I know this man for about 4 years in theory and for roughly 2 years in practice. And nowadays I learn something new about him all the time, which surprises me usually (in a good way). For instance, when I asked him if he would want to make a co-cooking session with me, I was surprised that he came up with Spanish cuisine – and not one, not two, but three recipes!! Apparently, he is very much into Spanish cuisine – and Spanish language.
Panu is a student in my school and he is also a part time lecturer there. He is studying in 3 different master programs. Oh yes, you did not read it wrong – 3 master programs, I repeat. I admire this man’s patience. I could barely write one single thesis for one single master, and he is dealing with three. Well, I will not write more about this here, he has heard me talking about it in shock so many times that he must be a bit tired of it by now! He also plays all sorts of music instruments – I imagine that he can make music even from my kitchen tools if I gave him one. From the look of his apartment, he also looks like one of the tidiest, neatest and most organised people I have ever known – which is quite my opposite (well, what can I say, I like a well disorganised room with its own order every now and then…).
What else about Panu? Oh yes, I do not only learn something ABOUT him, but I learn a lot FROM him. Especially on music and on Lakota people and culture. Gee, he is the one and only person that I have ever known in person, who has a connection with Native Americans. Yes, in my eyes, he is partially a Native American – in a bit blond and Finnish way.
But what about the food? Well, the three dishes he cooked were so delicious and filling that the next day I did not need any breakfast, honestly. I could live on the soup forever, I am not a big fan of red meat but those meatballs were deadly delicious and prawns were to die for – only a bit too spicy for me, so my “dying for” is a bit on the literal side. But I have a delicate appetite when it comes to spicy, hot food so do not be afraid – it is not you, it is me (gee, I always wanted to say that!! But in a different context..).
I think these three dishes could be a very good whole menu for a dinner party for your friends – if you want to have a Spanish theme dinner party for instance. With all the talk in between we had, it took roughly 2.5-3 hours to prepare all the food, you can see that they are not the hardest dishes to cook. In this blog post I will only give the recipe for Salmorejo (the soup) not to make a huge blog post.. The other two dishes will be in 2 other posts..
As I am writing this blog post, I am listening to the album “Pa Saber de Flamenco La Leyenda Del Tiempo” – one of the many albums we listened to that day. After that I might move on to “Into the Wild” soundtrack by Eddie Vedder – yes, Eddie Vedder. My friends who know me since my childhood are shocked to see me and Eddie Vedder in the same sentence, as I never really cared for him or his music. But people change. And people change other people. For the last few years, I was being transformed into someone that I might not like all the time because of some people in my life.. But this one right now, this is a good change.
It is surprising to see that there are still good and decent people out there. And this man is one of those good and decent people – and the-man-can-cook-delicious-burgers! Very good combination: intelligent/intellectual, sexy and good cook! What can I say – just bury my heart at wounded knee!!!
1 kg tomatoes
5 slices of bread (just regular, white toast bread would do)
2 cloves of garlic
100 gr. sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp / 22.5 ml vinegar
1/2 cup / 1 dl olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Hard-boiled eggs (1 egg for each person)
Soundtrack: “Pa Saber de Flamenco La Leyenda Del Tiempo” (album)
1. In a medium pan, put some water and hard-boil 4 eggs in it. When eggs are boiled, put them aside to cool down, keep the boiling water.
2. Peel the tomatoes. Now here’s a good tip from Panu on how to easily peel tomatoes: As seen in first photo below, using a sharp knife, slice a shallow cross on the stem of each tomato and put them in a big bowl (since we have 1 kg of tomatoes here, put them in a BIG bowl). Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and wait until the cross starts to split open – about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Watch carefully and take the tomatoes out as soon as you see the splitting – do not accidentally cook poor tomatoes!! After that lovely adventure, just peel the skin, take the core of each tomato out and put them aside.
3. Cut the crusts off the bread. Put aside. You can keep the crust and make bread crumbles of it to use for another dish…
4. Peel garlic cloves.
5. In a hand blender beaker (or any other deep blending bowl), put tomatoes, garlic, bread, sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar.
6. Start blending!! I have to say, I admired Panu for not making ANY mess with this red mixture at all!!! I know that when I cook this dish, I will be red all over, including the walls, table, counter… Ok anyway, when you have all the ingredients blend into a nice soup, add olive oil, salt and pepper, give it a final good blend, cover it and put in the fridge. When the soup is cold enough, you are ready to serve.
7. So just before serving, prepare the topping. First, julienne cut the ham.
8. Next, cut the eggs in 4 as seen in photo.
9. Put your soup in the bowl. Add a bit of ham in the middle and 4 slices of egg around it. Then eat.. eat.. eat.. eat……… yummmm….