Spanish Made Simple with Omar Allibhoy

Other than Paella, Spanish food is one of those things I like to go out for. Let’s go for tapas and drinks. Let’s try out that new Spanish restaurant in town. It’s not usually something I’d cook at home, but Omar Allibhoy is out to change that with his new cookbook, Spanish Made Simple.

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The new book from the chef behind Tapas Revolution is all about home cooking. Simple dishes that are easy to make at home, and full of traditional Spanish flavours.

I was invited to Tapas Revolution at Grand Central Birmingham to meet the man himself and sample some of his dishes, before taking the book home to test them out in my own kitchen.

Omar is as laid back and welcoming as you would imagine from the smiling face that adorns his cookbook. Typically relaxed, open and friendly, he welcomed all of us personally and seemed to enjoy sitting down with us to eat and chat.

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We were served a selection of dishes from the book, including tapas plates and mains to share. Some of the dishes had a really personal origin, from dishes that Omar’s mother used to make during winters in Spain, like this braised lettuce with bacon…

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… to real comfort food dishes like this lamb stew.

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One of my favourite dishes were these beautiful sweet peppers stuffed with mushrooms in a creamy bechamel sauce.

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And of course, the classic croquettas went down a treat!

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We even got to sample not one, but two desserts. A really rich chocolate mousse with raspberries.

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And this absolute beauty – a Spanish version of bread and butter pudding crossed with eggy bread! It was a delicious, custardy, cinnamony delight that I never wanted to end.

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Omar also treated us to a glass of what he claims is the best Sherry in the world! A 2013 Pedro Ximenez.

I’ve never been one for Sherry, reminds me too much of great aunties at Christmas, but this was delicious, with a sweet, raisiny taste and a very smooth finish. I could easily start drinking this as an after-dinner drink and am tempted to invest in a bottle for my drinks cabinet. If you’re at Tapas Revolution, definitely give this a try.

After dinner and drinks, Omar kindly signed our cookbooks for us before we went on our way. I’ve already spotted several dishes I want to make at home, including a duck dish with prunes and the aforementioned Pedro Ximenez Sherry which, according to Omar, makes a brilliant Christmas meal with almost zero effort!
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I was invited to Tapas Revolution as a guest. My food, drinks and copy of Spanish Made Simple were complimentary, many thanks to Omar and his team. All opinions are, as always, my own and I was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

Omar’s new book Spanish Made Simple is available in bookshops and online now. If you decide to buy through my Amazon link, I will earn a small commission through their associates programme. 

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