Friends get together in Portland, Oregon for a cookbook potluck, sharing recipes from the Toro Bravo cookbook of Spanish inspired cuisine.
When Toro first opened, a purveyor brought me an Italian anchovy syrup called colatura, which is basically a fish sauce made in Italy that’s similar to Thai fish sauce. We had some squid ink pasta lying around so for staff meal we made a bastardized version of pad thai with it—using hazelnuts instead of peanuts and the colatura instead of fish sauce, plus chilies, sprouts, and onions. It was so good that we made it again the next day. This is the recipe we perfected.
The first time I had bacon-wrapped dates was in Barcelona, where they were stuffed with cheese. At Toro, we wrap dates in bacon, iron the bacon jackets on, and serve them in a honey sauce that makes a sort of sandwich—so that you get sweetness on both sides of the bacon, along with layers of flavor: acidity from the lemon, and compelling smokiness from the pimentón.
The possibilities are limitless. Kale, spinach or mustard greens would also be great.