Tag Archives: manchego

Spanish shrimp & grits with salsa romesco and manchego

S&G in ovenMother’s Day Brunch
Skip the cramped and crowned restaurants this Mother’s day and treat your mamá to a scrumptious home cooked brunch. Here are a few ideas to make it a memorable, Spanish inspired occasion.

Spanish Shrimp & Grits
Warm and enveloping as a sunbaked afternoon, shrimp and grits is the epitome of comfort food: thick, creamy, and luxurious. While I love the traditional Southern approach to this dish, here is a delectable Spanish twist. The grits are thickened with Manchego, layered with romesco and topped with tidbits of crispy chorizo.

Homemade romesco is glorious. In a pinch, however, a good store-bought jar will do just fine. Serves 8 as a starter/tapa, 4 as a main course.

Ingredients:s&g single
1.5 c polenta/grits
4.5 c water
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1 cup young Manchego, grated
2 semi cured chorizos (about 5-6 oz total), diced
1 cup romesco sauce (see recipe below)
1 to 1.5 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of ½ lemon

1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in grits, salt, and butter. Reduce to simmer and cook uncovered, stirring now and then to prevent sticking, until grits are tender, 20-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, warm romesco gently in a pan.
3. In a large skillet gently fry chorizo for five minutes or so, until nicely browned. Transfer to a warm place.
4. When grits are done stir in the Manchego, turn off heat, and cover.
5. In the same skillet used for chorizo, fry shrimp for a couple minutes, squeezing lemon over the pan as they cook. Remove from heat.
6. Spoon a layer of grits into each bowl, follow with a thin layer or romesco and finish with another of grits. Top each helping with a shrimp and chorizo chunks. Sprinkle with parsley.

spanish-romesco-sauce-aRomesco sauce
Salsa Romseco originated in Tarragona, a province in Catalonia that sprawls out along the Mediterranean coast in the northeast of Spain. Traditionally prepared as an accompaniment to fish and seafood, this pepper and almond sauce is also a fantastic partner to meat and vegetables. Try it with grilled asparagus, summer squash, or roasted cauliflower.

Ñora peppers are integral the distinctive taste of romesco. They are sold dried and then soaked before use. Makes 2-3 cups.

4 dried ñora peppers
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1  head garlic, unpeeled
½ cup almonds, blanched
1 slice stale bread
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup sherry vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Place dried ñoras in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut off the tip of the garlic head, rub off any loose skin, and place on a baking sheet. Roast until soft, 20-30 minutes.
3. Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground.
4. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add a splash of the olive oil and fry the bread on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a towel to cool. In the same skillet, fry the tomatoes for a few minutes. Add to processor along with the bread, torn into pieces.
5. Remove peppers from water and discard seeds and stems. Gently scrape the flesh from the skin using the back of a knife. Discard skin and add flesh to food processor. When soft, remove garlic from oven, squeeze cloves from their skins and add to processor.
6. Process this mixture until well blended. Gradually add olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt.

Complete your Mother’s Day meal with these tasty ideas:

Looking for the perfect Mother’s day gift? The Spanish Table is loaded with gorgeous hand-painted ceramic tableware, cazuelas of all shapes and sizes, paella kits, olivewood cheese boards and cooking utensils, an exciting range of cookbooks and of course a stunning selection of delectable wines from the Iberian Peninsula and beyond!

– Rachel Adams

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Recipes

Pasta from scratch

Here’s a basic egg pasta recipe, adapted from the fine, absorbing tome Pasta Classica, by Julia Della Croce. I have given directions for rolling and cutting using a machine. It is possible to complete the whole process by hand, equipped only with rolling pin and knife. A simple pasta maker, however, is worthwhile investment, greatly reducing the time required for this admittedly labor-intensive process .


4 cup unbleached white flour
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Secure your machine to a counter or table top. Choose a surface where you’ll have as much space as possible to toss sheets of dough about.

2. Have a large knife ready, along with a sieve and a damp dish towel. Also, keep a bag of flour on hand to add to the dough if necessary.

3. Next, decide where you’re going to hang the pasta, either to dry it completely before storing, or simply while you’re rolling and cutting the remaining dough. This is where you may need to get creative. I like to use my indoor clothes horse as a drying rack, it works perfectly!


Pasta on the clothes horse, ready to be cut into fettuccine.

The Dough:

1. Measure the flour and salt onto the work surface, forming a little heap. Make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and then add the olive oil and salt. Mix the ingredients in the well with the fingers of one hand, very gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Use the other hand to support the outer sides of the flour “wall” where necessary to prevent the egg mixture from running out. Think of it as a sand castle reservoir. As the mixture becomes thicker, it will stop attempting escape and you can begin kneading it more freely with your hands.

2. When you have a ball of dough, scrape the work surface clean of the remaining flour and crusty bits. Remove these to a sieve and then sift the flour back onto the counter. Knead you dough for five to ten minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until it forms a soft but not sticky dough. Cut the ball into four pieces and cover three of these with a damp cloth.

Rolling and Cutting:

1. Set your machine’s rolling wheel on the widest setting. Press the chunk of dough flat with your hand and thread it through the rollers with one hand while cranking the lever with the other. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter, and roll it through again. Repeat this process several more times, ending with a smooth oblong of dough.

2. Move the rollers to the next setting (slightly slimmer) and pass the dough through. Repeat the process, each time moving to a progressively finer setting. The dough will become thin and long. Stop when you get to the desired width. For the minimalist adornments that sing so sweetly on fresh pasta, I like to roll it as thin as possible.

3. Finally, cut the dough into appropriate lengths (unless you want to be really eye-catching go wild with exuberantly long strands of fettuccini). Pass each section through the cutters, letting the pasta fall across your hand as it emerges. Lay it on your drying rack. Repeat this rolling and cutting process with the remaining balls of dough.

Boiling and eating:

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a good pinch of salt. Plunge your soft pasta into the water and boil for fifteen seconds. Taste; it will probably be ready. Drain it, although not too thoroughly; leave a hint of water in the pot. Then go wild with whatever additions you like. How about a sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper? Some of those new asparagus, a lavish drizzling of olive oil, and a few shaves of of Manchego? Simplicity really shines with this stuff.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pumpkin a la Española

Sometimes we cook with intention – pouring over recipes, shopping for obscure ingredients, carefully preparing the dish, and triumphantly serving it to a table of effusively complimentary dinner guests. But let’s face it, these occasions are rare. In my house, the majority of our meals are haphazard, scrounged together from whatever lies in the fridge and is in imminent danger of wilting or spoilage. If those carrots are beginning to lose their crispness, I’ll grate them into a carrot salad flecked with raisins and walnuts and slick with olive oil, lemon, and honey.  If that zucchini loses its luster, I’ll throw it into a frittata with a handful of sweet corn from the freezer and that last nub of craggy parmesan lurking in the depths of the fridge. Unglamorous perhaps, but the result is generally warm, tasty, and sustaining.

Occasionally, these haphazard dinners have truly gratifying results.  Yesterday my fridge was bare save for an aged pumpkin, a little chorizo, and a wedge of Manchego.  I also had a bag of paella rice in the cupboard. Hmmm, what to do? In no mood for culinary finesse, I simply stuffed the cheese, meat and rice into the pumpkin with a clove of chopped garlic, added some chicken stock, and shoved it into the oven.  Ya esta!

The pumpkin came out of oven soft, plum, and golden as a setting sun, brimming with a mélange of flavor-rich rice, melty cheese, and chunks of toothsome chorizo. Although it cannot claim any Spanish origins, I christened this dish ‘pumpkin a la Española’ in honor of its main ingredients.

1 small pumpkin, about 3 lbs.
1 3oz. semi-cured chorizo sausage (such as Bilbao or Riojano), chopped into bite-sized discs
¼ lb Manchego, grated
½ cup bomba or other paella rice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-1 ½ cups chicken stock (1 ½ cups if using bomba rice, 1 cup for other paella rice)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin and remove. Scrape out stringy center and seeds.
2. In a bowl, mix the rice, chorizo, Manchego, and garlic. Stuff into center of pumpkin, no more than 2/3 full.
3. Heat the stock to boiling and pour into center of pumpkin. Mix into contents with a spoon.
4. Replace lid and bake pumpkin until flesh it tender and rice is cooked, about 2 hours.

– Rachel Adams

1 Comment

Filed under Recepies, Uncategorized

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 4, 2010

We gladly waved goodbye to the construction equipment on lower Western Avenue this week. The chasm at Union and Western has been filled in and the street is now reopened to two way traffic. The detour is gone. Lots of street parking is now available, so don’t hesitate to come on down and see us!

Spectacularly beautiful, the Douro River’s precipitous terraces are the birthplace of port, Portugal’s celebrated fortified wine. But this region also produces sensational table wines which we’ve recommended for years, and these wines are finally gaining traction with wine critics.

We were fortunate to get a personal update on this area from Sophia Bergquist, owner of Quinta de La Rosa over lunch last week. Somewhat similiar to France’s wine estate classification system, in the Douro, grapes are graded from A to F based on the quinta (estate) that produced them. The steeply terraced vineyards can only be harvested by hand which guarantees gentle treatment of the grapes and selection of the best fruit. Sweltering summer heat ensures that grapes are fully ripened and generate structured reds with long ageing potential. Four out of the last six vintages (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) in the Douro were outstanding.

Quinta de La Rosa’s fruit is all Grade A and the estate has been family owned since 1815. One of the first in the region to produce table wines, they are such a hands-on operation that owner Sophia herself has even jumped in to pick grapes during harvest. For fans of plush, complex, full-bodied reds, the wines of the Douro should not be missed!


2007 Vale da Clara, Douro Red wine ($11.99) Quinta de La Rosa purchases the fruit for this wine, which is a perennial staff favorite here at The Spanish Table. 2007 was a very good year in the Douro, giving Vale da Clara rich and perfectly ripened black fruit. With notes of black olive and a touch of herbs, it has ripe tannins and a long, smooth finish. It’s a great quaffer!

2006 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Tinto ($19.99) A blend of grapes that are used in port wine, this elegant red table wine is made from hand-picked, estate grown fruit. Enticing floral and ripe fruit aromas make it hard to tear your nose away from the rim of the glass. On the palate, delicate flavors of black cherry and currant have lift and a persistent minerality. Silky tannins and great balance make this wine a pleasure to drink.

2005 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Reserve ($42.00) Vintage 2005 in the Douro was rated 93-95 by The Wine Spectator, producing “balanced and powerful reds.” The Quinta de La Rosa Reserve is no exception. A rich and juicy red, it displays notes of coffee and smoke, earth and minerals. It’s got the stuffing to age well for another five years, and it will be a big hit now with any fan of muscular reds.
2006 Poeira 28 Barricas Douro ($54.00) Quinta de La Rosa’s winemaker, Jorge Moreira, owns his own north facing plot uphill from QdLRosa and Poeira is his personal project. Made from old vines, only 28 barrels (barricas) were produced. Terroir driven, Poeira is distinctive, angular and restrained. Loaded with elegance and finesse, it’s brooding black fruit is concentrated with notes of crushed rock. It’s got the backbone to age well for through 2017, although it’s absolutely delicious right now.

Throwing a Super Bowl party? Our favorite party foods are grilled chorizo sausages (try the GEM Basque chorizo which is now back in stock!) served with slices of Ibsa Roasted Red Pepper strips.

A cheese plate is always a hit – we recommend a mix of sheep’s milk cheese such as Roncal or Nisa, Caña de Cabra goat cheese, Young Mahon cow’s milk cheese and a creamy blue cheese such as Bleu de Basque. Serve alongside Spanish Tapas Flatbreads which are now back in stock, in Rosemary and Manchego Cheese flavors.

And which beer to serve? We’ve got Estrella Damm beer from Spain, Casa beer from Morocco, Sagres beer from Portugal, Tecate and Bohemia beer from Mexico.

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Available next week by special order (6 bottles available):

2007 Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita, Priorat ($672.00) Alvaro Palcios is one of the star winemakers of the Priorat, and was an early pioneer of this region. 100% old-vine Garnacha produced from 70-year-old, head-pruned vines from a dramatically steep 2-hectare hillside. Harvesting is by hand, with multiple passes to pick optimal fruit. Aged in 100% new French barrique. Only 250 cases produced. “Bright ruby. Intense, mineral-driven aromas of spicy red berries, candied cherry, blood orange and potpourri, plus a sexy Asian spice quality. Tangy and sharply focused, with striking purity and energy. Sweet raspberry and cherry flavors are framed by silky tannins that are quickly absorbed by the fruit. Manages to be deep as well as vivacious, showing strong finishing minerality and a lingering note of star anise. This plays Lafite to the Dofi’s Latour.” 94 points Stephen Tanzer

Our new sister store, Paris Grocery, has an outstanding Facebook page with their newest cheeses, charcuterie and wines. Check it out and become a fan.

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites. Visit

The Spanish Table wine website for Spanish, Portuguese, South American vinos as well as Madeiras and ports. Orders are shipped from our Berkeley CA store which may have different inventory and prices than our Seattle store.

Click on The Spanish Table to purchase food, books, cookware and other non-wine products.


Padron pepper seeds: Spring can’t be far behind when the seed packets roll in the door! Start these indoors early, so that the plants will be full size by June and ready to start producing peppers.

Mloukia Leaves: We searched high and low for this herb after reading about it in Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (p. 158). As described in the cookbook, the flavor is “fascinating – tastes like nothing else.”

5 liter plastic jugs of EVOO $49.99 We’ve had many requests for large containers of extra virgin olive oil since we ran out of the Ybarra brand. We’ve now got Sol de La Mancha brand in stock.

A new shipment of cazuelas arrived Monday. We’re now restocked with all sizes, in charcoal, and traditional earth color.

We look forward to Saveur Magazine’s “Top 100”

issue every January. It’s a compendium of the best kitchen products, new personalties in the culinary world, places foodies should know about, and implements of the year.We’ve stocked these hard to find items from Saveur’s list:

Salt cod (called Bacalao in Spain; Bacalhau in Portugal)

Argentinean Malbec wines (we’ve got 50 + Malbecs to choose from)

Lupini Beans

Olive Oil Tortas (new flavors Seville Orange and Sesame Sea Salt)


Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!


Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table, 1426 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.2827

Hours: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.0679

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Paris Grocery is closed on Mondays

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, Cheese, Food, france, Meat, Portugal, Red Wine, Spain, Uncategorized