Culinary Cruising: Viva Espana!

Marisol, the author of The Lady, the Chef and the Courtesan, a sensual, romantic novel that comes complete with recipes, last month left landlocked Denver for a stint as a celebrity chef. She sent Westword regular missives from her temporary home: a cruise ship. But not everything went according to plan, as readers of those dispatches now know. As a final parting gift for those who've joined her literary voyage, we're sharing the recipes for the three, ninety-minute cooking classes Marisol would have presented, had everything gone according to plan:

Viva España!: Class 2 with Chef Marisol

RIOJA SANGRIA Makes 4 servings

Ingredients 1 750 m. bottle Rioja wine 1 Valencia orange (sliced in half-moons) 1 red apple (diced) ¼ cup raspberries 2 cinnamon sticks 2 star anise ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice ¼ cup Jerez (Sherry) or Ruby Port 4 whole strawberries without green stem (for garnish) 4 red wine glasses 1 cup ice cubes

Preparation 1) Pour Rioja inside an earthenware or glass pitcher. 2) Slice and dice all fruits (except raspberries). 3) Add fruits, cinnamon sticks, star anise to the pitcher and stir. Allow flavors seep into the wine (covered with plastic wrap) at room temperature for 1 hour. (May refrigerate overnight). 4) Place one strawberry on the rim of each wine glass. 5) Pour sangría over ice in each glass and stir gently.

Music: Armik’s Obsession Confession CD

CORDERO AL OPORTO/Lamb with Cherry-Port Reduction Makes 4 servings

Ingredients 8 lamb chops (frenched) 2 tbs. kosher salt 2 tbs. Spanish Paprika (also known as Pimentón de la Vera) 2 tbs. olive oil 1 finely chopped shallot 1 cup Ruby port ¾ cup chicken broth 1 tbs. tamarind paste (seedless) 2 tbs. cherry jam ½ cup dried tart cherries

Preparation 1) Preheat oven to 200 F. 2) In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. 3) Season lamb with salt and Spanish Paprika. 4) Add lamb to skillet and cook until desired doneness, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. 5) Transfer lamb to platter and keep in warm oven. 6) Add shallot to the skillet and sauté for one minute. 7) Add port, broth, tamarind paste, cherry jam and dried cherries. Boil until cherries are plump and liquid is like syrup, (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. 8) Arrange 2 lamb chops on each plate. Spoon Ruby port sauce in the center.

PAPS CON GUASA VERDE Makes 4 servings

Ingredients 2 tbs. capers 4 cloves garlic one shallot 2 anchovy fillets juice of two limes ½ cup parsley ½ cup olive oil 2 large russet potatoes (no need to salt because anchovies are salty) 1 large green bell pepper, seeded (serving suggestion)

Preparation 1) Peel and quarter potatoes. 2) In medium saucepan, boil potatoes until tender but still firm (about 15 minutes). 3) Drain water and set potatoes aside to cool while you make Guasa Verde. 4) Place the rest of the ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor and process until a paste forms. Transfer paste to a glass bowl and whisk in the olive oil. 5) Cut potatoes into matchsticks. 6) Toss Guasa over potatoes, or serve inside green bell pepper (if using as a dip). 7) Serve potatoes warm (as a winter side dish), or cold (as a summer salad).

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun