…to a delightful Sangria and a tapas-style appetizer and it’s a night.
Of course, the sangria and app are easier to come by.
One of my secret wishes is that I could really dance…tango, flamenco, even the bellydancing that I tried for a short spell last year. I loved the music-absolutely loved it-and the dance itself was so much fun. It was not only a great workout, but it was also exhilarating to step outside of my non-dancing box for a time. I had my red hip scarf with all of it’s golden jingles and a lot of hope. Just the sound of those jingles got your hips twitching…the slightest movement would send them all into a jingle-jangled fury. There’s no sneaking up on someone wearing one of those things, I can tell you that. Due to the scheduling, my bellydancing lasted only a short while…and there were momentary glimmers here and there (very momentary) which were encouraging. If the dance was one big shimmy, I might do ok. Standing still and shimmying seemed to work with my hips. It was when we started to actually move and shimmy that I diverted from the graceful.
And Flamenco. Just the word itself conjures such beautiful, rhythmic, passionate things. Flaaaaamennnnnnco. Let that “ah” stretch way the heck out and settle on the “n” for a while. Now picture deep red and black and wrap those colors around a pair of dancers. There’s a big red rose in the woman’s hair…can you see it? The man’s shoes are in constant motion and he is focused on her. Just her. Ah, what a dance. To call it a dance almost seems trite.
Whew. Getting warm in here.
And my feet are tapping under my computer table…I’m apparently hearing flamenco in the recesses of my mind. Divine.
Ok. Back to the post. And reality. Flamenco dancers are not in my immediate circle of either friends or frequent entertainment, so for the time being I’ll settle for some recipes that can transport me, you and your friends to those lovely zones.
Sangria, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Perfect for a summer evening.
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange flavored liquer (recommended: triple sec or Grand Marnier)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled
Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely, 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water.
And to go with your Sangria….a little tapas offering…
Bread with Mushrooms and Aioli (Tostada de Setas), courtesy of La Tienda The Best of Spain
(the website offers this recipe with Alioli, which is a packaged Aioli. The recipe for homemade follows)
4 or 5 oz mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. sherry wine
French bread, sliced into rounds
Heat the olive oil in a pan that has a cover. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms, salt and sherry. Cover and lower heat. Cook until liquid is released from the mushrooms, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Toast bread slightly, just to dry it out a bit. Spread with aioli and top with mushrooms. Broil for about 30 seconds or until aioli starts to bubble.
Aioli (aka garlic mayonnaise), courtesy Epicurious
2 garlic cloves
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Whisk in garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. If aïoli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.
*Note: Raw egg warning, if you err on the cautious side.