Have you enjoyed an icy cold Estrella Damm this summer? If so, you're up with the play because the beer of Barcelona has only just become readily available here in New Zealand. To celebrate Bite ran a tapas competition and asked the bars and restaurants who serve it to share with us their favourite Estrella tapa match. We narrowed down a very fine field to 12 finalists, which we tested and tasted. You will find the recipes from all 12 finalists on foodhub.co.nz; the top five, we present to you here. The recipes have all been judged and adapted by the Bite team to suit the home cook so go on, get the Estrella in (it's available at all liquor retailers) and get set to impress.
Baduzzi may be famous for its meatballs but it offers so much more besides. Created by executive chef Ben Bayly, this tapa is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and could easily win over even dedicated sardine haters. The Wynyard Quarter restaurant is run by the team behind The Grove and they describe their food style as "Greater Roman Empire".
Plenty of scope, then, for lots of good eating.
Flame-grilled sardines, pinoli, feta and white raisins
• 2 sardines, filleted
• 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• Zest 1 lemon
• 1 sprig thyme
• 2 cloves garlic, sliced
• 100g white raisins
• 100ml verjus
• 50g Italian parsley, thinly sliced
• 50g basil, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• Zest 1 lemon
• 100ml extra virgin olive oil
• Lemon juice
• 2 slices sourdough bread
• 100g feta, crumbled or finely diced, marinated in 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• 20g Pinoli pine nuts, toasted
• 2 Leaves basil, thinly sliced
• 20g chives
• 20g baby parsley
1. Combine olive oil, lemon zest, thyme and sliced garlic and use to marinade sardine fillets overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
2. Warm the raisins in verjus. Bring up to a simmer in a saucepan on moderate heat until the raisins absorb all the liquid. About 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
3. To make the gremolata, combine parsley and basil. Add garlic and lemon zest. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Cook the sardines (skin side only) over a hot grill for 15-20 seconds. When ready, squeeze over a little lemon juice.
5. To assemble, toast the bread until crispy, then top with a generous spoonful of gremolata. Place sardines on toast, top with feta, pine nuts and the raisins. Garnish with chives and parsley.
The judges say: We used golden sultanas instead of white raisins and mullet instead of sardines as they were not available to us at the time of judging and they worked beautifully. This dish entirely won us over, with its clever combination of sweet, sour and salty holding its own against the dark-roasted notes of the beer.
Check out some of the other Estrella Damm tapas competion competitors
Note: Part of the judging process was to choose recipes that were suitable to the home cook. The recipes from our 12 semi-finalists have all been tested and some slightly adapted to suit. See all 12 recipes on foodhub.co.nz