This was followed by a family style (perfect for this ‘family’ of food fanatics) Ensalada de Pulpo or Octopus Salad. I normally do not have much of a taste for the flesh of this 8-legged cephalopod. Teddy’s version will stand as the exception to the rule. It was as tender as silken tofu. (Perhaps not the best analogy for a readership as disdainful of vegetarian health food as ours, but you get the picture). Its delicate flavor was as fresh and beautiful as the cleanest hoo-hah I a have ever had the good fortune to eat. It’s soft and creamy texture was exquisitely contrasted by the crunch of celery and the saltiness and umaminess of olives. It glistened with a light coating of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The next course was a surprise, as it did not appear on the menu Mr. Hunter sent to us the previous day. It was a shooter of Conch salad laced with fresh mint from Teddy’s front yard. Teddy was upfront about it really being scungili or Whelk from a can, but he really did not have to be so honest. I never would have known the difference. It was absolutely delicious with crunchy hints of pepper and bright flavor of sherry vinegar really shining through.
A Spanish feast would, of course, be French if it were not for the Tapas course. In this case, Teddy put together one of the most balanced plate of bites I have ever enjoyed. It was more substantial than the previous courses, but by no means did it make one feel like a Cadillac Escalade overflowing with
The final savory course I expected to bring us back to the richness of old with a name like “Pork Belly with chorizo, breadcrumbs, oranges (MIGAS)” I was thrilled to be in the kitchen with Teddy to smell the smells as he sautéed the Chorizo and then fried the pre-cooked porcine belly in the pimenton (AKA Spanish Smoked Paprika) laden oil left from the chorizo sautéing. Grant and I aided Teddy in the supreming of
This left us with only the dessert course, an almond tart, known as a Torta Santiago. This is reminiscent of my Grandma Yetta’s bitter almond cake. The flavor brought me back to my childhood, and that my friends, is the goal of every cook, and an accomplishment of which to be truly proud. Good food brings back fond memories, and Teddy outdid himself.
As a vodka enthusiast, ok fanatic, I did not get full experience of tasting the digestives that Teddy brought to the table, but judging from everyone else’s reactions to both, the Sherry (you fucking Brits love the Sherry) and that other oddly banana/vanilla flavored syrupy liquor, they were a smash hit – fit to close out a truly wonderful culinary odyssey!