There is a family-owned restaurant in Rota which let's a group from the base invade their kitchen for a day!
I never have worked at a restaurant, so I found it fun just to be in the kitchen! It was a lot smaller than I thought it would have to be.
They taught us to make:
beef in a veggie-wine sauce
mushrooms cooked in wine
Arranque Roteña, which is the dip form of gazpacho and strictly a Rota dish
and a fruit desert
We drank Tinto de Verano (my favorite), and helped with the preparations, a couple of us at a time. I took lots of notes and soon there is a trip to a Spanish grocery store (so we can learn what the unfamiliar stuff is used for) so I feel pretty confident I could make the dishes again.
After a couple hours of cooking, we all sat down to eat everything. It was delicious of course, and people were arguing over who had made the best tortilla. The arrangue is my favorite and full of garlic, so after a while, I didn't feel too comfortable talking anymore! I tasted garlic until the Next Day!
How to make the Arranque Roteña:
equal numbers (not parts) of chopped:
ripe, red, not-refrigerated tomato
big long curly green mild chili pepper (you know the one, not small)
garlic (may need more depending how small)
very good quality virgin olive oil (dark green)
2 day old white baguette bread, munched into VERY fine crumbs (regular bread crumbs may be too soft, but you could try it)
Blend the 1st 3 ingredients very well in a blender (or with a balde on a stick thingie).
Add bread crumbs in stages to make it a thick, pastey cookie-dough texture.
Then add oil in stages to make it smooth. It will still be thick and pastey (NOT creamy).
Both of those ingredients are quite a bit!!!
When you think it has enough oil, add some more! Seriously.
Salt that baby up!
Chill for at least an hour to let marry.
Serve with small slices of baguette bread and long, thick, raw slices of that same chili for dipping. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
It should be really thick and garlicky. The chili should be just the occasional lil bite in the bite.
Beef in sauce and patatas (french fries)