pinch of salt

o Preparation
1. Wash the arugula leaves and the tomatoes in a big bowl.
2. Drain it and start adding the rest of ingredients.
3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
4. Cut the persimmons into strips.
5. Spread a generous amount of grated carrot on the salad.
6. Add a handful of salty peanuts.
7. Dress the salad with Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, Sherry vinegar from Spain and a pinch of salt.

• Toasted heart-shaped bread

o Ingredients
– Several slices of bread (you can choose the type of bread you like better)
a) With black olive pâté
– 1 bottle of black pitted olives
– 6 small-seized Spanish pickles
– 150 gr. unsalted almonds
– A pinch of salt
– A pinch of oregano
– A dash of olive oil
– A dash of soy sauce

b) With tomato and olive oil from Spain
– 2 tomatoes
– 2 garlic cloves
– A dash of olive oil
– A pinch of salt

c) With Spanish ham and olive oil
– 100 gr. Spanish ham
– A dash of olive oil

o Preparation
1. Toast as many slices of bread as you wish.
2. Cut the bread in hearts.

a) With pitted black olive pâté

1. Put all the ingredients in a mincer.
2. Mince all the ingredients until you get a spongy paste. Sometimes, it is better to use a mixer.
3. It is important that you check if everything is well minced.

b) With tomato and olive oil

1. Spread the garlic on the toasted bread.
2. Cut the tomato in half.
3. Spread the half tomato on the toasted bread until it become reddish.
4. Pour olive oil on the bread.
5. Add a pinch of salt.

c) With Spanish ham and olive oil

1. Set the strips of ham on the toasted bread.
2. Pour some olive oil on the ham.

Main course

• Chicken covered with chocolate sauce and accompanied with slow-roasted potatoes and hearts made from braised carrot with leeks and onion.


Picture: Ana Rocío Navarro Ruiz

o Ingredients

– 1 chicken
– 1  medium onion
– 2 leeks
– 2 carrots
– 8 oz. 70% dark chocolate
– A glass of red wine
– 2 laurel leaves
– Flour
– Olive oil from Spain
– A pinch of pepper and salt
–  A punch of baby potatoes

o Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 450 ºF, wash up the baby potatoes and put them in the oven with extra-virgin oil and season with rosemary, salt and pepper.
2. Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes until they become tender.
3. Cut the chicken into small pieces, sprinkle it up with salt and pepper and dip in flour.
4. In a pan, pour a good dash of olive oil and add the chicken to fry it. When it is done, remove the chicken from the pan. Save oil in pan.
5. Cut the onion, the leeks and one of the carrots into small pieces.
6. To make the carrot hearts you need to make a V-cut along the length of the remaining carrot and two angle cuts along the sides to make the pointed end. Now you can cut the carrot in thin heart-shaped slices.
7. In the pan with the olive oil used to fry the chicken, add the vegetables and the laurel leaves.
8. Fry  the vegetables lightly until they are browned.
9. Once browned, add the chicken.
10.  Stir everything well and add the glass of red wine and the water until the chicken is covered.
11.  Cook the chicken during 30-40 minutes.
12. Once cooked, remove the chicken and the carrot hearts from the pan and add chocolate until melted.
13.  Taste and season with salt if needed.
14.  Grind everything with a mixer and add the chicken and the carrot hearts to the sauce.
15. Finally, cook everything lightly for approx. 10 minutes.
16.  Serve the chicken together with the roasted potatoes.

Cheeses

• Present the different Spanish cheeses in a romantic way. For example, you can make a heart shape with the cheese edges and slices.


Picture:  Juan Ramón Yuste/ICEX (Pix of Spain)

Dessert

• Vanilla persimmon sorbet


Picture:  T.Tseng (Foter)

o Ingredients
– ½ kg vanilla persimmons (they must be ripe)
– 100 gr. sugar
– A glass of lemon juice
– Grated yellow lemon peel
– 250 ml water
– 1 stick of cinnamon.
– Mint leaves

o Preparation
1. Heat the water, add sugar and the stick of cinnamon.
2. Wait until all the sugar has been dissolved and you get syrup.
3. Put the syrup in the fridge.
4. Peel the persimmon, remove the seeds, and save the pulpy part.
5. Add the lemon juice and the grated yellow lemon peel to the persimmon.
6. Mix the persimmon and the syrup in a bowl and keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
7. Beat everything with a mixer and strain it.
8. Pour the mix in a stainless steel bowl and put it in the freezer.
9. Every 1h ½ remove the bowl from the freezer, mix everything and put it in again. Repeat this action a couple of times.
10. Serve the sorbet in champagne or large martini glasses with some mint leaves.

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