Put the paella aside and try some of these exotic foodie favourites
Gambas al ajilo (garlic prawns) Traditional gambas is made with prawns, garlic, olive oil and paprika or smoked paprika and prepared in ten minutes. Juan Carlos cooks the garlic in three ways: in water, oil and then making a garlic cream from it. It’s teamed with a parsley oil and black garlic for an unexpected twist.
Pollo de corral a la naranja con maíz (orange roasted chicken with corn) The chicken is free range and corn fed, which gives it a yellow colour. It’s roasted in orange juice because, Juan Carlos explains, citrus juices such as lemon and orange are acids that complement it well. It’s teamed with puffed corn.
Tortas de queso Mahón con esencia de naranja (Mahón cheese tarts with orange zest) These tarts are classically a thin, very crispy pastry galette that is sweet. In this instance it’s a savoury version of the galette that has been made, topped with Mahón cheese (a hard, white cheese) and orange zest.
Oysters three styles The oysters are teamed with a choice of condiments: gazpacho, seaweed or pipirrana [cold salad] and wasabi pearls. The gazpacho is put inside the oysters, which is an original way of using the classic Spanish cold soup, but Juan Carlos says, ‘we respect the traditional recipe of the gazpacho because it is a perfect marriage of flavours.’
Berenjena a la miel de soja con requesón (aubergine with soy honey and requesón) Typically made with finely sliced, fried aubergine, dressed with honey. El Sur’s version combines the honey with Japanese rice vinegar and soy sauce. The hot aubergine is topped with cold requesón (a fresh cheese).
Pargo con ñoquis de calabaza (red snapper with pumpkin ñoquis) A puree is made of pumpkin, with butter but no flour. The puree is then dropped into a bath of calcium and the reaction creates a jelly-like coating to form little gnocchi-like dumplings. The gnocchi are then gently warmed before serving in ‘cheese water’ to add extra flavour.
Paella de mariscos (seafood paella) Only available at El Sur’s Saturday brunch, the paella contains a mix of seafood including prawns, squid and mussels. It is, in contrast to the rest of these dishes, made to the classic recipe. ‘I could change it, but I don’t want to mess with the paella,’ Juan Carlos explains.
Selección de quesos Españoles (Spanish cheese selection) The twist on this cheese plate comes in the form of the condiments that are served with it. Juan Carlos creates unusual jams to accompany it, such as carrot and orange, lychee, and apricot (which he tells us works particularly well with very fatty cheeses).