Tapas Revolution Makes Spanish Easy:
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a fan of Omar Allibhoy and his Spanish food; he’s truly helped to create the Tapas Revolution in London (and Birmingham, Sheffield and Newcastle for that matter) and brought us high-quality Tapas. He’s now on a mission to get us cooking it for ourselves, and has published a collection of 100 recipes of the food he cooks for himself and family and friends.
We were welcomed to Tapas Revolution in Westfield to try some of the Spanish dishes for ourselves. Seated with a lovely glass of Cava, we nibbled on some superior Iberica Jamon served alongside tomato and garlic toasted bread . And then the tapas started arriving!
We kicked off with a couple of vegetarian dishes; something can actually be quite tricky to find when eating out in Spain, although it is getting a little better in the more visited cities. These were Piquillo peppers stuffed with mushrooms and aubergines filled with pisto and Manchego. The stuffed peppers were the highlight of the evening for me, and Omar even told us how to cheat at making the dish, the secret is to buy ready prepared tinned peppers. I loved the aubergine too; for a vegetarian this would be a wonderful, substantial dish.
We were then presented with chicken wings. Our eyes deceived us, we were expecting a barbeque sauce, instead, we were delighted with a honey, lemon and coriander (Omar told us that contrary to assumptions about the origin of coriander, it’s actually from the Canary Islands). The chicken was moist and I think was Lisa’s favourite savoury dish of the evening.
If you saw Omar on Saturday Morning Kitchen recently, you will have seen him prepare the grilled lettuce with a sweet and sour bacon vinaigrette. This worked particularly well with the sticky and rich chicken. We also sampled everyone’s favourite; patatas bravas.
We finished our feast with chocolate ganache with olive oil and salt. This was so rich, that we couldn’t finish it even between the two of us, and it wasn’t for want of trying!
Spanish Made Simple is clearly writte, with little home stories from Omar about the food and the memories that the dishes hold. Every recipe has an accompanying photograph, which I really like, as I need to know what I’m supposed to be achieving with my presentation. If you don’t fancy cooking, many of the items are now on the menu at Tapas Revolution.
The book can be ordered online from Amazon.