One of my 101 goals is to try out 10 new recipes from 10 different cookbooks. Cooking always has been a great hobby of mine, but after I got chronically fatigued, cooking became a very hard thing for me to do. I always regretted the loss of this hobby, because inside, the passion is still burning. And passions and talents should never stay unused, right? I figured out if I’d just set some realistic goals and do everything on a slow pace, it should work out just fine.
And what better occasion to try cooking some new stuff than at Christmas? My mom joined us for dinner on Christmas Eve. Ruud and I decided to make it a special non-traditional Christmas dinner by creating a tapas meal. Since I was at home during the day, I would do most of the cooking part. So I dusted off my tapas cookbooks and finally started using them again!
Our meal consisted of nine different homemade tapas. Five of them were new recipes, three of which were from the same cookbook. So that makes 30% of my goal accomplished!
Are you curious what I cooked? Then read on, I’ll show you!
The first new recipe was spicy stuffed eggs. My mother always makes stuffed eggs on parties and they are to die for. She has shared her recipe with me, which I used a couple of times. But I actually never tasted another filling then hers. Until now. This definitely was my most frustrating dish of the evening. The eggs were absolute horror! Peeling them was impossible. They ended up completely disfigured, as you can see in the picture. I swear, they aren’t bite marks!
The stuffing was a mixture of egg yolks, pesto, mustard, capers and parsley. I actually added a lot more pesto and mustard than described in the recipe, because I didn’t think my stuffing was smooth enough yet. But after my alteration, they were absolutely smashing! I’m definitely gonna make this recipe again!
The second recipe was marinated bocconcini. What the heck are bocconcini, you ask? Well, they are tiny little balls of mozzarella cheese. I marinated them in a mixture of olive oil, green pepper, garlic and basil. Then I wrapped them in prosciutto and added some more basil leaves. This recipe also was a great success!
The last cookbook even contained three recipes I wanted to try! The first one was a dish I have wanted to make for ages, but for some reason never did: chorizo in red wine. I don’t know why I postponed this recipe for so many years. Maybe because the chorizo has to marinate overnight and I didn’t want to make that effort at the time. Or maybe because the recipe gives the option to flambé it and I was too chicken to do that yet too stubborn to cook the dish without letting it burst into flames. I don’t know. But I decided no excuse was good enough and this Christmas I would serve it! I’m glad I did, because it tasted awesome!
I’m absolutely crazy about chorizo, so I decided I wanted another chorizo dish. In my cookbook I stumbled upon a recipe that looked so weird I just had to try it. It was a salad of chorizo, artichokes and melon. My brain couldn’t figure out how that possibly would taste. Those ingredients differ so much from each other on so many levels, why would anyone put these together in one dish? But it was in a cookbook, so it couldn’t be disgusting, right? My logic thankfully proved to be right, it actually tasted very nice!
To make my home made tapas meal complete, I decided to stuff some cherry tomatoes. I usually do this with feta or cream cheese, but I wanted to try out a new stuffing. My cookbook offered one made from aioli, olives and capers. That sounded perfect! And that was exactly how it tasted. As a stuffing in the tomatoes, it tasted quite nice. But I also tried some of the left-over stuffing on a piece of French bread and oh my god! That just tasted orgasmic! Next time, I’ll ditch the tomatoes and serve it as a spread instead!
Besides these new dishes, Ruud and I also made some of our all time favorites: spinach and goat’s cheese quiches, stuffed mushrooms, dates in bacon and hummus à la Ruud.
I really love the way our Christmas dinner turned out. I tried out some really nice stuff, most of which I will definitely make again. And a nice bonus: the next day I didn’t gain any Christmas weight, instead I lost 100 g (3,5 oz)! Hurray for tapas!