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Spanish Recipes

FRIED MANCHEGO CHEESE WITH ROMESCO SAUCE

Fried Manchego Cheese with Romesco Sauce is the ultimate appetiser/tapas.  Manchego cheese has such an amazing flavour and when fried the flavour is even more enhanced.

Romesco sauce. This sauce originates from Catalunya, it´s loaded with so many great flavours and you can used in many other ways. such as serving it with grilled fish, grilled chicken and even roasted vegetables, its sort of the Spanish version of Pesto sauce.

Prep Time 20 min, Cook Time 35 min, Total Time 55 min

Ingredients for the Sauce 

There are quite a few various versions of this sauce so here are a couple for you to try, let us know which you prefer in comments below.

Version 1

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, torn into pieces

1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped or slivered (can substitute hazelnuts, peeled)

5-6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, or canned whole tomatoes (including the juice) that have been de-seeded, or 1 pound fresh tomatoes that have been par-boiled, skins removed, and de-seeded

1 8-ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (preferred) or sweet paprika

2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Romesco Sauce

Method

Sauté torn bread and almonds: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the bread and almonds, stirring often, until they just begin to brown.

Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Process with remaining ingredients: Place the contents of the sauté pan into a food processor with the remaining ingredients—salt, tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, smoked paprika, vinegar. Purée until smooth.

Bake: Spread the sauce out on a rimmed sheet pan and bake in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize.

Allow to cool and scrape into a container to store..

Kept in a sealed container, Romesco sauce will last for a week or more in the fridge. It freezes well, too.

Version 2

2 Tomatoes

2 Slices Baguette

3 Cloves of Garlic

6 Raw Hazelnuts

6 Raw Blanched Almonds

2 Roasted Red Bell Peppers

1/2 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 210 C - 410 F

To make the romesco sauce, add 2 large ripe tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 slices of baguette bread (about 1/2 inch thick) to a baking tray, cut an X on top of the tomatoes and a slit on the garlics, add the baking tray into the oven, after 15 minutes remove the toasted bread and roasted garlics, after 30 minutes total cooking time remove the tomatoes

While the tomatoes are cooling off, dry roast 6 raw hazelnuts and 6 blanched almonds on a non-stick frying pan with a medium heat between 3 to 4 minutes

Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, start peeling the tomatoes and the garlic, add the tomatoes and the garlic into a food processor, along with the toasted bread, 1 clove of raw garlic, the toasted hazelnuts and almonds, 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin Spanish olive oil, season generously with sea salt and a dash of freshly cracked black pepper, pulse everything until it´s well combined, then cover and set aside

Ingredients for the Fried Manchego Cheese 

1 7 ounce block queso manchego

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 tbsp  milk

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil for frying

Fried Manchego Cheese

Method

Take 1 block of Manchego cheese that is about 7 ounces, de rind it and start cutting it in slices that are about a 1/4 inch thick

Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour to a bowl, crack 1 organic egg with 1 tablespoon of organic milk into another bowl and beat together, and add a generous 1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary into another bowl and mix together

To coat each slice of cheese, first dip it into the flour, then the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs.

Heat a non-stick frying pan to a medium-high heat and add a 1/4 cup of extra virgin Spanish olive oil, once the oil is hot, start adding the breaded slices of cheese, cook each side for 30 seconds, cook in batches to not over-crowd the pan

To serve - Transfer the Romesco sauce into a bowl and place on a dish, place the fried slices of cheese around the plate and garnish with some freshly chopped parsley

Enjoy! Serve with your favourite Spanish Wine

Fried Manchego also goes perfectly with Spanish Onion Marmalade.

Find lots more information about Spanish Cheeses HERE

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