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Tomorrow I’m off for the day so tonight…I cook.

Wanted a somewhat Spanish themed tapas dinner tonight, so since it had been awhile since I had put together Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic), I bought a half pound of shrimp, cleaned and salted them, and quickly sautéed them in olive oil with garlic, some red pepper flakes (too much for my wife, alas), and some lemon juice and manzanilla sherry. Three to four minutes cooking, tops.

As I didn’t want a repeat of garlic as a star and I had bought some nice shiitake mushrooms, and remembering that I had some thin asparagus stalks, I did a quick stir fry of the two along with some ordinary oyster sauce for the veggie ‘tapa’ side. Yah, not strictly Spanish with Chinese oyster sauce, but wifey liked it.

For me, the real star of the show was the Baby Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Shallot Dressing. Take a long piece of bacon and cook it in some olive oil in the skillet, and once crisp, remove bacon and add shallots, thyme, wine vinegar, mustard, and one thing or another and voila! Warm Bacon dressing!

Add the bacon bits, now diced into smaller pieces, with the baby spinach, and add your favorite extras to this salad. While this one called for prosciutto, blue cheese, and quartered figs, I made do with a nice Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche ash-ripened goat cheese. Very nice.
I can see how figs and even almonds might have added to this dish, but not completely necessary.

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