American Iron / Spanish Table
Tradition never tasted better than with this brilliant pairing of Old World Spanish tapas and New World tools, including perfectly balanced cast iron cookware from the Field Company and one of the most versatile cookers ever from Memphis Grills. ¡Olé!
Tapas—small savory dishes of Spanish origin—are fantastic for entertaining, allowing guests to enjoy small bites with glasses of wine without making the host commit to creating a full dinner service. In looking for the perfect way to prepare a tapas spread, we realized a high-end grill, such as those from Memphis Grills, and top-quality Field Company cast iron pans, allowed us to grill, sear, bake and serve all while keeping the party going. Here, we look at how Old World flavors and New World tools combine to create a perfectly balanced party worthy of a majors season. In any language, we call it a win.
It doesn’t get much easier or much more tasty than this. If you can find padrón peppers, use those; otherwise, shishito peppers work fine (pictured). This dish doubles as entertainment because, as anyone who’s enjoyed it knows, there’s always a surprise hottie among the peppers, usually sending the recipient into a mirth-inducing dance—and a scramble for a Whispering Angel to put out the devilish fire.
- 3 cups padrón or shishito peppers
- 3 tbps olive oil
- Juice of a lemon
- Add olive oil to a 10-inch Field Co. cast iron skillet and heat over high until a drop of water sizzles. Add peppers, cook until blistered, add fresh lemon juice, remove from heat, sprinkle
with salt and serve
Pazo Señorans, a beautiful buttery white from Rias Baixas, NW Spain
Gambas al Ajillo
Traditionally prepared and served in cast iron, this garlic shrimp dish is best served with a baguette so guests can mop-up the delicious juices.
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails intact
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp chili flakes
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 2 tablespoons white wine or sherry
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Toss the shrimp with 1 tsp of salt and set aside for 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, in a 10-inch Field Company cast iron skillet, combine garlic and olive oil and cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and begins to brown (5 minutes);
Add the chili flakes and stir until fragrant, roughly 30 seconds
- Add the shrimp, occasionally stirring until the shrimp are pink, maybe 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, wine, lemon zest and a pinch of salt
Rock Angel, Chateau d’Esclans
This exciting rosé from the makers of Whispering Angel brings more complexity and a bigger profile than its better-known sibling, making it a perfect complement to one of tapas’ best-known and most-loved seafood dishes. Look for inherent minerality to balance the shellfish, and for the sophisticated character to endure well into the second (or third or fourth) glass.
Chorizo with caramelized onions
Check your local butcher for fresh, quality chorizo and opt for organic yellow onions and high quality olive oil. This is a simple, but big-flavored dish, and so all of the components need to be on
their “A” game for it to work well. When it does, the taste reward is well worth the effort and you’ll want to use a piece of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of sauce from the pan.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Two 10oz links of cooking chorizo, cut into bite-size chunks
- Handful chopped parsley (optional for garnish)
- Crusty bread for dipping
- Add olive oil to the pan and heat over medium low heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add onion and sautee until deep brown and caramelized
- Add the chorizo and cook until all sides are browned and the inside has cooked through
- Sprinkle with parsley if desired and serve with bread
Clos Mogador, a bold red, best drunk aged from Priorat, Catalunya
As traditional as it gets, this tapas staple is one of those deceptively simple additions to the brunch table. Don’t be so casual about the preparation, however; it takes some subtlety to get this right, and that’s greatly aided by a quality cast iron pan. Give this the care it deserves, and it can anchor your entire meal—deliciously.
- 2 cups olive oil
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, like a Vidalia, peeled, quartered, and sliced
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- Jamon Iberico (optional for garnish)
- Add oil to a large, wide pot and heat until shiny/rippled; add potatoes and onion, cover, and let the oil simmer until the potatoes are tender, roughly 10 minutes
- Strain potato and onion mix and set aside
- In a medium bowl, add eggs and lightly beat, then stir-in cooled potatoes and set aside for 15 minutes
- Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, place over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When oil is hot, pour in the egg and potato/onion mix and cook until the edges of the egg begin to ruffle and turn pale yellow, then place onto grill/oven heated to 400 degrees, close/cover and cook for 25 minutes
- When done, allow to cool and serve
Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans