A friend is a flamencist, (I know this isn’t an actual word; the correct term is closer to flamenco aficionado but so what?) Said friend really loves the art, an involvement she shared with her late husband.
She took me to the brilliant Flamenco Origenes, a far cry from snapping castanets and pounding heels as the concert did not involve dancing but rather vocals and instruments. Led by Javier
Limón, an eight-time Latin Grammy winner, currently the artistic director of the Berklee Mediterranean Music Institute and an accomplished guitar player, a group of six young musicians played instruments and sang, sometimes solo and sometimes together. The performers come from Israel, (Tali Rubenstein); Dubai (Shilpa Anath who is Indian); Bagdad-born and raised in Beirut (Layth Al-Rubaye) and other parts of the world–a true multicultural medley.
Flamenco originated in Andalusia; from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, when Spain was under Arab domination, the original music and instruments were modified and adapted by Christians and Jews and later by gypsies, incorporating sounds and structures from these cultures. The concert made these interlinking connections very clear as the musicians played frame drum, violin, guitar, hand drums and various wind instruments including one, played by Rubenstein, that resembles a wooden leg. (How she alternates singing while summoning the breath to play a wind instrument is beyond me.) I also admired red-headed Al-Rubaye who plays the violin and sings and Brazilian hand-percussionist Negah Santos, a wonderful musician with a brilliant smile.
Before the concert, we ate dinner at the very appropriate Andanada where the tapas included the best tiny, fried artichokes I ever ate. Ole indeed.
More in keeping with the music. this recipe is for Flamenco Eggs, a wonderful brunch dish that brings Spanish flavors together.
(recipe courtesy Anne Burrell via the Food Network)
High quality olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped (you know me, maybe one clove)
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced Spanish chorizo
1 teaspoon pimenton. (Pimenton is Spanish paprika that comes in various degrees of hotness. You can substitute regular paprika although the end result won’t be quite as authentic. If you’re going to buy the real thing, get the ‘hot’ version.)
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice
1/2 cup finely grated aged Manchego cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Coat a saucepan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium heat. Season the onions with salt and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are soft and very aromatic. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the chorizo and pimenton and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Oil a flat oven-proof dish large enough to hold what you’ve cooked plus the eggs. Fill dish about halfway with the tomato sauce. Break eggs into dish and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes.
When the eggs are done, sprinkle with chives and serve.
Bring the dish to the table as it’s so attractive and serve from there. Spanish wine? Why not? Sherry beforehand? It’s your party. Get out your mantilla.
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