Paco Roncero (2 Michelin Stars)
Chef at Terraza del Casino and Estado Puro (Madrid)
We are going for a menu where the main ingredient in each dish is Serrano ham. The most important thing for me when we are talking about Serrano ham or any other type of ham is to leave it as natural as possible, because ham in and of itself doesn't need any extras.
What we can do is use it for broth, play with different textures -like croquant for example- and try to make the most of our dishes with Serrano ham.
The first dish we prepared is a sprout and ham salad with an orange vinaigrette.
It is a simple salad made with sprouts and ham, which gives the salad its savory touch.
Another of the tapas we have prepared is our ham sandwich, an incredibly traditional tapa. It is a warm sandwich with a tomato rub, which everyone likes.
Our next dish is a ham and chickpea broth, a traditional cocido broth to which we have added ham and chickpeas, nice and easy and problem-free.
Our fourth dish is artichokes with king prawns, and here the ham takes on a very different character because we have made a ham croquant, which adds texture to the dish.
When we make the croquant what happens is the salt in the ham takes on extra flavor, so the idea with this dish, rather than seasoning it, is to take advantage of the salt in the ham.
Next we made a boletus mushroom toast with tomato and mozzarella, and of course, ham. This is one of the toasts we have been making here in the tapas bar for many years, and it is one of our most popular items. Here the ham is of prime importance because it combines perfectly with the tomato and the mozzarella, which is subtle and mild. The touch of salt from the ham is perfect.
The next tapa we made was ham croquettes, of course. We prepared two versions - the modern croquette, which is the spherical version, and the homemade croquette, the creamy one, the one we are all accustomed to. Which one wins? I think they are different, and we should enjoy both.
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