Michelin-starred chef Maria Jose San Roman of Monastrell in Alicante, Spain was in Toronto recently for the Campo Viejo Streets of Spain dinner. It was designed to raise awareness of the great food and remarkable wine of Spain. Spanish products are woefully under-represented in Canada, which is sad because they are some of the best in the world. Their olive oil (a particular favourite of mine) is aromatic and rich, their white anchovies are silkily spectacular and their bellota ham has a wonderful nutty taste. Added to my list of Spanish must-haves are smoked paprika and great cheeses such as the ever-popular manchego.
Working with chef Stu Cameron from Toronto’s Patria restaurant, Maria produced an authentic and flavourful dinner for Streets of Spain. Her fiery personality comes through in her food and each dish had an interesting storyline. To start, she made this seasonal twist on gazpacho with local strawberries and white asparagus (if the latter is unavailable, use thick stalks of the green variety). Although she cooked her egg yolks sous-vide, I found I could create exactly the same effect by lightly poaching my yolks in water.
The perfect veggie sandwich for summer.
For this dish, you can use any cheese you please. I opted for caciocavallo, a melty, mozzarella-like Italian cheese, which is made in a club shape and then is sold in pieces. Its nuttiness matched the cauliflower perfectly. Blue cheese is also excellent.
This warm potato salad is very versatile. Serve it with Cauliflower with Cheese Crumble as a vegetarian dinner or as a side with grilled chicken, fish or even hamburgers. It is also perfect for a buffet table. If you don’t like feta you can use goat cheese.