Madeleine – Around The World – Spain

On the penultimate trip of my cuisinary journey around the world, I wanted something simple and Iberian, so I stopped over Spain. There are many and varied choices, but I wanted tapas. This has nothing to do with Madeleine or the Tapas Restaurant, as to the best of my knowledge the restaurant did not actually serve tapas, and that point is critical, IMO. (Shhh!).

Tapas is small dishes with quite different flavours. If you are out with friends, you share a small dish as a snack over a beer or a glass of wine. If you are hungry, you buy several small treats. The list of alternative dishes is endless, so I shall move on.

Tonight’s mini-dish #1 was patatas alioli. This is simply small cubes of potato fried in olive oil, set aside to cool, then boshed with a garlic sauce. Easy!

Mini-dish #2 was patatas bravas. Again simply small cubes of fried potato, and I intended sticking in a hint of paprika aka pimentón. I wanted slightly spicy, oven hot potatoes, plain and simple, but I overdid the spice. I then had to whack in a lot of tomatoes to bring the chilli temperature down, so instead of the plain variant I ended up with the tomato version.

My third dish was very simple indeed. A handful of prawns with garlic, baked in the oven.

I would reckon each dish on its own would hit around a 5 or a 6 out of 10, no more. But they all fitted together into an 8.

Tomorrow evening is the last leg of my culinary expedition around the globe. I was expecting to finish it with a simple Portuguese delight, like Portuguese steak. But when I asked what was the meal of choice on my beloved’s return, the answer was short and simple. “Spag bol.” A fortnight in a hotel in England and what you want is spag bol? “Yup”.

That means tomorrow night I shall be hopping to Italy instead of returning to Portugal. I have everything I need, except minced beef and mushrooms, so I need to visit Baptista tomorrow.

Thus comes to an end my epicurean tour of the world. 14 days. 14 delicious dishes. 14 countries (nearly). But spag bol sums it up!

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