Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pica Pica for La Furia Roja

Tonight, I decided to treat Mr. P to some pica pica. Good thing because he came home from work, hungrier than normal. The theme for tonight's pica pica was Spanish. This is in taking my dear brother J's suggestion to prepare and put up a Spanish food entry in anticipation of the huge game that is upon us. I won't share my thoughts on that, allow the game kicking off in about 5 hours to do the talking. Let's just say this house is all red and yellow, leave out the black please!

For now I'll just tell you about my Gambas and Albondigas.

For my Gambas I don't like using tomato sauce at all. I like to do it in what I think is the classic way of just using the following ingredients:
- olive oil
- 400g of fresh prawns
- about 6 cloves of garlic
- about 3T paprika de pimenton
- 1T chili flakes
- salt
- pepper
- a splash of lemon

Peel and clean the prawns. Squeeze lemon over them and season with salt and pepper. Sliver garlic like you are going to make garlic chips.

In a hot cast iron pan, cover the bottom with olive oil. When oil is heated through, put in the garlic and lightly season with salt and pepper. This is a good time to add in the paprika, I like to use a lot since this is the main source of flavor. When the garlic is starting to show a cast of golden colour, throw in the prawns and toss in the flavourful orange oil. Make sure each prawn is coated in the oil. You may season again as needed. Finish with a little more paprika if you wish, and a dash of chili flakes depending on your tolerance for spiciness. Serve with a wedge of lemon in case, but I like eating it straight up. Toasty bread is good too for soaking up the garlicky-paprika oil in the end!

Now for the Albondigas, I honestly just had left over beef mince from my tortang talong preparation so this was an impromptu addition to the menu. Great because Mr. P was happy with the meatballs he'd been clamoring for. 

- 250g ground beef/beef mince
- olive oil
- 1T garlic
- half an onion
- 1 tomato
- 1T parsley
- 1T bread crumbs
- 3T parmesan cheese
- 1 egg

Spicy Tomato Sauce
- olive oil 
- 1Tgarlic
- half an onion
- 1 stalk celery
- half a carrot
- 1C canned diced tomatoes
- 1T paprika
- 1t chili flakes
- 1T red wine vinegar
- soy sauce (just a dash)

For the meatballs, finely mince all the vegetables. Cook the garlic and onion until transparent and allow to cool slightly. Combine all ingredients and shape into balls. In a pan, add just a little olive oil and cook the meatballs over medium heat until brown on all sides and cooked through. Set aside.

For the sauce, mince and saute the garlic, onion, celery and carrots until tender in a small sauce pot with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes. Pour in the canned tomatoes, red wine vinegar and soy sauce. Allow this to simmer until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce to ensure that all ingredients are incorporated well, season as needed with salt and pepper. When the sauce is to your liking, pour it into the pan where you cooked the meatballs and simmer for a minute or two. This will allow you to pick up the bits on the pan and let the meat juices and tomato sauce combine. Serve on its own or with toasty bread to sop up the sauce.

If you make a bigger batch and have leftovers, you can serve it over noodles the next day for a classic spaghetti and meatballs treat.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these little Spanish delights. AND I hope our little pica pica fest is a prelude to a celebration for a Furia Roja win tonight (or tomorrow morning/afternoon depending on where in the world you may be reading this from). Vamos Espana!

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