Other noteworthy new-style Spanish chefs include: Koldo Royo, Basque-born but long ensconced in Palma, on the island of Mallorca--a daring and witty chef, whose signature dishes, at the restaurant that bears his name, include a terrine of solidified lentil soup with vinaigrette, a ragout of lobster with ginger and boneless quail breasts stuffed with foie gras and rose petals; Inaki Izaguirre, the spectacularly moustachioed owner-chef of Jaun de Alzate in Madrid, where he amuses and delights diners with his hamburguesa of ground fish with vegetable sauce and his famous morcilla (blood sausage)-and-chorizo sausage "sushis"--which are in fact sushi-like rolls of spinach-wrapped sticky rice enclosing slices of the sausages (cooked, to be sure), and set atop a puree of red beans from the Basque town of Tolosa (which, incidentally look and taste disconcertingly, or perhaps reassuringly, like refried beans).
And Jean Pierre Vandelle of El Olivo, also in Madrid, who was born in Bordeaux but raised in Spain, and whose special loves are olive oil (he has a serving cart of at least 70 Spanish and other Mediterranean oils, brought to the table at the diners request) and sherry (his bar is a veritable museum of the stuff), and whose best dishes include \o7 foie gras \f7 salad in old sherry vinegar, monkfish with tomato compote and black olive sauce and young \o7 manchego \f7 cheese marinated in olive oil.
Gazpacho and paella it isn't.
\o7 This dish was created by Jean Pierre Vandelle, the French-born but Spanish-raised chef/proprietor of the olive- and olive-oil-themed El Olivo in Madrid.
MONKFISH WITH TOMATO COMPOTE AND BLACK OLIVE SAUCE
6 to 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, about
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Leaves of 1 large sprig thyme
Freshly ground pepper
Dash saffron, optional
1 cup black olives, pitted
1 cup rich fish stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 pounds monkfish, cut into 16 medallions of equal size
4 to 6 sprigs parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet. Add green onions and 2 onions and saute until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, garlic and thyme and continue cooking on very low heat, uncovered, until liquid has totally evaporated and thick puree is left. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add saffron. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside.
Heat another 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute remaining onion until translucent. Add olives and continue cooking about 10 minutes. Add fish stock and whipping cream. Stir well and continue cooking on very low heat, uncovered, until sauce is reduced by about half.
Puree sauce in blender, then pass through chinoise or fine sieve to yield smooth sauce without olive skins or onions. Set aside, covered.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over high heat. Add and saute monkfish medallions, layer at time, 5 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through. Repeat with remaining medallions, adding more oil as needed.
While cooking monkfish, reheat tomato compote and olive sauce separately over low heat. To serve, spoon compote onto middle of 4 or 6 plates, dividing evenly. Place 4 pieces monkfish on top of each portion of compote, then surround fish and compote with olive sauce. Garnish with parsley or thyme sprigs. Makes 4 servings.
Each serving contains about:
592 calories; 360 mg sodium; 103 mg cholesterol; 36 grams fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 40 grams protein; 1.99 grams fiber.
\o7 This is a simplified version of a traditional Catalan dish as interpreted by contemporary-style chef Santi Santamaria at his El Raco de Can Fabes in Sant Celoni, in the foothills of Montseny about 30 miles north of Barcelona.
CHICKEN THIGHS AND WINGS WITH RAISINS AND PINE NUTS
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken wings
1 cup golden raisins, plumped in warm water, then drained
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup dry Sherry
1 cup rich chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon water
Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add and fry chicken thighs and wings until golden brown and cooked through. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
Combine raisins, green onions, pine nuts, honey and Sherry in saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cup liquid. Stir in chicken stock and cornstarch mixture and heat until thickened. Add chicken and heat through. Makes 4 servings.
Each serving contains about:
692 calories; 354 mg sodium; 86 mg cholesterol; 37 grams fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 31 grams protein; 0.86 gram fiber.