Start to finish: 45 minutes
JOSÉ ANDRÉS TAUGHT US this “end of month” recipe— the sort of meal to make quickly with whatever is on hand and money is tight. His approach: garlic cooked in copious amounts of olive oil with handfuls of thinly sliced stale bread and several tablespoons of smoked paprika. Add some water and simmer, then off heat stir in four or five whisked eggs. Supper is served. For our version, we realized the leftover bread, garlic and smoked paprika we had in our cupboards weren’t up to Adrés’ standards, so we needed to tweak. We boosted flavor by using chicken bouillon (an easy pantry flavor booster) instead of plain water, and we sautéed both sweet and smoked paprika with garlic and scallions. We actually didn’t have stale bread, so we turned a loaf of rustic sourdough (a baguette or any crusty loaf will do) into delicious croutons. To serve, the soup and croutons are married in the serving bowls, allowing each person to adjust the ratio of soup to bread, as well as how long they soak.
- 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra
- 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 6 ounces sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr chicken Base)
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (optional)
In a medium saucepan over medium-low, combine the scallion whites, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 8 to 10 minutes. Add both paprikas and cook, stirring, until fragrant and dark- ened, 30 seconds.
Add 1 cup of the bread cubes and stir well. Whisk in the water and bouillon, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally to break up bread, for 15 minutes. Whisk vigorously to ensure bread is thoroughly broken up.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the remaining 3 table- spoons oil, the remaining 3 cups bread, the scallion greens, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot broth. Remove the soup from the heat. Off heat, vigorously whisk the egg yolks into the soup, then whisk in the vinegar, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper. To serve, fill individual bowls with the crouton mixture, then ladle the soup over them. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired.
Stir in the walnuts and chives, reserving a tablespoon of each for garnish,
if desired, then season with salt and red pepper flakes. Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl, then garnish with the remaining walnuts and chives.
Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites (Pinchos Morunos)
Start to finish: 50 minutes (25 minutes active)
WE USUALLY PREFER the flavor we get from grinding whole spices ourselves, but in this recipe we found pre-ground worked nearly as well. Cutting the pork tenderloin into 1- to 1½-inch cubes produced more surface area, allowing the spice rub to quickly penetrate and season the meat. Any smaller and the meat cooked too quickly.
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon each kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the pork and toss to evenly coat, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains. Let the pork sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey and garlic. Set aside.
In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until just smoking. Add the meat in a single layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2 to 3 minutes. Off the heat, drizzle the lemon juice-garlic mixture over the meat and toss to evenly coated, then transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the oregano over the pork, drizzle with the remaining 1 table- spoon of oil and serve with lemon wedges.
Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs
Start to finish: 15 minutes
A GREEN SALAD IS a welcome counterpoint to the many heavy meats, starchy sides and rich desserts that crowd holiday tables. We like kale, which is both flavorful and seasonal, a prime candidate for a winter salad. But when eaten raw, the hardy leaves can be unpleasantly tough. We started with lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale. Its long blue-green leaves are sweeter and more tender than curly kale. Slicing the greens thinly was the first step in making them more salad-friendly. Then, to soften them further, we borrowed a Japanese technique used on raw cabbage– massaging the leaves. An acidic shallot-sherry vinaigrette also helped to soften and brighten the kale (look for a sherry vinegar aged at least 3 years). Intensely flavorful paprika breadcrumbs, inspired by the Catalan sauce picada, tied everything together.
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 1 cup smoked almonds
- 4 ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Allow to sit 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey, 5 tablespoons of the oil and ½ teaspoon pepper; set aside.
In a food processor, process the almonds until coarsely chopped, about 8 pulses; transfer to a large bowl. Add the bread to the processor and process to rough crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add the thyme, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Process until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
Transfer the crumb mixture to a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Add the kale and mint to the bowl with the almonds and massage the greens until the kale softens and darkens, 10 to 20 seconds. Add the dressing and crumbs and toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
Don’t slice the kale until you’re ready to make the salad; it will wilt. You can, however, stem, wash and dry it ahead of time.
PHOTO CREDIT: CONNIE MILLER OF CB CREATIVES