It is however a pretty good race location with lots of options for a themed menu. I’ve actually had the good fortune to visit Valencia, and one of the strongest memories I have is the orange trees, so there was a definite orange theme to much of the food. You can’t see very clearly, but some orange trees are visible in the photo above.
For the main courses we had two dishes native to the region, Pato a la naranja (Duck with orange) and Paella. To go with the Pato a la naranja we had roasted pepper and courgette. I cook paella quite often so I had a look at a few different recipes to try something a little different – one suggestion was to coat the chicken in a little seasoned flour and fry it before adding it to the other ingredients close to the end of cooking. I’d highly recommend this for the improvement in flavour and texture.
We also tried out a Spanish spinach recipe cooling the spinach with pine nuts and some garlic. Very tasty!
And of course, we also made some Spanish inspired desserts, and here is where the orange influence comes back. We made an orange cake – essentially an orange cheesecake. A few differences, using half digestive and half ginger nut biscuits for the base, and orange chocolate buttons instead of chocolate shavings for decorative. The choice of ingredients meant that the cheese was a little runnier than a traditional cheesecake, but it tasted great!
Our other dessert was a little more improvised – Valencia cookies – cookies including orange rind, orange chocolate, white chocolate, and crystallised ginger, and dipped in dark chocolate. Really, really good cookies!
We didn’t manage to do much themed for the previous Spanish race, so this weekend definitely made up for it.
The next race is the British Grand Prix, which I’m really excited about because we’re going to Silverstone to see the Friday practice sessions. I’m much less excited about the potential themed menu though. Fish and chips and roast beef and gravy, or should it be chicken tikka masala? 😉
We’ll have to see what they are serving at Silverstone and report back..