"Even the High Heeled Kitchen needs a day off" is how this webisode of the High Heeled Kitchen begins.
So we took the HHK to Washington DC's Vinoteca Bar and Bistro where Executive Chef Lonnie Zoeller shared his once secret:
Pan con Tomate Tapa: The Recipe:
1 loaf bread divided into ¾ inch slices. Experiment: Baguettes work well for bite size, Ciabatta, Sour Dough, Olive, Flat Bread are other delicioso alternatives.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large Tomatoes slices in half
2 cloves Garlic
Toppings: Manchego Cheese, Chorizo, Jamón Serrano, sauteed veggies like Mushrooms, Artichoke, or Eggplant.
Drizzle both sides of bread slices with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt to taste. Toast bread in panini press, oven, pan, or on grill.
Grate 2 sliced tomatoes. Let tomato mixture sit in a strainer for ½ an hour. Reduce juice collected in bowl by half on stove over medium heat.
Rub sliced raw garlic on toasted bread. Smooth tomato mixture, sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Layer with toppings: Experiment with Manchego Cheese, Chorizo, Jamón Serrano, sauteed veggies like Mushrooms, Artichoke, or Eggplant. Drizzle more extra virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!
Pan con Tomate Tapa: The Story:
Growing up, my Mami rebelled once a week and declared, ¡cocina cerrada! She loves cooking and is good at it. But she ran a house, worked, and with Papi, participated in every aspect of our lives:
- Slice a million chilled oranges for Saturday soccer matches.
- Help the Brownie troop earn the cooking badge by teaching 12 girls how to make tacos (we aren't Mexican, but Mami was our neighborhood's self-appointed Madeleine Albright of all things south of the border).
- Roller skate with Papi (alternating between clumsily clinging to the ballet bar around the rink or his big Mexican leather belt bought during a family vacation to Acapulco) at our birthday parties held at the Rolladium in San Mateo. Monitoring ankle bracelets are no match for my mother's eagle eyes, especially when "Almost Paradise" played during couple's time.
Mami needed a break. And we LOVED going once a week to Straw Hat Pizza. Or El Torrito (Papi objected). Or Burger King. Then one day Lil' Sis and I let a fight sneak into the backseat of our white Capri and ride to the restaurant. We horrified my mother by ignoring every glacial "Look" with under-the-table pinches, charley horses, and shoves. Our dining out privileges were restored after 3 months. My mother claims our family's reputation in the neighborhood took longer to heal.)
Like Mami, we chicas--married, single, with or without kids, working outside or at home, need to reset. Indulge your taste buds by making your next night out to a Spanish or Latin American restaurant. Order tapas. My comfort food.
Thanks to Washington, DC's Vinoteca, executive chef Lonnie Zoeller shares his recipe for a Spanish appetizer called Pan con Tomate. It's like bruschetta.
Pan con Tomate Tapa: The Video:
¡Vampires: Beware! As you'll see by a special "cameo," I won't be cast in a Dracula remake or a Twilight sequel...
If you can't "close your kitchen" and dine out, that's OK. Follow this recipe by watching the video and treat yourself to a virtual culinary escape to Spain. ¡Delicioso!