Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cheap Eats >> Pa amb Tomaquet

  I have always had a fasination the country of Spain.  It started back when I was a child.  You see, my Grandfather was an almond grower and as a member of the Blue Diamond Growers he traveled to Spain as an ambassador for the almond growers in the USA.  Each time before he left for an oveseas trip our extended family would gather for an evening meal and a parting prayer for his safe travels.  Sometimes Grandma would travel with him, but if she didn't, she would have us grandchildren, two or three at a time, to eat out with her and then spend the night.  When Grandpa returned the family would again gather for a meal and view his slide photographs and then! what joy to the grandchildren! we would assemble in the living room and Grandpa would give each of us a memento of his trip.  I still have the little hand-tooled leather purse and the straw bag he brought back for me but the candy necklaces are long gone.

  But this wasn't all--each year at Christmas his friend Enrique would send Grandpa and Grandma several pounds of Spanish almond candy.  Both of these candies are made with the same ingredients:  Almonds and Honey.  Alicante Turron contains whole almonds and is crunchy.  But the Jijona Turron!  It is by far my favorite candy:  ground almonds mixed with clover honey to make a fudge-textured sweet.  It just isn't 'christmas' without Turron.  (If you want to order Turron for yourself, order it from the La Tienda link here.  I have ordered from La Tienda and have been very satisfied.)

  Fast forward to many years later.  Little did my husband and I know when we bought our first home that the house next door was owned by a local church and was its Missionary House.  Santi and Ruth were here for two years, raising support for their missionary work with Spanish families and teens.  They were newlyweds like us and we spend many hours together, sharing meals, talking on the front porch, making Flea Market runs and day trips to Yosemite.

Here we are at Yosemite Falls

The first time Santi & Ruth had us over for a meal she made Pa amb Tomaquet, which simple means "Bread and Tomato" in the Catalan language.   If I would have known what it was before I ate it, I probably wouldn't have thought it quite so good (it's funny how knowing what something is 'pre-determines' your opinion of it, isn't it?).  So please, give this a try with an open mind.

Pa Amb Tomaquet

You will need:

Tomatoes--good, vine-ripe, garden-fresh tomatoes
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Crusty Artesian Bread (I'll share my recipe in a following post)

Take your Tomato and cut it in half from top to bottom.  Using a box grater set in a dish, grate out the inside of the Tomato, discarding the skin.

Stir in a splash of Olive Oil--you don't want much, just enough to give it a slight sheen.  Sprinkle with Salt and Black Pepper to taste.  Spread onto warm, crusty Artesian Bread and savor the taste of summer and Spain.

Now, if you aren't certain about this, take it one step farther:  Gently warm about two crushed Garlic Cloves in a tablespoon or two of Olive Oil and stir it into the Pa amb Tomaquet.  Then toss it all over cooked Angel Hair pasta for a fresh, quick, light summer supper. 

It's what we are having for dinner tonight!

So, tell me, did you try it?  Was it good?

And here is a Dinner Hymn shared by Santi & Ruth:

Gracias por la comida
Gracias a los de la cocina
Gracias de mi corazon, wooo.
Gracias es lo que digo
Gracias tambien por mis amigos
Gracias sobre todo a Dios
Gracias a Dios

Thank you for the food
Thank you to those in the kitchen
Thank you for my heart, wooo.
Thank you, is what I say
Thank you also for my friends,
And above all, thank you God!
Thank you God!

1 comment:

Beth said...

I literally have that on my menu for tomorrow night =) we have a few tomatoes ready now =)